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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:

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

Best wishes for a happy new year…

from green and pleasant (if slightly chilly) England. The engagement on New Years Eve went very well and now we’re preparing to head back home to complete this world “tour” and catch up on real life. My thanks to all those who have been following our travels and special thanks to those who made it to the shows. Hank and Harold are looking forward to a break, as is Mr. Ersatz so the timing is right. Before we’re done here though, there is another recommended listening for you folks.  Today’s pick is “Briefly Shaking” by Anja Garbarek released in 2005 on EMI in Norway. This disc is a wonderful collection of songs with a techno blend of great sonic textures to match. My favorite track is #5 titled “Shock Activities” a real catchy number for sure but many of these are just that. Check it out I think you’ll enjoy it. Speaking of enjoyment I think the Headstock brothers and I will go check out the New Forest National Park before we leave here on Wednesday.  A hike in the woods would do us good and who knows when we’ll be back this way again. I’ll post you folks when I get back home, meanwhile take care and my thanks to all you for reading and listening along the way.Image courtesy of twistedpapers.com

Warmest Holiday Greetings……

from beautiful Santa Catarina, Brazil !!!  What a beautiful place to find oneself on Christmas Eve.  It’s supposed to be in the low 90’s here today, quite the difference from the expected high of 20 back home in Colorado.  We’re due to leave here by Tuesday next week to make the big New Years Eve gig on Thursday, but I’m in no hurry and neither is Hank or Harold.  Speaking of back home-the elf in charge of my website (spelled Sarajane)  informs me that all the pages have been revamped to load faster and the mosaics page has new photos also, so please do check it out and let me know how it’s working, many thanks to her for all her hard work on this and many other matters in the past year. Mr. Ersatz has requested that the recording of note this week be “A Testimonial Dinner”  The Songs of XTC by various artists released in 1995 on Thirsty Ear Recordings. This is a great collection of tunes performed by 11 different artists/bands in a variety of styles with due respect to the original versions accorded. Eddie and I agree though that the version of “Dear God” here by Sarah McLachlan is worth the price of admission alone, a stunning cover by any measure you choose.  Again my thanks to the folks at twistedpapers.com for the travel images featured on this tour, please check out their site for more fun stuff.  Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season to all my friends and family wherever you might be and thanks to all of you who have stopped by to read and listen…more soon.

These are charming and confortable accomodations..

within a stately building dating to the 1850’s. There are no dining facilities in the hotel but there’s a place that serves great tapas on the way to the club we’re playing at that works just fine. Paraguay is warm and wet so far, and very green.  I hope to visit the botanic gardens nearby to see even more plants of the region. Eddie says the next gig in Brazil has added an extra night to the contract which makes his day. He also said this week’s recording of note is “The Dreaming” by Kate Bush released in 1982 on EMI in America. This collection of tunes is an amazing showcase of vocal prowess amidst lyric and musical power and grace. There is a clarity and “punch” to this album that he believes excels above any of her other recorded works to date, not to slight any of them but this is a true gem. Eddie’s right,every track on this disc is a winner, give it a listen I think you’ll like what you hear.  There’s no show this evening so I think I’ll see if Hank and Harold are up to doing  dinner before I get on with doing my laundry…ahhh show biz!  Seasons Greetings to all of you back home and loyal reader/listeners everywhere. More soon…meanwhile thanks again to twistedpapers.com for the scenic travel images used for this “tour”.