These days, I am very involved in creating new albums for myself and my daughter, Lexie, as well as my continued work for Gibson, bringing you the best in instruction……The live performing I have been able to continue to do, plus the teaching has really stirred up the creative pot for me, and has me thinking of all kinds of album projects. My most recent have been two “cover” albums where I did solo acoustic versions of Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel tunes. Each one of these 2 cds represents one type of direction I am going in, and where I hope to do more with the same idea in mind. I am also working on a duet guitar album with Nashville songwriter, Mike Garvin, and am beginning to record some ideas for a new all-electric band album, which would be a follow-up to the latest cd I did with Levon Helm, “Toolin’ Around Woodstock.”
I guess the reason this all makes me harken to the “good old days” is that it brings up a time of innocence when all that ever mattered was the music. Times are so much more complex right now, and it feels like such a far cry from the times when all I had to worry about was where my next gig was going to come from, and how I was going to further my career, and be a better guitar player. One thing always led to another, and the phone always rang with new and exciting gigs, and I even had my “lucky” phone booth, where all these gigs would always seem to come in!
When I can see it through my daughter’s eyes, I can certainly see more of the simple innocence that I can recall when I was her age, but even for her, this is a far more complex world than it was for me back in the late ‘60s and ‘70s. There is so much more to worry about financially, and it’s so much harder to really “break in” to the business, regardless of how much talent you may have. When I was really starting out, there wasn’t a great guitarist on every block like there are these days, and you could still really stand out from the crowd as a player. Nowadays, there are many avenues, but the one that has the most impact, the live gig, seems to be getting harder and harder to find.
Regardless of this all, I am still very thankful for having enough of my foothold in the “good old days”, and to be able to experience this new world in music these days for myself, as well as my daughter and her musical aspirations!