Hello Friends, Family and Fans!  Once again it is time for your monthly entertainer. If you no longer wish to receive these epistles of awesomeness, please hit the button or respond with unsubscribe.

 

New News:

River Barons are pluggin along nicely.  Our arrangements of classic rocks hits are fun and loud. We are getting down THIS Friday at Dorcal Distillery starting at 11pm.  C'mon on out for some rockin' music!

My residency in San Antonio - Wednesday Night Looper's Delight, 10pm-2am at the J&O Cantina, 1014 S. Presa. It's picking up there nicely.  Getting a fun crowd our for music and cocktails.  Two of my favorite things! And we're broadcasting live at: https://www.concertwindow.com/shows/8070-noah-peterson-solo-sax-sessions

Gearing up for the BIG, BIG, BIG Fall tours.  Going through Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.  Got a spot for me to play at?  Want to host a house concert? Shoot me an email and let's talk!

 

New Music:  Peterson Entertainment, llc is very excited about bringing Phillip Luna to our catalog of recorded works.  Phillip is a wonderful musician, human being, artist, family man and friend.  And his stuff ROCKS!!!!  And when we talk about Phil Luna, we have to talk about videos - Phil's newest project, The Please Help had a great Heat of the Summer tour.  One of the projects I've been helping Phil with is Roots in the Shadows of San Antonio.  "Roots" is a compilation CD of 13 bands that have been rocking central Texas stage for over 20 years.  Click the link to download your FREE copy.  Great bands on there and we're working on "Roots II"

O.M.N.I is continuing with our mission of making online ear-candy.  The album is still under production, but we did put out a new video this week "At the Military Bass" - check it out here!

Last month we accounced that we signed Garrett T. Capps to a one record development deal. Demos are raging along.  This is powerful, in your face rock and roll.  We're pretty excited for what we're getting here.

The guestbook page on the site is up and running - leave a comment!

 Calendar:  Grab yer techy-doohicky's and make some notes - here's the shows!

Wednesday, August 6, 10pm
Solo Sax Sessions @ J & O
1014 S Presa, San Antonio, TX 78210

Friday, August 8, 11pm
River Barons a Dorcal Distillery
2001 S. Flores, San Antonio, TX 78210

Wednesday, August 13, 10pm
Solo Sax Sessions @ J & O
1014 S Presa, San Antonio, TX 78210

Saturday, August 16, 8pm
La Chichada plays a benefit for Eduardo Garza @ Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
600 Hemisphere PlazaWay, San Antonio, TX 78205

Saturday, August 16, 11:45pm
Solo Sax Sessions @ The Raven Hookah Lounge
1255 SW Loop 410 #133, San Antonio, TX

Wednesday, August 20, 10pm
Solo Sax Sessions @ J & O
1014 S Presa, San Antonio, TX 78210

Friday, August 22, 10:30am
Solo Sax Sessions @ Morning Side Ministries
1050 Grand Blvd, Boerne, TX 78006

Wednesday, August 27, 10pm
Solo Sax Sessions @ J & O
1014 S Presa, San Antonio, TX 78210

Sunday, August 31, 9am
Solo Sax Sessions @ Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market
255 E. Basse Road, San Antonio, TX 78209

Wednesday, September 3, 10pm
Solo Sax Sessions @ J & O
1014 S Presa, San Antonio, TX 78210
 
Friday, September 5, 5pm
Solo Sax Sessions @ Eva's Escape
307 Beauregard Street, San Antonio, TX 78204

Saturday, September 6, 9am
Solo Sax Sessions @ The Farmers Market at the Cibolo
33 Herff Road, Boerne, TX 78006

Saturday, September 6, 2pm
Solo Sax Sessions @ Kerrville Hills Winery
3600 Fredericksburg Road, Kerrville, TX 

 
 
 
 
 
 

This has not been a good stretch of time.  Totally getting the shaft these days.  Fortunately, I know it won't last but daaaaaamn this is no fun.  Music stuff taking a hit, domestic stuff taking a hit - thank God for my good wife (whose actually been out of town) that keeps me grounded.  rather than take the opportunity to push things whilst I have an open schedule, I opted to stay home and lick my wounds.  Of course, since my stove crapped out it wasn't exactly comforting myself with hot foods - or coffee.  My home warranty company has yet to deliver a repairman to get that fixed.  Can't say I'm thrilled about that.  Nothing like not having a have stove for 4 days.  We'll see what happens come Monday, but I'm guessing a big, fat nothing.  Went to a union meeting and to see what was going on with Local 23.  Nothing but a bunch of white dinosaurs too dumb to know they were already extinct.  I don't get it, it you're in San Antonio and there's nothing but white people in the room, you're in the wrong room.  Don't mistake me, I don't give two shits about racial anything - but San Antonio is a Mexican town.  If you don't have some (and it really should be a majority of) Mexicans in the room, you don't have an adequate representation of population.  And, once again, with the possible exception of one female, I was the yougest in the room by at least a decade and I'm over 40.  For those of you who think of things like "future" and "sustainability" and "growth" this is why I used the word dinosaur. Over and done.  So futile, it's not worth talking about.

At least I got a tiny project done around the house and put some videos and booked some tour gigs.  The Please Help is done with their Florida tour and high-tailing it for it home with one cancelled gig and they fell short of the fundraising goal - but I think we can still pull everything off from what we pulled in.  Still need to debrief with Phil after he gets back. 

I am thinking I want to keep the label focused on dead copyright.  Far less headache and I have full power to do what's needed. That does make it faster, easier and more profitable.  

It's safe to say my honeymoon with San Antonio is officially over.  Probably for the best. I need to strap it on and get down to some serious business instead of fiddle-farting around.  Not to say I haven't been productive, but I'm a little demoralized and that's quite a statement coming from me.  It's times like these when I treasure the best thing in my life and it sure as shit ain't music.  I pick my lovely wife up from the airport tonight, it'll be good to have her home.  I need my partner.  Usually I enjoy the time apart, but it's been so many ass-kickings in such a short period of time that I've barely been drinking and just going to bed early trying to get up and get it done the next day. I keep going by force of habit and that fact that I'm just not one to give in.  I was having a conversation with a great looper, James Sidlo, before our gig the other night.  He said I must get a lot of fulfillment out of doing music full time and putting on my festivals.  I told him, if I did for that I would have killed myself from a broken heart a long time ago.  I get zero fulfillment from this.  Ups and downs.  When you work for yourself, especially in the arts, the ups and downs are very extreme. Unlike a day job, money follows those ups and downs.  You can have a bad week at work and you're still getting a paycheck.  I have a couple of bad weeks and it's not just my mental state that suffers.  It's my bank account, my future, all of my work.  Fortunately, I've been doing this long enough to know I'll get through it.  That's why I've been going to bed early, trying to rush the cycle along.  Things will pick up when my sweetie gets here.  She'll have a shitload of things for me to do and get my up and going and she'll be there to help me.  Looking forward to having her pull me outta this. 

 

Can't believe it's been almost a month since a blog entry...you'd think carving a few minutes out here or there would be pretty doable.  Anyway...projects are having some small success.  Roots is getting picked up here and there for some airplay - pretty stoked about that. Got a another 3 videos up including One Eighty Six Ninety One: The Money  by O.M.N.I.  which is a huge amount of fun.  Got a few shows, been hitting things hard in the office for my artists and doing some late nights.   Sadly, the neighborhood has had a bad week.  Lots of cops and emergency vehicles this week. I guess they have been saving it all up for the past couple of months and are dumping it out in a short time period.  That crap really needs to stop. 

I'm still not used to my wife's new work schedule.  She gets up waaaay to early now.  I had a usual night - after 1am before coming to bed.  My cat normally wakes me up by pouncing on my feet and belly because he thinks 6am is playtime in the bed.  After that subsided, I hear my sweetie getting ready to go and out the door she goes.  I doze off and wake up thinking man I should really get up, the day is slipping away, there's a bunch to do, I so tired from this week, I have to pee... I get up, get cleaned up, go grab my coffee and look at the time, it's 8:03am.  I was thinking it was about 10:30.  Suffice to say, I'm all caught up for today and going to do some "extras" and get ahead a little bit.  That's always awesome.

 

Really been grinding things out.  Not a lot of "productive activity" per say, but a ton of tinkering behind the scenes, pulling deals together, keeping things rolling.  Starting to get the feeling of anxiety in the gut.  Things are a bit stuck for the moment. Two big wheels to make another turn tonight and will have a handful of things off my plate by tomorrow.  Definitely in a personal creative rut for the moment, but I see my path out of it. The next week is going to be very busy.  Much to do.

Things move slow in San Antonio.  It's part of the charm of living here.  It's also a little frustrating at times.  But patience and politeness pay off.  Had a nice double on Sat.  Played a great winery in the afternoon - yummy vino, decent paycheck and good tips followed by a meeting with one of my artists and then a last minute gig with the River Barons.  Felt like the old days!   Made some money, played a ton of music, had a great time.  Loving it.  Sunday is a day of rest with the wife and the Spurs tonight!  Go Spurs!

So last night we had a party.  When I say we I mean Phil and Jason put together a compilation record to promote the rock scene in San Antonio.  Phil and I are pretty thick in biz together so this was folded in and my label is providing promotion support.  Phil and I grabbed some gear, a keg of beer and literally set-the-stage. Most of the bands showed up, lots of fans showed up.  Keg was drained early.  Met some very cool people.  I had a blast!  Let me say it again. I had a blast! Pretty sure everybody else did too.  Raised some money to mail out the CD and gave away many copies.  This was a very cool event. Woke up with a smile on my face. 

 

 

Busy, busy, busy...aka Kurt Vonnegut.  I do like to keep busy.  Although I have found myself not packing my every moment with work.  Which is nice.  My wife said to me last night, this is the most I have ever been around you in our relationship.  (We've been together 15 years).  Fortunately, she seems to be enjoying me.  I certainly am enjoying her. 

She doesn't want any part of the public side of my life, but this is my blog and I get to write whatever I want.  Don't like? Don't read it.  What I do find odd is that y'all are actually reading it.  This is my most dynamic page on my site as the content comes stream-of-conscious from my brain to my fingers and I try to do it often.  Although I seem to fail in doing it "often."   I often have great days and sometimes not so great days and I have these (I think) wonderful, relevant things that I want to blog about it.  But, two weeks later when I finally have a moment those moments are barely remembered and seem like a lifetime ago.  And so much of my social media is all biz, I want this to be personally revealing about me.

Here's a few things.  For the past 5 or 6 years I've been doing push-ups three times a week as my "work-out."  It's the perfect exercise.  Keeps your arms, back and stomach strong.  I do it so I don't hurt myself moving gear and so I can do all the manual labor I have to do to fix my house and get my yard work done.  Got it up to 4 sets of 80 per work-out. And then last fall, just before my big loopfest tour, I hurt my shoulder in a weird way that bothered my nexk and back.  Had to stop playing disc golf, had to stop the push-ups.  Of course, strapping a sax to my neck 2 to 3 times a day and living in a van for 2.5 months isn't exactly quality healing time.  Got home pretty messed up.  Spent about a week on my back.  Didn't do anymore than I had to for a month (and that was quite a bit - something like 140 videos editing and posted in that time).  But the house needed stuff done and I put it off as long as possible. But...when you go crawling under a house and fixing stuff at weird angles, un-healed injuries get re-injured.   Right about the time I'm ready to gt back on it, bam - broke a finger, then I tweaked my neck and then I realized I'm just getting older and that crap just hurts now. So after 6 months off, I'm back on the work-outs.  Got it up to 4 sets of 65 already.  I feel better. Posture is better.  Still not raring to go, but I have gotten back on the proverbial horse.

And speaking of proverbial horses - I also joined a band.  The River Barons - we're new group.  Cool guys, fun and loud blues/rock.  I think we're going to do okay.  I've also been doing a little subbing in a zydeco band.  This is fun and I love it.  I'm messing around doing other stuff here and there, but it's mostly loop station stuff outside of that. 

My days of composing have slowed considerably.  I'm doing a lot of collaborating.  Zach, Phil, Brant are my main partners in this endeavor. But I'm always looking for more.    Got about 10 new videos up. Just plugging away doing what I do.  LoopFests are humming.  Label is making all kinds of new inroads although the tasks to get done are always daunting.  And of course there's dealing with the "talent."  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't know how some people eat.  Words are one thing, actions are everything.  How often the words and action are in contradiction in the music biz.  It's unprofessional.  It's not good art.  It's not good people skills.  It's not good.  That's not to say I've been a perfect saint or done everything right or well.  But it ain't my first time on the horse.  Nor my last.  Some people just don't get it and they never will.  Some people embrace it and it changes everything in their life.  Some people take what they can get from it.  Some people try. Some people want it but just can't do it or they need a lot of help.   The thing is, there's no one way to do it.  But that doesn't mean right and wrong doesn't exist. 

One of my brothers spent a good portion of his career as a church music minister.  Now if you think the regular music biz is shitty, get into church music.  WOW...it's a whole 'nother level.  I have never seen people get treated so badly.  It kind of makes sense.  Most of the people that hire and fire church musicians are volunteers. And they do things for the "great good" of the church.  But it's way it's done.  And it's generally not done well.  I've seen it at the churches I've gone to.  I've heard stories from other musicians about it.  It's still a professional environment.  They folks should still be treated professionally.  Just because you volunteer on a board doesn't mean you get to crap on the staff.  I'm assuming if you're on the board, you have a job or had a job and it probably was a job where people skills matter.  What am I blithering on about?  I've always wanted to play in the church.  I've done a stint here and there, but would still love to be in "Christian" band getting down with God.  I have realized that this is an area of my life that will probably remained unfulfilled.   I joined an online community to network about church music jobs or band openings.  I'd even do it for free.  All my previous church bands were volunteer.  I don't do THAT for money. (of course some pay would be nice...) Had a contact to do some services out of town, when I was in the area.  Went back and forth and then got a really passive-aggressive message from the "dude" that ended with. "Blah, blah, blah...but whatever. God Bless." I've got a pretty thick skin.  I've got a pretty big ego. So big it's almost invincible from being slighted.  But "dude" hit my button.  He could have been an ass the whole time and I really wouldn't care.  The "...but whatever" thing is a hipster go fuck yourself if I've ever heard one.  Not a fan of that.  If you're going to end anything with "...but whatever" why say anything at all?  Clearly the point was to insult with no response.  A chicken-shit move. And the "God Bless."  Not "God Bless You."  Just a simple look how pious I am. That phrase is often used as an I can dump on you and wash it away; because if you say anything after I said "God Bless" you are the child of the devil.  All I can say about it this.  I see why that "dude" is constantly looking for players.  It's because they won't put up with getting crapped on.  The odd thing is all I said was, I can't come up 80 miles (one-way) for a free show.  I can play if I have a gig in the area on the same day.  I didn't even get a "okay dude, let me know when you're around and I'll if I can squeeze you in somehow."   It was at the moment I realized I'm never going to play in a church.  Not because I don't want to.  It's because it's hateful.  And that is shameful. Stole my joy away. 

A couple months after that and I get the same kind of crap from another real "duder."  And it was about a blog post.  Seriously?  Yep. Seriously.  Stupid stuff.  Wanna know the worst part?  This ain't the first time "duder" pulled that with me.  I might not say things the best. I might not be that sensitive to your issues.  But my actions speak for me. What I do says it all.  I can think of one person where I handled things very badly.  Not to say what I did was wrong, but how I did it was wrong.  I lost a friend when I fired that band mate.  A man who I respected and enjoyed lost all respect for me and I deserved that.  He and I did meet and talk about it after.  But the damage was done.  There was no repairing it.  I think about that a lot.  I have never done that since. I felt like it cost me a little piece of my soul.  Not this last time.   My problem here is I can't believe how mad I still am.  I don't want to be mad.  I don't want to be hung up on this.  It's not worth it.  That's not the kind of man I am.  I keep hoping for it to fade, but when it pops up in my brain my heart goes dark.  I don't like that.  That's not me. 

What do I do? Take a deep breath, shake my head, scold myself for being shallow and move on to something productive. I try and make sure I don't get mixed up with people like that again.  I'm not worried about protecting myself.  The biz is like love.  You have to be willing to get crushed to make it work.  Otherwise you've lost before you've even started.  Now that I've put this down I can say that I do appreciate all of the cool musicians I get to work with.  And since moving to Texas...let me say the quality of people (generally) I'm meeting is way up.  It's been a real pleasure.  That's probably why I was all hot to get back into a band.  I want to play music with guys that are fun to play music with.

Back to the grind.  Lots to do. 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm getting pretty excited about the LoopFests.  San Antonio has taken a huge leap to the front of the pack.  I haven't signed the contract yet, but Luminaria is pulling the San Antonio LoopFest into their festival.  How does this change things? 300,000 people come to Luminaria.  It's a multi-million dollar event.  Promotion.  Serious promotion.  I have a budget. I have sound, stage, hotels, all of that.  I've got a fantastic line-up and I'm not even done confirming artists yet.  The NW is packed is awesome.  The S.A. and Austin are looking awesome.  SoCal is a bit neglected, but Y2K14 should fill that out.  It's crazy.  It's awesome.

Might have finally found a band to join in S.A. as well.  Starting to turn my attention back to my own career for a change as well.  Been pulled a ton of directions building the label up and some things have some traction.  But I need to make some money.  That means me playing gigs.  Been a weird few months....  Crazy ride.

Well...it finally happened.  Had to my put kitty down.  Tabetha was about 16 and hadn't been eating for weeks.  So my wife and finally took her in to the vet to euthanize her.  Poor little fuzzy-head.   But she was suffering and not very mobile so it was an entirely sad affair. 

And now it means my Bucho gets the run of the house.  I don't know if he has realized that Tabetha is gone. I think he'll figure it out pretty quick though.  Especially tonight we he gets to start sleeping with us.  Although that's going to take some adjustment.  He likes to attack your feet in the middle of the night and pounce on your belly early in the morning.  And when I saw your I mean mine.  What a cute little booger. 

Goodbye Tabetha, you were a cutie and will be missed.  Thank you for being such an important part of our life.  Meooow!

If you've been watching my FD posts and reading the blogs, it's pretty obvious that things are going pretty awesome.  Of course, there are some bumps in the road.  It's not all fun and games and it is a lot of hard work.  But some of it you need to get a little dirty first before you can make some decisions.

I've got project that I dip my finger into on occasion for a variety of reasons.  Just to help "get out" on the scene.  Some are just to meet people, some are for fun, some are push myself.  But there comes a time when the music just doesn't resonate with me and it's time to move.  That's not to say it's bad or anything like that. it just isn't for me.   I'm beginning to hit that here and there.

There's also long-term relationships.  Sometimes they just are played out.  Nothing more to get out it.  The friendship has long been over. There aren't pulling their weight on the partnership side.  The workload, time and compensation are so far out of balance that it causes resentment.   And then there's the petty stuff...ick. I'm done.  The lack of respect, the lack of help, the lack of partnership, the entitlement, the immaturity, the stupidity.  I should have walked away sooner.  But I didn't.  I didn't get burned but I get crapped on pretty hard for the last couple of years.  I'm done.  I can't work with some people.  I know this.  It's okay.  But for this one special case, I'm done and it's not okay.  Time to walk away.  Past time.  Ugh... 

Fortunately, I'm not letting that ruin my day nor did I let it ruin my weekend.  I've got so many other things are taking off. Things that are positive experiences. Things that I enjoy and partners who are working hard.  Lots to do, lots to learn.  This is part of the process too.  I handled myself pretty well through the hard parts and really got some great things out of some tough situations.  Time to move on.  Happy Monday everybody - git 'er dun!

Today was one of those days...for the past seven weeks I've been tore up.  Let me tell you why.  For starters, this is all LoopFest stuff.  I run a few in several cities.  They are a tremendous amount of work.  The joy of doing them and watching them literally makes my heart strong and my spirit fierce.  They power me like Jesus powers me.  I'm not one of those guys that likes to be "public" about my faith.  But I'm also not a pussy and I don't take kindly to being crapped on about it either.  Fair warning has been given.  What I find humbling about it is when good things happen.  I thank God for it. I thank God for the people I met that got me there. I thank God for putting me in the places I needed to be.  Today was a humbling day.  The San Antonio LoopFest was picked up by Luminaria.  This means I get to pay performers.  I can give some travel support.  I have an entire organization that has infrastructure, advertising, promotion and tech support that is now sponsoring this Festival.  I have loopers coming in from the region, from out-of-state and from other countries.  It's going to be amazing.  And I say God is good.  All the time.  Even when I put this event on with no support and the bands came and played I said God is good. All the time. 

Now it's outside sponsorship time for ALL the loopfests.  It's a beautiful time for me right now.  I've never been more at the top of my game.  My life is good, my wife is good, and I know it's not all me.  It's a host of people I've met, friends of friends, other players, fans, music and culture lovers, my family, my friends (My A-One SUPERFANS!!!) civic organizations, festivals, businesses... the first rule of the music biz.  There's no such thing as a self-made man.  Think about it.  Superstars are superstars because of the millions of people that support them.    I'm so grateful for all of you who have given to me.  You buy my records, you come to my shows, you play my gigs, you play on my recordings, you support my efforts, you contribute to my causes, you support the artists on my shows and my label, you watch my videos, read my posts let me crash at your pads and care about what I am doing.  I am nothing without you. And without God's blessing none of this bears fruit.  Thank you.  Today is a great day. And it's a great day because you think what I'm doing matters.  Awesome.

 

The hot weather is finally here.  Had our first 100 degree day yesterday.  Still feels good to me.    Been going pretty hard on things for quite some time so I eased off last week.  Put things in slow gear, spent some extra time with the wife, even took a day off for napping and movies and cocktails.  Then I went to bed early.  Good times. 

But all things must come to an end... back on it today.  Hitting the yard work pretty good. Got some cypress mulch on the shrubs, expanding my grass patches (trying to...), got most of my rock/dirt pile gone got a few things in the garden.  Ready to button up my water tanks.   Getting going on the house as well.  Got the mesh up for stuccoing the skirting.  Starting to dig out some spots for concrete.  I do have some other repairs on one wall that need to be done, but I gotta see what the wife wants to do about it.  Need to fix the plumbing so I can get my tank going.  Already have a plan for that.  Going to start fixing the shop outer wall and get the roof properly sealed up. 

Lots going on the music stuff that's starting to chew me up a little.... still waiting on the city for loopfest/luminaria.  Not happy about the delay.  But it would be nice to have that support.  If not, I have another offer to make the event bigger by partnering with a posterfest.  That doesn't suck at all.  Too many things to fret about...and I need to start booking myself some shows. Back to it...

 

Wow...all caught up.  Getting ahead.  Trying to get back to playing, writing and making some music.  That's not to say I'm neglecting my artists and videos.  Got another 10 videos or so up this week. And very busy with my acts. Having a good time though.  Took the "day" day yesterday and gig some house work.  Cleaned out my water tanks which seem to be functioning perfectly.  Busted out some concrete steps, replaced some rotten wood steps, did some car maintenance.  All good things.  Good my kitty on my lap and working on videos right now.  Waiting for them to convert and upload.  Two more and it's yard work and practice time.  Got a little guitar practice in for the first time in weeks as well.  That's all new and strange to me still.  Wait, wait wait....these little machines have to do their work.

Waiting for emails and phone calls to be returned.  Waiting to hear back if gigs are going to happen.  Waiting to hear if San Antonio if bringing my LoopFest into Luminaria.   That last one is enough to give me an ulcer.  Waiting to see how many radio stations are going to spin Emmett's new CD.  So much....yikes.

I put everything I got into this stuff.  But there are many wheels to turn and they all move at their own pace.  In the meantime, I grab another project and get going instead of treading water.  Got a lot of waiting that's tearing me up a little on the inside though.  Back to it!!!

You know - I really wanted to be making entries more often.  But there's been so much going on I haven't had the time to write it.  The website is ever expanding.  New pages for artists, more content, updated content.  Loopfest's are coming along. Austin loopfest is booked at The Brass House, which I'm stoked for.  Great venue.  Totally thrilled to have it.  Booking a couple more acts for the loopfests in San Antonio and Austin.  I should be hearing from the city this week if San Antonio is going to bring my loopfest into Luminaria.  Crossing my fingers for that one.  Got Emmett's CD "Them Poetry Blues" in the mail to 90 stations around the U.S. and 10 magazines.  Signed a new band - Villela, pretty hot stuff.  Been getting a bunch of video shot and posted on my youtube channel and website, doing some shows, jamming with some bands.  Staying on top of everything really.  All my "hot item" projects are complete and now it's time to get back to the grind of getting everything even better.  Pretty happy, pretty tried.  Loving it all.

 

Wow...what a month.  Crazy busy.  Got a ton of new video up, projects are rolling along, time is slipping away, trying to book gigs, tours, promote records, videos, put on concerts, loopfests... yowza!

All kinds of good things happening though.  Heading to Ohio in a couple of days, really feeling the pinch of booking right now.  Spring is here and that means there's a bunch of house repairs and yard work to do.  Got my sax fixed, in the middle of getting a crown on my tooth - that's no fun.  :(  Working with my artists pretty heavy of late and need to get back to me!  All kinds of things I want to blab about, but I want to wait for official confirmation before I say anything.  So much to be excited about, so much to be nervous about, so much to do...my head is spinning.  Time for a little break and back to it!!

I can't believe it's been a month since my last post...so much has happened. 

Just got back from Portland.  Jim Miller's memorial service.  A tough and emotional day.  What a great man.  I don't have the words to really sum it all up.  Quite a lovely outpouring from his friends. 

Since this wasn't a performing trip, I got a ton of visits in.  Literally stacked back to back.  Old friends, music compatriots, band-mates, neighbors, all of it.  What a beautiful visit.  I know some really cool folks.  I enjoyed them all.  What a great time.  I wish I had more time to see them all.  So much success, so much adventure.  Their lives are all full.  I was more than a little worked up emotionally so there was some extra sweetness in it for me.  Back home so soon and out on the road again in a week to Ohio for the 17th Annual Pro Music Festival at Tiffin University. 

I'll try and get some recaps of other things in the next week.  Got a ton of projects finished and should be able to actually do it!

Until then - RIP Jim.  You are missed.

The thing is we all love doing a "Big Show."  Big Shows are rare.  Big Shows are defined differently.  What makes a Big Show?  The answers vary depending on where you are at in your career.

For me, right now, tonight is a "Big Show."  It's the monthly Downtown on Tuesday event.  It's my first event for the City of San Antonio. It's outdoors at Alamo Plaza, right in front of the Alamo.  Just me and my loop station for 3 hours.  Unfortunately, the weather may not cooperate.  It has cancelled this event for several months.  I expect it will go on. 

I'm mildly excited and greatly looking forward to it.  I'm going to bring out my larger P.A.  That should make the low end effects bark and bump, give some thud to my bass drum box and punch the rest out with some serious volume and clarity.  I love getting to use bigger speakers.  More air, bigger magnets, larger cones - it really transforms the impact my show has.  It's why blues bands are so much better live.  You feel the bass and drums move through your body.  My little PA only gives an auditory suggestion of that.  People still get it, but there's nothing like feeling it.  This excites me.  I'm a little anxious to see how people react to it. 

Anyway...I think one the things that make for a big show are the preparations.  It changes your day. I'm not going to say I took the day off or didn't work or anything like that.  But I certainly didn't work as hard, or get into a project or do much more than a daily check-in.  I want to be rested physically and mentally.  I have a big set-up.  Now I'm going to relax for a minute and then get to it.  It'll be interesting to see how it all turns out.

 

 

If you really want to see how time flies, try and write a blog "frequently."    In some ways it feels like I just got, in others, ways it seems like I never went.  The odd thing is how much traffic this is receiving.  It's my #3 entry page on m site.

I get back home last Monday, I figured the next day is going to be spent on couch napping, eating, coffee in the day, booze at night and lots and lots of rest. Nope.  I'm all hot and bothered to get the new The Please Help video up and ready to go.  Phil wants that as well.  We're up and at it and spend hours and hours on it getting it just right.  Graphics look great and we are ready to go.  Except after converting it to a wmv file shows that I'm out of sync on a part and two other parts could be a little tighter.  The adjustments are so slight that I have to export the video (an hour to an hour twenty each time) every time I want to check it.  I'm up until 2:30am working on it.  I finally call it night and I'm up at 8:30am.  Tighten up two sections, get the other thing right and post it.  Booyah!  Nope.  Phil says it's too dark and there's a hard cut at 1:57.  Pull it down.  I look and it's not just a hard cut that's missing, almost ALL the transitions from scene to scene are gone.  I go get him and we're working on it until well after 5pm.  Keep in mind we wanted it up and ready to go with the article in the paper that came out that morning.  We finally get it right.  And post it.  The other one got 17 views before we took it down.  First one got 100 views in a day. Not too shabby. You can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibwrr2I8JZs

After that the rest is a confused mess.  My wife and I went to a networking meeting, went out for sushi with friends, gigs, videoed a live show of The Please Help at the 1011, lots of computer time, loopfest stuff, met some folks, did some label biz... Kind of shut down on Saturday day for the afternoon.  Sunday I felt like a zombie. And I got my new T-shirt for The Please Help.  Got a solid 10 hours of sleep in and some good husband/wife time. 

I'm getting to the point where I'm at my project limit.  I can take on a couple more things. But I'm getting stretched.  I've got some other things humming, but nothing is in the pipeline.  Other things are taking waaay too much time, energy and producing very little unless my hands are doing all the work.  I'm not happy at all with this project.  The funny thing is, I'm vetting potential artists and collaborators in a very different way.  I've met with a lot of people. Enough that I'm not able to see the signs of what is and isn't a reasonable time/reward investment.  Hustling matters.  A willingness and ability to learn matter.  An entrepreneurial spirit matter. A willingness to tackle basic tech matter.  The lack of hatred toward establishments that pay you matter.  Self-management matters.  The ability to communicate matters.  Efficient, easy communication matters.  A thick skin matters.  A solution-oriented and opportunistic mindset matter.  Warning flags:  complainers, whiners, stupid (NOT ignorant - I can fix that), lazy, unfocused, victims, fearful, uncertain, know-it-alls, debaters, cocaine, bad hygiene, no teeth, sit-back-and-let-someone-else-do-it and the "I heard that..." guy.  These things make this job hard.  Makes the sweet fruit of one's labor taste like garbage and sand.  And it ruins relationships.  Unfortunately reality in the biz.  I could live without that part.

Anyway, can't say I'm raring to go, but I'm ready for the week.

Already promoting the videos this morning - hope to finish with that project in the next day or two.  Got some car repairs to get to, taxes, a couple of rehearsals and I need to book some shows... onward and upward.

 

Had a nice gig at Francesca's.  Surprise, surpise and my brother and his wife show up for the gig.  What a fun treat.  Had a fun show up with a table of her friends, food was once again a home room.  After that I hit the road.  Ended up driving until 3am or so...spent an hour on the phone with my brother telling "yo momma" jokes.  I love my family.  We are some odd ducks but we all rock and I have a lot of fun with them. 

Anyway...finally had to call it a night. Made it to Alabama. It was a lot further than I thought I would make it.   Up in the morning and hit the freeway for home.  The long drive the previous night got me home for supper in my little Texas home with my lovely and wonderful wife.  What a joy to be back home.  I love my little kitty and getting back to work.  Started kicking some tail with Phil right out of the gate.  Today was awesome.  Crushed it today.  Serious biz, serious creativity, serious progress.  Today I am excited, thrilled and bursting with enjoyment of the music biz.  My trip was fantastic. I made a ton of good music with my buddy Zach in Florida and the tour went great.  Things are humming sweetly.  Can't wait for the rest of this week to unfold.  I'm almost giddy.  Today was a good day.

And BAM...just like that a week flies by so fast I literally didn't have time to eat let alone get on line.  Let's see...Last Sunday, okay had a nice show at Francesca's Trattoria.  Got a hug from Shel when I came in.  She brought the chef out and started ordering for me.  Food was the bomb!  Had a great time hanging out and catching up.  Crowd was a little sedate, so I kept it jazzy and mellow.  I was a little concerned for a minute because I've been hitting the funky stuff so hard for the past few months and I'm really excited about the new tunes I've been working on with Phil and Brant.  Those babies are hot.  

My "day off" was a pretty serious effort on the computer trying to push views of The Please Help "What I'm Hoping" video on my youtube channel.   Did some fest stuff and little domestic duties, found out that Emmett's CD has been pirated and is posted everywhere.  Ick.  Contacted the FBI.  Ick.  Will start to send take down notices. Ick. That was a major bummer.  by then I was ready to hit the beach.  Except I couldn't find a beach.  After I wasted 2 hours finding nothing but docks and breakers, I gave up and found a bar with a water view for some booze and oysters.  That helped.  Called it an early night.

Spend the next morning online.  Did my show at a retirement community, which was a blast.  They LOVED it.  Looking forward to going back there next year. The activities coordinator said, "...the video was neat, but you are just awesome in person.  I really had no idea.  It's so cool."   And my ego was satisfied for the entire tour.  After the show headed off to meet up with Zach at his mom's house.  And yes, I do feel like I'm 15 when I say that.

We set up, say hi and immediately get to work.  Takes us about 5 hours to get going.  Tech problems.  But with two of us, we got it figured out.  We strayed pretty far from the original intent of this project when I started using the mini-Korg.  I don't own it, it's on a keyboard exchange with Zack Walters (3rd Alley).  We swapped last time I was in L.A.   I had no idea what that machine was capable of.  Over the next 4 days I found out.  We made some crazy music and had a lot of fun.  I think we were up until about 3am the first night.  Up and at it again about 10am the next morning.  Worked all day until my show that night for a bike night in Naples.  Had a GREAT time with the bikers.  Unfortunately, the thunderstorms ended the show and hurt attendance, but it was still a solid Wednesday night gig.  Many thanks to Polock for the tequila!    A couple of good ole' boys invited me to go hang out at a private bar and jam.  So I went, half expecting to get fed to the gators.  These guys had a strip mall/warehouse space that must have had 40 guitar amps stacked in it.  Pool table, huge mixing board, drum set, etc...  Bunch of Floridians hanging out drinking and smoking.  I got down with the band playing rock tunes.  Haven't played rock a quite a while.  I had fun. call it quits around 1am, home around 2am.  Up a 8:30am the next day and busting out the music with Zach hard all day.  One of the guys from the bike night calls me up and wants me to play another one that night.  Sweet.  Love picking up gigs along the way.  Put in a solid day, recorded some horns with electronic tracks and off to the gig.  I get there (45 minute one way drive) and I forgot my bag of bells and whistles:  no effects, no wireless mic, no cables, no delay, etc...   I'm bummed.  But I got my sax, my loop station, my pa and an SM58 that plugs direct into the station.  Which is pretty close to how I started out doing the show.  And since it's really about the tunes and the sax, that other stuff is just icing on the cake and no one would know.  So I sat down and knocked it out.  People really, really liked it.  That's the difference. Add the toys and they LOVE it.  Still had a good night but didn't sell very many CDs.  If I had the effects I would have sold out my touring inventory of SSS.  As it stands I have 3 left.  Anyway... it was a fine show. Wrapped it at 9, home around 10 and we put in a couple of hours of work.   Next day we were at it around 8:30am and worked all day again.  This time my show was late so we worked well into the evening.   I went off to my show at a billiard hall for Valentine's Day and had a good time.  Kind of late, home around 1am and just crashed.  Saturday was up 7:30am and off to breakfast.  Zach had some things to take care of: car issues, g/f, family time, etc... we got going late morning and pushed it hard until 3.  After that we were done. I was bitchy and bossing him around, he was tired of getting bossed around, his G/F was there, his mom was coming home, we had stopped having fun the day before and agreed that time had simply run out.  I think we ended up with 16 or 17 tracks for those few days.  What a massive effort.  We did a ton of work and we worked well.  Aside from cool grooves and sounds, we got another tune out of it "Two Ports Down" it's kind of a "Poortown Scrub" revisited.  I'm already using it on shows.  Nice little calypso ditty.  We seem to get one good tune every time we get together.  i packed up to do my show and hit the road, Zach packed up to go spend a few days in Sarasota and it was goodnight Irene.  I did my show a very cool little brewery, YBel Brewing. GREAT beer.  Snappy hops!  That stuff can easily hang with the NW craftbrews.  People were cool, two of the workers there both played sax in school, a couple other musicians were there as well.  Fun night although they said it was dead as people were downtown for a festival.  I wrapped a little early and hit road.  Only made about 2.5 hours before it was time to sleep.

I'm partial to truck stops these days as opposed to rest areas.  But for this stretch of interstate, there's not a lot of truck stops and the rest areas are pretty nice.  So I pull over in what I think is a nice quiet spot.  Seems I picked the spot where carloads of people wanted to chat, smoke and laugh for extended periods of time in the middle of the night.  I had no idea that rest areas in Florida was such hot spots for hanging out fun.  Oh well... it's only sleep. Got up, hit the road and hello starbucks!!!  One more gig tonight and then's hightailing it for home. BandVanAdventures indeed.  This week was intense. 

 

 

 

Road report:

This one is a little different.  Banged my pinky finger pretty good a few days before I left.  Didn't touch my horn so I could let it recover.  First gig was 8 hours at the Jacksonville airport.  Suffice to say I was playing through the pain.  Next two days were airport gigs and night gigs.  Finger hurts.  A lot. 

Gigs were pretty cool.  Bumped into folk musician Jim Scott in the airport.  We had a nice chat, we jammed on a tune and off he went to his gig in Tallahassee.  Fun stuff.  I also put my gigs online via an online busking site.  That was kind of fun and made the time between flights a lot of fun to play.  Had some pretty good traffic from that and even made some tips.  All in all, the first leg was pretty.  Got to hang out with my brother and his family a little bit.  That's always nice, but the gigs were so long it was out the door at 7am and home after midnight and then time to hit the road. 

Couple of notable things. 

Jazzland in Jacksonville.  the outside is deceiving.  The inside is a straight-up jazz club.  Nice little bar, cool tables, tight stage, house PA and jazz lovers and fans.  Unfortunately, it was cold and rainy. And it's Florida, streets were empty and the club had a small crowd.  But it was fun and the attendees were cool.  One of them even posted a couple cell phone videos on facebook. 

Dandelion Cafe in Orlando.  Once again a great show and good food.  Even though it's tiny, I always have a great a show there.  People are cool and they are practically in your lap.  I was pretty hot that night although the cramped space made for some foot blunders on the pedals.  It happens. 

Spent the night at a service station on the Turnpike and got online to do some work for the first time in three days.  Can't really deal with loopfest biz right now...that's kind of not cool.  Too much to do.  Got a great gig tonight and then Monday is off.  Looking forward to some serious online work and I'm thinking some beach time.  Haven't had a REAL day off since I don't know when.  I'll hook up with Zack on Tuesday after my gig and we'll get to work on the new project. Looking forward to getting musically dirty with him!

Feeling pretty good.  My cheeks hurt from the stool at the airport. 22 hours of playing in three days is a butt-buster.   Plus driving, plus other gigs...oww.   Pinkie hurts too, swelling is gone down but I think it's broken. Hand hurts from favoring it and holding the horn though.  My thumb callous from the horn is getting larger too. I have a knobby thumb.  Back is little better.  My brother is a N.P. for the Navy and an acupuncturist.  He gave me a treatment. That helped, although it was a little disturbing on how taken he was with how messed up it is.  He kept saying it's worse than his patient with fibromyalgia.  And hear I thought things were really getting better.  That being said, i am feeling pretty good.  Eating smart, finally got some sleep, playing a ton of music, talking with the wife on the phone when we both have a few moments.  Good times for sure.  I do love being on tour.  I really do.  

 

 

So I've been enjoying the house to myself.  Spent the weekend home alone, no gigs, no wife, no where to be.  Got a lot done.  Not what I thought I was going to spend my time on, but it was time well spent.  I have enjoyed the new business hours.  Up laaate.  That's fun.  Making some music in the house.  I need a piano or a keyboard.  I can't write without it.  These new projects are really challenging without a writing tool.  Maybe next year....

LoopFests are seriously blowing up.  Fantastic talent.  I'm about loaded in some spots and booking for others that I haven't called for.  I'm committed to my vision of them.  I work very hard at making them be what I think they can be.  I often forget there are other ways to look at it.  Getting feedback on these things is a head-trip.  There's what was said, what was meant, what you tried to do, what actually happened, what you're trying to do this time, etc... there's a lot of considerations.  I forget that people have their own impressions of it all.

Here's the hard part.  Getting talent.  International talent matters, it's awesome to support touring acts, there's are larger elements to consider and I'd like to include establishing and upcoming local acts.  For the fest attender, I think the variety of styles, instruments and presentation with a variety of tech is awesome.  It's unbeatable. 

But trying to get things done is not as easy as it seems.  I only hope that people come and love it and support the artists that came to perform.  I have the time of my life putting them together and putting them on.  The artists and events are awesome. 

Wow indeed. So much has happened in the past two days.  Great developments with the loopfests.  Progress on a recording project.  Set-backs at the office due to weather and time conflicts.  A ton of progress made.  A ton of things happening.  Dealing with them has been great.  I've things pretty tight right now.  Backed up on paperwork a little. But that'll get done soon enough.  Other priorities.  Phil's video is doing well.  10 days, 700+ views.  We're pretty happy right now. Looking forward to inking some more deals.  The future is bright.  Today and this month I've been loving the music business.  

I feel good about my these new things coming out.  I think they're going to be better than ever.  I've got some great talent I'm collaborating with.  New music, new festivals.  I'm very excited about what's coming.  It's hard to contain it.

Today was an interesting day.  I got a little uncool with my dissatisfaction of how San Antonio handles it's bad weather.  Oy... That doesn't mean I was wrong.  At all.  Anyway, lots of good news today too.  Venues confirmed, new acts confirmed, new video shoot planned.  This is awesome.  I love it and I love the people I'm working with.

or maybe so much is better.  Life is blasting on at a magnificent pace.  It's hard to keep up.  Haven't gotten to play with my kitty is days.  Poor Bucho isn't very happy with me right now.  It's good to be working.  It's good to take a moment to get ready for the next thing.  C'mere Bucho!!!!

...is some terrible advice.  I think looking back is a necessary and powerful tool..  Especially for musicians.  You need to measure progress.  You need to see IF you have progressed.  You need to see if your efforts are furthering your career.  This life of music is an inch by inch 24/7 crawl towards a dream.  It's not easy to set goals, let alone achieve them.  Because your music dream is YOUR music dream.  There's no final test.  There's no final measure.  For some it's obvious, chart topping hits and world-wide arena tours.  But once reality sets in, and even if it doesn't, how do you measure progress towards that.    The thin is it's easy to get lost in the day to struggles.  Things seem like they move too slowly and nothing ever gets done. 

For me that sums up this week.  Mentally, it was a struggle.  Felt like I was spinning my wheels and wasting my time.  Got some no's (which I HATE!!!) didn't get some things done (which is demoralizing) and felt unproductive.  The reality of it was a little different.  Spent two days with my new production team coming up with ideas for our first collaborative record and have over 10 new songs started. Got press in Portland, OR and San Antonio, TX for my collaborations with other artists.  Got booked for a live looping clinic at the ProMusic Festival in Tuffin, Ohio, made a little progress on my looping festivals, got a lot of work done in my yard, got some time in with friends, got my exercise in and spent time with my wife, my neighbor and spoke with family, spent some time playing with some gear and pushed video views on youtube for one of my artists via social media.   That was a GREAT week, yet I felt like a failure because I didn't write more songs, I didn't work on arrangements and I didn't get practice time in and I didn't get some loop station time in.  Had I not  checked my self yesterday, I'd be coming in to today with a bad attitude and sense of desperation.  The fact is, you can't do it all.  You what you can, when you can and try and pick the rest up later. Looking back helps keep you going.

RSS feed