May 21, 2017
Here comes warm weather and with it new music seems to blossom.
March 20, 2015
Spring is really here, starting today. Getting a jump on Spring Fever by finishing up some new tunes.
September 20, 2014
She really is a very nice, very competant doctor.
May 18, 2012
P.S. Hey, I've been on a bit of a health kick, and it's working. You'll see. Big X.
July 19, 2010
Summer's here and the time is right.... Just gearing up to make
some new music. Been writing a lot and the time has come to schedule Fall
recording sessions. No details on when it's a new CD; it's just way too early to
think about that. Just happy to have new music to rehearse.
February 2, 2010
Whatever it takes, whatever the party calls for - George Clinton
Well, happy new year, eh? The task at hand? To plan a busy
summer. Right now we've had some great CD release nights in New York and
Massachusetts; and now is when the summer gets planned. Present day life is full
of press kits, looking at pictures (of yourself, weird), uploading videos to
Youtube and spending lots of time on the phone and at the post office.
As George Clinton would say:
July 20, 2009
"Another one leaves the nest, eh?"
The new CD is up, walking and talking. "Sky
it Shall Be" will have a slow rolling release in fact. There are
some CD release "party" evenings planned for late Summer. In September
in Massachusetts, a bit later for New York. In the next few weeks it'll become
available on Best Buy and iTunes as digital downloads. CD baby dot com will have
the digital download as well as the actual CD for sale.
I do love this album, lots of great players, the songs are strong; and we had fun making it. Pulling my hair out in the wee hours comes with the territory but, suffice to say the album stands on its own.
"Sky it Shall Be" really is acoustic: From a full band complete with B3 (Hammond organ); to stripped all the way down to vocals and a couple of guitars. It does have a roots feel to it.
"Yeah, but who's roots, man? Who's roots?"
I'd be interested in feedback from anyone listening to the CD now that it's out there but, of course I do have an opinion.
Roots.... Remember when record stores had a "Rock and Folk" section? (Remember record stores?) So, the Rock and Folk section was when they'd put Black and White artists together in the same bin. Nobody freaked out if Marvin Gaye and Al Green were next to Richie Havens and Jimi Hendrix.
Roots.... That's C.S.N. & Y. / Leon Russell / Hendrix / Taj Mahal / Bonnie Raitt / The Band / Sly and the Family Stone (stop me anytime-but the list is long) Everybody plays, everybody wins.
The album has a lot of different colors as well. I'm guessing
you'll have to go through all 11 songs to figure it out. Go ahead and try one on
for size! Bet you'll like it too.
June 1, 2009
The Kerrville Folk Festival is now for me a fond memory, I had such a great time. It's official: I am a finalist as opposed to a winner. Congratulations to all of the winners. It's quite an honor to be selected and to have won. Oh, and Texas is a trip, let me tell you...
Kerrville Folk Festival is a special animal. Their greeting
phrase is "Welcome Home"; and after the initial surprise and skepticism
upon hearing lots of different folks say it to you: (I do wonder how Richard
Pryor or George Carlin might react to this scene) these folks are for
real: smart, sincere, and realistic all at the same time. No small feat in my
book. Oh yeah, lunacy abounds too, after all - this is an 18 day folk
festival set in a remote area. It feels safe, that's the good news.
I met lots of good new folks, reconnected with old friends and
got some new places to play. That'll do pig, that'll do. . .
February 15, 2009
Martin Sexton. What can you say about him as an artist? None better, a man who knows his instrument (voice), is a real player, and loves his work. Saw him at Town Hall last night in NYC. He still manages to touch his well known material with so much new energy in their arrangement that he still amazes with his well established hits. What's more he channels covers into his set and into specific songs with such respect and ease. Oh yeah and Martin continues to work in his World Peace vision in a way that makes people think that world peace is actually a workable solution. Wow. He is an inspiration.
Get this: he did not play two of his biggest hits (or is it simply two of my favorites?) "Black Sheep" and "Cherie" and still put in an amazingly satisfying set. Always good to see someone who makes you want to be a better player. Thanks for that.
Keep the faith,
I had emergency surgery three weeks back: Obstructed bowel & abdominal repair. I'm still here; fueled by great friends and Percocet. In fact I believe the doctor put my abdominals back together better than they have been for many years. I'll need rest, but I can still play.
I've had to drop out of three early '09 projects that I was
really looking forward to doing.
It is difficult to see how you're progressing from this angle. Two days after surgery I was telling the director that I could do the play from a wheelchair.
"I can modify the character"
Everybody else knew it wasn't gonna happen except me. I couldn't
see it, it felt like I was fine one minute - then the meds wear off and I'd
become an invalid again. I now have the healing schedule in my head, and I'll
stick to it. I see the progress and it's even funny sometimes. So don't fret,
I'll be better than ever, just you wait.
December 14, 2008
Well, the album needs the mix and master genie to do it's stuff. Final recording is taking place; I almost said "final recording is finished" but, at this point I realise the process could go on and on forever. It won't, I'll pull the plug in about a week. Next, I'll buff and shine it up (mastering euphemism) and get the artwork set.
New release date: Valentine's Day.... It should be mass produced and everything by then so no need to fret. The final song lineup is fixed too, but I'm gonna keep it under my hat right now.
I wish when there was no news to report that I was sitting on a beach somewhere watching the clouds roll by. The fact is that some aspect of the recording process is nearly always taking place. I used to wonder about what seemed like a huge chunk of inactivity you observe from some artists. Now, deep into my third album - I get it. It takes time, that's all there is to it. Hope you can hang, it'll be worth it.
November 29, 2008
I love a mystery, how 'bout you? How will the country save itself now that we have a champion with a brain? Can we still consume like Americans and survive our own appetites? Will Greg's new CD be done by the end of the year?
They're all still mysteries to me. The CD is nearly finished, some book keeping is due, that's my way of saying mixing and mastering and the odd bit of magic here and there. I am truly shooting for a finish by years end; here it is Thanksgiving and there's still more to do. I think it gets tricky when you're close to the goal. Fair enough . . .
I am thankful though - on we go. Keep writing y'all.
October 2, 2008
Hi. Is it fall yet? I feel so lucky to be up in New England for the turning of the leaves this year. I've got a few more days and then it's back to the road.
Meanwhile lots of work happening on the new CD . . . yep, so far
so good. Recently I had sessions at Avocet Studios in Shelburne, MA.
Rock the Boat
Principle recording is finished. Like to be mixed and mastered by Thanksgiving, maybe have this wrapped up for the holidays. No dates yet on a CD release party. I'll keep you posted.
Peace - keep each other warm,
P.S. - I distrust the US House and Senate like a cursed disease that will not die. Trust 'em? I don't even know 'em. I could go on and on and on; alas I am not an economist. If you can recommend a good book, drop me a note. I'm reading the Nation these days and am shopping for more in depth writing (listening to Democracy Now of course).
Suffice to say that the new $700 billion bill to help the
economy will have over $100 billion dollars worth of bribes to individual states
to appease certain folks who didn't vote for the bill the first time. No relief
for homeowners or the little guy. It's still "trickle-down economics"
and it ain't raining, know what I mean?
July 29, 2008
Falcon Ridge? Yeah, Still drying out after the storm.
Cancelled acts include:
Gandalf Murphy & the Slambovian Circus of Dreams
There's someone else but my mind is still soggy.
Wicked weather, never had it quite like that before. With all the debris flying around it was a smart move to get away from the main stage. But no place was safe. Anything that wasn't nailed down went flying. Some things that were nailed down went flying. No cell service and the Mass Turnpike was nuts; it seemed we were following the storm.
The Turnpike had no power at the rest stops, so they were all
closed-including the bathrooms. Just think about that a moment. All those
folks leaving the festival, plus all the regular Sunday afternoon traffic
running from a storm and looking for a bathroom........Lots of unspeakable acts
taking place in the rest stop parking lots.
July 27, 2008
February 20, 2008
Well, things are coming together. Arrangements have been made to go back into the studio and put some finishing nails into the coffin of the new album. Don't let that picture up above fool you-I'm really excited about it. Shoveling takes it out of me.
The album will be acoustic but loud. Also there is clearly more than an albums worth of material available, which is a good thing - that way I can pick and choose. I'd rather have this record present a strong 50 minute collection than an uneven 75 minutes. This isn't really a concept album, but there will be a common thread. The trick is to pick the strongest songs that'll contribute to the thread. There's a joke in here about buying a puppy, but I'll let it go.
I'll go back into the studio in late April, yep. Why am so I excited?
Because I'm going to get to work with the usual suspects - Guy Divito and Mitch
Chakour. Very, very talented folks. There are more details to follow but the dates are firm. Constant
is flux, so I'm working on planning ahead to get this done with as few snafus
I'm shuttling regularly between the land of ice and snow (New
England) and the Frozen Apple these days. Hoping to sit in on Pan
Morigan's concert this weekend, it's not firm but that I'll make it. None
the less it'll be a great show, so if you're around Northampton on Saturday
night it'll be a good show I'm certain. Pan is actually in NYC rehearsing
the players for Saturday. Saturday Feb. 23rd, 8:00 P.M. at
Helen Hills Chapel on Rt. 9 at Smith Campus.
And when the hell am I playing out, eh? No gigs since new years eve, am I a hermit now? Nope, I'll be up in New Hampshire at Franklin Pierce University on March 10th. After that it will get busier in New York, stay tuned.
If you can
January 28, 2008
I just finished working on a project that could expand. "John and Paul" is the working title of an original musical about the life of Lennon and McCartney. Danny Eaton and Mitch Chakour were heading this project which was written by Danny Schecter. I was asked to sing a few of the songs in this nearly rock opera. I say that because there was no character dialogue per se. I and three other singers played multiple characters.
I was not John or Paul, by the way. When Danny called me I
figured I'd be Billy Preston. Just my luck he's included in the show. Then
again neither are George or Ringo.
We had two performances of the material (running about 90 minutes) for backers and some arts folk. The producers were looking for input on the show and capital, of course.
Skeptical? You bet, after working on it for a week, the show seems very feasible. I hope it gets the legs to live again. It may come up on the Majestic Theater schedule in the summer of this year.
September 11, 2007
Still feel like writing on this day. Anyone on the east coast of the US has feelings about this, as do others I'm sure. But being close to ground zero (still) means there is still an ongoing impact. An event like this does not go away; we simply behave as if it does.
What a waste. The whole thing. The attack, a brutal action to perpetrate against an unknown (although clearly targeted) enemy. And the response, an equally vicious long ranging campaign designed to devastate two countries and at the same line the pockets of large corporations.
Remember the book and film "Catch 22" ? War is a perfect time for the rich to get richer. All at the expense of the common people of Iraq, the United States and countless others.
What the hell is wrong with us? With the American people? This war goes on and on, and in the US we protest, but it's wan - not enough to rectify the situation. And we send our own people off to do something we know is wrong - deep down, we know. Some protest that it's for our own good, for the good of the world. But, deep down I think we all know that this is wrong and lots of us simply can't admit it.
Where is our outrage, our revolution?
This is a rant............time to write.
July 31, 2007
Still recovering from Falcon Ridge. What a well rounded festival this year. I made new friends, players and others ( how nice for me !) and the new site is starting to get comfortable. Although being up on the hill is beautiful-it still feels dangerous because of it's pitch. RVs need to shy away from up there. Everyone gets nervous just watching them think about negotiating the terrain. They all think better of it and go to more lever pastures.
The musical stand outs this year? Marshall Crenshaw was great, who knew? This was the year of heavy weather, but if you stuck it out you got a real treat at the end of the night with this guy. He's not a typical FRFF performer, electric pop. But boy, did he deliver.
Sunday. Great day, Gandalf Murphy made us all think we were hippies for awhile, they are the best at what they do and Falcon Ridge is coming around to falling in love them. Arlo Guthrie was fantastic on Sunday afternoon. Played solo with only his son on keys for support. The guy just puts magic into the air by simply being his own self effacing self, know what I mean? Mary Gauthier went on before him. She played solo, and that's just when she shines the best. She can string together songs with the most meaningful, simply patter. Her set was unaffected, and breathtaking.
There's more of course, there's always more when it comes to Falcon Ridge. But, I need more sleep and to check my mini discs before I go any further.
As for roaming the grounds I did find a few new players, and never did find the PACE bunch, maybe I'm still looking.....
I'll talk more when I wake up.
May 7, 2007
Pub (on Broadway – near N train)
October 20, 2006
September 14, 2006
I'm off to Florida next week to work on a project called "From Page
to Stage". This is a 50 minute show that celebrates American
literature from the viewpoint of the outsider. The show is put together by
the Enchanted Circle Theater, an educational theater based in Holyoke
P.S. Doing some recording next month with Mitch Chakour and Kevin Pare. How cool can cool be, eh? I'll tell you later.....
July 31, 2006
The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival went off at the new location this past week. It takes me about a week to get used to being indoors after Falcon Ridge. All that exposure, listening to and playing music outdoors in all kinds of weather for five days takes a toll.
It was in a new location, just a few miles from where the old
festival had been held for many years. There were a few hitches here and there,
where to get water, more than a little trouble getting around on the roads after
the rain, and a vehicle fire on Saturday night (final determination was an
electrical problem with the car). Overall, I'd say they have an interesting new
venue to grow into.
"We had some things that needed preparation, and we'll get
even more done."
July 3, 2006
Happy summer. Hope you're well. I'm just getting over my post
show depression from closing Miss Saigon at the Majestic Theater. It was a
stretch, and that's in a good way. I now have a little more musical
theater in my brain.
It was rough on my voice, I got sick in week 6 of the run and really had to protect what was left of my voice. That was a real trip, I never worked hurt before. Chinese medicine, Mitch and Pan got me through. Mitch gave me techniques and Pan turned me on to the medicine.
This run was long, from 1st rehearsal to last show was just over
12 weeks. The beauty of that is during the run the show comes first. . . you
eat, sleep and stay healthy for the show. Now that it's over I have to write
checks for the bills I didn't pay, get back to scheduling 2007, oh yeah- make a
February 15, 2006
February 3, 2006
If you had looked extreme house right, then up and up and up you may
have seen my seat, front row balcony A 64. They call it the Balcony,
it's really the 4th balcony.
From up there, you could check the stage layout and equipment; Laurie
Anderson's station with her toys was quite obvious, pedal board and
Michelle N'Degeocello turning her back to the house is a case in point.
She's a pro, I'm guessing she turned away so the audience would not distract her
from her bass playing; but she is so interesting to watch (from above we could
see her play) from the sound check on the fly through the rest; why not share
that? The visuals are an integral part for an audience. That's
why folks go to "see" people play. None the less she was a thrill to
see and hear.
Marc Cohen, got the brass ring of the evening for me. He got to play
"For Free" the perfect mixture of lyric and melody. He performed
admirably, but I got distracted by thinking of his trouble in Denver and how do
you come out on the other side of a situation like that. I guess the
answer is you play great music like Joni's.
It was the kind of night that makes you look for summer festival tickets in
the middle of winter.
September 19, 2005
OK, let's take 'em one at a time.
August 27th- Meganfest
September 3rd - Club Passim Campfire Festival
On September 3rd I played the Club Passim Campfire Festival in
Boston. A series of round robins, my round included Ellis Paul. . . what a great
surprise. One of the great things about Club Passim is that it's a listening
room. Great sound, great staff, an audience that came to check you out. And with
EP in the round, lots of folks did show up to check us out. It's always great to
perform alongside talented players, it ups your whole level of performance.
Suffice to say that Justin Rosolino, Kate Schrock, and I all had a great time
sharing the stage with Ellis, and EP was cool about it too. Making jokes
and putting everybody at ease. For just a moment Katrina is on the back burner. All we had to do was have a good time.
for each other, with each other. We made out like bandits.
Flash forward 10 days to Washington DC.
Ah, the people you meet in DC ! I just got back from the
Cornucopia Music Festival. Also known as the Cornucopia Summer Music Festival or
the Cornucopia Jams Festival. See a pattern here? Not just yet. Musicians
and performers from all over the US went to DC this week. All different
kinds of acts were encouraged to come and play.
Bottom line, artists do best when we stick
together, work together and share as much as we can. We respect each other's
work, and when it works we're family. And family looks out for each other, right?
We can also help new festivals by telling them what works for us. They need to
know our opinions.
September 22, 2005
September 20, 2005
August 16, 2005
Back in the real world I'm working on new music and getting
ready to record again. The pre production is done, now it's a question of studio
time and picking players. I guess that is pre production, isn't it? At any
rate the studio work will happen in the fall. Meanwhile I'm booking for '06,
it's gonna be a play everywhere concept. I'll do my best to keep everyone
in the loop.
*Posts from January 2005 to July 2005 have been lost*For past posts go to the Greg Notes Archives