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Wills And Won'ts

by Eric Ramsey

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Whenever I Entertain The Idea That I Can Play The Guitar, I Watch This... 

...and become instantly humbled. Jeez.

Greetings from the Zoo, and Happy March - for those of you in colder climes this means that Spring is on its way. By the calendar, anyway. For those of us in the desert it means ... Spring Training! But I digress....

I was an electrician for many years, working primarily for a small commercial contractor and occasionally doing some residential attic-crawling. I enjoyed the work, for the most part, and liked the satisfaction of doing a good job, providing a service to our customers, and getting electrons to go from one place to another under controlled circumstances. 

Two years ago I was given by my sainted and long suffering wife the opportunity to be a stay at home parent, to and pursue my musical passion. I am indeed fortunate. It was interesting to me how difficult the transition from full-time employee to independent contractor was. Previously I was held to a rigid schedule, now I essentially had none. My job description was fully delineated and expectations were understood, now everything seemed to be fungible. But most interesting to me was the realization that I had tied up most of my self-worth in my job. Suddenly, with no "job" (in the classic sense) I felt disenfranchised, adrift. Weird, because being a stay at home parent entails perhaps more work than I did before, albeit in an entirely different milieu.

I've found, as time has gone by, that I've retained a lot of the same work habits I developed in my years as a construction worker. Once the kids are off to school I spend a few hours on the music - writing, practicing, recording, administration, sometime all at once, and I nowfeel less and less like a slacker. And I've come to cherish the time I get to spend with the kids getting their day started in as good a way as possible.

Wow. This has nothing to do with music, I guess.

Enjoy Tommy Emmanuel's version of Merle Haggard's "Working Man's Blues".

Patriots Win! I Am A Patriot! 

Remember when it was OK to love your country without feeling the need to kill everyone who didn't support or believe the tenets upon which your country was built? Seems these days it's all too easy to hate, all too easy to accept - and follow - the logic of a section of our society that would have us isolate ourselves from the rest of the global community. It's OK to wave that flag wide and high. It's OK to be proud of America and Americans. It's OK to co-exist with factions that don't share our beliefs. It's OK to be a patriot.

Enjoy Jackson Browne's (with David Lindley on a Danelectro Silvertone in the background!) version of Little Steven Van Zandt's tune "I Am A Patriot"

Honest Music, Honestly Rendered, But In A Different Manner Altogether 

I hope you enjoyed David Lindley's version of "Soul Of A Man". I can think of any number of adjectives to describe Lindley's talents, but to come up with an adequate description I'd have to string several dozen of them together - turning this polite little paragraph into a screed. Anyone who's ever read Joseph Heller's book "Something Happened" knows exactly what I mean.

Anyhoo - here's another fella with a generous dollop of talent, playing the same song in a different manner altogether: Bruce Cockburn - Blind Willie Johnson's "Soul Of A Man".


Honest Music, Honestly Rendered 

Greetings from the Zoo!

I hope you liked Ry Cooder - or was it David Lindley - in my last blog. This week, enjoy David Lindley - or is it Ry Cooder - and his version of Blind Willie Johnson's "Soul Of A Man". 

I had the great fortune to meet (and learn from) David last spring at Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch. My sainted and long suffering wife enrolled me in his class on lap steel guitar as a birthday surprise. Not only was I blown away by the surprise and its attendant opportunity, I was amazed at David's friendliness, openness, accessibility, and genuine interest in his students. And Fur Peace Ranch? Well, if you ever get a chance to go - even to see a show at Fur Peace Station (the concert venue onsite) - run don't walk to do it. But that experience is a story for another time.

So, David Lindley, on what I believe is a bouzouki, playing a blues classic. Honest music, honestly rendered....

He's on the East Coast for 5 shows (weather permitting) <http://www.davidlindley.com/cgi-bin/dltourdates.cgi>

Wills And Won'ts on its way! 

OK, David Lindley and Ry Cooder aside, my new CD "Wills And Won'ts" is coming together! Album art is finished, media files have been uploaded, awaiting final proofs and ... well ... that little matter of paying for the thing. I hope to have the finished produce in hand by mid-February! In the meantime, check this out:

​​Ry Cooder. Vigilante Man

Hahaha! New Guy.... 

Yup - not David Lindley at all. No polyester in sight on this vid. Perhaps it's Ry Cooder. Why, yes, I believe it is Ry Cooder. Enjoy this too, and I promise a David Lindley vid soon. Or maybe not. I think I should go have myself a little lay-down....

Hello, and Welcome! 

Welcome, and thanks for reading! In this space I'll be posting thoughts, ideas, new lyrics, etc, and we'll also talk about the state of music - everything is open for discussion, but I'll mainly try to focus on acoustic/americana (although that's a big category these days!) and blues. Check in often, respond often, and let's discover stuff together!

Check out David Lindley's version of "How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live"


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