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Exile on Vain St. Part III

There's no such thing as an "unknown" band. If you're a band, and you play out, then someone must know you. I've played gigs where it was us and the bartender and two drunk people who left after awhile. So…

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Exile on Vain St. Part I

I like the early Rolling Stones, they were rowdy and innovative, but the Mick Taylor period is my favorite. I was a teen, discovering music and girls, and guitar just as the Stones were maturing into a great band. Time…

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Bands Are Teams

Playing in a band is similar to playing on a sports team. Each member has a particular skill. You have a practice schedule. You have gigs/games. At the gig/game, things don't always go the way they did at practice. The…

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Personality of Songs

When making setlists, I imagine each set as a one act play where each song is a character or an event. In this context, a song has a role and a personality. The opening song is vivacious and engaging. The…

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Damn you mom and dad! 

I hated my middle name. So I made sure my kids had NO middle names. When they got old enough to notice these things thaey said; "Dad! why didn't you give us middle names?". You can't win. 

Back in the…

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About Songwriting

I watched a bunch of youtube videos about songwriting. They covered a variety of subjects like how to write a hook, how to write a song, things you should do, things you shouldn't do. I'm not a prolific writer, but…

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Why I Live Here

No... I don't mean in this house... This picture exemplifies what I like about Eugene, Oregon. You should google that phrase and be amused. It's cool to live in a town where people do stuff like this... "Like what?"... you…

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The Dog Was A Lion

Once when I was a kid, my brother and I made a lion's mane out of construction paper and taped it to the dog. Then we got a hula hoop and did a lion-tamer circus act. Our mom was unimpressed. 

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What makes a band?

Some bands are famous, we all know about them. Some bands are only known in their locality or genre. This second kind interest me more than the famous ones. A few  of these groups actually make a living at it…

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Why Music?

Sensible people recognize that we as individuals are insignificant. We hope that we matter to those we care about, but in the big picture we are nothing. 

Nonetheless, this is our life, and it means a lot to us. Not…

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With A Little Help From My Friends

I played two very different shows this past weekend. One was a full electric band at a brew pub and the the other was Sunday brunch solo acoustic music. At both events I saw friends who have been coming to…

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The Surfy Universe

Why do we like surf? Well, for starters it's a big guitar sound, that whomping low bass and sparkling treble. The sound of surf is like a beautiful leviathan exploding from the sea. Surf evokes the power of waves and…

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Live Shows

When I was in eighth grade, the youth group at our church brought in a band. This was at someone's house and the players were "big kids" from high school or maybe even college... oooh! We all listened to records…

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Four & Twenty

Tomorrow is 4/20 but...

I don't smoke that weed no more. 
It used to make my lungs so sore, 
That getting high was just a mess, 
Of coughing paranoid distress. 

So I must say I'm getting bored, 
By two times…

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Seeking Duende

Merriam-Webster describes Duende as a mystical force. They quote the poet Federico Garcia Lorca that Duende "is a power and not a behavior... a struggle and not a concept." Oof! What does that even mean? 

I think when a piece…

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