I wake up most mornings at 5 a.m. now. I am getting old. Sometimes I get back to sleep around 7 after I have done some writing in a new little pocketbook, check the notes on my phone from the show the night before, and responded to emails. Its complete romance.  I feel I am playing better and writing better. Not necesarily brighter, but in a way more honest. Thats all I want. I have some clarity in what I want to do, and what I dont want to do, and with this some of the concern about what others are doing or thinking goes away. I struggle with that at times, the comparison. Who gives a shit, correct? Keb Mo told me that once, "what anyone else is doing is none of your business". True, but Im fragile, is that ok? Who else is fragile? Everyone. Get used to it. Love thicker. 

 

I had a chance to play in trio with JT Bates (drums) and Erik Fratke (bass) in Minneapolis last week. They are both heroes of mine, and for the first time playing with JT I felt like I could communicate up where he hangs out and does his speaking from.Beautiful drummer, artist. Erik Fratzke is noted for playing in Happy Apple and Zebulon Pike, both incredible bands, both noted for the way they balance virtuosity and musicality. Erik's mastered that. Using the tools as tools, and not using them all if the situation calls for less. We improvised for about 70 minutes. I have a recording I thought about sharing, but I think I will just leave it as a moment in time I can embrace forever. 

I looked at Erik at one point during the set and saw him reach at his bass to play something, catch himself, and then fold his hands at his stomach and listen. I love that. Restraint. Everything you do has meaning, so make everything you do meaningful.

 

Coming off that, I flew down to Mexico City and did a bunch of interviews and things for this Vive Latino festival. People complain and mock the fest's grandeur, its Coca Cola sponsorship, the politicking of some of the programming, but honestly I loved it. And shit, we were there. We are nobody. We dont have a manager or corporate sponsors and arent on the right label, but we played our way to the festival. I'm honored they recognized us. A lot of people came and watched us play at 330 in the afternoon on a Friday. It was great.

This is one result of the many results of the many interviews I have been doing. Its fine to do, Ive learned to embrace it, meet new people, share a little and listen a little. Its a learning experience, as is said. You realize many journalists want to be the protagonist. They are interviewing you, about them. Its an interesting dynamic and can be a fun one to play with. There are some people we've done interviews with that really want to discover what we are about, or push us towards something new, which would be ideal to me. I'm happy some people are paying attention to what we do, because I think it can be important and helpful, otherwise I wouldnt be doing it.

 

Lastly, I've been spending a lot of time on this film I am co-directing and producing with Billy Martin, caled "ALMA: Truth and Music in the Americas". First note is that yes, Mexico is part of America, as is Peru, Canada, Paraguay, etc. This is one thing that drives other American countries crazy, that the US calls itself "America". Mexicans also consider themselves American, as does a Peruvian. Just a heads up there! Dont feel bad if you weren't hip to it, I wasn't either. If we live on the American continents, we are American. North American a subset of that, being from the United States of America a further subset.

Anyhow, got lost a bit there.

Here's a shot from the documentary of a Norteño Band performing in Playas de Tijuana, the fence and San Diego behind them. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 One of these things people post on Social Media but I found had an impact on me. There are people and situations I am afraid to tell the truth about when asked. They got the power. In music Im able to tell my truth. I loathe the wicked politicking of the music industry, but participate. I want to share music. And on from there goes the mind. 

Please support the artists you love.

Much love.

Todd

 

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