Thursday, November 1, 2018

November News

From Gene Burnett

My new album “Slow Down Fast” is all recorded, mixed and mastered, the art work is done and I’m just waiting for hard copies now, which should be in my hands any day now. Then the final phase of this project begins…getting the album up on my site…getting copies out to the copyright office and CD Baby (and from there to iTunes, Spotify, and other e-retailers of music) and making simple videos of all the songs to post on youtube. I’m proud of this collection of songs and I feel really good getting it all recorded. The cherry on the sundae is making the album available to anyone who wants to listen to it. Then I can get back to writing.

I don’t really consider myself a “singer-songwriter” anymore than I identify as a “T’ai-Chi teacher”. I’m just working to sort myself out and find a little peace, balance, integrity, coherence…whatever you want to call that place of “yes”. My T’ai-Chi, my songs, the quality of my attention as a friend and husband…these are the side effects or products of who I am, which is the drive to sort myself out. That drive is only consistent thing about me. Everything else has changed over the years…my abilities, my body, what I will assent to, my perspective, my values…but not the drive to sort myself out. That’s been there ever since I had a conscious thought. It might sound selfish…but being selfish never feels right for very long. One of the best things I do to sort myself out is to help out other people. I’m just following that “yes” feeling. If it says, take care of me, I take care of me. If it says, take care of someone else, I take care of someone else. That “yes” feeling keeps leading me to a greater enjoyment of life, a greater experience of wholeness, and a greater feeling of connection. Nothing else does it, not for long anyway, so I keep listening into my body and following this feeling.

Identifying with this drive, this aim for balance and coherence in my life, does wonders for my self-esteem too. When I identify with the things I do, like music, I’m usually pretty miserable, stuck on a roller coaster that goes up and down with the vagaries of other people’s approval, and, as with T’ai-Chi, there’s always someone better and there’s always someone worse, so it never stops rolling, up and down, up and down. I find it tiring, stressful, and not very productive. Whereas when I identify with what I aim for, I feel good simply aiming for it. My success rate with hitting the target goes up and down, but I don’t go up and down with it. I’m just focused on my aim and the results some naturally in their own time. I enjoy myself and my life a lot more when I do this. I have a video about it below in the New Videos section.

Musically, this month, aside from getting the album recorded, the highlight was a tossup between the “John Prine Birthday Bash” at the Wild Goose Café & Bar here in Ashland, and getting to play a couple of songs to listening audience at one our local “Hearth” events, this time an evening of storytelling about the experience of war. See links below in Videos section.

I posted 7 new videos last month, 3 new T’ai-Chi videos, 3 new music video, and 1 new Nature video. See links below in Videos section.

My last album “Thunder Moon”, along with over 30 others, is available for downloading or listening free or with a donation here: Musical Recordings Page 

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 November 7th, I'll be hosting my regular Themed Open Mike at The Wild Goose Café & Bar. Usually this happens on the First Wednesday of every month. This month's theme is our 8th annual “Political Songs” so musicians and spoken word artists will be doing songs and poems, covers or originals, that mention or are about this theme 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, December 5th, 2018: “8th Annual Holiday/Winter Songs”

Saturday, November 17th, from 10am-Noon, my good friend Jesse Biesanz and I are hosting a Hacky Sack session outside the former 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, November 24th, I'll be at The Downtowne Coffeehouse in Talent, playing original music from 10am-Noon. Great acoustics, super friendly neighborhood scene.

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.

A Note on Monetization: I won’t be able to monetize my videos on youtube anymore. Monetization seems to be an option youtube wants to reserve for bigger more ambitions channels. I’ve always had mixed feelings about having ads on my videos, so to some extent, this is actually a bit of a relief. On the other hand, it was nice to make a little money from my videos and nice to think of “views” as adding slightly to my income. But such is life. I’m happy to be rolling free and clear of ads. With the help of some savvy facebook friends, I was able to ad this paragraph to the descriptions on all of my videos at once:

I hope this video has been helpful to you or touched you in some way that leaves you a little better off for having watched it. This is not a big time channel and I have no plans for it to become one. I’m too small to have ads on my videos and I’ve always had mixed feelings about them anyway. If you would like to support and encourage what I do here, you can make a donation to me directly via paypal. No donation is too small, (or too big!) and all donations are very much appreciated.

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

2 new T’ai-Chi videos:

3 new Music videos:

1 new Nature video:

Album playlists:


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 10 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.