Escape from LA

Last Thursday night Mark Wickliffe, Annie Boxell, George Landress and I completed the last bit of tracking for The Coyote & The Crow at Snuffy Waldens’ Taylor Made studio. The session was rife with shenanigans as both Mark and Annie got their dance moves on while recording their vocal parts. Hilarity ensued and we walked away with some very soulful backing vocals on a new BTB song called “Taney County Town”.

After the session I felt a little sad that the tracking was over because the process of making The Coyote & The Crow has been immensely satisfying artistically. The whole band has been giving it their all and it has been a great pleasure working with George Landress on this project. This is my sixth album of all original material and I’m very happy to say that all of my albums have steadily gotten better since I cut my very first 6 song EP on 2 inch tape at M.A.R.S. in Apto’s California in the late 90’s.

The Coyote & The Crow is a deeper record than any of my previous efforts. I dug deep for the songs on this album and the band sounds more textural and there is an emotional depth in the playing and in the production. It’s rich and expansive. It’s dusty and bone dry like the desert at times and beautiful and lush like a sunset at others. I’m completely happy with every cut and every note. I hope people hear the musical growth that I hear in this album. The BTB have grown up a lot in the last few years and this album is a reflection of that.

Shortly after the tracking session was over Annie drove me out to meet my friend Skip. Skip hired me to work with her at The Charles Dickens Christmas Fair selling her amazing stained glass artwork. The plan was to spend the night and wake up at 6am to drive to San Francisco. We woke bleary and only slightly cranky the next morning for the road trip. I was more excited than tired and Skip and I had a chance to catch up with each other on the drive up the 5.

We arrived at the Cow Palace (the venue for the 32nd annual Dickens fair) and moved her cart to a new location and set everything up and met up with Jen who owns the Primrose Parlor. Primrose is the best place at fair to buy Victorian-era clothing/accessories including a wide assortment of handmade hats that Jen creates herself. Her partner Jim takes care of all the “hawking” and keeps the Primrose Parlor filled with patrons and shoppers all fair long. Jim is also in charge of distributing nips of amazing ginger liquor from his flask to lucky fair patrons which fortunately includes yours truly.

Here is a collage of some images from the Dicken’s fair:


After the weekend was over (two very full days of standing, walking, selling, drinking and flirting in Victorian-era vernacular) I was beat and decided, somewhat on a whim, to stay in San Francisco to gypsy around for a week until the following weekend of fair rolled around. Skip left me at Jen and Jims place in the mission and Monday morning, with no solid plans or places to stay, I embarked on my adventure. I have a network of friends up north from 10 years of living in Santa Cruz so I posted my intent to kick around the Bay Area on my facebook page. I was flooded with old friends who wanted to catch up offering places for me to crash while in town. My dance card was soon full and I’d like to thank the following people for their lifelong companionship, generosity and offers to take me in: Doyle, Gwen and Sierra – Thanks for the beautiful stay in your home and for sharing your family life with a stray like myself. Tell Sierra Duke Bikki Bok says thank you for showing me her hand drawn comics. Arcadia – Thank you for your love and the fantastic visit/catch up and for sharing your space with me and thank Eden for the tea party and for showing me her turkey art and for her insight about living completely in the moment from one stream of conscious thought to the next. Iris – Thank you for the new friendship and for taking me for drives around the city and introducing me to my new fave coffee shop The Revolution Cafe. Thanks for taking me to Amnesiac to see the live music and thanks for drinks and dancing! Gwendolyn – Thanks for providing a late night place to crash, snacks & beer, a warm bed and Dijarums and coffee in the morning and for the trolly ride down Nob Hill! Evan – Thanks for sporting for my commute to and from Corte Madera and for dinner / drinks and whisky late into the evening on a school night. Thanks for listening to the advance cuts from my new CD and giving me your feedback and for being proud of me.

Here is a short video and pics of some of the SF highlights:


Finally Friday eve rolled around and I made my way back to Jen and Jims’ place. Skip arrived shortly after and we all crashed early so we could be well rested for the fair weekend. The following day was one of the best days I’ve ever had at The Dickens Fair and Sunday was a very laid back day that had a charm all it’s own. I’m back in LA now and refreshed and ready to get back to work on the new album. Once I publish this blog I’ll get back to work finishing up the rest of the art for the CD packaging. Thankfully some other paid design work is also lined up for me this week. On Friday I’m heading back up to SF with Skip for another great weekend! Look forward to it already.

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