Here is a group of disjointed thoughts, which I'll draw together at the end like an episode of the Cosby Show:
Traveling: I'm laying on a futon in a hot pine paneled room in Greenville, North Carolina. I just got back from Ohio where I played one show with the incredible Ohio version of JRL. And before that I was in the back woods of Arkansas meeting some soon-to-be missionaries, being rescued from copperheads (by a little dog) and tracking down the history of soul and rock and roll in nearby Memphis. This was the first time I have traveled without a guitar and been in 2 states (Tennessee and Arkansas) without playing a gig!
City Songs: Last night I was getting ready to leave VA -- ordering a few more copies of Now, getting the most urgent emails nailed and preparing for an upcoming event. I finished about 2 am. To relax I listened to some recently written tunes. David Oliver (from Bridgeland) and I have been working on this songwriting exercise -- write 6 songs from 6 main places (cities) we've lived. So far I've written about Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Kidron (OH), Asheville (NC), and Warm Springs (VA). Loose arrangements with guitar, vocals, harmonium, and djembe.
Another Now: The studio where I'm recording "Another Now" just got a new computer and is up and running. I'm aiming at a September release date.
Songwriting: I was recently hired to write a song as a gift for someone. It was an interesting challenge. I'd like to do more of this -- it pushes me to be creative and specific. An original song written for you makes a great gift...
CSM: My community supported music idea is finally started -- I've got two members. One from Alaska and one from Texas. I guess we'll start with the big states. Anyone in California want in?
Creativity and Change (the wrap up): So I'm still traveling but I'm playing less shows. I'm writing new songs that are stretching my songwriting skills -- city songs, hired gun tunes and songs that reach towards the roots of gospel, soul and blues. I'm finishing up what may be the last official JRL record while I'm getting the CSM launched so that people who want to follow what's happening with my songwriting can hear new stuff every 3 months. I'm not sure what's ahead musically. I do know that there are new things sprouting in my life -- songs, ideas and visions -- and I'm not sure where they will lead me. But I'm seeing a changing of the guard, and shifting of seasons, a kind of transformation (like water to steam or ice to water) happening in me. At a time when it seems impossible to believe in large scale, fundamental change, I've got this feeling that very soon I'll be able to say with the prophet: "The old is gone, the new has come."
"They can't tell you how to find yourself. They can't force you into inspiration. " (from the city song for Kidron, OH)