23 June, 2020

Toppling Statues


Sometimes the headlines write the songs. I had a good time writing this. Now if I could just get it out of my head….


We're toppling statues
of confederate schmoes
i'd rather see Larry, Curly and Moe

Let’s have Ella and Billie, Sir Duke or Roy Haynes
or Dizzy Gillespie, Rahsaan or Coltrane
Or maybe Aretha or Sojourner Truth
Audre Lord or John Lewis or ol Langston Hughes

We're toppling statues
of old men with no souls
to replace them with heroes like Sun Ra or Nat Cole

Elizabeth Cotten, Charles Mingus or Prince
Barry White, Crispus Attucks or Atticus Finch

Big Mama Thornton, Ruby Dee or Odetta,
Mahalia Jackson or Sister Rosetta

Or Zora Neale Hurston or Nina Simone
Bessie Smith or Slim Gaillard, Monk or Sly Stone

We're toppling statues
those old men must go
To celebrate people
with big hearts and souls

Those thieves they have robbed us
of solace and sleep
They’ve never been heroes –
they just made the world weep

(The Nina Simone statue is in her hometown of Tryon, NC. Sculpted by Zenos Frudakis, it contains some of her ashes in a bronze heart built into the chest.)

17 June, 2020

Is As Does Is – Re-Does!

Greets to you on the cusp of the strangest summer after the strangest winter and spring I can ever remember. Here’s hoping you are standing up and at em, learning lots, and digging in during this most explosive time of social change and growth. Somehow we all are doing our parts creating a different kind of place to live in and there has never been a time like this before.

I am grateful for this place where I live, for the community of folks I know in so many places and the many ways creation continues to manifest as we question everything we’ve been taught and reach beyond it all to move beyond limiting beliefs and conditioned responses. It is a time of big swift change and a deep renegotiating and revisioning of the way we choose to live together.

Amazingly, along with everything else happening this year, 2020 is also the 25th anniversary of Is As Does IsThat 1995 album has just been remastered and reimagined to celebrate its silver year – but who woulda thought we’d be where we are and why do this now? 

I’ve been preparing to do this for awhile. Back in February, I dug out the original master tape thinking it was the perfect time to revisit it and took it to Sky Onion Studio in Portland to have it remastered. It sounds real and 3D now instead of muddy and muffly like when it first was made it into a CD. It hasn’t been available since the turn of the century and for good reason.

The album is a dozen rollicking, relevant tracks recorded simply with a guitar, voice and a bit of harmonica – wound wires and wood meeting the human voice and mind, from a time before pocket phones, email and zoom concerts when I was living in my truck and touring everywhere. 

The sonic difference is startling and the cover has been updated and re-visioned  too thanks to Lampadina Design. As SeƱor Wences said in his famous Pepto Bismol commercial: “It’s the same, just different!” Have a listen, go for a ride, send for a copy or download it. 

Here's two ways: 

• Order it directly through me with a check or money order, just like in the old days by sending me your mailing details. You can send me messages through the Bandcamp page linked in the next paragraph.

• Order it online as a physical CD in its spiffy new wallet design or download it as lossless soundfiles on Bandcamp here. Get the album download free when you order the CD too. Sending for a physical copy supports the Postal Service (and who wouldn’t want to do that these days?). 

Whether you pay online at Bandcamp or write to me, mere days later, a uninformed uniformed government employee will deliver a copy directly to your quarantined door almost like magic – only better. 

I may be fiddling while Rome burns here, but this project has been a goal for the last several years and other folks have continued to ask for it. While I hoped to have a whole new QTN recording together this year, in this locked-down whirld in the brokedown palace with no live music and no gigs, not much is happening that way now, or maybe in the near future either. 

As part of the 25th anniversary celebration, here’s a recently unearthed video of the song Medicine Bow, from Is As Does Is, live and filmed in Zion Narional Park on a tour through Utah about 1997. I’m not sure who filmed this, but it sure is fun to see again. Enjoy.  https://youtu.be/rbofdr1PQW8

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program which is already in progress… Steady steady now…

Your corn forest pundit,
bq