1. Autumn greetings!
2. News: Ireland report, New Agrarians CD coming, poem nominated, Waymores update
3. Special: Ireland 2014, now taking reservations!
4. Drawing Board: What’s next
5 Food for Thought: Albert Einstein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Carl Jung, & Jonathan Swift on what’s smart
6. TK Story of the Month: Talking Animals
7. Recommended: Bob Gernandt’s incredible hand-made instruments
Driving from Tupelo to Nashville and back, the fall colors are blossoming along the Trace. Autumn is a little late this year, and driving south you’ll see that Mississippi’s deep green is only now yielding to the gold and red of the season. I love this blush of color. Is there anything else like it?
a. Home from Ireland
I returned from Ireland on the first of October after seven rich weeks abroad. I hosted a fine group of friends and fans on a tour of Ireland’s wild southwest, then stepped in to host two excellent tours for ailing brother Johnsmith (Inishfree Tours) while he recovered from unexpected heart surgery. (He’s healing nicely—thank God for that.) I made lots of new friends, reconnected with old ones, fell in love with new places.
I’ve added a few pics from this year’s tours to my Ireland photo gallery. To view, click HERE.
b. Ireland in 2014: not one, but TWO tours!
And now it’s time to look ahead to next year’s tours. I’ll be hosting TWO Ireland tours in 2014. Needless to say, I’m quite excited about it.
See the Special Feature item below for info … or click HERE to learn all about it at my website.
(You’ll also find a FAQ page on the tours HERE.)
c. Long-awaited *New Agrarians album available soon!
Incredibly, the album is completely finished and artwork’s being proofed. CDs will soon be in hand, so watch for a special e-blast with the particulars… in time for Christmas!
d. My poem “Pretty” nominated for spoken word award
A recording of my poem “Pretty” (from my book “The Sweetest and the Meanest”) has been nominated for a “Posi Award” in a new Spoken Word category.
The awards show will be part of the 9th Annual emPower Posi Music Festival, which will be January 17-20, 2014 in Orlando, FL. Click HERE for more info.
I’ll also be teaching at the festival’s “Totally Cool Song School” on January 16 and 17. I enjoyed teaching at the festival last year and am happy to be asked back. All the info HERE.
e. Waymores News
Don Henry, Sally Barris and I have been burning up the road since I returned from Ireland. We have one more run this year—Christmas shows in Michigan in early December. We’ve been at it for almost 4 years now, and it’s a fine thing we have going.
(More Waymores news coming soon.)
3. SPECIAL FEATURE: Tour Ireland with me in 2014!
Next summer I’ll be leading not one, but two tours of Ireland, and we’re now taking reservations.
…will run July 26-August 4 and will wind through Counties Mayo, Galway and Clare. Most of us will fly to Shannon, and we’ll ride north from there, basing ourselves for three days in each of three towns: Westport (Mayo), Clifden (Galway) and Doolin (Clare). This will be my 10th visit to Ireland, and I am in love with its earth, sea, sky and people.
…will be August 17-26 and will be co-hosted with my great friend Kenneth Robinson. We’ll run south from Shannon to Counties Cork, Kerry and Clare, which means three days based in Skibbereen (Cork), three in Dingle (Kerry) and three days in Doolin (Clare).
As with all these tours, we will visit numerous spectacular places, hear dazzling Irish music in the evenings, learn from local hosts and special Irish day guides—and we’ll make unforgettable discoveries along the way.
This second tour will be unique in that Kenneth and I will be offering optional daily yoga and mindful practice sessions for our group—at no extra cost to the usual activities.
4. Drawing Board for 2013: It’s time to…
a. …record a new solo album
My compact studio in Tupleo is operational, and I’m now looking forward to time off the road and the chance to get into daily recording. I’ve not spent more than 3 nights in a row in my bed since early August, so it’ll be wonderful go get back into my work routine.
b. …publish my long-in-the-works songbook
The songbook will be published along with the release of solo album.
5. Autumn Food for Thought
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
–Albert Einstein, physicist (1879-1955)
“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
–F. Scott Fitzgerald, author (1896-1940)
“We should not pretend to understand the world only by the intellect. The judgment of the intellect is only part of the truth.”
–Carl Jung, psychotherapist (1875-1961)
“When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.”
–Jonathan Swift, author (1667-1745)
6. TK Story of the Month
I’ve done a fair amount of therapy in my life. I sometimes joke that I’ve put two therapists’ kids through college, and I’m pretty sure I bought one of them a motorcycle.
For several years I earnestly studied a mindful practice called Yoga for the Emotional Body, and I’ve learned some things, seen some things. However there’s one thing I’ve yet to run across—except in my own family—and that is the kind of people who talk to each other through their pets.
I’m presently living with my sweet and fragile mother, and when I moved in I immediately fell into that familiar practice.
“Layla says she’s ready for her walk,” Mama will say.
I tell her that Layla was waiting outside my door when I got up, and that Layla said, “Is it time for my walk? No? How about now? Now’s good for me. Is now a good time?”
Mama says, “Archie just said not to get the mackerel cat food anymore. He said he just likes the tuna.”
To continue reading, click HERE.
7. Recommended: Bob Gernandt’s hand-made instruments
I feel a little odd recommending something that few of us (including me) can afford. Shoot, even if you can afford one of Bob’s instruments, demand far exceeds supply.
Still, I must tell you about Bob and his work. A couple of weekends ago I was playing with the Waymores in North Carolina, and we were invited to visit Bob’s shop. He sat us down and passed around samples of his creations: acoustic guitars, mandolins, dulcimers, citterns and bouzoukis—and then archtop and solid body electric guitars. We were in awe, astonished. Every single instrument rang like a bell—and they looked like art museum pieces. You should’ve seen our faces as we passed the instruments back and forth. Heck, Bob even makes superb, beautiful guitar amps to go with his electrics—even made his own house stereo system!
How can one craftsman be so talented, soulful and skillful? I see a lot of nice instruments, but driving home to Mississippi I knew I’d just visited a very special world of handcrafted music machines.
So I’d like to share a few images of his work with you. Check them out at his website HERE, and dream with me about having one around.
(They’re beautiful, yes, but they sound even better than they look!)