It comes out officially December 3. I don't want to rush the season too much. Today, however, fingers are crossed that radio programmers will take a listen and put it on their holiday playlists. It's not the usual jolly syrup of the season so who knows. Like my friend Chris Simon said after seeing the preview of the accompanying YouTube lyric video, "A Christmas ballad for our Times." I will keep you posted.
This is the landscape that lays my soul bare. The best way I can respond is musical. Over the past year, 2020, a momentous year, I have been laying down songs for a solo album which is titled, "Nothin' Lastin." As the project came to fruition I started compiling extensive notes which can be found on this website. I made a limited run of CDs and booklets, notes on steroids, to people who had supported me as musicians on the album, to a few dear friends, and to a few people who I respect for their exquisite ears. I'm too embarrassed to share the unsolicited comments that I got back from this preliminary test run. To say the least, they gave me heart to move forward.
What has happened since, is that I fell in love with the notes to the album, so much so that I decided to expand working towards a chapter of a musical memoir for each of the fifteen songs. Each story will resonate with each song in some abstract way.
I've lived a life of exploration. Much has been either making music or exploring it and other forms of grass roots art. In the search for beauty, for meaning, I accumulated a treasure trove of experiences which have resulted in the songs I write.
So that is what is happening. I get up early each day, this autumn, build a fire and write down my recollection of a life exploring. So stay tuned, tuned and ready to play.
I just returned with another of the 3hats from a very productive 2weeks of songwriting and music making at the UCross Foundation near Buffalo, Wyoming. Greg Istock and I were selected to join other artists - writers, visual artists and another composer - to come to the retreat and be treated to space and time to work uninterrupted. It was a fantastic experience to create music day and night. We are hopeful some of this music, partially developed, will translate to a new recording. We will keep you posted. Our thanks to the UCross Foundation for this great gift.
3hattrio will be performing at River Rock Coffee, Laverkin, UT. Nov. 2; Ken Sanders Books in Salt Lake City, November 6; Moab Folk Festival Nov 7-8; then Greg Istock and I travel to the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming for two weeks of a composer residency. Come see us play at the 3hattrio events and wish Greg and I the best in calling up the muses.
We are excited to report that a new CD is available from the 3hattrio. If you'd like to order the CD both as a download or a physical CD please click here.
If you'd like to see more about the group, read about our music and see a few advance comments from some pretty fair ears click here.
It is hot as blazes here in the desert country of southern Utah. Each morning the 3hats gather to work on our music. I believe we are getting somewhere. As an old coot I wonder why the aged take so few risks. It seems like the youngins are the ones who are more reckless. And yet, they have more life ahead at stake. I guess making a new musical statement is not all that reckless. It does seem wild to these old bones.
We're back from Las Vegas where Gail Steiger and I performed for a couple of private functions for our dear friend Joe Brown. We were working to get excitement up for the 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko this January. They say we accomplished that and it was so fun to hang out with Gail, Amy, Teresa, Joe and Pam Brown. We even got to attend opening night of the National Finals Rodeo.
We met a wonderful man named Oliver Hemmers at both events. His kids Conner, Crystal and Justice love cowboys. They are pictured above. Crystal sent us a note and another son Jonathan sang us an amazing song which can be heard in this post. Take listen if you need some REAL Christmas cheer.
It feels so good to be home after plenty-o-travel this fall. This is our little dog trot home in downtown Virgin, Utah. Soon it will not have the breezeway but will be one house. There will also be a small guest house built. Teresa and I are so excited about the wonderful plan Peter Stempel has come up for the remodel. We have over 40 fruit and nut trees on the place plus wonderful grapes. The next photo is from our pecan orchard past our house to the old school, now town hall next to our place.
Also, just got a photo of me standing with Ellis after interviewing her at the Moab Folk Festival.
This fall has been busy giving keynotes and performing. I've been invited to the Western Museums Association annual meeting in Salt Lake, the National Association of Interpretation in Reno, Kanab Writers Conference, the Theodore Roosevelt Conference in North Dakota, and the Moab Folk Festival.
All of these events showed me talented and dedicated people who are committed to imparting knowledge, wisdom and beauty. I really appreciate being asked to part of these occasions.
In Moab, in addition to singing some of my new songs on a wonderful session with John Fullbright and Dan Wheetman, I was asked to conduct public interviews with two incredible artists, Ellis and David Lindley, pictured below.
Also, wanted to show a blast from the past, an earlier incarnation of the Moab Folk Festival from the 70's with the Deseret String Band cutting it up. Thanks to Hugh Bollinger for the photos from the 2013 Moab Folk Festival.