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John's Blog


 
sometimes good advice comes from weird places! - Posted 07/18/2014

like this, from Al.. he gets some of those things I have always noticed .. and some I didn't. Maybe next time he'll get to 'these ones', one of my favorite lest favorite things people say. When my kids would ask about things like "dad, do you like these ones", I would say "I like twos better.. and sometimes threes". So.. check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Gv0H-vPoDc&feature=youtu.be when you have a minute 4 grammer. If U C it U will laugh 2 I bet.


A fan letter I am proud of.. - Posted 07/14/2014

I hope this is not too tacky, to post a review from a fan on this page... but I am proud of his comments. This man has been a major sound and lights guy for many years, and chose to go to one of my solo shows. Thanks for coming, Gary!

(From a while ago in Dallas):

John,

It is rare for me to see a show as good as yours was Sunday. Your entertaining moments were Gibraltar solid and filled with Everest highs. People attend events labeled “entertainment” and hope for a few moments that are pleasant and fun. Your show succeeded beyond my wildest dreams in fulfilling these goals.                

 

When Kelly called me Sunday to ask if I wanted to go see you perform, due to my seeing hundreds of shows over the last few years, I did not really want to go see another one. But, I went anyway and when you started to perform there was no other place I wanted to be than watching you play. You are a great musician and person and I hope to have the chance to see you again someday.

My wish for you is all the best now and forever.

Sincerely,

Gary Carnes                   


jeff City .. great night - Posted 07/05/2014

in a classic American town. Last time I drove thru I had 4 boys with me, now all 20 years older, and it was mostly under water. We had perfect weather, and that photo the blog guy referenced was shot in 1974 in Marin County.


all is well with move to new place - Posted 06/22/2014

been busy 20 hours a day with a move to a new place in Florida. Looking forward to some 'time off' on the road! The shows in Alamosa should be a lot of fun, especially the solo show in Del Norte the day before NGDB..


mystery person - Posted 06/16/2014

she is Tippi Hedron, star of The Birds. Played a show at her animal compound.


Goodhue crowd! - Posted 06/15/2014

very patient! very wet! but they waited and gave our short rain soaked set a great response. Had to stop midway thru and start over, too. On way to Chicago shows, but looking forward to Colorado solo date a lot.. on the day before the train ride. Come on down!..


onda roadagain - Posted 05/31/2014

the Golden Nugget? What a great Vegas room, crew, and staff... and audience! Sold out standing room, and my grandaughter Audrey spent the evening in the light booth, much to her delight. She is a stage tech in high school, and got to watch real pros work. heading to Wendover tonight, then overnight to Denver...

Looking forward to the train ride in Alamosa with the band.. Hope they are ready for it! Lotsa new things coming up.


new things on the horizon - Posted 05/13/2014

seems like a lot of things that have taken a lot of time in the past few months are coming to fruition. It looks to be a great year with the John Carter Cash shows about the Carter Family, the 'Russian' film coming out, and some NGDB shows.. more later, but not tonite!


great month ahead - Posted 05/10/2014

lots of stuff going on.

a great night in St. Pete at the Hideway Cafe.. John Cable did a wonderful job.

heading for that train again in Alamosa late June.., this time with NGDB and a few days in that valley.. two days of mountain top concerts! a fun part is we are done and back to town by 5 or so..

looking forward to seein how many show up on the top of the pass..


Thanks, St. Louis! whatta great night last night! - Posted 04/26/2014

with hopes that the audience had as much fun as we did. They sure were loud! Looking forward to Phoenix. Also, looking forward to Coffee Gallery on Monday for a 'night off' with music and nice folks..


heading west for NGDB and - Posted 03/30/2014
other dates. looks like I will spend a few days in LA prior to the Santa Ynez date and grind out some XM shows... Then head home for a few daze prior to Nipomo. Lots of interesting shows coming by the end of the month.. and such a variety! Check out my web calendar for de tails.

now I wait for the next show!! - Posted 03/19/2014
seems like a long time, but have a cool trio show coming up april 16 in Santa Ynez. No time to even stop and shop, as it is a long trek from Florida to the Tales from the Tavern Series on that day. Will be back in that area May 7 with more time and looking forward to it.. a show at the golf course! check my site for info.

beat the snoow I think in PA! - Posted 03/17/2014
Looks like I got home ahead of snow to be hit by tons of rain. If anyone was at that show, send me a blog..! be good to know what you thought.. the night time show, which was a lot better than the first one.
Hope all is well for those of you who ventured out. . It was a memorable night on a new stage..

Clearwater - Posted 03/06/2014
what a great crowd in Clearwater tonight! all well and head to Quakertown next.. the 15th, with a workshop on the 14th. 

whatta weekend.. and special thanks - Posted 03/03/2014
to Andy Goessling, Matt Cartsonis, and of course the fine gentleman DAvid Amram. It was great in NYC and the whole staff of the Iridium commented to us on how 'this was their favorite show' in a long time. The audience stood up and didn't leave, so we didn't - and came back on to make them stop clapping. that worked so we played another 20 min.
Unfortunately, the next day, which I had anticipated greatly (well, this whole weekend) SOMETHING  happened that had me sick with food poisoning 4 hours before the show. Not able to walk due to extreme dizzyness, I ended up calling Ralph on the big white phone (you know.. figure it out) and saw everything I had eaten that day in a different form 3 hours before stage time. Laying down for a minute on the dressing room floor, an hour soon went by and it was showtime.
For the first time I sat the whole show, as I could not stand without wobbling like a teenager after their first six-pack. That show went 'fine' I am told, though I don't remember much of it. Thanks to the great help of Matt, (packing up, driving, etc.) back at the hotel I slept 11 hours, and woke up better able to walk. The room had quit moving finally, and we headed to the Beacon show.
Thank you R.J. in Beacon for your acupuncture that Matt suggested, I know it helped that night. I could walk and stand the whole (well, most of it) set... and the band was hot. The people sang, stood and clapped, applauded all the breaks AND with this great set of pickers I got to do Miner's Night Out, Acoustic Traveller, and a few other unusual songs that helped the personal excitement level.
It was a strange couple of days that showed how important good friends and road pros can be.. I couldn't even make phone calls I wanted to make is how unusual it was for me.
Headed home now for R... well, maybe R & R. And will catch up on a few kids that called. This is not me whining here about the travails of the trail, but me being grateful that while 'out there' I had such good people around that took care of some things I could not get to. Onward................

Oh.. there will be a workshop in Quakertown on Friday before the show at 6:30 ... check website for details.. soon

back from the tough road - Posted 02/20/2014
why tough? well, somehow one of my fingers - middle right hand - picked up an infection at the whole last joint.. started swelling, hurting, etc.. This put me in an ER in Denver at 3 a.m., and after the assigned stuff took effect two days later it subsided. The difficult part was forcing the pick on this swollen finger and making it hurt even more to do so... but! all for the sake of bluegrass!

The reason I write about this is not for sympathetic response, but to warn other pickers out there that, although I have never had this happen before, they might be careful cramming those picks down on top of cracked cuticles. That is how it seemed to happen, and my finger looked like ET looking for someone to fix.

All is well now, and headed to east coast soon.. then in the middle of March, the 15th,  to McCoole's in  QUAKERTOWN, PA.. a great venue .. greatly looking forward to that!

thanks, Steamboat! - Posted 02/15/2014
for a great night. The film footage was the best version yet! Had a lotta fun at the Chief Theater, so much so I couldn't get to sleep for a bit longer than usual..
Looking forward to the sold out Cedaredge.. David there tells me he added 20 or 30 more seats, so that is a good sign.. No time to even call my friends or family on this trip so far, but all is well.

good news - Posted 02/07/2014
Cedaredge, Co is sold out... but not The Little Bear in evergreen... 6:30 2/17.. come on down.. Tales of the Tavern show in Santa Ynez  4/16 is 'sold out' .. but there might be 4 tickets left) info on website.

heading to NGDB... - Posted 02/07/2014
Looks like Weirsdale Opry is sold out! don't know how Orlando is doing yet, but will find out when we get there... Get to see granddaughter Jessica for her birthday... and then head home to get ready for Colorado!

Pete Seeger.. - Posted 01/28/2014
Pete Seeger ....
the contributions he made to the world as a person will be felt for a long long time. We are all better for having Pete in our world. As a man, he made contributions that went beyond his music - as a musician it is hard to t
hink of one who shared constantly so much about how to make music and the joy of life that can surround it.. while also standing up for what he believed in with his support of so many meaningful causes.
I had his red book, as did many I know... it was and is a road map to how to make music with the banjo that gave me my first directions to a new life. The door he opened for me led to Earl, Dillard, Keith, and the rest. His life that he shared with everyone enriched mine to this day. The world was a better place when he was 'in it', and it will be a better place for that same reason. Thank you, Pete, for the inspiration of music and how to be.
This photo was at a 'Why Hunger' event in New York (hosted by Tom Chapin), with great banjo player Eric Weissberg and my self, both feeling fortunate to spend an evening with Pete. I got to play with Pete that night, and will forever be grateful for that, and that I spent time with him the few times I did.
We will all miss Pete..

whatta great couple of audiences! - Posted 01/22/2014
Portland at the Alberta Rose Theatre and Florence each had their special moments. Great audiences and great people to visit. The new video went over great, and I got to see my aunt Erma - 95 yrs old, she is! Glad to be home safe and sound after a long trip, and getting ready for the next one.
End of month of Feb., March 1, 2  are shows with David Amram, Matt Cartsonis, and great picker Andy Goessling on the east coast.. check calendar for info.
looking forward to seeing you down the road!

great time off and looking forward to new year - Posted 12/17/2013
spending a dozen days where internet is spotty is a good thing! but still things that need to get done, even with time off. Just finished setting up the first dates of the year, and now can start in Portland on the 17th at a very cool place, the Alberta Theatre. Hoping anyone looking forward to seeing me at the Folk Festival in Florence might even come a few days earlier than that to the Portland show.. or help me spread the word. Check out details on the site

wow.. thanks Garth Brooks .. glad to hear about an impression I made! - Posted 12/02/2013
https://www.facebook.com/JohnMcEuenMusic

Denver with Alpin Hong is going to be great.. Nov 23 swallow Hill - Posted 11/10/2013
you should catch this last show of the year.. :

John McEuen and Alpin Hong

the string wizard and the piano master meet

 

 

What an incredible surprise it was to me when the great pianist Alpin Hong called to ask if I would like to perform with him. We got together and let our two different worlds of music communicate, and found that if we just shut up (quit talking and laughing) and played music, more show ideas would come out than words had time to express!

 

Whether it would be one of the many songs from the landmark Will the Circle Be Unbroken (we do several, and this is the album’s 40th anniversary), or my gypsy like guitar piece, or roaring bluegrass banjo, we meet and combine the influences from both worlds. Alpin is the perfect “side man” for anything I throw at him, as his skill is so good nothing eludes him. I become his acoustic instrument sideman, to show what it might have been like in the heart of America of yesteryear when piano was accompanied by whatever instruments might be around in a 1910 parlor. In our case, it is my banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and guitar.

 

Alpin’s backing on my guitar and mandolin pieces is so supportive that we sound like a complete band. One particular aspect about working with him is that he is a performer who enjoys talking to the audience, and after making them laugh will astound them with beautiful playing. We feel the same in that regard:  no matter how well we might play, entertainment is what people come for. 

 

For example, I’ll tell the audience “I feel sorry for Alpin not having the typical orchestra tonight with all their bowing instruments” and start a song bowing my guitar. He ‘complains’ about wanting to be a ‘picker’, and is tired of hammering away on the piano. So he takes a guitar pick out while I am bowing. He proceeds to reach in the piano and play the melody by plucking the right strings with his pick, while I bow chords under that. When then transition to his hands on the keys, and I pick guitar right, we continue the song, and at the end it brings the house down.

 

His mastery of classical piano music has won him many accolades and recognition, and takes his solo part of the show through some of the most difficult and beautiful music written. My solo part of the show covers America’s music from about 1850 to present, including some of my original film score work.

 

Together, we interact with favorite Nitty Gritty Dirt Band songs; Alpin’s improvisational solo on Mr. Bojangles (and my story behind song) leads to other classic NGDB songs and music that everyone then sings along with. Our show is the kind everyone the next day tells their friends “You should’ve been there!”

 


whatta wek again - Posted 10/21/2013
show with David Amram.. Matt Cartsonis and J. Robert played too, then Matt and I went to Lake Worth for a date at the great Bamboo Room. Drove back that night. Took till 3 a.m., and finally slept in. spent the day today with Amram at the house, which is like having 3 guests, and all of them nice! I am fortunate to know him and we work so well together we will find some other dates to do. Got one March 1 in new jersey!

NGDB trip coming up.. last of the year - Posted 10/21/2013
and looks to be a good one.. all things are set, and hoping to get everything done on this trip that is possible.. and play the last date of the year!

Nashville - Bye Chet Flippo... - Posted 10/15/2013
a very nice Memorial for a great guy... got to play with Rosanne Cash and Dierks Bently.. and NGDB did a couple songs. He wrote the Rolling Stone article about the Circle album at a time when 'that kind of thing' was not popular. The Nashville Tennessean paper, in 1971, had a headline: what the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is doing recording with a bunch of old dinosaurs we don't understand"..... they didn't... Chet did.

Chet Flippo Memorial - Posted 10/12/2013
Heading to Nashville on sunday for memorial on Monday. Sorry to see Chet go. A man who was a friend even though I did not know him... as he wrote about you like one. I have proudly used one of his quotes for many years in my press kit. Sorry to see him go, and will for sure miss one more old school guy who graduated from his final class.
We needed him while he was here...

tonight in the DC area.. a perfect place! 9/19/13 - Posted 09/19/2013

Will the Circle Be Unbroken

and a tribute to

The Carter Family

with

John McEuen, John Carter Cash &  family friends

 

This unique show celebrates the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s landmark ‘Circle’ album (instigated by McEuen in 1971), and how Carter Family music became a classic American Music form. The audience will discover how Mother Maybelle Carter, Earl Scruggs, Roy Acuff, Doc Watson, Vassar Clements, Merle Travis, Jimmy Martin... and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (NGDB) came together for the historic sessions.

 

John McEuen opens the evening with the NGDB’s story: a bunch of young 1960’s ‘west-coast longhair hippies’ with songs from their early years performed live, accompany what is on screen. Through many historic photos, music on stage, and film, the audience finds out what happened in this iconic band’s rocky past. McEuen’s enthusiastic storytelling and music, coinciding with what is on the screen, all lead up to the story of that incredible week in August, 1971.

 

This multimedia concert takes all down the path of these two driving forces in American Music – the NGDB and the music of The Carter Family. NGDB co-founder John hosts, and he brings on John Carter Cash (with special guests).

 

John Carter (son of Johnny Cash and June Carter) takes the helm to relate the Carter Family story with music, narrative, and historic photographs from his personal archives. On stage, with music from the early Carter Family days by the ensemble, John Carter relates what it was like growing up with ‘Grandma Maybelle Carter’, and how A.P. Carter influenced his and his father’s life’s path.

This leads to how NGDB joined the icons of Country Music for a magic Nashville week in August of 1971 to create the classic multi-platinum album - Will the Circle Be Unbroken.

 

The full cast then performs songs from the Circle album against the larger-than-life photo-montage backdrop from the sessions. The audience is transported to that magic time with the performers for an exciting, unforgettable experience.

 

With bluegrass, country, gospel, and the roots of America’s acoustic music, songs live from all the Circle albums’ artists (Wildwood Flower, Keep on the Sunnyside, I Am a Pilgrim, Cannonball Rag, Wreck on the Highway, Earl’s Breakdown, etc.), the evening ends with audience all joining in for the Carter classic

 

Will the Circle Be Unbroken.


ALASKA!! what a great trip.. - Posted 08/27/2013
the week up in the land of the north was exceptional. Funny, everytime one of us called someone - or got a call - from 'down there', they would always respond yelling loud on the phone, as if we were so far away they had to yell. "YOU'RE IN ALASKA?! CAN YOU HEAR ME? CAN YOU HEAR ME O.K.? I'D BETTER HANG UP BECAUSE THIS MUST COST A LOT! WHAT TIME IS IT THERE, ANYWAY? " and so forth.
Not sure I met up with Ray, as there were so many things to do.. waterfalls, fish, glaciers to see, reindeer to pet.. etc.

If anybody is looking for a new and unusual place to go and you have not been there.. go! It truly is the last American frontier, and they know it. And go see Mary Lou at Diamond Joe's (between Anchorage and Portage Glacier). She has worked that little store since she was 19.. and now is 80 yrs old.

Aug 30.. Colorado Springs..with historic video/film footage - Posted 08/18/2013


http://www.stargazerstheatre.com/a-special-evening-with-john-mceuen/

its backwards! - Posted 08/15/2013
Seems like I spend 12 hours getting to work to work for 2 hours! Again with the fly fly fly. But, after I get there it is all worth it.. today is a long day on this long hard road, but will end well I assume..

uggh - Posted 08/14/2013
1/2 day in the dentist chair.. well.. heading out tomorrow.. Did a lot of edtiing this last few days. non-stop!

some unusual dates coming up.. - Posted 08/09/2013
The three concerts with John Carter Cash in Sept., and before that the Alaska State FAir with Matt and Craig!... and later, finally some dates in Texas..! might even have a Texas day off to see Merel in Austin..
Overall, a broad range of dates: couple solo, a few with 'John McEuen Trio' (Matt and Craig), a couple with the great Alpin Hong, a few with John Carter Cash.. and then, oh yes! Some last few 47th year Nitty Gritty Dirt Band shows..

if you listen to my XM show, please send them an email about that.

Wow Wausau.. dont know if we are as good as they said! - Posted 08/04/2013
But that crowd was as good as it gets. Thanks to our Wisconisn fans for being so enthusiastic with your response! It was a great experience playing that fair again. On to Scottsbluff. Another 3 flight travel day, but if it is anything like Wausau it is worth it for sure. Hope all went well for those who came and hope you come again to an ngdb show.. Steve and Chris brought pies she had made, and they disappeared backstage before the show. Thanks to both of you too, as to many, for bringing so many young folks to the show. I don't think there is another American band that has that happen in such great numbers!

Back from the arduous journey from - Posted 07/28/2013
across the big water. Norway is certainly to be complemented this trip for the wonderful food at the Modregal hotel. About the only thing to do there was eat while either waiting for the show or waiting to leave. The one t.v. station I had in English (there were only 4 stations) was a snowy version of Seinfeld without audio and with Norwegian subtitles.. couldn't hear the laugh track so I didnt know when to laugh, and turned it off.
Instead I worked on my xm show for the Bridge, sent it out, and a few other things.

good to be back stateside.

boarding for the crazy country festivale in Norway - Posted 07/24/2013
ahhh.. 9 hours of kicking back at 40k ft., catch up on a few emails.. maybe, if they have that over the big water internet. Colorado went great, and those fans are hard to beat... but looking forward to seeing what those Wisconsin fans have to request. Funny, seems like Fishin' in the Dark was not 'the big one' like it is in the more northern territories. We shall see!

bon voyage to me! got lots of writing and some editing to catch up on..

whatta week - Posted 07/23/2013
4 Colorado shows, all rental car stuff this trip. And, some minor medical stuff on the fly, more travel than expected... but it was in the Rockies, so that part was nice. And now, hoping to make those last minute updates and calls one does when leaving the country for days..
Well, either make calls, send some emails or such.. and hoping there is internet on the flight to amsterdam.. but I need to zzz anyway.
The colorado crowds made us feel at home. I dont get sometimes why people get so excited, but we are lucky they do!

strange job I have, when going to work - Posted 07/13/2013
looks like I am going to have lunch in Minneapolis airport. great place to eat! on the way to Wausau.. funny in this life of doing this one has choices like 'where do I want to eat? Detroit or Minneapolis? so I took the MSP route.. and even get there earlier! I remember the 'old daze' of booking plane changes in Love Field in Dallas because the pinball was better there than anywhere else. Now, it is about the food!

this next month - Posted 07/11/2013
what a bunch of disparate places to hit! from Colorado to Norway, and soon to Wasau, Wi?! ..  Looks like I will be able to get in to that little airport there after about 11 flights.. hmmm.. maybe I should just hitchhike?

to the elevator man - Posted 07/11/2013
thanks for your comments check out my Facebook for new stories, etc..
https://www.facebook.com/JohnMcEuenMusic?v=app_4949752878&ref=ts

John

Norway soon.. but first, Colorado - Posted 07/09/2013
I am hoping we have our best turnouts ever in Colorado, the old 'home state'...  Should be a great way to get ready for Norway festival the next week. Then a week off to recover from the Norway trip, and on to Wisconsin.. Wasau? have not been there since playing with Vassar I think, years ago. Looking forward to this one, though.. as it will be the first date of August and .. well, Wi is always a good state to play!

new interview about Circle - Posted 07/08/2013
 John McEuen discusses re-release of 'Will the Circle Be Unbroken ...
Examiner.com
Related topics Nitty Gritty Dirt Band John McEuen Americana music Grand Ole Opry The album served to introduce an entire new generation to artists like Roy ...

Stars and Stripes Forever weekend! which means - Posted 07/04/2013
I am hoping people call their local country music stations and request Stars and Stripes Forever from my String Wizards album on Vanguard Records - one of my coolest recordings (well, I think it is). First recorded by T. Edison with John Phillips Sousa for a cylinder in 1898, this version features Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Roy Huskey, Jr., Sam Bush, and David Grier with moi, and was done in one hot take.
Heading to San Diego for two nights to play one.. looks like a nice place and hope to catch up on a few things..
onda road

Calgary soon.. but for once glad we are pssing through and - Posted 06/22/2013
not playing there. What a mess! those poor people have a lot to deal with. Fortunately our travel plans are still the same, as we are not in flooded areas..

Reno bound.. looking forward to the Nugget - Posted 06/20/2013
with NGDB, and seeing all those fans from the Sierra Madre area. I will never forget the one road trip my father took me on, as it wound its way through Reno where we drove under 'that sign" at about 10:00 p.m. on the way thru. I don't remember him telling me it was where he and my mom got married, but I got that out of her about 45 years later. Where's the Time Gone, as Joan Enguita said in her song. Listen that if you are out of contact fluid and need to wet your eyes. Reno bound..

my first video! from the Will the Circle Be Unbroken album - Posted 06/18/2013
Doc Watson and Merle Travis meet for the first time.

I just finished cutting this together. Please check it out and make a comment.. and send it to others..
thanks
John

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNd8CqVneVg&feature=youtu.be

Charlie Poole show was fun and quite an honor to receive the award. - Posted 06/16/2013
Playing with some of the local pickers was great fun, too. Thank you Don Wright for your very able support on the Scruggs 1/2 of Soldier's Joy... you are a fine picker. Look forward to next time with that! Also, got an aggressive agent for my book, and that is moving along.

Wow.. Charlie Poole was quite a feller - Posted 06/13/2013
As I had dinner with the group of folks who put the Charlie Poole Festival together I found out many many great things about this unusual guy. He truly was a forerunner, and one who set down many things about country and folk as well as method of banjo playing for years to come. I just found out that what I thought was a Stanley Bros. song - If I Lose - was his. Well, showtime tomorrow... workshop the next day... at noon... and fly home Sat. night with a prize.

oh, Canada oh.. - Posted 06/11/2013
looks like some good shows in Alberta coming up. I wish they were a bit easier, as we have to drive the night of the 27th all night, then again on the 28th. But, there is one day off for sure - that should be a good one to NOT drive..
and the Canadians always make the trip worth it.

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