Saturday, July 29, 2017

August News

From Gene Burnett

All right then. I’m officially over 60 now. I had a great birthday and decided to make a video that captured the day. I’m usually not that into birthdays at all. I hardly ever have a party or anything like that. For some reason, this one seemed different and I told nearly everyone that I met that I turned 60 that day.

The summer is really cooking now. A big heat wave is coming as I write this. Looks like 5 or 6 days of near or over 100 degrees, including a peak of maybe 108. My plan is to embrace it and let it in. I won’t even turn on my AC, something I hardly ever do anyway. All I need is some fans and I’m good. We will see how that goes. ;~)

I have a great gig this month. Playing the “Green Show” at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It’s an outdoor pre-show before the main plays start. Should be a lot of people there and it’s an actual listening audience, something that’s pretty rare in my life, so I’m really looking forward to it. August 22nd, 6:45, OSF, the day after the eclipse, in case you’re in town. Speaking of the eclipse…a lot of people are coming to Oregon to see it. Should be some massive traffic along the route of totality. Here in Ashland we’re supposed to get 93% which is more than enough eclipse for me, so I’m not going anywhere.

I was a guest on my friend Mark Arinsberg’s podcast in July. Mark’s a great eccentric guy who seems to know just about everyone in town. He’s a graphic designer, drummer, taxi-cab driver, international traveler, and now podcast host. Here’s a link to the cast page. Just scroll down to episode nine. Citizen 44 I think you will enjoy our conversation. ;~)

I posted some new videos this month: 2 new T’ai-Chi videos, 3 new Rogue Poetry Slam videos, as well as my 60th birthday video. I’ve also been putting together some youtube playlists featuring songs from past albums including “live” and Rogue Poetry Slam versions. See links below in the Videos section of this post.

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

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.

Upcoming Shows:

Wednesday August 2nd, I'll be hosting my regular Themed Open Mike at The Wild Goose CafĂ© & Bar. Usually this happens on the First Wednesday of every month. This month's theme will be “ Songs Of Summer” so musicians and spoken word artists will be doing songs and poems, covers or originals, that have anything to do with summer in any way. 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 community events. No Cover at the friendliest bar in Ashland. Sign-up is 7:30pm. Show starts at 8:00pm.
*A heads up for next month: Wednesday, September 6th, 2017: “Work Songs”

Monday August 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 play from 8:00-10pm

Sunday August 13th, I’ll be performing at Grizzly Peak Winery as part of The Jackson County Fuel Committee’s 7th Annual Folk Music Festival. There will be several musical acts donating their time for this great organization which, among other things, provides free wood to help low income folks stay warm in the Winter. The event runs from 5pm-8:00pm and the outdoor setting is beautiful. I’ll be playing sometime towards the end of the show. All kinds of great donated food as well. There is a suggested donation of $20.00. Please call 541-488-2905 for more info.

No Rogue Poetry Slam this month.

Saturday, August 19th, from 10am-Noon, my good friend Jesse Biesanz and I are hosting a Hacky Sack session outside Caldera Tap House on Water Street in Ashland. We’ll be under the overpass. This usually happens on the third Saturday of every month but this month we’re doing it on the 2nd Saturday. We both miss the fun and camaraderie of a good friendly Hack Circle and…more importantly, we miss the practice! It’s fun, aerobic, cooperative, demands balance, coordination, quick thinking and accuracy…So whether you’re new to the game, or an experienced player who wants to brush up your skills, or an expert who just wants to meet some new players, come on by. Hacky Sack basically involves keeping a small footbag in the air, usually leather and fairly soft, using only your feet. When there are more than two players, it’s usually played in a circle. If the circle gets too big, it is split into smaller circles.

The only rules of this Hack Circle:

1. You’ve got to use your feet to keep the sack in the air and off the ground. No hands! (10 voluntary pushups if you do)

2. If you miss or otherwise screw up, you can’t say, “I’m Sorry.” (10 voluntary pushups if you do)

3. No serving to yourself. (10 voluntary pushups if you do)

4. No hotdogging. Meaning this is not about how many tricks you can do before the sack hits the ground, and it’s not about working obsessively on tricks. Tricks are fine but in general, we want to keep the hack going as a friendly group and keep everyone involved.

See you at Caldera rain or shine. The overpass provides shelter from the rain and once the circle gets going, you’ll be plenty warm regardless of the weather.

Saturday, August 19th, 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!

Saturday, August 22nd, the day after the eclipse, I’ll be playing the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Green Show from 6:45-7:30pm. Outside OSF “on the bricks”, this is probably the best gig in Ashland, certainly my best show of the year. The whole area has recently been remodeled and it’s even more audience friendly than it used to be. Grab some takeout, have a picnic, and let me entertain you. ;~)

For more info about 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.  

Recorded Music

All of my over 30 albums are available for downloading free or with a donation at my website:

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 ( 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

3 new T’ai-Chi videos:

3 new Rogue Poetry Slam videos:

My 60th Birthday video:


Youtube Playlists featuring songs from previous albums including “live” and Rogue Poetry Slam versions:


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 recently crossed the 2000 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.

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


I continue to offer all of my albums for downloading, free or with a donation at my website: I started doing this about 8 or 9 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.