Last time I actually touched base with personal info I was in New Jersey working, glad to be working and being somewhat obscure with some information. I am sometimes torn between giving you all the inside skinny on what’s going on with the work stuff and also respecting my employer’s privacy. I am also asked to sign non-disclosure agreements with certain artists; those of you in the real world know that these are standard things for legal protection and privacy reasons.

In some cases these things seem like paranoid control documents; I actually had one handed to me years ago that used the phrase “from the beginning of the earth until the end of time.” Seems excessive, but legal documents often are. I find that though I’m rather open about most aspects of my life, my work and my surroundings, I become protective of my employer’s life, work and surroundings. It’s partially a matter of professionalism but mainly I have little to offer my clients other than my trust. In order for them to create and/or perform, they need a safe place to do it and that includes knowing that they can speak freely without their words showing up on the internet, on TV or in print.

I know some of you keep coming to PIBC to get the inside story about what I do or who I work for. I’m glad to share my experiences, but I’ll often become vague when it comes to my bosses as it’s really the right thing to do. There are enough part-time party caterers and club employees who report to the gossip sites and continue to make the outside world an unsafe place for the recognizable. I don’t really want to be part of the problem.

So, what can I tell you? The band spent the week growing in size and repertoire, becoming this organic behemoth which creates wonderful versions of songs heard before. I’ll have an opportunity to keep my percussive and stringed chops together as it looks like I’ll be caring for drums, pedal steel, dobro, mandolin and upright bass for starters. The music glides between folk and zydeco, Texas swing and New Orleans second-line, bluegrass and country… American musics that wear their roots on their sleeves but are products of the experience of living in this big diverse country. The band brings a lot to the table; this is not exclusively a band of a specific genre and when they shift gears, the years of playing all kinds of styles shows. The songlist so far includes standards, traditionals and originals; they seem to all come from the same place.

I also got so sneak away over the weekend to visit my Dad up in the Berkshires. It’s always nice to wander back into my old stomping grounds from whatever direction. I’ve been coming home for over 25 years and feel both the sameness and the huge changes that have occurred in this blessed little corner of Earth. To drive along country roads and realize that you have been inside most of the houses you pass (legally by the way) and have no clue who lives in them now is a strange feeling but one that is strangely comforting.

Yes, it’s now being called the Upper Upper West Side by some now and has been where the Hamptons Crowd overflow has set up camp, but for me it was home. The modern world hasn’t quite made it there yet; cell phone reception dies out about 45 minutes before I get there. You have to go to a town seven miles away and stand on this one corner with other guys pacing back and forth checking their missed messages. There is sushi and some places to get a latte, but it’s not the cookie cutter mall mess you see in all the other major city areas (thankfully).

We did two more days of rehearsal this week and packed it up for ten days as other things needed to be dealt with. The recording comes out at the end of April, about the same time the public gets to see the band. This might be a short and sweet run, but I’m beginning to think it’s gonna be pretty special. This one needs to witnessed to be judged, unlike some of the idiotic slams it has taken without a single note being heard.

Until then, the ground is still wet here in Texas after the heavy rains, so it’s prime time for weed pulling and bed prepping. I’ll check in again once I wipe the earth off my fingertips.