As humans, we're all born with a few "not-so-adorable" traits that really get on other people’s nerves. It's ok though. Hopefully we've all learned to tolerate each other and to get along well for the most part. But despite our generally good, accepting and forgiving nature, there are certain things we can do that really try the patience of everybody around us, especially as we sit in theaters, bars, concerts and restaurants. These things are on full display to us musicians, who spend a good bit of…Read more
Several years ago I was playing a gig with my friend Tom Hayden in a band called Back In Motion. We were between sets and Tom was talking about a successful food drive he had worked on at his day job with the US Postal Service. The downside was that the large amount of food they had generated was expected to be gone within a few weeks. There was a lot more going out of the food bank than there was coming in. All the work they did on the food drive would soon need to be done again, and again after…Read more
This is a big week for The Cat's Pajamas Old School Jazz Band because our new album is finished and our release party is this Thursday night in the An Sibin Speakeasy room at Tellus 360 in Lancaster, Pa. The Cat's Pajamas is basically a traditional jazz band. Some call it dixieland, some call it New Orleans, 1920's or Chicago style. Whatever you call it, it's fun music to play and appeals to people of all ages.
Besides classic tunes from the genre, we also like to mix in more modern songs by Ray…Read more
Last week I played the longest bridal procession of my career. About 4 solid minutes with about 50 “brides” coming down the aisle. It was a Thursday morning “gig” at 7:30am in an elementary school cafeteria. If this sounds like fake news, let me clarify. It wasn’t a real bridal procession and there was no wedding. It was a special activity that took place at this month’s All Pro Dad breakfast at the the school where I teach. And, despite being thoroughly pretend, this wedding was still moving to many…Read more
Me time. A phrase a we hear often. True, everybody needs a little “me time”. But the problem for many of us, and for our culture in general, is that our whole existence is about me time. It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, but it’s always me o’clock everywhere.
Being a musician can make things worse, and that’s why I have what I call InstaGuilt. The constant pressure to promote gigs and get people to notice my projects goes against my natural tendencies, against the virtues that build strong community…Read more