Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2011 Wrap Up


A year of highs and lows. But since my glass is always half full, I want to focus on the highlights.

As 2011 kicked off, my band, the Bright Lights, went into the studio and began recording what turned into my 14th CD, Luminosity. The sessions were fun and organic, much of the recording was live, and yet we had some fun experimenting with vocals, and sounds, and things like the electric glockenspiel.

Was asked back to the 30A Songwriter Festival in Seaside, FLA. So much fun with Augustine, Carmel Mikol, Blake Gutherie, Effron White, and more.

In May, I turned a milestone in my life, 30.

And immediately left town.

For Wyoming.

A great summer Mountains and Meadows tour ensued. Great news folks and house concerts. The heavy and long winter kept a lot of my favorite mountain trails too snowy for me, so I found a few new trails, which became some of my new favorites! Lots of great communings with bears.

A young Grizz walked right in front of my car. A couple times.

On a back road, a mother Grizz with 3 young cubs stepped out of the woods. And she stood on her hind legs! I've never before seen a bear do this for real, not on TV! Incredible!

Some great shows back in Ohio. Painseville Party in the Park. Burning River Fest. The CD Release Show in the Gothic Building.

Rocked the Rathskeller in Indianapolis!

Peace Week grew bigger and better. A film series was started. Lots of yoga and meditation events, a living yoga peace sign, the windows and mirrors Afghanistan art exhibit, and a drum circle! The Civic Theatre hosted a Love Initiative performance. the Bright Lights rocked and we had the whole audience dancing and moving, spiritually and physically. We helped to bring the Human Values Awards to NE Ohio. A very moving ceremony of music, poetry, and recognizing the great members of our community, including Suzie Graham, Julie Costell, Happy Trails, Stewart's Caring Place, and the Akron Peacemakers.

I traveled to Buffalo and Covington KY for NACA conferences. In Buffalo, my friend, Maurice martin (of the band Winslow), met the man who gave us the 10 steps to being successful musicians (1. be humble. 2. dont have an ego. 3. be humble. 4. practice... that was all we got...). Met some great other musicians there too: The Other Mark Miller, and The Bergamot.

Crossed the country to Oregon for the Folk Alliance conference. Got to stand on a 1500 year old lava flow. (Swung thru Wyoming and got to hike my favorite canyon, Cascade Canyon, with no other people!! So amazing!!) Met some great folks there too. Mother Hen, The Whiskey Poets, Woody Moran, Kress Cole, Tatam Reeves, Kerry Patrick Clark, the Blackberry Brushes String Band (

Spent some time in Portland, OR. Great all around. Good food! Good people! Powell's Books!

Music Millennium

Finished off the year with the Winter West Coast Tour. Several great shows with my friend Randi Driscoll. Some great house concerts, including the Cal Tech one, where I met folks who worked on the Mars Rover, the guy who de-planet-ed Pluto, and other crazy smart folks. Had a moving experience at the Self- Realization Fellowship in Encinitas. Debuted at the wonderful Zoey's in Ventura with Mimi Gilbert. Got to hike in the San Romero Canyon, where a coyote led us down the trail quite a bit, and we looked out over Santa Monica pier at sunset. Traveled over to Channel Islands National Park (Santa Cruz Island). Looked over picturesque cliffs and the blue and turquoise ocean. Saw pelicans, sea lions and seals, and dolphins. I family pod of Orcas crossed the boat's path. They all came right up to the boat, including the 2 young calves. They communicated and spoke to us. Then the adults mated. 

Finally, the year ended up in Wyoming, where there was some snow, but a surprisingly little amount. Snowshoed. Cross country skied for the first time. Communed with Bald Eagles, Trumpeter Swans, Mule Deer, Elk, Moose, Bison, Porcupine, River Otters and Coyotes. Had a licked-clean car wash by 3 Big Horn Sheep. 

Stopped in Omaha on the way back to Ohio, and had a black bean burger at the largest restaurant Ive ever seen, the brewing company in Omaha. Then had dinner in Chicago with the Bodhis.

A lot of cool stuff happened this year!

May 2012 be even cooler.


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