Vanessa, always optimistic hoping for sunshine, dances at the Dana with the eternal children who never tire!

Photo by Jorma Kaukonen

On Monday the 5th, we welcomed our songwriting class to a week of intense writing here in San Diego. When we left Athens we looked forward to some moderate Southern California weather and while there was no snow here in SoCal, the weather was anything but moderate. I’m actually seeing some blue skies outside the hotel window today but it’s really the first time in a week. The ‘Atmospheric River’ was relentless in inundating the coast with multiple inches of rain that just never stopped.  OK, no snow true… but the rain just kept coming. Oh well, it’s only weather, or is it climate? Only time will tell.

I always look forward to these songwriting classes. One night ask, ‘How do you teach someone to write a song. My immediate answer would be that you can’t, but you can make your class write songs, and that’ my approach. I’m a facilitator. I have been teaching these workshops for a number of years now and I am truly humbled by what the participants bring to the table. In the course of the week, everyone showed themselves to be fearless as artists and some really fine songs were written and played. Yeah, you just can’t make this stuff up! The comradery of creation is a joyful thing to behold!

The gang each sharing a newly written song!

Photo by Vanessa Kaukonen

It seems like the week went by in the blink of an eye… as for songs, I can’t read my own handwriting but what I see is a minimum of eleven songs and a possibility of twelve new songs for everyone. I’m sure if I’m wrong, someone will correct me.  🙂

All thew writers prior to the dispersing to the four corners of the earth…  btw Jody is hiding in the shadows, but she’s there!

Photo by Vanessa Kaukonen

Indeed, there some serious and powerfully uplifting moments in this session and I leave everyone with this:


From Apprenticeship Of The Mule By 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.




  1. Comment made on February 14, 2024 by mikie

    FYI I attended an ODOT public meeting last night. They plan to widen US RT 33 between Athens and Darwin starting next year. The road to the Ranch should be a bit wider in a few years. Safe travels, m

  2. Comment made on February 12, 2024 by gregg

    c.g. a senior moment ? g

  3. Comment made on February 12, 2024 by carey georgas

    I have a Tuna tale to tell as it relates to a personal philosophy of mine. Whenever something gets lost, and you know it hasn’t been stolen or discarded, I do due diligence in searching for it, but before obsession sets in, I say to myself, “I’m just going to have to wait until it shows itself to me”. It has been tested several times lately and never failed. Not, however, to the degree the Tuna tale took it.
    I went to see Hot Tuna at Graceland in 2019 on the 50 year commemoration tour. I bought me one of those fine looking black 50 year celebration T-shirts with the mermaid and the seahorse and all on it. None of that bullshit like all the tour stops on the back or such. A mighty fine shirt. I maybe wore it once and never saw it again. By the time I gave up looking they weren’t for sale anymore online so it was “Oh well”. Last Thursday it showed me where it had been, tucked away in an unsuspecting nook for five years. So now I have it and it looks brand new. I mean, it might as well be! Ain’t it something the way things turn out when the “I” just lets go?

  4. Comment made on February 10, 2024 by Jodi Rolls

    Awww … You guys are the Best !!
    Enjoyed our little visit at the coast !!!
    From the shadows … “Let there be Light”
    : ) Jodi

  5. Comment made on February 9, 2024 by alexander pepiak

    I love the songwriter workshops I attended. Just being around like minded individuals in pursuit of the same thing is inspiration.
    As for teaching songwriting I think your role serves more of a facilitator and inspiration.
    I’ll return sometime I’m sure …

  6. Comment made on February 9, 2024 by Dan Nigro

    Glad the weather/climate didn’t dampen anyone’s spirit

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