Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Vintage Woody Guthrie Re-discovered

­Rounder Records has released a 54-track boxed set of lost-and-then-found Woody Guthrie recordings: "My Dusty Road."

Read the story and listen to some clips at the Wall Street Journal website.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Riding in the Car with Dylan?

If a Seger song can turn up in a Chevy commercial, why not Bob Dylan as your car navigator's voice?

Read it here: Bob Dylan

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Talk Back To It"

At songwriting camp, Mary Gauthier explains that all songwriters have a Monster Voice - a discouraging, mocking internal critic. Successful songwriters, she says, have learned to talk back to it.

Read more about Gauthier's class at the Rocky Mountain Song School in this piece by Jessie Torrisi at the LA Times website.

A little closer to home (The SF Bay Area), the West Coast Songwriter conference is coming up in September. They offer discounted registration fees to North State Songwriter members. For detail go to their website:

West Coast Songwriters

Saturday, August 15, 2009

When the well runs dry

I was on a roll for awhile and busily churning out songs. But I haven't written anything new for a couple of weeks (I don't count commercial jingles) and I always get antsy at this point.

IS there another song out there -- will it show itself? Please?

Usually a change of scenery will get the creative juices flowing again -- hiking a new trail, setting out in unfamiliar surroundings -- seems to shock the system into producing something worth working on. At least it has in the past. But I'm curious how other people deal with these dry spells.

A question for you Artist-Creative Types: What do you do when you can't muster any creative thoughts? How do you recharge your artistic batteries?

The Sacramento River Trail has always been good to me, so I'll be heading out there this week. That's where I found this song, "River Whispers," last year:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

And speaking of Cindy Walker

Here's Willie Nelson performing Walker's lovely: You Don't Know Me.

Songwriter Bequest

Hit songwriter Cindy Walker's legacy goes to the Country Music Hall of Fame - great story here:
Cindy Walker Leaves Songs

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Why boys don't get pedicures

My sister took me to a swanky spa to get my first-ever professional pedicure. It was heavenly. I was explaining to Joe, my 13-year-old, how luxurious it was:

Me: You're wrapped in a soft robe and they put a warm towel around your shoulders, then you lean back in a cozy armchair and they put a lavender pillow over your eyes...

Joe: Your eyes are covered?

Me: Yes.

Joe: MOM!! -- Do you know how easy it would be for them to just slit your throat?!

Gee, no.

I hadn't considered the possibility of a sneak attack - but I sure will now.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Potluck Season: Texas Sheet Cake

We're gathering for our 9th annual Neighborhood Block Party tonight. We always look forward to gabbing with the neighbors and meeting the newcomers. I'll be baking two Texas Sheet Cakes - one with nuts, one without -- because that's what I've brought to the party for 9 years. Both cakes usually disappear pretty quickly, and I would probably be shot if I didn't bring them.

The recipe I use - easy, quick and yummy - is from ALLRECIPES.COM:

Texas Sheet Cake

Acck, I posted the wrong link! But I made the above recipe today - it was just as good as the one I usually use.

Here's my traditional recipe - only slightly different from the one above.

The Other Texas Sheet Cake

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cheers! to ANEWSCAFE

The fine folks - Doni, Kelly, Phil, Steve and Jim -- at are celebrating an anniversary.

I'd like to dedicate this song to all the folks there who have landed so gracefully and work hard to provide the North State with a fine, friendly place to hang out. Many thanks.