From Gene Burnett
This might be my last chance to call “By Ear~20 Songs From 2020” my latest album.
My new one “Who’s A Good Dog?” featuring 21 songs from 2021 should be up on my site before too long. There are some steps outside of my control so I’m not sure when that will be. I love the sound of this album. It’s just me and guitar, no overdubs, but we took our time with it and it’s already one of my favorite sounding recordings. But until it’s up on the site…
”By Ear” is the latest album and it, as well as the rest of my recorded music, is available for listening or downloading free or with a donation here: www.GeneBurnett.com It’s also available at many e-retailers of music as well as Spotify. I also made videos for all of the songs. Here’s a link to a youtube playlist with all of them: By Ear~20 Songs From 2020 Youtube Playlist
I have videos for all of the songs from the new album done and posted on youtube…they’re just not “public” yet. I want to wait until it’s up on my site before I do that and I will of course, post the link to the playlist here when I do.
We had our first White Christmas in over 30 years here in the Rogue Valley. We got a bunch of snow too, more that we’ve had in some time. I ended up taking the week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the first time I’ve done that in many years. It started with the snow storm, but soon became…damn, I could use some time off. So I took a week off and took care of album stuff, had a couple of great meals with my wife and her dad, and got a lot of resting in too. I still worked out, but more to keep my toe in the door than to really dig into anything.
Meanwhile, I posted another batch of videos to my youtube channel this month.
As usual, I have been really enjoying recording videos for our “Virtual Sunday Night Open Mikes”. I posted another 3 of them, each with a different theme. We had to skip one as our host was out of town. In lieu of that open mike, I recorded a set of 3 songs I wrote that are about or mention Willie Nelson.
I also posted 1 virtual open mike set for Southern Oregon Songwriters Association (SOSA). The second one would have fallen on Christmas Eve so we cancelled that one. I came up with a Songwriting Challenge for my SOSA friends which I’ll share here.
The purpose of this songwriting challenge is face the challenge and see what it brings out of us, not to come up with something great or even good.
I recommend using it like a piece of fitness equipment.
We might get a true keeper out of it—We might not.
We might a line or two worth saving—We might not.
The point is just to go for it and see what happens and hopefully be willing to share the results whatever they are.
Here are 6 options. We have five weeks to pick at least one from the list below. I honestly didn’t give it too much thought because I wanted as in on the challenge as I could get, so I picked them as they randomly occurred to me and didn’t think about them again.
We should feel free to pick more than one if we’re on a roll. We might write one whole song or we might write one line for each of the six options. Follow your muse on this one.
1. Write a Christmas Song (For extra difficulty: a serious one)
2. Write a song with the title: “Almost Ready”
3. Write a song from the perspective of or about an animal
4. Write a song that is unlike anything you’ve ever written in at least two ways
5. Write a song in which food is featured prominently
6. Write a song about a “first” in your life
Songs should be as new as possible and no further along than just an idea or a line or two. Don’t dust off an old tune you’re already written or nearly finished. Start something brand new or take something pretty new and move it forward. It’s really about the challenge itself and what it exercises rather than about presenting something good. I’d like us to share whatever we come up, regardless of what it is. Sometimes the muse is with us, sometimes not, but sharp tools are good either way.
I’ve made some progress on these ideas and while I might not have any completed songs before the next SOSA open mike, I’m hoping to meet all 6 challenges before the end of 2022. I will keep you posted.
Back to videos…
I posted another Christmas Apartment Tour video.
And I posted 2 new T’ai-Chi videos.
For links to all of these and more, see the Videos section below…
So here we go…I’m going to start with local events 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.
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.
All of my over 30 albums are available for downloading free or with a donation at my website: GeneBurnett.com
Videos In General
Overall Mission: I post a lot of videos on youtube, over 2000 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. Paypal 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
And here are links to my individual album youtube playlists.
Ear~20 Songs From 2020
From The Temple To The Street
The Way Of All Things
Slow Down Fast
Love & Heartache
Better Off Broken
Why Start Now?
Where I Belong
Have A Wonderful Miserable Life
Too Busy To Worry
No Other Life
See No Evil
Brand New World
Up For Grabs
Flow More ~ Force Less
Undiscovered~Parts 1 & 2
Maybe Nothing’s Wrong~Parts 1 & 2
Without The Moon
Nothing’s Impossible Now
You Are Wrong
My Song Now
Terms Of Surrender~Parts 1 & 2
Where Will You Sleep Tonight?
I’m going to do something a little different with this section
of the newsletter. Rather than provide individual links to each video, I’m
going list the titles to the videos followed by a link to a blog I’ve set up
for that category of video. Just click on the link and you’ll go to either my
Music videos blog, or my T’ai-Chi videos blog or my Nature videos blog. Once
there you’ll see a wall of thumbnails. The ones in the upper left corner are
the most recent posts. You’ll be able to scroll over any of these thumbnails.
It will flip over and show you the title of that video. Click on it and you can
watch that video without leaving the blog. This method is much less
time-consuming for me and actually, I think, more convenient for you. It might
sound complicated but it’s very easy. Give it a try.
6 new Music videos:
Pandemic Virtual Open Mike #87
Pandemic Virtual Open Mike #88
Pandemic Virtual Open Mike #89
SOSA Zoom Open Mike #21
3 Songs About Willie Nelson (Pandemic Edition)
For a youtube playlist of all 13 of my songwriting tips, click here: Songwriting Tips Youtube Playlist
These and all my music videos are right here: The Unforced Videos
2 new T’ai-Chi videos:
“Day Two” Why Do You Stop?
These and all my T’ai-Chi Videos are right here: The Unforced Movement
No new Nature videos:
But all my past Nature Videos are right here: The Unforced Nature
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 "Albums" page at Flicker: Albums
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 3000 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 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 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 way. Go figure.
Thanks, as usual, for your support and well wishes!