I'd post the lyrics to this classic blues song, but it just talks about how terrible the week is. On the contrary, I had an awesome Monday and today is shaping up to be pretty good too. Hope your outlook is about the same!
For the most part, I write my blog posts before the sun comes up, chowing on a bowl of Honey-Nut Shredded Wheat with Silk Almond Milk, wiping the sleep from my eyes and letting a rested head and body revel in what's gone before. Carrying on from the promise of the weekend, I did some messing around with the DGBE tuning on chromatic mountain dulcimer. I need to bump up the third string to a higher gauge but there are none here and there's too much going on to roll out Rita for a trip to the music store for such an experiment, so I twiddled and twaddled, found some happy James Taylor moments and then switched focus to standard diatonic to practice for the Blues in the Schools program that I'm presenting at the Orange County Public Library in downtown Orlando this coming Friday. The Orange Blossom Blues Society conducts these sessions in an ongoing effort to Present, Preserve and Promote the blues and one of the best places to do this, of course, is with our kids. Though I've done many school programs before, this is the first one that's blues-themed, so I worked up some songs ranging from original material to "Tight Like That" by Tampa Red and "Spoonful" by Howlin' Wolf.
Of course, all of this practice gets me even more prepared for a trip to Memphis in January where I'll compete in the International Blues Challenge. It was a treat to see Dan Landrum's comments in the Editor's Letter of the most recent Dulcimer Players News along with the inclusion of "The Flip Side" video on the CD/DVD that came with the magazine. To say that I've got blues on the brain right now would be a total understatement!
After the library presentation, I'm driving Rita to a Toyota specialist in Ocala and she's going to get fixed up. We're still not sure what the problem is, but she's running and that's a good sign, right? Jae will come pick me up and then we're headed to the Homosassa Riverside Resort where I'm performing on September 13th (which is also her birthday.) This will be the first time that I've been without Rita for an extended period and I'm not sure how long the repairs will take or how much they will be. The misfiring piston is the most obvious issue to be looked at, which may go hand in hand (gear in gear?) with her overheating problems. The centerlink (part of the steering assembly) has been worked on before, but I've been detecting some clunking up there for a few thousand miles and the vibrations I feel in the steering wheel have graduated a bit over time. That definitely has to be looked at as well. After flying to the Indiana Dulcimer Festival next week, I've got another show in Florida and then I'm set to travel to Texas, Oklahoma and North Carolina, so I obviously am hoping to have Rita road-ready by then. Been saving money and putting it in a fund, so fingers are crossed that we've got it covered.
That brings me to the Patreon campaign which is now up to $29 per MP3 or HD video; just $21 shy of the $50 per item milestone goal and everyone gets a free mountain dulcimer tablature book! There will probably also be some ukulele tab in there from my upcoming book. Thank you, everyone, for stepping up to the plate and helping out. Throughout the history of the world, artists have depended on the involvement of patrons as they pursue their various crafts and it's no different in the 21st century day and age. As an artist, I'm also a patron of the arts, I contribute a dollar here and a dollar there to help out some of my fellow artists as they attempt to make their visions a reality. A few dollars, multiplied by a community of patrons, is a mighty fundraising machine and it allows you the opportunity to be a part of something that shines a spirited light on the amazing tapestry that we all thread with our involvement. And, as a value, you get lots of free stuff, which is never a bad thing! Remember that you can set a cap on how much your card is charged monthly and cancel or re-start at any time. Every little bit counts! Also, please share this information with your friends and family who may be inclined to help out in some small way.
Today is shaping up to be a busy one, so I'll sign off for now and get to work. I hope your day is productive, fun and full of discovery!