A Few Choice Words:  Pat Wictor Newsletter, April 29, 2008

==== A Few Choice Words " April 29, 2008=========

By Pat Wictor              Subscribe: https://patwictor.com

                  Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Firsts Come First

Ears and Eyes: What I'm listening to and reading

     -Absolute Power, Max Roach, and more

Upcoming Gigs & appearances

     full calendar: https://patwictor.com


Good Learning:  Firsts Come First

I've just released my newest CD (more on that below) and as I think about the process I went through, I realized that I learned something about "firsts" and about the creative process.

I've often said that the musician's number one job is to keep growing, learning, and trying new things.  That's actually my approach to living, and it could apply to any occupation.

Danny Meyer, restaurateur of some of the best restaurants in New York, also believes in firsts. He'll often change the menu because a chef needs to learn a new skill.

Charlie Munger, business partner to the investor Warren Buffett, says that Buffett would be not be nearly as successful if he had stopped learning. He says that what Buffett has learned since he turned 65 is responsible for much of his success.

Many of my musical heroes continued to learn and change over the course of their careers.  Bob Dylan's a great example:  he keeps trying new things, sometimes puzzling his fans in the short-term, but producing work that's been recognized over time as enduring and influential.

There's a funny thing about learning, though:  if you're stretching and pushing yourself, you're taking a lot of risks.  It can feel overwhelming at times.  "I don't know how to do this!"  "I've never done this before!"   Anytime we are doing "good learning," we're probably doing a lot of things for the first time.

You haven't received this newsletter in a while, because I've been working on the aforementioned new CD.  It's called "Sunset Waltz," and this week I'm releasing it.  What I'm most excited about with this CD is how growthful it's been to create.  I tried a bunch of things for the first time.

Here's a few of the "firsts" that went into "Sunset Waltz":

First time writing songs of such a personal nature ("Whiskey Vacation," "Thick-Skinned Blues")

First time recording Phil Ochs songs ("That's the Way It's Gonna Be," "Changes")

First time setting a poem to music  ("Marching Still")

First time recording some more humorous songs  ("Existentialist Blues," "Thick-Skinned Blues")

First time recording a rearrangement of one of my own songs  ("Where Did You Go?")

Another big first:  For the first time, I produced the CD myself, which means I was the decision-maker of first and last resort on every detail.  I had some adventures, including traveling to several different states to record a hand-picked cast of musicians.  I'm very, very happy with how it sounds.

A last "first":  This CD was financed partly through the support of many friends and listeners.  My fans pitched in like a small town in a barn-raising.   Such generous participation in the project let me line up a top-notch recording studio, top-quality musicians, and even to have great photos and artwork on the CD.   It was amazing to make exactly the artistic choices I wanted to make on this project, without discarding the best possibilities for lack of funds.  Wow.

So, "Sunset Waltz" is a CD that opened the door to several "firsts" for me.  I'd like you to enjoy "Sunset Waltz" and even more I'd like you try some "firsts" in your life along with me. What "firsts" have you done recently - or are you contemplating? Write to me - I'd love to hear about your "firsts."



To buy "Sunset Waltz" at CDBaby.com:  http://www.cdbaby.com/wictor5   (link will be operational in a couple days)

Mark Erelli explains "barn-raising" as it applied to his own CD:  http://tinyurl.com/3kx62h

Charlie Munger:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Munger

Bob Dylan's "Chronicles" provides a good window into his learning and musical development.  Buy the book:  http://tinyurl.com/3ms3bd


Ears and Eyes:  What I'm Listening to and Reading:


    Rev. Blind Gary Davis, "Complete Recorded Works, 1935-1949."  

          (Album is out of print, but equivalents are here:)  http://tinyurl.com/54gzv6 and http://tinyurl.com/4bk6kj

    "We Insist!  Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite," featuring Abbey Lincoln.  Buy the CD:  http://tinyurl.com/6xhefs


    John Allen Paulos, "Innumeracy:  Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences."   Buy the book:   http://tinyurl.com/5vxsuz

    John P. MacKenzie, "Absolute Power:  How the Unitary Executive Theory is Undermining the Constitution."  Buy the book:  http://tinyurl.com/66273o


Upcoming Pat Wictor gigs and appearances.  

Full calendar details and links:  https://patwictor.com

May 2   PHILLY CD RELEASE!  Auction House Events, Audubon, NJ, w/ Cheryl Prashker and Bob Beach

   Russ Edwards opens

May 3   Circle of Friends, Franklin, MA   opening for Susan Werner

May 9  The Linda, WAMC Performing Arts Studio, Albany, NY     Phil Ochs Song Night

May 10  Walkabout Clearwater Coffeehouse, White Plains, NY    Phil Ochs Song Night

May 11  WFUV 90.7fm, Bronx, NY (www.wfuv.org), Sunday Breakfast with John Platt

May 13  NYC CD RELEASE!  The Living Room, New York, NY  "On Your Radar", w/ Bethany & Rufus, and David Berkeley

May 14  WNTI 91.9fm, Hackettstown, NJ  "Sessions at Centenary," hosted by Jeff Rusch

May 17  Notes From Home House Concert, Montclair, NJ    Zara Phillips opens

May 18  Lois and Greg House Concert, Belvidere, NJ    Jim Colbert opens

May 24  University Cafe, Stony Brook, NY   Bob Dylan Birthday Celebration, w/ The Kennedys and Johnny Cuomo

June 1  Kerrville Folk Festival, Kerrville, TX   w/ Cheryl Prashker, and Joe Jencks and Helena Nash

June 13  Guthrie Center, Great Barrington, MA   Phil Ochs Song Night

June 14  New Music Series, Midland Park, NJ     Robert Hill opens

June 15  Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Great River, NY   Cheryl Prashker accompanies

June 22  Private event, Columbia, MD

June 25  Narberth Summer Concerts, Narberth, PA

July 4     Festival for the Eno, Durham, NC  

July 5     House Concert, Carrboro, NC

July 12   Bull Run Concert Series, Shirley, MA  "Saints and Sinners" w/ Toby Walker

July 18  The Living Room, New York, NY  w/ Jon Shain

July 19  Riverhead Blues Festival, Riverhead, NY  w/ Toby Walker and w/ Cheryl Prashker

More dates being added all the time!

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    Until next time:  many thanks, and warm regards,

Pat Wictor


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    Buy Pat Wictor's latest CD "Sunset Waltz" at CD Baby.com and Amazon.com


Tell your friends to subscribe. Point them here:  https://patwictor.com

Do you want me to perform in your area, in your home, or at your event?

Contact my booking agent, McShane Glover   tel. 410-268-8232, or mcshane@mcnote.com


                        contact info



Modern Man's Rob Carlson says, ""He not only is a great guy and a great talent, but I believe he has, follicle for follicle, the best hair in folk music."

If you are interested in booking Pat Wictor, contact McShane Glover:  

tel. 410-268-8232, or mcshane@mcnote.com

Bio: https://patwictor.com and http://www.myspace.com/patwictor

Philly Folk Festival Video: http://www.myspace.com/patwictor

Contact Pat Wictor directly: patwictor@earthlink.net

. . .


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