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

Happy 2018! (it’s a bidding)

It’s NOT an assessment – way too early for that. But it IS a bidding. I’m wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2018.  Of course, with the state of world affairs right now, our collective health may be challenged by forces beyond our direct control. So let’s do our part to make life better locally for all.

My bride and I spent three days over Christmas visiting family in Arizona. We had a therapeutic immersion in Grand-Baby Love!  THAT was soul-reviving.  And it came in the middle of 12-days off work from my day-job at NASA.
Tomorrow morning may be hard to take.

And having some time off gave me an opportunity to finish a new song I had begun back when my local doctor gave me some sobering news (I’m old) and recommended a severe change in my diet (along with blood pressure medication).  It’s called “Meat and Potatoes”

I hadn’t written a “slide guitar song” in quite some time, but the theme seemed to fit a slide-blues instrumentation, as it is after all, a lament.  If you’d like to own a copy (in full resolution if desired), you can download it for a dollar on my bandcamp download site. And you could just share the link with your friends who may be facing similar choices.

I also realized that there are a number of songs I have not yet made available for download. I started organizing them and realized I may have enough to create not one, but THREE new albums. Sounds like a New Year’s Resolution to me!

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

Thanksgiving Joys

IF we could wipe away the genocidal history of the American Thanksgiving, it would be the perfect holiday for me. Imagine that the atrocities heaped upon the indigenous people of this land were not associated with it’s origin. Imagine if it were simply a day to give thanks. Such a worthy day it would be with no desecration of a concurrent holy birth, or a sacred moment of salvation, but just a day to gather in Unity and be grateful.  Maybe we could redefine it that way and be grateful for a hopeful future instead of an unjust past.  Maybe.

My Bride and I just enjoyed the best Thanksgiving of our 12 years together.  Now we have enjoyed some EXCELLENT Thanksgiving feasts with family and friends through the years, but THIS year we were joined in our own home by GRAND KIDS and of course, their parents (you remember, my daughter Rachel and her husband Cody Langness). Nothing beats that!

Aside from the enormous dinner prepared by my bride Deb and daughter Rachel, the festivities were like a 3-D movie of pure delight. I so loved seeing our grand daughters enjoy themselves and interact with each other. It was an unparalleled treat!

Did someone say “Photos please”?

I hope you had an enjoyable day too.  Before I sign off, I want you to know I’m working on a new song called “Meat and Potatoes”.  It’s a lament of a man being forced, by his own desire to live longer, into eating a more plant-based diet.  Personal?  You bet it is.  Stay tuned.

Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
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Virginia Vacation & Reunion

We just returned from 10 days in Virginia where I took my Bride to see Colonial Williamsburg, and Jamestown, two historic places she had never seen.  We walked ourselves half to death (which doesn’t take long in our condition) but it was great weather, more late summer than fall, and we enjoyed ourselves.

If you’ve never seen Colonial Williamsburg, I recommend doing so at least once. See Jamestown as well.  I am always impressed with the way our predecessors carved out an English city in what was essentially a swampy jungle.  I am fascinated by the craftsmanship that went it just about everything they made. And I am astounded by the work it took.

In Williamsburg, it was work performed by African slaves, without whom this country would never have been built so relatively quickly.  It was good to visit the Peyton Randolf House and hear the living-history docents describe the contrasts between the lives of the slaves and those of their moneyed masters.  Peyton Randolf, the first President of the Continental Congress, resided in Williamsburg on a small, 4-acre “urban plantation” with his wife and 27 slaves. 27!!! to take care of just the two of them and 4 acres. They owned 4 other large plantations as well with hundreds of slaves all totaled.  The docent conveyed the most honest portrayal of colonial life I have ever heard. She did not embellish, nor did she hide or “dress up” anything. Very straight talk which we so much appreciated.

We ventured North after sightseeing to visit family and friends and attend my 45th high school reunion.  There were many old friends to see there including my buddy Joe Law with whom I enlisted in the Navy in 1972.  Joe has organized the past 5 reunions for us. It’s a tough job and we owe him deep gratitude. Also there was my old friend Tad Richardson, one of the first “kids” I met when we moved to Sterling, Va back in 1961.  We have history.

And of course I got to see my mom.  She’ll be 92 in November and seems to be doing well. I visited my sister and brother too and saw my cousin at the reunion.  Let’s call it a good trip.


Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
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