Studio bench installed

I forgot to share some after pictures of my studio bench work. So. here they are:

Recording configuration

Recording configuration

Mixing configuration

Mixing configuration

 

I think the color match came out pretty well between the new bench and my old desk (You can just get a peek at the old desk in lower right-hand corner). The new bench is Birch finished plywood, finished with Golden Pecan stain and polyurethane varnish.

 

 

The over-sized keyboard tray allows me to extend the mixing controls for proper distance to the monitors. I used a piece of laminated pine that comes in 2-ft x 4-ft sections at Home Depot and trimmed it to a 3-ft length.

My new padded drafting stool (with back) has just arrived, and it will accommodate the higher altitude just fine.

The next task will be constructing the matching wood pedestal for the left side monitor. It will be a 19-inch wide slant-front rack for my Presonus A/D unit.

I will eventually make other improvements and additions, but for now, this should work fine.

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

Ninety Nine Valentine’s Days

For the 4th year in a row, I have presented my bride with a Valentine’s Day song video.  Here is my offering for 2015 (I’m proud to say SHE LOVES IT!):

I hope you liked it. You can download a copy of your own for just a buck ($1) on my bandcamp download page (see upper right corner of this page).  Give one to YOUR sweetie. Go ahead, Melt a heart without getting sticky.

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

Progress on studio workbench

I searched and searched on-line for the studio workbench I had envisioned.  No dice.

I basically just wanted a long narrow (2ft wide) table that stood high enough to roll my Yamaha keyboard under.  Of course, I didn’t want to spend a small fortune. I have opted instead for building my own. How hard could it be? Well, hard enough that a small fortune is sounding like a pretty good deal right now.

After resurrecting some faded skills I had not attempted to revive in years, and pulling a few splinters from my hands,. I can finally say “This just might work!”  I have finished the under-side bracing and installed the slide-out for the computer keyboard and mouse.  Have a look:

IMG_1591

IMG_1594

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I can move on to finishing it (golden pecan stain and polyurethane varnish to match my “work” desk) and mounting the legs (a final job to be done inside the studio).

Wish me luck.

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

Arizona Songwriters

I hope you are all doing well this morning after a football weekend. What a weird couple of games.  I saw the stranger-than-fiction Seattle-Green Bay game but I did not get to watch the Colts get slaughtered by the Patriots, except for the first quarter. It was 16-0 when I left. I learned later that I had pretty much seen the reader’s digest version of the whole game.

IMG_1522I realized that those play-off passes were dropping like gas prices here in Casa Grande. With gasoline, that’s not such a bad thing unless you’re in the production business.

Jeremiah Craig

Jeremiah Craig

I drove up to Glendale AZ on Saturday for the 19th annual Arizona Songwriter’s Gathering.  I had a pretty good time re-connecting with other songwriters I know. And I made a couple new friends including a young man named Jeremiah Craig who presented a workshop on Social Media. He’s an energetic performer and a real good story-teller in song. Go see him if you get the chance. He performs frequently at wineries around Cottonwood AZ.

Eric Ramsey

Eric Ramsey

 

 

I heard a couple really good songs on Saturday (guaranteed when Human Jones performs), but one new one that hit me strongly was performed by Eric Ramsey, whom I had met at the Prescott Folk Festival back in October. He hasn’t recorded it yet, but when he does, I’ll share a link. He’s on ReverbNation too and has a number of other good ones there like “Will I Ever Be Dry Again”.

I’m working on a new song for Valentine’s Day.  As you might recall, I started a “tradition” of sorts four years ago when I posted a song video as a “Valentine’s Day Card” for my Bride.  The next year she asked sweetly if I would write another.  Last year (the third), she pointed at her calendar and told me I had better get started on her Valentine’s Day song.  HA! I guess Herzberg’s “Dual Factor Theory” applies to marriage as well. What starts as “motivational” becomes “maintenance”. That’s OK because I WANT to do it for her because she is a TREASURE to me.  And this year, even without a “reminder”, I started early enough to finish writing one well in advance (and she loves it). I intend to have it ready when I perform on Valentine’s Day , 14 February, at the Gilbert Folk Festival. I will be playing on the  Farmer’s Market “stage” at 10 AM.

However, I didn’t make much progress on recording it this weekend. Too much “other stuff”. Oh well, next weekend is just a few days away.

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

Dave Nachmanoff at the Higley Center

A year and a half or so ago, my friend, singer Nedi Safa introduced me on-line to a singer-songwriter named Dave Nachmanoff.  I learned that Dave was a “home-boy” of mine having also grown up in Northern Virginia. (Dave in Springfield, Me in Sterling).  He told me of meeting and playing with Folk pioneer Libba Cotton who wrote the song “Freight Train”.  At the age of 10, Dave met the then 82-year old Cotton at the American Folk Life Festival on the mall in Washington DC, and after hearing him perform his own (and only) song, she asked him to perform with her later. It was one of those life-direction moments I guess.

Dave’s a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, piano, bass, accordion and more) but it is his guitar work that really impresses me most.  He’s worked as a “side man” (lead guitar) for Al Stewart (“Year of the Cat” fame) on a regular basis at hundreds of venues including a gig at the Royal Albert Hall in London!  He’s a fine song writer as well and knows how to craft a meaningful lyric.

AND, “in his spare time” he earned a doctorate in Philosophy (which tells me that “Philosophy Professor” is not necessarily a high paying gig, since Doctor Dave doesn’t teach Philosophy anymore.  Ha!)

IMG_1513 IMG_1519Until Sunday (Jan 11), I had only seen Dave Nachmanoff perform in videos of his shows. None of those do justice to the experience. Truly entertaining and enjoyable. And Mike Lindauer on bass and harmony vocals was a perfect compliment. Dave’s songs are well crafted and his guitar playing is AWESOME. And his presentation is warm and welcoming. He had us all singing. A testament to Dave’s fan-devotion power, Dave’s friend Phil Wilson drove all the way from Orange County CA just to add the ringing sound of a Rickenbacker 12-string electric that Dave wanted for two songs at the end. Phil did a great job too. Let me add a shout out to Phoenix-area musician, Scott Hallock, who opened the show.

I will definitely go see Dave again the next time he close enough to do so. I recommend him to all of you.

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

2015 Kick-Off (it’s a cool one)

Brrrr…. It’s a might chilly. Well, for the Arizona desert it is. Temperatures have been low for the past two weeks and folks all over the valley have been telling me about ice that I had not seen,,,until this morning.  P1060483I had the foresight to keep a drop light shining on my outdoor spigot the past several nights, but the bulb broke late yesterday.  So I turned on the water, just a trickle, and let the hose run.  This morning about 5 AM, (on my way back to bed from the bathroom) I checked the outside temp: 38. “Excellent”, I thought and went outside and turned off the water. Guess what. 5 AM is not the coldest time of day. IMG_1498By 7 AM there was ice all over the truck, and on the hose.  I cautiously turned on the water – barely a drip came from the hose. I opened the valve a bit more – no change. I waited, knowing that the water coming into the house was certainly above freezing and after 10 minutes or so, the water began to flow more robustly. The temperature is now at 36 on the porch (where my thermometer rests) and probably a bit lower at the shady side of the house. But it will soon rise as the sun does its thing.

My friends down at “Three Points” ( a spot in the desert southwest of Tucson) posted a photo of snow coming down at their place. And this morning, Tucson is surrounded by decorated mountains and folks all over the higher areas in town are taking pictures of their blanketed yards. And up at Gold Camp and Apache Junction, the Superstition Mountains are white.

IMG_1408Today, 1 Jan 2015, is the 3rd birthday of my granddaughter Emily.  We will be joining family members and friends in celebration this afternoon with a pot-luck feast at her other grandparents’ home. I imagine there might also be some football-watching going on.

CompManFrontDaleWitherowDraw3-cropSo it’s promising to be a pretty enjoyable day. I hope the remainder of 2015 will follow suit.  On my immediate 2015 “to do” list is the task of building my new recording studio bench (I have the materials now) and completing work on my next album “Complicated Man”. Here’s a peek at the “draft” art work.  I think it’s pretty cool. It’s a drawing done by my artist uncle Dale Witherow. Check out his other works at www.witherowgallery.com.

I will be performing a short 10-minute showcase at the Arizona Songwriters Gathering at the Glendale Library on 17 January. There will be a steady parade of songwriters performing that day – all free.  And on Valentine’s Day, 14 February, I’ll be playing at the Gilbert Folk Festival again.  This time I’m on the “Farmers Market” stage.  It will be a great day of music, so come join the fun.

Happy New Year!

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

Thoughts on Ferguson – Did the city WANT a riot?

IMG_3054There is NO WAY that I could expect to influence anything going on in Ferguson MO right now. There’s way too much emotion running at full speed. But I might offer to my friends, who were initially satisfied by the “conclusion” announced by the Ferguson City Prosecuting Attorney, an alternative perspective on the city government that might at least give us pause to consider why the outrage has grown. There is so much wrong with this situation that I cannot begin to address all I see (even from my remote white-man’s perspective). I think there’s plenty of guilt to go around, but I really feel the bulk of the guilt lies with the city government corrupted by inattention to racist behavior on the part of those who act in the city’s name.

I was just thinking about what a town government might do if they WANTED the people to riot. You might ask WHY on earth would a town government WANT people to riot? Well, one possible reason would be to turn public opinion against the townspeople who have been accusing the city of racist injustice.

So what could the city do to start a riot? Well, it could start by saying “We will investigate ourselves”. Then, knowing that Grand Jury proceedings (intended to support prosecution, not defense) are secret, it could control the evidence presented to the hand-picked regular Grand Jury such that no fault would be found (knowing how their buddies think). Then, the city could top it off by having the prosecuting attorney, whom no people of color in town trust as far as they could throw him; announce the “no fault” finding. And he could do so just after sundown rather than in the morning’s light while most folks are working. And of course, the city would make sure the announcement time was publicized well in advance so the media and some known hot-heads, who don’t even live in town, will plan to be there. Yeah. That should do it.

But isn’t that a wild conspiracy theory? “Theory” – yes, “wild” – no. And besides, even if the theory is pure conjecture, WHY would a town do these things that so obviously appear as the specter of conspiracy? I suggest two possibilities: 1) they thought they could get away with it, or 2) they weren’t thinking at all. (some might judge either of these as “stupid”)

And if a town believed a riot was INEVITABLE, why not choose not to turn all investigations and Grand Jury processes over to an outside authority like the State or Federal government and let the State or the Feds be the bearer of the news? Well, perhaps the town feared outsiders might find the town government at fault (giving the rioters some public-opinion-justification for their criminal behavior).

And WHY would a town who KNEW WITH CERTAINTY that their police force was justified, choose not to turn all investigations and Grand Jury processes over to an outside authority like the State or Federal government so that no conflict of interest would cast doubt on the findings? Well, I can’t think of a reason why not.

IN NO WAY am I condoning a riot. That behavior is counter-productive and rather stupid in itself. But as Martin Luther King said “a riot is the language of the unheard”.  So, from that perspective, I understand the reason, but certainly not the excuse – particularly when the businesses of law-abiding neighbors are looted and burned by the misdirected aggression.  A better course of action would be (and still remains) to fight at the ballot box and elect a new city government committed to replacing the city’s police force (and other agencies) with one that reflects the demographics of the city.

My personal conclusion (you must certainly draw your own) is that whoever orchestrated the investigation and Grand Jury process in Ferguson was guilty of either manipulative miscarriage of justice (criminal misconduct), or just plain criminal stupidity.

Then, I was just thinking, they can’t be that stupid.

As a humorist, I try to find something laughable in stuff that’s not funny. I’m having trouble doing so this time. Here, I see the things that could BECOME laughable, but it’s way too early. For everything, there is a time. It’s not time yet. I pray that the time will come soon that we can all look back on these horrid events, in unity and mutual respect, with the maturity required to understand the old biblical verse: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (King James Bible, 1 Corinthians).

 

///Darrell
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
Posted in Events, General Conversation | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments