I’m not sure how, but suddenly we’re staring at 2021 coming to a close. Some of the strangest times any of us have been through…I think that’s safe to say. Speaking of safe, my bandmates and I have made it through this pandemic so far (with ongoing vigilance), getting together to play outdoors, making each other laugh over the phone, and staying as connected as possible. Which is good, because they are some of my very favorite people on the planet. We’re currently rehearsing for a couple of outdoor shows (November / December), and there are a few other interesting things percolating that it’s too soon to discuss. But there will be some recording and, I hope, plenty more shows. I’m so grateful to those that have made the effort to stay in touch and nourish our friendships, when it’s much easier to just hunker down, look out the window, and hopelessly shake our heads. I’d rather keep the faith, keep in touch, and turn the volume way up on the stereo.
“Twisted Wind” was written in April 2020, as we were just beginning to grasp what this pandemic would mean, and the damage it could cause. With no real end in sight, we’ve added wildfires in the West and an ongoing political shitstorm to the mix.
I wrote this song hoping to capture this endless loop that life has become…trying to think logically, stay productive, and maintain some version of faith, as we’re buffeted from moment to moment by forces that twist our thinking and sap our strength.
I don’t know how this story will end, but I do know that music is a force all its own. Let’s hold onto it…and each other.
Watch, listen, download and stream below.
Like an accident unfolding in painfully slow motion, we watched as live music came to a stop. The plugging in, the tuning up, filling out the bill, should we extend the solo, who’s making the flyer, that sound guy was amazing, and which harmony do you like better… so much concentration, energy and anticipation, all just … stopped. It took a while to sink in, even as we watched it happen. While we talked about it, updated our social media, and stared in disbelief at our calendars, our gear, ourselves in the mirror. The days and nights blended into a strange collective dream.
Then very gradually, after many months of anxiety-drenched suspension, it was over. We emerged, blinking in the sunlight, like creatures coming up from underground. We stretched our fingers, shifted our muscles, and dusted ourselves – and our instruments – off. Tentatively, then with exhilaration, we affirmed the pulse that got stronger with every touch. Until finally, we found ourselves back where we belonged. With our people, in the clubs, the rehearsal spaces, the recording studios, on the stages and the barstools. We met each other’s eyes, smiled our survivor smiles, then hugged a little harder and a little longer than we used to.
2019 was year of making new musical connections. We got to play with some old friends and — this part makes me so happy — discovered some bands that are new to me and are a great fit for future bills. Our two newest songs, “Another Night” and “Lights Down Low” are getting really enthusiastic responses, and I can’t wait to record them…a priority for 2020.
2020 brings a personnel change…we’ll soon have a new drummer, and I have feeling it’s going to create an interesting new direction, for both songwriting and band dynamics. We’re on a brief booking hiatus while bringing him up to speed.
This pause also provides a chance to work on new songs, while gratefully acknowledging the talents of my band mates Nancy Lake, John Harris, and Curt Olsen – talent central.
See you out there!
On July 29th we attended the annual JAM, an event for volunteers for Bread & Roses. I was proud to be given an award for 15 years of shows, which was very flattering. I certainly haven’t played every year, but apparently the years – and shows – have added up. They have one thing in common – walking into a room full of people who can’t, for various reasons, get out to see live music. You walk in, and basically say “yes, we’re total strangers, but here are some songs I brought for you”. It doesn’t matter if the room is filled with tension, anxiety, depression, or silence, music connects us during the time that we’re together. When it’s over, we’ve shared something real, and there is always a touch on the arm, a smile, a hug, questions, personal stories, and real warmth. I’ve always felt that it was time well spent, and honored to contribute. As my partner Paul put it: “These people do good work, and they do it in a dignified, low-key manner, letting the work speak for itself.”