A brand new song for you today! Ruby!

 Today I give you a gift of a brand new song, made as a collaboration, all Minneapolis artists, all for love of dogs and for love of fun.

I wrote the song as a special gift for Magic Marc Percansky to mark his beloved Doberman Pinscher Ruby's twelfth birthday.

Marc is a storied and colorful face in the Minneapolis music scene and in the Bob Dylan camp of musicians, friends, family, and fans.

His contributions to the promotion of original Minnesota based music have been varied and many.

I first met him when I was brought on stage to sing a Dylan song at a special Dylan Tribute Concert that Marc organized to raise funds for veterans.

I knew then that Marc is a magical guy with a heart of gold and a real understanding and appreciation of songwriters and their songs.

Marc has followed my career and has always been supportive of my album releases. When I started making my handmade small books this summer, Marc first ordered himself one and then asked if I would be willing to design a special one for his dog Ruby. The artwork for the song you see below is based on the original small book I mailed to Marc for Ruby. Well, Marc saw something more in that little book, so he asked me about maybe creating a song to go with it. I wrote seventeen pages of lyrics, which Marc is keeping for posterity, and made as many recordings of song ideas before I finally got this final version. I knew this was it right away. I can't wait for you to hear it.

Now we have collaborated on the recording and have made a real party of it, with great musicians sitting in and a great arrangement from producer Rob Genadek. My son's animated video for Ruby is coming out soon, and a single of the song on CD will be available at my next Riverview show November 17th. We'll play the song live for the first time then so that'll be super fun.

A short film by Steve Cohen is being edited now, and you'll see more about that soon.

But first, on this sweet Sunday morning in early November, I give you what Rob Genadek is calling one of my best vocal performances for a recording ever, with no pitch correction at all, and that's partly because I love singing this song so much.

No cynicism here, but straight up Joy and Gratitude all around.

This is what Love can do.





last night's solo show

I played a two hour solo show last night for about twenty-five awesome revelers out in Excelsior, MN at the 318 Cafe and Wine Bar.

I brought my light up skulls which are really wonderful anytime, but particularly last night because it was The Day Of The Dead yesterday.

I also brought extra candles from home. So the stage was special. I learned last night that when you play solo it helps to have the stage look special. It gives you confidence.

I wanted to prove to myself that I can put on a show by myself that has true entertainment value for people.

It's a great thing to be able to perform a songwriter style show alone and have it be captivating and substantive enough to be something important enough to people so that they listen carefully and they participate like it's a concert and not as background music during their dinner.

I want to put on a concert that you want to be part of, that you don't want to miss out on.

I'm getting there. Last night was the first real try.

I feel excited to do more solo concerts like that.

Today I drive almost two hours each way to be on KBEK FM Radio, singing and telling stories on their Minnesota music program.

So I gotta get going!

Love to you today.

Taxes and a show tonight...plus a new novel...

I go see the Minnesota tax guys again today, maybe for the last time...safe to say since I don't think they read this but even if they do...I won't be sorry to never see them again although I truly like both of the guys who have worked on my audit. I think they're basically good people trying hard to do a difficult job. They say they believe in the truth but I do think their bias is to get more money for the State of Minnesota; whenever possible to interpret the rules in favor of the State, they do. That makes them seem dishonest, which they probably aren't, but you really have to fight for the rulings to fall in your individual favor. That's what I've learned from all this. In the end, I was audited for three separate years of taxes that I filed with a very good but very expensive tax expert. The expert asks for a three thousand dollar retainer to help you if you get audited from their work. So I had to represent myself. I've done a great job if I do say so myself and most of what the tax guys wanted to contest I have been able to prove, starting way back at the beginning with the basic question of whether I'm even a full time artist and whether I am even eligible to claim expenses for my work. It was fun and galvanizing to work through these questions with them and come out on the other side with them fully supporting my contentions that this is what I do and I do it well. Hell yeah. So, today is the last meeting I think. They have gone from saying that I owe a ton of money from things I shouldn't have taken as write offs to now saying that I will owe some adjustments for each of the three years but it will be in the hundreds not the thousands, and that I can apply for a payment plan and maybe pay it off fifty dollars a month (for many many months, but hey at least they aren't going to confiscate my Jeep that is the only thing I own). The tax audit chapter will soon be completed and with a not too terrible ending.

Next up on the agenda is my Nanowrimo write a novel in the month of November thing. I'm going to work on that right now when I finish this. It's already coming along great! I wrote three thousand words yesterday which is nearly ten pages. Sidney is a very different person I realized immediately, and it's really fun to write from her vantage point because she thinks like a Boss! She's really out there living large and it's amazing to behold. It's going to be a great book I truly believe. I love it already!

Lastly, tonight is my show at the 318 Cafe in Excelsior, MN. I love to return to this pretty little lakeside town this time of year and play a special evening of music. I'm going to bring my light up pirate skulls and candles and wear my top hat and make it a real pirates' dream of a night. I can't wait.

NaNoWriMo 2018 here we go!

Here is what I'm doing starting today: https://nanowrimo.org/

It's called NaNoWriMo which is something about write a novel in the month of November.

I personally really get off on it.

I've done it several years in a row.

The first time I ever did it was 2013, and although I haven't done it every year, I've done it several years since.

You can look up my profile on their website if you want to see what I'm doing.

My idea is that since my Sidney: Book Two is being shopped for a new publishing deal that I might as well start on book three.

My brother's recent death has really freed me up creatively right now too, and I find myself wanting to mine all my memories and retrace my steps in as many ways as I can.

You're supposed to write at least 1700 words a day I think in order to finish the quantity that NANoWriMo has set as their "novel" length.

This morning I got up at 4:30am because I was so excited to get started that I couldn't sleep.

I got 3000+ this morning.

I only write like that in the early mornings.

Once the day gets going, my brain is pulled in many other directions.

In the dark and cold early morning of this northern region I light candles, I sit at Rob's dining room table. 

I make a big mug of coffee with cream and chocolate.

And I go for it.

Last weekend I had a friend over to the house for a long conversation and dinner. She helped me think about book three a bit during our evening together. I knew that the story should begin with Sidney's little MG pulled to the side of the highway with a flat tire. So getting started this morning was honestly like sheer joy. I couldn't wait to tell that story. We are off to the races! It's going to be great!

I have many things to look forward to, much to be grateful for, many promising irons in the fire.

Happy November!

Here's me from earlier this week doing a weekly "photo and film creative exploration" with the brilliant Christina Bowers:

Happy Halloween!

I don't know about you, but I feel great this morning and I am planning a fun day.

I'm going to go running down to the beautiful waterfall along the Minnehaha Creek first thing when I finish this blog post for you.

Then I'm going to come back home and carve the three pumpkins i have sitting out on Rob's front porch. I have candles to put inside them too.

Then I'm going to practice my songs the rest of the afternoon for my new setlist that begins tonight 5-6:30pm at the Underground Music Cafe where I play every Wednesday, but this just happens to be Halloween night so I want to be extra spoooooky.

Also, I'm going to be bringing my wonderful set of light up skulls to my next few shows, so today I have to make sure they're all working well and ready to go.

And I want to get some new fresh flowers for my top hat so I can be a pirate.

Love to you all.

In sickness and in health, 'til death do we part,

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

No rest for the wicked, you can sleep when you're dead.

Halloween comes but once a year.

Summon the souls we've lost and give them a night to remember.

All Hallows' Eve.

I drink to my brother tonight!

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