Sunday, July 26, 2009

New song

Enjoy this brand new song called Grey Clouds as performed in my van.

Sequels Better than Original

So Zach and I are with some friends right now discussing sequels that are better than the original movie. Rather than spoiling you with all of the correct answers I'll leave it for everyone to throw out their options and will provide our list soon.

Here's an example
Godfather II vs. Godfather I

Sunday, July 19, 2009

More River Rockin!

My friend Brendan Curtin came out to see us at Rockin on the River last week, and brought his camera along. He is a photographer for the Cuyahoga County Coroner. He got some great stuff! Thanks Brendan!

Charlie rockin!

Charlie rockin! All of us rockin, actually.


I like the composition of the 3 of us singing here. Nice.

It has been extreemly fun to have a few songs that Im not beating on my guitar, and I can just sing and be awkward. I love it! I know it looks like Im doing a Van Morrison kick here, but Im not. I swear...

I love this one.

I love the trees in the background. Everyone of the pics with those makes me feel like we were playing in Central Park or something.

You sweep me off my feet. Im talking to you.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Iowa Motion Pics IV

Iowa Motion Pics III

Iowa Motion Pics II

Even More Iowa - motion pictures this time!

More Iowa

First of all - the following pics are courtesy of Mr. Neil (Joe Cool).
Charlie seranading us as we loaded the van to leave Ohio.

Michael helping to fit things in. A sort of real-life tetris...

And we're ready to go!

Charlie continued to searande us after we finished loading everything.

And then the melodica came out! I think they're finding an "A" here. Or Charlie is playing Bon Jovi...

There wasn't tons of leg room in the van. Dominic crammed himself in the footspace in an attempt to get more comfortable.

Ah - the Mighty Mississippi at dawn!

The John Deere Museum and Pavillion was directly across from our awesome Radisson hotel.

Good to go!

And then in for the continental breakfast. Dominic exaggerating the bite and the sausage and gravy in this biscuit.

Next up - a pool-side nap.

This was on the way to the show later. Neil was pumped.

These are the big toys folks got to play with! Digging in the dirt with these crazy huge things was awesome to watch!

On to the afterparty at Bent River Brewery. Darts were happening behind me.

Charlie posing by the tire of the van. Not quite as big as the tractor Neil was next to, but close...

Speaking of close... Cheer up Dominic - we're headed to Iowa!

After the eternal endlessness of getting to and out of Davenport, IA, we ventured to Chicago, where we had some pizza (and a salad for me) at Gino's east in Naperville.
Elvis just happened to drop by.

The sunset off the roof of the van while we sat in stopped traffic on the Indiana turnpike. It is fun to sit on the tunrpike - you dont get to do it that often!

So we made the most of the situation - impromptu jam of Runway (and many other of the hits).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

River Rockin!

Rockin on the River is an event that has always been nothing but fun for us. I have graced that stage some 4 times or so now. This Friday, we had perfect weather - not too warm, not too cold, and no rain!

An early highlight for me was while I was loading my gear in, a bicyclist happened to ride by while I was at my van. And that bicyclist turned out to be Karla from Jimmy's Cafe! It was fantastic to see her and to hear she's doing very well!

The Coldplayers were the headliners - nice Canadian folks who perform Coldplay's music.

This show was different for us because we put in a lot of Lost and FOund material - stuff we've been working on but hadn't really played much. And it's starting to take life and grow and meld into the rest of the show. On Your Own was a highlight of these tunes for all of us.

Neil - Joe Cool.

I love the stages surrounded by greenery. It is much more peacful and centering as an artist and as a concert-goer. The Warren Amphitheater was very green and flowery too.

Charlie melting a few faces.

Extra-thanks to the sales crew at the merch booth! They did a wonderful job! Thanks Phil, Lisa, and my mom!

It was a nice crowd - some 4,500 or so. Mostly attentive and rockin folks! Lots of seat dancing too.

And dancers! Yay! A whole crew of by the stage dancers!

My grandma came out and was dancing up a storm! Singing along to every song as well!

Thanks to Marilyn as well - part of the sales crew!

After the show, the band met fans and signed autographs. This is always such a wonderful time! Talking to people who really enjoyed the show and seeing their joy makes it all worthwhile!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


A few quick thoughts on Iowa.
It doesn't want to let you leave. So be wary. It will keep you there way longer than you anticipate. Did anyone see the movie Cube? It's like that (except without all the death).
Anyway, here's a few shots i got from our wonderful Iowa show.
And I know the rest of the ban (esp Neil) got some great shots too, which hopefully they will post here and on facebook...
So we drove all night to get to Moline, IL by 5:30am. Where we hung by the Mississippi river for an hour or so, and then went into the hotel (before we could check in) and crashed the continental breakfast.

They had some nice oatmeal and a few bananas, too.

Though the band was more into the sausage and gravy biscuits...

After breakfast and a nap by the pool, we all went to laptops to check email and such.

The day went really well. We performed for the John Deere Classic PGA golf event. It was a party for the PGA players and the families and the head folks of John Deere. It was at the John Deere test site - which meant that people got to play on the huge dozers and combines and such that John Deere makes! We didnt because sound check got pushed too far back. But it looked fun to dig in the dirt with those! Neil was very excited!

The show went really well, actually. With the finale being us playing a medley of The Way You Make Me Feel and Ever After to a cool fireworks display.

We jammed with James Montgomery, an amazing blues harpist (harmonica) who has performed with everyone from Elvis Costello, to Bonnie Raitt, to the Stones, to the Allman Brothers. What a blast!

The afterparty made it's way to the Bent River Brewery which had vegan veggie burgers!! And they were pretty good too! Michael and Charlie rocked a nice game of darts.

Ok. Picture this. Iowa. We crossed the Mississppi so that the band could say they've been to Iowa. We stopped at a liquer store in davenport because Michael is a big fan of a beer called Fat Tire, which is not found in Ohio, but is in Iowa. So, he wanted to get a few to bring back home. So we see tghis liquer store and figure they'll have it. Out jump Michael and Neil. I look across the street at the gas station, and this is on it's sign.
Michael and Neil jump back in and say that the liquer store lost its license.

Ah - Davenport.

I look forward to seeing everyone elses shots and comments...

Friday, July 3, 2009


In some sense, i must be a mountain man.
I have spoken and thought much about the effect of the mountains on my mind, body, and soul. The Wyoming mountains are the one place (even more so than the stage) where I feel not only home, but home in the universe, in God - i actually feel God, which is something that rarely happens in the bustle of the cities and suburbs of Ohio.
It's more than meditation. Meditation is taking your mind inside - turning down the volumes of your surroundings. But in the Tetons, your volume is perfect, and the mountains, the breeze, the wildlife, the space, the brilliance of colours - it all brings the mind to the keyhole where it can contemplate God.
For me.
That's how it works for me.

God has come up already in a blog. Uh-oh. But this is about mortality ultimately anyway. So, i think you'll bear with me a little and continue on.
This lovely pic is from my last hike in Jackson. The trail to the very summit of the 9th tallest peak in Wyoming - Jackson Peak. 13,497 ft. This is early on in the hike. You get amazing views of the valley and surround mountain ranges.

A little ways up through the forest, you come to a few lovely meadowy areas that allow for gorgeous vistas of the massive Tetons.

The snow started about 1/4 mile before hitting Goodwin Lake. It was patchy at first, but shortly after this gravel field, it was constant. And deep. In the woods, it was about 2 feet most places.

Goodwin Lake is seated 3 miles up in a little bowl 1,500 feet directly below the summit. It's a gorgeous little lake, which was still mostly frozen. Not exactly a good sign for the rest of the hike.

There is something amazing about a frozen alpine lake. It is deeply still and calm. Like the calm of the dead - or the calm of the most vibrantly alive, perhaps. After leaving the lake, the trail of footprints grew tough to follow. But we soldiered on.

Losing the trail meant we had to simply forge our way through the forest in the general direction of the peak. It is an easy landmark, and so pretty tough to lose or find oneself really lost. But without the ease of the trail, we were relocated to climbing up the hill to reach the meadows instead of a more gradual slope provided by the trail.

Out here, the snow was much deeper - a good 3 feet. And it was melting, so it was tough to walk on. You tended to break through more, and many times found your leg sinking in up to the waist. But it was stunning scenery. Breathtaking in every sense. Again, without a trail to guide, we made our way up the peak. Jackson Peak has one spot that makes it easy to climb (where the trail is), so without it, we were taking more snowfields, more vertical moments, and more crawling and clawing our way across on all fours (or digging our hands into the snow).

Finally, within 45 yards of the peak we were stopped. That's the peak from where we stopped. It was a straight vertical scramble from there to the top. And in each direction were large hanging snowfields, that one wrong slip could send you down 1,500 feet to a very bad injury or much worse. So seeing it, and nearly touching, we were forced to turn back.
Our only real way back after a steady switchback route down was to slide. The last 1/3 of the mountain was too difficult to stand upright on, so we sat down and slid down to the flat meadow.

The view of the Gros Ventres ("Fat Belly's") from near the peak.
We made it down without incident, feeling exhilarated and accomplished. And cold and wet.
Here's where mortality makes its entrance.
Two weeks prior to this hike, I was introduced to the mayor, his wife, and their son at an event in Jackson. Very nice folks that I talked with for several minutes as I was sitting next to them.
Their son was an avid hiker.
He did Jackson peak the day after I did.
He slipped.
And died.
And i find myself slightly dazed. Much thankful for every minute of my life, this reminds me. It tells me I still have more to say and do. Yet, it stings and numbs at the same time of how death constantly circles us all.
We decided to turn back because it was beyond our comfort level. Beyond our skill level for climbing. And just too much for us.
We hiked down, dried off, and I've now driven home.
He did not.
And so it could be at any moment.
And so, you are all my friends reading this. We all get caught up in our days/lives and details. When what really really matters is none of that. None of that at all. It is this. Friendship. Relationship. Human experience. Laughter. Conversation.
Everything else is meaningless.
I will try to help remind you of this. Can you help me?