Almost Ready for the TFF

Me and the band have been practicing. We surprised ourselves with how quickly we got back into groove.  Of course, we’ve been playing together for 10 years, but since I moved to New Mexico, we rarely team up. Michael Parker said he hadn’t touched his drums in quite a while. He works harder than any of us. Still, he’s back in all his glory, adding just the right “punch” to my new songs as well as some old ones.  We’re looking forward to performing together at the Tucson Folk Festival again this year. I’ve heard from a number of you that you’re planning to see us there. This will be fun!

For those who have been to the TFF before, we’ll be playing on a NEW stage.  Since the Museum of Art is renovating, the TKMA arranged for a couple of streets to be blocked off, mainly Telles St. shown below.

Like I said, this will be fun!   C’mon Over!

 

///Darrell
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
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Valentine’s Day, once again, a new song

Yes, I have a new song for my Bride.  This year’s song is explicitly interracial!  Yes indeed, and it’s the first one I’ve ever written in that light.  This is a celebration of a love that might have never happened except for our involvement in our common faith – The Baha’i Faith. Here it is, “Hard To Believe””

This song came from the realization that differences do not keep people apart – sameness does: same old thinking, in the same old places, with the same old people. It is travel and exposure to other cultures, customs, and colors that allow us to see just how trivial some “differences” really are. Isolation preserves ignorance. Exploration eradicates it! Once we arm ourselves with first-hand knowledge and heart-felt relationships, we become empowered to change the world – at least our own little part of it.

My Bride and I have done that. Life is good. (not always easy, but always good)  This coming May, we’ll celebrate 12 years together – 144 months, appreciated one at a time.  Meanwhile, Valentine’s Day provides a nice warm-up.

///Darrell
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
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Happy 2018! (it’s a bidding)

It’s NOT an assessment – way too early for that. But it IS a bidding. I’m wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2018.  Of course, with the state of world affairs right now, our collective health may be challenged by forces beyond our direct control. So let’s do our part to make life better locally for all.

My bride and I spent three days over Christmas visiting family in Arizona. We had a therapeutic immersion in Grand-Baby Love!  THAT was soul-reviving.  And it came in the middle of 12-days off work from my day-job at NASA.
Tomorrow morning may be hard to take.

And having some time off gave me an opportunity to finish a new song I had begun back when my local doctor gave me some sobering news (I’m old) and recommended a severe change in my diet (along with blood pressure medication).  It’s called “Meat and Potatoes”

I hadn’t written a “slide guitar song” in quite some time, but the theme seemed to fit a slide-blues instrumentation, as it is after all, a lament.  If you’d like to own a copy (in full resolution if desired), you can download it for a dollar on my bandcamp download site. And you could just share the link with your friends who may be facing similar choices.

I also realized that there are a number of songs I have not yet made available for download. I started organizing them and realized I may have enough to create not one, but THREE new albums. Sounds like a New Year’s Resolution to me!

///Darrell
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
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Thanksgiving Joys

IF we could wipe away the genocidal history of the American Thanksgiving, it would be the perfect holiday for me. Imagine that the atrocities heaped upon the indigenous people of this land were not associated with it’s origin. Imagine if it were simply a day to give thanks. Such a worthy day it would be with no desecration of a concurrent holy birth, or a sacred moment of salvation, but just a day to gather in Unity and be grateful.  Maybe we could redefine it that way and be grateful for a hopeful future instead of an unjust past.  Maybe.

My Bride and I just enjoyed the best Thanksgiving of our 12 years together.  Now we have enjoyed some EXCELLENT Thanksgiving feasts with family and friends through the years, but THIS year we were joined in our own home by GRAND KIDS and of course, their parents (you remember, my daughter Rachel and her husband Cody Langness). Nothing beats that!

Aside from the enormous dinner prepared by my bride Deb and daughter Rachel, the festivities were like a 3-D movie of pure delight. I so loved seeing our grand daughters enjoy themselves and interact with each other. It was an unparalleled treat!

Did someone say “Photos please”?

I hope you had an enjoyable day too.  Before I sign off, I want you to know I’m working on a new song called “Meat and Potatoes”.  It’s a lament of a man being forced, by his own desire to live longer, into eating a more plant-based diet.  Personal?  You bet it is.  Stay tuned.

///Darrell
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
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Virginia Vacation & Reunion

We just returned from 10 days in Virginia where I took my Bride to see Colonial Williamsburg, and Jamestown, two historic places she had never seen.  We walked ourselves half to death (which doesn’t take long in our condition) but it was great weather, more late summer than fall, and we enjoyed ourselves.

If you’ve never seen Colonial Williamsburg, I recommend doing so at least once. See Jamestown as well.  I am always impressed with the way our predecessors carved out an English city in what was essentially a swampy jungle.  I am fascinated by the craftsmanship that went it just about everything they made. And I am astounded by the work it took.

In Williamsburg, it was work performed by African slaves, without whom this country would never have been built so relatively quickly.  It was good to visit the Peyton Randolf House and hear the living-history docents describe the contrasts between the lives of the slaves and those of their moneyed masters.  Peyton Randolf, the first President of the Continental Congress, resided in Williamsburg on a small, 4-acre “urban plantation” with his wife and 27 slaves. 27!!! to take care of just the two of them and 4 acres. They owned 4 other large plantations as well with hundreds of slaves all totaled.  The docent conveyed the most honest portrayal of colonial life I have ever heard. She did not embellish, nor did she hide or “dress up” anything. Very straight talk which we so much appreciated.

We ventured North after sightseeing to visit family and friends and attend my 45th high school reunion.  There were many old friends to see there including my buddy Joe Law with whom I enlisted in the Navy in 1972.  Joe has organized the past 5 reunions for us. It’s a tough job and we owe him deep gratitude. Also there was my old friend Tad Richardson, one of the first “kids” I met when we moved to Sterling, Va back in 1961.  We have history.

And of course I got to see my mom.  She’ll be 92 in November and seems to be doing well. I visited my sister and brother too and saw my cousin at the reunion.  Let’s call it a good trip.

 

///Darrell
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
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Slippin’ into the “Third World”

Before hurricane Harvey hit Houston, I was commiserating about the decline of America’s work ethic and the rise of isolationism in our attitudes. Violence I saw (in Charlottesville and San Francisco) conjured up images of bloody revolutions we have seen against dictatorships in less affluent countries. I wrote a song. I finished recording last night. I hope you enjoy “Third World”.

Be aware, this is just a satirical wake-up call. It’s not a prediction of what will be, but a warning against a possible outcome if we fail to arise. The good people of Houston are right now arising to help one another and are being joined by many fine Americans from across Texas and the nation. Let’s keep the attitude once we get past the trauma. Why wait for another catastrophe to demand it?

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

Boy! I needed that!

Believe it or not, I’m talking about a family reunion.  I know some of you would rather take a hot poker in your eye than attend a family reunion, and I kind of feel like that about air travel these days, but this reunion was superb.

And it was a surprise for my niece Amy who has a reputation for making surprise visits to family members around the country.  When my daughters learned that Amy was heading home for the 4th of July, they quickly planned a surprise rendezvous.  I thought it was bad timing for me, but it was the opportunity to see the first encounter between my youngest grand daughter Katie (1 and a half years old) and my mother Katy (91 and a half years old).  I HAD to be there!

So did the rest of the family, as it turned out, except for my cousin Robbie Murdick and his wife Cathy who had committed to a wedding and a trip to Florida, and their daughter Nicole who was hosting some friends, and my son-in-law Bernard DeCrane who is engulfed in work these days.  But the remaining 17 made it!

My sister and brother hosted gatherings at their respective homes on the weekend that were wonderful and Deb and I got in a visit to the new National Museum of African American History and Culture – an absolute gift.  The timed-tickets for that place are sold-out through October but they issue “left-over” walk up tickets each weekday afternoon at 1PM. Well, by 12:45 PM the line for those slots was already extremely long. But this graciously helpful volunteer asked me if I was a veteran and if I had ID to show it.  I did! So Deb and I were admitted straight away, 10 minutes before the waiting line. We had someone take our picture next to the display of the Virginia v. Loving court case that over-turned Virginia law in 1967 and made interracial marriage legal.

I also took Deb to Great Falls (with mom) and the Museum of American History and the Udar-Hazy Center of the Air and Space Museum.  We had great meals with family and lots of laughter. And abundant family LOVE. Boy! Yes!  I need that.

 

///Darrell
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist

 

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