Dead on My Feet but still truckin’

This has been a tough month so far.  I just finished moving the last load of bulky items from our old home in Casa Grande, AZ to our new one in Las Cruces, NM.

That’s right, The darrellsongs Studio has moved again. After 7 years in Casa Grande (8 and a half in Arizona), I will now be based in Southern New Mexico.

Here’s the new digs:


Of course, it looks like a warehouse on the inside right now.  Boxes are stacked all over the place and the room designated for my studio space is jammed, awaiting me to re-assemble my recording bench and my desk.  But who has the time?  I’m driving back to AZ on the weekends to clean up the old mansion and get it ready to sell. I’m working 10-hour days to free up my Fridays for that task.

And, I should mention, this is significant downsizing for us.  AZ house: 3080 sq. ft. NM house: 1725 sq. ft.  That’s about a 44% reduction in space, and I haven’t made near that reduction in “stuff”.  So I’ve rented storage space as well.  Figuring out what to store, is a big task in itself.

And on top of this pandemonium, I’m pressing forward with Music Makers Weekend at Desert Rose Baha’i institute this December 16-18.  If I get enough registrations to break even by November 15th, we’ll move ahead. If not, it will be “refund the money time” and we’ll cut our losses.

As a songwriter, I’m very frustrated. I keep getting cool song ideas but can’t take the time out to work them into something good. How about a cowboy song that came to me while driving in a rain storm through Texas Canyon just East of Benson, AZ:

As the rain swept up the canyon from the valley down below,
I knew I’d have to shelter, no further could I go.
It reminded me of stories that my ol’ grand daddy told.
When it rains in Texas Canyon, all you get is wet and cold.

Maybe I’ll remember enough of them once this is finished, to really crank out some new gems. I sure hope so. I need the therapy!

Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
Posted in Baha'i Events, Events, General Conversation, songwriter | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Social Media and Baby Boomer Parents of Adult Children

I remember how I felt when Facebook started sucking time out of my day.  I thought: “This will be like everything else, a fad. I’ll burn some hours early-on, grow bored, and seldom use it later”. Wrong.

Social media like this, a significant advance from our old Fido Net message boards of the 1980’s, was not “just another game”.  For me, it became an ever-present window to reunions – with old classmates, new friends, and my adult children.

And before they figured out what they would be revealing, my kids accepted my friend requests!  Now, that’s not to say they made an inadvertent blunder. I’d like to believe they connected with me because they WANTED to include me in their life. But such connection is a two-edged sword.

Don’t get me wrong, I want this connection. I want to know what’s happening in their lives and I want them to know about me. But I probably wasn’t fully prepared for the impact of relinquishing “ignorance is bliss” from my life.  I can’t help but feel, they may feel the same way about stuff I post.

I think social media has opened my eyes to the “layers” of human communications. Some statements are meant to defend a position, or take a side.  Some are an advertisement for emotions. And some, seemingly few, are really aimed at achieving understanding.

Of course, a transmitter is useless without a tuned receiver. Listening is even more crucial in the connected world, but one must be able to discern the nature of the transmission as well as the content.

For instance, my adult daughter posted a piece on depression that really shook me. About half way through reading it, I was ready to jump in the car and rush to save her from suicide. Thankfully, her post resolved in a deeply reflective peace that let me know “she’s got this”.

But it underscores the weight we bear when we choose to remain connected. And that’s a good thing. Those who can’t handle such intimacy, run from it. Those who love, stay.

Perhaps that’s an over-simplification. Some stay to help, some stay to influence, some stay to persuade, some stay to chastise or degrade. Some leave because it hurts, some leave because they don’t care, some leave because they feel helpless, or even guilty.

It’s an interesting dynamic to observe.

IMAG1741But because I LOVE my adult kids, I WANT the connection. Well, that’s only half of it. I keep the connection because I WANT their Love.

There’s an old premise that says “everything we do or say is an attempt to gain love”.  But as a former salesman, I know that “preventing a loss” is also a strong motivator.

On the “gaining love” side of things are posts like my daughters where she exposes her struggle and pain.  Does she want advice? – probably not – particularly anything expressed in  condescension “Oh, you shouldn’t feel that way” or “Here’s what you need to do…”

Perhaps all she really wanted was a hearing ear and a reply that tells her she’s loved and respected and admired. After all, isn’t that what WE ALL want?

This connection thing is heavy, but it’s worth it to me. I wonder what kind of deeper relationship I might have developed with my Father had he lived long enough to experience a social media connection with me. I think I would have treasured that because I know he loved me. And unlike mom, who can’t stand computers, Dad would have enjoyed playing with a new gadget!  I think I’ll connect with my 90-year old mother on the one social medium she knows – the phone.  I won’t share her grand children’s struggles because I don’t want her to worry, but I might ask her for some prayers for “the highest good to manifest in their lives”. She’s real good at that media too.

Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
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Happy Anniversary? yes! after 10 years of non-stop joy

72TheCoupleTen years ago, May 27th, I married my Bride, Deb.  I like to say it was an “arranged” marriage.  I don’t think I could have been that smart or that lucky on my own. I really think someone “up there” put the two of us together. And I am eternally grateful.

I like to say that had I known the second marriage would be so good, I wouldn’t have kept the first one so dang long!

I also told her I planned to give her a 50-year honeymoon. Well, 10 down and 40 to go!

She appreciates me calling her my “Bride”, a choice I made day one. I had a wife once, and for a long time, and it wasn’t good.  So by calling her my “Bride”, I remind myself that this marriage is new and different. It also proclaims to her, that I’m still committed to that 50-year promise.

In my song “Real Love” (the first Valentine’s day song I gave my Bride), I wrote this lyric: “True Love’s not selfish. In fact, it’s sacrificial, always seeking something sweet to do. That’s how I know I never knew Real Love, until I fell in love with you.”  She really personifies that kind of Real Love for me.

They really have flown by, these first 10 years.  I guess that’s how it goes when it’s fun. Or as my friend Mike Lindsey says, “that’s the way it works, when it’s working”.

Tonight I’m miles away in New Mexico, but tomorrow, I’ll be home again. And home is anywhere she is. Happy Anniversary dear Bride!

Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
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North Carolina Privates Investigators – music video (rough cut)

This is a social commentary song I just had to write. I wrote it yesterday and video recorded it today.  This dear friends is HUMOR. So lighten up and laugh a little.


Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
Posted in Folk, General Conversation, Music, Music Recording, songwriter, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

TFF Photos from La Cocina

Here are a few photos, taken by my lovely Bride, of our set at La Cocina at Old Town Artisans during the Tucson Folk Festival. We really enjoyed playing there:


My daughter and newest granddaughter came to the show,


The great Phil Anderson on Bass. Such a pleasure to perform with.


The amazing Michael Parker on Drums. We’ve been playing together for 7 years.

IMG_5605 IMG_5599 IMG_5595 IMG_5579 IMG_5564 IMG_5563 IMG_5549 IMG_5544

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TFF this weekend! Sunday 3:30PM La Cocina.

The Tucson Folk Festival kicks off tonight with the traditional party at La Cocina. The Greg Morton Band will be performing their bluegrass excellence starting at 6:30 PM and some others (including the Determined Luddites) will also take the stage. I’ll be there too – I might even contribute a song or two.

But my big moment comes Sunday afternoon at 3:30 PM right on that same stage when the Darrell Elmer Rodgers trio performs with Michael Parker on Drums and the great Phil Anderson on Bass.

Tucson FF 2016 Poster

There are 5 stages serving up free music both Saturday and Sunday.  You’ll also see me pulling EmCee duty on the Plaza stage Saturday evening 6-8 and on the Museum stage Sunday 4:30 – close. Come on down to the Tucson Folk Festival! The weather promises perfection!

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

Next Up: Tucson Folk Festival

We’re Gettin’ Ready!  And this will be fun! For the eighth year, I have been selected to perform at the Tucson Folk Festival and this year I will be performing on the La Cocina Stage at Old Town Artisans. Here are some photos from our set there in 2013:

2013 TFF performance at La Cocina

2013 TFF performance at La Cocina


2013 TFF performance at La Cocina

It’s a cozy venue in that the audience is only about 6 feet from the stage and I like that! This year, our bass player will be Phil Anderson, an acclaimed performer in a number of Tucson groups including Southbound Pilot (they’re good!).  Phil and drummer Michael Parker really connected at our first rehearsal and I’m confident we’ll give you a good show.

We perform SUNDAY, May 1st, at 3:30 PM on the La Cocina stage at Old Town Artisans – a favorite spot. The venue is a cozy courtyard of an old hacienda now converted to restaurants, a bar, and craft shops.

TFF 2016-logo artThis will be the 31st annual Tucson Folk Festival. It is perhaps, the biggest Folk Music Festival in the entire Southwest. About 12,000 people are expected to attend over the weekend (Apr 30 & May 1) to enjoy hundreds of performers arrayed on 5 different stages each day – AND ITS FREE.  You can spend your money to buy a program, enjoy some vendor food, and pick up CDs of your new favorite acts.

So for you “out-of-towners” – plan a trip! Come see us!


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