Monday, June 22, 2015

long weekend

First word that comes to mind from this weekend? Whew!

Friday was a short work day, but a busy evening! I played in Trenton at the Southern Thunder Jamboree. Great bunch of folks there! Nice people for sure, but not what I'm looking for... I'm honored they asked me to sit in with them and it was nice meeting more musicians, but I'm not going to be be a full time member.

Prior to me driving over there, though, I was sending some info to a cousin about the funeral arrangements for my aunt. My cuz calls me and tells me she's headed to Nashville as her sister had been shot by her husband! Yep, you read that right... Obviously they had to miss the funeral but of course we are fortunate that there's not yet another funeral to go too... She's in serious condition, but alive.

So it was with somber mood that I headed to Trenton... Vanessa came over for a bit but had to get back home and get some rest as she worked two 24 hour shifts back to back Saturday and Sunday.

Had a much better Saturday morning! I performed at the Farmer's Market in Dyersburg to a great crowd of folks! It was hot, but that's alright. :-) I do plan to be back again this coming Saturday. Mom didn't know I was performing and said she was going to try and make it this time...

I went home to rest up a bit then stopped to see Vanessa in Ripley on the way to Henderson. I also spoke with my cousin again and got an update on everything.

Yesterday was Father's Day and I got an early call from Kyle and then met Colton and Tiffani at Cracker Barrel where they gave me a great card and then bought my an Uncle Hershel's Breakfast. :-) Good stuff! We went back to their apartment and Colton and I partook in some Diddy Kong Racing on N64.

I left for the funeral where I was honored to have been asked to be a pall bearer. We said good bye to the last of the Anderson siblings. This was my dad's sister and that entire generation has now gone on to their eternal resting place and MY brothers and sisters and first cousins are now the 'old generation.' Whew - that's a sobering thought as well...

Afterward I went back to Colton's and we had a late lunch and watched some Netflix for a spell, then I headed to visit with Vanessa for a few minutes, then home to get some rest. Very little in the way of social media, so I didn't post anything hardly at all...

Now I'm back to a routine and was listening to a podcast on the way to work. The Secret Cabal talked about another game I popped onto Amazon and placed on my wish list - Concept. It's another party game and this time it's like Charades, only on a board...

In case someone out there is the type to bless people with things from someone's wish list... ;-)

Yes, you'll notice Imperial Assault is on the list... We sent that to Kyle for an early birthday present and he's been sharing the stories of the games with me. :-) Can't wait to play it with him! I was telling Colton about it and he said it sounds better than Zombicide, which I have a STILL SEALED copy of! Yes, I would gladly trade it for Imperial Assault. ;-)

Till next time, Gentle Reader...

Friday, June 19, 2015

podcasts and music

Two things I forgot to mention a few days ago in my last post...

Some of you know that I don't listen to mainstream radio. Modern country is NOT appealing to me, so usually I gravitate toward podcasts. Some are of music (Freight Train Boogie is a favorite and has all Americana - usually independent artists like myself) but most are gaming related. This has changed in the past week...

I really wasn't in the mood for more podcasts on X-Wing or Star Wars Role Playing, so I thought I'd give the radio a try. When I'm with Vanessa she tends to have Sirius on Willie's Roadhouse, but of course nothing like that exists on terrestrial radio, right? Wrong!

There's a station right here in town called Eagle 97.3 - and they play MY style of country! I was so into it that I was hearing songs I haven't heard in a while and it was inspiring me to learn some different things for my solo show as well as with the dance band(s) that I play with.

So that's what I've been hearing in the car... George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, etc. Good stuff!

Oh - and here's an online version of an article for last week's opening day of the Farmer's Market, written by my good buddy and fellow musician Ken Jones -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Music Blossoms and Games are Played

If my last post was "music season," then it must be getting close to blooming...

I know it's just been a couple of days but I didn't want to let it get past me like it can do sometimes, so just a quick post as a journal entry.

Last night was Star Wars RPG night at the store in Ripley. There were only two regulars at first so I recommended playing X-Wing instead. A third player came up so that made four of us. Before the game was over we had at least two others stop in and want to learn how to play.

I was talking to Kyle about it today and I mentioned to him that it was just a big casual game and a TON of fun! The last several times I've played it's been in a tournament setting, but this time it was just for the fun of playing, and it was a refreshing change of pace!

Today I got a text from the keyboard player on Saturday nights. He needs me to fill in on bass guitar in Halls on July 3, so of course I accepted. I don't know yet if the Friday nights in Trenton will become a regular thing, so I didn't want to turn down something in hopes of something different being there. It's no different than me missing a Saturday night in Henderson/Finger because I am booked as a solo somewhere else, like the two nights in August I'll be performing at Union City at Discovery Park.

We bought Kyle an early birthday present... He's been wanting Imperial Assault since we saw it at Gencon last year, so we ordered it and had it shipped to him from Amazon. He got it today and was very excited. :-) Can't wait to try it out with him!

Well that's all for now! I'll keep posting as new gigs come in! If you've been thinking of booking me for a house concert but don't want to interfere with something else, don't let that stop you! When it comes to the dance places that's what subs are for! :-)

Till next time, gentle reader...

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Music Season

Yep, music season. I have no other words to describe it. It's like what I'm meant to do has slipped into a familiar groove and the stars have aligned and opened up my calling. :-)

Before I discuss that in detail let me say that saying 'stars' reminded me that while we were having our GREAT week in Indiana with Kyle & Devin that we pulled out a telescope one night and looked at THREE planets in the sky! Venus, of course, which is easy to find. It's still amazing when you look at it through a telescope and you can see the crescent - like a far away moon!

(note - these images are NOT mine, but they give you a visual idea of what we saw)

Then we moved the scope up to Jupiter. No, we couldn't see 'the spot' but we COULD see the four moons that you can watch on a nightly basis and track their movement...

Then we took it across the street to get a better look at Saturn. This was the first time Kyle had scene the rings other than pictures.

Again, it was a GREAT trip and we made some good memories. :-)

Once we were back in Tennessee I had three gigs to follow up on. The first one was Friday night at Gibson County Relay for Life in Dyer. This was the third Relay I had done this year and was BY FAR the most fun! I did Haywood's a few weeks ago, but they put me on early so two dear friends that were coming to see me missed it. Linda got there a few songs in and caught the last part of the set but Royce got there "on time" as I was coming off stage. Sorry about that!

Then I performed at the one in Dyersburg but was only given time for three songs. I had several people ask me later why I didn't perform more, but of course that was out of my hands. Thank you to those that did let me know you enjoyed it!

Fast forward to this past Friday... I got there early, as usual, and our friends The Joylanders were setting up the sound! It was great getting to talk to them for a while and even string a cable or two... I went on stage and my sister Tammy came along a song or two in and I got to visit with her a while after my set.

I did sell one CD to someone after my set, but of course all the proceeds went to Relay. She actually was hoping "Can I Get a Pepsi" was on the CD. I promised her I would put it on the next one. :-)

But another VERY cool thing happened as well... A gentleman came up to me and introduced himself and asked if I was currently in a band. We talked for a while about bands and "band situations" and of course I indicated I'm playing on Saturday nights with Pure Country but otherwise "Bare Basics" is not currently active. He said he has a band, Southern Thunder, that performs at a family friendly dance place on Friday nights. He said he could use a lead singer and invited me and my Takamine to sit in with them this coming Friday night so we can see how it goes.

I'm looking VERY forward to this for as you know, gentle reader, that I enjoy performing and enjoy making people happy! He said they have a lot of line dancers that come out and they have a great time, so it sounds right up my alley! He also liked the original songs I did that night and doing 'my music' is ALWAYS a plus.

Saturday morning was the opening day of the Dyersburg Farmers Market and I had promised to come share some music there starting at about 9:30. I got there early (of course) and Alan Hestor was packing up, so I went ahead and got set up and ready and started just after 9. Vanessa came up a few songs into the set and joined me for harmony and duets and did a few songs too. Later on my buddy Ken Jones (who now works for the local newspaper and wants to do an article on me) came up and had brought his harps (harmonicas) as I had asked him and he sat in and played a few songs with me too! Always fun sharing the stage with great musicians!

I played and sang till about 11:30 and we closed it out and got out of the heat. :-) I had 'that old feeling' again that I love so much! If you're a performing, especially a singer/songwriter, then you know the feeling I'm talking about... You're in front of people and baring your soul and making connections while making them smile and the world feels right!

I can't share details yet, but there was a specific connection made that morning that will potentially lead to more performing...

So riding high on the first two gigs I went to Henderson/Finger for the last one of the weekend. We didn't have a large crowd, but we had a lively crowd. :-) The ones there really enjoyed it and we did several songs we had not performed before, including "I Thought That I'd Forgotten" from my CD.

The best part of the afternoon and evening though? Getting to spend time with Vanessa! It's the first Saturday afternoon/evening that we've had together for a while and we did some shopping in Jackson and enjoyed a BLTA at Red Robin (we had had one when we went there in Indy with Kyle & Devin before seeing Mad Max again, but that's another blog post).

Hope your Friday & Saturday has been at least HALF as fun and fulfilling as mine has! Till next time...