'scuse me whilst i blow my own bad horn.i finally won a photoshop contest on worth1000.com! i've been entering them for some time and have won 2nd place once and numerous jury picks. if you're so inclined, you can view my masterpiece here.
another redesign here. if you happen to have my journal bookmarked, you'll have to change it. if you're reading this then you already know that... all pages are now at the same jacksundrud.com address. i've been learning a whole lot of new tricks in web design. you can now address me as "mr. world-wide". the best for the holidays to all... and to all, a good night.
i turned in my last songs to my publisher today. kinda weird. i've been a staff writer for 15 years here in nashville. i may end up doing it again, i don't know for sure. anyway, right now i'm concentrating on getting on with my solo recording project, doing some website design and various other design type projects. who knows what the future will bring? i'm trying to trust that the experience i have will lead me to where i can pay my bills. poco is off to pennsylvania in the early am. we're doing a taping for 'world cafe' radio tomorrow and a show in sellarsville,pa on saturday. we'll be seeing a bunch of old friends, and i've heard the show is sold out. should be fun. i'm packing my mukluks to ward off the evil winter demons. be well.
i move in digital land. a snail is but a blur going by me. time smears like lipstick on a goblet. hell is a four letter word... midi. i speak in gibberish to friends who also speak gibberish. we come from gibberland. i know music is the goal, but the way is littered with tech manuals, patch cords, undos and restarts. my wrist aches as i spin out on the learning curve. there's light up ahead. i wonder how many pixels it is...
i just finished uploading a new website that i put together with my friend, helen darling. She's a great songwriter and an awesome singer. helen and billy montana wrote jodee messina's "bring on the rain". for those of you who were at wildwood springs, mo; she was co-writer, along with craig bickhardt of "father's day"; which i performed there. anyway, she has a new site, and a new cd (which includes "father's day") that you can buy from her site. other than that, i'm deep in digital world... and loving every minute.
just about got the kinks out of my new computer system. it rocks. i've started recording here at home for my solo project. i've always loved doing my own recording. i got my first multi-track recorder in 1973. i'd been doing mono or sound-on-sound before that. i've always had some kind of home setup. this is light years ahead of anything i've ever had. and yet, pretty modest. a mac g4 with digital performer software. i love it. i seem to be endlessly fascinated by this whole process. i've decided to do a 10 or 11 song project. and this is what i'll be focusing on in the next few months. i'll be one of the pale, squinty people when i finally emerge from my cave. wish me luck.
i've been assembling tunes to dig back into my solo project. i should have my new computer soon. a mac g4. i'll wait a couple of years before getting into a g5. anyway, i'm looking forward to diving in... david llewellyn's project should be done real soon. probably in a week or two... best to mike watson, keep getting better my friend... my publishing company closed it's doors a couple of weeks ago. i'm poking around to see what's out there these days. there's been a rash of closings here in music city. fear lurks in the alleys, but great music will live on.
i've been redesigning my website. be ready for a stunning, jaw-dropping, spectacular visual adventure... i'm kidding - but i am redesigning. i'll have it up soon. no big changes, but a new look. steelville was really a wonderful time. what a great place. what wonderful people. i look forward to returning. tonight i'm doing a benefit for a local recovery house. tons of talent for a good cause. i'm playing bass in the house band. more later.
looks like i'll be going to steeleville, mo with rusty and paul afterall. last minute. i've never been. should be fun. i've been busy writing, demoing, scraping linoleum paste off a hardwood floor. david llewellyn's project is about to start the mixing phase. i'll keep you posted. in other news, former great plains bandmate denny bixby has a new cd out. he writes and arranges his own instrumental jazz. you can listen to samples and order a copy at dennybixby.com. he and i had a great catch-up conversation the other day. he's now working with rodney crowell and is out promoting rodney's new project. i did a showcase earlier this evening with sean patrick mcgraw, an extremely talented friend and co-writer. great music. a friend and i were marveling tonight at the deep pool of talent and creativity in nashville. i'm grateful to have been a part of it all these years. it continues to be an adventure.
we found a home for the puppy we'd rescued. a family with 2 kids and a big fenced yard. they seemed to really want her. thanks to all of you who expressed interest. don't be too surprised if i shamelessly solicit on behalf of some stray animal again... cheers to dennis whelan, one of the poco tribe who was released from the hospital monday, after undergoing bypass surgery. poco is off to maine tomorrow. a friend called this past tuesday to say that 'running horse' was prominently displayed in his favorite record store in rapid city, sd. national distribution is underway. if every one of us just buys, say 70 or 80 copies... world domination!
sue and i have taken in yet another stray dog... and stray cat. long stories, both of them. i just thought i'd make an entry on the chance that someone out there would like to adopt a very sweet 12 week old female beagle mix puppy. we've gotten her all of her shots. we're at our limit of animals around here and can't take on another one. if you or someone you know can give her a loving home, let me know. i once drove a stray dog to minnesota, so i'm probably crazy enough to take this girl where the home is...
i'm about to step off a cliff. my friend david llewellyn and i (well, ok, mostly him) have been working on his cd project off and on for a good while now. it's shaping up beautifully, although the direction has shifted somewhat from where we began. anyway, production has now moved to his basement for the final stages and is centered around his computer and the digital performer software. long story short - i'm about to get a new computer and the same software. the learning curve on this stuff is near 90 degrees - i get vertigo just looking at the box. but hopefully, i will one day in the distant future emerge from my cubicle squinty eyed and pale but with a greatly enhanced ability to pack a hard drive. wish me luck... otherwise, two of our three dogs are recovering nicely from nebulous lump removal. chuck looks like a civil war vet, hobbling about with a bandaged forearm. i fight the urge to salute when we pass in the hall. lots of activity going on behind the scenes on the new poco cd. general release is sept. 9. don't forget to pick up several copies. you never know...
i'm almost recovered from poco's travel-athon... we had a great show in new jersey last thursday, but were supposed to fly out of la guardia on friday. the airport was quite a scene. wall to wall humanity - featuring no AC, lighting, computers... i'm always suprised in those situations that society holds together at all. we wanted to keep our humble minivan an extra day and drop it off in philly. avis told us sure thing, guys! just give us an extra $800! so we stuffed ourselves and our gear into a 4 door sedan for the trip to the airport of brotherly love. anyway, we made it to park city, ut saturday in time for the show. another great time. outdoors in the middle of the ski village. perfect weather. the 7,000+ altitude had our greedy brains gasping for each elusive oxygen molecule. ah, the life of the wandering musician.. on sunday, we missed our connection out of dallas and had to spend the night. i got to know my t-shirt quite well. i'm just now re-aclimating to life in the real world. part of our ceiling fell in during a rain storm while i was gone. you know, human stuff. glad to be home in one piece.
between poco dates and my recent family reunion, i've been a travelin' fool. and it continues. tomorrow poco is off to new jersey and utah (??) the ol' dart board routing. should be fun. we've been to the mill, in spring lake heights, nj once before. a great club, wonderful food, nice folks. i'm also looking forward to park city, ut. never been there, but i love a ski town. my family reunion up in the old home country of northern minnesota was really a treat. i got to see some of my relatives that i haven't seen since i was a little kid. i've missed seeing those folks all these years. i wish i could've been around them more in my life. it was deeply heartening to connect again with cousins, aunts, uncles and assorted relations that i don't know the proper terms for (2nd cousin?, great nephew?... and what's this 'removed' thing...) anyway, i hope we get back together soon. i was gently reminded that family is a deep well.. and i brought a thirst i didn't even know i had. thankyou sundruds.
david llewellyn and i have been hard at it. don't quote me on this, but i believe there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. it's sounding really good. he's a talented guy. i'll let you know when it will be available. poco's trip to southern california was really something special. a host of old poco friends showed up. richie sat in and sang like an angel.dave elliot sent me a couple of pix i'd like to share, from the orange county fair. there's me and rusty (you can see rusty's new, fancy-schmancy guitar that sports regular electric pickups, plus guitar synthesizer and acoustic guitar sound - plus, of course a nice shot of my reverend bass. btw - poco is now officially endorsing elixir guitar strings. try 'em, they're awesome!!) and a nice shot of richie. this weekend past, we did a show in central city, co. paul won $250 in the slots (lucky dog). i dropped $20 in the video poker machines, but had some real fun cruising the old section of town, i picked up some old books and got quite winded from the 8,000 plus altitude. as i write this, our new cat (who has moved directly into our hearts) oscar is curled up in my lap, purring.
poco is off to california in the morning. we're doing 3 shows with richie furay, chris hillman and herb pederson. i'm looking forward to seeing all of those guys. richie will be sitting in with us. i also hope to hook up with a couple of family members. the air, although probably not great, may well be a welcome relief. something in the tennessee summer doesn't agree with my constitution. i've been sneezing and wheezing since my last road trip. allergic bronchitis. sounds like a dinosaur... here's a greatly morphed composite photo of poco in fruita, co., courtesy of tommy williams. i've been asked to report to the poco fanzine on these california dates. i plan a tell all expose'. look out all you country rock pioneers...
i've got to share this picture. paul and his friends the redwoods. and speaking of big trees. sue and i went hiking yesterday at savage gulf, here in middle tennessee. awesome place. beautiful vistas, an idyllic waterfall/swimming hole. the cold, cold water refreshes to the bone. we missed a huge arrow pointing the way on our trail and ended up hiking an extra 2 hours. (city folk!!) i've been doing some work on both my project with david llewellyn and my own solo project. both crawling along. they'll be finished when they're finished... coming up, writing, song pitching, enjoying our new air conditioner (the old one blew up thursday...) and, soon, out to california with poco. life is good.
poco had a great trip. buffalo,ny - ukiah,ca - mpls,mn - oshkosh,wi - loveland, craig and fruita, colorado. saw some old friends, saw some big, big trees, drove for hours through the rocky mountains, good shows, fun music. it was good to be out on the road again. somewhere near the end, however, i came down with the funk. i've been nursing a sinus thing since i got back. i'm just now getting back to my life. i've been sleeping, mending. the thing that brought me out of it was, today when i noticed water running across the kitchen floor... the sink trap had split and i was forced to go out into the world to buy a new one and get out the old pipe wrench to fix it.
hectic last few days. craig bickhardt (my regular co-writer) and i finished up our demo session last night at 1am. everything sounds great. i tell ya, the pool of talent in nashville is absolutely stunning. we had world class musicians. i love being able to work with such a variety of talented folks. tomorrow, early, i get to go out on the road with another bunch of world-class musicians. i'm off for almost 2 weeks with poco. details are almost finished for distribution of our new cd. i look forward to the trip. that said, guess i better get back to packing.
the weather remains cool. i love it. every mild day means one less oppressively hot day. i know - damn yankee - i should just go back home. thing is, i've been a nashvillian for 22 years now. when i lived in minnesota, i complained about the winters... guess that says something about me. sue and i went to see her family in virginia over the weekend. nephew's graduation. it was a very moving ceremony. the speaker said all the be all that you can be stuff, but she spoke with touching sincerity. i've got a demo session coming up this week. hiring a band and going into a local studio to record songs that i've been writing so that my publisher can pitch them to major label artists. i tell ya, it's tough out there. at least for me... i'm looking forward to hitting the road with poco soon. we haven't been doing it quite enough. we'll be doing dates with richie out in california. rumor has it tim may even show.. no, i don't know for sure. probably won't either - until (if and when) he walks in.
i spent most of the last several days involved in activities surrounding my nephew's wedding. my whole family was in town. it was a huge affair and i enjoyed it immensely. sue and i sang at the ceremony. 2 songs i co-wrote with craig bickhardt: i'd move heaven and earth and no trouble. the bride and groom and their assembled friends rekindled my faith in the future. if people like that are next in line to run this place, we'll do just fine...
the most beautiful weather i've ever seen has followed an extended run of severe storms here in middle tennessee. the excess rain has caused many problems, yet the air is so fragrant... like incense. i did a benefit for beat the blues the other night. supporting the tn mental health assoc. john cowan was involved with getting it started a couple of years ago. this years roster included john, leeann womack, the wilkinsons, gordon kennedy, buddy jewell... i played bass in the house band, along with danny flowers-guitar, chris leuzinger-guitar, billy block-drums, pat flynn-acoustic guitar and reese wynans-keyboards. it was an honor to be involved and to work with such a stellar bunch. no poco shows for a couple more weeks. then we start a busy summer. my nephew is getting married here next weekend. the family is coming down from minnesota. writing, demo-ing, helping sue prepare for her junior-high prom event. boredom is not a problem...
so i saw bob dylan. he was, well, bob dylan. he's an original. the sound was good, i could understand a large portion of his words, the band rocked - but - i paid $50 for a ticket, stood in line for 2 hours to get a good seat, only to find that we had to stand for the whole thing. then, of course, there were the dipshits that elbowed their way to the front when dylan started... maybe i'm just too old to deal with that kind of concert scene. if i'd known what the details were, i probably wouldn't have gone. that said, i really did enjoy seeing him. there've been many pretenders in the last 35 years, but he remains the template for the songwriter/poet. work continues on my solo project. i'm actually considering doing a 6 song cd and selling it for 10 bucks. i've noticed that i rarely listen to an entire 10-15 song project all the way through. maybe it's because few artists inspire that kind of commitment, maybe it's because we have so much input these days. my attention span struggles with 45 minutes from any one artist. i've not decided yet, but the idea is intriguing.
i'm off to see bob dylan tonight. i'm excited. i've never seen him in concert. he booked a last minute show at a club here in nashville. we got tix before they sold out. i'll report later. had a nice poco trip this last weekend. va beach and beaufort, nc. i'm really enjoying performing. no more dates 'til june. waaah..
guess i'm back to talking about poco. that's ok. i've been busy writing in between poco activities, but the band is gearing up for a busy summer, so stuff's happening. there is an internet promotion firm that's been quite active in getting the word out about the new cd. some of you may have seen promos or banners on your travels through the wide-wierd-web. this last weekend, we had a great show in covington, ky and 2 sold out shows in st louis. we're doing if your heart needs a hand, never get enough, running horse and if you can't stand to lose from the rh cd. the folks out there have been very receptive to the new stuff as well as the classic poco songs. there was even someone in st louis who yelled out shake it. did my heart good... we may incorporate an acoustic version of that song soon. also, more of paul's stuff. work on my solo project (i just mistyped solo as soso... freudian slip???) is moving along haltingly as poco takes the front burner. i am, however, undaunted. russ and i are having big fun working together. poco is off to va beach and beaufort, sc in a couple of days. be safe.
poco played in nashville last night. what a great time! i saw a bunch of old friends. we're off to kentucky today. it's about 7:45am. (not enough sleep) drive sunday; monday and tuesday in st louis. thanks to all who came out. it was a memorable and affirming night.
rainy afternoon. just awoke from a great nap. i was out at russ pahl's today. we're working on my solo project. lots of fun. russ and i spent a whole lot of time together a few years back. on the road with michael johnson, nicolette larson and also as members of great plains. he's just finishing up a project that he's produced on legendary steel guitar icon lloyd green. they hope to have it done and available in time for the national steel guitar convention coming up soon. we're putting my project together in the schedule holes we can find. piece by piece, it's coming together. no idea when we'll be done... yesterday i spent some time with david llewellyn. i've been producing his new cd, along with him. we've had a lull in activity; again because of scheduling. he's been getting all the digital files together (doing these digital projects at more than one place can become quite confusing) so that we can do the final mixes. paul cotton will be coming to town this coming week for rehearsals. poco is doing a show here in nashville at 12th and porter on friday. lots of friends will be out for that one.
we just got back from a lovely, relaxing week in mexico. we went for the fifth consecutive year to maya tulum - about 2 hours south of cancun. we go with a group from atlanta for a yoga retreat. remember that film (and play) same time next year? we've become great friends with a bunch of folks that we see only once a year. and only barefoot and relaxed at that... nothing like a week in a little thatch-roof cabana a few feet from the ocean to return some perspective to a hectic life. i did some serious reading, napping, snorkeling, yoga-ing, eating, napping, massage-getting, napping, beach walking, did i mention napping? you get the picture. no tv, no phone, no news... i guess the world can whirl even without me...
the world's a wacky place these days. here in tennessee, spring is in the air. redbud trees are starting to bloom despite the cold. we've had one of the most winter-like winters in recent memory. as for me; i write songs, i tend to my home, i talk to friends. life goes on. happy birthday to my brother scott. i won't say his age, although he's like really old... we're off to mexico for our annual spring yoga retreat next week. the sun, sand and palm trees will be welcome indeed. starting the end of the month, poco will be gearing up for summer. lots of fun stuff coming up. be well.
just got back from a brief trip to minnesota. visited the folks. i stopped in kansas city on my way back to visit with my old friends jim and jeri. you've all heard jim's voice. he does tv spots for quizno's, nfl, hallmark and a bunch more. we're old friends from my days in fargo, nd. it's been colder here. and did i say wet? the animals are all hanging out in twos. sunshine is but a rumor.
i did a very fun gig last night. michael kelsh hosted a show at the basement, here in nashville. it was a fun night of cover tunes only. we songwriters tend to take ourselves a bit seriously sometimes, so the night was just relaxed music with folks calling out songs from the audience. the lineup was michael kelsh, myself, rusty young, john cowan and robert reynolds - from the mavericks. a big time was had by all. next time we do it, i'll be sure to post it. if you're near, come on down... we've had what seems like 40 days and nights of continuous rain. everything is soaked. should be a mighty green spring...
i just came from my friend (and old great plains mate) russ pahl's place. we're putting together my first solo cd project. in the digital age, this involves figureing out how to swap files and synch different boxes to talk to each other. today we were in midi hell. we finally got the clock issue sorted out, only to find that the spdif connectors were not the same type. i have to go back later with the proper light pipe adaptor. the process can be mind numbing, but the end product will, hopefully, sound like music. snow day again... sue is not teaching today. she's had a flurry (pun intended) of days off in the last few weeks. i love it. the air reminds me of my native minnesota. i've put up a new great plains photo gallery on the great plains page. i'm going to build a section of material on my old band. i'm doing it for archival purposes, sure, but also as a tribute to a great bunch of guys and an exciting time in my life... lots happening in pocoland. there's talk of a live recording, european distribution on the running horse cd, and a bunch of live dates for the upcoming season; many of them with richie furay.
new leaf here. i'm commandeering my journal page for my own bad self. my readership stopped by mostly for poco news which is now located on the band's website. i've finished my course for songu.com. the course is on home recording, something i've been doing for about 30 years. danny arena and sara light, friends and publishing mates, have been doing a great job of songwriting education on the internet for a few years. this is a new venture that all songwriters should check out. i'm also nearly finished helping to put together the new cd by welsh folk artist david llewellyn. he's a friend and neighbor. not sure when exactly the street date will be, but i'll let you know. also, i've just come across a cache of great plains memorabilia. someone out there kicked my ass a while ago to get some more gp stuff up on my site. well, that time is getting closer... i'm back in the groove songwriting. i was concentrating on the above mentioned projects for the last part of '02. poco dates are starting to come in for the summer touring season. i hope to get out a bunch this year. later...
we had 7 inches of snow here in music city a couple of days ago. just like old home back in minnesota. things are slow in pocoland right now. the internet introduction of the new cd is slowly creeping out across the web. the next phase will probably involve some kind of distribution, along with touring. i have just a couple of tweaks to my songu.com course on home recording, and mixing to do on the david llewellyn project. i'll make a big deal out of both when they're done, trust me...
i'm still trying to finish up the previously mentioned projects. getting dangerously close on both. very soon now i'm going to do some revamping around here. look for my new entries to be witty, profound and entirely logic-free. hope everyone out there is off to a great 2003.