Studio Adventures

I hit the studio last weekend with a new creative thought. One of my tunes, Breaking the Chains, felt incomplete somehow. This was even after recording multiple tracks for it: lead vocal, harmony vocal, acoustic rhythm guitar, electric rhythm guitar, bass guitar, drum kit and a killer electric guitar solo in the middle. I still felt like there was something missing.

So, I trusted my musical gut and tried out adding a keyboard track. First, it was a Hammond B3 sample on Ed’s trusty Yamaha DX7 keyboard. Even though it was sounding nice, it just wasn’t making it. I chose to take Ed’s suggestion to try out the piano sample. Bam, that’s exactly what was needed! I had a great time rockin’ out with stabbing chords and even adding a downward glissando near the end of the song. Ah, the joys of creative expression. Gotta’ love it! If you want to hear last weekend’s demo with the rockin’ piano track, listen below.

Artist Spotlight

At the end of October, Dena and I had further musical adventures when we went to hear a singer/songwriter new to both of us. The artist’s name is Carrie Newcomer. I’m grateful to our friends, Ralph and Alice, who kindly invited us to join them for the show. Carrie writes songs with powerful spiritual messages about change, nature, and Spirit. She has also spent time in India as a cultural ambassador for the American Center. Check out one of her great tunes titled, If Not Now. It has an empowering message and it’s a lively sing along tune with a friendly crowd, also.

Hoosier Hearts

After checking out her website, I discovered that she was born in Michigan and moved to Bloomington, IN during the 1990s where she still lives and records. That was of special interest to me since I grew up in Bloomington, back in the 1960s, which makes me a former Hoosier. As a matter of fact, after the show was over, I stood in line to speak briefly with Carrie and thank her for her music. I bravely asked her to sign my newly purchased copy of her latest CD after explaining what we shared in common. She graciously signed it with the inscription, “To a fellow Hoosier. Peace, Carrie Newcomer.”

A Venue to Check Out

I was also very excited to hear this inspiring music as my introduction to the legendary Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, CA. It’s been on my musical bucket list ever since I’ve lived in Sacramento to make a trip there and I finally got to check it off. This great venue, which opened in 1968, has lots of powerful musical acts coming through. For example, in March 2017, both Greg Brown and Noel Paul Stookey (from Peter, Paul, and Mary) will be playing there. So, the next time you’re in the S.F. Bay area, make plans to take yourself and a few good friends to the Freight for a folk music treat.