Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cold Showers

And Why I Take 'Em

I like taking cold showers. Not every time I shower but certainly at the end of every shower, sometimes at the beginning too. I do this for several reasons. Here are some of them:

1. The secondary effects of cold are similar to the primary effects of heat. The cold water drives the blood from the surface of the skin and into the core…but immediately afterwards the blood starts to return and it brings a nice flush of warmth with it. This is good for overall circulation.

2. I feel like a Russian badass (Just a little).

3. Cold showers are good for muscle tone.

4. Cold showers are good for the immune system. While I’m certainly not immune to head colds now and then, as of this writing, it’s been decades since I had a fever or the flu. And I’ve never had a flu shot.

5. Cold showers are a great way to wake up in a hurry if I need to be alert fast.

6. Cold showers are a great way to take a short shower if I’m running late. I will most likely not linger.

7. Cold showers are a great way to cool down after a long hot bike ride or some other workout.

8. Cold showers are a great way to firm up my body and make me acutely aware of my boundaries. Melting and letting go of those boundaries is very nice as well and hot tubs and hot showers are great…but sometimes it’s just good for me to feel my edges more exactly.

9. Our bodies burn fat to produce heat. Heating myself up internally after a cold shower helps lower my overall percentage of body fat…even if just a bit.

10. Cold showers are a great way to help me appreciate hot running water, still a luxury in many parts of the world.

11. Cold showers cost less than hot showers and use less fossil fuel.

12. Cold showers make me a little tougher without any real risk of injury. I'm not so wimpy when it comes to being chilly. 

13. Cold showers make me breathe more deeply and completely.

14. Cold showers are good for the skin.

15. Cold showers increase my tolerance for discomfort which is very useful to me in life. I think it’s actually one of the most important capacities when it comes to learning just about anything. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

New Double Album

Crooked Love

Well Friends, my new double album “Crooked Love” is finally done. It actually didn’t take that long, as far as albums usually go, but I’m used to working much faster. This time I recorded with a bunch of wonderful local musicians, many of whom I jam with regularly around Ashland. None of these songs were rehearsed more than once or twice and some were learned by the musicians minutes before we recorded them. But  you would never guess that from the way they played them. Everyone was great and I so appreciate their generosity and talent. To buy a hard copy, listen to the album or download it free or with a donation, click here:

Then scroll down to the first album listed and follow the links and directions. It will be faster and easier to download at CD Baby:

And soon on iTunes…but it will cost you a little more.

While this album was recorded fairly inexpensively by most standards, it was very expensive by mine. Considering that I don’t travel or push my stuff very hard, it’s very unlikely this one will ever break even. So if you like it, please consider dropping a digital coin in my digital tip jar at
Below is a list of the songs on the album, as well as who played on them.

Thanks for your support, GB

Crooked Love~Part One

1. Crooked Love (With Jeff Addicott on bass) (6:01)
2. Every Day (With Jim Page on guitar) (5:37)
3. Roving Gambler (Traditional) (GB-solo) (8:10)
4. Cellmate Soulmate (GB-solo) (3:35)
5. I Hope You’re Loser Friendly (GB-solo) (6:23)
6. Baby Talk (With Jeff Stanley on guitar & Dave Hampton on bass) (8:32)
7. Nothing But Trouble (With Pete Herzog on guitar) (4:42)
8. Color Me Grateful (With Jeff Kloetzel on guitar) (6:24)
9. Before I Die (GB-solo) (4:45)
10. If It Isn’t Blue (GB-solo) (3:34)
11. All I Can Do (GB-solo) (3:33)
12. The Minor Key To My Heart (GB-solo) (3:58)
13. To Be Free (GB-solo) (4:20)

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Tom Freeman at Freeman Sound Studios
All songs by Gene Burnett ©2014 except Roving Gambler (traditional)

Crooked Love~Part Two

1. Too Something (With Jack Fischer on guitar & bass, Tom Freeman on drums) (5:05)
2. Praying Mantis Blues (With Pete Herzog on guitar) (4:37)
3. Higher Ground (With Jeff Stanley on guitar, Tom Freeman on congas, Jack Fischer on bass) (6:40)
4. Self-Pity Motel (With Robbie Lindauer on guitar, Mark Arinsberg on drums) (4:30)
5. Fighting Tonight (With Dave Hampton on drums, Big Irv Lubliner on harp) (4:01)
6. Before We Don’t (GB-solo) (4:55)
7. No Worries—No Problem—Not Yet (With Jef Fretwell on guitar and harmony vocals) (4:07)*
8. Tattoo (GB-solo) (3:24)*
9. Oregon (GB-solo) (5:14)
10. 70’s Girl (GB-solo) (6:24)
11. This Heartache Sucks (For Darrin Wayne) (With Robbie DaCosta on guitar) (3:43)*
12. Save Your Breath (2014) (With Michael Whipple on percussion and bass) (4:21)*
13. Too Something (Phone Mix) (With Jack Fischer on guitar & bass, Tom Freeman on drums) (4:59)

*Contains Adult Language

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Tom Freeman at Freeman Sound Studios
All songs by Gene Burnett ©2014 

Sunday, October 19, 2014


I Can’t Force It.

There seems to be a natural process that leads me to forgiveness if I don't get in its way. It can take years, but when I'm wounded, the fastest way I know to genuine forgiveness is to allow the stages of feeling following the wounding to happen. The best way I know to slow down this process is to work at trying to forgive people. If I don't really FEEL the wound, what am I forgiving?

Speaking strictly for me here, your experience may differ, but I think many people want to skip the feelings involved in being injured and jump straight to forgiveness. I don't experience that this works or is possible. I don't think true or genuine forgiveness is an act of choice or will. I think it will come quite naturally in its own time, if I allow the feelings involved to surface, one after another.

If I don't allow those feelings, I can't forgive anyone, including myself, no matter what I say or claim. If I deny the wound or the feelings that came with it and say, "I forgive you.", the wound does not go away, and neither do the feelings. I think going through these feelings is difficult, but for me anyway, it's the only way. Being hurt hurts. The rest is just head-tripping, wishful thinking and New Age bullshit designed to skip things that are not skip-able.

The vast majority of times in my life when I've reached genuine forgiveness, I never had to say so or make a big deal out of it. I just noticed one day that I had forgiven someone some injury. They usually seem to get it too and we naturally move on. This has worked in reverse too. When someone has forgiven me for some injury. It just happens and we both seem to know it.

On the other hand, 9 times out of 10 when someone says they forgive me or someone else, and makes a “special” deal out of it, it doesn’t resonate or feel real to me. They still seem wounded and trying to get out their discomfort by force of will, which I don't think works. Thinking and analyzing the situation can help, but for me at least, the feelings involved must be felt. I can't think or will them away.

Also, people like to condemn and downplay things like "holding on" and "resentment" and I agree to some extent. Those are not always healthy things to do for the body.

But they can also be very helpful "rest stops" along the natural forgiveness path. I will hold on sometimes, when to go further into the feelings would be too painful. Resentment hurts, but sometimes it's a level of pain that I can handle when going deeper would hurt too much for me. When I can handle more feeling or when enough feeling has trickled through my resentment, I can then go deeper into the process. Holding on can be like a pressure valve that allows a tolerable amount of the process to happen.

The key thing for me, and I emphasize "for me" here, is that forgiveness is a natural process in which the less I do to speed it up the better.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


On Discontent…

Exploring your own unfulfilled ambitions is a worthy and vital thing to do, in my opinion. Discontent is a powerful alarm clock and teacher. I don't mean that if everything isn’t perfect you're living the wrong life, just that when something bugs you about your life and won't go away, I think that's something worth sorting out. I've listened to that nagging feeling that something isn't right, as well as my sense that certain choices do feel right, to lead me to what I think is the best life for me, at least for now. It’s a work in progress to be sure.

I recommend a little book called "Focusing" by Eugene Gendlin. He's organized and come up with a simple systematic way of tuning into and listening to the deeper intuitions that we all have. It might be helpful in sorting out what you have to let go of, what you don't really want, what you do really want, and the best path to as much of it as you can get.