November 2010 Newsletter

Most folks that know me understand that sometimes, all I really need is a short trip to northern MI to calm my nerves, relax my soul and get my creative juices flowing. I try to visit the north country as often as I can. The color is mostly gone by now up north, which means all the tourists are gone. I can hardly wait to get up there and think. In just a few short days I will be headed north to attend. . . Nov. 4, 5, 6 and 7 - Lamb's Retreat for Songwriters. The event takes place at the Birchwood Inn in Harbor Springs, which is near the tip of the mitten for those who don't know. I am excited for the drive and excited to be staying in a hotel. My responsibilities for the weekend are to write songs and nothing else. I will be receiving a song assignment on Friday and have 2 days to write a song based on the scenario the instructors give me. There are staff members available for help and critique as well as other songwriters to network with and possibly collaborate with. On Sunday I will be asked to perform my song in front of my peers and staff. I have been writing like crazy lately and cant wait to see what happens once I arrive. But wait! I'm getting ahead of myself. . . Nov. 4 - Founders Brewing Co. with Drew Nelson and HIghway 2, wsg Josh Rose and Nicholas James - My band is playing over at our little home on Thursday opening up for the incredible Drew Nelson. Drews songs are songs of the people. The man is speaking and I encourage you to listen. This time around I'll be bringing Pete Weatherhead on fiddle, Greg Baxter on banjo and guitar, and Barb Weatherhead on bass. We go on first and there is no cover charge. Right after this gig I'll be headed north so make sure you give me a hug and tell me good luck. Nov. 19 - Tanglefoot Open Studio - My friend Alynn Guerra is an amazing artist. She was born in Mexico and we are lucky enough to have her living and creating right here in West MI. Alynn is a printmaker. She works with linocuts and makes her own paper. You will recognize her style immediately. She is the artist that created the cover art for Barefoot, as well as several other pieces of art hanging in my house. When I originally asked Alynn about it she could hardly contain her excitement. She asked me to give her lyrics and some demos, which she incorporated into her image. When she showed me the finished product she told me that she felt as though I was passing through something and all the darkness had been left outside the wall. I was now on the other side, by the tulips and roses, where the bicycle is and where there is a home on top of a hill waiting for me. Even the wall itself is crumbling. She nearly brought me to my knees. I'll never really be able to repay her for what she contributed to my record. Each year the Tanglefoot building hosts an open studio event where every artist that has a studio in the building opens their doors to the public to show and sell their work. We'll be playing from 8ish to whenever. The Tanglefoot building is located at 314 Straight St. on Grand Rapids lower westside. I've been going to a lot of concerts lately too. Last month I saw Bob Dylan and Over the Rhine and this month I'll be attending John Prine at the State Theatre in Kalamazoo. I feel as though it is increasingly important to see these living legends. These are songwriters who have been there, done that and are able to continue. I have much to learn from them. I also installed ProTools onto my computer which will enable me to make demos at home. That should save me some time when I'm ready to go back into the studio to make another album. I've also been experimenting with iMovie and would love to share a new song with you, entitled Great Big Dream. The video is posted on my website and on my YouTube Channel. The rest of November will be spent working, writing and eating delicious meals with my family. I hope your November is spent with family and the people you love. And I hope I am in that mix somewhere. . . Don't forget: Every Monday Open Mic at Z's. . . Every Tuesday Open Mic at Founders. . . And in December. . . Dec. 18th - The 3rd Annual Hideout XXXMas Party Dec. 23rd - Nicholas James with Mark "Huggy Bear" Lavengood present The Night Before The Night Before Christmas Much Love, Nicholas James To watch Great Big Dream follow the link below: