Another summer is gone, another year is coming to a close, but at this writing there is still plenty of green on the trees.
Deer are starting to move around at night and the owls’ songs sound a little closer. It’s been a great year with the usual amount of travel. In May and early June l traveled back to Italy for some shows. My new pickup/preamp rig worked really well. The sound was so good at one festival that Lallo (great soundman) came out from behind the console when l finished and kissed me (note to sound men everywhere; don’t get any ideas). The people, the food, the scenery were all as beautiful as can be. I can’t wait to go back.
My new Breedlove Hawaiian guitar has gotten a good workout on the road this year. It looks and sounds amazing. Jayson Bowerman at Breedlove built it and it is just perfect. Summer found me back on the West coast for another round of teaching for NGW. Then to Berkeley for my last show at the old Freight and Salvage. Great to be there one last time, l just loved that place. Hope to get out to their new location in 2010 and l wish them much love and success in the new digs.
Hope you caught Ken Burns’ latest series “The National Parks; America’s Best Idea.” I only managed to see a few hours of it but it was deeply interesting. One of my pieces was used in the film, as well as tunes by some friends of mine. Well worth seeing this. I’m still in the middle of recording a new album. Stops and starts are the usual M.O. for me. I’ve been playing several of the new tunes on the road and they’re breaking in well. I’ll keep you posted about release info.
I did complete a new book of transcriptions that will be available by the time you are reading this. There is a variety of tunes from my first record to my last. It’s a little strange revisiting stuff I wrote back in the ’80s and trying to remember how I played it. Mark Herndon and Chief Noda were indispensible with their good work. I would never look at a piece of sheet music without their guidance.
I’ll be back in Japan in November for some shows and as always am really looking forward to it. I’ve been there many times over the years and have made some really great friends. I will surely embarrass myself by eating my own weight in sashimi.
I hope the year has been a good one for you. With the political and social climate so agitated and divisive it’s nice that music can bring us all together in such a warm and welcoming way. It seems more necessary now than ever. I’m honored that my music has put us together.
Hope to see you out there somewhere.