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Trying To Fill Big Shoes 

I was fortunate and honored to win the Stefan George Memorial Songwriting Contest at the Tucson Folk Festival this past weekend. Congrats are in order to all the finalists - each played inspired sets, and I thought each deserved to…
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Folks And Festivals

Folk Festivals are a wonderful way to connect with your community, your music environment, and yourself. Performances are wildly divergent, as are demographics, ages and cultures. On any given stage you may have a professional musician being followed by a…
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The Beauty Of the Listening Room

As songwriters and performers, we walk a fine line when we play out. Depending on the venue, our original material may not be appropriate. We understand this when we accept gigs at bars, restaurants and coffeehouses. We know we're going…
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And A Good Monday To You 

I'm currently involved in a songwriting group. Now, the internet has its potential pitfalls, but it's is a wonderful thing - in this way - as 16 of us from all over the country can share and inspire and learn…
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Processes

Everything has a Process of some sort. Writing, composing, playing a sport, being a student all have protocols and systems designed through trial, error and experience to create platforms for learning. Some disciplines, like the trades, have apprentice programs. In…
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Temporal Thoughts On A Timeless Issue

A lot of us have reached an age when our musical heroes begin to die off. No surprise, of course, life is a temporary affliction. Still it seems shocking to me when another icon passes. In the last year we've…
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Monday Monday Monday 

Yep, and so it is. Mondays suck, everybody know this, right? Especially after a weekend of stellar music and great shows in front of receptive and engaging audiences. 

And then I think (which I occasionally do, until I get a…
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On The Beauty Of The Voice (no, not the TV show) 

Have you ever noticed that some of our most incredible songwriters also have singing voices that are, well, difficult to listen to? When considering three of my favorites - Tom Waits, Randy Newman and Townes Van Zant, I think you'd…
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The Power Of The Muse, and Happy Mardi Gras! 

It's something we all go through, right? Sooner or later - unless you're Bob Dylan, or Paul Simon, or Steve Poltz - we songwriters run up against what seems to be the Immovable Object. And as much as we'd like…

On Being A Vegetarian In Memphis, And Other Oddities 

Yep - more than likely my wife - the lovely Scarlet - and myself were the only vegetarians on Beale Street during this month's International Blues Challenge. I was fortunate to compete again in the Challenge, making it to the…
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Plow, Plow, Plow.... 

If you're a songwriter, perhaps you, like me, find that inspiration comes at odd times, often unbidden, most likely unannounced. As a result I tend to be a bit fractured in my processes. Because man, when that idea comes through…