Wow…this year is flying by. During the month of February, I had the best UK tour in my 12 years of tours across the pond playing 23 shows in 26 nights promoting “Fifty Years” which was released in Europe January 24th.
Four days after returning from that tour, I headed to California to record a bunch of new songs live in the studio with my best west coast music friends. Pat Minor, Lance Taber, Jim Caselli, Bruce Leino, Larry Tagg, David Houston, Shelly Burns Tracy Walton and I gathered strategically around an AEA R88 ribbon mic at David Houston’s Moon Studio where we’d all recorded so many times during our time in Sacramento. As fate would have it, I contracted a killer case of bronchitis the day before recording, so my vocals don’t sound like they would have had I been in full voice. The point, tho, was to make music in a room full of love…and we certainly did that.
Back to Texas to begin the spring/summer/fall series of gigs in and around Austin. I’m blessed with a bunch of great musicians and friends here in Austin. When I turned 70, I made a commitment to myself to sing and play as much as I can till I die. Not sure why age 70 brought that to my attention, but I’ve really come to appreciate and honor my musical gifts more than ever as the years pass.
It took most of last year to complete what I call my “masterpiece”…”Fifty Years”.
Out of the 3,000-ish songs I’ve written in my half century as a songwriter, I chose 300 for Sharon and me to scrutinize and decided which ones should be represented in this project. I chose 180, whittled that down to 110 which I had mastered and then crammed 83 of those on to 5 discs with each disc representing one of the 5 decades covered in the boxed set.
Out of all the music recordings I’ve put out, this is the one of which I’m most proud. It very nicely represents the way my writing has progressed over the decades and also points up the approximately 10 genres of music I’ve written in…all of which surprised me.
If you are familiar with what I do and like it, you will love this musical journey thru the last half century of my songwriting. Accompanying the music is a 24 page booklet which serves as a “mini-book” guiding you thru my fifty years in the music business becoming a Emmy winning and Texas Music “Singer/songwriter of the year” writer.
If I never make another record, I’d be OK with that…but I have SO many more songs finished that I’m dying to get on record, so stand by.
Meanwhile, this boxed set will be released in the US July 15th with the release party being at The Saxon Pub in Austin from 6 to 7:30pm. It will soon be available on iTunes and all the other music platforms. If you just can’t wait and want one now, you can get it at the astoundingly low CD Release Party cost of $20 plus shipping, please email me at email@example.com.
My super cool duo partner Stephen Doster and I have been playing together over 6 years now and have gotten pretty damn good. We just returned from what has become our annual Tennessee tour which includes Lafayette’s Music Room in my home town of Memphis, The world famous Bluebird Cafe where we get to play to a full house each time we are there and a cool house concert in Chattanooga which I’ve done many times hosted by my friend Karen Claypool. This year, we also had the honor of playing for vets at the Alvin C. York VMAC which was so very heart full.
I’m off for another UK tour in either February or March also negotiating gigs in Germany, Switzerland and Sweden.
All in all, life rolls on continuing to find me in a place of gratitude and happiness much of which is fueled by my sweetheart Sharon Berger. We celebrate our 3rd year of marriage this September 3rd marking nearly 7 years together. That just may be a record for me.
Thanks to everyone who I’ve reached with my music and my lofty personal intentions of being a good person. As an only child, I need my family and friends. Thank you all for being there. Ciao bob