2014 is now here…..

… and part of me wonders where 2013 went and why it went there so quickly.

To be honest, I am not lamenting the year gone by in any way — I do wish (as I always seem to do) that I was busier in more public ways (shows/performances/press). I carry a new-found determination to avoid any sort of lethargy or fatalistic feelings when I’m doing my front office work (pitching/promoting/booking). With the demise of a few performing opportunities, either with the closing of venues or the elimination of music programs in established settings, it’s all too easy to throw my hands up and start throwing the blame around. But, as I’ve found out in the past, once you go down that negative slope you drag everything along with you — I’ve done enough of this in days past to know I won’t go there ever again. (My Buddhist practice does make the difference!)

I did mention vocalist Jay Katz in a previous post along with a number of other upcoming projects. In addition to working up some tunes with her, she was most helpful in getting the lyrical phrasing in my composition How Many Times Will We Say Goodbye? together. If you’ve heard me perform during the past year you may recall my performing an original piece called Ballad, which is exactly that, a ballad. I was inspired to put lyrics to it and, since I could never sing the melody I had written, I needed expertise. I passed the chart along to Jay and not only did she tweak the melody to fit the lyrics, she actually recorded a voice/piano demo and sent it back via email at 1:30am! We did get some recording time in shortly afterward and focused on just voice and guitar in a duo. I am looking forward to performing with her soon. She will be featured on Thursday 1/16 with Howard Miller and Friends (including me) at Abington Presbyterian Church Parish Hall. Visit me on FaceBook (http://FaceBook.com/MattRichardsguitar) for specifics on the show.

Vocalist Jay Katz

Vocalist Jay Katz

I finally recorded solo guitar performances for my long-delayed solo album Balance. I had been plagued by electrical ‘gremlins’ when I attempted to set up my home studio. I’d have all sorts of squiggles and buzzes and even AM radio in the signal path no matter how I attempted to filter things. I finally devised a way to record without plugging into an outlet. It seems to have worked! Now, I just need to like what I played…..

For the guitar-oriented readers: I recently followed the advice of my long-time friend and guitar-physician extraordinaire Jack Romano regarding tuning angst with the 3rd string on my LaPatrie cutaway classical – a wound G string! It worked! I’ve tried both steel-wound (GHS) and nylon-wound (Savarez) and they both work perfectly. No more compromises in high positions! I’ll eventually settle on one and let everyone know.

I am getting ready to head off to CA for the Winter NAMM Show — I’ll check in with my thoughts about this music-trade-show adventure next time.

Time to practice!




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