As you may be aware, Hurricane Irene cut a pretty good swath of devastation through the area in which I reside – the Hudson Valley of New York.  While Irene is nothing but a memory for some, others are still dealing with the aftermath.

It’s estimated that millions of dollars in damages occurred to the towns of the region such as Phoenicia, Prattsville, Windham, Fleishmans, Shandaken, Arkville and New Windsor, for example, wiping out large portions of those towns in some cases. The destruction from floods and gale force winds to roads, bridges, electrical structures, buildings and farmlands in the Hudson Valley area could take years to recover from.

Machan Taylor, a kickass vocalist and artist from the area, has spearheaded The Hudson Valley Artists Hurricane Relief Project – which has brought some amazing artists together in a musical compilation to help provide relief to the area.  I was honored to donate a track to the project – a special remaster of  “Something to Believe”.

Artists include Amy Helm, Bruce Katz, David Kraai, David Malachowski, Jay Collins, Karl Allweier, Kevin Bartlett, Lorenza Ponce, Machan, Marc Black, Marco Benevento, Medeski Martin & Wood, Mr. Rusty, Neel Murgai, Peggy Atwood, Pete Levin, Professor Louie & the Crowmatix, Roswell Rudd, The Compact, The Wood Brothers, Tracy Bonham, WeMustBe and myself.  (I feel very fortunate to find myself in such good company!)

If you have the means, please help rebuild our communities by visiting the project’s website and buying this awesome compilation.

Love to all…

M.

When I first heard John Mayer – what struck me was how old and wise his guitar playing was.

Bastard.  🙂

I’ve not been a follower of his – nor do I own any of his stuff… but there’s no doubt that he’s incredibly talented, and has worked at it.

I came across a BerkleeBlog post about a clinic he gave in July, and I was struck by how much of what he talked about related to me, my process, and what I’ve gone through in writing – not just in the current project, but in writing and representing myself as an artist over the past 5-6 years.  A few choice quotes that struck me:

“…This is not a time to promote yourself. It doesn’t matter. This is the time to get your stuff together. Promotion can be like that. You can have promotion in 30 seconds if your stuff is good. Good music is its own promotion.”

“…I stopped using twitter as an outlet and I started using twitter as the instrument to riff on, and it started to make my mind smaller and smaller and smaller. And I couldn’t write a song.”

“You got the distraction of being able to publish yourself immediately, and it is a distraction if you’re not done producing what the product is going to be that you’re going to someday use the promotion to sell…I had to go through the same thing I’m talking to you about – what you have to go through – which is to completely manage all the distraction. Manage the temptation of publishing yourself.”

So my dear, dear friend Laura Kaye long ago mentioned Nikka Costa, and how much she loved her.  (Nikka’s got a voice wayyy beyond her years… an old-soul funktress.)

So when my FB friend Alisa B Anderson posted a link to an awesome new Nikka track a few days ago… I took notice. I heard it once – just once – and this came into my head.  So I had to make it – I couldn’t help it.

So here – with all due reverence…

p.s. – if Mizz Costa would care to give up a high-res copy of the audio, I’d be willing to re-create it in better fidelity. I could only do it with MP3.

So I was writing lyrics about the am radio I listened to when I was 6…

And this came across my “desk”…

The first performed & recorded music in space…

And I wept. Dunno wy – just something beautiful about it.

🙂

Enjoy.

M.

UPDATE: The following morning, I awoke to a very bright moon… 5 minutes later, this incredibly bright object passed overhead. It was the ISS:

THE FOLLOWING ISS SIGHTINGS ARE POSSIBLE FROM FRI MAR 25 TO SAT APR 09

ISS
Sat Mar 26/06:01 AM
3 32 11 above SSW 29 above ESE

So those of you who know anything about me know that I don’t play out live very often.  There are several reasons for this – not the least of which is, as an original artist, you have to either be a band, or else have a band that can play your stuff – neither of which applies to me.

However, about 2-5 times a year, I get out to play cover material.  Sometimes, this is under the rubrick of Max Night and the Rocketlaunchers, sometimes it’s at an open jam, and, in this case, it’s because someone offered the space and time.  I’m tremendously grateful that he did. Read more