10 December, 2010

QTNews Autumn Wintry Rising Fall

Hello to you all where'ere ye be.
A long while since I pecked these plastic keys for a newsy blast to you all. So much for keeping up with a quarterly letter to keep the dialogue flowing.

This edition contains:

A. Wintry harvest musings
B. New QTN wordless CD and Colouring Book
C. "Food" is finally a downloadable single!
D. QTN Reverbnation page
E. A fun interview posted for your enjoyment
F. Bite-sized news

A. Ahhh, the turn of the trees, smell of a woodsmoke fire, the rains, chanterelles, and bounty of the year’s harvest. It's more than a quarter past the time of another Heron Moon and with the blush of new apples and pears, peppers and kale to hard squashes to store for winter, t'would be a grand time to be on the Upper Left Edge of the country except I headed east instead to the midwest for another road spin and still won't be back for another week or so.

Moving between worlds as much as I do makes me think of bats. Bats as a totem are transformative instigators and luckily, there's plenty of bat energy for me this year again. For the last several summers, a l'il bat has lived behind a fabric picture hanging on my porch. Since everything was late this year, it wasn’t around for the early part of the summer like previous years but returned the beginning of September. A good companion that bat and a fine presence who circles around my head when I was outside in the yard in the evening, flying back and forth through the porch grabbing moths and mosquitoes.

Just before I left Oregon for fall meanders, at 4 in the morning, little bat flew in the loft window. In sleepiness I figured it must’ve been outside making all that noise but when I opened my eyes, there it was flying around in the cabin looking for a way out. I got up to open the door and flew around my head one last time and left. Next day, I saw it had gone for good as his behind-the-picture hiding place was abandoned. Like me, he was on his way to other adventures. As Yogi Berra has said so eloquently "You can observe a whole lot just by watching."

Seeing the change of the season from the land I began in is always a big turn of events no matter how many times I’ve done it. Slanty light is rarified wherever we find ourselves as we find ourselves transforming in ways we never could imagine. There's plenty to move through and renegotiate; plenty to sift through and release. Stuff to let go of is only the tip of the iceberg. Lettuce bee.

This time of year we are encouraged to reflect on where our gratitude lies and to say thank you thank you in appreciation. Humility and respect - the most important watchwords in every situation. Having a tough time with somebody or a strange situation in life? It seems humility and respect gets us lots farther than opinions and pride. Listening is still better than going on and on defending a single person phenomena. I am reminded of the lyric: " Nothing is often a very good thing to do and always a clever thing to say."

Now the season turns again towards the cold, contracted and sleepy. Darkness comes and its a good time to listen deep, to lighten loads, to make more space for breathing, creative repose and for casting aside excess and remembering to hold space. A good time too to set intention for winter months and transformation into the new decade named the 20tweens by a recent Rock Island concert audience. Alas,
nontheless is all the more so here we go into the next tidbit...

B. My new CD of wordless guitar music, Guitarred & Feathered, is out and flying this year, getting airplay on many stations around the country and world. Ten tunes on one guitar, gorgeously recorded, wrapped in splendicious artwork and a great gift for yourself or someone else dear to you. Copies are $17 postage paid and can be mailed to you directly in time for whatever hoopla you have planned. Also new this year: a QTN colouring book folks have been enjoying since Kerrville. It's called LOLOLOLOLOLO and you can have one sent to your post (or to the kid of your choice) for $6. The cover is posted here and kids of all ages are enjoying it plenty. Break out the crayons and go have some fun. Ordering CDs or colouring books with a check by mail or through my website using paypal is easy and the most artist-friendly way to get hooked up with fun music and stuff. CDbaby continues to be a help in getting this music out to the world too. If you have a CDbaby account, write reviews of any QTN albums on the pages too. My page is here

C. Food -The SINGLE! So many folks still ask for my out of print 45 from nearly 10 years ago (!). Now Food (People Need Food) has finally being released worldwide as a downloadable hi-res single. at CDbaby. Within a week or so, it will be available through iTunes and other outlets for $1.25. At last you can put it on yr mixtapes and iPods. It's electric, beautiful and was recorded with the dynamic duo of Adam and Kris and it sizzles! Go here for more.

D. A new ReverbNation page online is where I've posted tunes to hear. It's a webpage but there's nothing to join and is easier to navigate than Thatspace which seems to have been abandoned (for good reason). If you have suggestions of songs you'd like me to post, let me know. Sign up there for the mailing list if you haven't already. There is a FB-enabled link too for those of you so inclined here and an FB Artist page here The FB page is odd, put up before it was deemed necessary to make a "profile" first, so I never have. It's a good way to say hi and pass around news all the same, but email still works best to reach me. Stop by if you haven't yet and wave.

E. A new QTN interview
with Jeremy Bonfiglio was printed by the St.Joseph Herald-Palladium last month when I played in Michigan. It's posted on this same blog so just scroll down the page for the interview post.

F. Bite-sized Mantras were out of stock but are back in action now. Thanks for the letters and inquiries. A bit late but still in time for the holidays, order decks here.

Giving thanks I am and not just because it is the officially-sanctioned time of year to do that. Some folks on this list have been with me a very long time. May you know your support and beholdance is much appreciated. For coming out to hear live music, for offering places for me to stay while this peripatetic way continues. for the thoughtful letters in return and sharing the music I make with the others you love, it is all a circle and as it says in "Everywhere I Need to Be", I couldn't go the distance without you.

Your corn forest spondent,

04 December, 2010

Wordless Solstice #4 at Tsunami Books

...12 hours after the total lunar eclipse! Come hear.

23 November, 2010

New QTN interview!

Troubadour lets music do talking

By JEREMY D. BONFIGLIO - H-P Features Writer

Thursday, October 14, 2010 2:08 PM EDT

For a musician who has most often been lauded for his lyrical storytelling, making an all-instrumental guitar album may seem like an odd choice.

But that's just what Brian Cutean (aka Brian QTN) has done with "Guitarred & Feathered," the new CD that features the Oregon-based troubadour, one guitar and a whirlwind of sound.

"I know it's not what people expected, but I felt like I wanted to stretch and do it," Cutean says by telephone from Chicago Heights, Ill. "It seems like we've entered a part of history where everybody's words, opinions and thoughts can be published instantly. Sometimes that's too many words even for me, someone who loves words."

Cutean, who has regularly stopped in Southwest Michigan during the harvest season for the past 10 years, will bring his new instrumental works along with his popular lyrical tunes to South Haven on Sunday when he plays Foundry Hall.

"I've been making instrumentals for more than 20 years," Cutean says. "I just didn't put all of them on an album before. Sometimes I get wrapped up in wordplay and cleverness, so I wanted to make something that was 100 percent universal; to play music that was in my heart that everyone could get because there's no language limitations."

Born and raised in the Chicago area, Cutean says he became enthralled by the urban blues and acoustic folk scene of the 1950s and '60s that came through his transistor radio.

"You know that question, what was your first motor skill besides feeding yourself?" Cutean says. "Well, mine was putting little orange and yellow plastic records on a windup record player at 2 or 3 years old. Then I got my first transistor radio before I was 5, and you just can't do that to a kid without having serious repercussions."

Cutean got his first guitar at age 10, he says, in response to The Beatles and the garage-band scene, but didn't take to the instrument until he was 12 or 13. By the time he turned 19 he had left for Austin, Texas, where he spent the next 13 years playing that city's burgeoning music scene. He became a favorite at the Kerrville (Texas) Folk Festival in 1980, and has appeared at the Oregon Country Fair every year since 1988 after leaving Texas for the Pacific Northwest, where he now makes his home.

His first album, "Lubricating the Species," was released on vinyl in 1988, followed by "Is As Does Is (1996), a bare-bones live-in-the-studio guitar, voice and harmonica set that is still lauded by audiophiles, "Parakeetfishhead" (1999) and "Hearthearthearth" (2004).

"Career choice is a funny thing," Cutean says about his musical odyssey. "It reminds me when The Roches were on NPR and Neal Conant asked them, 'When did you decide you'd start making a living at this?' And Terre Roche, after 30 years in the business, said, 'We're still waiting for that to happen.' It's a music thing. I don't really know that I actually decided it, it's just something I've always loved doing. I feel privileged that people like to come to my concerts and like to buy my recordings and that this has been going on for almost 30 years. I think that's pretty amazing."

Although Cutean hints at settings with the titles of such tracks as "Tuned (To Her Piano)" and "Theme from Handpainted School," he says "Guitarred & Feathered" offered a different challenge to his typical songwriting style.

"I think in some ways I still focused on the story, only I didn't tell it with words," Cutean says. "I found something on the guitar I liked and went with it. Songwriting to me is still a mystery. Every time I write a song it's like I never wrote a song before. I still have to get out of the way and find out what it's showing me."

Although Cutean is proud of the all-instrumental album, he says he couldn't imagine not using music to tell stories of a certain place, in a certain time.

"I think storytelling has to be the world's second oldest profession," he says. "In the troubadour fashion you pick up a story from over here you pick up a song from over there. You notice what's happening in the world around you. You take a big breath and hopefully it all makes sense at the end of the evening."

That, Cutean says, is something he feels compelled to do, even on the days he feels a little like Terre Roche.

"People always want to know if I'm making a living in music," Cutean says. "The answer is I have a life in music. It may not look like anybody else's life. It may not be the most lucrative existence in terms of keeping the wolves away from your door. But I wouldn't trade it for anything."


Originally posted at http://www.heraldpalladium.com/articles/2010/10/14/features/2139749.txt

12 November, 2010

QTN returns to Rock Island!

Come on out for a QTN concert in the Quad Cities area. The venue is in Illinois at the Rock Island First Lutheran Church Parish House, 1620 20th St and the concert is Friday November 19 at 7 pm.

This is my third year here and it's a wonderful warm room with many friendly folk. Chris Dunn is doing the opening set honours and he is very entertaining and energetic too.

Call 309.788.9661 for info and directions.

19 October, 2010

Benefit for Anne Feeney in Chicago

(cloud photo© by QTN)

A gorgeous Michigan feathersky!

This update is for a late booking where I will be singing along with others. Anne Feeney is one of my dearest folk music friends and concertmates for more than 20 years. She has tirelessly advocated for peace and justice, worker's rights, healthcare and many other good causes all over the world with humour, grace and compassion. Now she is in Pittsburgh doing radiation treatment and has just finished another round of chemotherapy for a fast-growing tumour in her lungs. Her medical bills are understandably astronomical given the price of healthcare these days. So...

Saturday October 24, 7:30 pm, The Benefit for Anne Feeney is at the People's Church of Chicago, 941 W. Lawrence, Chicago. Performers include Al Day Trio, Amy Dixon-Kolar, Andrew Calhoun, Kristin Lems, Awesome Folk Band, Niki Leeman and Brian Cutean. Suggested donation is $10 but no one will be turned away for lack of dough re mi. All proceeds go directly to Anne for her health needs.

There's on street parking for people with cars, but meters need to be fed until 9 pm. The closest el stop is Lawrence on the red line, or the Lawrence Ave. bus that gets off right on that corner of Sheridan and Lawrence.

If you can't make the show but would like to contribute to Anne, send a check made out to ANNE FEENEY, c/o Rev. Jean Darling, The Peoples Church of Chicago, 941 W. Lawrence Ave., PO Box 408319, Chicago, IL 60640-8319. We will bundle them all together and get them to Anne the day after the show.

For more information, there is a Facebook page here

More to come.
Thanks for reading and for supporting live music and the folks who make it.


Here's a new interview article from the St. Joseph, Michigan Herald Palladium.

01 October, 2010

Autumn road around the Great Lakes

(Equinox moon © Kimm Still)
Suddenly I find myself in Chicago again before the trees change this year and looking at a burgeoning calendar. This is a quick send with be more coming soon as there surely will be updates and additions.

If you’d like to host a house concert with me, drop a line and we’ll figure out what a good date is. It’s easy and simple to host one and your friends and family will love having live music without a club scene attached.

Hope to see you all soon and may your harvest be abundant.


• SUNDAY OCT 3 – GROVEFEST I play at 1:30 pm on the stage and later on at 2:45 pm in the Kennicott Courtyard without a PA. Both are fun sets and it looks like a sunny cool day coming up. I think I have played this fest for about 15 years. Music outdoors and food, gorgeous autumn day and nice folks!
The Grove National Historic Landmark is at 1421 Milwaukee Ave. Glenview, IL 60025 for Google map and their phone is 847.299.6096

• THURS- SUN OCT 7, 8, 9 The FARM conference (Folk Alliance Regional Midwest) singing some, listening some and visiting with musical friends. See the website www.farmfolk.org/gathering.html and volunteer if you want. This is a great annual gathering for pickers, presenters and all kinds of folk.

• SATURDAY OCT 16 – SATYA YOGA STUDIO 7:30 pm. Saugatuck, Michigan My annual Michigan concerts are fewer than usual this year but always more than before. Satya is a gorgeous place and worth the drive for the area’s autumnal tree show and the local farmer harvest goodies out of the city suburb stream. All ages are welcome and the cover is sliding scale $8 - $10. The center is at 3385 Blue Star Hwy, Saugatuck, MI 49453 and can be reached by phone at 269.857.7289. satyayogacenter.net

• SUNDAY OCT 17 – SPECIAL AFTERNOON CONCERT AT FOUNDRY HALL, 3 pm, SouthHaven, Michigan – This is a gorgeous old theatre and concert space. They sometimes do afternoon shows and I love playing here. All ages are welcome and a sliding scale cover. www.foundryhall.com

• SUNDAY NOVEMBER 7, HOUSE CONCERT, 3 pm, Oak Park, IL (Doors open at 2:30) – Opening for Mad Agnes with Margo Hennebach, Adrienne Jones and Mark Saunders ! This east coast trio will move and delight you and after many many wonderful years, it is their farewell tour so if you don’t see them this time, you won’t. Don’t let that happen! For info, directions and reservations, contact Nancy at nancylclark@yahoo.com or 708.848.2205.

Questions? Answers? Rags? Bones? Bottles?

05 July, 2010

Suddenly: JULY!

Howdy live music lovers!
Here we are again on the verge of another summer (if it ever gets here) and that means summer travel, gigs and the annual Oregon Country Fair. I'm just freshly back from Texas where it was hot and hotter and now that I opened my cells up to let all that heat in, I'm chilly up here and I'm sure folks in the rest of the country would just tell me to please not talk about it anymore, so allow me to deftly change the channel...

My time in Texas and Kerrville was splendicious and full and I heard plenty of new amazing songs, met and visited with all kinds of folks. I'm doing several concerts with Texas friends in July and August. Come on out and get an earful of songs new and less new.

The new wordless guitar CD, Guitarred and Feathered, is getting airplay on nearly 50 stations here and abroad and if you haven't got a copy yet, you can order through my website or through CDbaby or itunes. Of course, I get the most bang out of your buck when you order CDs here, but the others are fine too. Go here to listen to whole songs from the latest. This is the one record of mine that every culture on the planet can get 100%. There is a new colouring book too (Lolololololo) but you'll have to come to a gig to find one.

Here's the Fair schedule and upcoming Northwest gigs in July:

JULY 9, 10 and 11 The 41st OREGON COUNTRY FAIR - Veneta, OR
Friday: Shady Grove Stage, 12 noon
Saturday: Community Village Stage, 12 noon
Sunday: Blue Moon Stage, 12 noon This one may be broadcast live on KRVM.org. and other places sponteancious and suddenly. I have a great band this year featuring Lewi Longmire on mandolin, Jason Montgomery on bass and for the first time, Chris Kokesh on violin fiddle. (Come see Chris' set right before ours Friday at Shady Grove at 11 am). Hey! how'd all three days get noon sets??

• WED. JULY 14 - SCOBERT PARK - Eugene, OR, 7 pm
Bring a picnic and the kids. Special guests are likely.

- Eugene, OR, 8:30 pm
With some version of QTN's Country Fair Band and sets from Seattle/Austin's Jack Wilson and a late set from Hendrikz McLeod who hail from Austin/Ashland. 21 and over, $5

• THURS. JULY 29 - MISSISSIPPI PIZZA - Portland, OR, 9 pm
With sets from me, Raina Rose Band and Austin's legendary Some Say Leland.

- Cottage Grove, OR, 8 pm
With me, Raina Rose Band and The Pines from Minnesota, $5

Then in August, I'll be playing at the first PORTLAND FOLK FESTIVAL. Check out the line up of artists there too.

As Baby Gramps would say: See you suddenly!

01 May, 2010

QTN Texas Withdraw'l Tour 2010 Update and correction

Howdy to all the Texas tribe and all the pilgrims headed here for another Kerrville Folk Fest (kerrvillefolkfestival.com) as well as all of you everywhere. Time to play a lot of music, sweat plenty, walk everywhere, have time to visit and get away from these crazy computers for a breather. I am celebrating a new CD, Guitarred and Feathered and a new colouring book.

Here are concert dates I hope to see you at and a reminder to come make your home in The Valley for a few weeks. Last minute updates posted here or sign up for email: QTNZYME (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Thanks for all your kind wishes and thoughts!
See you suddenly!

• THURSDAY MAY 13 – THE ELEPHANT ROOM – 3rd and Congress, Happy Hour, 6 to 8 pm. This annual reunion of Austin pickers from long ago is early evening, organized by Stanley Smith and features a plethora of talent: Dave Scheidel, Stanley Smith, Ike Eichenberg, East Side Flash, Beth Galiger, myself and many many others.

• FRIDAY MAY 14 – SAN MARCOS HOUSECONCERT, 6:30 pm Call Amy Sue at 503.737.8490 for details or email me for the address. Facebook enabled? See an invite here

• SUNDAY MAY 16 – CAFE CAFFEINE - 908 W.Mary, South Austin, 5 to 7 pm with bassman Robert Vignaud. We usually get a concert in June but this year it looks like we'll be celebrating Robert's b-earthday instead. Always a pleasure to make music together with guests popping up spontenaciously. Two sets of tunes and all ages welcome. Sliding scale cover. Special guest the one and only Frank Hill!

• AUSTIN SECRET SHOW – With The Blue Hit and McMercy Family! Location announced here

JUST ADDED! • FRIDAY, MAY 21, AUSTIN HOUSE CONCERT – Off 290W in far south Austin, 8 pm with Cindy Pitts opening. $10 donation. Address, directions and info, call 512.288.5562, 512.431.9347. Right on the way to Kerrville and just before Land Rush!

• MAY 27 to JUNE 13 – KERRVILLE FOLK FESTIVAL – 18 days of music and in-tents community. Sing around the Crow's Nest until dawn. Lots of incredible daily concerts and I host the Ballad Tree Saturday June 12. Come sign up and share a tune, a poem or tale with a great attentive group.

28 January, 2010

brian QTN's wintry whirly wheee heee news

cover image ©2010 kimm still

A wintry whirly wheeeheee hee – oops howdy, uh-oh and a double take what th-? to you all from way over here on the Upper Left Edge to way over there wherever you may find yourself. It's time once again for a brief seasonal toast (with homemade blackberry jam) streaming through the dreaming mind and pen of Cuteanonyms.

The sections are:

A. Continuumusings
B. Guitarred and Feathered News
C. Magazines feature QTN's way out writings
D. Website updates

A. Continuumusings –– I'm still looking for that "long winter's nap". It must be here somewheres cause it looked just like me yesterday. Now the Caribbean's rumbling, the collective gasp has endured another mass extinction and another massive diaspora and then those crazy Mer'cans got so mad that the annual State of the Union was going to be on the same night as the season premiere of whatever the flavour of the week is, they petitioned the White House to move to another night. And then the White House did...We interrupt this program for an important bulletin..... er...sorry...we'll come back later I guess...Topsy turvy, yep, it all completely is. What is the State of the Onion anyway?

Mighty good time to take a couple of big deep breaths...

A big solar eclipse was the way we ended 2009 and in a few weeks (on February 14) we go from placid steady Ox year to wild ferocious Lucky Tiger (and a heavy metal tiger at that). Yes centrifugal force is amazing indeed: here we are glued to the sides of this ride where the bottom falls out again and again and the whole contraption tips and tilts and whirls and rolls like the one at Throwupland USA you swore you would never get on again...

Good thing there is a community, lifemusic and a little fire to warm our many hands. Interesting times indeed... Where would we be without us? Even still, what will we bring forth in creativity next to contribute to the whirldsphere?

B. Guitarred and Feathered News –– Yes, it's true, a new QTN CD has hatched and already is on the wing. Guitarred and Feathered is ten wordless guitar tunes recorded at GungHo Studios with Billy Barnett recording at the board. The package is a glorious combination of Kimmm Still's magical photography, gorgeous paintings by Theresa Gray and a soundtrack of wound wires and wood. It all looks and sounds great to me and I couldn't be happier with it. Thanks to all who have sent enthusiastic appreciations and words of delight.

Guitarred and Feathered can finally be ordered securely online at my website. Click the album cover on the home page. Ordering by mail with a check is fine too. Just send me your order through email at the website. A CDbaby page is coming and soon it will iTuneable everywhere else in the known multiverse too. A big radio mailout is imminent too so send me the name of the program on yr local radio station that plays acoustic or instrumental music, and I will make sure they get a CD too.

There is a fun new interview/article about the album here and a downloadable radio interview from December live on KLCC's Fresh Tracks. Go here and click on "Audio Archives", then put my name in the search.

A new online radio station, RadioGuitar here plays nothing but instrumental guitar music 24/7, so along with Fahey, Renbourn, Jansch, Kottke, Peter Lang, Michael Hedges and many others, guess what else is playing right there regularly in the mix? Yep...the new one... Click "station" on the homepage and listen in. There's nothing to join and music keeps coming out. I've wished for a station like this many times over the years.

C. Magazines feature QTN's way out writings –– A newspaper from England and a couple of online absurdist magazines have printed QTN written musings lately. The physical paper is called Eccentric City and you can read all about it and even order a copy here. This issue also features a poem by margareta waterman whom I have performed with for many years and an extensive article by Darlene the Raven.

Two online journals feature QTN in their newest issues too. One is called Corporeal Flux and the other is Full of Crow along with such other esteeemed company too. Make sure to check out the great cover home page and the smattering of crow quotes sprinkled throughout...

D. Website updates –– Besides the new GnF page, my website also has a winter CD sale going on: 3 CDs (not including the new one) for $38 postage paid. Order online or through mail.

I'd say it's all hands on deck in this tilty wobbly dinghy we're riding in and we all have more than enough to do to stabilize it. I have an optimystical feeling that 2010's Tiger may shake change from the deepest pockets of dysfunction. Perhaps it's time to read Arthur C. Clarke's book again... Breathing clear and discerning what is significant, questioning intention and leaning into the sharpnesses... There's nothing new under the sun, but the old ways still have great value.

Many peaceful wishes I send for the emerging year. Welcome to all the new babies and thanks to Howard Zinn. It is a positive thought to note that his "People's History of the United States" is now considered an academic textbook in many schools and that is huge.

May you always be able to laugh inappropriately and listen to the space between the wordthoughts.

You corn forest spondent

14 January, 2010

Alberto says...

"Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of others; above all, for those whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends; and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of others, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received and am still receiving." - Albert Einstein