Prescott in October

Received word that I will again be performing at the Prescott Folk Music Festival at the Sharlot Hall Museum, 415 Gurley St.  It’s the oldest running Folk Music Festival in Arizona and this is its 37th year.  This festival is one of those “family reunion” kind of events for Arizona folk musicians. We’ll see friends there from all around the state, but particularly from Phoenix northward.

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If all goes well for the grand opening, I will perform the night before, Friday October 2nd, at a new Art Gallery in Prescott Valley, now in the launching stages by our friend Susan Bench.  I’ll have more details on that in the coming weeks.

And on Sunday the 3rd of October, I’ll be traveling down to Tucson for a gig with the Darrell Elmer Rodgers Trio. We’re playing for a block party in Rick Heyman’s neighborhood. That should be fun too!

///Darrell
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
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Hard Luck video on the quick

Last week I started again creating videos and I kept it simple (stupid). This week is even simpler (and more stupid). This time I decided to ignore a backing track altogether and see if I could record a live performance directly into iMovie (no “post production”) and still be able to hear both vocals and guitar.  I played around with mic placement and balancing between mics and the direct input and came close to a tolerable mix.

I should have practiced this little tune more before making the video. I get a little fumble-fingered during the shoot. But since I was pressed for time in the face of some travel, I pushed forward.

Eric Ramsey

Eric Ramsey

The back story on this new song “Hard Luck” is revealed in the video. Eric Ramsey does a great song of his own called “Hard Luck” in which he sings that hard luck “seems to follow me around” .   (You really should check out his music at ericramsey.net)

In the spirit of friendly conversation, my song of the same name proclaims that hard luck instead “heads me off at the pass” because “hard luck, takes a short cut, just to kick me in the ass”. (destined to become a sing-along refrain)

Well, just listen…

I hope you enjoyed this little ditty, but I also hope it’s not too personal. When time permits, I’ll work on a better more polished version of this rough cut little jewel.

 

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

Video production – back to work

I have not even attempted to produce a video in over a year. Why? Too hard to do right. At least it seemed so after my iMac quit working right and my Panasonic video camera died completely. All I had left was a cheap digital camera and a cel-phone.

Well, I’ve managed to get the old iMac back to semi-useful. I simply had to move a bunch of old recordings and movies to my external hard drive and the new iMovie software began to work as advertised – almost (it’s still slow).

So to test the waters and re-learn what I used to know, I decided to make a simple 0ne- camera video of me playing my satirical “Nashville Hit Song Illuminati” (see earlier blog post).  This time I decided it should be a bit faster pace so I sped up the midi backing tracks I had made for the first rough recording and recorded a “live” performance using just the iMac internal camera. It almost worked.

I had a little trouble with the guitar level, so I re-recorded that track by itself and it almost matches what I actually played the first time. If I had known it would come so close to being useful, I might have set up my cel-phone for a second camera angle (I use a straight mic stand as a camera tripod).  There’s no award for creativity here but at least I’m getting back in the game.

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

The Fab..3? Yes!

IMAG0265My friend Russ Salton is a musician’s musician. He writes songs, plays guitar excellently (along with several other instruments), he is a recording engineer, a producer, a promoter, a music business consultant, and a generally great guy.  He has recently teamed up with a talented couple who love Beatles music as much as he does. They call themselves The Fab 3. I got to hear them perform last Friday night in Gig Harbor, WA and I must say their harmonies are the BEATLES SOUND. They cover Beatles tunes with accuracy, and Russ (who looks like Sir Paul) and Paul (who sings like John) are writing Beatles-inspired originals as well. Their website is still developing, but check them out! http://www.the-fab3.com/ and for a Video Sampler Click Here

Russ met Paul and Marcie Forrest about a year ago. Marcie – an American, and her husband Paul – a Brit, lived in Israel for years and performed together as a duo. Marcie is a skilled flutist and Paul an excellent guitarist and both sing in great harmony. Being equipped with vocals, guitar, and flute, it seemed only natural they should cover Jethro Tull songs, and they did.  But on their meeting with Russ, they sang a couple Beatles tunes and Russ was blown away, particularly by Paul’s voice. He sounded uncannily like John Lennon. Russ told the couple, “If you relocate to the Seattle area, I’d want to form a Beatles cover band with you”. Well, they did and here they are together.

Russ LOVES the Beatles. Aside from the fact that he resembles Sir Paul McCartney (and plays a Hofner bass), Beatles music seems to be embedded in Russ’ DNA. Of course, the Beatles were everything when we were growing up, but Russ really tuned in.  He knows more about the Beatles music than almost anyone I know. He’s been to Abby Road Studios and hopes one day to cut an album there, perhaps with The Fab 3.  It’s only right.

The Fab 3 is targeting large audiences, playing festivals and corporate events. But they asked a local wine bar, “The Wine Studio”, only 10 minutes from Russ’ home in Gig Harbor, WA, if they might “publicly rehearse”  there every other Friday evening. The proprietor quickly agreed.  Some nights are packed, others, not so much. It was rainy and cold last Friday (yes, that’s “summer” in that part of the world) and the crowd was small. For a few minutes, I was the whole audience. But about 9:30 PM a rather jovial man surged into the bar, raving about the band’s sound, and begging them to stay until he could summon 14 friends from a nearby restaurant. Russ told the man “were scheduled to end at 10 PM, but we’ll go a little late if there’s a crowd”.  By the time the crowd arrived, the band had already played a 2-hour set (flawlessly I might add).  But being the troopers they are, they played on until after 11PM delivering much joy to an already “happy” audience that had no inhibitions about dancing and singing along to the songs of their youth.

That my friends, is entertainment.

///Darrell
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
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Friends and Craftsmen

IMAG0226Recently enjoyed an evening of original IMAG0227songs by friends Jim Pipkin and Eric Laubach. They played sets in rotation for quite some time at Cup-O-Karma cafe in Mesa, AZ. where all the proceeds go to support women’s shelters in the Phoenix area. We drove up to listen as long as we thought our dogs could bear.  It was great fun. I want to tip my hat to Brian Abernethy who played the Bodhran (a Celtic drum). He cracked me up when he said “I play in two keys: Thump and Whack”.

IMAG0235Next Tip-O-the-Hat goes to Rainbow Guitars in Tucson (2550 N. Campbell Ave), specifically to Josh Rondstadt who did a wonderful job returning the neck and fret board of my beloved Taylor guitar to pristine condition (and repaired the electronics too). I first called Taylor Guitars in California to find my nearest authorized repair shop and they recommended Josh, who had once worked at the Taylor factory and was now with Rainbow.  Of course, I asked Josh if he was related to the Rondstadt family, famous in Tucson for their musical contributions to the city and the world, and he said YES! Turns out Josh’s dad is my friend Bobby Rondstadt.

Josh, I want to thank you for doing such a superb job repairing and  resetting my Taylor Guitar. You are a true craftsman!

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

New Song about the Song Industry

I just made a rough home recording of a new song.  It started with a conversation between me and singer-songwriter Lani Nash about a year ago. Lani has been writing and singing songs around Nashville for some time and agreed with me when I said that it seemed every song out of Nashville these days was about drinking. Lani said yes, it seems that if you want to get attention in Nashville, you’d better write about Beer or Jesus.

Well that in itself sounded like a song title to me: “Beer or Jesus” – a new hit song from the folks who brought you “Drunk on a Plane”, “Pretty Good At Drinkin’ Beer”, “Beer Money” and other uplifting tunes! (you get my point)

My friend Alan James, another singer-songwriter, once pointed out that when we play in bars we are just the “Loss Leader” for beer sales. We’re the product a bar owner is willing to lose money on in order to sell more beer.

Then, just a few months ago, I was flipping cable channels and found a Nashville songwriter’s showcase hosted by Luke Bryan. There were 4 or 5 other songwriters there and one by one, they each played their “hit” song. Guess what.  EVERY SONG was about drinking! Maybe the CMA is just a marketing division of Anheuser-Busch.

So, I had to do it. I had to write the song. it’s called “Nashville Hit Song Illuminati” and you can hear it on my ReverbNation page here:  http://www.reverbnation.com/darrellelmerrodgers/song/23640479-nashville-hit-song-illuminati-rough

After hearing this tune,  my brother-in-law, Scott Tatina, shared this photo:SweetBabyJesusBeer

I guess that about wraps it up.

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

Song Circle with Ladies of Nashville

We had a fun time last night here in Casa Grande. The schedules of two touring singer-songwriters, Lani Nash and Yosi Mesbah, both friends of mine, happened to converge here in Arizona. My bride and I welcomed both ladies from Nashville to our home and we hosted a song circle which included me.  We invited a few neighbors and friends to join us and about 20 folks came to enjoy the show. We had a great time.  And we included a cameo performance by Aaron Anderson, a High School student who lives across the street (wonderful neighbors). He has a great voice and the ladies enjoyed harmonizing with him into the late evening.

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I’m really taken with the singing voices of these two wonderful songwriters – clear, clean and strong.  They will play a concert tonight at the Desert Rose Baha’i Institute in Eloy, AZ (about 12 miles from here) and I expect there will be a great turn-out. If you can make it, please do. The show is free, but you’ll certainly want to buy a few CDs!

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