Sitting here looking out my window at 60 degrees in February
Performing at Ques's Coffee on Nov 7th to support some good friends who are going through a tough time with a daughter fighting Metastatic Ewing Sarcoma.
Lisa and I are playing a one hour show for a vip party at eTown cafe Friday. Liz Barnez, Hazel Miller and Rebecca Folosom perform.
Last weekend was a blast with Chrystal Decoster and I performing some new songs for Rebecca's songwriters workshop show at Cafe Sole.
The Carole King show went great at the Armory in Brighton, CO with Christian Teele on drums and Dan Steelman on bass. Smoking groove section!
Playing catch up for a busy year! Finished building a new studio space, playing new guitars, teaching new students and the music has never been more enjoyable! Kelly and I have been hiking a bunch this year and it surely helps the mind body connection. We took a fun trip to Idaho this summer hanging with the Shanafelt clan.
Fall has arrived with new opportunities to teach, perform and learn.
The Carol King Tribute show flies again October 30th at the Armory. Dennis Wanebo and I are having a blast reigniting Martian Acres tunes for local pubs and private parties with Jon Powers or Tobor Schorr on drums and Dan Steelman on bass. The band has never been better!
Rebecca Folsom is bringing me in for vocal classes to accompany singers of all kinds and abilities as well as writing new music with Chrystal DeCoster. We have a performance this month at Cafe Sole in Boulder on October 29th.
The summer feels over though there is so much more to do. A new room on the back of the house is in the works and a trip to McCall Idaho coming up. I finally fixed the swamp cooler and it now has a 20 degree drop from the outside air! We hope the Bowmans have a blast staying here.
Gigs with Many Mountains, Lisa Bell and Rebecca Folsom next week along with teaching a wonderful group of guitar students. I have started teaching Logic (recording/mixing) to new students recently and enjoy hearing what they are working on.
I would like to acknowledge Cassidy Filben who is going off to college after many years as a student of mine. He will be in Fort Colling's at CSU and I wish him the best. He possesses an extreme amount of knowledge about computers and will major in that field. I suspect he will dabble in a prog rock band that will go on to great success!
Max is rocking the cello this summer with a week at CU Summer Academy where he played concerts with young adults from all over the state. He recently joined a quartet that will present new challenges and I am very proud of him!
I have said this to many of my students through the years but was encouraged to write about my belief that learning to dance will improve your ability to enjoy the art of playing music. Upon moving to Boulder in 1996 I joined a dance class at the suggestion of a friend who was taking it. I liked to dance at whatever club I wound up as a young man but had never looked at dancing as something to work on and practice. The class included some ballet, hip hop and modern movement. I loved it and stayed with it for two years.
It dawned on me at the end of the class I had found a new way to enjoy music I was playing on the guitar.
I have found in my teaching practice that students who have learned to play drums have this ability as well. So dancing like drumming might make you a better musician on what ever instrument you play. Coordinating your arms, legs, hands and head to move in a fluid fashion teaches your body and brain about time by sub dividing time as a drummer does.
Performing and playing music is not just a thought process that requires playing a certain note at the right time. Your body becomes an extension of emotions the music is creating within you and that goes out to move your audience. The thought process is there but the emotions are the sauce that make it tasty! Plus it is way more fun to watch when someone is moving and groovin' to the time and playing off of the other musicians.
To say that dancing will make you a happier person is probably true as well. Being comfortable in your own skin is a requirement when you start shaking your butt like a maniac in a crowd! Let's hit the dance floor!
It is June and the summer is blowing by quickly. The goal has been to play as much as possible this year and it turns out that saying yes to everything will get you there.
I finally have a resolectric that is working and would like to thank Tim Tucker of Front Porch Lutherie in Louisville, CO who helped get it up and running.
I am having a blast writing and learning how to write. Sometimes I read a bit of the how to books and then I am off and running. Grab the guitar play a riff and start moaning! Actually it is a type of singing that starts to lay out melody that fits over the chord progression or riff. I am trying to marry two ideas together then after I am comfortable with the first couple of notes I start imagining words that might be fun to sing. NO idea what the song is about at this point. I might get a few words and try to throw some ideas on paper or look up meanings in dictionary or thesaurus. So far words seem to pop out fairly easy which I find fascinating. At this point I have to make some decisions about how long I keep this riff or morph it into a new section. Harmony to me is fun to imagine with a guitar in my hand while listening for a mood, a lift or melodic phrase that grabs my attention and holds it. The original inspiration could be something I recently read or something spoken to me recently or moaning some words as an afterthought. All of this can be lost by the end of the process and change into something that was not there in the beginning but leads to this great discovery of a new song.
Until I worked with LASS I had preconceived ideas about how a song was written. I have learned so much from what others bring in and how they arrive at there piece and realize you want to learn as much as you can then let it sit and resonate in your body, head and soul. Yes learn some technique but in the end you will use that information in a creative way. Inspiration hits and you have a tiger by the tail!
In late 2012 Joan Langford asked me to join her husband Andy and others for a songwriting group we have come to call Lincoln Avenue Songwriters Society or LASS for short! In February of 2014 we filled KGNU's Kabaret studio for a live on the air songwriters in the round performance! I white knuckled my way through an original song of my own too! I owe my new found confidence to this group setting that is a soundboard for ideas, suggestions and support every step of the way.
Joan Langford who has spent most of her adult life performing and writing has asked me to help teach the craft of songwriting in Louisville CO.. What an honor! Our current plan is for two separate six week courses that are tailored for beginner and advanced songwriters. We will combine our individual expertise, Joan's is in lyric writing and mine in music theory.
Both classes have the same goal in that the songwriter will improve their individual craft abilities through lyric exercises, music theory insights and analysis of the classics. We can't tell you how to write a hit song but we can work on the details and building blocks of what a great song encompasses and show you ways to improve your efforts. Through networking within the group there could be co-writing, live performances and number of other collaborative events. From my experience working with LASS I appreciate the value it has brought to this individual.
To stay up to date with our progress please contact me for more info as it develops. We are working towards a spring start date.
On April 26th my original band Martian Acres is performing for Lisa Bell's, MMMMMBoulder at the Dairy Center where art, music, dance and food meet. Last year was a great success so get your tickets early!
LASS is performing at the Laughing Goat in Boulder at 9PM March 29th.
Dennis and I are performing in Lafayette at the Front Range Brewery on April 11th at 7PM.
Lisa Bell, myself and Chris Malley are performing at the St Julian Hotel in Boulder the evening of April 8th and Lisa and I are at the Longmont Artwalk on May 31st from 5 to 8:30PM.
It has been ions since Martian Acres visited this part of the Galaxy and they are welcomed as only green men can be. With martini's of course and they bring gifts!
The title of their newest creation is "III" because it is!
Work began as the their sophomore effort Waltz to War 2008 was winding down. Songs that did not make Waltz only meant some future cd would be the home of these lovable Martian Acres tunes. Songs of love, love lost, loving you more, loving you less, hurried love, love gone bad, sad love, love of drinkin' and many many more. Here they are.
With plenty of guitar by Bob Story and revealing lyrics from Dennis Wanebo "III" will satisfy the most ardent of fans. Lets start with "Missing You", M words abound in many multiples musing a musical message that may make your microphone mute! This one has already won awards on the net as well. "Endlessly" see's Lisa Bell owning the lead vocal with a beauty and grace unheard of in our galaxy on this latin style groove. "Queen of the Blues" was last heard on Dennis' 2012 cd "Running on Gravity" as a simple blues with acoustic and slide dobro. Here it hits you between the eyes as a rock tome riding on the back of a she devil out for torture! "Gone to Bonnaroo" is the battle cry of one admitted tax evader and hopefully the government has lost his number. The jammiest tune on the cd "Here and Now" is a nod to Pink Floyd with eerie vocal work from Chris Ignelzi and Dennis with Bob Story's electric slide soaring! Speaking of mix Bob mixed and mastered on a set of Neumann near fields. "No Doubt" slides along a great bass line that tap dances around the changes with aplomb and verve. With programmed drums sitting alongside real drummers the whole thing grooves and percolates in time like a groovin' clicking clock. "Loving on Borrowed Time" is that rock anthem that curves into Queen territory with a cool guitar hook and rocking vocal orchestra on the outro section. If you have ever been down and out about love here is your drink, "Salty Dog" will help you get through the rough time and don't forget to tip your waiter! "Shady Types" is slick and grooving like a live performance...oh it is a live in the studio performance captured here in all its groovy-ness and drive with Kurt Reber on drums and Steve Ignelzi on bass. The cd ends with "Don't Blame Me" a crooners ballad featuring some nice acoustic jazz from Bob and another great vocal performance from Dennis. Christian Teele provides a cool drum track with sizzling cymbals and smooth brush work. These are a few of our favorite tunes!
All in all "III" captures a wide variety of music styles with interesting stories that keep it tied together like a gordian knot. Music that is all Martian Acres.
Most happy with a guitar around my neck though it is starting to weigh me down!