Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Coming Out Of My Hole

But for just a moment; the hole is nice.

I've been crazy-busy, which is a good thing, because it translates into "cash flow." Had a couple of video projects come up, went and did the shooting, am now in the editing phase. Also, I've been preparing for the trip up north to Ohio for Jerry Rockwell's 5th Annual Southeast Ohio Dulcimer Festival, where I'll be teaching workshops and performing on November 10th and 11th. I'll actually drive up there on the 9th, to get some quality time in with Jerry, whom I've never met, but have e-mailed and spoken on the phone with - I'm really excited to soak in his vibes, he's done so much for the dulcimer and really lives on the leading edge of progressing the instrument into the next dimension. This festival is a pure example of that - the workshops are very much cutting edge and I'd say the content seems to be of a very spiritual, primal nature. I love the tradition and history of the instrument, but I also love getting off of the same old paths and making the sojourn into the dirt roads of possibility. It promises to be a wild and fruitful weekend. Then to cap it off, I'll be staying with my dear friends Denny and Rose not far from the festival site. They come down to Florida often with their son Blake, who is a real joy, and it's been awhile since I've seen them on their home turf - so I'm making a week out of it.

But, before then - there's the Deland Original Music Festival on November 4th, and though I was originally scheduled to play a set at 10 pm on the Indiana Ave. stage (number 5), this week I picked up another set, albeit shorter, on the acoustic mainstage (1a) at 8 pm, right after the SSA Awards Presentation - which means there will be a nice crowd there, hanging out (at least until I chase them away, right?) Though it was sweet to get nominated in 8 categories - that in itself is reward alone. Personally, I used my votes to stuff the ballot box of Dan Walters, who is a phenomenal performer and songwriter - I don't care to win anything, but I do hope to sell a few CDs.

I also hope to put on one of the best solo shows I've ever done, because I've been doing some work behind-the-scenes. I've been seeing a vocal coach to help me correct some of the bad habits I've developed as a self-taught vocalist, and already, the results are very pronounced and I'm quite stoked about it. Also, I went today and picked up a Buzz-Off hum eliminator for my gear. Since I've been playing more solo shows, I've reverted to using my transducer pickup on the acoustic dulcimers and sending that signal through the amp, which brings a nasty 60-cycle hum along with it. So, a little investment and all of a sudden, that hum is history! I was picking up the same hum using the shallowbody electric as well - so hopefully this will mean better days for recording too. Don't know if I've mentioned it here or not - but I've got a Firebox on layaway - so that I can warm up the audio signals that I record into the Mac (meaning vocals, guitar and any other "real" audio.) This is quite a nice step forward, so perhaps by Christmas - the recording set-up will be truly ready to knock out some fun stuff. Of course, there's this little matter of needing a processor upgrade for the G4. Oof. It does NOT stop.

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