June is my favorite time of year - it hearkens back to when I was a kid, I guess - the whole summer seemed to stretch before me, with an infinite supply of long days, warm nights, celebrations, cookouts, campouts, parties and relaxing. All was possible in June, and it still feels that way.
As a musician who still (at this point) has a day job, I am lucky in that working in education allows me that treasured summer off, and a big chunk of time to pursue music.
This summer, I started from literally my first week off in June, with the Kerrville Folk Festival, which was a wonderful few days of total music immersion – playing, listening and jamming. I continued with area gigs that month at the Shade Tree and the Lemon Lounge, and then spent most of July traveling for music – first to beautiful Bowen Island off the coast of Vancouver, BC for a very special songwriting retreat with publishing/music promo guru Judy Stakee – and then to Victoria, BC, Seattle, and down the coast to gigs in Portland and the Bay Area, and a visit to Newport, Oregon to meet Ernie Hopseker of Ocean Beach Radio. A quick couple days back, and I finished out the month with a pair of gigs in Terlingua Ghost Town, near Big Bend with my Austin songwriter pal Terry Klein. August 1st brought a radio interview and in studio performance at Wimberley Valley Radio with one of my favorite people, cellist and now DJ Dirje Childs, who is an exceptional artist. I am grateful for each one of these experiences, many of which involved meeting new friends, reconnecting with very special people, and getting to share my music with a wider audience.
So now in my last week of summer vacation, I’m working hard to avoid those dreaded end-of-summer blues, by building on all I learned and received this summer. I’m booking new gigs, starting songwriting collaborations, picking up a new instrument (the bass, since I have one hanging around!), and generally just moving forward.
I’ll also be posting some new songs – including one from Bowen Island that I am really excited about! – and finally getting up to speed with videos of me and my music. I think that working a day job makes each moment that I can spend on my music that more precious. And I’m lucky in that I do like my work at a high school in Austin – teenagers are exhausting at times, but also a lot of fun. It was truly heartening yesterday, when I stopped in for a couple hours at my school during a freshman orientation, to have a senior greet me and ask about what I’d been up to with music over the summer! I think a student songwriting group may be in order this year….
Please feel free to write and respond to what I post here. Songwriters hate to create in a vacuum. I know from my gigs that songs can and do touch people. So let me know if that's ever the case for you!