A cancellation and an opener….

… both in the same week!

While I’m tempted to proclaim that there is some kind of balance in the universe the cancellation is this month and the opener is in April. Specifically, Howard Miller & Friends‘ February 28th date is cancelled due to the birth of a new grandchild in the Miller clan and the inevitable trip to see the baby for the grandparents. The opener is for Peppino D’Agostino at the Sellersville Theater on April 18th (that doesn’t have anything to do with a newborn baby thus far).

Howard’s gigs are always fun specifically for the enjoyment that he brings to the night. Whether there are a dozen people or four dozen Howard goes at it with the same intensity and mindset — he just loves to play. The date with Peppino is a solo outing for me and I’ve got a 20-minute set to make myself known to a lot of new listeners. (Howard joked that could be one song for me given my penchant for getting deeply into a tune.) I think I play at least four or five and keep my attempted humor slightly up my sleeve this time. Interestingly, Peppino and I are both Godin endorsees, though he does have a signature model guitar (name on the inside, picture in the catalog, etc.) and I currently use a LaPatrie classical cutaway model that doesn’t bear my name at this point in time. No matter, he’s a great player and a very nice guy and I think this is a great pairing stylistically. I am looking forward to it.

And, in case you’re keeping track of my guitaristic details, I have returned to .010 strings on the Hagstrom Swede. No, I am NOT a guitar wimp, incapable of handling .011s as I achieve maturity. The .011s sounded really good on the guitar, no doubt about it. But despite my adjusting the tension and the action and the pickups they never felt right, seeming too cumbersome no matter how slack the tension. This fact does fit my theory that most guitars are made to have a specific string gauge and unless you go through major renovations that gauge will play, work and sound best. In fact, the .010s have more ‘sparkle’ and just feel better and, along with the sound, that’s what allows the inspiration to come through so you/I can make music.

The bootleg album is, in fact, a real bootleg. I decided to release it as a direct-only CD for the time being. It is listed on the website but will not be available through CDBaby, AbstractLogix or Amazon just now. Live In Princeton comes in a slim case with no liner notes or other details and will be available at my live shows and by mail only. The informality of the recording and the imperfections in the sound have contributed to my going  back-and-forth with myself about this release. For right now, this bootleg approach feels right.

Matt and Katherine Barbato play PHL airport.

Matt and Katherine Barbato play PHL airport.

As I’ve been wrestling with HTML (which I don’t actually understand) to accomplish my website updates I think I’m about to call it a day.

Hasta pronto!




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