Valentine’s Day: What It Is

Here is my annual Valentine’s day song for my Bride.

It’s called “What It is” as in: “it is what it is” – that old cliche’.

Some people can’t stand the old cliche’ because they say “it doesn’t tell me anything”. Well, OK, it’s opaque, but it seems to convey the message: “Let’s just accept this as we see it”.  And that’s how I envision it here.

There’s also an underlying feeling (at least for me) of being comfortable with the condition of loving someone. Like wearing comfortable clothes.  The phrases “I’d rather talk with her about something real” and “or watch TV with her and laugh out loud”, express that for me.

This is the fifth year I’ve done one of these Valentines and in another 7 years, I’ll have enough for an album!

 

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

Videos in progress & Festivals on the schedule

As a quick update, I have been working on a couple things to share with you soon. Of course, with Valentine’s Day coming next week, my annual video for my Bride is taking precedence over everything.  It should be ready very soon!

But I also have a video in progress for my song about Casa Grande called “End of the Line” (see previous posts). I’ve taken some video in my studio and around our town, and downloaded some public domain historical photos to illustrate the song a bit.  It will come sometime after Valentine’s Day.

I’ve also just completed recording a new song called “Your Heart” (one more chance) that I started writing years ago and just never completed.  Well, it’s done now (or at least “for now”) and I will post that AUDIO track on my Bandcamp download site in the coming weeks. I’m pretty sure I will include it on my next album of “relationship songs” (languishing in production for years now).

Gilbert2016And by the way, if you live in Arizona, I will be playing a half-hour SOLO set of some of those songs at the Gilbert Folk Festival on SATURDAY 20 February 2016. I will be on the Farmer’s Market Stage at 10 AM.  A BUNCH of my best musician friends are performing that day too, so come early and stay all day!

I expect to perform again with my bassist Rick Heyman at the Glendale Folk & Heritage Festival this year (March 19 & 20), but I haven’t yet received a performance slot.

I will also be performing with the Trio at the Unity in Diversity event on Easter Sunday (27 March) in the “wilds of Marana”, but I’ll post more info on that later.

Just wanted you to know I’m busy!

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

Staying Connected

My daughter has started a blog.  In it she muses about life as a mom. Today, she posted a wonderful piece called “permission to suck”
https://wherewasigoingwiththisblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/permission-to-suck/

Her post tells of how “sucking” (doing poorly) at something can be an emancipating and even a unifying moment if approached with a child-like attitude of wonder. It’s worth reading.

IMG_1619The connection for performing musicians is clear if you think about it. If you can’t envision it, pay a visit to your nearest open mic night. BUT choose one with a healthy crew of regulars who know and support each other (like family should).  That’s where you’ll see “permission to suck” in action – in a viable way. Even though I perform regularly at folk festivals and other events and venues, there’s a mental liberation in performing among friends who will allow you, without harsh criticism, to suck. It gives you creative license to try new things before an audience who won’t throw things at you. Sure, you’ll know you sucked, but guess what? You’ll do better at it next time. What’s more, all the mistakes made by others that night will become a bonding among you.

The blog post made me feel good to see how my daughter and her husband are providing their daughter (my grandchild) with a warm and loving childhood. She is growing up without a fear of embarrassment for her mistakes. Everything is an adventure!  Sure technology changes life, but life experience at its core still teaches the same valuable lessons of decades and centuries past. And I’m grateful for the technology that helps me stay connected with the daily lives of my children, their children, my siblings and cousins  and their families and of course, all my friends around the world.

///Darrell
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
Posted in General Conversation, Music Performance, songwriter | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

End of the Line captured solo and live

I took a ride to Tempe Center for the Arts last week to enjoy some open-mic time with a number of musician friends who frequent the “Walk-In-Wednesday” event hosted by Walt Richardson (a stellar individual).

Well, this time, I was caught on video by Joey Weissgerber who plays a mean guitar as he dances on his effects boxes. I’m grateful to Joey for this opportunity to share a live performance here with you:

Thanks again Joey!

Now, if you have a couple minutes, I want you click and see and hear Joey doing the old Allman Brothers “You Don’t Love Me” 

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

End of the year, End of the Line

I just realized that I hadn’t posted anything since Thanksgiving. While that’s bad for blogging, it shows me I have been busy!

IMG_4964r1December kept me well occupied, starting with my continued planning for our annual Music Makers Weekend (formerly Music industry Weekend) that for the first time, we held in Arizona instead of California. I’m proud to say it came off wonderfully. We had about 16 participants including those who served as staff – all of whom were musicians. Even our chef Jim Rust is a singer-songwriter.

IMG_4881-cropI played at Monterrey Court in Tucson in early December as part of the Songwriter Showcase series that Ron Pandy has produced for two years now. It’s a fun thing to do because you get to hear and visit with several songwriter friends from around the area and the audiences there are always warm.

I’ve also written a couple new songs.  I just recorded one of them (with much help from my friend Jeff Bohnhoff – a music recording wizard!) and posted it on my ReverbNation page.  It’s called “End of the Line” and could be the Ballad of Casa Grande. It tells the origins of this desert farming town and laments my residency a bit.
Truth be told, I like this town. There’s a good city government and a bunch of fine people and I can get to either downtown Phoenix, or downtown Tucson in about an hour.

GrandDaughters12-11-15Of course, in between these events and songwriting, we spent some time with our granddaughters (oh, and their parents too). Our newest addition “Katie” is such a jewel, I can’t take my eyes off of her. Can you blame me?

Well, I probably won’t blog again until next year (which happens in three days) when my first granddaughter Emily turns four. She already knows ALL the Star Wars characters, so her mom is hosting a “Emily’s Fouth be with you” birthday party. That should be good.

So, I’ll sign off the “End of the Year” here at the “End of the Line” by wishing you all a happy and prosperous new year. Thanks for being part of mine.

///Darrell
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
Posted in Baha'i Events, Folk, General Conversation, Music, Music BUSINESS, Music Performance, Music Recording, songwriter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Busy November – Happy Thanksgiving!

November is almost gone. Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, is but 2 days away.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

I like Thanksgiving because of my own life experiences with it.  Yes, I know it marks a devastating milestone in history for my Native American friends. But the sacrifice of their ancestors gave the world an opportunity to grow and change and for that I consider those souls martyrs to the cause of Unity.  I just wish European invaders had listened and learned from them instead of engaging in hostilities. But such maturity was not there.

Ermagerd! Terkie! -Emily

Ermagerd! Terkie! -Emily (2012)

In my young life, Thanksgiving was all about family and friends. People who you knew would love you even if you angered them from time to time (and I had a knack for that). And of course, it focused on food – food prepared by loving hands and enjoyed by all, together.  Yes, my childhood was a great one. And throughout my adult life I have wanted to infuse Thanksgiving gatherings with a similar feeling. It hasn’t always been perfect, but it has come close.

This year I plan to again enjoy dinner with old friends down in Tucson. We all lived in the same Virginia neighborhood those many years ago. Our collective grown kids probably won’t feel the same connection as we aging parents do, but that’s OK.  In future years they will find their own connections to old and dear friends too.

Katie with big sister Emily

Katie with big sister Emily

One spectacular aspect of this November actually happened in the final days of October. We welcomed to the world our second Grandchild, Katie.  Katie of course is a gem (even though she and her big sister Emily (4 years old) are quickly depleting mommy’s energy).  She’s named for my mother Katy Rodgers who just this past Saturday turned 90 years old.  My mother is a wonderful human being and needs your prayers for healing. She has since retiring at age 76, worked as volunteer with the Loudoun Hospital Ladies Board (Leesburg, Va), which  raises funds by operating a thrift store (“Twice Is Nice”) and conducting an annual “Rummage Sale” (an event that draws thousands of buyers). MyMom-closeup This year, her exertions exceeded her bones and she has suffered two stress fractures in her back. The uncomfortable brace and forced reduction in mobility are burdens as big as the pain. My saintly sister and her husband have taken her to their home in Harper’s Ferry for convalescence, but it appears that returning to her 3-story town house is not going to happen. So it’s a time of dramatic transition from independence to assisted living. It breaks my heart, but I am grateful to still have her to talk to on the phone and know that she prays for me. Prayers are powered by love. The greater the love, the more powerful the prayer. Her prayers for me are as powerful as mine for her. Please add the power of your love through prayer that Katy can regain her mobility – painlessly.

I’ve been working on a new song called “End of the Line” (a ballad of Casa Grande, AZ). And I’m working on our upcoming Music Makers Weekend happening in December. I’ll be working on a “30-day songwriting challenge” song before that.  See our Music Makers Weekend site for details.

Until next time, be safe and have a loving and joyous Thanksgiving!

 

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

Happy Birthdays

Dad-PinkyRodgersToday would be my father’s 90th birthday. I suppose I could say today IS the 90th anniversary of my dad’s birthday.  Had he survived that aortic aneurysm back at age 63, would he have lived this long?  Perhaps. His wife Katy, my mom, turns 90 a month from today. And she’s going strong.

Dad loved to sing. I just remembered that, ironically, he liked singing the Beatles “When I’m 64”.  He didn’t quite make it far enough to find out, but I know he would still be needed and fed even at 90.

There are other birthdays to acknowledge, but I won’t dwell on any except two. The first is my own, which happens Sunday. I was born on a Sunday at 9:30 AM EST. It was, I think, the only time my dad willingly missed church for anything other than hunting season. I guess that means I should pass the official milepost this Sunday at 7:30 AM MST (Arizona Time).  The second birthday, which hasn’t yet happened even once yet, but might well precede or overlap mine, is Katy’s. No, not my mom, but her second GREAT Grandchild who is due to join us at any moment and will bear the name. I couldn’t be happier about that!

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