New Horizon? [YES!]

I’m hoping to hear some good news tomorrow – it could be a new horizon and even chapter in my life. Fingers crossed! [UPDATE – YES – Houston, we have a New Horizon – I will update in the next post and hve a pretty cool song to go along with it too]

This song is a bit odd in that the bridge does change keys or mode, but only shortly, and it adds dissonance. So it doesn’t clash too much, I softened the sound by using a Moog Theremini, which seems to do the job.


Don’t Tempt Fate

Changes Ahead

Changes Ahead – Mt. Thielsen

Its funny how life’s surprise changes force you to go through a process. I feel some changes coming sooner than I had expected. There are changes at work, but more importantly, I feel that our move to Oregon will happen at least one year earlier than the earliest that I had envisioned.

Mt. Thielsen is near Crater Lake and we pass it after we spend a night in Ashland on our way to Bend. Ah, the beautiful Pacific Northwest – will be my final home.

The Death Roots Syndicate

Merriam Mansion, Newton, NJ

Just when I thought I found Death Country Nirvana, I also found “The Death Roots Syndicate” on YouTube.

Before you check that out, please find and listen to Blanche – their album called “If We Can’t Trust The Doctors”. I think it is the absolute #1 Dark Country album ever.

The band is tragically unknown.

Danger Days

Post Covid Anatomy

It funny, but I’m so used to lockdown – its like I don’t want to come out of my “safe cocoon” – even three weeks after my second shot. I will venture out and go to the gym again soon. That’s my strong defense mechanism and natural yearning for survival.

For the last three weeks, I’ve lived a horror at work. It feels “dangerous”, which is a really odd feeling to have. Like a nightmare where you feel you need to escape.

Dress Rehearsal

Skull Boy and Aunt Hermine

I built the stage deck today out of two pieces of an old Ikea butcher block table top. I’ve used that table top for quite a few things – synthesizer stand, drum box easel and now the stage.

I also have the curtain rod done. The upright parts are the last of some 1/2 inch iron pipe I had laying around and a piece of aluminum from an old ham radio antenna.

I even started building a park bench where up to two puppets can sit at any one time.

I just love building these miniatures. The thought process of thinking in scale is way more fun that I had ever imagined.

Its Love Your Bass Day!

Upright Bass

My song writing goes through cycles of concentrating on a subset of instruments that I can play semi – competently.

For a while, I abandoned the string bass and used a synth bass (or even the low strings on a lap steel). My wife suggested that I play an octave lower, which meant I really had to play my string bass. I absolutely love my 3/4 Gretsch Electromatic Junior Jet bass. Its a guitar players bass, but it’s sound is amazing for a shortened bass. I even have figured out how to make it sound like an upright fretless bass – with a little bit of processing.

Gretsch Junior Jet Bass

There are a handful of songs that I have started listening to again like Kate Bush “Wuthering Heights” and Belle and Sebastian “Seeing Other People”. They are centered around just a simple drum, bass and piano part. Well, maybe not that simple, but they are just gorgeous songs.

For the last two songs, I started with a bass line, and I love it – it makes writing the other parts much easier, in fact, to the point where I can improvise. Because I’m playing drum box and bass first, laying down a great rhythm part really is the backbone of the song.

At The Grande Olde Opry

Debutantes at the Grand Ol’ Opry

Its interesting how certain parts dictate parts in a song. The piano and Solina synth parts did not happen until I had the mandolin and bass part. They were dictated by the guitar part – which came first

Red Piano

Puppet Theatre 1:20 Model (right) with Red Piano

My first attempt at building a miniature scale model out of bass wood is the Puppet Theatre. I’ll make a proper post of it when finished.

That starter experience now has me thinking about the next project and it will either be a Red Piano or a Park Bench.

By sketching first, I can figure out how I will fabricate and join each part. I did finish the 8 vertical puppet controllers yesterday, so now I can start building props and even sets for my puppet skits. Just having one puppet who has a moving mouth play the piano would be a great first little skit, so I think I’ll do that.

Road Trip

Travel Light!

Its been a while since I wrote a song starting with guitar. I am going to try to keep the number of parts lower and with more interplay between them – each leaving some space. Some of my past arrangements were too cluttered.

Its been just over a year ago when I got back into music after being away for 30 years . . . I’m enjoying it much more this time around.