Tom Kimmel’s August 2010 Newsletter

1. Greetings: On the backside of a crazy year…
2. News: Summer song retreats (California, British Columbia,) + Greece report + new Waymores video and more…
3. Drawing Board: Waymores album update, Ireland tour group in 2011 and more…
4. Perspective: New TK short essay, “The Longing”
5. Food for Thought: Doris Lessing on doing one’s best
6. Recommended: Great summer movie
7. Note from Shauna: TK house concerts & song coaching

1. Greetings!

I began writing this newsletter at the airport in Tampa… added bits in the back of a van driving to a Waymores show in Alabama… finished it on an flight to Sacramento.. and proofed it at a Holiday Inn in Auburn, CA… Welcome to my world!

So we’re over the half-way hump of an exceedingly strange year–a year filled with wars and global economic woes, the biggest environmental disaster in our country’s history–and back at home in Nashville we had a one-in-five-hundred-years flood. And the world is changing so increditly fast! Tablet computing, super smart phones, wall to wall internet, talking GPS gizmos… And yet I’m able to share my thoughts with you by virtue of the tiny keyboard propped on a box of CDs in front of me. Hello!

2. News

A. Starting later today I’ll be teaching songwriting at the American River Acoustic Music Camp near Coloma, CA, and the retreat is SOLD OUT! (How nice is that?)

B. “Writing Whole Songs,” a three day song camp I’m leading in wild British Columbia, begins next Sunday, August 8

If you arre on the fence–or are in the Northwest and are just hearing about the retreat, I invite you to join me for a focused, intimate three day workshop at a rustic resort on the banks of a gorgeous whitewater river. I will be the sole instructor there, and and I’m very excited by the opportunity: http://www.reorafting.com/site/retreats/writing_whole_songs.html

For more info email retreat operator (and fellow songwriter) Bryan Fogelman at… info@reorafting.com

…and tell him that you read about the retreat in my newsletter!

C. Greece Report

Last month I had the great good fortune to teach at a songwriting retreat on the Greek isle of Crete. What an unforgettable experience! Thanks again to Swedish artist Eva Hillered for inviting me.

My wife Robin came along, and on “our way home” we stopped off at Santorini–spectacular–and in Athens, where we explored the Acropolis.

–THANKS also to Eva’s husband Peter Ostman and beautiful daughter Ella… and to the wonderful group of songwriters at the retreat. You felt like kin.

D. New high quality Waymores video online

The Waymores (me, Don Henry, Sally Barris) recently played a couple of world class music series, and some very high quality video was shot. Check it out:

www.youtube.com/jimparkerssongseries
(Recorded at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Thanks to Jim Parker and the excellent sound and video crew!)

http://events.bluerocktexas.com
(Recorded at the Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio in Wimberley, Texas. Thanks to Billy and Dodee Crockett and the crack Blue Ranch staff!)

E. See the “REAL Ireland” with me in August-September 2011

My good friend Johnsmith has been taking groups to Ireland for these “backroads” tours for years, and I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews. Now, via an unexpected stroke of great luck, I’ve been given the opportunity to partner with John’s Irish tour manager, Tom Pigott, to bring a group of twenty-one of my own friends and fans.

This tour will run from August 29 till September 6, 2011, and cost of will be $2,000 US per person, based on *twin/double occupancy, including **travel and most meals within Ireland. (*Note: an extra $350 will cover a single room, if one prefers.)

(Note, too, that I am happy to help you find cost effective travel to and from Ireland, and coordinate your travel.)

Tom P. is now accepting deposits of $500 to insure your place in our group. (He’ll be looking for $750 by March 15 and the the balance by May 15, 2011.)

FYI, I’ll have a tour web page added to my website very shortly. In the meantime, there’s a wealth of info at Mr. Pigott’s site: www.enchantedwaytours.ie

[Thanks to Vicki Belinoski for making this tour dream a reality!]

3. Drawing Board:

A. Waymores album

We’re heading down the home stretch on the Waymores record. Most of the recording is done, and we have 8 days in August booked to finsih up. Don, Sally and I have played all instruments ourselves, and we’ve recorded the whole thing in the Tree House, my small studio.

And some great news: old friend producer/engineer (and multiple Grammy winner) Ray Kennedy has agreed to mix the album. We’re very excited.

B. Songbook

It’s simmering away on the back burner… and not forgotten

C. Solo album

I’ll be starting as soon as the Waymores project is complete. I’ve got tons of songs to choose from, so next steps is to start recording and see what hangs together best.

D. New Agrarians (me, Kate Campbell, Pierce Pettis)

On hiatus at the moment, but we’re still dreaming big. (BTW Kate just led a group to Ireland with Tom Pigott, and I hear it went swimmingly well.)

4. Perspective: New TK short essay

“The Longing”

I’ve lived in the same town for thirty years. It’s not the town I grew up in, and it’s never felt completely like home to me. Of course, where I grew up doesn’t feel so much like home either. In fact, no place does. And yet I can truthfully say that I somehow manage to make myself at home almost everywhere I go. Perhaps it’s even true that I feel more at home everywhere than I feel at home anywhere. What a mystery! But perhaps the greater mystery is that this home can be so strongly sensed–that it doesn’t quite exist, but is still something I can feel….

[To read on, this entire piece follows Tour Dates below. To view past TK essays and other writings, visit: www.myspace.com/tomkimmelmusic and click on Tom Kimmel’s Latest Blog Entry in right hand menu.]

5. Food for Thought

“What’s terrible is to pretend that the second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don’t need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you’re capable of better.”

–Doris Lessing

6. Recommended: Toy Story 3

If you see one summer movie, make it Toy Story 3. And Disney 3D is the ticket, if its available in your neighborhood theater. (If not, no worries–it still looks great.) I’ve loved most all the Pixar films, and they’ve done it again–in spades. What a treat!

7. Notes from Shauna:

A. INTERESTED IN TOM’S SUPPORT WITH YOUR SONGWRITING?

Tom is available to teach/coach/mentor songwriters in one-on-one sessions (in person or long distance via phone, iChat or Skype).

For more information click here or contact us for rates.

Feedback from Tom’s students and peers is consistently outstanding. He’s not only a great writer; he’s a great teacher for writers.

“Your insights and thoughts on songwriting have really opened doors for me, and your encouragement continues to mean so much.”
–AK, Dublin, Ireland

B. INTERESTED IN HAVING TOM PLAY A CONCERT IN YOUR LIVING ROOM?

A “HOUSE CONCERT” is a unique way to hear Tom’s music in an intimate, personal setting. If you’d like to learn more about creating a night you and your friends will never forget, email Shauna Jamison.

“The Longing” (short TK essay)

I’ve lived in the same town for thirty years. It’s not the town I grew up in, and it’s never felt completely like home to me. Of course, where I grew up doesn’t feel so much like home either. In fact, no place does. And yet I can truthfully say that I somehow manage to make myself at home almost everywhere I go. Perhaps it’s even true that I feel more at home everywhere than I feel at home anywhere. What a mystery! But perhaps the greater mystery is that this home can be so strongly sensed–that it doesn’t quite exist, but is still something I can feel.

It’s odd–I love mankind, but I also love particular people. I love music, but also particular works. And I love particular paintings, films, and so on. And yet… I love no house, no town, no spot on the ground.

So here’s the rub: I long for home. You could say that I know it more as a missing place than an actual one. Yet how do I know this missing place–this place I’ve apparently never been? How do I feel it? I believe it’s felt in the longing for it. Because what, I ask myself, could be more powerful than longing for home–for this place known better by its absence than by its presence?

I once heard a guru say that you should never fill your belly completely because all hunger is ultimately hunger for God. Boy did that ring a bell! Those words have rested with me like the soft weight of a winter coat.

And I recall one of my favorite Bill Moyers interviews–an interview with Coleman Barks, a scholar and translator of the 13th Century Persian poet Rumi. Moyers (the great journalist) was inquiring of Barks about the nature of the longing so beautifully expressed in Rumi’s poems. “What,” Moyers asked, “is the longing for?”

I expected Barks to reply that the longing is for love, or for God, or for intimacy… or even for home–for something great and profound. But he replied, “The longing, I think…. Perhaps the longing is for the longing itself.”

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