Tuesday, July 22, 2014


In Loss.

If you're going to get better at anything, you have to "invest in loss", as we say in T'ai-Chi. That is to say, you have to give up some of your previous status and skill in order to master the next level. You have to be willing to be a beginner again.

Top dog 8th grader becomes a freshman...

The player who makes all the "one shots" in pool, suddenly misses them because now she's trying to control what the cue ball does after she makes the shot, so as to set up the next one...

Guy who can overpower people with strength in Pushing Hands suddenly gets pushed over a lot because now he's trying to find better angles that require less force and he's not as good at this...

Tango dancer who's been doing it for a couple of years and feels like hot stuff suddenly realizes that to get to the next level, he must start all over with a deeper study of the most basic moves...

Even if you're not that ambitious and don't care if you get better, even if you're like me and are just hoping to not get worse, it still helps to invest in the loss of yesterday's body as you grow into the one you have now. I am always a beginner with the body I have now. Cursing the loss of the old one doesn't help, except as a momentary venting of energy. Then it's back to being a freshman again.

I always loved the story of the Japanese martial art master who asked to be buried with his white belt on… 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July News

From Gene Burnett

I’ve started work on my second album of 2014, tentatively titled “Crooked Love”…This one will feature several duets and trios with musicians I jam with regularly around Ashland. I’m not used to working with other musicians and this process happening over weeks instead of a few days, but I’m getting used to it. So far so good! I’ve recorded a handful of solo songs, one trio song is done and two duo songs are done. Slow but steady…

Summer is coming but not quite here in full force, we’ve had a little rain and some cooler temps which is good because we are in a drought around here and the later the heat comes on the better. Outdoor shows are starting to happen too. See below if you’re in Southern Oregon.

My wife Samarra has been out of town for several months, helping her dad out with some important organizing and de-cluttering up in Seattle. This is the longest we’ve been apart in 20 years but she’s doing good work and this is a good time to do it. With luck, she’ll be back home in mid-July. I’ve certainly missed her a lot, but I’ve enjoyed my solo life as well and am definitely staying active and creative.

Several new videos posted this month…see the links below.

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.

There is so much to listen to and watch on the net these days…I’m amazed anyone even gets this far in the newsletter let alone watches or listens to anything I’m doing. I’m sincerely grateful for every view, every listen, and every nice comment I receive. I’m happy if anything I post truly reaches even one person. I’m offering all this stuff in a “just in case you’re interested” spirit.

Recorded Music

My newest album is called “Doubles Hitter” and like all my other albums (30 so far…), it’s available for downloading free or with a donation at my website: www.GeneBurnett.com

Videos In General

Overall Mission: I post a lot of videos on youtube, over 1000 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 (www.GeneBurnett.com) 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 

New Videos

My “Doubles Hitter” youtube playlist. Includes videos for all the songs from my newest album:

Me “live” at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Hip-Hop Open Mike playing my song “Save Your Breath”:

“Three-Legged Dog”, featuring Mandy, a wonderfully happy dog:

Three-Legged Dog

“Color Me Grateful”, a new song, not on any albums yet:

Color Me Grateful

New “Sky Videos”:

At The Time

I came in first this time. Three more Rogue Poetry Slam videos of me reading my lyrics:

Two new T’ai-Chi videos:

One new Nature video:


I've stopped posting as many 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. I just passed the 900 straight days mark. 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. I made it through my second year recently, and hope to create another video slideshow set to another of my songs. Stay tuned…)

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

Upcoming Shows:

Wednesday July 2nd, 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 “Stones or Beatles!“ so musicians and spoken word artists will be doing songs and poems by either band or that reference either band or are about either band. Hell, you can play a song about actual stones or rocks or beetles. 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 August 6th, 2014: “Third Annual Songs of Summer”

Friday, July 4th, weather permitting, from 12pm-2pm, I'll be playing at The Lithia Artisan's Market, behind the Plaza in Ashland. Come by after the parade and support local music and art!

Monday, July 7th,
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'll be playing from 8-10pm, maybe longer...

Tuesday, July 15th, 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. $5 cover, all of which goes to the winning poets. 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 that 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, July 16th, 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, July 19th, I'll be at The Downtowne Coffeehouse in Talent, playing from 10am-Noon. Great acoustics, super friendly neighborhood scene.

Friday, July 25th, I'll be playing at Paddy Brannan's Irish Pub with The Graceful Losers, a.k.a. Me and whoever else I can scare up for the gig. I’ve decided that whenever I play with other musicians in anything like a band setting, we will be called “The Graceful Losers”. We play from about 9pm 'til around Midnight. Stop by for a pint and some music. I've always liked the friendly and fun vibe of this place. One of my favorite places to play.

Saturday July 26th, I’ll be playing a set before the Tommy Emmanuel show at the Britt Festival’s new Performance Garden Stage! I’ll be there from 6pm-7:15pm. This new stage looks great, can’t wait to try it out. Really looking forward to this one. For ticket information: https://www.brittfest.org/performances

Saturday, August 2nd, weather permitting, from 11am-1pm, 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: www.GeneBurnett.com I started doing this about 7 or 8 years ago and considered it a 5 year creative experiment. Well the 5 years passed and I 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.