Yes… just when you thought old Rip Van Winkle…

would never wake up and return to the land of Blog,  he does. A very sincere greeting to all who read this new post. After almost exactly a year of absence from this blogging stuff, I’m back with news of some of what’s been going on in my musical neck of the woods and some other stuff to boot. Picking up the story last fall…

I began jamming with a local bass/stick player by the name of Mihaell Baev,  a very talented and creative guy who I ran into at the local community college and accosted because he had a King Crimson t-shirt on. We played pretty regular for a few months and started working with another guy named Justin Fulford a 7 string guitarist who’s a friend of mine, and a drummer named Mike who was an old friend of Mihaell’s.

Anyway the holidays put the brake on time for such activities and the new year began with the news that my father had experienced a severe heart attack and was very near death. I returned to Ohio to see him in the hospital,  he rebounded somewhat over the next several months, but never recovered due to the severity of his condition.

When I returned home in January, the next day I started back to college for the first time in 35 years and found myself  in a very different mindset about what I wanted to accomplish musically in my life, due to some new perspectives. I took an introductory guitar course from an excellent player and instructor by the name of Matt Dorris, who was very tolerant of all my ingrained bad playing habits and archaic musical references. Matt is the only person other than Robert Fripp that I’ve ever sought guitar instruction from (so far this lifetime), they should both get a medal.

At the same time as this I was still rethinking the dynamic of playing music. I played a 3 hour live gig with my friend Chris Filbin on bass for an art gallery opening in February that was well received.  We call ourselves “No Evil” a kind of ambient/ space/jazz thing …if you will.  Chris is a very sympathetic and inventive player and a wonderful guy who you might recall added some great bass tracks to some lapsteel work of mine a couple years back. Chris has some health issues, which makes me all the more grateful when he chooses to spend some of his time and energy playing music with me.  Unfortunately for Mihaell he was also was not feeling as well as he might and the resultant lull in jamming  produced the seed that became… Industrial Hemp.

IH consists of myself on 6 string guitar/loops/effects , Justin Fulford on 7 string guitar/effects and his brother William Fulford on laptop/beats/samples. So far it’s a trip-hop adventure with a metal bouquet and experimental undertones that has no real boundaries…just fine by me.  We’re working on our first set  (about an hour and a half clicks so far)and hoping to record a CD of the best of that material in the fall.

At the same time as this is happening my old musical partner Dave Stafford has finished adding his tracks to what will be Scorched by the Sun’s debut effort “Dreamtime” a wonderfully dark ambient work from both of us, that he’s now currently mixing down at his home in Scotland (I’ll let you know when it’s available). So the year marched on with school and much music happening until May when the semester was over. At the end of the month I got word that my father’s condition had taken a turn for the worse and that a visit was in order now, rather than later. I drove back with my wife and our youngest son, visited many times with my parents and saw friends that I hadn’t seen in over 25 years. We had a family get together on Father’s Day and returned to Colorado. My father passed away five days later on the 22nd of June, at home with my Mom in attendance. He had felt so miserable over the last 6 months that he was glad to go, and for his sake I was happy to see him stop suffering.  I ventured back in July for a celebration of my father’s life that drew about a hundred friends and relatives and stayed a couple of days with my Mom, looking through objects and photos, crying and talking about many things. Before I left for that though I had surgery to repair a hernia, which went very well and I now feel better than I have in years.

So as you can tell perhaps it’s been a busy year so far and…school starts on Monday, so it seemed a good time to return to the blog and let you all know what had been going on. On that note I will dedicate myself to regular communications online to keep you up to date on whats going on. For some free tunes and info check out   www.industrial-hemp.com   we’ll be updating stuff there soon. I hope this summer has been kind to you, if not… I do understand. Thanks for reading and listening,  please have fun and be careful and I’ll check back in with you soon.  Photo of me by Sarajane taken at her Mom’s place in the Ohio countryside circa June 2012.

 

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