Monday, June 28, 2010

'Turn Up the Heat'

Today I went to Escalante and tried to hustle up 'singin' work. After last Saturday, I realized there are a few restaurants in town that might want to try a little live music in their venues. Everyone was friendly and interested. I was also able to fix my date in Escalante to do my theatre show, 'Bohemian Cowboy' on the 31st of July. It will be held in the beer garden of The Escalante Outfitters. So, its back to the re-memorizing at night, and also cutting some of it down so that the show will be an hour instead of the hour and a half. I already know where I will cut. I may also try to add a couple more songs, and I may bring on a couple of musicians to 'flesh out' the stage and the music. I'm still waiting to hear from Torrey about doing it there, they have a really nice stage at The Entrada, which would be a perfect fit for this show.

Last night, I went up to the Grill and played for a couple of hours. The money was good, which I needed, as I have to visit the doctor this Friday and also try to get two new tires. When will they invent a tire that will last forever? Inventors? The only glitch, however, two songs into my set, (in the middle of Neil Young's 'Helpless') I broke my D string. Luckily, I had extra strings in my guitar case. I changed the string and returned in the middle of the song that I left. It’s a great feeling when I'm playing in the Grill and there is applause after each song. It makes the night come alive, and I know the tips will be good. One table tipped twenty dollars, that always helps bring the total up. I am blessed that Jen and Blake let me play, and seem to be genuinely happy to see me.

This weekend is the big fourth of July celebration in Boulder. I've been asked to read the Declaration of Independence. That will be a challenge, but I'm looking forward to it. I've also been asked to sing a song. The Boulder town celebration is on Saturday, and the talent show is on Sunday. I've been the MC for the talent show on the Lodge grounds now for eight, or is it nine years? Its fast paced and focused work, but I always enjoy it, especially the kids. Every year, there is some crazy act that works the crowd. The show is sponsored by The Hell's Backbone Grill, and once again to mention, Blake and Jen, do a great job. They understand what it takes to establish a tradition in Boulder, and this is definitely one that will last into the twenty second century. The show is located in a beautiful setting, a quaint wooden stage at the bottom of a sloping section of beautifully manicured grass. Even on hot days here, (which have finally arrived) when the sun begins to drop, it is the perfect coolness for a talent show. The show is pure Americana, with comedy, dance, music, and specialty acts. The docket is always full of participants, and has been known to run two and a half hours with talented people.

After returning from Escalante, I went to the meeting with my brother and cousins for The Boulder Heritage Festival. It was a great meeting, we were all on our best behavior, and we made lots of progress. This is its sixth year, and this year the theme is 'The Women'. For the last three years, our foundation has published a book to accompany the festival. Cheryl heads this up, and its impressive work. We also have a great musical line-up, headlined by Kacy Crowley from Austin, and my boys from Phoenix, the rhythm and blues band, Home Jones. (Currently, the hottest band in Phoenix). So, after a sluggish summer start, the energy now seems in full swing, with preparations starting to actuate. Let the games begin.

Finally, after a diet of re-writing plays, writing songs, and thinking about God, the pace is about to pick up. I've noticed all my life that I always do better at a frenzied pace, not having time to 'get to far into my head'. As I have mentioned, because of a snow record winter and a cold spring, this summer season has had a slow start.

Yesterday, Dan and I went again to the 'Lourdes of Boulder', Deer Creek, to take the aches out again from our bodies. It really is quite miraculous the way a cold plunge works, and even though my energy is still way low, it always seems to pick up after these cold plunges. This afternoon, I'll try to catch a quick nap, and then dress in fancy clothes for another crack at playing at the grill. I always have two or three songs that I'm working on in the off days, and usually every three sessions I have a new song to try. There are also songs that I started two or three years ago that suddenly come into fruition. I was finally able to play 'Guitartown' by Steve Earle last night, and actually thought I pulled it off. It's one of the tougher songs that I can now add to the list, as it has some difficult guitar moves. Steven Earle is always hard to play, he has a unique guitar style and finely crafted songs. I've also been working on the Townes Van Zandt song, 'Rake'. Townes songs are challenging to learn as well. There is nothing better to sing, though, than a Townes song. 'Tecumsah Valley' is one of my favorites, it sounds like it could have been written a hundred years ago. There are also songs that warm up the voice in the beginning of the set, and songs that I can only sing on certain nights. It's surprising how much of a difference the weather makes to the singing voice, and also making a difference is the amount of moisture in the air. Towards the end of the night, if the conditions are right, I feel like I can hit any of the notes in the songs I sing, and other nights, staying away from Cat Stevens is a must. One of my favorite songs to sing is my cousin's song, 'Saints No Angels'. It is a beautifully crafted song with the perfect trajectory. Like the subject matter, it soars to a great height, and is such a pleasure to sing. Although I can't sing it with the skill that she can, I do a version of it that works. It is true, however, that certain songs work on so many levels, and this song fits every criteria of a perfect song. In fact, this song is so good, I am in awe that someone actually wrote it, and better, that it's my cousin's work, and that I get to sing it. Kudos to you Camille, and your wonderful songs, there is not a better songwriter in America, and that is a fact.


I didn't walk this morning, so there is no new—news from God, although I've had plenty of time to think about the ramifications of letting my spirit and brain follow these 'God thoughts'. One the one hand I am risking the ensuing conflict of delving into things that people seem to bristle over, but on the other hand I believe it is the right thing for me to pursue. And wouldn't you know it, after my 'look for the light' manifest, as I was coming home last night, I looked between The Sugar Loaf Ledge and The Durfy, and the moon was in full submission of the most beautiful orange light that I have ever seen. Yesterday, there was light springing from everything and everywhere. I think I will allow myself the benefit in believing that my thoughts led me to becoming aware of these beautiful manifestations. You Go God!


Gerry said...

Yes, I notice the pace always seemed to pick up in the summer because you do certain things up there in the summer, controlled by the weather and the season, you don't do any other time of the year. Seems strange to be almost 79 with legs stiffer and walking slower, so that making long trips seems less possible. But I am living in a place where people are walking with canes, walkers, or are in wheel chairs and scooters, so I seem somewhere in the middle in my stage of decrepitude. Ronda did ask me if I thought I was ready for a walker yet. I am feeling older to me. Going to the doctor tells you about where you are at which I just got through doing.
I do wish I could hear you and your band play. Sounds like a good festival coming up. I really enjoy all the music talk, in fact, it is all good. The God talk, everything. Lifted my spirits after a long day.
But the swimming is good to go. It is hot enough. Been a very cool June. The pool is warmed up.
I am reading a bio of Lady Astor and a Frontier Doctor's memoirs. That's a contrast, and I am sure you noticed was able to resume my Memoirs again.
I will certainly be to the Boulder festivities in spirit and will know what goes on if you will blog. Remember, you grew up poor and enough money for our needs always turned up from somewhere. We walked in faith. You are still walking in faith. So let the festivities begin. I always loved the 4th of July.

Chanelle said...

It is wonderful what we can see and hear when we are willing to look and listen. Stay true to yourself and don't worry about what others will think. I know, I know. Easier said then done. But, if you follow through you will see great things happen. I'm excited for what you have planned and now I really want to come and see you play! said...

Why I didn't get to your blog yesterday is beyond me...although Drew spent the night and we did legos on and on, went swimming, and the afternoon went to kids and Dr. I just wanted to know when the celebration was on which you talked about. I guess both Merrill Taylor and Glade will drive over. Jason and and Tom. We hope to see you there!! (Jason is working - poor lad)