Archive

Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

Seasons In The Field

November 3rd, 2014 Jorma 17 comments

It’s 0603… Daylight Savings Time left us yesterday morning but the good old internal clock said, ‘It’s time to get up.’ DST or not, it’s still dark out and we are well into Fall for sure. Living in the country as I do, I find myself really tuned into the purpose we give to seasons… sowing… reaping… the rhythm of life that moves us all. I think of the seasons in my own life and like everyone else, I wish I had more time. That thought would have never crossed my mind when I was younger… life was an endless stream of summers and time was of no consequence. All this said, I am the most fortunate of men. At an age when my Father seemed to search relentlessly for things to occupy his time in a meaningful way, I am still able to be not only an active participant in my chosen profession… but still productive.

I just finished work on my new CD project for Red House Records and we are slated for a February 17, 2015 release date. Out of eleven songs I have four originals. Three new ones and a reprise of Bar Room Crystal Ball. Why redo an old song like this? Because I wanted the words to be heard and in my current recordings, you can understand all my words. As a song writer, today I want the words to be understood.

I have talked about this before, but for me today… it is all about the story… the fact that the guitar is my vehicle for this tell is incidental. Of course this does not minimize the guitar in my life… not at all. Without the guitar my life would have been of far less consequence.

The seasons come, and the seasons go, and for today I am enjoying my place in Fall.

This coming weekend is our final weekend of the 17th year at the Fur Peace Ranch and we will be hosting Jack Casady, G.E.Smith, myself and Spencer Bohren.. It should be a rockin’ weekend… as always!

More will be revealed!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts, Venues Tags:

A Day Late And A Dollar Short

October 15th, 2014 Jorma 15 comments

OK… the weekend that was is long gone and the weekend to come is almost here…Yeah, I’m a day late and a dollar short… but better late than never! Sitting here at the dealer (0819) getting my truck serviced… yeah, time to update the site a little.

Rusty Smith and Jerron 'Blind Boy' Paxton cut a rug

Rusty Smith and Jerron 'Blind Boy' Paxton cut a rug

So, last weekend at the Fur Peace Ranch we hosted Larry Campbell, the Rev. Robert Jones and myself. Larry and I had just finished recording my new CD and he stayed on to teach a class and to be joined by the lovely Teresa Williams to play a fabulous set Saturday night before Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton went on. Now, as if the musical excellence that Larry Campbell and Rev. Jones brought to the Ranch were not enough… Jerron Paxton just knocked our socks off.

During the sound check, our worthy producer of ‘Live At The Fur Peace Ranch,’ Rusty Smith (from WOUB) took a break from setting up mikes to grab a fiddle and start sawing on the strings. Loved it!

Larry and Teresa, live and in person backstage at the Fur Peace Station

Larry and Teresa, live and in person backstage at the Fur Peace Station

Jerron Paxton’s show was something I can hardly wait to see again… There is nothing like being witness to living artistic tradition. Sunday night, Larry and Teresa and I played for about a half an hour for the campers and then Rev. Jones came out and played another unbelievable set. What an unbelievable weekend of music and fellowship.

Fall colors wrap HIllside Farm in glory!

Fall colors wrap HIllside Farm in glory!

Monday on the way back to Hillside Farm, the Fall foliage just reminded me how great it is to be alive on a day like this.

Well, that’s about it for now. As always, I’m sure more will be revealed.

The tree by my pole barn

The tree by my pole barn

Categories: Diary, Friends, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts, Venues Tags:

Turn, Turn, Turn… And Some Geekery

October 3rd, 2014 Jorma 10 comments
The Izze Tree

The Izze Tree

Right before Izze came to us… I planted this Norway Spruce. It was about ten inches tall. It was a bit of time before it really took root… it is now taller than I am. I wish this for my children, that they will grow as straight and strong and tall as this tree… and I’m sure they will.

Myron and the bass!

Myron and the bass!

Myron is doing some bass parts right now and I have the miking information for my guitar from Justin Guip himself:

Gear From Justin Guip

Guitar
Microphone Mic Pre compressor eq

Royer 122 Api-512c Api-525 Api 550-b
Neumann U87 Api-512c Api-525 Api 550-b
Telefunken U47 Neve 33115 LA-3A Neve 33115
Fishman Aura DI Api 3124

Guitar Room Mike

(Stereo)
Rode-NT5 Drawmer 1969 ditto *

Vocal Mikes

Telefunken
ELAM 250 Neve 3115 LA 3A Neve
Sure SM7 Focusrite * *
ISA220

Enjoy, you gear geeks out there… remember, we’re there for you!

Yeah, I know it's a leech field... but it's still pretty

Yeah, I know it's a leech field... but it's still pretty

Onward!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts, Venues Tags:

Fourth Day Of Recording At The Ranch

October 2nd, 2014 Jorma 18 comments
Angels At The Ranch

Angels At The Ranch

We’re busting hump here… 9 basics done…

A lovely fall accompanies the music!

A lovely fall accompanies the music!

Good music is being made…

You start a project and no matter what you envision, one you need to keep your heart open to messages from your higher power… and they are there if you listen.

I love this time of year...

I love this time of year...

Recording here in my back yard is something new for me… I could get used to it. Yes, it’s a long day of work, but at least I get to sleep in my on bed.

The Station Break Cafe

The Station Break Cafe

As one of my friends said yesterday as we were working late… ‘This is really work for you!’ Indeed, it is. It has little to do with live music in terms of execution… but it sure beats digging ditches.

Making music is a death defying act!

Making music is a death defying act!

No tip off yet on the tunes… many of them songs no one has ever heard me play live before.

Jorma at the office...

Jorma at the office...

Now, if you’re really a guitar geek… maybe you can tell what song I’m playing by the capo position and the chord shape… hmmmm…

Teresa gets ready to sing and make me sound good!

Teresa gets ready to sing and make me sound good!

That’s about it for now… I’m busy… I’m tired… but it’s going great!

Onward!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts, Venues Tags:

Recording Begins At The Fur Peace Ranch

September 29th, 2014 Jorma 13 comments
Early evening Fall sky at the FPR

Early evening Fall sky at the FPR

So Larry Campbell came in yesterday to produce and play on my new recording project for Red House Records. We’re doing this at the Fur Peace Station so we have converted the Station into a recording facility for the next ten days or so. Justin Guip came down from Woodstock, N.Y. to engineer the session and to play drums as needed. (Justin is also currently playing drums with Electric Hot Tuna.) With the able assistance of Myron Hart my guitar tech and pal… we got three songs done the first afternoon… well, basics, anyway.

Kirchen's poster still rules the stage

Kirchen's poster still rules the stage

Myron, Larry, Justin and me...

Myron, Larry, Justin and me...

Well, that’s about it for the first day… good sounds with more to come. I’ll sleep well tonight.

Goodnight Ranch

Goodnight Ranch

Reflections On A Sunday Afternoon

September 28th, 2014 Jorma 15 comments
Fall comes to Meigs County

Fall comes to Meigs County

The tides of life rise and fall obedient to the gravitational pull of celestial bodies known and understood only by them. The cycle of good times lasts only so long before the sine wave of life thrusts us below the surface in a bi-polar swing. It used to be that a decade seemed like a lifetime… now it’s more like a month.

I was thinking about my friend Marjorie who passed earlier this month. She and hers had become family to all of us here in Southeast Ohio over the last fifteen or so years. Where did those years go? I guess the river of time claimed them as it swept all those moments downstream. It seems so… well, unlikely, so inconceivable, that she and I will no longer confer before a class at the Fur Peace Ranch… that I will no longer benefit from her often incisive and opinionated world views.

Grieving is such a selfish thing. Marjorie’s pain is over… her Samsara has moved to another plane, and she with it. I have come to realize that there is no way that one can ever truly say, ‘I know exactly how you feel.’ I believe that to be one of the most presumptuous statements. No one can ever really know how another feels… all we can do is try to relate. I guess what I am saying is that my grief is for me… that I will miss my friend. Do my thoughts and prayers go out to her family? Of course they do. But the grief that we all feel from loss surrounds us alone. I have realized that I am sorry for me… for my loss.

At almost seventy four years of age, I have lost friends and family members. Fortunately I have the distinct good fortune to still be alive… to be sitting here writing about it. My Dad has been gone for eighteen years, Mom for seventeen. They were both born in 1910… they would be 104 years old if they were still alive… Let’s face it, we will all pass at the end of the race. At least that’s what I’ve been told. When our breath stops, we truly belong to the ages. Everything we might have been will never come to pass. The story will have been written with a final ending. Those ripples we send out as we plunge into the pool of life will expand in concentric circles… and grow less, and less… until the pond is once more like glass.

And that is the way of things. A strong memory keeps things of the heart close at hand. At the end of the day, those of us left behind soldier on and new stories will emerge to be told, retold and heard.

To have made waves in our time here would seem to have been a good thing. As I sit here on the eve of beginning a new recording project I am thinking about making a few more waves. Still and all, the fragility of it all is inescapable. Thinking back on one of the great Robert Duvall movies, Broken Trail, one of his lines sticks with me. ‘Birth to death, from the sweet grass to the packing house… we journey between the two eternities.’ At this point in my life with the journey closer to the end than the beginning, each moment seems more and more precious every day.

It is a beautiful Fall day here in Southeast Ohio. I would like to go for a motorcycle ride and convince my daughter to go with me. This may or may not happen depending on her mood and desires… but one way or the other, we’re going to spend the rest of the afternoon together. If she doesn’t want to ride, we may do some archery or the like, or maybe I’ll just keep her company while she reads.

If that’s as good as it’s going to get, it’s perfect.

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

From The Rink To The Pawpaw Festival

September 13th, 2014 Jorma 13 comments
Smors and the moon... perfect

Smors and the moon... perfect

We had a great family cookout and then a campfire with smors… not too hot… not too cold. Perfect way to appreciate the coming of Fall.

Country girl with her Samsung Galaxie, waiting to go skating

County girl with her Samsung Galaxie, waiting to go skating

Izze conned me into going skating with her again… well, I didn’t need too much conning. I just need to heed my body’s warnings about what I can and can’t do on blades anymore. That said… it is still really all good.

The old man... and the frozen sea (apologies to Hemingway)

The old man... and the frozen sea (apologies to Hemingway)

Friday came, and it was Shabbat Shalom at the Hillel in Athens.

Loved this passage

Loved this passage

It was my first time back at services this Fall, and to be back with the community was a blessing indeed. After services, Nessa and Izze and I stopped off at the Court Street Diner for dinner. Love this place… and the senior citizen discount. It used to be 20%. They cut it down to 10% but if you get there before 0900, you qualify for the Early Bird Special which adds another 10%. Just sayin’.

Last night we watched The Hornets Nest about one of our elite units in Afghanistan. This is a must see, in my opinion.Today we all went to the 2014 Pawpaw Festival at Lake Snowden. This is my second year at the Pawpaw Festival and a good time was had by all.

Yeah, they had snakes.

Yeah, they had snakes.

The first thing we saw, were snakes. Now I’m not really a snake person, but this was pretty cool… from a safe distance.

The totem pole

The totem pole

There was a sacred fire circle… totemic sculptures… all good stuff.

The girls go shopping

The girls go shopping

who would have thought tye die would be an enduring industry?

who would have thought tye die would be an enduring industry?

A we were getting ready to leave, I saw bunch of stilts at the Haulin’ Hoof Farm booth. Just seeing stilts brought me back to when I was a kid… not even a teenager. My Mother was born on a tobacco farm in East Windsor, Connecticut. It was still in operation when I was young. We drove up there one summer and I got to spend a couple of days ‘working’ on the farm. After the harvested the tobacco, they speared the stalks with a lathe and when the lathes were full, they hung them in the barn to cure. The spearing was too dangerous for an inept city kid like me, but the hangers walked on stilts to hang the full lathes at various levels in the barn. My Grandfather Ben, taught me how to walk on the stilts. ‘Pull up with your hands, push down with your feet.’ And so it was.

I bought a pair… messed around a little and…

And so… over 60 years later, here I am.

It's like riding a bike...

It's like riding a bike...

Check out the Haulin’ Hoof Farm website. www.haulinhooffarm.com.

Onward…

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

I Remember 9-11-2001

September 11th, 2014 Jorma 14 comments
My friend, David Weiss

My friend, David Weiss

Another year has passed, and here it is September 11, once more. My friend Jerry and I usually ride a memorial run at this time each year. This year we drove. Jer’ wasn’t feeling up to snuff. David was the first name with a face for me on that fateful morning… I use his name, but I honor them all. In some respects it seems like yesterday that the world turned that corner… and yet it is thirteen years ago. It is up to us who remember that fateful morning in the first person to take special care to carry the tell to those who were too young to remember that day…

I remember in 2003 I was on a Rt. 66 motorcycle trip back and forth across the country with Jerry. We stopped in Oklahoma City to pay our respects at the Murrah Memorial. It is a very powerful memorial indeed. Anyway, we were talking to one of the law enforcement officers stationed on site. ‘Some people say we need to forget this and get past it,’ he said… paused, and then continued. ‘We need to remember this every day!’ I couldn’t agree more.

As for the victims of 9/11/2001… may they rest in peace. They, and their families are often in my prayers.

Normally, Jerry and I ride our motorcycles as I intimated. Jer’ had some physical issues today so we did it in my truck.

We both remember, and I hope you do too.

Onward!

Categories: Diary, Thoughts, trips and journeys Tags:

Catching Up… A Week’s Worth

August 25th, 2014 Jorma 9 comments
Heading out of Meigs

Heading out of Meigs

So, last Wednesday I started up to Columbus around 2000 to pick my son Zach up at the airport. ON Rt. 33 just off my home road, I noticed this great sunset and just had to take a shot. Zach came in around 2230 and we burned it back to the county so we could get some sleep and hit Burr Oak Lake on Thursday with my pal Jerry, my nephew Montana and Zach and Izze.

We got to the marina about 1000 just in time to snag a pontoon boat.

Let that girl drive...

Let that girl drive...

There was some rain coming according to the radar, our luck was holding.

Zach, surveying his fiefdom

Zach, surveying his fiefdom

Burr Oak is one of those CCC projects… used to be a reservoir… now it’s just a big, beautiful lake for all to enjoy.

Da kidz enjoying the voyage

Da kidz enjoying the voyage

Good times were abounding.

Little bit of rain... who cares?

Little bit of rain... who cares?

A great day for all. Friday, we all headed to the Fur Peace Ranch for a weekend with Tom Feldman on slide, Roy Book Binder, Livingston Taylor and myself. A great weekend of music and fellowship!

If you build it, they will come...

If you build it, they will come...

Saturday night was beautiful… very beautiful. A hot August Ohio night… with good music and lots of people. What a great show Roy and Livingston put on!

Zach and Hurl backstage at the Station

Zach and Hurl backstage at the Station

Before you know it, it was Sunday and student performance.

The campers and us in front of the Station

The campers and us in front of the Station

Tom and I did a little show for the folks Sunday night and Zach and I road our motorcycles home to Hillside Farm. This was his first night ride, so I took the lead. There was a scent in the air… it reminded me of when I was sixteen in Manila, P.I. and I would drive my Lambretta at night. Through the hot, muggy night, the smell of copra would wrap us in it’s sweet aroma. It was like a window time for me. Maybe I was the only rider who got to smell that tropical smell… who knows.

For a very brief moment, I was sixteen again. Nice… that doesn’t happen often.

Today, a half a day of camp and then Zach and I took a 70 mile ride and met the girls at the China Panda in Athens for dinner… then a ride home.

Good times… very good!

Categories: Diary, Friends, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts, Venues Tags:

Bounty On The Bricks

August 10th, 2014 Jorma 5 comments

We had such a great time at Bounty On The Bricks in Athens, Ohio. Needless to say, tickets sold out quickly… we were so lucky to get in. Anyway, Vanessa wrote such a nice article I thought I’d abdicate my space and just let her do the talking:

The old Athena on Court Street spreads the news

The old Athena on Court Street spreads the news

‘Hey now, Vanessa here… every once in a blue moon or in this case a super moon, I get to hijack Jorma’s blog. Since I was a part of this amazing night we just had…..I thought I would weigh in. We live just outside of Athens, Ohio. If you’ve never been here…in the rolling foothills of southeast Ohio…..you owe it to yourself to take a drive and see what it’s all about. We don’t have an ocean, we don’t have the Eiffel tower, and we don’t an Arch but we have the beauty of the land and so much more and if you are paying attention it calls out to you with it’s lush hills and it’s music that’s played in all four corners of the county from the Fur Peace Ranch to pubs in Athens. This place is gentle and wild, rustic and new, peaceful though mighty, sustainable and fresh… not to mention we have a community full a great folks who really care about where they live. Jorma stumbled on our little part of the world in 1985 with his band, There Goes the Neighborhood and we ended up here in 1990.

The Athens Celtic Sessions Band

The Athens Celtic Sessions Band

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Tonight…..we were in the heart of it all at the 2nd Annual Bounty on the Bricks. The bricks is Court Street that runs from one end of town to the other. The bounty was indeed a bounty…a feast…a garden of delights served to about 330 community members who sat at a table that stretched almost the length of Court Street. Hosted by the Athens Foundation who’s goal is to provide funding for education, health, social services, animal welfare, public affairs, recreation, the environment and arts, culture and humanities. Seems like a lot in that one sentence….but they do so much more. They are committed to engaging and maintaining a healthy and inclusive community where there are opportunities for everyone. Tonight….the money raised on tickets sales for this dining extravaganza will be shared with a 7 county wide stretch of food pantries to enhance their capacity to serve more healthy foods to those in need. Last year, 18 pantries and 196,000 people were effected by their generous donation.

Jorma at the Courthouse, pickin' not picketing

Jorma at the Courthouse, pickin' not picketing

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

The event sold out quick….I was on vacation when the tickets went on sale. When I found out about it I called them from the beach in Maine. I had to miss last years event because we had a show at the Fur Peace Ranch…..I just couldn’t miss another year. I pled my case and offered up my husband, Jorma to maybe kick off the event with a few tunes. Thank you Jorma! He got us in. I invited my sis, Ginger, one of the original designers of the Fur Peace idea and John Hurlbut….our great Ranch Manager and old friend. It seemed like everyone we knew was there in what had to be the social event of the summer. The weather was perfect, and the buzz of everyone meeting up and listening to some great music that included, Athens Celtic Session Band, Jorma (thank you, thank you again), Rye Burhans & Words of Mouth Jazz Band were electrifying. When the dinner bell rang, Jorma had just finished up his last tune. I have to say that the dinner bell got more applause than the ol’ man…..but that’s OK. We’d been waiting all week for this.

The menu... a veritable cornucopia of goodness

The menu... a veritable cornucopia of goodness

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

The food was over the top delicious and all of it came from our community of growers and farmers. Integration Acres Goat Cheese, Shagbark Mills Corn Meal Crisp, Green Edge Leaf Greens, Shade Winery Cabernet, King Farm Chicken and Pork, , Vest Farm Kale & Chard, Snowville Creamery Sweetened Whipped Cream, Avalanche Bakery Artisan Breads, Herbal Sage Teas , Jackie O’s Artisan Beer and more wine provided by Raven’s Glen and Kinkead Wineries.

Let the eating begin!

Let the eating begin!

And it did...

And it did...

I could list the menu items….but it would take up another entire blog. Let’s just say that the food was mouthwatering. The Chef…Master Chef Alfonso A. Contrisciani outdid himself! It took the hard work of the Athens Foundation Committee Members to pull this off and a whole lot of volunteers. Such a treat to have a night out away from our own busy schedule at Fur Peace and to be able to sit amongst friends and no matter where you looked there were people that cared enough to make this night happen.’

Bon appetit

Bon appetit

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Categories: Diary, Friends, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts, Venues Tags: