my dad and my grandfather bought two of these early 1970s Yamaha “Martin D-28 clones” when my dad was in high school. neither of them played guitar but I suppose it was something they always thought they’d get around to learning. my grandfather never learned more than a few chords, but he was an accomplished appreciator of bluegrass, gospel, and old country/western music for the entirety of his life. My dad is much the same with regard to his taste in music, with a few generationally appropriate exceptions, and also (so far) hasn’t taken much time to learn guitar. perhaps that will change as he approaches retirement soon, but nonetheless, he gifted his half of the pair to me when I was in my early high school years and I’ve played it ever since. i’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the world my grandfather grew up in. he grew up never knowing his father, stopped school in 7th grade to help out his family (who were extremely poor) by starting to work, joined the military, then worked as a mechanic until he retired in the 90s. my grandfather and my grandmother owned and paid off their beautiful home, had a pool put in as a graduation present to my dad, had a modest vacation spot (basically a double wide) at the beach, and lived happy and full lives; traveling all over the place without much sacrifice in the way of day to day livelihood. it’s not a remarkable story, for the time. it was not totally uncommon for a family to raise themselves up from poverty during the time my grandparents came of age. but by today’s standards, it seems like an actual fairytale. a level of socioeconomic ascension most our age could never dream of, despite working more than 40 hours a week and putting their entire being into their work. like I said, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. lately, “lately” has become a term to describe anything in the past few years, rather than the past few weeks. I’ve been thinking about this since my grandfather passed almost two years ago. this was about the time I was recording “it’s alright.” time has a way of just disappearing into thin air when one is constantly toiling to try to pay the bills, dreaming of getting ahead, fantasizing about the next time I’ll have the money to get back in the studio and make music again. i no longer want to live my life on the terms of when i can afford to do the thing that makes me feel alive. i’ve been writing some new songs, once again on this old yamaha, and trying to figure out a way to take control of the recording process myself, so that i have the freedom to make records whenever i have a new (or old) story to tell. it isn’t likely that i will be able to do this on my own, at least if i want to make a new record some time in the next five years, but i am currently trying to develop the best way to approach funding the next LP in a way that will also be funding the next 20, 30, maybe 40 years of songs that i have within me. i hope you’ll be along for the ride with me when that time comes.
hoping to have something for you to listen to sooner rather than later. keep your eyes open around this fall, and if you know me personally and also enjoy my music, please ask me often where the new songs are. sometimes all it takes is one message to snap me out of a months long trance of denying myself the enjoyment i get from working on these songs.
thanks for listening/reading,