February Declarations, New Albums, and a New Coat of Paint On My Blog

One of the reasons that I started this blog, despite obviously loving the written word, was the far less noble pursuit of earning a living.  The music business, tougher than ever, had me casting about for an alternative income stream.  Luckily, I am one of those musicians that earns almost enough to survive on.  Thankfully, enough of you have also tuned in that I am getting close to generating some revenue from my work here.  In order to do this I have to make some structural changes.  When I started this blog I didn’t know that it was much easier to earn through wordpress.org than it is through wordpress.com.  In fact I knew nothing about the technical and structural side of blogging.  I just followed all of the advice columns that said I should write as much as possible if I wanted to get traffic to my site.

So I am currently transferring this blog over to wordpress.org and making some much needed changes to the overall structure as well.  I have no idea how long this will take me.  I am hoping it is a seamless transition, but I have no idea what I’m in for.  The process has already begun.  If you notice any hiccups, that is the reason behind it.

Although there may be changes to the structure and look of this blog, I plan to keep writing in the same style that I always do.  I have an uneasy relationship with advertising.  While I acknowledge its place in the modern world, so much of modern advertising makes me ill.  I am hoping that my own compass, and the fact that I predominately earn my living as a musician, will keep me honest.  No one wants to buy the records of a sellout with nothing to say, or at least I don’t.  (Come to think about it, a lot of people want to buy records by musicians that are sellouts with nothing to say!  Fuck!!!)

I do believe that musicians, artists, writers, should earn a living from their work.  This whole streaming thing troubles me, because it does not yet seem that it pays anyone anything that they can survive on.  But hey, y’all got a blog out of it.  I might not have ever started this blog had the economics of the music business been different.  I really enjoy working on this though.  Even if the economics changed, I don’t think I would stop now, for any reason.  There is a lot more I want to add about how economics, and people’s support for the arts, directly effects the kind of art that we see.  I am late to start packing for tour right now and that will have to wait for a later date.

I just got a copy of the new Shinyribs record that I play bass on.  Mr. Russell even gracefully allowed me to coauthor one song, which I am extremely excited about.  The record, which has long been in the works for sometime, should be out soon.  As soon as I have a finite date, I will make it known.  The Ted Hawkins tribute record I played on, that I have previously mentioned, is supposed to be out later this year.

I also hope to record a solo record this year.  I don’t like New Year’s resolutions.  A February declaration seems fitting somehow, as February seems like no one’s idea of a time to begin anew.  Why can’t it be?  My goal by the end of the year is to have three records in various stages of completion and to have this blog newly formatted and running clean.

Anyway, I’m off to Louisiana for a tour, as soon as I can stuff enough random things in a suitcase to feel like I tried.  Over and out…

Going On Tour in Louisiana

Shinyribs Tour Dates

The hour is getting late, but I wanted to mention that tomorrow I will be going on tour with Shinyribs in the great state of Louisiana.  The above link is to the Shinyribs tour page featuring dates, venues, etc.

The new Shinyribs album will be out soon.  Tonight I just heard the final version of it for the first time, so I know that it does indeed exist!

I am bringing my computer with me so that I can blog from the road.  Posting has been slightly slow the last few days.  This is partially due to the fact that I am making some structural changes to Windup Wire that I need to make.  I will comment on those  soon enough.

In the future when all’s well…

Jeff

All ATX – The British Invasion and Weekend Tour Dates

All ATX – The British Invasion

Tonight at 9pm Central the PBS station in Austin will be showing the All ATX – British Invasion tribute show.  I participated in this event with Shinyribs and Shawn Sahm.  I also somehow got to sneak out on stage for the final number and sing backup vocals with Eric Burdon and The Animals.  (Try getting the words right, even to a song you know very well, when Eric Burdon is a few feet from you!  It was surreal.)  A multi-hour show was cut down to 56 minutes, so I have no idea what footage will even make the final cut.  I also volunteered to make some political phone calls today, so I don’t have time to research how and if this footage will be available to those of you not in the Austin area.  However, I thought I would at least mention that it is on tonight, because there were some really great performances at this event.

I’ll also be on the road with Shinyribs this weekend.  You can view the dates here:

Shinyribs Shows Page

In the future when all’s well…

Jeff

On Tour This Weekend

Going on tour this weekend with Shinyribs.  I’ll be in Fort Worth tonight, Oklahoma City tomorrow, and Dallas On Saturday.  For details go to:

Shinyribs Show Schedule

I’m bringing my computer so that I can keep posting at a regular rate.  Today may be a little slow as I am trying to get ready to go on the road with a crushing hangover.  Life!

If you read this blog on a regular basis and want to say hi and talk about a certain topic or issue, please do.

In the future when all’s well…

Jeff

Steamboat MusicFest

Steamboat_Lineup

Shinyribs Steamboat Dates

For the next week I’ll be at the the Steamboat MusicFest with Shinyribs.  I’m bringing my computer along so I can keep things updated.  Still, tomorrow I might be a bit off the grid as I travel.  I don’t ski, so I hope to read as many books and listen to as much music as possible between shows while I’m there.  That’s the plan anyway…

Here is the website for the festival itself:

Steamboat MusicFest

Make it Shiny

Shinyribs

Make it Shiny

Above is a profile of Shinyribs band leader Kevin “Shinyribs” Russell in Texas Highways Magazine.  I play bass with this project.    I can neither confirm or deny any pertinent information in the above article.  The owls are watching.  For those of you that are interested, this article will give you some idea as where a good deal of the Shinyribs sound comes from.  It’s definitely music that has a regional flavor, although that being said it is extremely varied and largely accessible.

Kev has kept me gainfully employed these last several years for which I am grateful for.  Just in this last year I got to record with Shawn Sahm and the family of Ted Hawkins.  I also got to sing on stage with Eric Burdon, Ian McLagan, among others.  None of these things would have happened for me if Kev hadn’t decided a couple of years ago to work with me.  Hell, one of the only reasons I can work on this blog as much as I do is that it fits in nicely with a musicians schedule.

I should mention that we will be playing the State Theater in Austin, Texas on New Years Eve.  If you are in the area get tickets soon as they are going fast.

Show Tonight and The Fruits of Debate

John T. Floore’s Country Store Calander

Tonight Shinyribs will be playing at John T. Floore’s Country Store outside of San Antonio.  You can get tickets at the above link.  We will be there much earlier than showtime, so if you are in the area come out and shoot the shit.  I am happy to discuss anything and everything I write about here, even if you disagree.

In reading about the 1800’s I am realizing how much public debate was part of the landscape then.  People would debate for hours on various political topics.  People in general were much more involved in the political process as a whole, as least the people that were allowed to be.  (AKA white males)  Well we don’t want to return to those times by any stretch of the imagination, it would be great if there was more real debate in this country and not just people sloganeering and spinning from both sides.

I played a show last month where I made a bunch of political comments.  Afterwards a gentleman came up to me and said that while he was on the opposite side from me, he was happy to see someone actually saying something.  We then had a good talk about some of the issues.  I think that kind of thing is healthy.  Politics is compromise.  It is winning inch by inch.  Sweeping change is rare.  Although I would love to see sweeping change right now, I know that a slow grind is the only way the mountaintop of progress can be reached.

Many of those in power don’t want ideas being shared, they don’t want critical thinking, and they definitely don’t want real and open debate.  Rebel and talk to each other.  Express your opinions.  There are always going to be some people that you just can’t reach, but you never know.