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 Café 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



07 June, 2021

Looking Ahead to December


Adrianne Lenker back on the road

Howdy all!

Just received big fun news this week about December of all things. Got a call from Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief who is doing an extensive fall tour in support of her new double album of acoustic guitar songs and she asked if I would be able to open for her for three shows December 3, 4 and 5 in Seattle, Portland and Eugene. We’ve been friends for about 10 years now and I’m a big fan of her guitar talent and songwriting and so of course I said yes. 


Why am I telling you about this now?


In the 10 years I’ve known Adrianne, 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 now, many of her shows have already sold out, so this is a head’s up. If you want to go, you have to think ahead. 


The shows I will be opening for were announced in the big media today and tickets will go on sale this Friday at 10 am PST. I know the show is quite a ways out and the dice are always rolling and nobody knows who or what we’ll be up to then, but one friend who loves both of our songwriting told me “You have to tell everyone so they can have a chance to get tickets!” and so I am.


Tickets here: adriannelenker.com/tourdates.html


December seems like a long ways away especially since it was 95 degrees today…

Your corn forest pundit


bq 

13 December, 2020

photo by Karyn Raman

 ♪♫•*¨*♪♫•*¨*•.♪♫ ♪♫•*¨*♪♫•*¨*•.♪♫ ♪♫•*¨*♪♫•*¨*•.♪♫

Sunday December 20 • 7 pm PST

The Return of

QTN’s WORDLESS SOLSTICE

Virtual this year and Live Online

from the stage at Tsunami Books

and streaming from their facebook 

and youtube pages


An evening of musical mindfulness 

holding space for the longest night 

and a lively toast to the end of this most impossible year

with wordless songs of wound wire and wood!

 ♪♫•*¨*♪♫•*¨*•.♪♫ ♪♫•*¨*♪♫•*¨*•.♪♫ ♪♫•*¨*♪♫•*¨*•.♪♫ 


A hearty turn of another year’s greets to you all. 


Although I have missed seeing all the tribes of folk I usually visit along the way every year, it is an incredible thing to be home everyday – I  haven’t done that since about 1986. Utah Philips said when he was finally told to stay home and not go on another road trip, “It’s a different way to travel!” 


Since we used to say "bulletins as they occur,”  here's a short notice for you, coming right up. I've been asked to play my Wordless Solstice concert (an annual event for nearly ten years) and this year, virtual and streaming live from the hallowed stage at Tsunami Books in Eugene. It starts early, at 7 pm PST and 10 pm on the East Coast and we’ll be streaming the hour on Tsunami’s facebook and youtube pages simultaneously (Baby Gramps would say, “Same ol’ timeously.”)


There won’t be an in person audience, but you can attend without even leaving your house. Take a trip and never leave the Farm! Tune in from anywhere on this swinging sphere. Text your friend on the other side of the planet and experience it together. It’s a golden opportunity to celebrate the Winter Solstice 2020 and the great Jupiter and Saturn conjunction (which hasn’t occurred in Aquarius since the 13th century) with a bunch of wonderful people and all accompanied by live spontenacious QTN guitar music without all those pesky words. Tsunami has hosted this event for nearly ten years now. This will be a FREE show for all, and donations are welcome too.


We’ll turn the lights down and light candles. It's a heart toast to the longest night, and early enough so you can still go outside and watch Jupiter and Saturn dance too. Solstice time this year is Monday, December 21 at 2:02 am PST. 


Music helps me remember everything important in moving mercurial shapes and sounds and the brightness of the synesthesia of the seasonal turn and I am still moved by the sound of a guitar even after all these many years of playing.


My wish is for us all to remain healthysafe and sound, speedy healing to those I know struggling with this covid mess, and kindness and heartpeace to remember what we can do working together. There is so much that needs to be changed to repair our dysfunctional social mess and it really does begin inside, so it can continue to radiate outward.


My recordings are mostly all available at brianQTN.bandcamp.com and folks still order CDs by mail. Most grateful I be for all the letters, the affirmations and absurdities, the graces and the many ways we reach and touch from afar in this strangest of times. 


Maybe it is the dawning of the Age of Asparagus...


Your 21st century corn forest pundit,

bq




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…. Sing it to the tune of "On Top Of Old Smoky"

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 Señor 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