***Apologies for the last post — that little plug for partypoker.fr just paid for 3 years of hosting this site. The Internet is a funny place.***
A few years ago, when I was applying for a graduate program in creative writing, I wrote in my letter of intent how excited I was by the “incredible dearth of talent” the school had shepherded. It’s a good thing I showed the letter to a friend before I sent it, because of course “dearth” does not mean a lot of something, it means a distinct lack of something. As in, “This website has had a dearth of updates.”
Sorry, friend – I haven’t been making much music this past month. My wife and I just moved into a new place and, between that and transitions at my day job, I haven’t had much time to wander the creative meadow.
There is one happy exception, however. The highlight of the past month for me was definitely my performance at Walter Reed Medical Center as part of their Stages of Healing program. The folks there heard me on the radio last year and kindly invited me to perform.
It’s an understatement to say it was a tremendous honor to perform for the patients and their families. It’s a memory I’ll cherish forever.
Despite my general lack of creative output, my friends have been busy making more awesome music than you can shake a Martin at. Here’s what I’m listening to today:
- Max Keenlyside released a tremendous album called “Mostly Max,” which features a dearth… I mean a plethora… of stunning original compositions and delightful performances. It’s basically been on repeat in my car.
- Bryan Wright delivered a magnificent performance of David Thomas Roberts’ “Roberto Clemente” at the Central Pennsylvania Ragtime Festival in Orbisonia, PA. This piece is one of Bryan’s specialties, as it showcases his lyrical, thoughtful, and eminently musical style.
- New York pianist-slash-computer-programmer-slash-jerk-who-is-good-at-everything Dalton Ridenhour unleashed his first CD, “Eccentricity,” which in addition to featuring 15 fantastic tracks, also features the goddamn peppiest “Maple Leaf Rag” ever recorded. Another must-buy.
- My buddy Brian Holland completed a new stride piece called “Scram”, which just rocks my socks. It’s cinematic in its intensity, it finishes harder than an orgasm, and it’s got some killer rhythms. I’ll definitely be stealing this one as soon as I possibly can. [note: the video this links to is just hilarious to me – you’ve got one of the world’s great pianists jamming the hell out of the joint, and all you can see are the backs of four stationary elderly people with the sounds of people shopping in the background… the ragtime life, man.]