18 December, 2022

QTN Wintry Whirling Wonder-Wanderings

  

Photo by Sally Bogardus

 Greets of the Season of the Long Night!

This latest musing finally got typed. Complicated thoughts for a complicated year. There are 3 newsy parts here, but first – announcing a Eugene, Oregon gig I haven’t played in person since The Pause. 

It’s the return of 

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 21, 7 pm
TSUNAMI BOOKS, 2585 WILLAMETTE

A live river of guitar music, 
candlelight, community, space and focus 
to embrace the longest night
with no holiday hoopla.
Bring a friend, a candle and your ears.


A. 2022 extrapolations in review
B. Newly released recordings
C. Continuumusing – again!

A.  Another spin around the wheel, another year draws to a close. Another opportunity to leave old ways behind and to welcome the new with open receiving arms. The new chops and experiences, new ways of dealing with old patterns and situations appear suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere. Once a pattern is recognized, the option to participate – or not – is clear. Once volitional consciousness discerns what is significant, choices are weighed and made.

And so the inward and the outward (as well as the toward) collide with one another, change each the other and, as it is outside, so it becomes inside. A look around the metaphorsphorescence and careening impossible of the worldsphere reveals the too much of it all, so stepping into silence is a river and a pulsing sinewave. A quieting of the chaotic rampage of elephant monkey donkey trickster mind patterns while listening and being still is a rrrrrr-evolutionary act; not indolence but a useful tool.

What kind of newsletter is this and what the hell am I going on about here? It’s another part of the music that surgemerges through and this has been a year the likes of which we’ve never seen the like of (just like every year has been previously for a bunch of em in this century). Living with uncertainty is a certain solace, and watching traditional forms dissolve around us and becoming new forms is revealing and a deeper kind of green yes we’ve barely had time to explore and celebrate, like dwellers on the threshold beckoning and becoming. It is what we are here to do the best however we can.

B.  Much of the last few years of pause I’ve had the opportunity to do the best I can by bringing songs I make and play and others' songs and sounds together into tangible form. The Pause time without live presentations has felt impossible at different times for many and the challenges of living and the constant river of change (along with cherished others leaving life) can make present time difficult. Still I am thankful that some projects I've long wanted to bring to completion (after years of only being home maybe three weeks at a time) have finally been made 3D. 

These days, Bandcamp is the closest thing I have to a website (my other site was last updated about 2012). You can stream whole albums, download them or send for physical CDs. I’ve posted many odd downloadable sonic relics there too that will never be made into CDs. Music is a thoughtful giving to share and CDs still make great gifts. Click on the blue links in this letter to listen in and take a ride in the earbuds. 

Al Grierson, The Petals – In 2020, I made a CD of Al Grierson’s uncollected songs, a project Anne Feeney and I talked of doing for years. Al died 20 years ago, swept into Texas floodwaters after a gig, but he made two fine albums while he was alive. Now there is a third and I think he would like it too. Listen to The Petals here and if you only listen to one song, play the title track. You’ll likely listen to the rest after that. Download or order the album there. All the $ goes directly to his daughters and there are still a few physical copies available too. 

Richard Crandell, Lost Legacy – This summer, as my musician friend Richard Crandell was in his last days on Earth, his dream album of piano originals, Lost Legacy, was delivered to the hospital. A master musician, Richard made his first guitar record in 1980. He played jazz and salsa piano in many combos too. After six guitar albums, his hands could no longer play due to his Essential Tremor. He then became an international-recognized innovator on the Zimbabwean mbira played in his own most untraditional style. He made five mbira albums (two with koto master, Masumi Timson) and he and I worked on Lost Legacy for the last year and a half. This one is only a physical CD and isn’t online yet but if you’d like more info, just hit reply. His other recordings are streamable via all the usual places.

Brian QTN, OsculEARiosophy – This year I released a new recording of my own, OsculEARiosophy, a naked voice and guitar record with ten songs, new and not so new. The Bayard guitar I play is the whole band and it all was recorded in one session. It has gotten a lot of radio and online airplay this year and has stimulated many great emails and letters. Take it for a spin. 

C.  It is a changing time and music you enjoy is a great tool to have in your box. It slows time, changes the channel, and fills your head with ideas and stories. It fills your heart with melodies and rhythm. It can be habit-forming and yet, it is way better than teevee. Or obsession, alcohol, drama or confusion. I agree with George Harrison who said it was the best part of himself he had to give.

With so much in constant flux all around us, it is good to remember that we are people all in this together with much more in common than our differences. Sometimes what needs to change is our ideas about each other and as much as systems and politricks, corporations and global dysfunction would like to separate us and make us dislike, hate or fear each other, we are all riding on this same little pebble in a vast swift evre-expanding river that curls back on itself like Ouroboros eating its own tail. Mind yer entropies and cues and let’s be kind to one another and embrace the changes we all are facing. As the song goes: let us know, let us know, let us know...

Oh, and Richard Crandell made acronyms too. My favourite of his is: ACRONYM - Another Creative Round of New Youthful Music! 

The Wordless Solstice is dedicated to Richard this year.

May you find heartpeace in your days. Onward into 2023!

Your corn forest pundit,
bq



03 July, 2022

Brian QTN July Music in Oregon!

 

Andrew Alikhanov and QTN at OCF 2019  Photo by Kimm Still  





















 A hat tip of the summery daze to Upper Left Edge folk near and far!

OCF, Wordless and worded post Fair dates and times below

Still swimming through Kerrblur after six weeks in Texas at the 50th Kerrville Folk Festival. It wasn't below 95 degrees any day of that time and often it was triple digits. I learned to take 5 showers in a row everyday and it helped immensely. Indeed a tough beautiful time with many dear heartsouls and beautiful long unseen faces. Here is a video peek of the finale of our Crow’s Nest show with us all singing “Sometimes A Darkness Comes” for your edification and enjoyment 

I realized I mostly was peripatetic throughout years of this liferide (at least til the past couple) and I moved through many communities for most of it. Two and a half years is a way too long time between visits. There are new things in the big mindheart and faces outpictured by so many I saw. And now I get to do it again with an intensive weekend at the Oregon Country Fair, my 34th year of playing music there. I am celebrating with the release of a new 10 song album, OsculEARiosophy, linked here for streaming.

This year’s QTNBand has the usual suspects – Jason Montgomery on bass, Lewi Longmire on mando, Michelle Alany on violin and Andrew Alikhanov on clarinet and for the first time this year, we'll be joined by Courtney Von Drehle on accordion and whatever he feel like playing. 

Strangely we have two sets both on the same stage at the same time each day, two days in a row and we’ll have musical surprises each day.

Saturday July 9 1:40-2:40 PM@ Blue Moon
Sunday July 10 1:40-2:40 PM @ Blue Moon


For folks who won’t be at OCF this year too –  my annual post Fair gig with two sets, a picnic, kids, cookies and community encouraged.
Wednesday, July 136:30 pm 
Eugene’s Scobert Park 
(on 4th St. by Sam Bond’s across the street from Nelson’s)  

Later this month, I’ll be playing guitar and feeding the ravenous Wordless Beast in me with two outdoor Saturday evening gigs:

Saturday July 23 and Saturday July 30, from 6-8 pm 
at 16 Tons in South Eugene at 29th and Willamette St.
in the plaza with Market of Choice.

World is a hot scary mess nowadays and human gatherings are more important than ever. There are many ways to raise our voices to call attention to the madness all around. We are not powerless working together and we can move many heavy huge stones like we have many times before. World is changing and the dysfunctional ways things have always been done are running themselves out. Metamorphosis. Image a nation. Image a world. Image mindfulness, connectivity community.

Your corn forest pundit,
bq

10 April, 2022

Brian QTN Going Through Texas With Drawl 2022

 

Mark "Gumby" Williams and QTN, Kerrville Folk Fest, 1983

Hello people of the HeartMindMusicSongSoulVerve!
All the boing of Spring to you all!

It’s April already though it got here mighty fast. Still chilly here and even though baseball season has begun, it’s snowing in several parts of the country. Grateful for  snowdump this week in the higher elevations here as that is our summer water and we are still in drought. 

Worldsphere is waking in a new form. Everyone and everything has been changed somehow in the last couple years of staying far from the crowding mad and reassessing what works and what doesn't. Through it all folks still create, and the new songs, poems, paintings, films, books, dances and expression move and speak differently. There is a line from the Before Times to now and even though there are difficult and terrible things happening all around us, there are also things that are proceeding, overcoming great odds in a more positive way in tandem simultaneously.

Winter was deep and productive, even in my learning to rest differently and better. Been working on archives, recording new music, playing guitar, making a new album, compiling a book of stories for Kerrville Folk Festival’s 50th anniversary written by a folks who took the time to write a story to benefit the KFF Foundation, and space here to ponder other endless imponderables. There is a rhythm, and in every beginning is the rhythm even before words are necessary.

I am excited about heading to Texas in a few weeks as I've done for so many years for playing shows, Kerrville and for visiting familyfolk long unseen. Right after the Texas trip I’ll be playing at a real live and in person Oregon Country Fair  too. Tickets for both events are on sale now and are smaller in size than previous years so don’t wait to get em. I’ll send OCF details soon.

Texas gigs:

• Mother’s Day, May 8, I’ll be celebrating the new QTN album, OsculEARiosophy, with a concert in Austin at Radio Coffee and Beer, 4204 Manchaca Rd., from 7-10 pm. Got special guests in mind and there’ll be a Texas sending with more info this week. 

Meawhile, if you’d like to order a copy of the OsculEARiosophy CD or download the songs, go here.  I've just ordered a second run of CDs as the first pressing went fast and what good news that is. The album is intimate – 10 songs with one sweet Bayard guitar and one QTN voice, recorded head on with 3 vintage mics in the sweet studio where I recorded Guitarred and Feathered and songs from The Sound of Photosynthesis. Thanks to all the DJs who are sharing this with their listeners already.

• Thursday June 2, at 9 pm, Steve Fisher and I host the toasting of the wonder that is the Crow’s Nest, saluting Crow Johnson who the campfire is named for onstage at Kerrville on the Threadgill Stage. I’ve camped and sung around that Ring of Stones for more than half the years of my life and some pretty astonishing things have taken place there under the stars in the deepest night. There’ll be songs and other guests and I’m thrilled to hear that Crow will be there in person as well to make this festive night ever so much more heart-moving and indelible.

• Sunday June 12, 2 pm, I host the Ballad Tree session on Chapel Hill on the last day of the 50th Kerrville Festival. Bring a song or poem, your friends and your ears. Also that night, you can see David Amram conduct the Festival Orchestra for the grande finale. David is 91 and still an extraordinary performer! See the whole amazing Fest schedule here.

During the week before Kerrville, while in Austin, I am looking for a set of street legal wheels I could borrow for around town use and/or a venue for me to play Wordless Guitar or a singing guest set or two. Best way to reach me is through this email. 

Thanks for your ears, your kind letters and good thoughts about OsculEARiosophy. The sap is rising and the energy is high for change and evolution. Doing my best to rise to meet it. After all, we didn’t come here to go to sleep – we came here to WAKE UP.

Your corn forest pundit,
bq

13 February, 2022

QTNs OsculEARiosophy and the Water Tiger Year

 

It’s the top of a new ear and already in process! The sap is rising like the rivers and the water is a-flowin.

There are four parts to this newsletter:
1. A Musing on the Water Tiger Year 
2. New QTN album, OsculEARiosophy
3. The Petals by Al Grierson
4. Last Call for Kerrville Stories

1. Here we go round and round the big wheel that scrapes the sky. Moon was New February 1 and so a new Lunar Year begins. This time around itsa Watery Tiger following a heavy Metal Ox and it’s been observed that if the Metal Ox was a dam, the Water Tiger may well burst it as big energetic changes move further in. Water is yin, an element of ending and a preparing for something new. Other perspectives can be helpful especially in times like these.

Lots of deep breaths lately to begin again in this contracted winter with grace and fluidity.  Fluid-ditties are fun to sing even though there aren’t many gigs to play with real live people these days. I am digging into singing and guitarring, making new things to sing, finding older ones to re-sing. Real eyes sing.

2. I begin this new lunar year offering the heartiest thanks to all of you who’ve been preordering OsculEARiosophy  Preorders have helped mix, master, manufacture and send this new recording out into the whirld at large. Already it has gone many places and it goes out to many more round the world officially this month. Physical copies and digital files are there (even though we are in an odd time where CD players have largely gone the way of the Thesaurus.) 

For those of you in radio, a separate sending is coming your way. If your email address has changed, please let me know asap. Radio folk can request digital downloads with metadata to get the music out faster (and less $ for postage). 

 I made a new recording last summer in my favourite studio here, with three vintage mics, six exceptional strings on an extraordinary Bayard guitar, ten fingers and a voice, and in one 6 hour session, ten songs were recorded. Order and stream tracks via my bandcamp page linked above and you can comment there or send words here. I’ve been told it’s a fun album to listen to on a cold day with a good cuppa something hot. 

Two other important mentions:

3. The Petals, Al Grierson’s 3rd album, was released last year as a collection of unreleased gems he left behind and curated by me with a baker’s dozen of unforgettable Al tunes. The project was begun by Anne Feeney and I years ago, dear to our hearts and it all came together incredibly. Al's been gone 20 years now (and Anne left us a year ago) – his songs are eternal, so what’s a couple decades between friends? The other two albums he made while he stomped the terra firma are streamable and downloadable at his Bandcamp page here and all sales go directly to his two daughters. 

4. 2022 is Kerrville Folk Festival’s 50th Anniversary and that means it's last call for stories for the Kerrville book Festfolk are writing together. If you’ve been procrastinating, the buzzer just sounded. I need them all as soon as possible to get it together and done by May Fest. Don’t wait to send your tales of amazing Kerrville happenings, camp origins, rain stories, Kerr-characters, raisin consciousness, rivers and weather, synchronicities and absurdities. Wax poetic and share your unbelievable experiences with the Kerr-munity and the rest of the outside world. Just collect your thoughts, type em up and hit reply to me here. If you’ve posted a great story on fb, copy it off the page and paste it into an email.

Here's hoping we have places to gather and sing again, festivals for the soul and other community hoopla. Hoping too we can come together as human neighbours and people with kind hearts to stop the animosity toward each other and focus on the important changes inevitably headed our way. 

The oldest trick in the book is propagated by those with hubris and no hearts inflicting dualities into everything so folks argue endlessly about what they choose while their pockets are picked, and their rights and culture are exploited and stripped clean of its soul by those who stand to gain the most… it’s the oldest trick…

Thank you for being a part of this list, for your many letters, your enthusiasm and your ears. It is no small thing to me here on the hill over by the way and I hope to see you out there soon.

Lord Buckley said it best:

“The flowers, 
the gorgeous, mystic multi-coloured flowers, 
are not the flowers of life, 
but people, 
people are the true flowers of life 
and it has been a most 
precious pleasure 
to have temporarily strolled in your garden.”

Your corn forest pundit,
bq


10 November, 2021

The Harvest Is In!


Greets of the season Corn Forest Pondents!

King Harvest has surely come! Trees are fantastic colours, the leaves are blowing, skywater is falling like it’s supposed to, the air is soft and cool, mushrooms are popping out, fruit trees are loaded and river is a mighty force teeming and roaring in its autumn rush. It is my favourite time of year.

Just back from a three week Texas trip to the 49th Kerrville Folk Festival, held this year in October instead of May. Guess I needed to sleep on the ground for a couple of weeks and stay up late listening to so many amazing songs and singing to the dawn because I sure feel different than when I left. It was a very small fest like in the 80s and felt so good to be around others again. I feel a different energy available and my spirit got a real good tune-up just in time for the turn of the season.

While the rest 2021 dwindles and the season slows to a more contracted time, I have a news of newly-recorded and in person music. Some parts of the world community are opening carefully and slow – it is exciting to proceed.

• On Sunday December 5, at 7 pm, I will be sharing an intimate musical evening concert with Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker at the WOW Hall in Eugene as a part of a 3-night tour that includes Seattle and Portland. Adrianne is an extraordinary guitarist songwriter and we both will be playing solo sets. The other two nights sold out long ago but I hear there are still a few tickets left for the Eugene show. Click here for tickets but don’t wait too long. 

• More Big News: This summer, I recorded at new album – a ten-song voice and guitar collection called OsculEARiosophy and it looks like it will be out before the end of the month. A couple of tracks will be posted on my Bandcamp page beginning November 12 and preorders for it open then. Bookmark brianQTN.bandcamp.com and squint yer ears. This is a very different album from others I’ve made and I love the way it all sounds.

• Visit my Hibidiville Youtube channel – I’ve been uploading all kinds of videos featuring QTN ancient and recent, Anne Feeney, East Side Flash, Ed and Carol Florida, and Biff Rose from the Kerrville archives, Richard Crandell and Masumi Timson and many others. Subscribe and be notified when new vids are added.

After these last couple of crazy years, I'm hoping live music will return in full force along with gatherings of all types to feed soulhearts and imaginations. Even though I have enjoyed music livestreams online when wifi is strong enough here, to me they are nowhere near the same as direct transmissions in person. Thanks for your words and thoughts, notes and letters, process and perseverance.

Huge harvest greets from your corn forest pundit,
bq


Hot veggie links:

19 August, 2021

Dog Day Gigs August 21 and 22 , Eugene Oregon

 This Friday and Saturday join me for what may be my last gigs in Eugene for awhile. I surely do look forward to seeing you all and both dates are outdoors with plenty of space and I'm happy to play. Ear squinting permitted!


SATURDAY, AUGUST 21, 6-8 pm

QTNstrumental Wordless Guitar in front of 16 Tons, 

2864 Willamette (between Market of Choice and Laughing Planet) FREE

Two hours of QTN Wordless Guitar with food, libations, community and a gorgeous summer Saturday evening in the same plaza as Laughing Planet and Pegasus Pizza. Everyone and their dogs welcome.



SUNDAY, AUGUST 22, 5 pm

QTN Outdoors at 118 Merry Ln. in the River Road neighbourhood

An intimate QTN concert with two sets and a very special guest 

on a beautiful spot near the Willamette River. 

Tickets at the door, $10-$20 sliding scale.

There are overstuffed plum trees and plenty of space all around. Bring your own chair or use one there. Gates open 4:30 pm, show at 5 pm. Bring water for hot days. Free parking at Hosanna Studios, 1361 River Rd. or nearby street parking. 

14 June, 2021

QTN Summer News -All the print that's fit to moot

Al Grierson's new Al-bum 20 years after he caught a Westbound



 Lots in this newsletter:


A • A few, fun, fortuitous, future QTN local music opportunities this summer

B • A 3 Night Tour With Adrianne Lenker, Seattle, Portland and Eugene

C • Al Grierson’s new album The Petals is out


A • FUN, FORTUITOUS FUTURE QTN LOCAL SHOWS THIS SUMMER – I haven’t booked much this year but I am playing a few choice dates outdoors in the area in July and August. Not waxing words here (pink eloquence on parade) but just the facks...


Wednesday July 14, 6:30 pm – QTN annual Post OCF Concert in Scobert Park, Eugene FREE Plenty of room to stretch out in this sweet little pocket park just west of the corner of 4th and Blair over by Sam Bond’s, World CafĂ© and the old Tiny Tavern and lotsa QTN tunes old and new with special guests always a possibility too. There’s a playscape for the kids, picnics are encouraged and Fair costumery is most welcome. I’ve played this annual concert for more than 20 years and it’s always a big fun way to relax together.


Saturday July 17 & Saturday August 21, 6-8 pm – QTNstrumental Wordless Guitar at 16 Tons, 2864 Willamette #500 (between Market of Choice and Laughing Planet) FREE

Two hours of QTN guitar to go with food, libations and a gorgeous summer Saturday. Everyone and their dogs welcome.


Sunday, August 22, 5 pm – QTN Outdoors at 118 Merry Ln., in the River Road neighbourhood Eugene– A special intimate concert on a beautiful spot on the Willamette River and one of 4 Mike Meyer Summer Concert package. Tickets $10-$20 sliding scale and capacity 50 seats. Paypal money for reservations (heartily recommended as it is already half sold out) using meyercounseling@gmail.com, or send a check made out to Mike Meyer, 70 East Howard St. Eugene, OR 97404. I know it’s nearly 3 months out but don’t wait to buy tickets.


B • A 3 NIGHT TOUR OPENING FOR ADRIANNE LENKER

This is gonna be big fun playing the opening set for Adrianne.  It is quite the honour to be asked to accompany her on three nights of her solo acoustic tour. In the 10 years I’ve known her, she’s been nominated for a Grammy twice and her band and solo shows have a habit of selling out very quickly all over the world. If you look at her fall tour schedule, many of her fall and winter shows have already sold out, so this is an early head’s up. If you want to see these shows, you'll have to think ahead and buy tickets now. 

Ticket links here. 


12/3/21 Seattle, WA Washington Hall – ticketweb.com/event/adrianne-lenker-washington-hall-tickets/11071975?pl=crocodile

12/4/21 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom – etix.com/ticket/p/8930367/adrianne-lenker-portland-wonder-ballroom

12/5/21 Eugene, OR WOW Hall – ticketweb.com/event/adrianne-lenker-wow-hall-tickets/11081755


C • AL GRIERSON’S THE PETALS

Many of you know that since February, I’ve been working on a collection of Al Grierson’s unreleased recordings. Now it’s out and done and I can’t wait for folks to hear it. Al was the crown prince mythopoet Buddhist hobo trickster singer scribe whose unforgettable songs were filled with history, heartache, observation and wanderlust. He was swept away in a Texas flood near Luckenbach back in November of 2000 and his plaintive guitar, harmonica and voice were the perfect ruse to draw you deeper into his stream of consciousness world of poetry, mayhem, mythology and mischief. It is a project I began with Anne Feeney and when she was in the hospital the last time, I decided it needed to be completed. She and Al have both inspired and accompanied me all throughout the process. 


What started with 7 unreleased songs blossomed with the help of his friends. The new disc is 13 songs from many sources, all brilliantly restored and remastered by Sky Onion Audio and now there is also a huge archive of other recordings and video uncovered in the process. The album’s proceeds and archive all go to Al’s two daughters and The Petals is a fine companion to the other two albums he left behind. All three albums are downloadable via Al’s new Bandcamp page algrierson.bandcamp.com. The Petals is also available as a gorgeous, limited run physical CD. Preorders went into the mail today and the rest of the CDs will go fast, so order a copy asap from his bandcamp page to get one.


If you made it through all this news, I thank you. 

Enjoy these golden days and drink a lot of water. Water is life.



Your corn forest pundit,

bq