Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Maple jumbo

After stopping by a retailer of acoustic guitars, I started a search
For a maple body jumbo shaped acoustic guitar.
I craved the solid thunk of the
Bass notes and the jangle of three 
Beers worth of quarters in a jacket
Pocket on a windy day.
Online trolling for examples for sale,
Visits to all shops in our vast commerce
Ghetto and finding some truly beautiful
A Taylor 615 had a bass note so deep
It was scary. So was the price so I  would
Visit a new Gibson j-100 1941. Made four trips to play it. That guitar had such a rich voice, it hated to play more the one 
Note at a time. Stll it was way more than two grand and that was not in the cards 
I was holding. Found a Guild that could sing. Panhandle Guitars had a guild with cracks and crazes that was alive with 
Vibration. Played a Takamine copy 
That was nearly unglued but sounded great. Found my jumbo when "L" put his Epiphone js200 on Craig's list.
The notes just hang in the air like sheets of fresh pasta drying on a rack
Waiting for you to make something
Incredible out of them.
Todd Nelson

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Songs for the 99% Music for the rest of us.

Songs for the 99% is a new group of music written and performed by Todd Nelson.
These songs are responses to and tales of, people who live with the diminishing 
social fabric of city life. Links to video provided below are previews of a performance coming
up on the 13th of September at the Lost Church, Capp street in San Francisco,CA. at 8PM.
I will be starting the show for the vocall trio P M S which promises to be treat as well.

Always Open Car wash is an example of a song about a day when I went to the self service
car wash and was asked to wash a stranger in a wheel chair.  I play this as a blues on my
Airline Glassie Folkstar.

Always open car wash in bay #3
When a man in an arm powered chair  comes up to me
Says would you deny a shower to a veteran of the war
turn that water on me, what are you staring at me for
So I hose him down and he soaps on up with a bottle of shampoo
and rinse him off with the high pressure wand, what else could I do?
but wish that I had half of his strenght or a third of his pride
and fell that theres an unpaid debt to the man in the armpowered ride
He came to me in the cold and wet coping with life on the street
nothing in your hand left to bet but to ask the next person you meet
for a meal or a shower in a car wash stall
or the respect we give each other, that due to one and all.

Give a listen and thanks

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Coming Soon! Live @ Soap

There is a great little art space in San francisco called the Soap Gallery.
Run by Eve and Lisa Mendelson they present the works of local artists
Eschew has performed for several of their monthly art openings and I must say that they are fun. People come for the art and conversation so the room gets to be quite loud. My music is geared to add to the excitement.
I try to absorb the vibe and theme of the art as the night proceeds. Part of my gear I bring to the gallery is my trusty Burnit CD recorder. Many hours of live recordings have come from this and I am sitting up late nights listening and culling tracks for a Live @ Soap project.
Look for this soon on this site. The beauty of working in this way is that no one is impatient with the length of the tune. Long morphs are possible. My sets are often three hours long. Lets just say repetition is inevitable. Lucky for me, as a human being, circular experience is desired in our musical mind. Swirls and twirls in our brains are the result of the mental musical eggbeater that is Eschew.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Eschew, the Band

What is eschew? Is it better than toast? Will being eschewed hurt? These are all questions for which I can only answer, sometimes there is and there is not. Eschew is my band of one. I play guitar and record my parts on the fly so I can make layered sound scapes. This is done with Roland music technology. I thank them and honor them. The sound pallet I use is familiar and the music is homemade. I do not bring a laptop full of arrangements to the gig so the effect is like listening to tracks being built at a recording session.
The eschewing takes place as I move through the rolls played by different band members. I have been in bands and enjoy working with musicians. Writing for a band is a process which is fraught with the politics of group dynamics. You have to share. You have to play well with others. A one man bands still requires discipline. I have to tell my bass playing self to play fewer notes, turn down and not drink all the beer. I have to get the keyboards to not cover everyone's part, and of course the lead guitar is so full of himself he never shuts up. This the dynamic of band life.
Some of you I have played music with may feel eschewed. I pay tribute to you. I could use some help hauling in the pa. The reason for it all is of course is the freedom to experiment with the arrangement. Finding parts and putting them together without having to having to document them to hear how it will work is my reason I love the looper. I just lay it out there and then if it fits, I go with it and then try something new. This is improvising. It is cheap, and it is low-fi.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Why play with a bar?

Playing slide guitar is to playing guitar what ice skating is to walking in comfortable shoes.
Fretted instruments are more likely to be in in tune. Leaving the frets becomes a delicate balancing act, slipping between self expression and skreech. The bar you hold to make the notes can turn your fingers into hulk hands. So why bother playing slide? Because just as the skater's form is suddenly free from gravity, the slide player's notes glide up and out of pitches with a sustain that some of us find electrifying.