Table For Two, Away From the Band Please!

Salutations in Good Health!

Instead of hand shakes and hugs I’ve learned to do this foot bump that the world health organization claims is bulletproof. It at least carries a little humor with it to make up for the loss of human connection that comes with hand touching hand. 

May we all prevail in good health!

Good gigs last week and for this week it’s as if we’re on tour with the Blurring the Edges band. Hallelujah, two gigs back to back! Unheard of in this day of lugging the gear, setting up, playing a show, packing up, lugging the gear again and that’s it, never to return to the venue until the next year. 

Back in the day (BITD) our stints at the jazz clubs in La Jolla were 5 nights a week for a month straight. Talk about getting the arrangements tight! And gear, not only did we have less of it, we only dealt with it once a week.

But I like now too!

Playing concerts where it’s all about the music, where silence is an option to add into the mix—this reigns supreme over blenders and coffee roasting hoopla clogging up the air waves with boisterous clients yacking in the back. 

This reminds me of a clever tune that Jim Plank wrote years ago — “Table For Two, Away From the Band Please”. 

That’s pretty much the whole story…

This photo was taken in the late ’80’s during a break from one of our long stints at Elarios in La Jolla. That’s me on the left, Tripp, Bob Magnusson, Kevyn Lettau, and Billy Mintz the forever merry prankster.
photo by Rob O’Callahan

Yes, back to the mini tour taking place this week — it’s Fred Benedetti on guitar, Tripp on sax and flute, me on guitar and we’re first concertizing at the Ramona Library on Thursday night.

After the gig we’ll board the tour bus and even though it could drive to our destination for the next gig in less than an hour, it’ll drive in circles all night just to give us the flavor of being on tour.

We’ll arrive the next day (Saturday), just in time to play a 7:30pm downbeat at Grossmont College. Again the same band and this time, having one show under our belt, we’ll play with fortitude and assuredness. (“Slaying it” is how the metal guys refer to it).

Maybe we’ll call it the Blur Tour (try saying that ten times fast) and it ought to be a hoot. Join in if you can!

Blurring the Edges in 2019.

love from the road, Peter

Yawn Fest at 7pm!

Hola!

This week’s gig email almost slipped by me. I’ve been practicing for my solo gig coming up and mix in with that a lot of studio work with various characters of music. All of this set on the backdrop of weird waking up at 3am in the morning and kicking in a yawn fest at 7pm at night. Getting over the Euro jet lag / time zone thing. 

I almost feel normal now…

Normal enough to strum the guitar with vocalist supreme Leonard! Together we’ll be doing it tomorrow (Saturday) at the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center in La Jolla. I’m thrilled for the music and also for the chance to play at this brand new venue. The downbeat is at 3pm and it’s a free event so hopefully see you there!

photo by Janell Cannon

On Sunday afternoon I’m heading south to play a solo concert at the El Cajon Library. Silence, calculated sound, spontaneous sonic trajectories, and hopefully you will be part of the gig. Can’t wait!

photos by Monique Feil

adios, Peter 

 

Dark and Heavy Rye Bread — the Good and the Bad

Hi Folks!

I’m just back from a wonderful trip to Denmark making music with vocalist Sinne Eeg. 

Good things: 

  • Happy and kind people.
  • Crazy tasting dark heavy rye bread.
  • Getting to play 2 sets a night for 13 concerts with Sinne who sings beautifully.
  • Full on listening audience with total silence as one of the options.
  • Incredible open landscapes just a mile outside of Copenhagen.
  • On a day off, an inspired visit to the Aros Art Museum in Aarhus.
  • Great drinking water right out of the faucet.
  • Taking a break from the pile of chores and tasks that are in my life when I’m at home.
  • Getting to practice a lot of guitar.

Not as good things:

  • Weather that you can’t believe — rained every day, mostly all day.
  • Intense wind blowing the car around.
  • Bordering on too much driving.
  • Maybe a little too much dark rye bread.
  • Missing home and my wife Stef.
  • To go surfing was unthinkable.
  • Missing all of you —my friends and fans.

Here are some pictures:

I liked this metal sculpture at one of the costal towns we played at.

Sinne and Peter

The rainbow view from atop the Aros Art Museum.

One of my favorite paintings from my museum day.

I like this painting and LOVE the dogs hanging out.

The city of Aarhus, looking down on the building from inside the rainbow glass of the art museum.

This was our last concert and it was a good one!

The view from the side.

I’m probably playing something clever or just plain horrible. There’s something funny going on.

It doesn’t look like it but man, this was a cold moment with arctic winds blowing off the ocean, so much sand in the mix it was hard to look at the water.

Hey, there’s a new Pat Metheny album out now and that’s what’s currently playing over here at SpragueLand. It’s called From This Place and it’s one of his finest!

He did a cool thing in coming up with the music and arrangements. First he composed the songs and took a quartet into the studio. He left space in the music for orchestration to come later. Next he got Alan Broadbent and Gil Goldstein to arrange the music for full orchestra and then he had them record in L.A. with the cities finest musos. My flute playing friend Steve Kujala was in the orchestra and had told me about those sessions last year. He said it was incredible and as you can hear, it’s some of Metheny’s best!

There’s a moment in the album (“Everything Explained”) where he has an uptempo waltz hovering in a minor key —it’s cooking and keeps gaining intensity. This transitions to the title cut (“From This Place”) — a folk tune with vocals. The contrast of these two together hits me hard. Brilliant!

From Pat about the song:

“There was only one musician who I could imagine singing it, and that was Meshell Ndegocello, one of the great artists of our time. With words by her partner Alison Riley, they captured exactly the feeling of that tragic moment (Nov. 9, 2016, the day after the election) while reaffirming the hope of better days ahead.”

Another cool recording recently emerged and this comes from vocalist Pamela Pendrell. She recorded it over here with me on guitar along with John Opferkuch playing piano, Gunnar Biggs on bass, and Duncan Moore on drums. Brother Tripp also guests on sax for one tune.

I met Pam through Kevyn Lettau who is Pam’s vocal teacher. I was knocked out when I heard her and it was a joy to make the album together. Check out her version of Joni’s “Little Green” and her cover version of Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic”—soulful singing, gorgeous timbre, and great tunes.

Her album is available on the CDBaby Store

For live music this week it’ll be a magic Saturday night at Ki’s Restaurant with vocalist Lisa Hightower, Gunnar on bass, and me on guitar for a night of jazz, samba, and moments of Americana major chord serenity. Perhaps arrive early for a blendo of a beautiful sunset and great food!

Lisa Hightower
photo by James Kaspar

That’s it for now friends and it’s good to be back in the Cali loop. The Santa Ana winds are blowing and the ocean is as blue as it gets. I’m in!

adios, Peter