Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Kerrville New Folk

It's becoming nearly an annual ritual for me to finish 7th (or so) in the Kerrville New Folk Contest. It was a very wet weekend down in Texas, but I had a great time catching up with some old friends, and hearing some great new artists. As you may know, I usually camp in the summer heat, but I splurged for a room at the Motel 6 this year. By far the best money I ever spent, plus, I got to watch City Slickers in spanish, which was at least as funny as the english version.
The winners of this years New Folk Contest were Danny Schmidt, Storyhill, Carla Gover, David Llewellyn, John Wort Hannam and Anthony da Costa. They were all great, and well deserved winners. 3 of them were actually winner on my secret ballot as well. I won't say which 3, but I will tell you my 3 favorites who didn't win, but should have in my estimation; Pat Wictor, Jan Smith and Edie Carey.

I would say there is a good chance this will by last time in the Kerrville New Folk Contest, though I certainly am not certain about that. Consider this a Roger Clemens-like retirement from New Folk. To be chosen as a finalist 4 years has been quite an honor, and I'm sure I'll be back at Kerrville again, even if not as a New Folk Performer.

It is great to be back home for awhile. This officially begins my summer season of relaxation, and performing close to home. I am excited to be able to spend most of the next 3 months at home with my family. They are so wonderful for putting up with my crazy travelling schedule, and still get excited when I come home!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Swallow Hill!

Just home from a great trip out to Denver. The highlight of the trip was my gig at Swallow Hill. I got my start as a singer/songwriter at Swallow Hill Open Mics back in 12th grade. It is there that I saw Dave Crossland, an independent touring singer/songwriter, and realized that it was possible to do this for a living. I have never looked back since that night..
To be back as a headliner at Swallow Hill nearly 15 years later was such a thrill. I had a nearly full house, and they were a wonderful audience. The one and only Rob Seals joined me on stage, and his playing adds so much to the music.
I hope to be able to make Swallow Hill a regular tour stop in the years to come.

I also had 2 great house concerts on the Colorado tour. Acoustic Avenue in Longmont is a great series, many thanks to Bruce and Dale for having me back. I learned something very important that night... they now make vanilla cream hershey kisses! Wow, good stuff.

On Sunday night, some good friends of mine down in South Littleton hosted a house concert for me. It was their first time hosting, and they did a magnificent job of getting a great audience and creating a wonderful space for a concert.

I've got 2 days at home before I head off to Kerrville for my 4th appearance in the last 5 years as a New Folk Finalist.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Magnolia Time!

There are countless reasons why I love living in Alabama, but this is definitely near the top of the list. If you're bored sometime, go through my songs, and count how many times I use the word magnolia. It's probably a lot.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Hey Mon, that fish has a head!

Howdy y'all -
We are down in the Bahamas for a great vacation at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. I know what you're thinking, how does a folk singer afford a trip to the Bahamas? Well, he doesn't! My wife is a Pampered Chef Director, and she earned the trip for FREE!! It is a great place, there's a huge waterpark and about 14 pools and 4 beaches at this resort.
We went into Nassau for dinner Tuesday night, and I figured I'd get some fresh seafood. I ordered grouper and snapper, and boy was it fresh. The snapper still had it's head on^%$^%$!#$#! I guess that's how we know it's fresh. I just used the word fresh a lot in that paragraph.

After going home for a few days, I'll be heading off to Denver next weekend for the big show at Swallow Hill, where I'll be joined on stage by the one and only Rob Seals. Can't wait!

Friday, May 04, 2007

CD of the week - Jud Caswell, Blackberry Time

If you make a habit of reading my posts (and who doesn't?) you've heard me mention Jud Caswell before. If you don't trust my judgement in saying he's one of the very best indy singer/songwriters today, listen to these folks;
2006 Kerrville New Folk Winner, 2006 Wildflower Performing Songwriter Contest Winner and 2006 Boston Folk Festival Winner.
His new CD, 'Blackberry Time', which he handed to me at a hip-hop night club in Massachusetts (another story for another time), is stunning. He self-produced it, which normally I am very skeptical of. Most singer/songwriters do not do a very good job on their own records, but Jud did a fantastic job of recording and capturing his live sound, with all the warmth and intimacy, while making a compelling listen with great backup musicians.
He is a top-notch songwriter, my favorite tracks on the CD are 'For Sale', 'Blackberry Time' and 'What Ever Happened To Rob'.
I really encourage you to listen to it, http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/judcaswell4, and considering purchasing a copy to help support a great singer/songwriter. (I'm sure he'll give me a percentage)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

You can make comments

Hey y'all -
I'm curious how you're enjoying this new blog/journal. It has taken the place of my website journal page... You can make comments to my posts, to make this a more exciting, interactive thing. (I know what you're thinking, how could this possibly be any more exciting?)
At the bottom of each post, there's a link you can click to add comments. You know you want to comment.

Northeast Tour Wrap-Up

I am back at home in the warm (hot) sunny south after 11 days on the road. After my weekend in the Boston area and New York (see last post) I headed down to the DC area. My friend Sam Hensley (www.samhensley.com) helped me set up 2 shows and offered some fine accomodations complete with ice cream, popcorn and Playstation football. He also took me out for some great pizza at a place in Alexandria called Generous George's. Next time you find yourself wandering around Alexandria looking for pizza, that is a place I would recommend.
On Wednesday night, I played in Rockville, MD at an event for Focus Music. Focus puts on folk concerts at a couple different venues around the DC area. I split the night with Maria Dunn, a singer/songwriter from Edmonton. We did an impromptu performance when she accompanied me on accordion on 'One Mississippi'. The show was held at a barbecue restaurant called O'Briens, and they had sweet tea! That's right, sweet tea in Maryland.
Friday, I headed down to Fredericksburg, VA for a writers-in-the-round series held at a music store/theater in historic downtown Fredericksburg. We had a great night, hosted by Bob Gramman, who after the show, gave us a tour of his guitar workshop. He builds beautiful guitars, check them out at http://www.bobgramann.com/.
The tour came to a close Saturday night in Columbia, MD with a house concert. I opened for Freebo & Photoglo at the Panzers House Concert Series. They put on a wonderful show, and I enjoyed the opportunity to play in front of such a wonderful audience.
I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to Columbia in time for lunch, becuase I found a mall that had a Pizzeria Uno right next to a Cheesecake Factory. Wow, that would have been a pretty special day!

Speaking of cheesecake however, my wonderful wife made me her famous candy bar cheesecake for my birthday. It is the greatest dessert in the world, with no real competition.