Happy Monday  

Indeed. It IS Monday. Again. It's the first official Monday of this week, and hopefully the only Monday that we'll have to deal with. For now, anyway.

I'm in the midst of planning (finalizing, actually) a tour for late-spring/early-summer. It's called the Summer Soul-Stice Tour, and I'll be starting in Tucson and ending up in Texas, by way of Alabama, North Carolina, DC, Vermont New Hampshire and Massachusetts, Ambitious? I guess. I'm looking forward to playing ER Music for a bunch of folks who've never…

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Songwriters In The Round...  

...just may be my favorite performance format. And listening format, too, now that I think about it. The combination (and contrast) of personalities, playing styles, voices, deliveries and subject matter is captivating to me. And I also love the interaction between the artists - the banter. This format humanizes the performers in a way that a solo show can never do.

Long a staple in the Nashville Country community, songwriter rounds (as they're colloquially called) are fast becoming the go to show for…

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April Fool!  

Yes indeed, I am. And a May fool, June fool. My fool-dom is pretty much a full time endeavor. And it encompasses a remarkably broad spectrum of activities and environments. I'm an eclectic, non discriminating full time fool. Whether I want to be or not. 

Everyone has a place in this wacky mixed up world, and I'm comfortable with my position, much like I'm comfortable with the physiognomy that can loosely be described as my face. Meaning that I've become so used to it that I can't imagine being (or…

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Talking Blues, The Promised (Or Forewarned) Finished Product  

Yes indeed, Here is a demo recording of my tune "Talking Blues". If you bother to listen to it at all, I hope you enjoy it and accept it for what it is: a song. One fella's thoughts put to music in a song form popularized in the mid-1920s by a singer named Chris Bouchillon, and later espoused by Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, among others. 

As a man much wiser than myself once sang, "believe it if you need it - if you don't just pass it on".

We here at the House Of Strays wish you a pleasant week. Be kind…

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Talking Blues, Pt.4  

Indeed. I had hoped to have a demo version for you this week, but alas.... You'll have to content yourselves with the final verse and hope for the best next Monday. At least that's what I'm going to do. If you add this installment to the others you'll have the entire body of the song, in proper order Pt. 1-4. The melody is simple, and the chorus is actually sung, belying the title "Talking Blues" (which is only the working title anyway.) Check back next week and there just may be a recorded version for you…

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Talking Blues Pt. 3  

I know I've tortured you with the first two installments of my new tune "Talking Blues", and this week is no exception. Here's the second verse:
 

An enormous amount of hubris defines your insolence 
Propped up as you are by all your fellow Arrogants 
Running ‘round in circles proclaiming self defense 
Denying culpability and worse, denying recompense 
To that tattered evil army of hungry children shivering in your tents 
     Humanity, yeah, that’s a tall order 
There’s really no such thing as invincibility 

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Talking Blues, Pt. 2  

If you checked in last week you were subjected to the first verse of "Talking Blues". The Chorus (to follow) was written first, actually, a few weeks ago. It was one of those things that popped up, landed in a notebook, and then languished there for a while until the rest of the song could catch up. It's topical in nature, I guess, but unfortunately maybe universal too. It kinda depends on the day. Anyway, here you go:

The truth ain’t what you hear about 
It ain’t what you read 
You can’t find it with your…

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Talking Blues, Pt. 1  

One of my favorite Blues idioms, and one that you seldom hear these days, is Talking Blues. A sub-genre of Country Blues and a precursor to Rap, the combination of lyrical content and the free form style in which it is delivered makes for a compelling creation, and one that seems - to me - to be particularly well-suited for social and political editorial. Here's part one of my as yet untitled Talking Blues:

This here is an open letter to each and every one 
I imagine it’ll make some of you mad, though some…

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Presidents Day  

I'm sure the current president of our country believes this day is about him, him and only him. I mean, have there ever been any other presidents come before? In addition to another day off of school for your kids, another insipid celebration of past leaders (figureheads, totems) of the US makes we wonder what, exactly, we're celebrating.

Doubtless that our country has been led by presidents who did great things - witness the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Act. The office certainly carries…

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When Old Is New Again (Finished Versus Done)  

Last year I made a commitment (ill-fated, as it turned out) to learn more music theory. My resolve lasted all of about three weeks - until a friend came to my rescue and showed me a system he developed that actually made working sense to me. Now I have a set of tools to help me work out things I previously found troublesome. But that's not what I'm writing about today. It's this:

I have, in various legal pads, notebooks and on my computer probably 25 songs that I've written in the past couple of years…

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