Gettin’ Ready (for the Tucson Folk Festival)

OK, the TRIO (that’s Me, Rick Heyman on bass and Michael Parker on drums) has rehearsed a few tunes and we’ll run through them again before the Tucson Folk Festival just to be sure. I feel very confident that we will deliver a good sound for you. We play at 3-PM on Saturday May 2, on the “Museum of Art Stage”.  That’s on the patio behind the museum. We’ve played there several times before. It’s a good spot.

TFF-2015-DERTrio

If you have not yet been to the Tucson Folk Festival in years past, this will be a perfect opportunity to catch up on the fun. This will be the festival’s 30TH year!  And the all-volunteer staff from the Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association (TKMA) tells me it’s going to be bigger and better than ever. A BUNCH of my friends will be performing on the FIVE stages in and around El Presidio Park. You can find the schedules for each day and performer Bios here: www.tkma.org

There will be some really good Headliners there as well. On Saturday evening Ray Wylie Hubbard will perform, preceded by both the famous Tom Chapin and Ryanhood (two AZ fellas that really rock) as well as my dear friends JC & Laney – a treat for the ears!

On Sunday, our “Local” Headliner is Ronstadt Generations (yes, Linda’s family), preceded by I Hear Voices with some exquisite four-part harmonies by some of the nicest folks you’ll ever meet in Tucson.

So make a plan now to be there!  Just be sure to catch the Darrell Elmer Rodgers Trio at 3PM on Saturday!

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

Good-bye dear Joseph

11146536_1638606803026331_4708391054744627977_nYesterday, 15 April, in Trnava Slovakia, a brilliant man was buried. Joseph Roy Sheppherd, was an Anthropologist, and Archaeologist, an author of many wonderful books, and one of the most wonderful people I have ever had the joy to know. He was also the first person to ever commission a song from me.  He was a brilliant story-teller and his years spent in rain forests and and among indigenous peoples the world over gave him a seemingly bottomless bag full of tales to tell. He was a wayfarer, in search of the sacred.

I first met Joseph and his wonderful wife Jan at Bosch Baha’i School in the fall of 2003 and they invited me to join them at their home in Bend Oregon the following February to provide music for a special study of The Bab, and Baha’u’llah – two holy beings of the Baha’i Faith. I flew to Portland and drove past the base of Mt. Hood and arrived in Bend a day early. Joseph had prepared some special visual aids for the session. He had a local craftsman reproduce a neck shackle just like the one Baha’u’llah and other early believers wore during their imprisonment.  He also had leg-stocks, made from a log, like the device used on the early Babi prisoners.  He had acquired some chain segments for display just to let us feel the tremendous weight that was once borne by our Lord’s neck.013_11A

Jan and Joseph moved to Slovakia in 2008 (I think) and Joseph began researching old folk tales of the region and working on a book in which to collect them. In August of 2009, Joseph asked me if I would help him by writing a song to go with the stories he would write. The first was called “The Vodnik” – about an underwater shape-shifting creature who emerge from the lake at noon or at midnight to capture the souls of children. I couldn’t say no, I had to try. I sent him a recording of “The Vodnik” later in the fall and he played it for some Slovak youth. You can hear it here: http://darrellelmerrodgers.bandcamp.com/track/the-vodnik   He said “they loved it”, but more importantly, they were touched that an American, half a world away, would want to write a song about their cultural heritage. That was the real reward. That was the “sacred” treasure.

wayfarersGuideCoverThat was Joseph’s real talent: Bringing the sacred home.  His book “The Wayfarer’s Guide to Bringing the Sacred Home” was among the first Baha’i books distributed by the Baha’i Publishing Trust through commercial bookstores.

I am going to miss him severely. But I am not alone. The man had over 4,000 Facebook friends, and I dare say he likely had actually met most of them. Stories written by him, and ABOUT him will be told and retold for years to come. And a good number of them will be true!

I think he has left us way too soon. But when the wayfarer is called home, he must go.  From “The Hidden Words” by Baha’u’llah:

O SON OF JUSTICE!
Whither can a lover go but to the land of his beloved? and what seeker findeth rest away from his heart’s desire? To the true lover reunion is life, and separation is death. His breast is void of patience and his heart hath no peace. A myriad lives he would forsake to hasten to the abode of his beloved.
(Baha’u’llah, The Persian Hidden Words)

God Bless and keep you Joseph in the palm of His hand.

///Darrell
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
Posted in General Conversation, songwriter | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Together Again, Two gather again

The Tucson Museum of Art has been very supportive, extraordinarily so, of the Annual Tucson Folk Festival conducted by the Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association (TKMA).  I joined the TKMA 7 years ago when I lived in Tucson.  Although I now live 65 miles north in Casa Grande, when I get the chance to serve, I do. I got such a chance this past weekend and provided some music for the Tucson Museum of Art’s annual “Spring Artisans Market” which is about the best arts & crafts fair you’ll find in Tucson. I played there solo last year.

Ron Pandy

Ron Pandy

Organizer Ron Pandy, a decades-long volunteer workhorse for TKMA, had called me some time beforehand and asked if I would be willing to do it again.  I readily agreed. Ron’s schedule gives us 40 minutes to set up, perform and tear-down. For a soloist, that’s almost 39 minutes of performance time. Ron asked “will it be just you or will you have the whole band?”.  I wasn’t sure. I left a phone message for Rick Heyman and waited. If he could play bass, them perhaps Michael could drum as well. But it took a while for Rick to respond because, as I would learn later, he was in the hospital!!!  But he called last Monday and we decided we would TRY to make it a duo performance, if his good healing continued. It Did!, and after one rehearsal Friday, we performed Saturday. We managed to get about 12 songs into our time slot, including my three newest songs.

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It felt good to have Rick’s wonderful bass lines dancing under my guitar and vocals. It really fills out the sound. Now we’ve set up a rehearsal schedule with our drummer Michael Parker to get the trio ready for the Tucson Folk Festival on May 2nd. And guess where we’ll be playing – The Tucson Museum of Art Stage. (3PM on Saturday May 2nd)

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

A beautiful weekend at the Glendale Folk & Heritage Festival

For the 3rd year in a row, I performed at the Glendale Folk & Heritage Festival and again, for the third time, the weather was GORGEOUS at the Sahuaro Ranch Park.  It was a touch warm for this time of year but we really didn’t mind. It is always good to see the musicians I only see at such events, living a good distance away as I do. And this year I was “drafted” into service to conduct a workshop and a songwriter’s circle where I got to know a few more folks a little better.

Making this “family reunion” of folkies even more delightful for me was the presence of my 3-year-old grand-daughter Emily and of course her mom and dad.  My daughter Rachel is a wonderful mom and her husband Cody is true father. They make me proud.  I guess this was the first time Emily became “cognizant” that her Grandfather was actually “on stage” before and audience. She ran right up the edge of the stage ad asked with exclamation: “GrandPa! What are you DOING?”  I laughed and admitted “I really don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m going to perform anyway”

Here are a few photos.

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Tucson Friends! Come see me Saturday, 28 March at 2:20 PM behind the Tucson Museum Art during the “Spring Artisans’ Market” (see my “Schedule” page)

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

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:

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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