Saturday, December 3, 2011

Welcome to Chico's Imagine Nation

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Imagine Nation, where I'll try to keep up with news and comments on the way it all Looks From Here. Fall flew by in a flash and winter's upon us. In October I co-directed the regional conference for Folk Alliance International's western U.S. region. And last month I released my third CD to a cozy full house at Eugene, Oregon's Culture Shop: Tsunami Book Store. We had snacks and wine and a beautiful evening of music. About the album: mostly what I want to say is, "It's done."

It's recorded, (started in 2010, derailed by real life, and restarted). It's mixed (twice even!). Mastered in real time under my watchful ear. Glorified visually by Dave Snider's artwork. Replicated in fine style at AtoZ media in PDX. And it's ready for you.

"Then What's It For?" is the new CD. It's a big departure from the last one. "Driving by Moonlight" was a real personal album, all but one track were my songs/tunes. And it was a sonic playground: guitar choirs, overdubs, lap steels and doubled parts. This one's real stripped down. Ninety per cent of the guitar is one guitar. One banjo. I borrowed a mandolin.  At the same time its focus is bigger. Five of my songs/tunes join a lot of the music that informs my life. Turlough O'Carolan and Howlin' Wolf. Joe Hill and southern gospel. The old and the new. It's a bit daunting, standing next to classic material, but I think it works. So actually, it's an even MORE personal album. Who knew?

Getting ready, with actor David Stuart Bull and fiddler Linda Danielson for our annual Celtic Holiday show. It's an orchestrated reading of Dylan Thomas' classic "A Child's Christmas in Wales," plus a set of pan-Celtic music, Irish jigs and reels, songs in Welsh and English and the lot with fiddle, guitar and cittern.

Whatever you do to renew at the Solstice Time, I hope it brings you joy, love, enthusiasm for beginning again, and some relaxation. It's a Big World and there's lots to do.



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