Best of 2023 – Bluegrass/Country/Americana

It should be obvious to anyone reading my blog posts that my music tastes are wildly eclectic. There are so many genres of music that I have enjoyed exploring! Bluegrass has held a very special place in my musical life. Back in the ‘90s when I was first discovering Big Monroe’s high lonesome sound, my brother Darrel started playing banjo. Soon family visits would always include living room jams. Then in ’02, I moved to Grass Valley, the home of […]

Wayne Shorter

Back in 1978, when I was 14 years old, I got a copy of Steely Dan’s album “Aja”. Listening to this album was like entering into a new undiscovered world. Around this time, I was getting into jazz and my introduction to the art form was initially through bands on the poppier edge – bands like Spyro Gyra and Seawind. “Aja” is just as much of a jazz album as it a pop album, and when it was released, it […]

Rumi By Moonlight

Some projects come together quickly and easily, others evolve slowly over time. Somewhere around 10 years ago, I discovered the quatrains of the 13th century Persian poet Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī. Quatrains are four line poems. There was something about Rumi’s work in this terse, compact format that deeply appealed to me. My initial exposure to these poems was through a book of versions of Rumi by Coleman Barks & John Moyne called “Open Secret”. I ended up composing a piece […]

The Art of the Piano Trio

t’s International Piano Day – the 88th day of the year! The piano was my first instrument. In the late 1950’s, my Dad purchased a Conover upright piano. I am fortunate enough to still have possession of this piano that was in my family since before I was born. When I was in 5th grade, my sister Linda and I both started taking piano lessons from Mrs. Smith (I wish to God I could remember her first name!). She was […]

Best of 2022 – Short Plays

I’m really old-school. When it comes to music listening, I do not do Pandora or streaming music channels. The way that many people listen to music nowadays is very song focused. I still think in terms of albums and I look at an album as a cohesive statement from an artist at a certain point in history. To me, an album is like a film or a novel, all the individual songs inform the whole story or image that the […]

Ross Hammond and the Making of Midsummer Dialogues.

Last Summer my band Tumble was taking a little hiatus. During this time, I felt a real hankering to find a new music project to help fill in the void. I had been listening quite a bit to Sacramento guitarist Ross Hammond’s new album “Flow State” and really enjoying it! I remembered that Ross did quite a number of long distance collaborative albums with other artists during the initial COVID shelter in place. On a whim…I had the idea of […]

New Collaborative EP – Midsummer Dialogues

I am super happy to announce that I am releasing a new 3 song EP next week called Midsummer Dialogues. It is a collaboration with guitarist Ross Hammond. 2 voices – guitar & mbira. I can’t wait to share it with you all! Release date will be 11/11/22. More info coming soon!

Mikail Graham – On to the Other Side

Lately, my mind and heart have been set spinning by the unexpected and sudden death of my friend Mikail Graham. Of course, it’s impossible to sum up his life or my friendship with him in this little blog post. To say that he was a real giant in our local community would be such be an understatement. His life touched SO many, and my life was enriched by knowing him!! I will try to share a few bits here, specifically […]

Fear the Heart

 My old friend Scott Wiser just put out a really cool new album with his band Mount Desert. Mount Desert is a collaboration between Scott and drummer Jordan Norton. “Fear the Heart” is their second album. The record is a wild blend of thunderous heavy rock with other-worldly ambience. Scott’s production on this record is stellar! Scott asked my daughter Mei Lin and I to lay down some fiddle and mbira tracks to contribute to the world music influenced tune […]

New Tumble Video & the Evolution of a Band

From my vantage point, Tumble has gone through three distinct periods: the trio, the quartet with Bill Douglass, and the current quartet with bass player Rob Holland. Each transition has resulted in distinct changes in the evolution of the sound of the band and its musical direction.  We began playing with Rob Holland in early 2019. Rob has brought so many special new elements and influences to the group. Rob plays a variety of basses with Tumble including acoustic upright […]