Its been an eventful year here.
Biggest news: my new record “There and Gone” was released in August. Finally! Much of the last few years was devoted to recording (and re-recording) the record until I felt it was right. I didn’t travel as much as usual but I got out there a bit and really loved playing.
In January I was honored to appear alongside some legendary players at the Slack Key Guitar Festival in Redondo Beach. It was great to hear such high quality players like Cyril Pahinui, Jim Kimo West, and the peerless steel guitar playing of Greg Sardinha. I was warmly received by the packed house and just loved every minute of of it. Thanks a million to Mitch Chang for inviting me and to the crew at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. It’s always more fun to play when you sound good.
I was happy to get back to a number of my favorite places to play this year and it was nice to road test some new material before such nice audiences. My summer swing through California was a bit of a whirlwind but that’s rock ‘n roll. I actually flew back from LA for a day and spent 21 hours straight in the studio tweaking and remixing a few tunes before flying back to resume the tour.
I’ve lost some important people in my life in the last couple of years and close friends of mine have lost some of theirs as well. Many new ghosts, as the great poet Tu Fu said. And many old ghosts that became new ghosts. As a guy who pretty much lives “in the moment” (ugh, hate that expression but I can’t think of a better one at the moment) it was sobering to face up to the presence of all of them, here in my “moment.” I have no wisdom or advice to offer here, but I know that we all go through this and it affects us in ways and more deeply we never could have imagined. Music and the guitar have always been a source of great comfort and consolation to me and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share that with you.
My international travel this year consisted of a ten day trip to Canada. And what a trip it was. The Canadian Guitar Festival was a lot of fun despite the sweltering and humid conditions. Enjoyed myself very much and it was a kick to hang with some great Canadian players and hear them play. After the festival I traveled to a few places on behalf of Erickson Music and Breedlove Guitars for a few clinics. The crews at the guitar shops were really great and I had an excellent time everywhere. Can’t wait to come back. Big love to Peter Patrick , Grant Russell, Paul Gardner and all at Erickson Music, and to my friend Marcus Vichert for his invaluable assistance on all the Canadian dates.
I miss all my friends in Japan and Italy and am hoping to return in 2013. You’re all in my thoughts often and I can’t wait to see you again.
The world just isn’t right without a good James Bond movie or a new Dylan record. We got both this year. We win!