I’m writing this from an Amtrack train on my way from Del Mar to Carpinteria. My mom and I are going to hear Ellis Paul tonight at Russ & Julie’s famous house concert series. Ellis Paul at a house concert. Yes, I am very excited. I’ve seen him at venues ten times as big as Russ and Julie’s house and it’s partly because they have such generous supporters who will underwrite an artist of this caliber that makes this possible for the rest of us. Acoustic music fans are the best. House concerts are the best. I’ll let you know in the next newsletter just how wonderful it was. And here’s what else is on my mind today!
- What’s New
- New Blog: “Music Lessons ~ Killing the Joy”
- Jimmy Webb
- Show Blurb: The Swell Season
1. What’s New
I have a new Featured Artist at Acoustic Pie ~ Jakob Dylan. I just loved his new album “Seeing Things”. You can read a bit more, get links and photos, and view my two different favorite YouTube videos of Jakob on my MySpace page and at Acoustic Pie.
Have you noticed the new “What’s New” corner of the Acoustic Pie home page? Over on the left-hand side? I’m trying to put a little note and link there whenever something new goes up on the website. For example, I always place a link there when the new Top 20 for the month is posted.
2. New Blog: “Music Lessons ~ Killing the Joy”
At an election party on Thursday night a man was telling me about his beautiful grand piano that sits in his living room and never gets played. Ever. He loves music. He studied classical piano as a child. He felt he should own a piano. He believes he should play it. But he isn’t drawn to play the difficult classical repertoire that he eventually came to appreciate, if not love, as a young person. Don’t you hear this story all the time? I find it so sad and so frustrating. And that’s what my latest blog is about ~ teaching music to people in a way that will give them the tools for a lifelong connection to music. I post all blogs at both MySpace and here at the Pie blog site in case you have a preference.
3. Jimmy Webb
I don’t have the patience to note the time/date/radio frequency of specific radio shows and then try and remember to listen to them. So I listen to Internet radio and XM satellite radio and just catch what comes. Last night, I caught the most amazing show on XM’s The Loft. The Mixed Bag Radio show was interviewing Jimmy Webb and Glen Campbell. I’m a huge fan of Jimmy Webb’s songwriting and I even wrote a blog about his songwriting book Tunesmith which I called “What Jimmy Says”. I think “Wichita Lineman” is about as pretty as a song gets and I can still be moved by the images and soaring chorus melody in “Galveston”. Jimmy was giving his rather typically lengthy metaphysical descriptions of his processes while Glen kept saying very earnestly how he mostly focused on “trying to sing in tune”. And then, without any introduction, they started playing “Wichita Lineman” live, right there in the studio. Glen was singing and it was definitely Jimmy on the piano and I think Glen was playing the electric guitar leads. It was beautiful and powerful and I felt like I was eavesdropping on a historic event. And I felt so lucky to have caught that musical moment. That’s what radio is all about.
4. Show Blurb: The Swell Season
My concert buddy Jimmy and I caught The Swell Season duo at the SDSU Open Air Theatre last month. A very fun show! Despite the concrete bleacher seats! And House of Blues police-state management! The Swell Season is Glen Hansard and Marketa Iglova of the movie “Once” fame. They wrote and performed all of the songs for the very charming movie and played many of them along with some new works at the concert. I can barely sit still for a full show with opening act any more but we even stayed for the encores and I was glad we did.
Thanks for reading! If you want to talk, you email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a public comment here on the blog!