Yeah, it was a very busy spring and summer. I played a handful of gigs, and did some DJ dates as well (weddings and filling-in a few weeks for a "Bikes & Blues" night in June; that was a lot of fun!). But the last three weeks were crazy (in a good way)-- I was on-the-road for almost the whole time; a little business and a lot of vacation pleasure. I have been in Mumford, NY, Saranac Lake, NY, Toronto, Ontario, Erie, Pennsylvania, and Varysburg, NY. This weekend, I have another out-of-town gig (Little Falls, NY), then a conference in Machias the next weekend, and another sound reinforcement job out-of-town in October. As I looked at the calendar, I realized I would not only be gone for almost three solid weeks, but six weekends out of seven, so it's been a lot of suitcase living. I will be happy to get settled back in Buffalo before the weather gets too cold.
I had a wedding that I couldn't get out of, so I missed this summer's first (but I hope annual!) Ted Reinhardt Day. I heard it was a great success, though. I saw a really cool Ted tribute window sticker on a passing truck recently; anybody know where I can get me one? ("Out on the road today, I saw a 'Ted-head' sticker on a Cadillac..."). Partially in Ted's honor (but mostly because I wanted it), I treated myself to a new 18-inch Wind Gong (a "Feng Gong," in the vernacular, if I'm not mistaken). I also had opportunity to stop at some record stores on a lot of my recent trips, and I picked-up some really great vinyl and a handful or two of some sweet CD's, to wit: a pretty pristine 45 EP from Buddy Rich, a French pressing of Frank Morgan with Machito's rhythm section and Conte Candoli, and a copy of Miles Davis' The Complete Birth of The Cool sessions on LP. Also a very young Robben Ford on an Arhoolie release from 1972, and Peter Tosh's Mystic Man. All in really, really great shape. Especially the stuff from Toronto. If anyone is interested, "Ric's Recollections" vinyl shop has some great stuff at fair prices, and all of this guy's stuff is CLEAN. www.ricrec.com . Well worth having a look if you're similarly smitten. He will deal on the Web, as well, but no PayPal. But if you're in the Toronto/Mississauga area, stop in. It's a great, well-organized shop, and the folks are cool. I also grabbed a handful of CD's for $1.99 each at Record Theater back home. Padded the DJ kit with some Elvis and Stevie Ray Vaughn "greatest hits" discs, plus Clapton and B.B.'s "Riding with the King." But I copped Count Basie and Joe Williams' "Swings & Sings" and Johnny Griffin's "The Congregation" just for me (the Johnny Griffin has a little different cover design from the average Blue Note-- a neat little Andy Warhol "doodle art" piece). As previously mentioned, I've still got a few more out-of-town stops on the "summer tour;" looking forward to poking around the antique shops, garage and estate sales along the way. Last year I found some nice 45's in good condition, and I picked-up my first legit (non-CD, early pressing) Sun Records piece (Carl Perkins). I guess I'm a record collector, huh? Never did get that subscription to Goldmine Magazine (but if anyone's interested, my birthday is in May).
Excelsior! and all that...