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!