Thursday, December 3, 2009

Blossom in the Dust

I promised myself I'd write once a month, and here it is, only 3 days late. Not like my new CD, which is, something like 2 years late. That's the blessing and the curse of the home studio.

Songs are like children. Early on, they must be nurtured. If neglected they eventually drift off like homeless waifs into the whorls of stars.

Odd that the saddest events in our lives can produce the most inspired songs. And what we hear out of the corners of our ears can become lines in those songs, and so I thought I heard my friend, Suz, say at the kitchen table one afternoon the phrase, "Blossom in the Dust." But she didn't say it. The song did get written, though. It was for my uncle, a wonderful man, a psychiatrist, naturopath and healer who decided inexplicably to end his life.

Around the same time I was contacted by a fan who lives in Belgium. He was grief-stricken. His son, Remy, had been killed by an automobile, did I want to write a song for him? As I listened to the grief of this man, while slung up in my own grief, I realized that this is a song for everyone who has had a loved one plucked too early from their heart.

It's been two years now that I've been trying to keep this child of a song alive, from floating off into the ethers. As the year comes to a close, I think I may too have finally finished it.

Ah, the moon
Is scarred with silver
And its face
Too far to touch
So pale
In the branches
Like a blossom
In the dust

Ah they told you
Life would hurt you
But they didn’t
Say how much
Cast your pearls
Back in the ocean
Cast your blossoms
In the dust

Take this flower
From your heart
Your tears have turned it
White with rust
Let the wind
Strip the petals
Scatter blossoms
In the dust

Love until
You are empty
Love until
You love too much
Love until
Love undoes you
Makes you blossom
In the dust

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween with Kelli and Metso

Why is it so hard for me to blog? I kept journals for years...Well, I guess there are paper people and techie types.
Oh well. Anyway, we've had our dear friends from the UK, Kelli Ali and Metso staying with us for few weeks. We met a few years back at Zihuatanejo Guitar Fest. A couple of weeks ago we did a beautiful show at Yoshi's, with Barry Melton, Stevie Coyle, and Caroline Aiken. Philbillie and I backed up Kelli, a refreshing change of pace for me. She has delicate haunting songs that really get under your skin. The organizer confessed aside to me, "I lost my virginity to a Kelli Ali song!" He told me was "Six Underground." Kelli laughs when she says she has heard that from a lot of fans. How many, I ask. Hundreds, she sighs...
Hallowe'en is our favorite time of year, and they have really got in the SF
Hallowe'en spirit. Metso, Kelli's beau, photographer extraordinaire, carved the most exalted pumpkin for our Hallowe'en this year. Also he took some magical photos, which you can view on Adrian Metso's facebook page (blogger not letting me post link, grrr!!) Like I said, there are paper people...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Here's a cool feature about a recent session here at Okey Doke Studio working on Eric McFadden's latest CD co-produced by our own Philbillie. This was produced by correspondent Narayana and you can check out the full story at:

See full report...

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Red Light Is On

Here at Okey Doke Studios, at a secret location somewhere in San Francisco, we have been making the Jenny Kerr Band records for, lo, these many years. And although mainly a private project studio, our facility has been host to some very special outside projects as well. Most recently our man, Philbillie, has been engineering and co-producing the latest effort from our good buddy and local guitar legend Eric McFadden. This one is the long awaited follow-up to the deeply acoustic "Devil Moon" CD of 2003. Also mainly acoustic based, Eric and Philbillie have brought in some more orchestral textures to this one.

Carla Kihlstedt
, of "Sleepytime Gorilla Musuem" who has recorded and toured with none
other than Tom Waits, lays down her trademark ghostly violin.

Sam Bass of "Loop Station" and "Les Claypool"on cello

The Ringleader.

Accordion Goddess (and Accordion Babe calendar girl)
Isabel Douglass. She also plays with "Rupa & The April Fishes".

A fine, handsome group of kids and talented, to boot. This new disk is slated to drop this spring, including wide European release on Bad Reputation records in France, and we here at Okey Doke Records couldn't be prouder.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Well, it is inexcusable, even my mother has noticed the absence of a new blog, and you know mom's ALWAYS right.
So here we are back for 2 weeks from Zihuatanejo where we played for the International Guitarfest. It's our fourth time there. And this I think was the best festival yet. Over the course of the four years, we've made some wonderful friends, Jeanne, Rick, Catherine, Kelli Ali (from previous years) and of course, Heidi Nygaard, who was our most gracious hostess. She has the most beautiful house. Eric McFadden came with us for his second time on the festival. We all got to stay in this fab house! The house became music central for the festival, and there was jamming many a balmy Mexican night into the wee hours.
Eric's friend and mentor, Stan Hirsch, and supercool wife Trish came too. They stayed in the bungalow which is also on the property.
Stan does blues yes, but also mixes in his own edgy thing...he had some hispanola trippy melange in there...and he's got this crazy thumb/tremolo fingers isolation technique that is humanly impossible, yet he does it. It's been driving me crazy for years. How, Stan? How do you do it?

Stan and Trish shared with Patrick Sweany, one of my fave new players on the festival this year He made a grand arrival, getting totally soaked by the cabbie who had driven Pat way out of his way, on purpose and was trying to charge him like $100 bucks for a $10 ride. So there was a big yelling match in the street.

Now Patrick has the most soulful voice, plays gutbucket guitar, blues, ragtime, R and B, great obscure tunes and great tunes of his own...and knows song after song after song after song. But GOOD ones. The last night of the festival he was one of the last guys standing, 5:30 AM, I think it was, and he was still singin' 'em, fresh as a daisy. Well, maybe not that fresh, but at least he sounded good...

Here's the bungalow where those guys stayed:
Oh yeah, I almost forgot this totally crazy kid guitar player, Lenny or Jay Leonard, Juatco...a young sweet guy, pretty fresh outta Berklee, and played as fast as a jackrabbit. What the heck IS your name, Lenny? Anyway, a whole lotta talent, and hysterically funny guy. The kind who leaps flying fully dressed with a guitar into the pool, although he didn't actually do this, it would be easy to imagine him. Hope I get to see him again sometime...

A special hello to Marianne, who inspired me and taught me a couple of truly magical things, but they're secret!

So here we are back in cool San Francisco, with only a few mosquito bites that are fading along with the memory of this year's Guitarfest.