Year-End Report

Wow, that was a long four months. I did not intend to take that much time away from this blog, but there you go. Did you miss us? Nah, did not think so.

Anyway, the fall was for travel back to the USA — spent some quality time in Chicago and Austin, where Josephmooon enjoyed a number of gigs and even made a little pocket change to boot. The most challenging aspect of performing was learning how to sing along with the “karaoke” tracks we had created for the 23 songs on “So Far So Good” and the second album coming out in 2023, which Ronan and I today agreed will likely be called “Hand In Heaven.” We expect to release the song, “Hand In Heaven,” sometime in January 2023, followed by a new song each month for a few months, The full album should be downloadable in April.

Josephmooon performed four songs at the Hua Hin International Jazz Fest in early December. Ronnie Nice and I played along with the karaoke tracks, and it seemed to go over fairly well. Sometimes we do these difficult short appearances for something beyond the moment itself. Josephmooon was included in all the Jazz Fest promotion, so to the fans and musicians, we are a viable entity, even though only a handful of people saw our 15-minute set from one of the satellite stages (not near the main stage or traffic flow of the festival).

We can’t wait to do it again next year!

The primary purpose of my trip was to meet little Madi, my granddaughter born in April. We hung out a lot and did a bunch of baby things together. The parents were like, “Here’s the diapers, here’s the bottles, and some clean onesies. By-eee!” No problem. And while my attention was 100 percent focused on her when we were together, I can’t say everyone got the same kind of attention. Travel tends to turn me into a bit of a zombie, so I felt like I was on auto-pilot a lot of the time.

I did manage a great interview with an old friend, Michael James, for his weekly radio show and vodcast, “Live From The Heartland.” See it here.

I did not want this post to be a big bummer regarding the music I heard when I was back in the USA. But I have to mention that a lot of it seemed sad and disaffected. And when I mentioned this to some people who work with youth, they indicated that was a common vibe in their spheres as well. In fact, I realize the reasons for this malaise are myriad, and won’t attempt to soapbox them here. Hope for a quick turnaround, but the prospects of that are not looking good — even on a global level.

I found it more than a little amusing that in order to access some of the cheerier pop music I listen to in southeast Asia I listened to B-96 in Chicago, a station that I never would have listened to in the 1980s or ’90s.

The other bummer is that a lot of people I met with seem to have burdened themselves with a lot of “stuff.” Now, I had a lot of “stuff” until 2008, when I moved out of the big house that allowed me to keep a lot of “stuff.” On that score, I think I am a happier and less encumbered person having jettisoned most of my “stuff.”

But that is probably a topic for another time and place, my friends.

So, as we wing toward the New Year, opportunities abound. Music continues to inspire and rejuvenate, and we look forward to reaction to the new songs.

Stay tuned. I promise it won’t be another four months before we post again.

Published by billpaige

Interested parties are first directed to my memoir, “Everything I Know I Learned From Rock Stars” (Eckhartz Press). While I have taken music therapy classes and read extensively about music’s effect on the brain, I am NOT professionally trained -- just a music lover who recognizes that everyone benefits from music. Giving that gift to special needs youth is highly rewarding, but again, my process is intuitive, not academic. I draw largely on personal experience. I’ve spent most of my 67 years observing a wide world of music, from working as a music critic professionally for 20 years, and holding positions in music companies in the 1970s and 1990s. Since 1990, however, I have focused on learning more about music and improving as a singer, guitarist, and performer, both solo and in ensemble settings.

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