It’s been raining for a few days now here in Ridgefield, and we’re happy about that. It looks like it will continue for days and that too is alright, assuming it doesn’t end up flooding and causing mayhem and all. We’ve been lucky to avoid the devastating dryness that’s plagued much of the West in recent years. Our hopes for that very outcome have, so far, turned out well. I can only hope that future decisions regarding where to be as climate change escalates are as successful.
Last night I played at Emanar Cellars in Battleground for the first time. It’s a small place, but cozy and very friendly and nice. When the weather is nice they have seating outside, and there were a few folks out there at times with heaters and cover over their heads. It was a little cold for me due to the placement between the two doors to the outside, which were opening wide and then closing mostly, but as it got later in the night they were left closed more so I was more comfortable.
I had new strings, or at least nearly new, since I had put them on a couple of days before and had played them only minimally to break them in. They felt and sounded ‘perfect’ last night, and between that and the benefits of my recent experiences making music with the great jazz guitarist John Stowell I felt very good about my playing. My new instrumental versions of “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”, “Wrapped Around Your Finger”, “King of Pain”, “Teen Town”, “Mrs. Robinson”, “Theme from James Bond” and a couple of others went well and the folks there were very happy and so appreciative for the music, as was I!
Regarding my connection with John… he is SO good at his unique mastery on the guitar and as a passionate jazz musician that I had a little trouble adjusting to playing with him at first. I have not been immersed in a jazz world for many years, though there is plenty of my playing that has been influenced by my studies and experiences in that realm in my past. I have continued to utilize what I learned throughout that process, but I have embraced other styles and approaches much more extensively over the last 30 years or so. Therefore I found myself straying outside of myself to sound more “jazzy” and became a little lost and frustrated with the results at times. I was also a bit intimidated, I must confess. However, with a bit of time and introspection I came to recognize and rediscover my own strengths and weakness more clearly… I re-engaged with my “bliss.” I rediscovered “what I am” and as a result I am once again more fulfilled and comfortable just letting my playing and composing be what it wants to be.
We have been composing and recording new songs and are closing in on enough for an album soon, and we are both feeling very excited about where it’s going. It’s been a great learning experience, and for me, a unique journey musically, in regard to the arts of composing, arranging and recording with such an amazing master of his art. I couldn’t be happier or more enthusiastic!
…That will have to do for now. Ann and I need to run a couple of errands and prepare for a visit from her son and his wife for dinner and the premiere of the new “Dune” movie this evening. We are all hoping it will come closer than previous efforts to bring that beloved epic science fiction classic novel to the big screen. Fingers crossed…