Tipping the Scale on the Creative Versus the Biz!

Hi Folks, I’m dashing off a quick zip note to you today.

Lets see, been up since 6am finishing up a string trio arrangement for next month’s concert at the Encinitas Library. Then I made my way upstairs to the office and have been enjoying the funky weather as I attempt to get my email and correspondence affairs in motion. The never ending attempt to balance the creative with the biz.

Killer concert in Del Mar a week back! Check it out!

PS playing with a little rock distortion for a fine holiday outing! photo by Kevin Kinnear

PS playing with a little rock distortion for a fine holiday outing!
photo by Kevin Kinnear

Julia Benedetti singing! photo by Kevin Kinnear

Julia Benedetti singing!
photo by Kevin Kinnear

Kate Sprague playing the guitar and singing. photo by Kevin Kinnear

Kate Sprague playing the guitar and singing.
photo by Kevin Kinnear

Fred Benedetti going from classical guitar to the Strat! photo by Kevin Kinnear

Fred Benedetti going from classical guitar to the Strat!
photo by Kevin Kinnear

Nina Francis singing Dylan! photo by Kevin Kinnear

Nina Francis singing Dylan!
photo by Kevin Kinnear

Kevyn Lettau scatting up a storm on Honeysuckle Rose! photo by Kevin Kinnear

Kevyn Lettau scatting up a storm on Honeysuckle Rose!
photo by Kevin Kinnear

Coral singing "Luiza". photo by Kevin Kinnear

Coral singing “Luiza”.
photo by Kevin Kinnear

Regina pointing her finger, bringing it home on "Suite Judy Blue Eyes". photo by Kevin Kinnear

Regina pointing her finger, bringing it home on “Suite Judy Blue Eyes”.
photo by Kevin Kinnear

Gunnar on the stick bass. photo by Kevin Kinnear

Gunnar on the stick bass.
photo by Kevin Kinnear

The whole setup at the Del Mar concert.

The whole setup at the Del Mar concert.

And then Christmas happened with all sorts of good stuff!

Next, a great show at the Blue Whale in L.A. with the Billy Childs Chamber Jazz Group. Magnificent band on hand and we played a new (to me) tricky piece that took up a lot of pre-concert wood-shedding bandwidth. I was so happy after we pulled that one off without a rehearsal and without a crash and burn. Practice is the thing!

I’ve got a bunch of touring coming up to the East Coast with Billy and the group. Look for us if we’re in your town and come and say hi…

Here we are, all crammed into the stage at the Blue Whale. I think the band was 12 people strong!

Here we are, all crammed into the stage at the Blue Whale. I think the band was 12 people strong!

Right near the end of the year, in the San Diego Union-Tribune, they did a “best jazz albums of 2015” spread and our Dream Walkin’ CD made it to the list. Happiness!

BestOf2015DreamWalkin

For live music this week, I’m playing on Thursday night at the Roxy Restaurant in downtown Encinitas. How fun and I’ve been missing my solo guitar nights! The music starts at 7pm and the vibe is good. See you there I hope…

Happiness is solo guitar!

Happiness is solo guitar!

We’ll be at Ki’s Restaurant on Friday night and it’ll be Leonard and myself staying creative in Cardiff. Super cool food, great view to the pacific, and (we think) nice music. Check it out!

PS and Leonard in red!

PS and Leonard in red!

And that’ll be it for San Diego gigs for awhile. We’re heading out next week for Kauai with a big show where I’m connecting with vocalist Emily Elbert. She’s amazing and just so happens to be in Kauai at the same time we are.

Peter and Emily at SpragueLand!

Peter and Emily at SpragueLand!

From there, I’m home for a couple of days and then off again to the east coast for a tour with Billy and the group. Band on the run!

stay well, Peter

Nice ’N Easy

Hiya! Last week Johnny Winter was occupying SpragueLand and today it’s all about Nice ’N Easy.

It was 1960, we were living the good life in Del Mar and my Dad had this record spinning nonstop. Frank Sinatra, jazz standards, Nelson Riddle leading the band along—the best! You can even hear Frank’s finger snaps at the end of the title tune.

FrankSinatra

Killer gig at The Roxy with Kevyn, Lefty, and Tripp last weekend! Check out the photos.

Hilarious at the Roxy! Lefty on the left, Kevyn in the middle, and me on the right. photo by Michael Oletta

Hilarious at the Roxy! Lefty on the left, Kevyn in the middle, and me on the right.
photo by Michael Oletta

Another great night of music and friendship at the Roxy! With Tripp, John, Kevyn, and me. photo by Michael Oletta

Another great night of music and friendship at the Roxy! With Tripp, John, Kevyn, and me.
photo by Michael Oletta

My Jazz Guitar Foundations video series has launched and I know everyone is scramblin’ for Christmas but I thought I’d share the news anyway. I’ll elaborate more after the holiday hurricane but just in case you’re hunting for that last minute gift…

GitVidInstructionPage2

OK, about the weather. I’ve been checking and tomorrow (Christmas Eve) is supposed to be sunny with some clouds. Late in the evening there’s a chance of rain but the window between 1pm and 4pm is looking good for the

ChristmasConcertGraphic

Yes, this is where we assemble the troupes and take over the little amphitheater in front of the L’Auberge Del Mar at the corner of 15th Street and the Coast Highway in downtown Del Mar. We play a free concert with the first set featuring an incredible cast of musos. The second set includes some super young, talented guests flowing into the mix. The concert ends with an epic number highlighting everyone in the world including our favorite harmonica player Johnny “harp” Minchin.

Here’s the band lineup for the concert:

Leonard Patton, Kevyn Lettau, Coral McFarland—Thuet, Tripp Sprague, Gunnar Biggs, Fred Benedetti, Lizzi Trumbore, Duncan Moore, Riley Fleck, John Leftwich, Kate Sprague, Julia and Regina Benedetti, Leonard’s 3 kids, Johnny Minchin, and me.

For some history on the event, click here to read a story by Nancy Fisher about the early days when we first played our Christmas concert. This article is from the Del Mar Sandpiper Newspaper. Also click here to see a photo album from each of the recent year’s concerts.

You can bring the whole gang, bring the relatives, meet strangers that are friendly and meet musicians that are strange. This is how we do Christmas in Cali! See you there!

View from the back!

View from the back!

Regina and Julia Benedetti sporting some rad hats!

Regina and Julia Benedetti sporting some rad hats!

The last few Christmas' have been scorching hot. That's me trying to keep the sun off of my face. This year I might be bundling up instead.

The last few Christmas’ have been scorching hot. That’s me trying to keep the sun off of my face. This year I might be bundling up instead.

Tripp, Leonard, and Fred jammin' the yultied!

Tripp, Leonard, and Fred jammin’ the yuletied!

Kate Sprague and her friend lead it off and Tripp's a stoked papa!

Kate Sprague and her friend lead it off and Tripp’s a stoked papa!

That’s it and Sinatra and I gently sign off with good wishes and good times to you.

happy trails, Peter

The Albino Guitar Slinger’s Got the Blues!

Good Folks, I just got back from a chilly walk. The winter button is ON now, that’s for sure. Talking to a dude that has a cool old house where they didn’t deem it necessary to include insulation. “It’s California fool, land of the sun.”

Pretty much right but meet me here at 6am these last few mornings.

I’m not complaining…

But Johnny Winter is. Full blast blues “woke up this morning, my baby done me wrong” angle with killer guitar solos. The albino guitar slinger’s got the blues!

I’m loving it!

I grew up with it!

Haven’t listened to him for absolute ever and while on my walk today I started thinking about his growly vocals and his distortion drenched guitar tone. I searched him out and it’s a nice moment to be in his sonic presence to help set up the mood to be talking to you all.

WINTER Johhny

It’s a YouTube universe and I’ve just pushed a zillion frames of video up the pipe to YouTube central. They’ve got it ready for you if you’re into it. Here are some highlights:

PSEmilyYTVid2

This vid is from a studio session I did with vocalist Emily Elbert. She was cruising through town and we decided to get together and record our sassy arrangement of The Beatles “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window.” Emily is one of my favorite vocalists and check out her cool angle on this tune.

RockClassicsDizzy'sYTVid2

A couple of weeks back we made the walls at Dizzy’s vibrate a little as we turned up the amps and jazzified some classic rock tunes. It was one of the special nights of music, the band was throwing down, and we caught the whole thing on video. I’ve uploaded 7 tunes from that show.

Last summer up in Idyllwild the August heat was seriously slowing down the metabolism of all human beings. All except the string players in the PS String Consort and it was they that set out to SHRED! I’ve uploaded 4 tunes from that concert and these are ones that are new to the group including a wicked bebop spin on the “Take the A Train” influenced “Etude Z.”

Last summer up in Idyllwild the August heat was seriously slowing down the metabolism of all human beings. All except the string players in the PS String Consort and it was they that set out to SHRED! I’ve uploaded 4 tunes from that concert and these are ones that are new to the group including a wicked bebop spin on the “Take the A Train” influenced “Etude Z.”

And lastly on the YouTube front, it’s a nice day when someone else on the other side of the world decides to play your song in concert. Check out these fine musos playing our (Kevyn Lettau and me) samba tune “Cantar” at a recent show. Sounding good!

CantarJapanesseYTVid2

Web work continues on to bring about my online guitar instructional videos into the real world. Check out this little promo vid:

PSOpenStudioNetwork

And now for the live music this week! Tomorrow night I’ll be joining my niece Kate Sprague, Tripp Sprague, Gilbert Castellanos, and Bob Magnusson for a hit at Panama 66 at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park. Here’s a note from Kate about the gig:

Hi everyone, Kate Sprague here. Gilbert Castellanos has invited me to return to sing in his “Young Lion” series that features young musicians. I am so excited to be a part of this great event! My dad Tripp Sprague will be joining me, and so will my uncle Peter Sprague. Bob Magnusson is on bass and Gilbert will also play a few tunes. We have learned some new songs and cannot wait to play them for you. Panama 66’s open patio has a great atmosphere and is next to the sculpture garden in Balboa Park. They have good food and drinks — and no cover charge. Please come and support us!
-Kate Sprague

It’ll be fun and hope to see you there.

KateTrippPSYoungLions

And rounding out the week, Friday will be a special night at the Roxy Restaurant in Encinitas with a reunion of our early jazz group Dance of the Universe. We’ve been at it since the ’70’s, circling in and flowing out. For this week we’re coming together and it’s Kevyn Lettau singing, John Leftwich playing the bass, brother Tripp on the sax and flute, and me on the guitar. We’re taking over our favorite Roxy Restaurant and it’ll be a special night of samba, bebop, ballads, seeing old friends, nibbling on killer food, and magic ice cream at the very end. Can’t wait!

Promo photo shot in our Via Grimaldi hippy house back in the late '70's. Upper left, Tripp and Peter, lower left, John Leftwich and Kevyn Lettau.

Promo photo shot in our Via Grimaldi hippie house back in the late ’70’s. Upper left, Tripp and Peter, lower left, John Leftwich and Kevyn Lettau.

There it is folks. Johnny’s still slipping and sliddin’ on the guitar and we’re trailing off with the “Leland Mississippi Blues.” It’s just perfect…

adios, Peter