Winter clothing is not fun…

.. but it’s warm and really necessary in Philly this week. In addition to the difficulty of driving when you’re insulated like the Michelin Man, there’s the ongoing hassle of having my gigbag slide off the sloping shoulders of the jacket as I walk. I guess I’m being a bit over the top with my reaction but as I get older I tolerate the cold weather less each year….

My gig with Howard Miller & Friends was a success — we’re on a monthly schedule and will host another jam session in January on the 27th, same place (Abignton Presbyterian Church) same time (7:30pm) and same admission (free). We’ll be doing more publicity to get more musicians out in addition to the great crowd of listeners who attended Thursday evening.  (Personal note: if you come out in January don’t dine at Peace A Pizza beforehand — disappointing to say the least).

I’ve just received Pierre Bensusan’s latest release Vividly and it is played daily during my driving chores – it is possibly the finest recoding of a steel-string acoustic guitar I’ve ever heard. Of course, when it’s a guitar by George Lowden played by Pierre himself it’s hard to go wrong. Pierre’s taking the music further, as usual, and does a bit more singing on this one (which is fine) and features two collaborations with groups of musicians. I look forward to seeing him again in January when he comes to Philly (finally).

I’m tip-toeing through the live tracks I’ve accumulated, both solo and trio, from the year and trying to wrap up two CD releases. Without the luxury of a separate, isolated studio to work in I can’t engage in all-night marathon mixdowns, which is when I do my best work in the studio. I will/must get these wrapped up and available…..

Continuing to face the financial concerns of many presenters and arts organizations who face budget shortfalls and are slimming down not just performing programs but their educational work as well.  Not a good thing – and not for the obvious personal reason of losing gigs. Education is so vital that when any one aspect of it gets slammed down it creates ripples throughout its length and breadth.

Bookings are in the works, as is the video lesson production. Looking forward to getting out there with the trio and solo…. and as a sideman.

I’m flagging (as in losing concentration, getting fatigued) so I’ll sign off and catch up with everyone later.

Stay well and warm.

Matt

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