Friday, March 25, 2011

The West Coast, the Trip Back, and Now, the New Record

It's been a pretty fantastic 7 months. When I last wrote here, I was on my tour around the USA in my trusty tango red Honda Civic. While I was staying for a bit in Seattle, I flew back to NYC for a week. I had rehearsals with the band I am in, Atomic Shotgun, and then hit the road with them on the East Coast to play an amazing, packed-to-the-walls show in Washington, D.C. After the show, I rode back to NYC with the band and then promptly got on a place back to Sea-Tac Airport to keep my trip going on the West Coast. I spent a few more days in Seattle while my car was getting some much-needed repairs.

When the Civic was tip-top again I headed south to Portland, Orgeon. I played a really fun show in the Portland suburb of Vancouver, played another show outdoors at the downtown Portland Saturday market, and hung out in the area for about a week to drink in that unique and special city.

Then I was south-bound again, cutting into California, past the beautiful Mount Shasta, and then westward to the Pacific coast. The Civic and I rolled along through beautiful, sunny day after beautiful, sunny day, the magnificent blue sea always just outside the passenger-side window. I ended up traversing most of California down Route 1, which was like someone flipping a pack of gorgeous picture-postcards for me all day long as I sat behind the wheel.

After a totally fun show at Cafe International on Haight Street in San Francisco and a glorious week in that famed city, I kept pressing on down the Pacific coast until I got to L.A. After a few weeks in La-La Land, and another round-trip to NYC and back to record the tracks for my new CD in Brooklyn, I finally turned left and started covering major ground eastward for the first time on the trip. The gorgeous, sunny days just kept on coming with barely a raindrop on my path. Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virgina, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Delaware, New Jersey, and then finally, back in my good ol' adopted home of New York City. I stepped out of my car, the long, amazing trip finally complete, and somehow, it was October!

When I first returned, in one sense I felt like I was home. But in another sense, so much had changed for me it was almost like moving to NYC from somwhere else all over again. I spent so much time on the road, sleeping in motels and on friend's couches, floors, futons and fold-out beds, living out of the little collection of backpacks that came to feel like my little mobile closet. Finding a new place to live and getting back to a more settled life for a while was quite an adjustment.

Now I seem to have landed quasi-permanently at an amazing apartment in the western part of Greenwich Village. Even as write this, I am still working to get the last bit of my things out of my storage space in Brooklyn, into which I single-handedly loaded most of my belongings last July. I'm still learning my way around my wonderful new neighborhood. After 6 great years in Brooklyn, I am now adjusting to life on "the island." No more rides on the D or N train across the Manhattan Bridge and over the East River to get into Manhattan. Now, I wake up here in the heart of it all. It's pretty incredible.

Things are starting to settle down in many ways, although I think I've accepted - and even relish - that as a musician, my life is likely to have a lot of shifts and changes for a while.

I'm guessing I might still write about the many parts of the trip I haven't really written much about yet in the future. But I have to say it is one of, if not the most, incredible thing I have ever done in my life. It was so incredible to see so much of the country that I had never seen before, to play so many shows in so many great towns and cities, to see so many friends I hadn't seen in ages, and to make so many new friends along the way. I wish I could list all the people who helped make the tour and trip possible, and thank them/you all individually, but there are simply too many. That tells you how much kindness and generosity I am the grateful recipient of. But although I can't thank people one by one here on my blog, I do want to say to every one of you, thank you, truly, from the center of my heart. You all gave me a gift so great I can't even really express it in words.

So, for now, it's on to the present! Remember a few paragraphs back when I mentioned the new CD I started working on last fall? Well, it's finished, it's released, and it's available for you to own, right now. It's called Just Keep Goin' and I am so excited for people to hear it. At the time this is being posted, there is a music player in the upper-right corner of my blog here. You can click on that and listen to all 4 of the new tracks. Just below that, there's a link to my new Bandcamp page, which I am also really excited about. It's a clean, ad-free page where you can listen to all 4 tracks, and also download any or all of them, all right in the same place. You can also hear them on my MySpace and Facebook pages - the links to those are on the right as well, further down.

Before I wrap up this post, I do want to say something about getting the downloads on my Bandcamp page. When you go there, you'll notice it says near the top:

"YOU choose what you want to pay this artist for this release. Buy Now, and name your price."

This is how I would like this to work: IF you would like to support me and my music financially by buying the downloads, please do so, and please accept my heartfelt thanks. IF buying my downloads is not a solid financial priority for you for any reason, PLEASE enter "$0.00" as the price and get the songs for free, with my expressed blessing. Many of you have insisted on paying me for the records I have put out before, and I am honored by that. I also want everyone who wants to have these songs on their iPod, smartphone, or home soundsystem to have them. PLEASE don't avoid getting them because you think getting them for free would be a bad thing. I need to make money from this wonderful labor of love, yes, but first and foremost I create music because it makes me happy and because other people enjoy it.

That's it for now. Thanks so much for reading my blog here, your interest in me and my music means more than I can say.

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