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Duende And Thoughts Of Upcoming Dana Point

January 16th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

We have two great weekends coming up at this year’s Fur Peace Ranch On The Road at Dana Point In San Diego. The first week will feature G.E. Smith which would be Feb. 2nd through 6th. The second weekend would be be Me (Jorma) with David Wolff, and Larry Campbell… Feb. 9th through 13th.

It’s been an interesting time to say the least. Recently a number of friends have passed… some my age, some quite young. These things tend to lead to reflection. I start to think about what is important to me in my life and in my art and at this point in time, it is the tell… the story. I love the guitar, the instrument, the music, but these are the setting for the story… the real jewel.

Feb. 02, through 06th, 2015, at Dana Point in San Diego, is a songwriting workshop and I have been rethinking my approach to a class that so far, has been quite successful. We’ll be dealing with melody for sure. What is a song without the song? That said, this time around I see some serious interactive discussions about message, motive and metaphor.

My method has always been to write from life. I need to write about things that are affecting me at the time of the writing. I have never really been able to put myself in someone else’s shoes and create an imaginary landscape from scratch. Hopefully we will be able to learn to discuss the writing process and the emotions that drive it in an un-self conscious way. The writer will be led to put words on paper and music in the air in a way that will leave a lasting memory in the listener.

For me, song writing has always been cathartic and as a goal, to be able to really say what you mean and have others actually understand it is worth striving for.

Having just put all the emphasis on lyrics in these previous paragraphs… I’m going to back track a little for this next class, the 9th through the 13th of February, 2015… also at Dana Point In San Diego. In this workshop we’ll be learning, yes, instrumentals. Mostly ones that I have written, but not limiting ourselves to that. Again, with or without words, a musical piece must take you on a journey that has a beginning and an end. This is not about technical flash although we hope the songs we have chosen will challenge an elevate the student. It is about taking one on a listening journey that will have them at the end of the song saying to themselves, ‘That was nice!’

Since I’ll be going out to San Diego in about a week, I find myself psyching up for the trip and the teaching experience…. And having said that…

From Apprenticeship Of The Mule
Charlie Mehrhoff
‘They hand you a pen and perhaps some small corner to make
your home. And if you discover the strength which carries one
past exhaustion, if you are blessed, perhaps someone will arrive
to look over your shoulder and read what you are doing,
what you have done.
And if you are of the word, and if you have the duende,
they’ll be standing there, reading, long after you have gone.’

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  1. Craig K.
    January 16th, 2015 at 16:00 | #1

    Any shows scheduled for San Diego? Nothing is listed on the website…I just happen to be out there in a week myself.

  2. Ben
    January 16th, 2015 at 18:19 | #2

    Write on Capt. The words are stars in all our crowns.

  3. Andriy
    January 16th, 2015 at 18:51 | #3

    I look forward to one day when I can be there to learn. My friend suggested this site as a great place to improve English reading and writing skills. She is correct in her suggestion. Maybe her sentimental thoughts were not appreciated by a few guys but others here got along with her. To learn from everyday life and express my feelings in a song, is a freedom that is not given in the country where I came here from.

  4. Larry Petrillo
    January 16th, 2015 at 20:47 | #4

    Love the Mehrhoff quote. Thanks for sharing ..

  5. January 16th, 2015 at 21:47 | #5

    What country do you come from Andriy?

  6. charles newman
    January 16th, 2015 at 23:27 | #6

    I’ve sat for days at a time staring at paper, the outdoors, the indoors and the inner me and come up dry and unable to get anything to come. Then sometimes I’ll be half asleep or shopping etc. and a phrase will just pop in sometimes complete with music. The music is better and more complete on the half asleep ones. Shame is I don’t read/write music. All memory. That being said I think Jormas approach is to be natural as possible.

  7. Mike Anderson
    January 17th, 2015 at 00:16 | #7

    Just thought I’d make a quick stop here on a cold Connecticut night watching some amazing videos on YouTube of Jorma from way back in the 70’s, the early 70’s was when I veered away form my crush on Grace to turn my attention to the Hot Tuna aspect. Through 4 years in the Navy and other adventures, I finally made it to my 1st Jorma show in 1980 at Toad’s Place in New Haven. Back then New Haven was a gold mine of musical venues, small coffee house style bars. A great time. Anyway, I don’t know where these videos came from but they’re great at reviving very fond memories! I was so mesmerized by Jorma’s playing that I went and bought tickets for a few friends and relatives to his next show there. Now I’m older and it’s a little harder to get out to see him or the Tuna line-up wen they breeze through our little state. Life can sure get in the way.

  8. jim hitchcock
    January 17th, 2015 at 09:52 | #8

    One could argue, Mike, that when I left L.A. for Carson City 8 years ago, I left a lot of culture behind. But check out Oct. 18th (2012):


  9. Mike Anderson
    January 17th, 2015 at 11:51 | #9

    I’ve seen Hot Tuna and Jorma shows over a long period of time up here, I’ve been fortunate enough to even have chance meetings with him and he is the complete gentleman. There are some great venues here that he has played but I would really like to see them all at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, CT, it’s considered one of the best acoustical theaters in the USA. Being semi-retired now brings budget constraints, we started late with having children and now with college costs and all we are being frugal so seeing these shows on YouTube is probably the next best thing.

  10. January 17th, 2015 at 12:35 | #10

    Hey Mike… I get it, believe me. In a normal world, I’d be a great grandfather but in this one I’ve got a 17 year old son and an 8 year old daughter. Good times for sure.

  11. jim hitchcock
    January 17th, 2015 at 13:07 | #11

    You tube is exactly that to me, Mike. A so far largely untapped gold mine that brings recollections back to the here and now.

    An aside to Chuck: it’s always been a wonder to me that when our minds are the most relaxed, when it’s most deprived of outside sensory input, it turns to it’s own creative devices?

    Whoa, forgive me, Jerry Garcia/Joseph Campbell influence, I guess 🙂

  12. Steve Levenson
    January 17th, 2015 at 14:27 | #12

    “In a normal world” – When my parents married they were 10 years younger than I was when I got married-but when I became a grandparent I was 10 years younger than they were when they became grandparents. I have a friend who became a grandparent at 39, and one who had her 1st child at 42. So, like they say, why be normal? Just be happy. And yes, getting to spend time with those who are generations younger is good times for sure. Keep smiling…….

  13. johno
    January 18th, 2015 at 11:54 | #13

    Jorma – my guess would be he’s from the Ukraine or Russia. I have a friend from Jersey with that name. He’s Ukrainian.

  14. Anna Stegemoeller
    January 18th, 2015 at 18:48 | #14

    That was nice. 🙂

  15. Kerry Cavanaugh
    January 19th, 2015 at 13:13 | #15

    Getting my tickets today for your show in Athens at the Melting Point! I can hardly wait! I hope to get the opportunity to talk with you, but will be more then happy to see you play live! See yo then!

  16. Andriy
    January 19th, 2015 at 17:26 | #16

    @Jorma Thank you yes I am from Ukraine. My name is pronounced here as Andre-e.

  17. Andriy
    January 19th, 2015 at 17:37 | #17

    @johno Thank you johno. You are the nice guy and you like fishing and to be in nature. Also here I can say hello to John b. He likes art. Also hello to Jim Hitchcock. He likes films. Ham with eggs is a teacher of kids they need extra help. So many others here very nice for reading and writing. Thanks you for being here.!

  18. Ham n Eggs
    January 19th, 2015 at 20:59 | #18

    Just finished reading Taras Bulba!
    Several of my friends from high school were children of Ukrainian immigrants and /or from the Ukraine. The area around the Old Fillmore East on Second Avenue was Little Ukraine. It was through them I was introduced to the magic that is the East Village. Thank you for your post and kind thoughts.
    Love All Ways

  19. jim hitchcock
    January 19th, 2015 at 22:37 | #19

    Well, hello, Andriy, very nice to meet you 🙂

  20. charles newman
  21. charles newman
    January 19th, 2015 at 22:58 | #21

    Well of course I hit the wrong button but hopefully @Andriy knows this was meant for him.

  22. January 20th, 2015 at 08:17 | #22

    Hey Andriy… My Mother’s Father was from the Ukraine… My Mother’s Mother was from St. Petersburg… They came to the U.S. in the 1890’s.

  23. johno
    January 20th, 2015 at 11:04 | #23

    Andrij – how did you know I like to go fishing? I’ve been fly fishing for over 25 years in the Catskill mountains in upstate New York. My license plates reads
    FLIFISHN. Are you clairvoyant?

  24. John B
    January 20th, 2015 at 11:57 | #24

    Hey there Andrij. Welcome.

  25. Andriy
    January 20th, 2015 at 16:00 | #25

    @Jorma Very good they came to usa because you are here to make great songs and music. Also very beautiful photos that you take in the usa and share here with us. Thank you for all these good things .

  26. Andriy
    January 20th, 2015 at 16:07 | #26

    @johno I Am 28. You are fishing almost my whole life! I Hear about you and read about in discussions here. Thanks to all here for welcomes for me.

  27. johno
    January 20th, 2015 at 16:44 | #27

    Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself – if you don’t mind.

  28. Andriy
    January 20th, 2015 at 17:35 | #28

    Because you ask, I do not mind writing. I Live in brighton beach by the ocean. Very nice with fishing and birds beautiful nature.

  29. johno
    January 20th, 2015 at 17:47 | #29

    Brighton Beach is beautiful. Thanks.

  30. johno
    January 21st, 2015 at 22:15 | #30

    How many years have you been in the USA – how do like it here – have you ever see Jorma or Hot Tuna perform.

  31. andriy holovatyy
    January 22nd, 2015 at 15:23 | #31

    I was hurt in the war then time for me to leave for usa. I am waiter in restaurant serving Ukraine food. Also volunteer math tutor for kids. I love to live here.
    Barbara comes to eat in restaurant where I meet her. She helps me to learn more English. We read together the New York newspapers and she gives me books and many DVD. I have very busy hours working no time for seeing Hot Tuna concerts but o.k. because I watch the videos. I am saving my money maybe one day I can travel to see new places in usa and see Hot Tuna. Until then I am serving the hot tuna!

  32. Ham n Eggs
    January 22nd, 2015 at 17:25 | #32

    So I connected with my old friend since we were discussing Ukraine and well I’ll let him have his say
    …”thanks for thinking of me and for sending this. I have a pet peeve when the Media says, ‘The Ukraine’ because it was part of Stalin’s Russification of Ukraine. He wanted to erase the language, the culture, and the history.
    Russians always considered Ukraine as ‘theirs’ so to add the article gives it a feeling of region like, the Rockies, the Alps, the Midwest, the Soviet Union, the USSR, etc.

    The France, the Japan, the Germany, the Ireland, the Italy?
    So, it should be just plain …Ukraine. That’s my rant for today.”
    Just a thought to think about.
    Love All Ways
    and how do you say Peace and Love in Ukrainian?

  33. charles newman
    January 23rd, 2015 at 01:27 | #33

    @Ham n Eggs
    I usually say it with sarma and a great bread.

  34. Martha
    January 26th, 2015 at 07:25 | #34

    I was at the Dana for songwriting last year. I started as a quivering trembling, simpering, self-doubting………(etc.) , but I lived through my first hours and became a little less shy! AND Jorma plays lots of music during class, so just as Judy sings the first song ever with the word “recapitulated” in it, Jorma adds a little Living in the Moment… it didn’t get better than that. Calvin’s African piece during open mike?? So bold and brave. Hats off to EVERYONE IN THAT CLASS! It wasn’t easy, but the fun we had!