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His Master’s Voice…….

victrola1 came from inside a device like this: a 1910 Victor Talking Machine with Morning Glory Horn. This particular machine is from the collection featured in the Dougherty Museum located 1 mile south of Longmont Colorado on State Route 287. I’ve been meaning to visit this museum for almost 16 years and finally got it together to do so recently They are open from 11 AM to 5PM- Friday,Saturday and Sunday-June, July and August. Admission is 5$ (sign the guest book and get back in free all summer) . They showcase antique cars, farm equipment,pianos, organs, music boxes, phonographs, and guns. There’s something for everybody. The volunteer staff on site will inform and accompany you as much or as little as you choose on your visit,  I found them to be charming and helpful folks. Probably not for small children but ten and up should find it a special glimpse into some real history. Speaking of history it seems like it’s been quite a while since I’ve updated you on my musical doings. Currently working on remixing some earlier tracks to manipulate them further with the help of my friend Chris on bass. Looking to perhaps find some new musical landscapes with him on this project.  Continuing to practice my mandolin in hopes of getting better at playing it. Still knocking around on sound and music files for the film “Omegastop”.  I’ve also decided to release the tracks I’ve been putting together for Episode #35 as individual pieces rather than a collection and include them as a weekly treat with this blog, starting today with the selection “One Man Funeral”.  It’s an all solo effort from yours truly featuring looped mandolin and accordion reeds with electric guitar counterpoint as it were.  We’ll get to even more tunes in the weeks ahead and some more photos also,all of which I hope you’ll enjoy. Meanwhile my thanks again for reading and listening, please take care and have good day.

Belated but sincere good wishes

for a Happy New Year to all you fine folks out there. The last few months have been very busy here at home and some of the activity was of a musical nature. What that means is that Show # 35 in the podcast series is almost completed and ready to make available after a few last minute touches. Also in the works is a consolidation of my online info which will place all blog and podcast material on one site for easy access for you and lower cost for me. All that coming fairly soon, but in the meantime I dug up a short acoustic guitar piece from a few years back that I’m calling “Rust Away”, that may or may not make the final cut for show#35, but you can hear it now if you like.

My thanks again to all of you who have been listening to the podcast series and following my blog. I hope to be working with some old and new musical friends in the months to come and I’ll keep you posted on any developments of interest from those projects. Again best wishes to all of you, please take care and enjoy. Photo of rust from the antique farm implement show a few years back.

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Getting closer to my home…

but still in San Francisco for the moment. Tomorrow is the last scheduled date for this tour and I’m looking forward to heading back to Colorado after that is over.  I’ve been looking over statistics for the podcast series for the last year and folks have downloaded episodes a total of over 29,000 times. I noticed while fussing  about that episode #13 in the series was not working so I fixed that and you can now hear that show in case you missed it prior to this.  I greatly appreciate all the interest people have shown in my music and this blog.  I’ve started putting together tracks for a new episode that will feature stuff I’ve been working on since I assembled the larger retrospective of my work in shows 1-34.   Thanks again to the guys at  http://www.twistedpapers.com/  for the wonderful graphic images used in the touring portion of this blog.  Best wishes to all of you, more soon after I get home.

Just when you thought I was lost…

I turn up in Canada, actually beautiful Banff to be exact. After a couple of bookings we had did not work out as expected, we finished up the Euro- leg of the tour and headed west. We’re here for about a week and then off to the California to wind things up. I’m hoping when I get home to finish putting together a new podcast show of  musical projects I’ve been working on during the last year or so. Thanks again to everyone who’s been listening to the My Life in Sound podcast series, I hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard.  Also thanks to the gents at Twisted Papers for the wonderful travel graphics featured in this blog. For further information please visit  At The Helm.   More coming soon, have a good day wherever you are.

Still hangin around old London town..

but due to ship out tomorrow. The recording sessions went well and we picked up a gig last weekend at the Bulls Head Pub where I saw Barbara Thompson and her band back in the summer of 1978. It’s still a really small place.  Both Hank and Harold have been working on some new tunes that we sandwiched in at the gig and they went over well. The audiences so far this tour have been just wonderful and I can’t say enough about everyone’s hospitality. I would like to say a word about the recent work my musical buddy Dave Stafford has been doing to bring the website at www.pureambient.com to a new level of excellence. Please go visit there and check out the evolving world of music, images and words that he’s assembled and while you’re there grab a free download of musical samplings from the label. I hope to get up to see Dave in Scotland next time I’m this way, but meanwhile my hats off to him and Ken Mistove for all their hard work. I’ll post you folks when we get to the next destination on this musical adventure, thanks again for checking in and listening to the At-The-Helm podcast series. I’m hoping to gather together enough material soon to put a new show up,  I’ll keep you posted. Thanks again to the Twisted Papers boys for the great travel images used in this “tour” blog.  Have a good day.

Back in London again…

after a month offline due to a broken laptop and then no internet access. After the jazz festival in Antibes we cruised thru Monte Carlo then back to Paris for some dates that went pretty well.  Hank and Harold have done some new arrangements for this tour that are really hot and the crowd reaction to those and the new singer has been great. Eddie says we may try to book some studio time while we’re here to get a few tunes down while they’re fresh. I don’t know what else is coming up but I’m sure Mr. Ersatz will let us know soon.  Meanwhile I’ve been thinking of the past a bit and have to mention that 30 years ago today I was outside Toronto Canada for the Heatwave Festival with about a 100,00 other folks enjoying 12 hours of the music of the day. It was a great show. you can find all the details online if you like.  Thanks to Curt, Donna, and Steve for the company on that musical adventure then and thanks to all you for joining me here for my journey’s now. Have a good day, more soon. Thanks again to the Twisted Papers folks for the vintage travel materials featured in this blog.

What a beautiful place Antibes is….

this time of year. We were in Nice last year (which is not far away) but I like it here even more. This is the 50th anniversary of the Festival De Jazz A Juan this year and the list of artists is amazing. We’re not headlining any shows but I’m just grateful to be on the bill.  I don’t know where we go next but it’ll be hard to top the folks here. I just finished reading a book I enjoyed very much that I’d like to recommend for some summer reading. It’s titled “On Some Faraway Beach- The Life and Times of  Brian Eno”  by David Sheppard published in 2008 by Chicago Review Press. It’s a well written and informative portrait of one of the most creative sound artists of the last 40 years. I think anyone with an interest in ambient or modern pop music will find this book to be a good read,  I certainly did. Well I should get going , many thanks for stopping by the blog. Thanks also to those folks who have been listening to the My Life In Sound podcast series , they’re free and worth every penny you know!  Take care, stay cool, more soon.

Special thanks to the great guys at Twisted Papers for the imagery!

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After a long but still pretend voyage….

and days of commotion,we’re almost done here in Amsterdam.  Eddie is eager to finish this date and move on to the south of France for a big jazz festival we’re booked to play next week. The new singer he’s found (Annette) is warming up to the band and actually she’s much better than his last “discovery” whose name the Headstock brothers and I both seem to have blocked out of our minds (not a  bad place to frequent, as it were). So both Hank and Harold are back along with the regulars and a new sax player who goes by “Rico”. I’m getting a feeling a lot of the dates coming up are not set in stone, but Eddie always manages to do the deal even if it’s in the eleventh hour.  My wife tells me it’s between hot and too hot back home so I’m happy with the weather here,  hope it’s not too unpleasant in your neck of the woods.  Not much else to tell at the moment here. I’ll post when we get to the next location with internet, hopefully in a few days. Meanwhile thanks for stopping by and for listening to the podcast series. For those of you who might want to try a little sonic fun with your computer here’s a link to visit and check out:

http://web.mit.edu/~eric_r/Public/mmmtsss/

Have a good day, more soon, take care.

Greetings on this first day of Summer!

That 1 Guy posterMy apologies for being off the radar for so long. the last few months have been busy but not very musical. Many thanks to all the new folks who have come to read this blog and enjoy the podcast series. I see from statistics that a lot more folks have been listening to the at-the-helm series lately and I hope it’s been enjoyable for them. A couple of musical things have been going on. I’ve started work on the music for “Omegastop” the next film from Ian Helm, but the going is slow so far.  Some  followers of  this series will remember other pieces written for possible use in this film featured as parts of Episodes 32 & 33 . I’ve been practicing my mandolin and hope to include it in the soundtrack work also. Speaking of practice , I spoke with Eddie on the phone yesterday and he confirmed that the orchestra is set to sail July 1st  for a 12 week tour and he’s found a new female singer that he’s crazy about. Should be fun, I’m starting to pack, I’ll be blogging from the road again.

So what’s up with the picture above?  Well it’s just a little memento  from a great show I went to on May 22 of this year down in Denver CO which featured (as you can see)  That 1 Guy and the Magic Pipe.  I had seen him in November of last year at a different venue and was floored by his entire show. It was nice to bring other friends along to share this unique and entertaining artist’s work. I met him briefly before the show and shared my enthusiasm for his current recording which is called “Packs A Wallop!” A very aptly titled collection from a great musician and genuinely nice guy, don’t miss this artist when he comes to your town.  My son Ian has put together a little video piece for one of the tracks from the new CD and it’s featured on the official website. You can also see it here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqLIXWRKfLU]

So that’s it for now, more coming soon. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day.

"There's no place like home"….

as the little girl in the ruby slippers once said.  I’ve been back about a week and a half  and am getting caught up on most fronts. The hike in the English woods with Hank and Harold was accomplished before the snow really set in there. Those folks are not used to the kind of cold they got recently and getting a flight out was more problematic than I expected but was managed finally. Overall it was a good tour, though I’ll have to wait till Eddie does the complete accounting to see just how good. He’s gone to his winter place in Key West to rest up and plan the next outing for the orchestra. I don’t expect to hear from him for a few weeks at best, so as a result there’s no recommended listening for this post. However I would like to again suggest that if you have not yet done so, please do visit my revamped website. In particular the mosaics page has new photos of some of my work that I think you might enjoy. The wagon featured above (The Flower Power Flyer) is just one of the things you’ll see there. My thanks again to everyone who’s been following my exploits and a promise that there will be new music to hear soon on my site so please do stay tuned, and take care. Photo by Bob Grieser