Headed to California

Putting to finishing touches on a California trip, leaving on the 8th and coming back toward the end of the month. I love traveling but it’s always nerve wracking coming up to the actual departure. I know I have enough guitar strings and enough socks, but what’s missing? Is the pass going to be snowed in? Will the roads be clear? Will anybody come to the gigs?

You can see a complete listing by checking the calendar. They’re all good, with a couple of great double bills: Don Quixote’s, in Felton, where I’ll be sharing the stage with Peter Case. And Terrapin Crossroads, in San Rafael, where Barry Sless and I will be flying without a net at 4:20 Happy Hour. Then there’s the Monkey House with David Gans, Tesorra’s Wine Bar, three house concerts, a new pot dispensary in Hopland, a grange hall in Willits, and the famous Logger Bar in Blue Lake. The only thing missing is a gig in San Francisco itself, though that may change as the days go by.

So to all my California friends – if you can make it to a gig or two please do! And if you can’t, that’s okay too, but please help to spread the word. It’s a long road and it gets lonely out there.

Going To Alaska

It’s hard to keep this thing updated, not very good on my part. Had a great time at the Oregon Country Fair this year. Two stages, plus the Midnight Show and our traditional Sunday night pathway gig. I say “our” because it’s a trio set – Billy Oskay, Mark Ettinger, and myself. And I have to say that we outdid ourselves this year. We were superb! Mark got it all recorded on his phone for reference, and we committed to the audience to making another CD. We passed around a signup sheet for people to keep informed and to help with logistics. One of the signup people said they could help with a Kickstarter. I’ve never done one of those before but there’s no other way to pay for it, so here goes. Watch this spot for further developments.

Katy and I are going up to Alaska on Wednesday to do Salmonfest, in Ninilchik. It’s a wonderful three day music event at a fairgrounds. This will be my fourth time up there playing music. Katy’s going up to work it as a coordinator. She has a lot of experience doing festivals and street fairs over the years so this will give us a chance to be there at the same time. Check out the lineup: salmonfestalaska.org/


I had a great time at the California Autoharp Gathering, saw some old friends from last year and made some new ones. Caroline Hester was a special guest and it was cool to see her. We traded CDs. I did a couple of workshops where we learned songs and improvised verses on “Goodnight Irene.” The idea was to come up with a song about the gathering. We came up with a few verses and ran out of time. Next morning I got up early and found a place to play guitar without bothering people who were trying to sleep. I figured it would be better to use the tune to “Acres Of Clams,” since Irene was probably still under copyright to the Lomaxes, and the spacing was basically the same. I put a whole song together, using the verses we had come up with the day before plus others, and we played it at the second workshop later that day.

Long drive back up to Seattle, including a visit with my 92 year old father in Medford. Real good to see him. Also a great gig in the wonderful intentional community of Takilma, just outside of Cave Junction, OR. They had embarked on creating their own radio station and this was a benefit/launch gig. There’s a lot to be learned from intentional communities and I’m honored to be included to the extent that I am.

I got into Seattle Thursday night at about 9:30. This is Saturday, the second day of the NW Folklife Festival. We have a panel today called “Busking in Theory and Practice.” It’s about the mythologies of the art form vs the civil realities. Or something like that. Should be interesting…

Modern Times

Great gig last night with Peter Case and David Gans. It was a benefit for Modern Times Bookstore in the Mission District, San Francisco. It took place in the bookstore itself and we had a nice little crowd. David played some of my favorite Gans tunes, including Who Killed Uncle John and High Guy. Peter was on target as usual, playing a song that I am going to have to learn called “Poor Old Tom.” Great song. I did an improv about the bookstore and what these places mean to us and why we are unstoppable. It got recorded but now the digital chip that it lives on seems to have vanished.

Heading down to Dunlap now for the California Autoharp Gathering. I won’t have my computer so no updates till I get back.

Traveling in the Drought

I’m down in California now, in San Francisco tonight but heading out tomorrow for the Autoharp Gathering in Dunlap, about 4 hours southeast of here. There’s a serious drought going on which has everybody water and fire conscious. I take a shower every 4 days or so, something I’ve always wanted to do but decorum held me back.

I’m going to clean up the opening page of this web site, so you’ll just see this post and whatever else I put up as the days go by. I’m doing a gig tonight with Peter Case and David Gans at the Modern Times Bookstore in the Mission District. Maybe I’ll post about that when I get back later tonight.