Thursday, March 1, 2018


Funny thing about playing a 12-string guitar . . . I play it a lot differently than I do a 6-string guitar. 

How do I play a 12-string guitar, you ask?   Good question.

Listen to the first song in this concert . . . that could have been me playing the 12-string guitar, especially when I was a lot younger.  A nice 12-string was my first decent guitar back when I was in high school.  I played with a folk group, and I sang solo every now and then.  The 12-string is a great rhytym guitar, and I'm tall and big enough to play a Guild jumbo 12-string.  The ringing jingle jangle works just fine if you are a solo player, now not for every song, but for many of the songs I do sing in public.

Enjoy this Gordon Lightfoot concert recorded years ago by the BBC.  I sure did.  Brought back a lot of memories of the first time I heard each of the songs.

If there is a master at writing songs about relationships . . . it is Gordon Lightfoot.

What is your favorite song?  When was the first time you heard it?

Rick ><>

Friday, February 23, 2018

Dan Fogelberg - Leader of the Band (Live 2003)

Here is the late Dan Fogelberg singing "Leader of the Band."  He says that if he was allowed to write only one song, this is the song he would have written.

I'm 60 years old in case you were wonderng..  At 60, I can give you some wonderful advice about life. This kind of advice is really important.  I hope you are listening.  You will want to write this down in your journal or common place book.  You may want to put this inside the cover of your Bible or favorite spiritual book.

Seriously, go get a paper and pen right now!  I believe in what I am about to write so stongly that I will give it to you for free.

Here it is . . . Life is all about relationships.  In life, the hardest you are supposed to work,  the greatest endeavor you put into anything, ishould be meant for your relationships.  I mean it.  I have no reason to lie about this.

Great songwriters like Harry Chapin, Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Simon, John Denver, Tom T. Hall, Hoyt Paxton, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Dan Foglelberg (just to name a few) all understood that life is all about relationships.  Great singers and musicians understand this as well.  I have at times wondered if the root of all great music comes from relationship experiences both good and bad, sweet and sour. 

Hey, prove me wrong!  I don't think you will be able to.

I'm talking about relationships with lovers, spouses, family, friends, pets and even places where one has lived or visited.  Let's not forget professional an business relationships either. Relationships provide a depth to life that people crave and work so hard to find.  If they would focus instead on relationships, what they want to find would come to them.

May I ask you a question?

Is there a relationship that right now that needs you undivided attention?

Relationships are what matters, not career and possessions.  Trust me . . . been there, done that.  The richest relationships one can have, are the one you work on with all your heart and soul can muster.

Rick ><>

Harry Chapin--Taxi

Boy, I must really be in a warm, reflective yet meloncholy mood . . . to come across Harry Chapin singing "Taxi."   You want to talk about songwriting?  Ok, but it won't be a real conversation (in my humble opinion) without acknowledging Harry's music.

I wonder sometimes what "could have been" if Harry hadn't been killed in the auto accident years ago.

This a song rich in communicating the need we all have for meaningful relationships.

What relationship do you have today, right nonw, that needs your focus and nurturing?

Rick ><>

Gordon Lightfoot - Canadian Railroad Trilogy (Live In Reno)

Here is a video of Gordon Lightfoot singing a slower version of the "Canadian Railroad Trilogy," a song he was commissioned to write for the centenial celebration of the Canadian Pacific Railroad.  I'm lookiing for the black and white video of Gordon doing this song for the first time many years ago.  I've seen it, but haven't found it yet.

This version is a bit more deliberate than some of his earlier recordings of this song.  Maybe that's part of growing older . . . becoming more deliberate about the things than matter to you.  Gordon is a singer, musician, and fantastic songwriter, but he is also a son of Canada, a historian.  He rose to the occassion with this song.

One thing is evident, he has always had a great backing band.  They are pros.

If given the chance, what would you write a song about?

Rick ><>

Gordon Lightfoot - Song For A Winter's Night

It's been cold and wet here in Texas these past 2-3 weeks.  We are waiting for the arrival of spring and native wildflowers.

Today, it's been drizzling all day . . . and I'm still at home dealing with serious inflammation following double knee replacement.  I was scrolling on YouTube and found this older video of Gordon Lightfoot singing "Song for a Winter's Night."

I love to sing and play guitar, but I have never been a travelling troubadour.  That kind of life would not have sat well with me.  I think some of Gordon's song reflect on all the years of touring he did.  Maybe this is one of them.

Gordon is perhaps one of the best songwriters that has every lived.

Whose hand do you long to hold on a cold winter's night?

Rick ><>

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Michael Nesmith - Different Drum (Live at the Britt Festival 1992)

Well hey and what do you know, Mike did "Different Drum" as an encore at the Britt Festival concert.

Research how many hits songs Mike wrote.  You will be surprised.


Rick ><>

Lyle Lovett - If I Had A Boat (live)

An absolutely marvelous song.  Lyle Lovett's voice is very interesting.  You either love it or hate it.  I love it.  He is a great performer and very fine guitar player.

Why do I like this song?   It speaks to me how life is not so much about making other people happy, but doing what makes me happy.  I haven't done that near enough  of that in my life.  I hope it's not to late.

A great song.  Please enjoy.  If you have a favorite song video, please let me know so I can post it.

Rick ><>