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Jul. 17th, 2017



Jun. 16th, 2017

A New Approach To Gigging

I've been thinking about how I could make some money at music again.

Although I've had a lot of nice feedback on the new album, sales are dismal and the thought of gigging that material seems a bit daunting. It's just too eccentric for any but the nerdiest music fans. It's probably better just to put it out on the internet. It's too demanding for an unfamiliar listener.

Last year I did some solo cover gigs at a local bar. They paid well, but it quickly got dull on account of the material. (I did lots of pop and a few country tunes from the 60s and 70s.) So I know I can do a long night's worth of cover songs, but I need them to be songs I find interesting and challenging, and it seems like in the last couple of years, I've finally got to a point where I can manage jazz standards somewhat, songs like I Cover the Waterfront, Lazy Bones, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, etc. These songs are much harder to learn and perform than Johnny Cash or Elton John numbers. But I did quite a few at Kerrville this year and people really liked them. After about a quarter century of study, I'm beginning to feel comfortable with the harmonic complexity of the Great American Songbook. (Newsflash, American songs have been devolving musically since the 1940s.)

Here's a recording of me doing Smoke Gets In Your Eyes with just my guitar.

I contacted a cocktail lounge in St. Louis today. I need to get my promotional materials together, but at least I made one booking inquiry. I'm feeling hopeful that this could be an approach that would work for me, in terms of both generating some scratch and not becoming a drag. I would learn a lot and get a lot better on the guitar if I was maintaining a repertoire of, say 100 standards, up to my own performance specs.

I'm feeling in a rut lately. I think this is a good goal.

May. 17th, 2017

New Album: If I Was Fred

Well, the album is done. I went all out this time. I paid for mastering and I'm getting physical copies made. They should arrive in about a week. You can listen to the whole thing on Soundcloud. Hope you enjoy it... I worked really hard to make it sound as good as I possibly could.

May. 1st, 2017

Preview Track from 'If I Was Fred' - Lord Love a Duck

Apr. 26th, 2017

Preview Track from 'If I Was Fred' - The Animal Report


Oct. 18th, 2016

Yeah I'm a Beatnik So What?

Here's a new song from me, a spooky instrumental with some deranged ramblings on top. Ken Nordine fans may dig this.


Jul. 2nd, 2016

Mangled Apricot Hellbeast... a Very Short Musical Declamation

Here's a goofy little piece I composed and recorded for a video production company. I titled it after a funny tweet about Donald Trump.


Jun. 6th, 2016

Unremarked-upon Excellence

Here's another appearance I made on an album by a group I really admire. Derrick Fore, who I met at the blind school in Texas, did amazing work under the Farrago Ensemble name. He got incredible players together, just fantastic musicans to the last. I'm humbled to have contributed. It looks like he's moving on to another chapter now, which I can understand, since his excellent work seems to have gone entirely unappreciated by anyone except his friends. I really don't understand the music business. Music seems to have nothing to do with it.

Anyway, here's a song I sang and played guitar on.


May. 29th, 2016

Moist Towelettes

Here's my vocal on the new Rudy Schwartz album! It's out now! I am so proud to be on an RSP album I just can't even.

I'm the towelette salesman... "Hello sir, good afternoon..." etc. Joe Newman sings the part of the obstinately purchase-resistant shoe salesman.


May. 3rd, 2016

Soundcloud May Start Charging

I heard soundcloud is going to make some changes and I don't know if it's going to limit my friends' ability to download tracks. I hope not. You might want to grab whatever you want now, though, just in case. I don't care if friends download stuff for free. My experience with subscription services is that they never pay small artists like me, anyway.

I once got a notice from Spotify saying I'd had several thousand plays and was due some royalties... 17¢. You can't apply for a payment until you hit a dollar, though, so I may have to wait a couple of years.

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