November arrives….

…. finally! And I am looking forward to an end to the campaign ads. While I am tired of ALL of them (no bias when it comes to bad advertising) I find the super-PAC ads especially distasteful. Cynical and outright lying in so many cases. And the money that’s involved in getting these aired…. With the economy so fragile how can this amount of money be thrown down so easily? I think the loser should be required to pay back the money that is given to him/her. Of course I can only hold my breath for so long…….

We did go through general anxiety as Sandy pummeled us with rain and smacked away at us with wind. We didn’t lose power or suffer any damage, but hearing and feeling the raw power of Nature just outside our windows was enough for me. I finally succumbed to heartache as I watched the news and saw the destruction that befell NJ and NY and CT — even with all of my chanting throughout the day and evening it was hard not to be overwhelmed with melancholy. I must admit that my opinion of Chris Christie changed as I watched him explain the emergency measures and knowledgeably answer questions. And, as he and the President worked together to deal with NJ’s tragedy, I finally witnessed what politics should be — elected officials helping the people, working for their benefit.

Okay, politics is over — let’s get to the music….

Matt at the Montreal Guitar Show playing a new Godin.

I started the month with a great duo date with Tony Hughes at Paris Wine Bar in center city Philly. I courageously took my ’75 Hagstrom Swede solidbody and, as always, it came through. We pushed things further and further this time and, with one or two exceptions, always landed on all six strings. I still secretly desire an archtop for these gigs…. the guitar in my hands in the photo would be okay. We are back this Saturday — if you come, bring a video recorder and give it a try. It’s a bit dark but who knows… it could work out(?)

On Friday 11/16 I bring my other duo with flutist Katherine Barbato to the Dalet Art Gallery in center city Philly. This is a very different sort of duo — I play classical guitar (that’s the type of guitar not my playing style) and access different parts of my musical vocabulary to suit the music we create. The grandest difference is she can’t comp for me — when I solo I am on my own. Of course, I am all alone when I play solo dates so it’s not an issue. I do adapt what I do and play differently so it’s not just ‘solo with a flute added’. Katherine is an incredibly talented musician and a blast to work with — much of what we are doing is very unique, as we avoid the classical repertoire that most guitar / flute duos rely on. The closest comparison is Ralph Towner’s duo with trumpeter Paolo Fresu (and that’s not intended as a boast of any kind).

Flute / guitar duo Katherine Barbato / Matt Richards

I did intend to get another idea or two down in type — I’m kind of tired, to be honest, and I just realized I got so involve here that I neglected to call Adrian Valosin (yes, the drummer) tonight. Hopefully, he’ll read the posting and understand….




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