JULY '10

A little indulgent social time in Brattleboro to kick off July, with fellow studio owner (I admit he's more than a little ahead of me on the music industry timeline) Will Ackerman and a few others who shall remain nameless. Between guitar makers that we have in common and huge gardening projects going on in tandem, there is always an interest to learn something new about how things get done in another studio. I pressed Will to share some of his philosophy regarding producing and was not disappointed. To be continued.

Could not have enjoyed myself more during a night on the town in Burlington VT recently. Tried a new Italian restaurant that I can't tell you the name of except that it was on College Street - tasted the sweet memory of squash blossoms battered and fried just like my grandmother used to. This was our meeting place for planning Robert Resnik's new solo project, which dares to go where no man (named Robert) has gone before. Walking about town later on, we stopped into the Black Crow bookstore where I made Robert buy Vermont author Robert Jeffrey Lent's book "A Peculiar Grace" and then onto the One Half Lounge (Myra Flynn onstage) and Radio Bean. A steamy, sultry evening with good cheer spilling onto the streets from every over-heated corner.

The next two days we started tracking his project in Chelsea VT (at Pepperbox Studio), with production help from Mary McGinniss on day two. More sweaty hours at the console and behind the mics, punctuated - at Mary's insistence - by trips to the local swimming hole - almost too cold even at 90 plus degrees F. That's a good thing. It definitely brought home the irish penny whistle medley.

We just approved the master for Mary's new solo CD - finalizing her crisp, clean tracks of guitar, uke and vocals - done by the mastering studio at Discmakers. I've been enjoying working more closely with some of the fine engineers in their lab and hope to make it down to NJ someday to be a fly on their wall with all my many ears. The disk sounds great and will be completely ready by early August at the first of Mary's three CD release parties. Rumor has it I may be sitting in on mandolin with her combo, which includes Mary's long-time friend and bandmate Juliet McVicker, and bassist Kirk Lord.

New find of the month: VT musician Dylan Waller. I read a feature on him in the Montpelier Bridge newspaper and tracked down his music online. He's evidently on his way to Bratislava, Greece and many other countries but I'm hoping to catch up with him somewhere and see a live show as soon as I can. I can't explain yet what exactly it is that makes his music so cool except that it's direct, emotional, original and reminds me of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke.

We (the currently nameless trio, formerly known as "Acoustic Mayhem") have been out on the road playing a streak of weekend gigs with all manner of varied sonic parameters, including Skunk Hollow Tavern, The Harpoon Brewery, Solarfest, The Black Door, The Half Lounge and The Champlain Valley Festival. Sometimes running our own sound, sometimes blessed by talented sound technicians, the whole gamut of experiences have served to help us hone in on our sound. Energetic might be the first descriptor, but emanating from a basic guitar-fiddle-banjo love fest, that feeds off and celebrates the songs of our fearless singer-songwriter, Bow Thayer. Thanks for everyone who has supported our tour and made it as fun as it could be, really too many to mention but I will mention a few:

Jay Bothwell, Doug Perkins, Pete Weiss, Annie (who taught me how to make seaweed egg rolls), Rick Ceballos, Bill Gaston, Jen Crowell, Adam Frehm, Mary McGinniss, Robert Resnik, Lori Bullett, Robin Chestnut-Tangerman, Michael Ludgate, RD Eno ... the list goes on and we appreciate our friends, old and new.

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