Raggin' Piano Boogie

 

 
HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010

Use the links to the left to read a past Month or Year... and then there is always your Backspace to return to a past page.

November 30, 2006

Pennsylvania

What a day of stress and what a beautifully warm day! The stress was not going to win. My truck has come back to life and we all went to the river's edge to make, create and record some music. It was 70 degrees. Bo wanted to stay in the cab of the truck so I let him. It was wonderfully windy. There were tens of thousands of seagulls flying chaotically in every direction over the water. Some would fly over to check me out. As it has been cold, rainy, and the truck broken though the last two weeks, today reminded me of how it felt all summer going outside to play. I love to create music and be interested in music instead of myself and all other forms of reality.

November 29, 2006

Pennsylvania

It ONLY took $700 dollars to bring "the little truck that could", back to health, that is after the $500 and the $250 a week before that. Better the chances to make it across country and back eh? Better it all fall apart here before I get started. I had to go to Newtown PA for some business and while I was waiting, I tinkled on the piano keys some. There were allot of people around and they were very interested and liked what I was doing. I keep screaming in my head, "Soundbites Danny, SOUNDBITES". I do not have the time to give every person I talk with a half hour thrasing of what is going on and that I am o perform across country to gift communities, and that I need them to tip the piano player $100 because its going to cost a wallop... etc...etc...etc... even if they want to hear it.

November 28, 2006

Pennsylvania

Help! My gears arn't workin'! My flywheel is...! My shaft needs to be replaced. My stick shift needs a lift! Ohhooowwww, this is gonna cost. Where's Boner?


November 27, 2006

Pennsylvania

I completely lost this days writing. I was so tired, I had slept two hours the night before and I stayed up this night anyway and wrote for an hour to keep my commitment. I lost it all. Boy does that hurt. I know I mentioned that the truck is still in the shop and busted. I spent time over my friend Mary's house and played on her mother's piano and old Mason and Hamilton. Maybe I dreamt about writing this. Hmmm... Anyway, I really enjoyed feeling the keys hitting the hammers the feel of wood, strings, and the vibrations. I felt at one with the piano. It was rich and earthy in sound and feel. It was real. The music in my mind became much more pleasing than from the keyboard I use on the truck. Maybe my experience of feeling and sound, the stimuli I get outside while creating music... compensates fro the limitations from the keyboard I use on the truck. I know I would get bored playing on a keyboard everyday in my house or studio. I feel much more... on a real piano. What is wrong with me that I do not own a real piano? Isn't that crazy. Well, before I never played for my own enjoyment, I did not practice, and I did not play because I did not want to be bored for when I had to perform. Remember, I had played the same friggin' hour of music for nineteen years! There was no way I would have enjoyed playing that stuff at home by myself. Now, if I was to get a piano I would need the best, so I can be the best. I also know I would be playing all the time. Then I would not have time to write this stuff.

November 26, 2006

Pennsylvania

The "little truck that could" is in limbo while sitting in the garage waiting for its diagnosis tomorrow. I think it is the clutch plate, if that is something that can break, and the flywheel? Anyway, pray for it. "Flashback"! As I was performing during the Collingswood, New Jersey Holiday parade yesterday I remembered one of my top ten fav moments and it was during the first time I did that parade over ten years ago. It was a big year for the energizer bunny; he had recently been released into the advertisement world. He was in the parade and to have fun... we both decided to do a pre-run of the parade route to hype everyone along the route and then return to the back to follow up the end of the parade up with a little tongue and cheek, "still going". So, the twelve foot tall energizer bunny with a young guy inside the costume marched to the beat of his drum in front of me while I followed down the parade route. At the end, he jumped into the back of the truck and we raced through a parallel side road to get back to the parade and lined up at the end. As it came time to begin the parade route once again, at the end, we started off but the energizer bunny who was sitting on the back ledge of the truck fell into the truck bed and all I could hear was a muffled guy yelling through his suite, "I can't do it, I can't do it again I am too tired. So I boogied down the parade route for the second time with my energy, "still going" while the energizer bunny depleted of energy with his feet and ears hanging over the sides of the truck laid flat in the back.

November 25, 2006

New Jersey

It was a great day fo a Holiday Parade and Collingswood New Jersey and my eleventh year performing for the town. I was happy to have my friend and neighbor Larry with me. He's an old fart of seventy-five and I say that because I am jealous of his drive for life. I want to be like him. By the way, Larry drove for me. I started out under a railroad bridge, one of my favorite environments for sound against the cement walls. The parade was a sucess. I had several visuals but they have blured from my mind because right now I am letting life wash over me as I do not want to get stuck. You see, the clutch on the "little truck that could" broke about a mile from my house on the way home. Luckily, it was not during the parade or on the highway far from home like say somewhere in a Kansas cornfield. I was able to get it to the top of a hill where it just stopped working and sat as I directed traffic around it and waited for the tow truck. God seems to give me these little distractions with life that make me wonder. It was very interesting that at the top of the hill where he truck stopped the guy sweeping his driveway came over to offer me his cell phone to use. He happened to be the first guy who ever jumped on the truck to jam in the park back in May. He is the very first blog entry on this Daily Performance link. I never knew his name, never saw him since May and here I break down in front of his house. He is a local chruch music director and kept me company while I waved on traffic. The cross country trip we are planning will be interesting indeed with the Raggin' Piano Boogie truck, if it lives to even start the trip.

November 24, 2006

Pennsylvania

My life could not be more full. I used to think about things I need to or want to do; now I am doing them. There is a difference from being rushed and rushing, the first is wasting time in thinking about it, and the second is living it. I am rushing and the challenge is to keep a healthy pace while doing it. I went to the high school parking lot in Bensalem today and played while the track team practiced and played games. The coach came over and told me how much they had been enjoying the music. It would have been a picture perfect day for a good camera shot but my picture card malfunctioned. I improvised in three chord progressions all over the place, God was it fun. I have mostly been thinking in terms of two musical chords back and forth or just chords in of themselves when playing. I am growing! I also enjoyed playing for like twenty minutes straight improvising at high energy without musically breathing. It would drain anyone who was to listen without another activity going because I have allot of intense energy when I am expressing the millions of thoughts I am having at any given moment in a stream of conscious mode. It is sort of like that last sentence you just read. Ha. I am really looking forward to my parade tomorrow every year going back to Collingswood NJ to perform is like visiting old friends.

November 23, 2006

Pennsylvania

It is another rainy day. Sounds like a song. Thanksgiving is today in case you don't know and well, happy, happy or whatever. Today's choices were to work all day as I have allot to do, family hop at different dinner times, sit in the movies to catch about four of them, hang out with a couple of friends. I decided on going outside to play at different soup kitchens but that is not going to happen because it is pouring rain. When I got up it was miserable outside but not raining so I started to feel like I had to do it even though it would probably be too miserable for anyone to enjoy with the cold, dark, windy, damp, grey, ugly... am I pushing it? Boner does not want to get wet. I will be improvising with a family of artists and musicians and on a REAL grand piano at the Bryson clan's abode, friends of mine where I am sure to get some good Thanksgiving meal eaten'.

November 22, 2006

Pennsylvania

There is a Nor-Easter outside! Is that how you spell it? Who thought of that term? It is a recently new term of a few years back and sounds wonderfully scary and big. Not scary like a hurricane or tornado but something really big. Big rain, big snow? All I know is that it is wet and cold today and crazy because it is the day before thanksgiving. The chaos of it all brought on a "flashback!... Imagery from a drive to a job. It was in the early days when I was still using the piano I grew up with. For travel, I had a cabinet like case built that would lock everything together. I was driving up the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the roof of the cabinet had blow off. I did not notice but what I did notice were people constantly waving to me as they drove by. There had been a newspaper feature written up about me the day before so like an idiot thought everyone was acknowledging they had read about me and were waving hello. I was wrong about the saying hello part. I was right about the idiot part. They were waving at me trying to tell me the roof of my cabinet had just blown off and I was so full of myself that I was not paying attention to their communication. I never did find the lid even though I searched for hours after the job. It had cost several hundred dollars!

November 21, 2006

Pennsylvania

There is no one around to take our picture anymore because it is too cold for 98 percent of the population to hang outside? The other two percent is Bo and I. It was about 44 degrees out. I monitored Boner closely to make sure I did not see a shiver from him. He is jumping onto the piano less and less; I had to lift him up. We were in the new neighborhood being built next to mine. I love an open environment. At first I thought, "shit it's too cold" and, "I don't want to be crazy about what I am doing". Then I took it on as a challenge seeing as I am going to start playing outside local business to ask them for money for to help fund the tour across America. I cannot express how much oomph!... it will take to go asking for money. I do not think I ever did it "in your face" before. I can just see myself going up to my local gas station, I start playing and Joe comes outside and says, "Dan, please don't do that here". Then I ask him for a hundred bucks and he says, "you got to be kidding, I'm not giving you a hundred bucks"! Then I will have to brush that off and keep going. That is how it works right? Anyway, my improvising today was actually a release of mind body and soul. I have only recently got to the point in my life where I can experience exercise and music as a release. It took me fifty years to get to where I am. I am really glad I made it. I was not cold once I started I just had to get over the lack of incentive, there were no people around and I was not getting paid. Yes, my hands were numb when I finished.

November 20, 2006

Pennsylvania

I have spent my entire day and the better part of the last three weeks trying to decide on what and how to present my planned trip to Hollywood in writing. It is crunch time so there is no way I could get out today. This is a "flashback"! In 2004, I was asked to play for a barn party of 12 guests in Lawrenceville New Jersey. It was a christening for an old barn that had been refurnished. Now it was time for a great party. I drove onto the very monied residence and through the lawn, around the pool, through the trees and settled on the incline that was used in the past for horses to get into the barn, There was a theatrical spotlight awaiting me at the barns opening. This crowd of twelve could have been a crowd of forty they created so much fun. They were without question party people. After an hour of high energy rollicking music in the night I noticed out of the corner of my eye down below that the rhododendrons next to me were moving. I thought a deer or large animal might be stuck in them and stopped playing to see what it was when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a glowing flashlight in my face and a nightstick waving cop. I was a bit stunned as he starts yelling how he and his fellow officers had been looking for me for the last half hour. The sounds of my let down your hair and kick up your heels Ragtime and Boogie Woogie music had been bouncing off the walls of neighborhood houses. Some old bitty had called to complain three times since it started. The policeman said they had all gave up scouring the streets and decided to try searching through the bushes in the neighborhood. I got thrown out... nicely... after I was paid.

November 19, 2006

Pennsylvania

I woke up this morning feeling a little scared, feeling physically tight from last night's performance and weak from this flu or whatever I have been going through. My first thought was, "Danny, your job is to have fun today, your going to do the Hatboro Holiday parade and have fun making people happy." I got my act together; made sure I ate some breakfast (chili I brought home from last nights job, my protein) and waited for my stick shift parade driver, a new buddy of mine to arrive. He called at the exact minute he was supposed to be at my house, "I'll be right there", he says. I waited. I waited. I waited and finally called his two phone numbers, no answer. I had to go... the parade was not going to wait for me. I had no worry the entire time I drove I thought, "whatever the day brings Dan, have fun". Then I thought about the money needed for my mortgage if I missed the parade, "whatever". It was a last minute booking so I would not disappoint many people in missing the parade, as they did not expect me to be there. I arrived and immediately all the parade setup guys started putting out the word for my need. A stick shift driver who will not throw Boner or me off the truck while driving up the hill. Within seconds, Tim the parade co-chair steps up, "you need some help, I'll do it for you." What a wonderful show of spirit he gave to me! I was an extra happy camper. To experience this display of cooperation and willingness to assist goes a long way with me. I played full energy non-stop pre-hyping the parade route up and back before the parade and then performed once again in the parade itself. It was truly fun. The people of Hatboro PA have been telling me for at the last ten years that they hope to see my every year and finally we all got it together. I wore my Santa hat and Bo grew his holiday Antlers and we all had a good time. Afterwards Ira, a freelance writer stopped by the truck to talk and I got to unload some more enthusiasm onto him.

November 18, 2006

Pennsylvania

Tonight Tony Aquilante secured my services to provide music for a harvest hayride party he held with his church. The parishioners were greeted as they came out of mass to a farm tractor pulled wagon, two bonfires, a display table decorated with pumpkins and flowers, friendly servers, fantastic home made chili, hotdogs, hot chocolate, a playground for the kids, hot Boogie Woogie piano music and an extra hot dog named Boner sitting on top of the piano. Tony is a top of the line gourmet buffet caterer and his food is unlike any other food I have tasted. His family's food has a distinct flavor and it is as good as it gets. I have used Tony's services for myself in the past. He provides the best whole pig ever! Off topic of today's performing a little, I must say this because it is significant. Tony is running the event, setting things up, checking in with his family members who are helping and he sees that I am looking for someone to take a picture for me. He immediately sets me up with his son in law to help. The camera batteries go dead. No problem, Tony sends someone away from the event to the store to get me new batteries and then personally brings them to me. Is this a "tell" about this man, his business and how he runs it or what!!! That is a host of hosts. Besides Gourmet Buffets, Tony also runs a company called Trolley Concepts, Executive Dining Car. This company provides trolley cars with onsite catering inside of them. One of these days, we will hook up to have a major party together on wheels. It has never been done before. Are you interested, do you know of someone who might like the idea? Can you imagine the Raggin' Piano Boogie truck acting as the pied piper leading the way down the road with music as we pick up the party guests onto the trolleys from house to house and everyone keeps switching trolleys at stop off points to eat, drink and be merry and even take their turn being musical on the piano along the way? That might even top the harp jam from a few weeks ago. Tony is contributing to the Traveling Piano cross country tour so you will soon find a link to his company's site on the Traveling Piano site that is being built.

November 17, 2006

Pennsylvania

What is the matter with me??? I got sick. No fair. I still considered going out today to perform but I do not want to compromise my ability for the bookings I have scheduled this weekend. I was going to go play outside the Old City Holiday Inn downtown in Philly where the new BurnLounge Internet guys are pitching their service tonight but I think would be wiser for me to lay low. So, for anyone who may think I have been obsessed, yes I do have the ability to balance my life and take a break, almost. I am going to tinkle on my keyboard in the house before I go up to my bed to finish reading Teacher Man by Frank McCourt.

November 16, 2006

Pennsylvania

It was supposed to be raining when I woke up. It was not. I am going to New York to help a friend today but when I saw that it was not raining I ran to the waters edge at the Delaware River access to get my playing in. It was warm so I did not take a coat. Wrong move. The heavy breeze was blowing inland so I had to duck behind the piano as I played. It is still strange to see the leaves off the trees. I noticed the sounds of them clicking across the parking lot as the wind blew. The grayness of the day with the clouds and the rippling water with a glint of sun trying to shine through was amazing. I would find myself caught in musical rifts while playing and Bo looked at me like, "are you stuck"? I have so much energy in the morning I did not want to stop playing and I wanted to record it but I have so many things I need to do. I have three modes I am becoming more aware of while I improvise. Music while being stimulated by the environment, music while my eyes are closed and conscious thoughts are flying by in my head by the thousands at a speed so fast it is immeasurable and music with the music and nothing else. The last one is a little scary because I have no other awareness going on concerning my surroundings. I think I might want to work towards integrating all three at the same time and creating a balance .

November 15, 2006

Pennsylvania

I was going to wait until after watching Dancing with the Stars to improvise tonight because I knew I would be pumped up from it and I wanted to musically record that energy. Everyone on that show is always smiling, and I find myself inspired to smile from that. As I continued to think I thought I better go out earlier because it might rain. That was a good call. I drove into the new neighborhood next to mine that is being built and parked in the middle of a street with no houses on it. I could play as loud as I wanted and it was loud. Big sky, I do not remember playing to such a big sky before. I am looking forward to big skies as I cross over America in a few months. The leaves from the trees seem to have fallen early this year by a week or two or is it that I have had the biggest dose of tree leaves in my life from being outside almost every day this spring and summer playing the piano. I had some new musical ideas and that is always good. As I was driving in the city afterwards I thought how much I enjoy the cities also. I am sure I will always be musically inspired with each new venue. I hope I can continue to make that happen.

November 14, 2006

Pennsylvania

I was hymin' and hawlin' about going out tonight to play. I really wanted to and then I really did not. It was raining the last two days and I was feeling like, "keep it going Danny", and then after watching Dancing with the Stars on television I just had to do it, dance on the keys some. When I see how much work people put into their lives it inspires me. I went to the local school parking lot. I had my eyes closed most of the time and as I was playing I was just a little worried of what I might find when I opened them up. I was hoping for Oprah. I could feel the vibrations of the music tonight from the truck bed and piano. I do not ever remember feeling that before. I wonder if the fact that it was dark and wet out had anything to do with it. I hope the vibrating doesn't mean the piano casing is starting to fall apart. Bo hung out in the cab tonight. Creating music tonight was good for my soul.

November 13, 2006

Pennsylvania

I do not think I ever had two rain dates in a row. It is time for a "flashback"! It was a typical Fourth of July for the Marple/Newtown Pennsylvania parade and a beautiful hot, sunny day. I knew I would be sweating a lot because I was in a fat stage of life. I felt like a stuffed sausage in my clothes. Behind me a gaggle of priests from the local parishes where getting revved to march with me. They were up for a good time as one of them yelled, "that's the devil's left hand your playing'! Within the first five minutes they had figured out a routine for themselves to go along with my music and in unison they swayed to the left, swayed to the right, bowed forwards, bowed backwards to the rhythm as we traveled down the road. I was completely lost in being a maniac for the crowd throwing my body all around. I had subconsciously heard a large rip but it was not until the priests started screaming in unison, "you split the seat of your pants" that I realized that I had in fact split my pants... big-time. You would think I would have noticed the air flow immediately as I was not wearing any underwear! It was not easy finishing that parade trying to keep my ass cheeks closed while blowing out all the energy that was necessary for a good time.

November 12, 2006

Pennsylvania

Unfortunately, I fell into watching the weather report for today on television last night. They labeled a fearful weather report warning everyone to prepare for a "code orange" with heavy rain starting early in the morning. I thought those codes were for terror. Hmmm... I woke up to find nothing orange about the day although it could have been labeled code grey. I went to make a run to perform in the park while it was still dry and as soon as I got the garage door open, it began to drizzle. Drizzle! Drizzle is worse than a code red. It is not like anything is black or white. It is a state of indecision, somewhere in the middle... can I play for a short period (if money was involved), will it stop, will it get worse, how long would it take for the drizzle to turn into drippy drizzle? I stayed home to play for Boner and myself.

November 11, 2006

Pennsylvania

I hung out with friends the entire afternoon and into the evening. It was a warm and sunny day and I wanted to enjoy the nature of it all and be with good people. It is so very new to me to provide music in a socializing aspect and to project my music socially verses for performance. I like it but it is very confusing for me. The respect value is very different. It is a challenge to make a distinction as to who and what I am when I play. Am I a professional musician, an artist, pianist, performer? Am I a guy who plays the piano for fun and is really good at it? I am both. The first part is where the money to pay the bills comes from. I am having trouble combining the two. People will not pay a regular piano guy. They will tip him but then five and ten dollar tips will not pay the bills. Enough of that, I had a great time in the field today with my harp playing friend Mary and her bagpipe playing husband Jim. Imagine that, Improvising piano music on the back of a truck in the middle of a field on a bright warm and sunny day with my best buddy Boner hanging out on top of the piano while Mary plays her harp named Isabella who is some eighty years old and Jim improvises on his bagpipes that provide beautiful raw sounds. That was just too cool. I never improvised with two people before. There was a moment where I felt like I was a kid with a bunch of other kids trying to be serious about the noise we were making. I am so used to playing by myself it is a challenge to listen to others while at the same time being in the mix... negotiating a musical conversation. It was fun exploring musical spots to inject interesting sounds, to see where and when I could fit in. Mary suggested that next time we include a tuba player. Good idea!

November 10, 2006

Pennsylvania

Tonight Bo and I went to a winery as a few friends of mine were having an art exhibition. We brought along the piano truck to play in the crisp night air. We were on the outskirts of Newtown, PA. After about a half an hour I was exhausted and I have no idea why. I wanted to play simple but had impulses to perform with complexity. My soul wanted simple. When I started to think about my friends I became very creative and got lost in the music, simply, through the thinking. I have a great desire to live in the moment these days, my head has other desires.

November 09, 2006

Pennsylvania

I was playing on the water in a great spot in Croyden, PA at Neshaminy state park. I have been there many times before but never before had the warden (ranger) shown. He did today. "Off the grass", he says. I looked around there were no cars in the park. I was not disturbing anything, doing no harm, no one was there, and I was on a dead sandy, stony weedy area. I was six feet off the paved road and he wanted me to go to the back in the lot where it was viewless for me. I said, What are you bored? He just looked at me, Luckily I had already been there an hour. I left. I wanted to call him a" dick head" because he was, but I refrained. I wrote and sent a letter of complaint when I got home because theses guys have been consistent with their self-importance and unfriendliness since I have been using the local parks for the last twenty years. Now onto the nicer sire of today. These two guys in a van stopped earlier to thank me. They said, we were not sure what you were going to do, play boogie or what and then you started to play this.... music and it took me a few minutes to realize you were improvising. It was really beautiful and peaceful and calm and perfect for out here. Thanks A lot. When really ruff looking guys say things like this to me it really affects me in a positive way because it is obvious they are showing me their insides not putting up a hard front with their exteriors. This obviously means that I am doing the same with my music. To have a guy missing his front teeth who has not shaved in two weeks and is looking sore while riding in a rusted out van, stopping to call to me to use the word beautiful. I am very grateful to be able to affect people in positive ways.

November 08, 2006

Pennsylvania

Today is a rainy day, time for a "flashback"! When I was a young pup with lots of energy I would take on the big challenges with six bookings a day!!!. On a good sunny Fourth of July, I would get up bright and early and head off to the Rockledge Pennsylvania parade to start first in line, 9am. I would end in about forty five minutes and run to, no that would be... race my ass off to... get to the end of the Marple Township parade which was at 10am, a fifty five minute trip at 70 miles an hour. I always made it in time. I cannot tell you how I use to worry about the piano blowing out of the back of the truck on the turnpike. I always and still do keep one eye on the spacing between the back of the piano and the back of the truck while driving. The spacing is always on a slant from the wind and I have never felt easy about it. After Marple Newtown I would race to catch the Willingboro New Jersey parade at 1pm finish with that and make a run back to Pennsylvania for the Glenside parade at 3pm a parade that always takes forever but I love doing it especially for the sound when we drive through the stone tunnel under the railroad bridge. For 6pm I would head back to New Jersey for the Washington Township parade and then head right to Ocean City New Jersey for the fireworks on the boardwalk. Whew! It would take a hefty incentive to do something like that today.

November 07, 2006

Pennsylvania

People are really getting used to seeing me. I am no longer "music to discover" in my area it is, "hey, the piano guys here". Everyone comes over to say hi, cars pull up next to me to listen. It's pretty cool but I cannot practice scales with the metronome this way and if I am to create music, it needs to be while I am having a conversation. That is a talent in of itself. I was at the Delaware river access area in Bensalem, PA. A guy came over who saw me by the local volleyball fields earlier in the summer, he said it is the fourth time he has run into me. His son Aadesh jumped on the piano to play but did not want to have his picture taken. He had a good time and when he was done, I had him take my picture instead. Eighty seven year old Dave with his wife of sixty seven years stopped by, her Alzheimer's is getting worse. They have been together since they were fifteen years old. I was a little scattered with the fresh fall scenery, the river was full and at high tide, the fisherman in the distance enjoying the last of the warm days, the people in cars, the onset of a rain storm, thinking about everything I still need to do today like vote... but in the moments I had to create for myself... my thoughts all made for some interesting musical ideas.

November 06, 2006

Pennsylvania

I wanted to get my neighbors Don and Joan to ask Oprah for my Wildest Dream with me today on my daily video. I parked in their driveway to improvise until they discovered me. I was playing quietly when Joan came out and started whispering even quieter, "I don't wanna do this". I made her do it anyway. She was a good sport. These guys have been neighbors of mine for forty two years. Don was the captain of our neighborhood watch when I belonged and absolutely the friendliest of neighbors. Don is a ham like me, Joan does not want the limelight in anyway. Lucky eight year old Alex from across the street walked buy to take a picture for us. Joan ran back into the house but Don hung around. After we finished, I did not want to torture Joan anymore so I went to the high school parking lot and zoned out in my music. Bo lay beside me on the truck bed floor. It is getting too cold to be sitting up in the wind.

November 05, 2006

Pennsylvania

I came home to find my neighborhood illuminated by a large, bright and full moon hanging low in the sky. A half hour before I left the same scenario but with a sunset in Tyler park near Newtown, Pa having just spent a few hours improvising with eight lovely harp players. It is not like I look for these situations. This "Piano/Harp Jam" was created from playful spontaneity last Sunday. I thank my lucky stars there are other people I can share the same sensibilities with in the world. We are open to and have fun. Edie, the founder of Bedside Harp jumped up onto the piano to play, as did Nancy, Cheryl and Clarita. I think it was Donna who said as everyone was walking around the truck plucking and stringing, "I don't know whether I am having a musical moment or an autistic moment." Mary likened it to "applied chaos". I had a personal experience of about sixty seconds where we were all creating music together and I left the world to savor the visually musical moment from above. I was reminded that the piano is a harp; the inside of a piano is the shape of a harp the only difference is the approach to the strings. Today I was outside enjoying the crisp autumn air in a beautiful park improvising piano music on the back of a pickup truck along with eight beautiful woman all around outside and inside the truck with their creating music on their harps while my best buddy Boner hung out with me on top of the piano. Thanks to Nancy's husband Bill who was kind enough to snap some photos we can now leave this moment for future civilizations to discover. I can envision it now... so that's what they did back in that age... what were they doing... is that how they communicated?


November 04, 2006

Pennsylvania

On my way to play today I stopped in Newtown Borough, Pennsylvania to drop off a very special painting at Countryside Framing as I was told they were the best. Artist Hariette Prevatte created a wonderful watercolor of Bo and I that I have always wanted. We met her by chance one afternoon in the French Quarter during my time of donating performances down in New Orleans. I consider this painting one of my most treasured possessions. I will be sharing it with everyone. The store changed ownership this week and both present and past owners were there to help design the frame. Being interested and free spirits they encouraged me to play in the meantime. I sat on the street corner improvising while cars whizzed by constantly about two feet next to me. It was not as cold as I had expected maybe because I had my warm winter coat on. I love this coat but it is now too big and I had just brought it last year! You can be sure I ain't going to gain weight to fill it that is for sure. I think the cold weather is making the piano sound more like metal. That will not

November 03, 2006

Pennsylvania

I was in Quakertown, Pennsylvania today to give an interview to for the Free Press and as I left the building, I saw a cafe sign with piano keys on it. I went inside to find a piano that said, you are welcome to play so I sat down and for the first time in a restaurant played my improve. It was interesting but not quite satisfying. I sounded like a piano player playing background in a restaurant. I felt completely confident in being musical. I thought, "this restaurant shtick is a breeze, I can create music for a restaurant setting easily". I could not decide weather I wanted people to respond or not. That would have been nice but it was also nice to just explore my own experience. Playing on a real acoustic piano certainly created a craving to do it more. I do not own an acoustic piano. When I used to play for clubs and restaurants, that was in another lifetime, I spent ninety percent of my time in fear of someone complaining. When I played in a good setting for example like a big ballroom or for a large corporate event, I had moments of "look what I can do". I could impress. I have rarely put myself in the position for people to be present specifically to listen to my music until this year. When I did the people I exposed myself to would turn and start talking to each other as I played. I have always been a proficient musical ambience man. I never before felt like I had my own musical sound or voice to offer. Energy, feeling, technique, and familiarity from cover songs I could do but now I want to share all of that from a deeper level of soul.

November 02, 2006

Pennsylvania

I went to the Bristol river front parking lot to hang out with a few fishing buddies today. Maybe I should rephrase that seeing as I don't do any fishing. I am the fishing buddies piano player. I had a photo of one of the guys, his name is Jim. He asked me to print a copy for him. We had a picture taken of us a few weeks ago and he asked me to remember for the next time I was in the area. It was of him fishin' me palyin'. The river was still and I did not want to disturb the environment so I tried to play as still as possible and I gave a lot of space to the music. I was trying to be present subliminally. I wanted to enjoy the quiet for myself yet be present with music. It felt really good the four of us just hanging out together. This was an experience I had never had and would not have been able to be comfortable until now, even as a kid growing up. I never played as quiet and simplistic before. I tinkled until the polish guy said, "hey, wake us up a little" so I went into a rendition of the Maple Leaf rag and then some boogie woogie. They liked that. Another guy had tons of treats and a piece of bagel for Bo. Bo liked that. The sunset from across the river over the yellow trimmed treetops with the moon almost full in the day light was amazing. As I left one of the guys daughters pulled in the parking lot with her kids and said, "hey we have your picture from the newspaper on our refrigerator at home." I could never feel alone in knowing information like that.

November 01, 2006

Pennsylvania

I was glad to be able to enjoy this beautiful day. Bo and I hung out on the river in Bristol PA. I enjoyed the fall season look of the trees across the river while Boner sat on top of the piano and watched me play. The sun was warm with the temperature in the 70's. Hundreds of birds leisurely drifted by while floating on the water. I noticed people in cars behind me listening to the music while I concentrated on not becoming self-conscious about it. I was a success; I hit my soul while playing. Berth Ann and her 86 year old mom Johanna Strouse could not resist in coming over to tell me how I touched their hearts and then Johanna pulled out a harmonica from her stroller and started to jam. Too cool! She is a retired crossing guard from the neighborhood and the three of us had a grand old time together.