End of 2015


It's November, Thanksgiving is next week, and Christmas is only a month away.  I would recommend, right now, buying as many S.E.Willis CDs as possible for gifts.

That said, I'm going up to Novato tonight to join Elvin Bishop at a benefit for Haitian children, always a good cause.  I'll be bringing Ruth Davies and Bobby Cochran, and Charlie Musselwhite is supposed to join us as well.  It should be a good time.  Ruth and I went up to Clear Lake last Sunday to do a benefit for fire victims joined by Anthony Paule, Paul Revelli and Alvon Johnson.  We had a fine time there as well, and maybe did some good.  It's the season!

We've been lucky in having a fair number of local dates this Fall, keeping the Willing working--Ruth, Bobby, Bob Welsh, Nancy Wright, sometimes Marina Crouse and Takezo Takeda.  I spent last year trying, in a pretty ineffectual way, to put us in a position to work more nationally and internationally, but came up short there.  Whatever degree of fame and publicity is needed to get that sort of attention is evidently beyond me.  So I'll just keep playing where I can until I can't do it anymore.  I'm 63 now, so, what, 20 more years maybe?  

There are a lot of us out here playing what is now old-fashioned music and hoping for a little recognition.  We went looking for the older musicians when we were young, and helped them work in their final years.  It took a lot more effort back then to track music and musicians down--now everybody and everything is on YouTube and Facebook, and young musicians have access to it all without even leaving home.  This has created a very educated younger generation--they seem to know it all! And maybe don't much need aging baby boomers who base their efforts on Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and the other greats of the 20th Century.  After all, Wolf is alive as you and me on line.  And that's a good thing. 


Getting ready for the Blues Cruise


We leave first thing tomorrow on the Cruise, so some decisions have to be made for packing.  I have my harmonicas and my accordion ready.  Electric Moka pot ready, though I do have to roast some more coffee today.  I've decided on the Panama hat, since it will be hot.  I'll assume tropical conditions trump the style dictate not to wear a white hat at this time of year.  New CDs ready for the store--Turtle Dove Bounce/Live at the Poor House for sale and signing.

See you there!


The Panama hat goes back in the closet.


Yes, this is the time of year when I can no longer wear a white hat or white shoes without violating good taste.  It seems like a shame to me, and I may go ahead and violate when we leave for the Blues Cruise in October.  I suppose I could switch to a brown or gray straw, but I don't have one--that could be a good thing, though, because I do love getting a new hat.

My wife Ann bought me all my good hats, except the two I had made in Phoenix.  She's in Flagstaff now, and doesn't have much interest in wearing hats herself.  She's a practical girl, and a hoodie will do for her.  She likes to move rocks around in the backyard, even though she's 5'2" and 112 lb.  I hate doing it, and I'm 6'2" and 195.  I'd rather play the piano or cook or something that most likely won't make me sweat.


Trying to make it roll


For the last few months (or years) I've been sitting at home trying to get my latest musical venture up and off the ground.  Make it dance.  Make it roll.  Record the songs, write the songs, record the songs, mix the songs, re-record the songs, re-mix the songs, finally start the CD artwork, weeks on that, picking photos and manipulating them, trying to decide on images that'll make it roll.  Going out and playing music, sometimes for extended periods, come back and finish the CDs, order them, set up the licensing, now make the website.

Which is not nearly finished, but it's starting to be interesting.