’til God Forgets

Well, I completed a recording of my latest song “’til God Forgets” and it’s here for your enjoyment:

Lord knows I struggle with recording. Maybe it’s a mental block. Maybe it’s just the frustration of not getting things to sound like I want them to sound.  But it sure wears me out!  Somewhere between “this sucks” and “good enough” lies “it’ll have to do”.  Maybe I will come back to this song and tweak it a bit more. Maybe I’ll just leave it.  In the words of Dr. McCoy, “Dammit Jim, I’m a songwriter not a recording engineer!”

There are some good lines in this song. I came up with chorus some time ago.
“I’m runnin of caffeine and cigarettes, in a zig zag pattern on trains and jets. Give Saint Peter my regrets, I gotta keep runnin ’til God forgets.” 

Like so many song ideas that pop into my head, these lyrics just laid around until I realized they fit a boogie riff I like to play (almost Arthur Smith’s Guitar Boogie, but not quite).  Once I put them together, the rest was relatively easy. But the song does take a slightly different course than one might expect of an “I’ve goofed up” lament. Here, the subject’s “big mistake” was telling her he loved her and then running away when the love was reciprocated. Idiot!

I’m looking forward to the day when I can get the trio to do this one.  With a REAL bassist and a REAL drummer, this tune could really get folks dancing!

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

Let’s call it SOME progress

Last time I posted about getting back into creative mode with songwriting and production.  Well, I’ve done the songwriting half of that, so I’m claiming SOME progress.

Jammin’ with Jane Murdock

I even performed my latest new song for our Folk-singing friend from Arizona, Jane Murdock who paid us a visit at the end of July.  It was good to see one of the “ol gang of mine” here at our outpost in New Mexico. Jane’s been singing folk songs for decades and does some great songs.

I played a new song for her called “’til God Forgets” that’s built around a riff inspired by that old classic “guitar boogie” recorded by Arthur Smith back in 1945 (not quite the same, but similar). The key chorus lyrics include:
“I’m runnin’ on caffeine and cigarettes,
a zig-zag pattern in trains and jets,
give Saint Peter my regrets,
I gotta keep runnin’ ’til God forgets!”

Now, the other part of my “goal”, production, hasn’t been so successful. It seems my iMac has good days and bad – kind of like me. I’m not sure whether to replace the RAM, or bite the bullet for a new machine – decision, decisions.  I really want to get this new tune recorded so you can hear the whole thing. It’ll be another “get up and dance” number for sure.

Organ Mountains – East side

My bride and I have been out and about here in New Mexico these past several weeks, just getting to know our new area. We visited Cloudcroft, up in the mountains, and explored the east side of the Organ Mountains (thanks to access to the White Sands Missile Range). We went for a fabulous steak at Chala’s Wood Fire Grill in Messilla, NM and caught our friend Jamie O’Hara doing a set on the patio.  Jamie’s one of the hardest working musicians around and puts on the miles to get the gigs. Last place we saw Jamie was at Sparkys up in Hatch, NM (where they grow those hot green chilis!).  That’s another place I recommend – smoked meats and live music. What could be better?

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

Back on track with a new track

“OK, Break’s over! Back on your heads!” – that’s a punch line from an old joke about hell. And it almost applies here.

After my last post, I fired up my aged iMac and began the process of finishing production of a song I started recording years ago.  Give a listen to “Listen to Your Heart” below.

The Darrell Elmer Rodgers TRIO (with Rick Heyman & Michael Parker) performs this live and at a slightly slower tempo and with a nice intro.  But that stretches the song to over 5 minutes.  This version is closer to 4.

I wrote the guitar hook on this one back around 2002. The first verse followed a year or so later. But then it languished, waiting for me to figure out where it would go. Funny how hard times make for good songs. I lost my job in in 2015 and the demoralizing process of enduring unanswered applications and remaining unemployed for over a year stood in stark contrast to the encouragement and loving patience of my dear bride and the laughter and joy provided by my daughters and grand children. The experience seemed to crystallize the lyrics in my mind.  I guess you could say it’s a song of grateful resignation and hope.

So today, with a new job in a new city, I need now to crank up the creativity work and get back to song writing and, frustratingly, production. On this old slow struggling hardware, recording and production is a bit hellish for me.  But even a broken clock gets it right twice a day.

So this guy dies and gets sent to hell where he sees everyone standing in sewage up to their knees, but they’re all chatting, laughing, drinking coffee, and eating delightful pastries and he thinks “this ain’t so bad!”.  Suddenly the devil appears and says:
“OK, Break’s over! Back on your heads!”

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

Summertime Blues

Well, the Folk Festival is a month behind us and I haven’t done much, musically speaking, since then – just a couple performances here at the house. I don’t know if it’s waxing age or waning inspiration, but my vitality seems to have ebbed a bit.  Maybe it’s just the Summertime Blues, and we ALL know there’s no cure for THAT.

I started writing a new song back before the Folk Festival that the guys (Rick and Michael) really liked, but Michael and I both knew we could not perform it in public in Arizona (even though, as Rick pointed out, Tucson may have been the safest city to do so).  You see, it’s called “Sexy Gun” and it’s written from the perspective of a totally honest assault rifle owner who knows that technically, his new weapon is no different than any other rifle he owns, except for its appearance. Yep, it’s sexy.
Lyrics excerpt: “I got me a sexy gun, yes it’s a sexy gun,
it’s black and mean and guaranteed to scare everyone.

I made a modification to my studio a couple months ago. I replaced two mic stands with booms mounted to my recording bench.  It really cleared the floor area for easily rolling my new chair.  Now if I could just get my aging electronics (primarily my 9-year-old iMac) to work as well. That computer’s software has been upgraded darn near to inoperable.  Maybe it too, has a case of the Summertime Blues. And “there ain’t no cure for the Summertime Blues”.

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

Scenes from the 33rd Annual Tucson Folk Festival

Well, we did it. We made it to the show for the tenth year in a row. It got real hot, but we delivered!  And we certainly weren’t alone! So many fine musicians and wonderful performances! Here are some pics:

Greg & Randall Morton and band – top notch bluegrass.

Our friend from the Northwest, Dan Weber

The fabulous Eric Ramsey (slide blues don’t get better than this)

Sabre Faulk and the Angel Band – they packed the house at La Cocina and knocked us all out!

The Wayback Machine! With John Coinman! doing John’s song “All the Way from Memphis” – Outstanding.

Eric Schaffer & the Other Troublemakers – These guys are pros – great set!

Our dear friends JC & Laney getting ready on the Plaza stage with some help from Matt Rolland on fiddle.

The Robby Roberson Band – well three of them. And what a job they did on their harmonies. Saaweet.

Greg LaCosse with his 12-string and some fiddle by Lex Browning. Fun stuff.

Yours truly. I’m doing a rendition of “Die Workin'” after having tried a new one “Meat & Potatoes”. I barely survived.

The Great Don Armstrong – 50-years of professional Folk Music – yes, he’s broke. With Lex browning and Jim Lipson

Eb Eberline with Jim Lipson. Eb will be touring this summer and might make it to my town.

a better shot of Eric Ramsey. Guitar players and songwriters can learn from this man.

Eric Schaffer and the Other Troublemakers delivering the goods. I love this band.

JC & Laney singing their magnificent harmony with Jim Lipson providing percussion.

Another photo of Arizona’s best duo. JC & Laney.

The Robby Roberson Band delivering original inspired music in 3-part harmony. Ed Garnero, Arlienne Scofield, and Robby Roberson.

More RRB – take a close look at Ed’s bass. He made that one.

My grand daughters. They were my favorite dancers.

The Determined Luddites! a Tucson institution! “Making America Drunk Again” I don’t know how they ended up playing so far from the beer. That has NEVER happened before. L-R Dan Davis, Gabe Hostetler, Kevin Schramm, and Daniel Hostetler

Darrell Elmer Rodgers Trio with Rick Heyman on bass and Michael Parker on drums

Darrell Elmer Rodgers Trio

Darrell Elmer Rodgers Trio – With Cliff Cordes from Chandler AZ doing the harmonica work on “Hard to Believe” – it got folks dancing!

Darrell Elmer Rodgers Trio – making America dance again.

Darrell Elmer Rodgers Trio – see my favorite dancers down front? Katie & Emily cutting a rug.


That’s all for now,

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

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

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