1. November Greetings!
2. News-in-Brief: 2015 TK writing retreat dates, 2015 Ireland tours-with-Tom dates
3. TK Poem of the Month: Sometimes I Imagine
4. Recommended: Billy Joe Shaver music
5. Food for Thought: Wisdom for writers
6. Tom’s Tour Dates: click HERE.
I was born in November, and occasionally my birthday falls on Thanksgiving—as it will this year. It’s a day I share with Jimi Hendrix. (He was a little older, of course.) And with Caroline Kennedy. (She was younger.) Others with my sometimes-on-Thanksgiving birthday: Bruce Lee, Al Jackson, Jr., Floyd Cramer, James Agee, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Alexander Dubček, my brother-in-law Russ Fleming, and Buffalo Bob Smith. (Obviously it’s a big date in history!)
If you haven’t compiled your own list of birthday-sharing luminaries, here’s my advice: Make yourself a cup of coffee, visit Wikipedia.org… and search for your birthday. (Not the year, just the day.) You’re in for some fascinating discoveries!
a. 2015 Songwriting retreat with Tom
I’ll be leading my Second Annual Doe Branch Ink Songwriting Retreat June 7-15, 2015. Last year’s retreat went so well that retreat host Jim Roberts said afterward, “Hey you should do one of these here every year!”
This is an intimate, hands-on, write-share-learn-and-celebrate retreat. I relish these opportunities and really look forward to the 2015 retreat.
The retreat is open to songwriters on all levels. For all the info, click HERE.
b. 2015 Ireland Tours Booking Now
Next summer (2015) I’ll again be hosting tours of gorgeous southwest Ireland. Tour #1 (co-hosted with Sue Riley) will be July 15-24, and Tour #2 will be July 28-Aug 6. Both tours will explore Counties Cork, Kerry & Clare—my favorite parts of Ireland.
Bringing friends and fans to Ireland is one of the great joys of my life!
3. TK Poem of the Month
As the nights grow longer, sometimes the writing gets a little darker.
Sometimes I Imagine
Sometimes I imagine I have murdered someone but somehow forgotten about it so when they come for me I can honestly say I didn’t do it until they show me the evidence and it rings a distant bell that leaves the quiet of doubt in its wake. Still the memory is more an echo than a peal so I tell them to the best of my recollection—because that’s the usual BS you hear when someone is lying about a murder—I didn’t do it. Still the memory comes seeping in like a rainy day puddle up a trouser leg until the best of my recollection is letting me down and I can see I’ll have to seal it off or blot out some part of the indispensable world. I make a half-hearted attempt at this, but the doubt opens me to some kind of doom or life I once dreamed of.
4. Recommended: Billy Joe Shaver songs and albums
I first heard I Been to Georgia on a Fast Train 40 short years ago, and I knew then I was on to something vital. Since then Billy Joe Shaver’s made over 20 albums and peppered them with some of the best Texas-Americana-Country-Gospel-Folk-Rock & Roll songs written and recorded by an American singer-songwriter.
Mr. Shaver has an excellent new album called Long in the Tooth. It’s produced by my talented friends Ray Kennedy and Gary Nicholson, and it reminds me once again of all that is still beautiful, inspirational and imperative about country music.
Buy or download the album wherever you buy or download your music… or you can stream it via a service like Spotify.
[Note: You can set up a free Spotify account HERE.]
—A personal note: As a consumer, I find Spotify to be the best presently-available option for checking out music on my laptop, tablet or phone. No, services like Spotify don’t pay artists nearly enough. Thankfully industry and market reform is ongoing, and we can work and hope for better models.
FYI a couple of nights ago, while taking the dog for her moonlit walk I was listening to my Shaver playlist, and if you’d been nearby as I’d passed you’d have heard me laughing, crying and cussing my way through some of my favorite songs, including…
- Old Chunk of Coal
- If I Give My Soul
- The Devil Made Me Do It the First Time
- Old Five and Dimers
- Tramp on Your Street
Hope you’ll take a listen.
5. Food for Thought
As I’ve just scheduled a writing retreat for next year, seems like a good time for this month’s food for thought.
“To write, for me, is a very grave exercise, full of risk: to say what I know, not more, not less.”
—René Daumal, writer/poet (1908-1944)
“Good things, when short, are twice as good.”
—Baltasar Gracián, writer/philosopher (1601-1658)