Friday, December 30, 2005

Demo, Demo, Audition, Audition

And that's pretty much all I'm doin'. Eating, sleeping and working enter the picture on occasion, but they are quite bashful about staying long.

As I complete some of these, they're going up on the MacJams site. The demoing of older songs that Mohave's played are for the purpose of auditions as I arrange some of the tunes differently. "The Irish In Me" is one that I'm working on now, along with "Neon Tiki", both of which I hope to have finished next week. This weekend, I'm passing off a disc to a local drummer that I've jammed with before. In a few days, it'll be five months before the South America show, so time is not only flying, it's booked a round-trip in coach!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Yeah, Too Much Eggnog

It's my birthday. Actually, it ended about an hour ago, but I'm hanging on. Eggnog. Rum. Yum. You get the point.

I just uploaded a version of "Ventura" to - after going to Kobe near Universal with some friends, I've been working on it all day, part of my drive to get a bunch of songs demo'd for whatever purpose may suit.

Went to see Rob Thomas last Monday in Tampa. I'm not a huge fan, but I appreciate his music in a big way, especially "This Is How A Heart Breaks". We hung out after the show and, like a freakin' groupie, I got him to sign "Dee" - so, now I've got three Grammy winners signatures on her. Sweet.

Music is the only thing that can save me. I was talking to my step-grandmother about this today. A great quote: "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

Jesus said that.

I've got some issues to deal with through my music. God gave me the gift, and as I can use it to cure myself, I can also present it to so that others can identify. Music that gives as it cures. Whatever the hell it takes - because I want to make music, but I've got to exorcise these demons.

My mom's death. My father's death. My grandfather's death. My aunt's death. My cousin's death. The death of the bond with my family. The death of my innocence.

I've got a lot of mourning to do.

And celebrating! To balance things out - there's so much to celebrate. The big jam we had last weekend, celebrating my birthday along with that of Rob from Cadillac Recipe and my attorney, Steve Belle - it was a massive love-in, of food, music and good times. It was beautiful, thank you Jae, and it also served as this catalyst for getting some new musical things done. The pipes are percolating.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

My First Dulcimer Jam

I just got in from the dulcimer jam at The Lippy's; what a blast! Of course, it took me almost two years to attend after I first met David and Kim at the Central Florida Fair, where they performed with a couple of other dulcimer groups. They were very welcoming, as were the other members, and the first thing I noticed was how nice everyone's dulcimers were! I love my Joline, but she's seen better days - and her frets are so worn down that it takes some effort to nail the upper register. Nevertheless, she sang beautifully.

Soup and bread was served at 6:30 pm - a sort of roasted tomato bisque - and a lady named Erline brought pumpkin bread which was all kinds of delicious. Then everyone took a seat in their cheerfully decorated living room and we began to play. Of course, I didn't have any of the music that the circle called out, so I was given copies to read, and it was just about all sight reading for me, since the tunes were not familiar to me. Talk about a crash-course! Each member chose a song that they wanted to play, after we had gone through three Christmas tunes: "Hark The Herald Angels Sing", "Upon The Housetop" and "Joy To The World."

There was "Black Mountain Rag", "Southwind", "Farther Along", "The Boatman", "Edelweiss", "Chickens Crowin' At Midnight", an unusual piece called "Lame Tame Crane" that we played in a round, "John Stinson's #2", "River" (which had some hauntingly beautiful changes), a couple of tunes from Stephen Seifert's "Join The Jam" book ("Johnson Boys" and "Sugar Hill"), "South Callaway Waltz", a super-fun piece called "Nutfactory Shuffle" (don't you love some of these titles?), "Rocky Top" and we ended with "Amazing Grace."

When it was my turn to call a tune, I luckily had memorized "Whiskey Before Waltzing", and so we played that. When it came around again, I de-tuned to D-A-A (we'd been in D-A-D, pretty standard for most dulcimer folk) and called "Cripple Creek" - which was a different version than most of them played, which seems to be the case across the board; there are many different versions of tunes due to some of them being passed down by listening rather than notation. It was good to know how the group normally plays it, so I have a clue when jamming it with others.

David asked me to play an original, so I played my "Amazing Grace", which has been posted over at Dulcitunes.

It was a terrific time, and a total rush, since I had never heard 80% of the material and was sight reading as we went along. The sound of a room full of dulcimers is one of the sweetest things you'll ever hear. I'm looking forward to the next jam, which is on the 20th. This time, I hope to come armed with pages of tablature!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Practice, Practice

I've been nose-deep into dulcimer tablature, working through tunes and memorizing them. My goal is to have an hour-long set of instrumental music in memory by summer, so pretty much any spare moment I've got is spent plucking away. There are worse ways to pass the time!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Photo/Two Reviews

The Orlando Sentinel reviewed Cyndi Lauper's show today and Connections Magazine hit the streets with a review of clear blue trickling:

Mohave is a folky/jazzy band that reminds me of being on Bourbon Street. They have a really catchy sound and a steady rhythm throughout all their songs. There aren't too many bands like Mohave that are from Orlando. I love their use of horns and keyboards, and the first harmonica solo by Automatic John is excellent. The vocals of Bunky Garrabrant and Bing Futch are strong and potent, like they teach singing lessons for their daytime jobs. I was impressed with each song's different sound techniques and the synergy of the whole band. Definitely a CD worth picking up.- Kayla Anderson

Thanks Kayla! That sure puts a spring in one's step!

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Well, I managed to pull it together and go to the show, which was phenomenal. She and her band put on an incredible show, during which the dulcimer took front and center stage on many tunes, including "All Through The Night", "Time After Time", "Above The Clouds" and "True Colors." Cyndi bopped, danced, rolled around on the stage, stood atop the grand piano, climbed speaker columns and sang like I've never heard her sing before - what an amazing voice she has! Her band was tight, and she seemed to keep them on their toes, changing up arrangements and guiding them through stops, starts and dynamics. Besides drums and bass guitar, there was a fiddle player and a guitarist (both of whom also played dulcimer at times) and a keyboardist/pianist. Opening act was Jill Sobule ("I Kissed A Girl"), who performed with only her guitar and captivated the audience. She joined Cyndi on-stage for a few songs, during which she proclaimed "Dulcimer is hot!" Cyndi also introduced the dulcimer to the crowd by saying "by the way, this is a dulcimer. I'm not supposed to talk much about that because people get confused. Are you confused?" She closed the show with "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", and as she said her final goodbyes and thank-yous, I ran outside to the truck, grabbed "Dee", the dulcimer that Willie Nelson and band signed a few years back, and then waited by the backstage exit along with some other die-hard fans for two and a half hours.

I'm happy to say that I had the chance to have Jill sign "Dee" (she strummed the strings as she signed) as well as Cyndi, who looked worn out at 1 am - and seemed torn between socializing and retreating to her tour bus, so she compromised and signed from within the bus, with her manager handing my dulcimer to her. Mission accomplished!

During the show, Cyndi passed out wristbands for the Matthew Shepard Foundation that were stamped with the words "Erase Hate." Showing her heart as a peace-loving person who believes we can still change the world we live in. If only more artists would use their music and their celebrity to convey such a beautiful message - we might get to that goal a whole lot quicker. It was a beautiful night - and a blessing to be able to attend the show.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

True Colors

Dang, I wanna go! Couldn't afford a ticket though. But I'm definitely thinking about driving down to the House Of Blues and hanging by the backstage door like the drooling fanboy that I am. Just to see if I can get her to sign the same dulcimer that Willie Nelson and his band signed some years back. She's the most high-profile dulcist in the world right now, and she's doing so much to bring the instrument to the public's attention. Go, Cyndi!

If nothing else, I can smoke a couple of Sosa Family cigars, play my dulcimer and freeze my butt off. (Okay, it's not that cold, but there's definitely a chill in the air.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I was talking to a musician today about the concept of Mohave and how it's rooted in this little dusty town called Nowhere. Another bit of mud came off of the crystal ball as I rubbed it.

Some folks look at the desert and think "gad, who'd want to live there?" Dusty, hot, miles and miles of empty spaces. But the people of Nowhere don't think so, else they'd leave. Because as desolate as their town might be, it seems a lot better than moving into a bigger city like Reno or Las Vegas with all its glitz and glimmer, concrete and hoardes of people. The simpler life seems...well, simpler.

Besides, the denizens of Nowhere don't have to go Anywhere. The road that passes by the town serves as a two-lane conveyor belt that brings the world to them. All sorts of people from all walks of life with all kinds of stories to tell. They pop in, have a drink or two, get directions or make a phone call, then go along their merry way. The folks of Nowhere, Nevada live vicariously through these Travelers, and after the door slams and the wheels crunch in the dirt and dust as vehicles take their leave, they say to themselves. "Wouldn't want to be them." Luckily, Nowhere is so uninviting that no-one arrives, takes a look at the place and says "I'd like to live here." So, the population stays pretty much the same, give or take a few deaths and births.

This guitarist and I and also talked about the concept of Knowledge and what it means to humanity. If you're a believer in the story of Adam and Eve, they had it all in the Garden of Eden, everything they could possibly want was there within their reach, including the Tree of Knowledge, which was forbidden fruit. But mankind had to go there, just had to know what it didn't know already. Typical, ain't it?

And with that desire to know more, our eyes were opened to things that we probably could have done without, but nevertheless - here we are. And that's just one side of the story.

Nowhere is a dusty eden of sorts. Its locals don't have to eat any apples. The apples speed up in shiny cars and then leave again. They describe how they taste. What it's like to be an apple, they reveal. And then they go away, with the folks behind them simply taking their word for it. If only it were that simple. One doesn't have to put a finger in the fire to discover that fire burns. You can watch someone else put a finger in the fire and watch as they draw back quickly in pain. But yet, there's something about mankind that just has to know firsthand (or first finger) the sensation that they've witnessed..

Thank God this isn't the case with all such phenomena!

The Jams Begin

With our eyes upon the Festival Curacao in May of this year, the process of auditioning musicians has begun. We're in contact with players from as far away as Nashville, folks who have tour experience and are making music for a living. Not wanting to duplicate our most recent instrumentation, I've taken the music back to its most basic structure. Starting with the drone of the dulcimer and the simple arrangements. With that as a foundation, I've opened the door to one instrument that I had previously said wouldn't be a part of our sound: the guitar.

In a battle of sound between a dulcimer and a guitar, the guitar would own - simply because there's a bigger voice box (in the case of acoustic) and more strings. But if the guitar is played in a certain way, the two elements blend together with each one shining through the arrangements. I'm not certain that guitar will end up in the mix, but I'll be jamming with a guy this Thursday who's opened for the likes of Pat Travers and Iron Butterfly; someone who's seen the band, knows what we're about and loves the concept.

I'm also talking to 2005 SSA Pianist/Keyboardist Of The Year Ed McCurdy, whose soulful blues stylings on piano and organ are quite simply tasty.

The focus will be on getting a supporting ensemble together for this show, while also making plans to play out regionally in the state and elsewhere. Each show may feature different people, and that's how it sometimes is with blues music. With cats staying so busy, sometimes you can't always get who you want (but you can try to get who you need. Sorry, just had to say that.)

It's a very exciting time as we move forward, with every indication that the next time Mohave performs, it will be a powerfully positive experience that'll clear the way for what's to come. And I'll keep you posted on how that's going.

In the meantime, dreaming of Curacao and the exciting destinations that are just over the horizon. Hell, I already bit into the apple. And this Black Indian is ready to finally go on walkabout, in search of the big blue ocean.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Santa, never mind my last gift hint. THIS will do just fine.


What a nice couple of days this has been! Spent all day Thanksgiving working on a couple of demos, one for a tune called "The Liar Of Maxwell County" which I wrote a few years back and another for a song called "Silent Running", which I actually released on the "Kansas" album back in 1987. Last night, feeling sort of spunky, I guess, I came up with an agressive rock riff on the dulcimer, one that would be doubled by an equally aggressive bass line at some point in the song. Using Garageband (which I do for most of the demos), I punched up a very gritty and balls-to-the-wall rock song that doesn't have lyrics yet, but MAN, is it crunchy. That new version of Garageband looks sa-wheeet! Maybe Santa will bring it? (Note to Santa: I've been a very good boy this year, despite all the rumors.)

Tonight, Jae and I went to a function of the Friends of Florida Folk over at Mark Fodor's house, the site of a Mohave performance for the Sierra Club in May of this year. Mark's a real prince of a guy, a true music lover, and he kindly offers up his expansive and nicely landscaped backyard for concerts. Tonight's act was Something Special from Sarasota, minus two members. Still, Carl Wade and Barbara Shaffer were a delight to hear and see. True folkies, they both played guitar, Barbara on rhythm and Carl adding layers and textures with chords and leads. Their choice of songs was wonderful, from extremely funny (and timely) tunes to beautiful and moving love songs and ballads, all performed with sweet harmonies and humorous stage banter; highly entertaining. (I only wish more people had come out to the show - it was a lovely night for it, too.)

Later on, we sat inside the house and had a little jam along with Frank Julian, who had opened up the musical evening playing guitar for his pre-teen daughter (like 9 or 10), whose name is eluding me at the moment, but she sang like an angel and had a pro's stage presence! We all traded licks and songs, which was very educational for me, because they were switching keys and so-forth, prompting me to find some very creative ways to stay in the game. It's this kind of learning-on-the-fly that I'm really looking forward to. We had a lot of fun, Frank's original songs are just a hoot - and he asked me to record with him and his daughter on their first release.

All in all, a busy couple of musical days - and I also bug-bombed the house, which was no small feat. Do you know how much stuff you have to cover? Still, gotta nip this flea thing in the bud. They're not bothering us, but the animals have been giving us dirty looks.

I'm looking forward to next week's dulcimer jam at The Lippy's. I had a chance to sit in with their dulcimer circle of about 25 players at the Central Florida Fair a couple of years back and have wanted to find out where their group meets. Tuesday the 6th of December, I'm gonna find out!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Back To School

I'm excited to be heading north for Kentucky Music Week in January, which is actually the winter version of the popular festival that takes place closer to summer. There will be some dulcimer workshops and performances - and I'm looking forward to meeting Nancy Johnson Barker, who organizes these two events. The possibility of teaching dulcimer workshops at the summer event is a possibility, so I've been teaching myself some dulcimer solos out of the Dulcimer 2000 Mel Bay book that Ken from Everything Dulcimer gave to me, to strengthen my repertoire. The majority of my twenty years playing dulcimer has been spent focusing on rhythmic cords for accompaniement - so it's back to school to pick up some eja-ma-kashun.

Of course, "school" is anywhere that there are fellow dulcimer players willing to share a secret or two.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

whoa, th a's deep!

Neon Tiki
© 1997 Fajita Musik/J.O.B. Entertainment

been a long time comin', no doubt, can't wait no longer, give me tiki
I've searched this world throughout for a thing that gets me wild and freaky
to the desert, to the oceans, it's a myth that stalks my head at night
in the limestone, beneath the lava, maybe I'll get lucky, huh?

on every street in every town, standing on a corner, lookin' for a bit of the light
they say, "hey man, get on with your life", but I can't relent the search for neon tiki
in the city, out in the country, in a book or an egg or a voodoo doll
dripping sweet from a poison grapevine or a message on the wall

I'm looking for a neon tiki (you will never find this tiki)
auwe-ah, yes I will

it came to me in a dream, now I find I gotta have it or I think I'm gonna forfeit my mind
in the words of a muse or the eyes of an angel, a tear from a painter's brush
it's the whim and the joy and the glee, it turns my brain to mush
to the racetrack, down in the subway, upon a jet leaving Tuesday night
without a care for the cost or the consequence, I'm there in coach, watching movies in flight I hate flying

I'm looking for a neon tiki (you will never find this tiki)
auwe-ah, yes I will

I wish I had a way to show you
what it's like, why it's here, where it hangs, what it sees, how it lives
how it breathes, where it grows, how it glows, watch it dance and know why I need it

I've been demoing this song for the past day or so; it's an oldie - been played out maybe once, I think. It's actually the first song structure that I ever wrote, probably back in 1982, when it was called "Out Of The Darkness." Some years later, I cannabalized it, changed the lyrics, swung the arrangement and dubbed it "Neon Tiki" - 1997.

Over the years, the song has been about that unquenchable quixotic thirst - the one thing that you're really looking for, that always seems to elude you. And though naysayers may tell you that you won't find it - you push ahead, because dreams do come true, after all.

Don't they?

Monday, November 14, 2005

A Truly Beautiful Night

The powwow went off wonderfully - and I could write three blogs about it - but I'm still savoring the afterglow (and the smell of boiled peanuts that I've got cooking in the kitchen.)

There'll be more - but I sure want to thank everyone who made this show such a rousing success! Especially Jae, for all her hard work with the organizing and food for the pre-party, Amy and Tony from AKA Lounge, Dave from Connections Magazine, The Eight-Fold Way and Snackdaddy - who both put on fantastic shows - DJ OG, who kept things moving for us - Perego, just an amazing light show, Kelly and Barbee with their art-in-progress, Dani-Oh for the spoken word, and the artists, Carl, Heather, Chad, Liz, Diana, Amy, Daas and Kristian for all of your incredible work - to Chris Johnson, who curated the show, to all the helping hands and significant others and especially to everyone who came out to share all of that love energy! We love you much - there's new stuff happening all the time.

But more on that later - I spent all day re-organizing the studio, moving furniture and chasing dustbunnies - it's now time for some Willie Wonka action.

til next time, Mahalo - we are very blessed!


Friday, November 11, 2005

The View From Here

To quote the greatest rock band in the world, "it's a beautiful day!" And ten points to yourself if you correctly guessed which rock band I mean.

Time Over The Waterfall
Music and lyrics by Bing Futch

Make some bones about it, digging in the dirt,
I'm starting from scratch
scraping at the clay, shaping the day
and the image is clear; it's what we're doing here

got one shoe on, the other's in the grass
the sky's so blue, water's like glass
it's early in the morning and late in the week, yeah
not thinking 'bout Monday, don't even speak it

Make some bones about it, digging in the dirt,
I'm starting from scratch
scraping at the clay, shaping the day
and the image is clear; it's what we're doing here

time is of the essence, essence is the soul
and the soul is timeless, so what you runnin' for?
take a giant step back, when you're up against the wall
steal time, forget time, lose time over the waterfall

Caught fillin' time, killin' time, Valentine
stretchin' time til the big-time show-time
Wastin' time, any time for a good time
savin' time, all the time, for the back nine

© Copyright 2005 J.O.B. Entertainment Inc. (ASCAP)

I'm looking forward to tonight - it's going to be one of those heavenly, enlightening evenings.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Don't Make Me
Music and lyrics by Bing Futch

I'll write a happy little song to make you cheerful
I'll pen a silly little ditty to make you smile
I'll sing a lovely tune for you my darlin'
if you don't make me dance
or make me take off my pants
don't make me take a chance on you tonight

safe to say the night is young
I just came here to have fun
we've got many ways to play
tomorrow's just another day, in theory

this is where 'goodbye' begins (goodbye, so long, auf wedershen)
where it ends, well that depends (time out, come again)
paper thoughts and hearts aflame
a match to candlesticks in the rain
I can see it so clearly

I'll write a happy little song to make you cheerful
I'll pen a silly little ditty to make you smile
I'll sing a lovely tune for you my darlin'
if you don't make me dance
or make me take off my pants
don't make me take a chance on you
don't make me take a chance

© Copyright 2005 J.O.B. Entertainment Inc. (ASCAP)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Before This Moment Passes

before this moment passes
music and lyrics by bing futch

Do you remember the days left dry
in the blink of a century, in the wink of an eye?
do you remember the days when life was hell
and hell was a lot like life?

Hey, hey the band will play, can you recall?
heigh-ho, the merry-oh, anything at all?
hey, hey the band will play, can you feel the pain?
heigh-ho, the merry-oh, unless you fall

went to sleep in the land of the free
woke up; the world's enemy
I cry to the sky, "we are but rain"
we fall to the Earth and rise again"

hey, hey the band will play
everybody look and find a partner
heigh-ho, the merry-oh
everybody raise your glasses

hey, hey the band will play
allemande left til you look into the sunrise
heigh-ho, the merry-oh
before this moment passes

© 2005 J.O.B. Entertainment Inc.

I didn't see this one coming at all. Well, that's a lie.

The first verse was written on August 5th at 12:22. That's 24-hour time. I don't know why I go by 24-hour time, or so-called "European" or "Army" time, it helps keep my days and nights straight, no piddling about with this AM and PM thing.

The second verse was written in May of this year, best I can tell - didn't date that one.

It's an odd little bugger, ain't it? It's got a wacked out tribal groove that's part First Nations, part Celtic and a little Nine Inch Nails. The groove and music came last night - the idea to put them with these words came today. The bass and drums are loops in my Garageband library - there are a couple of other atmospheric loops and a whole lot of voice dubbing.

Queer as a quiet Saturday night in Times Square, but it's got something going on -

Saturday, November 05, 2005


"Slowly blossomed, slowly ripened in Siddhartha the realisation, the
knowledge, what wisdom actually was, what the goal of his long search was. It was nothing but a readiness of the soul, an ability, a secret art, to think every moment, while living his life, the thought of oneness, to be able to feel and inhale the oneness."
- Herman Hesse, Siddhartha

I've got two hours of video edited for the CD Release Powwow; it'll run on two screens in the bar, one screen in the Big Picture room and two screens on the stage. Coordinated with the events as they take place throughout the evening, the video features images that tie all of the elements of the powwow together, including visuals from the art exhibit "out of the clear blue", which we hung last night. I'm going back tonight to help Chris Johnson, curator and participating artist, hang Barbee Cain's photography and a piece by Carl Knickerbocker, who's getting ready to show some work at Disney's Festival Of The Masters next weekend (Nov 11-13) - so I'm stoked that he was able to be a part of this!

The video will also show vintage footage of the original Mohave trio as well as all the musicians who have graced the tribe over the past six years. It's not really a main attraction production - more of a collection of digital atmospheres that switch up and change depending upon the action onstage. Very psychedelic, in a 21st century kind of way - you'll see what I'm talking about.

Friday, November 04, 2005

It Has To Be Said 2


The marquee is lit up and proclaiming a double feature that we can't quite see. A trickle of cars pull up to the ticket booth where E-Z DANIELS collects money from each one. Most of the cars are full of teens, but one car has a mid-thirty-ish couple in it. DARRIN HUNTER is a fairly clean-cut man while his lady friend ABBY LANG is a bit on the Riot Grrl side.

DARRIN: Wow. Simply and incredibly, wow. [laughs] That's a Mike Gilroy mural.

ABBY: Gilroy was here.

DARRIN: Yeah, Gilroy was here. Wow.

ABBY: Is this the place with the stage?


ABBY: Nice!


A tall, skinny man is behind the counter, his almost waist-length hair tucked back behind a backwards baseball cap. HIPPIE goes about the business of running the snack bar. A middle-aged man wearing a John Deere jacket and suede boots grasps a tray of popcorn, drinks and cotton candy as he steps away from the counter. JOHN SEAVER and DARK almost collide and they look up at each other.

Hurricane Brett was storming towards Corpus Christi, Texas just as we got into San Antonio, so we didn't stay long. Getting back to Orlando on this day was out of the question, so a more realistic goal of Houston was set. By the time we got home, there had been seven songs written on the road, "Interstate 10 Blues" being one of them, and for damn good reason, too.

I made demos of the songs with just voice and dulcimer, put them on cassettes for Mike and McGyver, asked David Schweizer if I could bring two friends along for my already-scheduled slot on August 31st at the House Of Blues, and we rehearsed for two hours before playing that show.

It was nuts. Nuts, so you would not believe.

And we started working pretty often. Very next year, The Orlando Weekly nominates us for an Orlando Music Award in the "World" category along with Seven Nations and Umoja. To be in such company! Umoja deservedly won.

During this time, the whole Mohave thing started laying voodoo on me unsuspectingly. Songs tying together, personalities extending outside of single songs, images of a tangible place with a tangible spirit and energy, yet remaining intangible. The town Nowhere surfaced out of the boggy depths of one of those plastic snowglobes, only instead of shimmering white and silver bits of confetti, it's filled with washed out rusty oranges and browns, the faded golds of yesterday's glory veins. Murky, rolling clouds that begin to settle and reveal this dried-up old prune of a town sitting there.

Like picking up a crystal ball caked with mud. Not just any mud. That good old, clay-thick, red stuff that comes from the floor of the southwestern desert, like natural warpaint. And you rub that crystal ball in various places, you rub to beat all hell, and it still takes an unusual amount of energy, and your sleeve, to clear away enough to see what's inside. I work on polishing the ball a little every day, and what I've been blessed enough to see so far has been wild.

Okay, This Is Just Spooky

This is the legend of the Haunted Shack.
Around about the time of the big silver strike in Nevada,
seems a prospector called Slanty Sam and his wife, Shaky Sadie
lived and eventually died in this old shack.

Strange stories are told and re-told about fantastic goings-on around the old place.
Some say the shack rested directly over the center of gravity.
Folks near and far came to believe that the place was truly haunted by the ghosts of Sam and Sadie.

The Haunted Shack stood there, spooks and all, in Esmerelda County, Nevada. Until we brought it to Ghost Town in 1954.

Lurking there are mysteries that are amazing, amusing and confusing.
You will doubtless remember your experience in the Haunted Shack for a long, long time.

The Haunted Shack at Knott's Berry Farm theme park in California was one of those gravity-houses where water runs uphill and people walk on the walls. As a tour guide there in 1986, I had easily memorized the pre-tour recording, intoned by a somewhat bored-sounding announcer, and routinely use it for sound checks at Mohave shows. I never really made a connection with Nowhere. That is, until the day that I discovered Goldfield.

Nowhere had begun to show up like magically reappearing ink blotches on a tattered canvas. It wasn't until early this year that I finally plumbed the depths of what happened with the town. It was similar to what happened to the town of Goldfield, Nevada. Was once a booming town fueled by the local discovery of gold, then quickly abandoned when the mines went bust. A few descendants of hold-outs remain, but they're not even sure why they're there. With no industry in town and the closest larger town more than an hour in each direction, there's not much to do there except drink and think about drinking.

Goldfield had gotten decidely more upscale than Nowhere ever aspired to be. Tourists don't even go to Nowhere. They just stop in the bar and have a drink, maybe two. Maybe three if they've got something to get off their chests, and then they leave, always to return. There's just something about the place that's polarizing in that regard.

While looking at the page, I noticed that Goldfield, Nevada was in Esmerelda County.

The Haunted Shack is now but a concrete slab at an ever-modernizing amusement park that's all but forgotten its rich history. But in this case - a sense of crazy completion and connection was another cactus rose and a bit of the crystal ball allowed a clearer peek inside.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

It Has To Be Said

It'd be pretty hard to read the entries posted here in the past thirty days without noticing a sudden change of tone and mood, even for the newcomer. Except for the official announcement that was posted on the Mohave web site and sent to the mailing list, there's been no commentary about the circumstances leading to the recent departure of Randy, Bunky, John and J.D.

To be fair, I won't get into the reasons here because there are, as the song goes, "two sides to every story" and everybody involved has a valid point of view, not to mention that I'm not sure exactly what caused this fragmentation other than the fact that perhaps it was a long time coming. Everyone walked of their own volition. I wanted to play our remaining scheduled shows; two at Lake Eola, one in Hernando County and the CD Release Powwow. I'm intensely disappointed that we're not playing these shows and I know that many of our extended tribe are as well.

A good number of you have asked me privately about the situation, thanks for that, and the question is generally: so, now what for Mohave?

No question, Mohave's continuing forward. And to explain that, I'm going to try and shed some light upon how this southwestern world came to be.


The rows are, of course, empty--they are lined with speaker stands that undulate along with the rolling waves of grey speckled concrete. There is a small stage at the front near the movie screen and the only other structure in the fenced-in area is a vaguely art-deco looking building that houses the concession stand, bathrooms, offices and projection room. The Impala pulls up to this structure and the young man steps out and looks around before walking up to a door and knocking sharply.


VICTOR SIERVNEY is the owner/manager of The El Rey. He is Russian, in his 50's, and speaks English well. He pulls back the top half of the door with one hand, leaving a bottle of vodka in the other as he confronts the young man.

"Showtime's at dusk. You've got a couple of hours. Come back then," he says blearily, squinting into the sun. The young man smiles slightly.

"Actually, Vic. I'm looking for a job."


Victor walks over past the candy counter and soft drink machines to a closet and pulls out a handyman's coverall. He holds them up with a rueful shake of his head and hands them to the young man.

"I used to fit in these, imagine it. They are still too big for you, but will keep you from getting stained. Everything is in here, it's a horrible mess. They've been trading off janitorial duties, those two. I am sorry that this is the only offer of work that I have. Some homecoming. Let me be the first to say 'welcome back.' And the ladies toilet on east side is problem. Wear the waders."

Mohave Oil: The Seed

In either 1997 or 1998 on a trip to Disney/MGM Studios, a trip to Catastrophe Canyon yielded the sight of the words "Mohave Oil" on the side of an exploding gas pump. The word "Mohave" slides across my mind.

I had been wanting to bring the mountain dulcimer into a new groove while maintaining deep love and respect for traditional roots music. Late spring of 1999 after a Strobe 7 show at The Social in downtown Orlando, bassist Mike Burney pressed a doob into my hand, told me that he liked my columns in Jam Magazine and that he wanted to jam together some time.

As I talked out the idea of putting the dulcimer into a rock situation, it became apparent that my internet radio show producer, McGyver, was also an accomplished drummer. So, there were the elements of this stew already sort of floating around when I hit the road on a summer tour later that year.

Mohave County: An Ephiphany

Now, the next part of this "Behind The Music" trip sounds like bull hocky. But it's not bull hocky. So if you're disinclined to entertain anything remotely resembling bull hocky, then go running madly, screaming away and I'll wait for you to go before I continue.

Okay, they're gone. So, we're in Kingman, Arizona heading towards Las Vegas and it's hotter than hell and it's only seven-thirty in the by-God morning. Suddenly, we're pulled over onto the side of the road and I'm running butt-ass naked down the side of the highway. Sneakers on, of course, because I'm not a complete nut-jobber.

The word "why" might be floating around in your cerebral cortex and, to be honest, I don't blame you a bit. See, that's exactly what I was wondering as the trucker drove by with his air-horn blaring and a sprint back to the car revealed that every glory-holin' bit of butt-nakery was caught on video. Replaying the moment, literally, it can really only be chalked up to pure abandon, no peyote necessary. At the root of it was just a simple, primal desire to get natural; to be unafraid and unadorned.

Just outside of Kingman, Arizona. This is critical. I'll explain later.

On the way back east along Interstate 10, which is the longest goddamn road in the universe, several new songs were born. "Moment Of Hell" came in Phoenix; "Ring-A-Ding" in Houston. The seeds for "Down To Earth" were planted in Las Vegas, not long after the ass-happy dance just outside of Kingman. It was coming back through that corridor when we discovered Kingman, and that stretch of road subject to streaking, was located in Mohave county.

There was that word again. Now, there was Mojave with a "J" in California. But Mohave with an "H" was Arizona. Both were First Nations peoples, which sounded a deep drum within my spirit. At the heart of Native American music is a tribal rhythm that pulses, that sets a groove for living, not as distraction or as product, but as an expression of flesh and spirit. The Scots-Irish roots of the dulcimer share much in common with the music of First Nations and African performers who keep one foot solidly in the soil when they create.

And this is all swirling in my head on the road to Phoenix, where we promptly blow a tire at six in the bloody morning. What is it with early on this trip?

Cactus Rose: Thar She Blows!

Anyone who's fixed a tire only to discover that you not only didn't fix it, but you went so far as to cause further damage, can attest to the fact that it's humbling. It's also a stinker of a way to start a 1200 mile lope across three states in a vain attempt to reach San Antonio before a hurricane hits, but you pick your battles. And we hit a Midas and they send us on our way, there I'm staring out the window at these huge fields of cacti. Tall suckers. Ten, fifteen foot, some of them. They looked to be arranged almost symmetrically. Dark-to-pale green with variegations and striations of yellow to murky brown all along their prickly arms. Dozens and dozens of them, streaming past like troops under review.

Thinking about dulcimers and tribal roots, of the sudden energy burst in Mohave county along Highway 93, of a drummer and bassist that had suddenly made themselves available, of the music that had been pouring forth on this tour, inspired by the different people and places throughout the southwest, and then I saw the red bloom.

Stark, crimson red, beaming from the center of a cactus that was smack dab in the middle of a cluster of cacti. Just one red cactus flower. I kept my eyes wide open at watched the passing shapes for any more signs of seasonal bloom on red cactus flowers and I'll tell you directly, there were none. I watched for twenty minutes and then gave up because my eyes were plotting a revolt; not another red bloom to be seen.

The word "why" stuck its head in and said 'hey.'

There is beauty in the desert.

What the hell kind of new-age crap was that? When all of the above sort of came crashing together and melded into one simple core of existence, it sounded like the inner fold of a Hallmark card. But in time, I've come to decode what it sort of means. And that's what makes Mohave work.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Dulcimeris Interrupti

Well, hell. I was all set to attend a dulcimer jam tonight, but my schedule got rear-ended, now the next one isn't until December 6th. Guess that gives me some more time to brush up my hammer-on's.

I've been talking with Kerry over at Gila Mountain Dulcimers about a custom southwestern-style model and we're going over specs for the instrument (the most notable spec - "how much is it gonna cost me?") And it's looking like I'll be taking a part time job at the mall or something. As a packing/gift-wrapping elf.

I leave you with these vital words,
which I've plucked from the vault;
if we don't learn that fire burns,
it's not the fire's fault!
- 12-21-03 12:57

© 2003 - 2005 J.O.B. Entertainment Inc.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Playing, Writing, Planning

Been working in D-D-a-d tuning, which is different.

A snippet of song lyric from the 29th:

Well, I'm heading out west
just a little depressed
have some things I want to get off my chest
gonna do it on the road

I need to clear my senses
and take a little ride
let the beauty of America
cleanse the pain I feel

well the mountains were tall and the ocean was wide
but the Santa Ana winds left me cold
when it came time to move along
a voice offered these words of gold

if you can't find what you're looking for here
then you probably don't know what you're looking for

© 2005 J.O.B. Entertainment Inc.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Me and Joline

Originally uploaded by dreadmon.
We sat around for a while today and explored some different textures. In the Dulcimer 2000 book that Ken laid on me, the first tune is in D-A-A#-D - a very minor and discordant tuning that's better suited for fingerpicking than open-strumming. Still, the darkness of the notes and a set up that allowed me to lock in bright major thirds on the bass and treble strings made for a fair ramble through emotional territory.

Then, I tuned her down to D-A-A and went off. Jigs, shanties, classical, the rhythmic chordal stuff that I really love getting into because it's like melodic percussion. You're hitting rhythms and you're hitting this minimalist series of notes, like The Edge of U2.

It was a good day for caressing Joline - she's got a bad bracing inside somewhere, knocked loose on one of those "oops, didn't see ya there" kind of falls, now she buzzes at certain frequencies, but that's just a little something in her personality that I've learned to live with.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Song idea - recorded Friday night. No words yet - but they'll come soon.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Show Cancelled

Our Miami shows are cancelled - thanks to Wilma. Thanks for nothing! But in the local area here you can still catch Mohave on Brighthouse Channel 98 at 11 pm on Friday, October 21st. The Livewire episode will debut just after midnight tonight at 3 am.

To everyone staring down the barrel of yet another hurricane, we pray that she slows down and chills out - please be safe out there!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Here We Go Again....

We are the rainmakers, bringers of rain. Cripes. From the looks of things, our two Miami shows this weekend are being threatened by Hurricane Wilma (I don't care how big a wind it's packing, there's just something so very un-scary about a hurricane named Wilma) and we're set to make a call on whether we're going or not by tomorrow night.

I'm really glad that I decided to cancel our trip to Key West, because we would've had to start traveling down that way right about the time that Wilma is knocking on all the doors down there. Again, I pray that everybody will be okay - we sure know the drill here in Florida by now - and all I can say is BRING ON THE END OF HURRICANE SEASON FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

More news to come...

Monday, October 17, 2005

A rockin' day and night

And we were up late watching video from last night's show at Hard Rock - then slept in a bit today in preparation for the trip out to Flagler Beach for tonight's show. (well, officially last night's show, since it's morning time now. Oy.)

It was a quick trip, 90 minutes or so. Did the radio interview with Uncle Mike from WHOG 95.7 FM in Daytona, which went smoothly over the cel phone, though I wish the whole band had been there. We were supposed to do the interview yesterday, and right about the time we would have received the phone call, all of us would've been present. Sa la vie, I squeezed as much into the bit as I could - and from what I can gather via those who heard it, it came out great - we'll have some tidbits up on the website and blogs once we encode the copy. Uncle Mike was very cool and said he'd be down at Finnegan's Beachside for the show.

We had a nice dinner at the Flagler Beach pier, in a cool restaurant with windows overlooking the pounding surf - then made our way back over to the club to set up. Fred, the sound guy, showed up about fifteen minutes before our start time and we had done a little microphone placement and sound checking before then. The vibe from the club was telling us "rock it out" and being that WHOG is a classic rock station, it was sort of a no-brainer to cut up the edge a bit. Fred said not to mic my amp cabinet, which is the first time I've ever done that - so I had to cut way up on volume to fill the room - but we were going for "rock out" - so everything about the set was pretty aggro - we opened with "Flip Side" and ended with the Ryan and Stacia trilogy, where I got out and danced with a lady during the break in "Caught."

The band was phenomenal - everyone adapted once again to our environment and the crowd was really very encouraging. Sold a couple of CDs afterwards, and Crystal, one of the managers on-duty definitely wanted us to come back and play again on the upstairs stage, which was a sweet thing to hear. We also met another guy named Caesar who wants to book us in Daytona and St. Augustine - and Pete and Lynn, who we gave a CD to, because they requested something that they could play for all the bars that they know. Pete is a bass player and a sound/light engineer - so given that the band has allocated a number of CDs for that kind of promotion, it was a no-brainer again to give them one. Jannette drove from Orlando to see the band, proving beyond all shadow of a doubt that she's one of the band's truly devoted extended tribe members. How can I explain just how dear it is to us that someone would drive 90 minutes to come to a show? That's incredible - and we're glad to have spent time with her last night at Hard Rock Live and tonight (last night, there's that looking at the clock goin' "ohhhh's early") in Flagler. Many props to you Jannette!

And now, at 2:42 a.m. - I'm going to get a head-start on my Monday work, because nothing would please me more than getting caught up on business so that I could record a new demo tune this week. That's the goal. Much love and thanks to everyone who came out to Hard Rock and to Finnegan's Beachside - huge thanks to Uncle Mike and WHOG - it was nice meeting him after the interview - special props to Dan and his band Stemm Cell - also the Flying Popes that went on last - the bar was wonderful, the people incredible - we're just super-blessed to have these kinds of gigs - and I can't wait until next week when we hit Miami for the weekend. Six hours of music-playing stretched out over two days. Sweet! These little 45 minute sets are just a tease compared to being able to stretch your legs out over a three hour block of time. That's when we really get to have some serious fun.

Peace and unity, y'all - be thinking about November 11th - reserve that time, drink tickets are ready, we're going to pick them up tomorrow. We'll send them to you! It'll still be five dollars to get in, but with these tickets, you'll get a free drink when you get inside - which means that they're basically free tickets! (Given the price of drinks these days.)

But for now - g'night and God bless!

Sunday, October 16, 2005


If you get the reference in the title line, then you know what's to follow. Sort of.

Just got back from the Hard Rock Live show and I've got to say that we had a blast. As a band. This was a step-above from the last HRL show, and I wish Vision TV had taped this show and not the last show, but that's what we tend to do - we get better, and don't really go backwards. It was a comfortable night, comfortable on that stage with our material, and everyone felt it. Yesterday, Bunky called me with a provocative question: "what are you wearing?" Actually she wanted to know what the band was wearing, but she played it like Bunky does - fresh as a morning muffin. Anyway, I thought of the angels wings that she had sewn and rigged for our now-cancelled Key West Trip, so I thought that wearing the wings at Hard Rock, during Halloween Horror Nights at Universal out there would be a sort of pre-Halloween bit of fun. We had discovered at last week's Deland festival that wearing a solid unified color really worked well for our stage show. So that, plus wings would definitely set a surreal tone.

We're the band that makes you think "what the hell?" We're comfortable with that.

I tugged my rig down to the dressing rooms after we loaded in, wanting to dial in my tone for the night and not try to do it on the fly after the first band was done. The wings were a subject of brief discussion, from trying to figure out how they would work without getting in our way in technical fashion - to comments about how they would stylistically either be cool or dorky (I'm cool with dorky - and it covers all the bases.) In the end, we all ended up wearing them, though Randy couldn't get his set to agree with the outfit he was wearing (logistically, pinching, chafing and otherwise crowding of digits and limbs would be a no-no for a costume.)

It all worked out to great effect, having just watched the video. It was a brilliant addition to the show, thanks Bunky!

The set went great - I tried to find the balance between leaping-about for show, and applying restraint and technique to the deliverance of music - a happy balance. Everyone delivered magnificently - John adds so much in his delivery, answer-backs and leads that identify our tunes - as I said during the show, Randy is M.V.P., providing more than he seems to be - Bunky is a dynamo, J.D. deserves his new title and laid out incredible rhythms. I escaped unscatched - I'm happy with the progress I've made vocally, and also presentation-wise. Goddamn being a late-bloomer, but it's interesting to see how I'm trying to catch up.

The vocals on "Positive Vibes" were insanely good - we moved at a good pace - and it's always great hanging with the HRL crew, especially my old friend Bob and Megaphone guitarist Paul Smith. It's a small circle, Orlando - but full of interesting and talented people. Tomorrow, we head out to Flagler Beach for a show - and WHOG will be interviewing us for the 8pm show. I don't have particulars here - I'm still coming down from the dang show, and can't find *&@%#%$^! So, more tomorrow - until then, peace, love and beautiful energy to everyone who came out, bought a CD and hung out with us for the set. We missed those who weren't there, and hope to see you at the November 11th powwow at AKA Lounge. We're already providing rides to people who don't have cars to get there. Let us know if you need a way there! It'll be a great event for everyone, and we hope that connections will be made between many different tribes that night.

And on that note - to the pillow, Marcus! Talk to y'all soon!



Sunday, October 09, 2005

A Sweet Day

We knew it was going to be a long and exciting day, we just didn't know how long and how exciting. Our first set at the Deland Original Music Festival was scheduled for 2 pm, but got pushed back a bit due to a late start. No worries - we're always flexible when it comes to festival shows - and we knocked out four songs before our set was cut short, due to either weather (it was starting to rain) or a desire to catch up the schedule. We knew we had another slot later in the evening to lay out some of our material - so we packed up our gear and hung about until the awards ceremony at 7 pm.

snackdaddy took the first award for "Best Video", which stoked me - since I directed it! The guys like to give me a lot of credit for the video, but without them, there would've been no music, no inspiration, no palette to work with. They were the divine guidance and I'm terribly happy for them!

Not long after the announcement, stage power went out, then after a short while, it returned and the award for "Drummer of the Year" went to our very own J.D. Fosse! He was very stoked, pumping his arms in the air and giving Erica a kiss before heading off to collect the award, a very slick black music note on a wooden base. I believe he totally deserved the award - he energized Mohave upon joining in October of last year, so he's certainly made a difference in this band. It was a nice anniversary gift, I think. (His first show with us last year was the Deland Original Music Festival.)

We were finalists in ten categories, and they whipped by us one by one, so I began to think that maybe one award for the Mohave crew would be the end sum - and I was fine with that. Regardless of whatever notices we might have gotten, ultimately the proof is in the music that we take on the road with us.

And then we were announced as recipients of the "2005 Band Of The Year" award and my mouth dropped open. Given that it's a people's choice award, the effect was very humbling, yet mixed among the "oh my God's" and "unbelievable's" was a fair amount of celebration as the band walked up to the stage as a unit and paused for the cameras.

Our second set was longer and slightly more satisfying, rounding out to about 45 minutes and ending the evening for some of us, while others (well, Jae and I) continued to trek around the festival. We ended up at the Artisan Inn, hanging with funkUs as they brought the party on, and I joined them on-stage a couple of times to sing some blues along with June Watts, the widow of Noble "Thin Man" Watts.

A couple of folks I met through the day had commented that they saw me playing dulcimer and wanted to get back into the instrument, which warms my heart more than getting any kind of award. The mountain dulcimer is such a great instrument, I think everyone should have one. So when people get inspired to follow-through, I feel like my work's properly been done.

It was a beautiful day and evening - always a little like a high school reunion, seeing old friends from old and current circles - partying on and hearing great music. We sold some CDs and passed out tickets for next week's show at Hard Rock Live. By the time we got home, it was something like 4 pm, lord have mercy!

But well worth every minute.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Back From Seattle

Jae and I are back from the Pacific Northwest where we've been on working vacation since last Saturday. It was a beautiful time and the city was lovely, all sunshine and blue skies, nothing like the weather that you're always hearing about. I took my walnut dulcimer Angelique with me and walked from one end of Seattle to the other, playing on the steps of the courthouse across from our hotel and taking her into Kells Irish Pub, where I did a little impromptu jig-playing display for Hamish, the bartender, one of the owners and a couple of servers. (I was encouraged to come back and perform with one of the regular acts, but we had a full plate of activity that evening.)

Upon returning home last night, we hit the ground running and have stirred up quite a bit of new activity for the band, while more than likely cancelling our appearance at the Fantasy Fest parade in Key West. We've just picked up two shows in Miami, October 21st and 22nd at Tobacco Road and Titanic Brewery respectively. This double-shot of shows begins on the same night that Brighthouse Channel 98 debuts the Livewire program at 11pm that features Mohave at Hard Rock Live, with a repeat four hours later at 3 am. By then, we should have our DVD of the performance in hand, so it's not a terrible bummer that we'll be hours away in another city, unable to view it.

There are some other developments coming down the pike, which I'll confirm as we know more. Right now, the band is set to gather tomorrow for a rehearsal and a photo shoot, also a chance to distribute goodies that we brought back for everybody. It's good to be back!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

CDs are HERE!

The title says it all!

Excitement is mounting....

As of 8:47 a.m., clear blue trickling had been scanned and loaded onto a UPS truck destined for my doorstep. I'm trying not to be anxious, but every deep roar or rumble sends me scrambling to the window, peeking through the blinds in search of that familiar chocolate-brown truck. It took a little longer than we expected to get here, but the wait is pretty much over. Starting with our next show in Deland on October 8th, Mohave will have its first new album in four years available to the general public. Not a special "advance" copy - but the real deal.

And then, things are going to pick up, pace-wise. We send some of those CDs to CD Baby, where they will be made available through the store and also through an extensive Digital Distribution channel which will have the album in Apple iTunes, Napster, MSN and other places where a song can be bought ala carte. Review copies are being sent out to the local media, finally, and Jae and I are taking some to Seattle with us this weekend. A few more local stores will also have them in stock, so we're stoked!

The band will also be excited tonight when I show up with an armful of jewel cases. The requests have been staggering - seems like everyone wants a piece of this one!

Tuesday night's rehearsal was a great turning point: I told everyone that since J.D. came on board, we've been working to build our potential set list back up. We now know enough tunes to play well over three hours, pushing towards four. With that benchmark behind us, the next plan is to fine tune the songs we've got, even as we push forward with new material. So Tuesday found us working on "Breaking News", the theme song for a movie of the same name that begins shooting soon here in Orlando. We also worked on "Monsters At The Garden Wall", a song inspired by the July 7th attacks on London, demoed earlier here and already requested by some of our extended tribe! Both songs sound killer - I can't wait to debut them for an audience! We also worked on "The Miner and His Music" and "The Irish In Me", detailing harmonies and arrangements. This is where the work gets gritty, as we deconstruct the music and tighten up the loose bits. I told the band that I was pushing myself, demanding better of my performances, and I expected the same from everyone. By seeking improvements, I said, I was by no means criticizing anyone for what they were doing, in fact, every person in the band has risen to the occasion in co-arranging the songs. But, like an athlete in training for the Olympics, what you did yesterday is probably just a small step towards the shape you hope to be in. And it was generally agreed that we're in training for the big leagues right now. Time to "get game."

Planning for the CD Release Powwow is speeding along as I'm beginning to hear from some of the artists who will be providing thematic paintings to coincide with our event. On board so far are Diana Ferguson, Barbee Cain, Kelly Muniz, Liz Watkins and possibly Carl Knickerbocker! The art exhibit, which will convey images of the southwest along with spiritual and tribal essences, will run from November 4th through the 18th with a meet-and-greet with some of the artists on the night of the event, November 11th.

And planning for our participation in the Captain Morgan Fantasy Fest Parade continues as well. Once again, if you have any ideas for our float, themed "Angels and Devils", please send them to us! If your idea is used, you'll win two V.I.P. passes to the pre-Powwow media gathering!

That's all for now - we'll have some more exciting news shortly - thanks for coming back to read this blog - remember, there are four other blogs from the band members, links are located in the column to the right!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Speedbumps On The Interstate

Can we add four hours to the day? Don't make me manage this. I'm ADHD and I just stopped taking the medication in an attempt to engage the issue holistically. Making it to the end of a sentence is a chore, but the rewards are far greater at this point than the piles of flaming mental dog poo that I step in from time to time. Hey, if I can't learn to function without those pills, then what happens when the pill population dries up? You've gotta depend on what you got.

The band had a nice, busy weekend that was hurricane-free. Ophelia backed away from the coast, leaving the Daytona Beachside Live festival mostly indoors on a beautiful day, but still a fun time. I love all the people that showed up, stayed, left, came back and brought friends. One person even pitched us through their LiveJournal. It was a really good show for us, the second since getting back from summer break. Since there was a gap after us, we were encouraged by the crowd to go thirty minutes past the end of the set, which was awfully sweet of them. I put new strings on Halycon Friday then stored her mostly in air-conditioning because we'd be playing inside. If we're playing outside, I try to keep her at the same temperature so that there's no expanding and contracting of strings, which causes chaos if you don't have a spare handy.

Problem was, I guess, that I was playing next to a big bank of lights, which heated things up a bit, meaning I spent the bulk of the night asking the band to cover for me while I played the tuning game (thankfully not audible). Other than that, I think the show went great. Everyone was truly masterful and dynamic - it was one of the best sets we've ever played!

Leu Gardens was likewise, beautiful, with just a wee bit of tuning issues. Lisa Firestone was wonderful, it was good to see old friends again and some of our extended tribe. The set went off terrifically, J.D. knows how to work it quiet as much as he can rock it - we played with joy, restraint and artfulness. During "Nine One One" though, I must've channeled more emotion than I was prepared for and I lost it to the point where I knew I couldn't hit the note, had to wait until I had forced composure again. I kept my eyes closed, I don't know what people were doing, but it was a sudden, glaring emotional note in the middle of a pretty risk-free set. Bunky said she sort of lost it too, and then I asked her to solo. This brought a giggle - I wouldn't have tossed her a solo if she was all choked up too - that's just wrong.

We're being played on Celtic Music News Podcast #35 this week, that's pretty cool - I wonder how they heard about us?

Nominations for the 2005 SSA Awards have been announced and voting is now open!

Mohave received nominations in 22 categories including Song of the Year, Band of the Year, Most Unique Style of the Year (after taking home the trophy last year in this category) and Recording Artist of the Year! To everyone who nominated us, Y'ALL RAWK! The awards presentation will be held on October 8th at the Deland Original Music Festival.

We're still waiting on the CDs to return from duplication; I know. We're sucking our teeth and getting a little agitated too. Called down to Total Tape Services today and spoke with the head of the company - who said that they should be shipping today, so keep your fingers crossed that they'll be here. Before the next show.

J.D. alluded to some drama in his recent blog post and there has been some friction of late; no doubt in part generated by my newly discovered drugless state. But our circle of love is strong when we're playing the music and all always seems and feels and is well when we're there.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

No Time To Type!

Well, there's been time to type, but it's been mainly PROMOTION and other forms of crazy-work. A lot's taken place since the last post, a lot of various permutations, some drama, new material, some gigs on the horizon, and we've got rehearsal tonight. I've spent quite a lot of time working on the mix from our Hard Rock Live show and marrying that to the video we've got from one front-of-house camera. When the other photog who was present can get us his footage, we'll have a nice two-camera shoot that'll work nice in our DVD reel until Vision TV hands us their own broadcast version.

In the meantime, if you're a member of the Tribe and haven't joined up with yet - click the little blue and white button on the right side there and come on along! As J.D. has pointed out, we have over 500 friends and lots of neat comments from folks who have been enjoying the music. Hopefully I'll soon have the "Down To Earth" video from Hard Rock up for viewing - it's taking every ounce of ingenuity to crunch it down into a size that's palatable for watching. Currently, 84 mb is just not palatable!

The band's been working on a couple of very surprising covers which I will not divulge at this time and another cover's been added to the list. We don't do them that often, but when we do, we like to make it count (and twist things around a little.)

Hope everyone's doing great out there and recovering from the weather - my thoughts and prayers are with the folks suffering from Hurricane Katrina - this weather situation is starting to make me wonder even more about global warming. There must be something we can do!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

What a blast!

Last night's show at Hard Rock Live was just fantastic! The crowds rolled in slowly and we ended up going on later than we expected, having to cut two songs out of the set, but we still had a blast. Vision TV was out in full force, and I mean FULL force. With big t.v. production trucks backed up to the dock and three cameras on stage with another stationary one somewhere, they weren't hurting for coverage, that's for sure. It was quite a sight to see: the normally huge Hard Rock Live stage looking crowded with each band sharing space with six camera crew guys (two for each camera) zipping around. During our set, we had an additional two people on stage, photographer Laurel Edwards and videographer John Fernandes. With Matt Agnesi also recording sound off to the side of the stage, we were totally covered in the media department!

All the bands were excellent - The S.E.A.D. put on a rousing opening, laying down some crazy grooves and warming the crowd up (although some reports put them at ten minutes over their alloted time.) The Goldminers were great, as usual, and snackdaddy brought some spectacle with them as they all dressed up in jammies and had a model on-stage in a theatrical tableau. What was really mind-blowing was the band had asked us to be out in front by the fourth song of their set. Having no idea what to expect, lead singer Ed Altom prefaced the tune by explaining why some bands played covers. Then they began jamming out a song that was vaguely familiar and then suddenly became hugely familiar as he began to sing "I am a black indian..."

What a cool, freakin' trip! It was as high a compliment that Mohave's ever been paid, to have a band actually learn one of your songs and then rock it out. Of course, we love snackdaddy anyway - and they continue to grow and expand and plus their material, but it was just incredibly killer to see and hear their take on "Black Indian", because they didn't merely cover it - they re-invented it. I had the biggest smile on my face - I totally love these guys!

After finding out that we had to cut our set short, I was prepared to axe "Black Indian" because snackdaddy had done such a masterful job with it, but J.D. said, "nah - we gotta play that, besides, I want to play my fifteen minute drum solo", so we cut "Ring-A-Ding" and "Georgia Peach" (and still managed to play a 44-minute set). It felt really good, we opened with "He's Gonna Blow", and by this time, the crowd had begun to thin out, it had gotten pretty late. But a core group of our friends and fans hung out, along with some folks who I don't think had ever seen us before - they were dancing and swaying and made a whole lotta noise, which just made the whole set sparkle. The guys from Vision TV were highly complimentary as was Christian, the owner of Dreamscape Records, who came out with some people to see the show. They'd like us to work with them - which is something we'll all discuss this week.

Particularly satisfying to me was meeting up with some folks from the Everything Dulcimer site - John and Yoko, Ken (KWL) and his co-worker Mike all came out - John and Yoko had seen us before, and I've known Ken from the board, he actually pointed me towards a case for Halcyon when I first got her in April. I had wanted to jam a little with him, as he was down here on business, but got too busy during the week. So, during a break between bands, I brought out two dulcimers and we went looking for a quiet place to play. Yeah RIGHT - at the Hard Rock? Well, we did find a place, in a broom closet near the offices, but we were sort of in the way of employees trying to get in there and do stuff. Finally, one of the managers poked his head in and said, "what are you guys doing?" I explained that we were just looking for a quiet place to play some music since I couldn't take them backstage. He returned shortly with backstage wristbands for the whole group, which was just simply the NICEST thing ever (they didn't have to do that.) So, after the Goldminers' set, I took them all downstairs to the Mohave dressing room - tuned up Angelique for Ken to play, and he blessed us all with some beautiful tunes from memory. After giving them a little tour down there, we went back up to stage level where we watched snackdaddy from the wings for a little bit, and then I had to start getting ready for our set. But it was nice to have some time to share with them, I don't get to hang out with dulcimerists every often! John also bought me a beer and Ken gave me a super-cool Mel-Bay dulcimer book of solos - so it was just all about the love! The group really seemed to enjoy themselves and hopefully we can do it again sometime soon.

All in all - just an incredible evening, and it makes me happy when others are happy. There was a whole lot of happiness in stock last night and it seemed that no-one went home empty-handed. For our first show back from summer break, this was most definitely a success!

Thursday, August 11, 2005


I just wanted to take a moment to thank our extended tribe (which is how I like to refer to our fans - "fans" seems too far removed...) for their love and support - we mailed out quite a few tickets to folks who wanted to come out tomorrow night and that's just the coolest thing ever! It will never cease to amaze me that people enjoy the music and want to keep coming back, so we do our best to keep it interesting!

Speaking of interesting - Tuesday night's rehearsal was a good one, we missed Bunky (she's been working hard and out of state, much like Jae has) but got in a good solid punch-up of tunes old and new. I revised the setlist for tomorrow night because it was too long for one, and something in my gut said that it needed to be a little different. As a result, we're opening with a song tomorrow that we've NEVER opened with before - and it should be a real humdinger!

Later in the evening, Natalie Wright stopped in, she's the violinist that laid down tracks on "Cuckoo Tom", which will be on the next album. We worked on a couple of songs, "Floatin' Wally" and "Down To Earth." Now admittedly, she says she's not much of a fiddler, so the country feel of "Wally" sort of eluded her, though she had some great textures to add. "Down To Earth", she said, was more her style, and she added a screamingly good solo section in the hardcore breakdown that was chillingly appropriate - and I can't wait for us to break that out live. She won't be performing with us this Friday, I think we need to rehearse a couple more times, and she's down with that. But we're looking forward to working her in as another utility player, not only on violin, but also on keyboards and vocals!

In other news - Bareft Podcast played "Ring-A-Ding" on their most recent show and Audio On Demand played "Down to Earth" this week as well. Thanks to the podcasters who are helping get the word out about clear blue trickling!

We've got rehearsal tonight (with Bunky) and in a little while here, I'll be talking with the graphic designer at Total Tape Services to resolve a color-matching issue (whoa! The phone just rang and it was him - how WEIRD is that? Happens a lot around here...) and the color-matching issue isn't an issue - so the album is now officially in PRODUCTION! Which means in about fifteen days, the official version of clear blue trickling will be ready for shipping! Remember, you can order online now in the General Store on the Mohave website (now equipped with Pay-Pal for easy, secure online ordering!)

Lunchtime - gonna fry up some tilapia and wait for a phone call to pick Jae up from the airport. I've got a video project to finish today - so I'll sign off for now. Hope to see everyone out at the show tomorrow!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Rippin' and Roarin'

I haven't checked in because life has been tres' busy - had a few video projects to get finished, was on the road this weekend stirring up new business, but last Thursday's rehearsal was fantastic - we got a lot accomplished, including working through the set list for this Friday's show at Hard Rock. Talked through our upcoming shows and discussed ideas for the CD Release Powwow, which will happen in probably October or November.

"clear blue trickling" was sent off to Total Tape Services this morning - so it's all over but the waiting! I did some very last-minute adjustments to the CD insert, deciding not to repeat the outer tray card design on the inside, so I removed all of the lettering and added the picture we've been using of the "next gas 58 miles" sign. I haven't been able to check lately to see who's been playing us, but after I get this article written today, I will check around for new leads. Things are definitely on the move!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

An Orgasmic Rush

Okay, maybe not total climax, but that's only because the "awkward sex" had to do with an little blonde girl who somehow got invited to our rehearsal tonight and proceeded to chatter, play songs on the piano, improvise Alanis Morrissete songs, dance madly about and proclaim that she was there to audition. We were all very polite, at first, and then became more firm as she basically annoyed the crap out of everyone in the room. Who was she? We still don't know. But we got through our first rehearsal back from break despite her distractions. Bunky wasn't there, but that was because of a miscommunication - we missed her, but worked through our proposed set of songs for the upcoming Hard Rock Live show. For not having played for about a month, everything sounded killer! Well, except for lack of Bunky, y'know. We're just not completely orgasmic without her. (Did I just write that?)

A cool sidenote to the upcoming show - Vision TV has asked if they could have clearance to tape our performance for their program on local television. Jae and have watched the show and were wondering how to get on there. Well, cease the wondering, eh?

A new podcast called Alt.Cast has included us in their newest show. Thanks to Chris Choi for picking us up from the Podsafe Music Network - a cool little network (okay, a cool BIG network) of podcasters and artists, seeking each other. It's so five minutes from now, like, perpetually. Why am I talking like the weird girl from rehearsal? It's catching, whatever it is.

Thanks to my dear friend Tina DeMasi for working the podcast circuit, contacting folks about playing Mohave, the results are coming in!

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Chosen One

Nah, it's nothing like you're thinking! Actually, after much shopping around and bargain-hunting, it looks like we've settled on Total Tape Services in Clearwater, Florida. This is the company that sent "70mm" through in 1994 - they still had my information on record from back then (tho' most of it was horribly outdated.)

We got a great deal (not gonna tell ya...) and after the paperwork is filled out, we basically ship clear blue trickling off to be duplicated on Wednesday morning. Due to the fact that we're all peanut-butter and cracker-eatin' PO', I had to make some compromises on the insert design - so we're going with just a basic four-page book, with acknowledgements and a vista of Nowhere, Nevada with the El Rey Drive-In Theater sign and a picture of the band melded with the summer sky.

J.D.'s been picking up some cool links that I'm going to send some material off to today. We're hungry, baby, hungry!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Back In Action

I got a call from Randy this morning, he and Ann are back from their wedding journey to Bali and he's eager to get rip-roarin' after the break. Funnily enough, Jae got a call from Les Kippel as she was about to board a plane in Baltimore, inviting Mohave to be on the Jambando line-up for August 12th at Hard Rock Live. Also on the bill would be The SEAD, The Goldminers and our dear friends in snackdaddy. We know all the bands and have jammed with them on bills before, so it should be a right friendly evening of music!

Speaking of Hard Rock Live - I'll be there tonight shooting video for Cadillac Recipe. I've been getting a lot of band shoots of late, which is fantastic, because I enjoy it much more than I enjoy making promotional commercials for themed attractions (not that it ain't fun, but my heart's more in the music, obviously.)

I demo'd a tune today called "You Can't Make Me Love You", written in 2001, I think - very jazzy, though a friend said it bordered on being like, Monkees-Jazz, which is pretty damn cool to ponder. These days, I'm writing songs simply to write songs, and where ever they may be used is where they'll go!

I recorded all of the music using the Roland Fantom, adjusted the levels and then exported it into Apple Garageband. The vocals were recorded directly into Garageband with a little bit of reverb splashed on. Let me know what you think! I'm just a songwriting fool these days. : ) But I'm looking forward to jamming again - you don't have to push any buttons to get all the right combinations and special guest stars figure into the mix.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Singing of new tunings

I added a link to Mountain Dulcimer 1-3-5, which extolls the virtues of a relatively new tuning to the instrument that allows for use of all 12 tones in the western musical scale. It doesn't allow for droning, but then, I chord mostly, so this will be interesting, open up a few more musical doors in terms of mood and whatnot.

Mailed off a couple more packages this week - feeling sort of "meh" today.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Girl From Israel and more...

I think I'm going to write a song about this girl from Israel that I was talking with today on ICQ. Her view of the United States was a fearful one, but I asked her if she was afraid of Palestinians and she said "yes", but still had a feeling that something horrible was taking place with America. She's on my contact list, perhaps we'll have a chance to talk again (and I say "perhaps" because, as Amy Steinberg said in one of her songs, "tomorrow is an assumption" - was that "Run, Don't Walk"?).

Our page on MySpace has been getting hit bunches lately. This is a cool place, it's sort of like crack for some folks.

Mohave music is also now available to podcasts via Podshow, which is a pretty nifty site that's in beta testing right now, check it out!

Jae is back from her rockstar tour of the country for the weekend - we're going to watch "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" on DVD and maybe go see the new one tomorrow. Maybe. You know, the whole "tomorrow" thing. London. Egypt. Orlando? You just. Never. Know.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Our first official review!

Big thanks to Ben Gardener over at for placing us in the listings over there as well as giving us our first official review!

When an album can take you on a journey, and make you feel like you've experienced more than you've felt, you have something worthwhile and remarkable. This is precisely what Mohave has accomplished with their newest album "Clear Blue Trickling".

How cool is that? Read more by clicking the link above.

In distantly related news, The All Florida Indies podcast was mentioned over at Insomnia Radio today and urged to join up with the Association of Music Podcasting. Thanks Jason!

It's been quite a day, I've been busier than a team mascot at a playoff game. With Randy and Ann still out of town, the rest of the band has been able to go full steam ahead with other areas of life, the real job, the house, perhaps a smidge of social life here and there. But we're all anxious to get back into the swing of things. Except, perhaps, Randy and Ann, who are kicking back on a beach somewhere in Bali!

Monday, July 18, 2005


It's been non-stop here at Dark Studios, so much to do! clear blue trickling will be available through CD Baby, which in turn will make the record available to an amazing list of digital distribution centers including Apple iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, MSN Music, MP3tunes, AOL's MusicNet, Yahoo MusicMatch and more! We've signed up and are shipping the first CDs out to their warehouse, branded with our very own UPC bar code. Woot!

Jae set up a database for the album so we can keep track of the webzines, print magazines, podcasts, internet radio stations and newspapers that we've sent it out to. Every day, I submit a few more MP3s and get a few more addresses and package a few more press kits to go into the mail. With the final mastered copy in hand (yay!), we're set to go into the duplication phase here; we're still pricing companies and packages, making adjustments to the album artwork and so-forth.

In the meantime - wait a second, there is no meantime, it's ALL THE TIME!

More news to follow.....

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Set-up for a column

I see a column forming in this circumstance!

I noticed that J.D. had commented in his blog about Saturday night, and I posted a comment over there - but in short, without creating too much drama, I'm not terribly concerned with what people think of my performance of the song (which is why the demo sounds the way it does, I've changed much of it since then, added chorale harmonies and re-tracked the vocals) - the vibe I was getting had more to do with the fact that I had put it together without the band. It's the same kind of vibe I got when I demo'd "Sanctuary". Sort of a "well, you're a one-man band, what do you need us for?" kind of vibe (that was actually spoken in jest by our old drummer.) It's obvious to me that the band sounds a hell of a lot better than anything that I demo, for the record. Since I'm not performing with Mohave for the money (even though it's great money and getting better all the time, thanks to Jae's hard work and our show, which continues to develop and improve), I know that most of my earnings will come from work that I do for other people, video, songs, jingles, sound design, whatever. This summer I plan on putting myself through "Songwriting Boot Camp", with hopes to churn out a song a week. I'll then post the songs on and see the responses that I get. Since I've forsaken listening to most music for the past ten years, I'm getting a re-education on production techniques and what kinds of things people like.

So what was missing, more than anything on Saturday, was any feedback. I'm looking to sell "Monsters" - I'm thinking commercial, but infusing it with the sound I've been working to develop since 1984. If I had my way, Mohave would always be around making music, with our current line-up and not some studio session players. But of course, that's up to everyone else. I'll not be the one to call it quits on Mohave - but I will be continuing to write songs with intentions to sell them to other artists. Obviously, that kind of methodology doesn't fit with Mohave's spiritually upbeat and laid-back groove and maybe that's what I was sensing. In any case - if it was a big enough deal, I'd make it so. But like I said, I think there are other circumstances that should be addressed at some point.

Now, off to the post office to ship eight more press kits! To Pennsylvania, the Netherlands, Sweden, Canada and Spain!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

On Rehearsal The Other Night

I spent a good portion of yesterday working on finishing the "Monsters" demo which I had brought to our get-together on Saturday. To me, it was just another of the demos that I regularly churn out so that the band can get an idea of what I'm going for with a particular song.

When I played it though, the reaction was, to say the least, odd. On some counts anyway - but as a whole, it seemed a bit polarizing. I'm puzzled, but not too highly concerned. As I've learned with this music, you just can't make everyone happy, so focus on the ones that accept what you do!

I won't go into details, but it was a good night overall, some great jams and wonderful food, good company (some friends came over to share in the munchies and music) - the kind of days and nights that we live for. It just ended sort of abruptly and awkward after I played the demo. I suppose I'm wondering "why?"

Monday, July 11, 2005

Birth Of A Song

This time around it was more like God threw me a football. Easy pass. "Go Long." 'Twas the day after 7/7 (just another in a parade of numbers - some countries lose track of the dates, but somewhere, somebody's keeping a list) and had been promising to sit down and do some intense songwriting during the band break. Intense not only because I was going to really sit down and do it with much determination, but because there were some really intense subjects to explore this year, and though I like singing happy-tree music, I keep a balance by writing whacked-out stuff like "Monsters At The Garden Wall."

Being mindful of the self-imposed challenge of writing tunes under five minutes in length, I hearkened back to the days of slave chants when the workers would sing as they did what slaves do. Massa always thought they was just singin', workin' folk, but the slaves were actually singing in code, making plans for their escape and expressing well-disguised contempt for their white slaveowners. Many years later, as that music developed into the blues, the code-speak would continue in an era that saw prohibition, the rise in popularity of marijuana and more songs of dissatisfaction towards authority and The Man.

"Monsters" is filled with code, and as it came gushing out in colorful spurts, you have to think of someone riding one of those big-ass brahma bulls with the huge horns and the big neck flap flying back and forth, crazy eyes, crazy maux-faux on the back, and when a song idea comes swooping in from wha-fu, you have to hop on its back and ride it, or it gets away from you. That's why so many musicians go running and scrambling over themselves (and you, if you're laying in bed next to one) to jot down bits of music, hum into tape recorders, sing into their cel phones, etc. Keith Richards reportedly got the lick for "Satisfaction" in his sleep. Woke up and grabbed a guitar to lock it down for all eternity. We should all be so receptive.

So anyway - it works on a lot of different levels, and I was careful to allow that vagueness so that you paint your own picture. I guess it's rock, or it could be pop, I dunno, I'm open to suggestions, so I made a demo.

I'm a Mac user (we rock!) and there's a program called Garageband (not to be confused with that's a sound application where you can combine instrument loops with your own recorded sounds and MIDI input to create songs. Easy-to-use, comes with a lot of neat built-in effects, some of which sound even better than what I'm playing through on-stage (a Line 6 Spyder - for anyone who cares. It's a piece. Never again.)

To set a groove, I took a drum pattern and pasted it repeatedly into the timeline and then worked out the dulcimer part, found a really nice and crunchy sound. Tracked separate tracks for left and right dulcimers with a track of lead dulcimer. Put in and layered some different drum patterns to change things up a bit. I love working with loops - I don't spend a lot of time trying to program patterns (on the other hand, about a million other people have used those drums. I dunno. They sound cool. Laid in some keyboard bass and about fourteen tracks of voices, cymbals and other assorted production muckery and came up with this.

Bing Futch - Demo DuJour - 01 - Monsters At The Garden Wall (Remix).mp3 (3.5MB 3:53)

I did everything pretty much first take - the vocals were a pain in the ass, but I'm not shying away from that challenge either. But I am looking for input on the song itself, the lyrics, the melody, the mood, the hook, that sort of thing. Just c-n-s, let me know what you think.

I'm at a point where I've basically accepted the fact that not everyone's gonna like this stuff, so I should just focus on a groove and stay there. And that's what I'm doin', especially on my summer vacation, which I guess is a lot more like "workation."

Saturday, July 09, 2005


Monsters At The Garden Wall

I watch a falling star
land right where you are
at your feet

you say it's getting late
there are monsters at the
garden wall
so far to fall

you don't scare me
I'm not amused
you must surely have me confused
with someone else
someone who could be you

there's nothing in my heart
that won't survive the war
of words and colors flown
of broken records, skulls and bones

to kill me you must kill my soul
to frighten, you must have control
control is sugar in your hands
falls from the fist, falls to the ants

you don't scare me
I'm not amused
you must surely have me confused
with someone else
someone who could be you


wouldn't you tell me if you had another life?
wouldn't you kill me if I had another life?
wouldn't it thrill me then just to be alive?

music - july 8
words - july 9
copyright © 2005 J.O.B. Entertainment Inc. - All Rights Reserved.

We're officially on "summer break". As Randy and Ann ramp up to their nuptials in Bali, daily details have gotten crazier for them as they get closer to flyin' on the big bird. For that reason, we haven't rehearsed since the Fourth Of July gig, and performances count because you're always rehearsing anyway. But tonight, we're getting together to hang out, play music, record, have a little nosh, play some more. Wish each other well and give lots of great big hugs while partying like trained professionals, can you tell it's summer?

I'll post a demo of this tune soon; it's "different."

This song is dedicated to the victims of the London Bombings. May God watch over you and your families.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Recollections and News

Hoo-wah, what a busy weekend, not to mention hot. I actually think I lost about five pounds over the three days alone!

Reflecting back on our three gigs, I first think about what an amazing job Jae's done in booking these shows. (And I get to go home with her, too!) Friday's show in Eustis was an absolute delight and the highlight of the weekend for me, personally. We've performed there before, on a very cold night in February, but it was the anti-cold that day! Set up on the big stage at the end of the street, it was beautiful to walk around prior to our first set, standing on the lakeside pier, having a little coffee, watching the merchants set up their tents and fire up their grills. At one point during our first block of music, I asked the crowd to turn around and look down the street at the smoke billowing from the police department barbecues, the sunlight sparkling off the surface of the lake down a small town street filled with people, balloons, happiness - and the crowd slowly began to applaud. "We're blessed, we're blessed to have this moment," I said. We played three long sets and the final set was when the fireworks went off and I don't think I've ever had the pleasure of making music while the skies filled with such shiny brilliance. As people headed for their cars afterwards, they gathered around the stage in clusters and I played "The Star-Spangled Banner" with Randy and J.D. accompanying. If you were there, you remember - it was a beautiful moment to see all of these people, standing together in unity, raising a cheer and a shout, in celebration of freedom.

The next evening, we set up at 903 Cityside at Lake Eola, and though it didn't seem that the owners had done much in the way of promotion, the band, set up under a white canopy, still pulled in passersby, encouraging them to sit a spell under the trees. The food, which was complimentary, was excellent - especially the vegetarian falafel! It was also an honor to be playing outside in Lake Eola, which is Orlando's beautiful park center and also the site of the show we'd be playing on.......

July 4th. 95 Degrees. The madness was just beginning to bubble as we carted our gear (thankfully NOT having to bring a P.A. with us) down to the bandshell. People everywhere attempted to stay out of the direct sunlight, which was going to be no easy task for us, as the sun was dipping lower to peek right into the mouth of the bandshell. Jae and I walked around to find some grub, admiring all of the beautiful faces and energies that were collecting around the lake. Cox Communications, running the event, had all their radio stations out in the park broadcasting live; a charming hodgepodge of tastes and styles reflecting the folks who took up spots near their favorites. Frisbies flew, Tai-Bo dancers roundhoused, beer flowed, laughter rose into the air, the smells of food mingled with the scents of water, soil and the big cigar that I chomped on as we strolled. Hundreds more bodies arrived by the minute until the edges of the lake swelled with brightly colored swatches of fabric. The first band went on at 4pm, they were called The Day Band. As they wrapped up, the band pre-staged our equipment and prepared to endure the blazing direct heat. All in all - the sound was rather muffled on-stage, making it difficult to hear, so we did what we always do - we lunged into it with teeth, no matter. By the end of "Ring-A-Ding", we were already dripping with sweat. The unrelenting sun cooked one of my strings right out of tune, and I asked the band to groove a little as I retuned for "Black Indian", which led right into "The Star-Spangled Banner". Granted, the response to the latter wasn't as huge as it was in Eustis, but a lot of that had to do with the oppressive heat (people were only sitting where there was shade, frantically fanning themselves with cardboard props handed out by the Orlando Utilities Commission) and probably with a greater dose of jingoistic cynicism than could be found in the small-town American reality of Eustis. As Jae and I watched the fireworks later in the evening, it was a perfect end to a perfect weekend and we rushed home to beat traffic out of the area, flipped on the t.v. and saw Mohave pop up on Channel 6. A nice closing touch. All told, some 100,000 people were there for the festivities - and we were proud to have been a part of it.

We sold 14 CD's over the course of the weekend, and played for literally thousands of people. Through it all - this band worked damn hard, everyone toting gear, playing their hearts out, providing warmth, humor and inspiration. I always love introducing the members of the band because I want the audience to know Bunky, John, Randy and J.D. like I know them - wonderfully talented people with big hearts and eyes that can see far past the horizons of today into the dawns of tomorrow. This weekend featured our last public performances for awhile as Randy and Ann go to Bali to get married; meanwhile, the promotional push continues for "clear blue trickling". "Ring-A-Ding" is currently featured on Insomnia Radio podcast #33 and the band received a nice little write-up at (scroll down the page some):

What an interesting group of musicians. I had to include that little blurb from their MySpace site because they describe it better than I ever could.

Not normally my cup of tea, I can’t help smiling while Mohave plays on the media player. It is fitting that this Orlando band played their first show at Downtown Disney because this music is all about fairs and cotton candy and dancing.

On their MySpace site the song that grabs me is “The Miner, His Music.” Singer Bunky is so playfull, her delivery hits the ear in just the right way.

Thanks for all of the great vibes, from everyone! From those who came out to see us, to those who stayed to listen, from those who bought CDs to those who wore the beads that we tossed into the crowd, from those who have heard the music and have let us know how you feel to those who are sharing those feelings with others - THANK YOU! This is the reason that we make the music - it's a reward unto itself, and we're most happy when the audience is happy!

We're working on getting those pictures up from the weekend - have a great week and stay cool!