1. A TELE FOR MOTHER
I played guitar last night for MotherJudge in a band that included Bob Buckley (bass), Sten Isachsen (mandolin) and Mitch Elrod (vox, acoustic guitar). I don’t think I’ve had a chance to play guitar with a band like that since – a Middlebury reunion? Mid-nineties? The three guitar licks I know worked out okay, and served as only an occassional distraction from the awesomeness of Caroline and the rest of the band.
2. ODETTA: ROARING AND SOARING
We were in Washington Park, opening for the great Odetta. Who killed it. Frail and wheelchair-bound but positively glowing when she smiled and still fierce when she opened her mouth to sing – growling, roaring, whispering, soaring.
Glory Hallelujah, indeed.
3. GREEN ROOM MEMORIES
Okay – this is a horrible attempt at name-dropping.
THEY were hanging out.
But I WAS in the room.
Just me and them.
Upon our arrival:
“Odetta,” said Toshi Seeger, “I see you’re accompanied by a handsome young man, as usual!”
4. MUSIC FOR MAYA
This was Maya’s first concert. Not a bad way to start out: Odetta and MotherJudge. With daddy noodling on guitar.
And speaking of “Maya” and name-dropping – about that car ride from the airport to the WMHT studios:
It was one of the most intense conversations of my life, which started with a discussion of classical music, as my radio was tuned to WMHT’s FM station when Odetta sat down in the passenger seat.
At one point, she referenced a recent conversation with a friend of hers by saying, “I was talking to Maya the other day and…”
I assumed that she was talking about Maya Angelou, even though she hadn’t used a last name, but she stopped herself mid-sentence and immediately apologized – unnecessarily, of course, but with sweetness, grace and humility.
“Oh my, that sounds pretentious doesn’t it? It sounds like I’m name-dropping!”
Remember: This is the woman who literally inspired Bob Dylan to pick up the guitar.
And she’s genuinely worried about coming off as a name-dropper.
While sitting in my car.
6. IN A HOLE IN THE GROUND SOMEWHERE IN DELMAR…
I have next week off and plan on heading into a certain basement bomb shelter/studio to do some recording. You’ve heard some of the demos but I’m fleshing ’em out, in some cases re-recording altogether.
From the dozen or so I’ve been working on I’m hearing 6 or 7 songs that make enough sense together sonically and thematically to… maybe… even… call… an… album.
Wish me luck.
7. LIVE ON WEXT FRIDAY at 7 p.m.
I’m splitting the hour with the bad-ass Ramblin Jug Stompers – so there’s an actual reason to tune-in.
Show repeats Sunday at 11 am.
8. A LITTLE GIRL TAKES MANHATTAN
While Maya was enjoying Caroline and Odetta, her older sister Zoe escaped to Times Square with her uncle, her aunt, her grandma – and a favorite baby doll. She’ll be hanging in NYC with them all week.
We miss her.