-Ears and Eyes: What I’m Listening to and Reading
full calendar: https://patwictor.com
Hi Everyone -
It’s been a long time since I’ve written. What a year. Not one that any of us wants to repeat. The year hasn’t been without joys and beauty, but they feel like those hardy flowers growing between the cracks of a sidewalk. They exist because beauty, joy, and human decency are, as it turns out, resilient and undeniable, asserting themselves defiantly, even (or especially!) in adverse circumstances. In a year where we’ve seen some truly awful things, we’ve also seen so many folks stepping forward to offer their best, and that gives me hope.
Getting my body back in shape is still a major part of my time and attention, but I’m making my way back to being able to make music. I’ve made some good progress. My treasured friend Reggie Harris invited me to contribute some slide guitar and singing to his forthcoming CD, which I’m grateful I was able to do, recording at my own intermittent pace, in my home studio.
This Saturday, December 19, I’m participating in a multi-artist streaming show celebrating the music (and the birthday!) of Phil Ochs - it’s a wonderful lineup that includes Tom Paxton, Emma’s Revolution, Reggie Harris, Tom Prasada-Rao, and Greg Greenway, and hosted by Sonny Ochs. Details below in “Upcoming Appearances” - free and open to the public, streaming on zoom and facebook.
I’m not ready to carry a full solo show - my arm simply can’t handle that much guitar playing yet - but I’m getting closer to that moment. I’ve regained most of my guitar chops, and I can play in short stints with rest in between. Maybe I’ll put together a show that includes more spoken word and/or a cappella singing, and see if that can stretch into a full set. It’s been 6 months since the arm surgery (to reattach the distal tendon of my right biceps). While my surgeon says I’ve made excellent progress, he also says that it could take another 6-12 months to recover the full strength in my arm, so I’m doing my best to recognize that my limitations are only slowly being overcome. I’m looking to book some tours in 2022 - should be in great shape by then!! :-)
In February I’ll also be teaching a class on harnessing poetry for songwriting at SyberSongs, the online incarnation of the SummerSongs songwriting camp. Admission is open to enrollees of SyberSongs - details also below. My eyes have improved, so I can do online and computer work again. The repairs are coming along.
Thank you for reading this far. Most of the time, I try not to make the newsletter all about myself (and my health!) but many of you expressed such kind concern after all my health challenges that I wanted to provide an update. I am fortunate and grateful for the care and attention.
I hope you all can remain safe and healthy in these next several months, which might well be more difficult and murky than the previous months. There won’t be a clear moment in which the pandemic is “over.” We’ll all be making judgment calls to the best of our abilities, and I hope we can make those calls with the well-being of others as well as ourselves in mind. I look forward to the time when we can all gather together again (safely) over music. In the meantime, I’ll keep you posted on my musical progress. Best to all of you, and happy holidays to you and yours.
Ears and Eyes:
Chris Smither, Train Home https://youtu.be/5i224YjIlm0
Mary Halvorson, Code Girl https://youtu.be/H51DnMWVljU
Happy Place, Tendrils https://youtu.be/Rfy17AHbVMU
and just for fun:
Mashup - Rollling Stones vs Rick James, “Gimme Shelter Baby” https://youtu.be/bK82ya0CN9I
Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
Daniel Jones and Miya Lee, eds. Tiny Love Stories: True Tales of Love in 100 Words or Less
Davey Williams, Solo Gig: Essential Curiosities in Musical Free Improvisation
Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown https://tinyurl.com/ya9azquh