New Song – Lullaby in Blue

I often say “I’m a songwriter” and while that’s true, it’s not the whole truth. The truth is that I am many things, including “Father”.  Both my daughters are now grown and married and doing well with their partners.  Praise God!

Years ago (maybe 8 or 9?) my eldest was going through a rough break-up, and having suffered a similar blow in my life (haven’t we all?) I wanted to write her a song of consolation.  Quickly, the first verse and chorus came to me in a simple melody.  But I could not seem to find the right key or chord progression to support it to my satisfaction. Consequently, the song became one of the dozens of “song pieces” collecting in the back of my mind (and on scraps of note paper and on my Dictaphone tape).

Roll forward many years to just two weeks ago: I’m “doodling” on my guitar (that’s a technical term) and hit a few chords that immediately brought the song to mind. After just a few minutes, I knew I had something that could become a finished song.  It took about an hour to construct additional verses and a bridge.  I was ready top record a draft.

Then like a fool, I updated my iMac operating system. You guessed it, ALL STOP.  The iMac could no longer recognize my Presonus Firestudio interface box (the A/D converter and pre-amps that connect microphones to my recording software).  I panicked. I went to the Presonus website looking for a new driver and there it was with a nice little note saying it was qualified for “Yosemite” (Apple’s new OS). I downloaded and installed the new driver. Nada, Nothing, didn’t work.  I called Apple and waited for a human. Once on the phone I learned that “Apple doesn’t support  returning to a previous OS version”.  I had upgraded myself into oblivion.

Enter my friend Jeff Bohnhoff, cool, calm, collected master of Apple recording software.  He walked me through some exploratory investigations and convinced me to seek help again from Presonus. I did, and they came through in flying colors on Monday morning with detailed instructions on how to first REMOVE the old driver before (re)installing the new one. (That little insight would have been a useful addition to their download page).

So in the days that followed I was able to record a guitar track, a bass track and a drum track for my first draft of Lullaby in Blue. It’s getting some play on ReverbNation and that’s always nice.
http://www.reverbnation.com/darrellelmerrodgers/song/22094230-lullaby-in-blue

 

///Darrell
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
Posted in blues, Folk, General Conversation, Music, Music Recording, songwriter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Farewell Joe Bethancourt

Yesterday afternoon I attended a memorial concert at the Musical Instrument Museum in North Phoenix.  They have a fine theater and about 250 folks showed up to see over 60 musicians, arranged in 25 different acts, perform songs in honor of Joe Bethancourt.

JoeB-withStringsJoe was a unique character. He was called the “Godfather of Arizona Folk Music” and I can’t argue with that much. He played 57 instruments – well. He was a walking database of Ozark mountain music history, which seems strange for a boy born in Texas and raised in Arizona. I guess he was one of the few folk-musicians I have known who has actually made a living at it.  I laughed and joked with him at the Gilbert Folk Festival last February.  It turned out to be his last Festival performance. He fell ill in April and died at the end of August (while I was on the road) after a being hospitalized for most of that time. I suspected it was cancer, but nobody has said.

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Many of my best musician friends in Arizona were there. Jim Pipkin came out of “musical retirement” to offer a song and some touching words (thank you Jim).  JC & Laney performed “This Train” with 3 other friends (Robby Roberson, Michael Mulryan, Bob Gibney).  The group photo on the left is the largest configuration of Lon Austin’s “Mexican Beaded Lizard Band” I have ever seen (a whole bunch of folks just joined in). The ending was perfect – everyone singing along to a video of Joe performing “We’ll Meet Again”.  You can enjoy it at this link: http://youtu.be/P9OU_NpGDSo

As I told Bob Zucker, the concert organizer, I’ve seen better concerts, but never a better wake.  I hope my friends hold one half that good when my days are done.

///Darrell

Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
Posted in Events, Folk, General Conversation, Guitars, Music, songwriter | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Show at Desert Rose – Saturday 6 September

Well, WHY NOT?  I’m home safely from the tour, I have a BUNCH of CDs left to sell, and a bunch of friends here in Central AZ who say they’d like to see me perform. Let’s do it!

Desert Rose 9-6-14 Event

AlanJames-SundayMorninAlan James, who performed at Desert Rose last month, is back in town (we had dinner last night) and he’s planning to join the fun. We’ll have Alan do a couple of his songs to open the show and maybe he’ll pick along on a few of mine at the end.  Alan and I have enjoyed playing together occasionally for a number of years. Here’s a chance to let you in on the fun.

 

///Darrell
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
Posted in Events, Folk, General Conversation, Guitars, Music, Music Performance, songwriter | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The West Coast Road Trip Tour – in review

It was fun. Grueling, but fun. We started on Saturday the 16th of August with a show at the San Diego Baha’i Center. My long-time co-worker Don McKay played videographer for me (so I can review my show for improvements). We spent the week visiting friends and family up the road through California, Oregon, & Washington. On Saturday the 23rd, I played at the Washington Baha’i History Museum. Zabine Van Ness is doing some great work there in the University District of Seattle. The next day I played at “Barnfest” in Gig Harbor, an event produced by my good friend Russ Salton. Russ helped me out with some lead guitar and harmony vocals on a few songs. It was great fun. On the way south, I played a “private” house concert for Jenn & Rob Head, friends from “way back in the day” and a most-talented couple. Next we stayed and played at the home of Barbara & Michael Goodwin. Great crowd, lots of fun. On Thursday, I picked guitar with my friend Chuck Thrapp in North Fork, CA – just south of Yosemite. Pretty country. And on that moonless Thursday night, the stars there were brighter and more numerous than I had seen since I was a boy scout. After a visit with Soroush E. in Brea, CA and a visit with Dr. “Chips” Hough in Santa Ana, we made our way home to Casa Grande. After two-weeks of driving, there’s nothing more comfy than your own bed.

Thanks Don for shooting the movie!

Thanks Don for shooting the movie!

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San Diego

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This “creature” is attacking my daughter in the lobby of 5th Planet Games. That’s son-in-law Bernard coming to her rescue.

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Zabine Van Ness at the WA Baha’i History Museum

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Me at the WA Baha’i History Museum

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Me at the WA Baha’i History Museum

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At the “Barnfest” at Cantata Farm, Gig Harbor, WA

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Russ Salton providing some lead guitar and harmony vocals at Barn Fest, Cantata Farm, Gig Harbor, WA

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House concert at Jenn & Rob Head’s home in Ashland, OR

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My hosts and friends Michael Goodwin and Barbara Swenson Goodwin in Roseville, CA

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In Roseville, CA

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Picking Guitar with Chuck Thrapp (member of SugarPine) at his mountain haven in North fork, CA

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Rob & Jenn – we hadn’t seen each other in 20 years!

sandwich Board Seattle

Street Promotion in Seattle.

 

That’s all for now.

 
///Darrell
 
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
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Woodstock Generation – album release!

Front cover of Woodstock Generation CDWell, it’s done!  And a box of them is on its way to my studio from the manufacturer right now.  But you don’t have to wait!  You can order one for yourself with the links provided on the right-hand side of this page.

You can listen to tracks and download them, or download the entire album! You can order a physical CD and have it delivered directly to your mailbox!  Isn’t technology wonderful?  (rhetorical question, don’t answer).

So now, it’s time to plan a quick concert tour. I want to begin in San Diego on the weekend of 16-17 August.  I will post details as they develop. The only firm date is 24 August at “The Barn” in Gig Harbor, Washington.  My friend Russ Salton is hosting a music fest and barbecue there from noon to 6PM and has invited me to perform along with several other acts.  So my friends in the Seattle area – take note! I’m coming up!

If you live along that I-5 corridor and want to host a house concert, please let me know!

I’m looking forward to seeing you in the second half of August. And for my Arizona friends, watch for an announcement of a concert in September!

///Darrell
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
Posted in Events, Folk, General Conversation, Music, Music Performance, Music Recording, songwriter | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cognitive Dissonance

OracleCogDiss-cropDo You Remember singing this song in Sunday School? :
“Jesus loves the little children
All the little children of the world.
Red, Brown, Yellow, Black, or White,
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

I feel sorry for the kids who came here with more “American Dream” in their hearts than any of our walking-brain-dead cell-phone zombie youngsters I see at the mall on any given day. They have become pawns in several horrific games.

I fully understand that folks are pissed off at the President and truly believe it’s HIS fault that Congress has chosen not to work on immigration reform. I know they strongly feel that illegal immigration is the root of all our problems (never mind that immigration had nothing to do with the banking-GREED crisis that wiped out most middle-class wealth). And I have heard it said that the President’s refusal to enforce our laws has created a new optimism in Central America leading to this latest influx of impoverished children, even though housing refugee children as they await hearings IS in accordance with the law. Go figure.

It’s really interesting, and somewhat entertaining (for the humor found in error), to see these two camps battle each other with verbal abuse, all to a tune played by politicians - like a Sherriff who believed his “mole” at ICE and played Paul Revere by crying “the busses are coming!, the busses are coming!”;  or the candidate for Congress who saw “fear and sadness” on the faces of the YMCA campers he thought were refugees. And what a chuckle I got from the counter-protestors who cleverly bussed in a Mariachi Band in Full Costume to play the National Anthem, just to upset the patriots of deportation. And I wonder why ICE said nothing during the week preceeding the Oracle protest as warnings were being voiced in the media. Was it a convenient diversion for their actual plan? Or did the protestors actually dissuade them?

I also wonder why WE, as a nation, can’t see the long-term opportunity that has just been handed us by the Drug Cartels (you KNOW they are behind the sudden influx of children don’t you?) In their effort to create a border diversion of biblical proportion (score one for cartels), they have, perhaps inadvertently, given us the most valuable resource on the planet for ending the cartels’ domination: the hearts and minds of a new generation.

What if we just sucked it up and spent some money “Americanizing” these tens of thousands of children. (Perhaps we could divert some of the money we would normally give Mexico, since their refugee policy is apparently “ship ‘em North”.) Give these kids (and, while we’re at it, the thousands of our own American-born impoverished youth we have apparently forgotten) education and opportunities to succeed such that they fall in love with the American dream?  What then might happen if we also instill in them a passion for helping their homelands conquer lawlessness?

But for God’s sake, let’s not take out our frustrations on refugee children coming here with hope of escaping the violence of their homeland.

Think about the possibilities.

///Darrell

Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
Posted in Events, General Conversation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Woodstock Generation” album close to completion – I HOPE!

It has been a great deal of work getting these ten songs into condition. Now, I am faced with the task of appending track information to the CD tracks. This will allow modern CD players to display the song title when the track plays.  I thought that iTunes would do that, but it’s not readable by any of the players I have. WinAmp sees only the first track, and no others. Windows media sees nothing but track numbers.

I am searching for a new CD burning program that will handle this kind of feature. There are several that claim to work, but all I can do is research what’s available, and try them to see what really works.

Meanwhile, I have drafted up some artwork for the album cover that I thought I would share. The first is the front of the jewell case, the second is the back. You can click on the image for a closer look.  I will also have a “liner notes” insert inside the front cover and some printing on the actual CD, but you can see those, when you buy your copy.

Front cover of my forthcoming album

Front cover of my forthcoming album

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Back cover for forthcoming album

 

Hopefully, I’ll get this task accomplished soon and will have a new album to release. I’ll certainly let you know!

 

///Darrell
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
Posted in General Conversation, Music Recording, songwriter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment