Sunday, June 2, 2013

June News...

From Me...

Hi Friends,

All kinds of good stuff happening this Spring…the weather is warming up and hay fever season is finally waning a bit…the pollen has been terrible around these parts…I’ve been getting by fine in recent years using only Jedi mind-tricks and the occasional over-the-counter meds…this year I’ve also started taking wheat grass tablets and that’s been helping too…but I’ve still had to resort to the pills more than in past years…looking forward to Summer!

This past month was a lot of fun musically. We had our first “Willie Nelson’s Birthday Bash” at The Wild Goose and our 12th annual “Bob Dylan’s Birthday Bash” too. Both were great and there are video links below.

I’ve also started competing in our newly revived “Rogue Poetry Slam”. It’s been a real challenge to read my lyrics as performance poetry. I’ve done all right so far but I have plenty of room for improvement. I’m really enjoying this venue for my stuff and it’s refreshing to perform for a room full of people who not only listen to words, but actually enjoy them.

My new album “Already There” should be done and posted on my site soon and I’m very happy with it. I’ll send out a separate announcement when it’s up on my site…

Samarra’s busiest season with teaching Tango is coming to a close and we’re looking forward to having more time to spend together. Her sister Serae is about to have her first baby so Samarra will be going up to Canada later in June to be there for the birth, but after that things should open up schedule-wise for us.

So here we go…starting with the usual information about where to find my music, videos and pictures, including information about new projects, and then followed by information about local shows in case you’re in the Rogue Valley.

By the way, if you've gotten to this point, I thank you. I’m offering all this stuff in a “just in case you’re interested” spirit. I really don’t expect most people to even make it this far.

So…in case you’re interested…

Recorded Music

My latest album, soon to be second latest, is called “Why Start Now” and like all my other albums (28 so far…), it’s available for downloading free or with a donation at my website:

I’m very close to completing what’s turning into my “annual Spring album”. The title is “Already There” and I hope to have it finished soon. The recording itself is complete and I’m very happy with it. I just have to finish all the logistics involved in getting hard copies into the world as well as getting it uploaded to my site. I’ll send out a separate email as soon as it’s available. 

Videos In General

Overall Mission: I post a lot of videos on youtube, over 700 so far! I'm not trying to build a fan base...In fact, I'm not trying to build anything. I'm not expecting you or anyone else to follow what I'm doing or watch all of these videos. Posting videos is just part of my overall plan to make my music (and my T’ai-Chi and Nature videos too) as freely available as possible and see what freely comes back. I think of each video as sort of like a message in a bottle...and more I toss out there the more likely one of them will land on a friendly shore and something good will come back to me. So here are some video links in case you're interested:

How to Find My Videos: First of all, I've set up a "Videos" page on my website ( with a menu similar to what you see below as well as a digital tip jar in case any of you want to contribute to my cottage industry. Every little bit helps and not just financially. 

I've also set up some blogs that make navigating and viewing my various videos much easier. You can go to any of these blogs and see thumbnails for all of the videos posted there. Scroll across the thumbnails and you will see the titles of each video. Click on it and a page will open that will let you watch the video right there without going to youtube. My latest videos are always in the upper left hand corner.

To see all of my Music videos in one easy to navigate place, click here: The Unforced Videos

To see all of my T'ai-Chi videos in one easy to navigate place, click here: The Unforced Movement

To see all of my Nature videos in one easy to navigate place, click here: The Unforced Nature

For a quick and easy way to sort through, listen to, or download all of my albums free or with a donation, click here: The Unforced Music

To see my regular blog “The Unforced Life”, click here: The Unforced Life

To visit my youtube channel and possibly subscribe, click here: My Youtube Channel

To see all of my youtube playlists click here: My Youtube Playlists 

Some New Videos:

For Now (I performed this song at a recent Hip-Hop Poetry Open Mike at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival)
Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond Of Each Other (from the Willie Nelson’s 80th Birthday Bash Celebration)

Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die (from the Willie Nelson’s 80th Birthday Bash Celebration)

If You Stop (A song about ambition, climbing and letting go…)

Don't Like Me Too Much (Rogue Fam Jam) (A new song played by me and some musical friends at the Rogue Fam Jam here in Ashland.)

Old Guy Cell Phone Rant (Just what it sounds like…)

“Cities and States” playlist below…

“Willie Nelson’s 80th Birthday Bash” playlist below…

“Rogue Poetry Slam” playlist below…

“Dylan Night 2013” playlist below…

New Youtube playlists:

Rogue Poetry Slam (I’ve been competing in our local Rogue Poetry Slams. A real challenge to read my lyrics as performance poetry…but I’m doing OK so far…I’ve won one and come in second and third in two others…I’ve got my performances from the last two slams here…)

Dylan Night 2013 (Featuring highlights from the 12th annual Bob Dylan’s Birthday Bash Open Mike as well as complete songs from me and a couple of my friends…)


I've stopped posting pictures on facebook, (for many reasons), and started posting them instead on Flickr, which I like much better.

Here's a link to my "home page" at Flicker: Photostream.

I have many photo galleries there but a few of my favorites are:

Small Miracles (mostly Nature related stuff)

The Dish Whisperer (I started posting a daily picture of my dish stacking work over a year ago. This month I passed day 500. I have no idea how long I’ll keep doing this. I’m so used to it, it hardly takes any effort at all to continue. I made a video for my song “I'll Do The Dishes Tonight” that featured a slideshow of the first year. If I make it through this second year, I may write a new “Dishes” song or use some other song I’ve already written to make another video.) 

"Head" and "Boot" (devoted to our two gerbils)

Upcoming Shows:

Monday, June 3rd, I'll be playing at one of my favorite Ashland venues, Liquid Assets. A relaxed living room vibe with great service, excellent food and wine, and a really nice place to listen to music. I play from 8-10pm, maybe longer...

Wednesday June 5th, I'll be hosting my regular Themed Open Mike at The Wild Goose. Usually this happens on the First Wednesday of each month. This month's theme is "Number Songs", so musicians and spoken word artists will be doing songs and poems that mention a number in their title or within the song or poem. We're never too strict or narrow about the themes for this event. The main idea is to focus our attention a little to hopefully inspire and motivate us creatively. These are always fun. No Cover at the friendliest bar in town. Sign-up is 7:30pm. Show starts at 8:00pm. 
*A heads up for next month: Wednesday July 3rd , 2013  “Love Gone Wrong”

Friday June 7th, I'll be playing at Paddy Brannan's Irish Pub with my good friend Robbie Lindauer. We play from about 9pm 'til around Midnight. Stop by after the First Friday Art Walk for a pint and some music. I've always liked the friendly and fun vibe of this place. I've done several First Friday shows here with Robbie and it's becoming one of my favorite places to play.

Tuesday, June 18th, I'll be competing with many other poets at the Rogue Poetry Slam which happens at Northwest Pizza and Pasta in Ashland. Sign-up is at 7:30pm and the show starts at 8. If you've never been to or competed in a Poetry Slam, I highly recommend this one. Come to watch, compete, or be one of the judges. Some people think of slams as hardcore hip-hop events or places where people are mean and talk trash, but nothing could be further from the truth. All kinds of poetry are welcome and people are very supportive. And it's so nice to participate in an event which is all about the words, or in my case, lyrics. For me it's really not about winning or losing, but just the fun of sharing my words with people and seeing what happens. 

Wednesday, June 19th, I'll be playing at The Wild Goose. Just me solo from 8-11pm. Friendliest bar in town. Never a cover at The Goose. I usually play here on the Third Wednesday of every month.

Saturday June 22nd, I'll be at The Downtowne Coffeehouse in Talent, playing from 10am-Noon. Great acoustics, super friendly neighborhood scene.

Sunday June 23rd, weather permitting, from 2:30-4:30pm, I'll be playing at The Lithia Artisan's Market, behind the Plaza in Ashland. Come support local music and art! 

For more info on these and all of my shows, and to confirm that there have been no cancellations, click here: Calendar  

Since I'm putting this newsletter out once a month, it's possible there may be a cancellation of a given show by the time it happens. Please double check with my web calendar if possible to be sure the gig is still happening. I'd hate to have you come out for nothing. Also another gig or two might be added or times or locations might change, so do check the calendar for the latest info.  


I continue to offer all of my albums for downloading, free or with a donation at my website: I started doing this about 5 years ago and considered it a 5 year creative experiment. Well the 5 years are up and I've decided to start calling it my "ongoing creative experiment" as I have no plans to stop. Since I returned to my folk roots and stopped climbing, or trying to climb, the industry ladder, I've been enjoying music in my life more than ever before. And enjoyment, rather than achievement or worldly success has always been dearest to my heart anyway. So now I focus totally on what I love most: writing, recording, performing and sharing what I create. If other people like it so much the better, but getting other people to like me or what I do is no longer my goal or focus. I'm out to please myself first. I want to do my music exactly the way I want to do it and see who likes it that way, not figure out what people will like and try to do it that way. I put it out there freely and see what comes freely back. So far so good. I've never had more success and appreciation than I have since I started doing it this. Go figure. 

Thanks, as usual, for your support and well wishes even if you don't make to any shows. I hope this monthly format is working for you. It certainly saves me a lot of time and energy to do this all at once.


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