Greenwood Friends School Auction

Paul & Jeremy - this is probably Line Line

Paul & Jeremy – this is probably Line Line

I’m really excited about the Greenwood Friends School auction this year. If you don’t know, Greenwood is the snall but great Quaker school that Anna & Zeke attend, and the auction is our big fundraiser each year. This year the focus is on art and goods and services by local businesses and local folks; as I write this I look up at a wonderful forest painting on our wall that we bought at the auction last year.

This year’s auction is on April 18, from 6-10pm, at the Caldwell Consistory at 150 Market Street, Bloomsburg. Tickets are $35 per person (or 4 for the price of 3) and they include good food and spirits and other drinks and the good stuff I’m about to mention. See the websites below for tickets, or, if you know how to contact me, contact me!

So here’s why I’m extra excited:

6-7pm: Fricknadorable, the funny and sweet duo of Jeremy & Audra dePrisco
7:15-8:15pm: Paul Loomis & friends (including Jeremy and Audra).
8:30pm: live auction (there’s also a silent auction that goes on through the evening)
9-10pm: Raven Creek, a great bluegrass group from near Benton

A Paul Loomis house concert will be among the items up for auction. Might it go for thousands of dollars? Who knows! (OK, I do. It won’t. That means it’ll be a bargain!)

You can see more items at
biddingforgood.com/auction/auctionhome.action?vhost=gfsauction2015 .

Thanks,
Paul

ArtWalk-In

Saw this poster at the bagel shop. Hey! My name! On a poster I did not tape to the wall! Success just keeps getting sweeter.

Seriously, this will be a fun evening. You should attend, if you can.

poster

Fog and Flame recap – mostly pictures

It was another cold night February 20, but there was a hardy and friendly crowd at Fog & Flame, entertained not just by us but by a guy taking all kinds of construction debris past the front windows to a dumpster in the alley.

Cold and nasty outside. Warm and folky inside.

Cold and nasty outside. Warm and folky inside.

As I play these songs in different settings, it is interesting to see them jell into little blocks – like the all birds set of crows nest, little birds and ruffled grouse (I didn’t play the raven this time) or the Indiana segment, in sunday morning (fall), mostly corn, anna’s canon in B flat, and grand buffet. OK, I didn’t play those four in a row. But I should sometime.

Mostly corn.

Mostly corn.

Thanks to Jeremy and Audra for bass and backup singing, Anna and Zeke for singing and playing, Fog and Flame for hosting us, and everyone who showed up, sang along, or just smiled on their way by.

Yes, of course, we played little birds.

Yes, of course, we played little birds.

And thanks again to Audra, who isn’t in any of these pictures because she took them.

Next up? Wednesday, March 11, ArtWalk at the Caldwell Consistory, right in the middle of Bloomsburg. There will be art. And music. And much more. It’s free. Stop by!

About time

After typing this title, I thought about writing something really introspective about time. But that wasn’t the plan, and I’m gonna stick with the plan. About time really meant it’s about time for another post here.

What’s been happening? Well, after all those November/December shows, there was a holiday. The family came for Christmas after Christmas, which meant 14 people for 3 days in our one-bathroom house. But my family is very adaptable, and there were no bathroom emergencies or long shower arguments.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then we spent two weeks in Costa Rica – an account of that is showing up slowly over at the Waiting for a Bus blog.

Then we jumped back into school and life and I started getting shows on the calendar. The first came last Saturday night at Fog & Flame on Main St. This was during the Destination Blues music festival, this show was a late add, and Leticia, Anna, and Zeke were in upstate New York for the weekend. So it was a truly solo show. The set list, as best as I can remember it (I always have a written list, but I always change things around as the spirit leads).

grand buffet
science fair
anna’s canon in B flat
susquehanna
one two
toast
peanut butter
ruffled grouse
little birds
the raven (yes, the Edgar Allan Poe poem, played like an early-60s Dylan song. It works surprisingly well, and I think the Poe/Dylan connection is worth at least a doctoral thesis project. Also, it’s about 12 minutes long.)

set break, because we all needed it after the raven

digali
sunday morning (fall)
chimpanzees
have to pee
crows nests
a 19th century dandy reconsiders his hair
when the ship comes in (an actual early 60s Dylan song)
another piece of toast
toast (again, by request)
line line
oscar wilde and chamomile

It was an enjoyable show with a friendly and lively crowd, part of which fed me borscht, salad, macaroni, and beer afterword (thank you!)

The band gets larger now, adding Jeremy, Audra, Anna, and Zeke for the February 20 Fog & Flame show. Then larger still, adding (I believe) Mike, John H., and Safa for the March 11 ArtWalk show. It’s never the same show twice, folks.

A Good Day for Music

December 13: Upper Susquehanna Quarter’s Meeting for Singing, at Dancing Bear Farm outside Lewisburg, PA. (Translation: Quakers from all over northern Pennsylvania gathering for a yummy potluck and to sing lots of Christmas songs and others, like “Bad Moon Rising”.) Thanks, everybody!

at Meeting for Singing

at Meeting for Singing

Then that evening, a Local Music Collective jam session at the Booth Theatre in Danville.

It was a good day for music.

Release Show #2 in Danville

It seems crazy, I know, to have one of my World Famous in Bloomsburg release shows in Danville, which is like a whole different world from Bloomsburg. But Brews n Bytes has been one of my favorite places to play for years, and we don’t make all the way to Danville to eat as often as we would like.

Paul, Zeke, Anna, Mike

Paul, Zeke, Anna, Mike

Mike Hickey played guitar on only 5 songs on the album, but the stage at Brews n Bytes is small, and Mike couldn’t make it to Release Party 1, so he (and Anna and Zeke) were the band today. He came prepared, with three guitars, a mandolin, and an autoharp. The combination of vocal, guitar, trombone, and autoharp (seen above during Creosote Covered Pole) is, like the Yeti,  exceedingly rare, and documented only in blurry photos.

As in Bloomsburg, we played the album front to back – someday this will be a rare alternate bootleg version of the album. The day was cold and rainy, but the crowd was warm, friendly, and mostly dry. Every time I play at Brews n Bytes I think I should play there more often. As I do this time. Thanks, guys!

Lost at sea on live TV

Last night was the premier of Our Town Bloomsburg on WVIA. Safa, Randy, and I went up to play Susquehanna (Here It Comes Again) at the end of the show. It was an interesting and overall positive experience , but what stands out for me was about 6 seconds of sheer terror. Let me explain.

Susquehanna is a long song; it goes like this:

Verse 1
Verse 2
Chorus
Verse 3
Chorus
Verse 4
Alternate Chorus
Harmonica Solo
Verse 5
Chorus

In the early days of this song, I’d get confused with Verse 2 (which starts “the settlers used the river like a highway to the woods”) and Verse 3 (which starts “the settlers cut the timber down and floated it to port”), forgetting if I had done both or one or neither. Then for Flood Stories Too we needed a shorter version, so we took out Verse 3 and the chorus. Then I had to relearn to play it with that. For this show, they needed a song 3 to 4 minutes long, so I went back to the Flood Stories edit.

Safa, Paul, Randy on the telly

Safa, Paul, Randy on the telly

Playing for the telly was interesting. There are no monitors, no amplification, and so you’re singing into mikes, but you can’t tell what’s being picked up. Coming out of the first chorus, I launched into the next verse, only to realize I didn’t know what it was. What came out of my mouth was “Well…”, which IS how many of my verses start, but not this one. For what felt like a minute (on the tape, it is six seconds) I was totally lost at sea. Still playing the right chords, Randy and Safa still doing their parts, but absolutely clueless as to where I was in the song…”I’m cutting out one of the settlers verses…did I already play one of them? Have I done the next verse? I know I haven’t done the harmonica solo…”

It's blinding up there.

It’s blinding up there.

In the time it took to play G – Em – C – G, it came back, and I launched into “there’s flooding in the winter when the ice chokes up the flow” and all was well again, we all locked in, and I think it picked up from there.

Being on TV makes us more white

Being on TV makes us more white

After the song WVIA host Lisa Mazzarella asked us a few questions and mentioned the new album (as she had before the song – thanks, Lisa!). I didn’t say anything terribly stupid, which I will count as a victory in my first musical performance on the telly.

Doumbek closeup!

Doumbek closeup!

All in all it was a fun experience. My thanks to WVIA for doing the Our Town series and for letting us play there, and to Randy and Safa for being the band. And thanks to Lisa Herrald-Doerschler for taking pictures of her TV!

Hypnotized

Hypnotized

This isn’t our best take ever, but if you’re curious, here’s the audio:

Release Party

Erin, Paul, Jeremy, Audra, John

Digali – Erin, Paul, Zeke, Jeremy, Anna, Audra, John

World Famous in Bloomsburg is officially released. We had a lovely show Saturday night at the Moose Exchange Antler in downtown Bloomsburg. Thanks to Jeremy and Audra dePrisco, Erin Dietrick, John Huckans, Randy Moyer, Safa Saracoglu, and Anna and Zeke Weber-Loomis for being the band, and thanks to Oren Helbok at the Antler for hosting us at the Antler.

Little Birds - me, Zeke, Anna

Little Birds – Paul, Zeke, Anna

Thanks to everyone who came and listened – we had a packed house, with two rows of kids (and a few grownups) sitting on the floor at the front, all the chairs full, and folks standing at the back. (And, I’m told, folks who couldn’t get in. Zoinks! I’m sorry about that – please come see another show!)

Safa, Anna, me, Jeremy

Creosote Covered Pole – Safa, Anna, Paul, Jeremy, part of Zeke

We ran through all 22 songs of World Famous in Bloomsburg with the band growing and shrinking from 9 to 3 to 1 to 5 to 9 (and so on, but not always an odd number). I added a solo take of “Something Good”, from Dry Ridge, my first album, and we closed with a rollicking version of “What I Should Have Written in Your Yearbook 1987” from Yuspe, the second.

Paul, Erin, Audra, John

Science Fair – Paul, Erin, Audra, John

Mostly Corn - Anna, Paul, Zeke

Mostly Corn – Anna, Paul, Zeke

If you couldn’t make it and would like to buy a CD, come find me! If you don’t want a physical copy, uploading to itunes and all those other sites will soon be complete.

Safa Saracoglu on drum, me, Randy Moyer on guitar

Line Line – Safa, Paul, Randy

Thanks to Heather Almer and Deb Huckans for the photos.

It is close now

CDs are at the manufacturer! Lots of shows are on the way – Nov 22 at the Antler, Nov 25 at Forks Farm, Dec 5 at TreeFest, Dec 6 at Brews n Bytes. (See details at the upcoming shows page.)

When I was younger, songs written by others always seemed inevitable – they were the way they were, and the way that they had to be. Now I know that most songs involve tons of decisions, and up until the end, lots can be up in the air. For months I have been listening to this album critically, looking for problems or little things that could be made better. Now every decision made seems like the right one and the album seems as it should be. And, happily, I still enjoy listening to it, partly because it isn’t just me – there is good work by so many others on these tracks. Listening, you won’t know about all the earlier versions, but I’ll always remember how it once was and how it became what it is. I owe a big thank you to everyone involved, and to Jeremy dePrisco for having the patience and the focus to see it to the end.