My first #GratefulDead show was the 1982 #USFestival, and I'm pretty sure my last was at Giants Stadium in August 1994. In the intervening years, I immersed myself in that colorful world, to the extent that I could without actually following the band around. The excitement eventually wore off, but I still love the songs, especially the #JerryGarcia/Robert Hunter catalog, which is endlessly rewarding. Here's the whole story: ... See MoreSee Less
When I was 16 or 17, I sat next to Stan Lynch at a Bob Dylan concert at the Pacific Amphitheater. My friends and I had been knocking them back in the parking lot, and my inhibitions were lower than usual. So low, in fact, that I straight-up lectured Stan about how #TomPetty should play The Waiting solo. He said, "why don't you tell him yourself" and took off for wherever the intoxicated teenagers weren't. Petty plays the first two verses and the bridge by himself on this SNL broadcast from 1983, and it sounds good, but I can't wait for the Heartbreakers to come in and like the performance about ten times better when they do. If you run into Stan at a concert, tell him I had it all wrong. ... See MoreSee Less
I'll be opening for Peter Himmelman, who - in addition to writing good songs - is one of the most inspiring performers I've ever seen. This is the show for those who are willing to stick around after my set and check out something new, under the assumption that you will NOT regret it. ... See MoreSee Less
November 2, 2017, 8:00pm - November 3, 2017, 1:00am
I'll be opening for Peter Himmelman, who - in addition to writing good songs - is one of the most inspiring performers I've ever seen. This is the show for those who are willing to stick around after...
I'm looking forward to reading Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell, but also wary for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being her well-documented antipathy to biographers or anyone who tries to capture her essence. I wish Joni could have a late-career renaissance like Leonard Cohen - I'd go to see her as often as she came around - but that's obviously not going to happen. Our loss! ... See MoreSee Less
I'm experiencing a mild obsession with Jenny of the Roses, the first track on the new Hiss Golden Messenger album. Sometimes, I check out music that's theoretically up my alley and appreciated by many, and don't get sucked in. This time, however, was different. Could it be because I gave it more of a chance, i.e. listened more carefully or diligently? I hope I'm not missing out on great songs because I'm lazy or distracted. Anyway, I like the laid-back groove and especially how the long chorus unfolds or maybe undulates. ... See MoreSee Less
This article about the Time Out of Mind sessions isn't comprehensive enough for my taste - I prefer book-length treatments, e.g. A Simple Twist of Fate: #BobDylan and the Making of Blood on the Tracks - but there are plenty of interesting tidbits. For example, the line from I'm-not-sure-who about Mississippi, which eventually appeared on Love and Theft. Apparently, #DanielLanois wanted a polyrhythmic arrangement, but Dylan was hearing something more straightforward: "Dylan felt 'the song had more to do with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights' than 'some steamy cauldron of drum theory.'" ... See MoreSee Less
Is it responsible to lay out $1K+ for a ticket and fly across the country to see #BruceSpringsteen on Broadway? No, it is not, which is why this article was a semi-painful read. On the other hand, Bruce is typically fascinating/inspiring on the topic of songwriting, so I kept going through the tears. ... See MoreSee Less
Here's what I have to say about hometown performances, which present unique challenges. First, we ask the same people to show up year after year. Second – but relatedly – it can be difficult to expand the audience beyond that group of friends/fans. ... See MoreSee Less
Tomorrow night I'll be singing a song or two along with a handful of compatriots: 7-9pm at the The Octopus Literary Salon in Oakland. In a show of bravery or possibly stupidity, we're restricting ourselves to songs written in the last six months. As Jack Hardy used to say, "you're only as good as your next song!" ... See MoreSee Less
September 21, 2017, 7:00pm - September 21, 2017, 11:00pm
We are a group of songwriters that meets monthly to share new material, under the assumption that deadlines - and the promise of encouragement and thoughtful feedback - induces creativity and hard wor...