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Road Trip!


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Haven’t done a Road Trip in a long time. It’s exciting.

I’ll be in a motel Friday and Saturday nights (June 26-27) in Myrtle Point for Interview Days. I have a place to stay down south, got a couple Alan Dean Foster books to bring George that he hasn’t read, a couple of new songs to play at the Wild Goose Sunday night (I probably ought to limit it to a couple—I expect they’ll want to hear some old standards, too). I think I can take daughter Kimberly’s old laptop with me (it needs a power cord, but I think I know where to get one); it’d be neat if I could configure the thing to recognize the Tascam, but I don’t know if that’s possible—the laptop is running (curses!) Windows Vista.

Among the to-do-before-I-leave items is to get the “base” track (rhythm guitar, bass, drums, and vocal) recorded to at least one song to take with me to get Southern Oregon leads on. The Tascam can hold three lead tracks (the “base” recording will be on one track, for reference), and we’ll see what I can round up. I want to have the musicians all primed in advance—I won’t have a lot of time to work with.

I do get to go back to Southern Oregon a second time, for taping July 18 of a TV show on the Medford-Ashland public television station. It’s something the Southern Oregon Songwriters set up a year ago, that involved getting some of the members trained in television production. I have seen some of the product, and it’s really well done. Now it’s my turn to be one of the ones on stage—and on the air. (I’d like to do that one with a band, too, if I could—I know whom I’d like to enlist). And when I go back down there July 18, it’d be nice to take another song with me and get “Southern Oregon leads” recorded to that.

I get to be Elder Statesman again (maybe it’s more like Songwriter Yoda) tomorrow; I’m meeting a younger guy who ran an ad on Craigslist saying he was a singer-songwriter. (I’d responded to his ad, and he telephoned me back right away—very odd behavior for Craigslist.) We’ll see what he’s got; if he fancies himself a writer, wherever he is on the scale, I want to encourage it. He said he was looking for a band, and I do have one of those—and we are looking for a lead guitarist, in fact. I guess it’s me that has to do the first cut, so to speak, and try to guess whether the guy would make a good fit with everybody else, based on what I know or can guess about everybody’s respective personalities.

Sara the librarian had a fire in her house a week ago (didn’t burn it down—just a lot of smoke damage)—and of course, there was a song in it. (Told her so.) She and her bulldog, Rufus, weren’t there when it happened; they were playing music with the Friday Night Group. (Actually, only she was. Rufus was just hanging out.) Sara herself gave me the trigger by telling me jokingly, “Well, Rufus wasn’t cooking.” There are in fact a number of things a bulldog would not be doing that wouldn’t cause a fire, and maybe—hopefully—it’s therapeutic to list them.

At this point, I have three verses, one of which I’m happy with (the other two still need work), and a chorus I’m real happy with. It’d be nice to have it in playable form in time for the next music session at the Tillamook Library—which might be as early as this Saturday. (The group took some time off to let Sara recover from her fire.)

Sara is working on a song herself (she’s one of the songwriters who’s finally germinated in this once-sterile soil of the North Coast)—a Gospel tune, she said, about “burning down the house for Jesus.” I do worry sometimes what kind of writers I’ve encouraged…

Joe

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