It has been more than a month since my last post. I got distracted. Back in Austin for 5 nights I was working on a major project and then I had 4 nights in San Francisco, including the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. I decided for a while that if I had time to fill in a blog each day then I was not really enjoying myself!
It was good to record a program from New Orleans but I had so many technical problems that I wondered if it was worth it.
This is where I dropped the blog bundle. Eventually, I got things sorted out and the following program, done in San Fran, was a lot easier.
My mate Al helped me get some studio time at WWOZ which assisted a lot. But then the computer program I was using shat itself and that took some time to sort out. Borrowed a microphone from producer John Porter. Or should I say borrowed it from the Grammy Award winning producer John Porter. What a great guy!
On the final night in Nawlins I met up with JP at d.b.a on Frenchman where we watched Jon Cleary do a solo piano gig (which he did not know about until I mentioned it). He told some great stories about the Stones and Jimi Hendrix (his wife used to go out with Jimi and Keef) but due to an intake of Coopers Sparkling (US$5 here!) I have forgotten them all.
I really liked Nawlins this time around. Maybe it was being away from the hectic Jazz Fest time. It felt more relaxed with less of an edge.
Of course, I loved Austin – the best city on the planet (but don’t tell anyone).
San Francisco was nice but mainly due to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival which has the best line-up of any festival anywhere!
Then there is the fantastic Phoenix Hotel on Eddy Street. Get this: had a chat over dinner with Robyn Hitchcock, met Guy Clark at breakfast, chatted with AA Bondy and his band, spoke to Justin Townes Earle (who was in the room next to me). The service at the Phoenix is exceptional, fantastic staff (the best I have encountered anywhere), great rooms, great location (although some people find the Tenderloin a bit threatening), very good continental breakfast, heated pool. Brilliant!
Back in town I have just spent three weeks working. Under stress. I have the project. Plus somehow I got talked into doing a course to upgrade my teaching qualifications – as if I do not have enough already. I am not absolutely sure I need to do this but the powers that be think I do.
This week I finished a major assignment and had to deliver a 40-minute sample lesson. Talk about stress levels.But I handed up the assignment. How I ever passed university is beyond me.
I celebrated last night by going to see the new Martin Scorsese documentary – George Harrison: LIving In The Material World. Excellent. (More later).
Anyway, I am also helped out by the new Tom Waits album which is easily the album of the year – by a mile. Wilco is second, closely followed by Ry Cooder.