Hello again! It feels like it’s been a while, although I know it’s only two weeks since the last blog. That’s what happens when you’re busy. Reaction to the blog has been very positive, overall. Having intentionally kept the perspective pretty benign, that’s what I would expect, but these days, you never know. There were quite a few people who responded to my “retirement” blog with congratulations. I appreciate the thought, but as I responded on Facebook, I’m not retiring! That particular installment was, of course, in response to the retirement and an appreciation of the esteemed British / Irish actor Daniel Day-Lewis. I merely wanted to second the notion that there is indeed life beyond Hollywood, and Mr. Lewis’s quest for a simpler existence, close to nature, in a rural setting, are also something I can relate and aspire to. The previous blog, “What The World Needs Now” was also quite well-received, apart from one fellow who suggested something to the affect that, if I’m so open-minded, perhaps I might like to take refugees into my home. While I pondered the potential pros and cons of that scenario, another question occurred to me: What would The Waltons do? The answer seemed pretty obvious. After all, didn’t we take in German Jewish refugees, gypsies, carnival performers, dust-bowl migrants and pretty much anybody else who happened by for nine seasons? Maybe I should write an episode…
I have been quite busy over the last couple of weeks, mainly promoting my CD, “Goin’ To Clarksdale.” I did a number of radio interviews, as well as an interview that appeared in Billboard. The whole process has been a lot of fun. The best part has been having the opportunity to make new friends and fans as well as re-connecting with long-time ones.
On July 4th, I posted a Facebook video of my guitar-instrumental rendition of “You’re A Grand Old Flag,” a George M. Cohan tune written way back in 1906, played more-or-less in the style of Merle Travis or Chet Atkins. I dearly love the thumb and three finger style that Merle pioneered and Chet developed into an art form all it’s own. To me, Chet was one of the great innovators of music in the 20th century; as a player, producer, vice-president of RCA records and developer of new talent. More importantly, he was a kind and generous human being, truly a “country gentleman.” In the early 90’s, I was introduced to Mr. Atkins at a flea market at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville. Chet was there looking at antique radios; collecting them was one of his hobbies. Meeting him was a thrill I’ll never forget. Thanks, Chet.
Aside from work, Marion and I spent the last couple of weeks preparing for the “Great, Second-Annual, Walmsley Northern New England Summer RV Tour.” If you happened to be following me on Facebook last year, you may remember a number of posts from Maine, Quebec, Vermont and New Hampshire. This year we’re at it again! Over the last few days, we have been working our way up the Maine coast in our RV, “Rocinante,” named in honor of John Steinbeck’s camper in “Travels With Charlie.” We don’t have a black French Poodle along for the ride, just a couple of crazy parakeets, Sissi - and coincidently - Charlie, both of whom love to travel. We’ll be posting lots photos and stories from our travels here in my blog, so please join us. In addition to the birds, I’ve brought along my mobile “studio,” complete with instruments and mics, so I’ll be working on tunes for the next album while we take in the sights. To those of you who have already ordered the first album, “Goin’ To Clarksdale,” my heartfelt thanks. I hope you’re enjoying it! Until next time, all the best. See you “on the road!”