Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hard to describe...

Just when you think you can't possibly have any more room for love, your heart just grows more...

As most of you know I love my daughter very very much and have fought to have her close to me over the years. Along comes her daughter Amelia and I am blown away with what I wouldn't do for this kid. Jim and Laura wanted to catch a flick tonight so with Kim in Italy, I'm solo. We went shopping for an outfit and I found her a Chicago White Sox jumper...cute. We then got some chicken and headed for home. We played in the back yard for a bit and it seems that last week she decided that walking on grass wasn't as traumatic as it had been in the past. Fearless is her middle name now. She went right for the pond, climbed the rocks and waded in. She then played with our chicken, this one is so raw it's still running around, we named it "Nugget". After a few hours of play time she let me know it was bed time with the old rubbing the eyes routine. Went down without uttering a peep. Sitting down to look at today's pictures got me all weepy thinking how much I love this one. More than Laura? nope, just different.

Hard to describe.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Wish I wrote it...

I must have watched this acoustic version about a million times...

well, maybe 5 or 6

Saturday, July 28, 2007

and....the return

Not quite sure how to reply to Mark's latest post
I didn't know (remember more like it) those pics existed. What a treat to see the past. I have nothing but fond memories of those days with Mark. Thanks for the images bud...
Here's the only pic I have digitized...

Monday, July 23, 2007

My rig... unexpected gem.

I've been through a few instruments since I started playing guitar in 1976 (crap I should be better...I digress) When I first told my parents I wanted to play the guitar and not the accordion you would have thought I slapped my them in the face by the look they gave me. "Guitar?....JOANNE!" After proving I was serious about playing by taking piano AND organ lessons they let my cousin Dennis loan me his Sears Silvertone guitar...oh boy! While my mates were learning Smoke on the water and Stairway to heaven, I focused on wooing the women in my life (a.k.a. none) by learning More than a feeling and Sunshine on my shoulders. Now that will bring em in like moths to a flame...ahhh the sweet guitar. After a year or so my folks actually bought me a guitar. An Ovation Applause. It was the cheap line from Ovation that had a plastic neck with an aluminum fretboard. That didn't last too long. When I was a freshman in high school, my parents upped the anti a bit by getting me a 1973 Ovation Balladeer. Not a bad guitar. It lasted me for a good 6 or 7 years. (I think my brother has it now). I had been playing some good guitars over at my good friend's shop Tobias Music Ken always let me play the best he had knowing I couldn't afford a dang thing but that's where I learned about Taylor Guitars. Now Kim is the girl I tricked into marring me (I knew the John Denver song would work eventually). Kim showed up one day with a Taylor 555 under her arms...I just about passed out. What a gift. Soon after that I bought a Taylor 615 and I thought I was set. I fell upon some rough financial times and wound up having to sell the only two things I owned that were worth anything...yup the two Taylors. Sad day. I spent a few years borrowing guitars from people and got real tired of being an instrument leach. My good friend Doug called me one day and said that his Mom has a guitar in her closet and she wanted me to have it. I was desperate so I flew to his house to claim the guitar. I then learned that it was a Takamine and it had been sitting in her closet for 25+ years...ugh.
The action was so high I could have used it as a cheese cutter. It didn't look like a Takamine but sure enough right on the headstock there was the name but it wasn't the font Takamine uses.

I took my so called prize over to Tobias and had Ken take a look at it. "Do you know what you have?"... uh nope. "This is a pre-lawsuit Takamine copy of a Martin D-28, right down to using Martin's font on the headstock." I left it with him for a few days to work his repair magic and went back.I opened the case and picked up the so called D-28 copy... oh my goodness this thing sounded amazing and played as good as it sounded. After doing a triple take, I handed it to back to him and had him install a Fishman matrix pickup under the saddle.

That had to be 8 or 9 years ago and I haven't even had the desire to look at another instrument. I get more compliments on the sound of the Tak than I ever got on the Taylors....Kooky eh?

The bindings are aging perfectly

Great inlays...killer rosewood

I use a Shure UC4 Wireless system

A Fishman Dual Parametric DI gives me the tone trimming ability I want.

I have hung my head in shame for a long time for poo pooing such a gracious gift.
I fully admit, I judged the guitar by the name. I have thanked Mrs. DeBarger (Betty) many times over the years and will continue to do so every time I see her.

Thanks Betty!

Here's a sample of the sound not great because I am capo'd up the wazzoo here but you'll get the idea.


Shatt iPod - Twango

"Jesus take the wheel"

Music from this past Sunday...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Well it's here...

Here's the video I helped shoot... word

Sunday, July 8, 2007

What I be putt'n in my ears...

I saw a post on Mark's blog about his long and tragic musical history (LoverBoy)?
OK, time to fess up...Kim's birthday is next Friday and I already got her an automatic cat box. Now any woman would stop right there and thank the man upstairs for having such an attentive husband but noooooo..... Now, it seems in addition to the auto kitty pooper scooper, I now have to take her to see, yes you guessed it, LOVERBOY! Saturday night up in McHenry. Now all I have to do is find my headband, parachute pants with suspenders. OH BOY!

Back to the subject at hand...
I admired Mark's vast and memorable history of his musical life and there is no way I could sit my ADD butt down long enough to figure that all out. Hat's off to you Mark.
Let's just say that my first 45 was Michael Jackson's "Rock'n Robin" Let's come to the present!

In the car I listen Jazz only on our local college station WDCB You can listen online, give it a shot, tell em I sent ya. Now if it's Saturday? The public radio line up of Car Talk, Wait Wait...Don't tell me and What do you know? seem to rule the airwaves. When I am flying, relaxing, oh heck just about anytime else...it's Singer/Songwriter. I looked up the top plays on my iPod and it seems that Lowen & Navarro tops that list. I love these guys. I think I have every CD. One of the best S/S recording artists out there is none other than Lyle Lovett , He never ceases to amaze me. Next would be Willy Porter, not only does this guy have the guitar chops of Michael Hedges, his song writing is top notch. Patti Griffin, Colin Hay, John Austin, Kristen Hall , Edwin McCain, EmmyLou Harris,
Jimmy Webb, who wrote for everybody. Dig this tune. The list is so long It would take forever to compile all the singer/songwriters I like. Other than S/S I also listen to a ton of
Dave Grisman who I saw at O'Hare one time I might add... CSN, Tull, (I even have the complete box set. ) AHHHH TOO MANY ARTISTS!

I have just scratched the surface of what I listen to. You can hear (and have) complete recordings of a few music samples here.

More later...