‘Oh Woody’ is the Winner of the 2015 NewSongs contest at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas!!!

Hey Friends!

My tribute song to Woody Guthrie—‘Oh Woody’, was chosen as the Winner of the 2015 NewSongs contest at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. Also, my song ‘Take a Liking to You’ was chosen as an ‘Alternate’ winner in the ‘Religious/Spiritual’ category. Needless to say I can’t wait to go to Kansas next weekend to play at the festival! Listen to ‘Oh Woody’  or Download ‘Oh Woody’

Woody_Guthrie_NYWTSAnd just last weekend, ‘Oh Woody’ took 2nd Place in the Tumbleweed Music Festival’s contest—the 3rd year in a row I believe that I’ve come in second with various songs I entered. That’s pretty darn cool…    

‘Oh Woody’ also rose to #2 (!!) on the National Folk music radio charts this summer. That’s just Incredible. I’ve always felt such a strong kinship with this song from crowds singing it along with me to the message of the song itself and it’s really great to know that folks are hearing it on radio and really responding to it. Long Live Woody Guthrie!!

What’s Next???

SFS biggerI also have a handful of shows coming up closer to home, including a short set at Artichoke Musicin Portland on October 23rd (with Bob Howard, Matt Mesa, & Alonzo Garbanzo) and at the GREAT Seattle Folklore Society series in Seattle on Saturday, October 24th

For more info. on specific venues, times, etc. go to: Dan Weber Upcoming Performances

And lastly, I’ve been named as an ‘Official Showcase Artist’ at Folk Alliance’s Far-West conference in Oakland, CA and an ‘Official Quad Showcase Artist’ at Folk Alliance’s Northeast Regional conference in Kershokan, NY. These conferences and speciafically the ‘Official Showcases’ are GREAT opportunities to play in front of venues, agents, house concert hosts, talent buyers, etc. so I’ really excited to be able to play them—so maybe, I Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet after all…

Speaking of ‘Contests’…during the The ‘Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet’ Tour I played in 5 songwriting contests—the Tucson Folk Festival, the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Mansfield, MA, the Kerrville Folk Festival’s ‘New Folk’ Competition in Texas, the Susanne Millsaps Performing Songwriter Competition at the Utah Arts Festival in Salt Lake City and as an ‘Emerging Artist’ at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in Upstate, NY in late July…

Rose Garden Coffeehouse

I took 1st Place in the Rose Garden Coffeehouse contest (my 1st win!!), 2nd Place in the Susanne Millsaps competition, and was a Finalist in Kerrville ‘New Folk’ (3 times in 4 years!), and in Tucson (3rd year in a row as a Finalist) and the results of Falcon Ridge will be released sometime this winter (finger’s crossed!). 

No one I know—including myself—is a big fan of songwriting contests—it’s a pretty weird experience ‘competing’ on what is essentially subjective—songwriting and musical taste. It’s also financially draining, pretty stressful and usually involves a hefty dose of ‘rejection’. Up until now, I’ve won exactly one contest—after ‘losing’ 15 or 20 times. But on the other hand, I’ve met some Wonderful people and so many other talented artists—So on balance, I still think it’s pretty cool to do them and an honor to be a finalist, honorable mention, etc.

As always, I wanted to say ‘Thank YOU’ again for all the support. So many great things are happening in 2015 and every bit of ‘success’ I’ve had has been a surprise to me and I’m just grateful to be able to chase my dream for a while. THE most rewarding part of playing the shows was meeting folks all over the country and getting to know them. I met so many Wonderful people and your hospitality and kind words are what kept me going. It’s as Simple as that. So ‘Thank YOU!’ for Listening, Reading, Sharing, and Helping me make this long, Crazy musical journey of mine possible…I’m really humbled by your overwhelming show of support.
 
Hey–If you have a favorite local venue you’d like me to play at or would be interested in hosting a House Concert (which ARE the greatest things since sliced bread BTW), shoot me an email, let’s talk!!!
 
And one last BIG Thanks! to my crack team–my ‘Tribe’–of ridiculously Cool Friends, Fans, Independent DJ’s and just Wonderful People (You know who you are!!!) who keep sharing the songs and the CD’s with their friends, family, etc. It’s truly extraordinary and it means so, so much to me. Please Don’t Stop Now!

Gratefully!
dan

Dan Weber-What I'm Lookin' For CoverMy NEW CD ‘What I’m Lookin For’ has 14 new songs including ‘(I Deal with) Crazy ALL Day’, ‘Oh Woody’, ‘Pretty Good Tonight’, and ‘Do You Ride Horses’ to name a few and several you’ve probably not heard before since I’ve not played them live.

‘What I’m Lookin For’ is my best songwriting yet so I really think you’re gonna love it! You can pick up a copy at my website at Dan Weber Music where there are links to iTunes, Bandcamp, CD Baby, etc.

The ‘Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet’ Tour ends at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival!!

 Howdy Friends!!
 
The ‘Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet’ Tour came to a close last weekend at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Okemah, Oklahoma. I unplugged my guitar, walked off the stage and into the crowd, and then sang ‘May the Good Lord take a liking to you’ one last time before an unexpected standing ovation. And just like that, after 23 shows in 15 states over 6 weeks, with 11 plane flights (I’m still trying to forget the one I showed up 1 day LATE for), countless weird motels (I’m lookin’ at you Brownwood, TX!) and 4 rent-a-cars (one stretch included 6,000 miles of driving in 3 weeks), the EPIC journey was over. Phew…

 Woodyfest 2015 Copy 

photo by Michael Galassi

There were so many Great nights and Incredible shows along the way it’s hard to know where to start. Every show I played my heart out and almost without fail the audience embraced me and you could almost feel a little magic in the air. I wish I could point to one moment where it all crystallized and came together but it felt like it did during each show in one way or another. I played at festivals, in living rooms, bars, coffeehouses, courtyards, parking lots, fields and in one public library. One show started out in a noisy bar with me singing in the corner through a sound system and ended up with me playing unplugged—standing on a picnic bench in the middle of the bar—with the crowd so quiet you could hear a pin drop…THAT night—and the whole tour—still feels like a Dream…

And there were many old and new friends I met along the way, so many folks who put me up for a night in a spare room (or gave me theirs), fed me delicious food, told me their stories and inspired me in countless ways…And time after time, before long, I was made to feel like part of the ‘Family’. There’s a real gift to doing that, and I can’t say THANK YOU! enough to those extremely generous folks…

I’m sure with time, my memories of the ‘Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet’ Tour will change and inevitably some will deepen and some will fade…but the thing I can’t escape today as I type this, is that as recently as 5 years ago—when I was still playing open mics and before I’d ever booked any real shows—is that someday I’d get to play some of the places and festivals I’d never allowed myself to dream of playing, and that somehow I’d ‘belong’ in those places and on those stages…That’s the most gratifying thing I feel right now…just knowing ‘l can do this’. It’s pretty damn cool…

Neale Kerrville 2015 Copy

photo by Neale Eckstein

What’s next???

I have a handful of shows coming up—most closer to home—2 in Seattle, a couple in Portland and a few out of town. I’m honored to have been selected out of hundreds of submissions to be an ‘Emerging Artist’ at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in Upstate, NY and have also been selected (after 5 years of trying!) as an ‘Official Showcase Artist’ at Folk Alliance’s Far-West conference in Oakland, CA…Yup—more flights and rent-a cars—so maybe, just maybe I Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet after all!!

For info. on specific venues, times, etc. go to: http://danwebermusic.com/shows/index.html

New Music and News:  
 
***My tribute song to Woody Guthrie—‘Oh Woody’, rose to #2 on the national Folk music radio charts in June and the new CD, ‘What I’m Lookin For’ was #6 on the charts…Whoa~Incredible!!
***For more info, on the New CD, see ‘What I’m Lookin For’ below!

***During the The ‘Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet’ Tour I played in 4 songwriting contests—the Tucson Folk Festival, the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Mansfield, MA, the Kerrville Folk Festival’s ‘New Folk’ Competition in Texas and the Susanne Millsaps Performing Songwriter Competition at the Utah Arts Festival in Salt Lake City…

Rose Garden 2015 

photo by Nancy Murphy-Walsh

I took 1st Place in the Rose Garden Coffeehouse contest (I thought I’d NEVER win one!), 2nd Place in the Susanne Millsaps competition, and was a Finalist in Kerrville ‘New Folk’ (3 times in 4 years!), and in Tucson (3rd year in a row)…No one I know is a huge fan of songwriting contests—it’s a pretty weird experience ‘competing’ on what is essentially subjective (Music)—but I’ve met some wonderful people and so many other talented artists so I still think it’s pretty cool to do them…  

Lastly, I wanted to say ‘Thank YOU’ again for all the support. So many great things are happening in 2015 and every bit of ‘success’ I’ve had has been a surprise to me and I’m just grateful to be able to chase my dream for a while. THE most rewarding part of playing the shows was meeting folks all over the country and getting to know them. I met so many Wonderful people and your hospitality and kind words are what kept me going. It’s as Simple as that. So ‘Thank YOU!’ for Listening, Reading, Sharing, and Helping me make this long, Crazy musical journey of mine possible…I’m really humbled by your overwhelming show of support.
 
Hey–If you have a favorite local venue you’d like me to play at or would be interested in hosting a House Concert (which ARE the greatest things since sliced bread BTW), shoot me an email, let’s talk!!!

Elizabeth Campbell CD Release 2015
 
And one last BIG Thanks! to my crack team–my ‘Tribe’–of ridiculously Cool Friends, Fans, Independent DJ’s and just Wonderful People (You know who you are!!!) who keep sharing the songs and the CD’s with their friends, family, etc. It’s truly extraordinary and it means so, so much to me. Please Don’t Stop Now!

Gratefully!
dan

***‘What I’m Lookin For’ has 14 new songs including ‘(I Deal with) Crazy ALL Day’, ‘Oh Woody’, ‘Pretty Good Tonight’, and ‘Do You Ride Horses’ to name a few and several you’ve probably not heard before since I’ve not played them live. ‘What I’m Lookin For’ is my best songwriting yet so I really think you’re gonna love it! You can pick up a copy at my website http://danwebermusic.com/music/wilf.html where there are links to iTunes, Bandcamp, CD Baby, etc.

 Dan Weber-What I'm Lookin' For Cover

 

The “Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet Tour” has begun!!!

ADRYTourDatesWeb

 

Howdy Y’all!!

The “Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet Tour” has begun and it’s turning into an Epic journey!!

There are some incredible shows coming up including the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. Come see a show~and if you can’t, please tell your friends and family in those parts—I’d Love to see them at a show and meet ‘em!! 

For full details of each show including times, contact info, etc. go to: http://danwebermusic.com/shows/index.html 
 
Here’s the List of Upcoming Shows:

5/30  Musicians Corner House Concerts, St. Paul, MN
 
6/1    South Sioux City Public Library, South Sioux City, NE
 
6/3    Whispering Pines B&B, Nebraska City, NE
 
6/4    Barley Street Tavern, Omaha, NE
         (with Township and Range)   
 
6/5    KC Café Radio @ Whistle Stop Antiques, Belton, MO
 
6/7    In the Know House Concerts, New Holstein, WI
 
6/9    Uncommon Ground-Clark, Chicago, IL
         (with Jack Shane) 
 
6/11  Public House Brewing, Saint James, MO
         (with Bliss Hippy)  
 
6/12  Stone Spiral Coffeehouse, St. Louis, MO
         (with Bliss Hippy)  
 
6/13   Flying Cat House Concerts, Indianapolis, IN
 
6/16   Nashville Side Streets, Nashville, TN
          (with Ronnie Dean)
 
6/17   Wildwood Center for the Performing Arts, Little Rock, AR
 
6/18   The Blue Door, Oklahoma City, OK
 
6/20   Dry County Concerts, Eastland, TX
 
6/21   Johnson Studio House Concerts, Huntsville, TX
 
6/26   Taste of Tacoma, Tacoma, WA
 
7/11   Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, Okemah, OK
 
7/18   Bite of Seattle, Seattle, WA
 
7/31   Pacific City Music Festival, Pacific City, OR

8/1     Pacific City Music Festival, Pacific City, OR 

8/15   Park Place Coffee, Gresham, OR
(with Bliss Hippy and Rich Waggoner)

8/25   The Secret Garden, Portland, OR

9/12   Clark County Folk Festival, Yacolt, WA

And there’s MORE Dates to come!!!

For full details of each show including times, contact info, etc. go to: http://danwebermusic.com/shows/index.html 

Come to a show and see why Folks are saying things like:
“Dan, I have to tell you that I’ve been to over a hundred house concerts in the last 5 years and yours tonight was the MOST energizing of any and SO MUCH FUN!!! Smiling, laughing, singing, and relating to you were an every second occurrence! Thanks for sharing your energy, personal stories, and inner spirit.” – Cindy H. 

‘THANK YOU!’ for all the support. Every bit of ‘success’ I’ve has come because folks have embraced me and I’m just grateful to be able to chase my dream a bit. THE most rewarding part is playing the shows and meeting folks all over the country and getting to know them. I meet so many Wonderful people and your hospitality and kind words are what keeps me going. It’s as Simple as that. So Thanks for Listening, Reading, Sharing, and Helping me make this long, Crazy musical journey of mine possible…I’m really humbled by your enthusiasm and show of support.

Gratefully,
dan

Party CIYH

 

‘What I’m Lookin For’ is 14 new songs including ‘(I Deal with) Crazy ALL Day’, ‘Oh Woody’, ‘Pretty Good Tonight’, Do You Ride Horses’ and several you’ve probably not heard before. It was recorded at the same studio with the same team as ‘Ash and Bone’ and it’s my best songwriting yet—so I think you’re REALLY gonna love it!! You can pick up a copy at my website http://danwebermusic.com/music/wilf.html where there are links to iTunes, Bandcamp, CD Baby, etc. Thanks for getting a copy!!Dan Weber-What I'm Lookin' For Cover

 

Announcing the ‘Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet’ 2015 Tour!!!

Howdy Friends!!

I just got back from the Tucson Folk Festival yesterday and am already re-packing and gearing up for the Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet 2015 Tour. As you can tell by the dates and the distances between them, it promises to be an Epic journey! There are also some incredible shows in there including a slot at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival which has a GREAT line-up this year. For info. on specific venues, times, etc. go to: http://danwebermusic.com/shows/index.html

Come see a show and if you can’t Please tell your friends and family in those parts—I’d Love to see them at a show and meet ‘em!!

New Music and News:  
 
#1 The Brand NEW CD, ‘What I’m Lookin For’ was released on March 21st & 22nd at two really incredible SOLD OUT shows at Artichoke Music in Portland. Both were recorded for an upcoming LIVE CD that’s in the works down the road. I just want to say a HUGE ‘Thanks!’ to Everyone who came to the shows (and sang along!) for their show of support in selling out both nights, to my fellow musicians, to Artichoke Music and all the volunteers, and to everyone who worked so hard to make the shows so special. In short, it was FAN-tastic!!!

Dan Weber-What I'm Lookin' For Cover

‘What I’m Lookin For’ has 14 new songs including ‘(I Deal with) Crazy ALL Day’, ‘Oh Woody’, ‘Pretty Good Tonight’, and ‘Do You Ride Horses’ to name a few and several you’ve probably not heard before since I’ve not played them live. ‘What I’m Lookin For’ is my best songwriting yet so I really think you’re gonna love it! You can pick up a copy at my website http://danwebermusic.com/music/wilf.html where there are links to iTunes, Bandcamp, CD Baby, etc.

#2 The REALLY BIG news is that I was again selected for the 3rd time in 4 years as a Finalist in the Kerrville Folk Festival’s ‘New Folk’ Competition in Texas. I’m so dang excited! I was previously a finalist in 2012 and 2014 so this feels like getting to do my Senior Prom over again (which I skipped because I was too shy to ask anyone out!). Past finalists read like a who’s-who of songwriters I admire and love: Steve Earle, Nanci Griffith, Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, Slaid Cleves, Johnsmith, James McMurtry, Jonathan Byrd, Danny Schmidt—just to name a few AMAZING songwriters. Here’s hoping the 3rd time’s the ‘Charm’ 🙂 New Folk

#3 I was also JUST selected as Finalist in the Rose Garden Coffeehouse’s 23rd Annual Performing Songwriter Competition just outside Boston, MA. I’m really excited to go back ‘East’ for a short bit before the “Ain’t Done Ramblin’ Yet Tour” starts. That’ll be right after my ‘Official Showcase’ at the SE Regional Folk Alliance conference near Ashville, North Carolina. It’s going to be a CRAZY couple of months!!

Rose Garden Coffeehouse

Lastly, I wanted to say‘THANK YOU’ again for all the support. So many great things happened in 2014 and even more are happening in 2015. Every bit of ‘success’ I’ve has come because folks have embraced me and I’m just grateful to be able to chase my dream a bit. THE most rewarding part is playing the shows and meeting folks all over the country and getting to know them. I meet so many Wonderful people and your hospitality and kind words are what keeps me going. It’s as Simple as that. So ‘Thank YOU!’ for Listening, Reading, Sharing, and Helping me make this long, Crazy musical journey of mine possible…I’m really humbled by your enthusiasm and show of support.
 
Hey BTW–If you have a favorite local venue you’d like me to play at or would be interested in hosting a House Concert (which ARE the greatest things since sliced bread!), shoot me an email, let’s talk!!!
 
And one last BIG Thanks! to my crack team–my ‘Tribe’–of ridiculously Cool Friends, Fans, Independent DJ’s and just Wonderful People (You know who you are!!!) who keep sharing the songs and the CD’s with their friends, family, etc. It’s truly extraordinary and it means so, so much to me. Please Don’t Stop Now!

Gratefully,
dan

Party CIYH

Spring in Portland…

Grateful Blog: Day 93: Today was one of those days. It FINALLY felt like spring—here, there, and everywhere. I went down to the train station this afternoon to meet some friends. I roamed around downtownPortlanda bit in late afternoon. The ‘heat’ of the day as it were. The sun was perfect: warm, bright, and damn near too much but never warm enough and never too soon.Portland is no exception to practicality. All winter long women bundle up: Hats, scarves, Gore-Tex, and Polar Fleece. Then suddenly that first ‘real’ spring day like today and its skirts, heels, and dresses…

I’m a happily married guy. But you know, every year on the first warm day of spring when the sun comes up and the skirts come out I’m Grateful I’m a guy, and I’m Grateful that the world is just as beautiful as I remembered it, before the rain and the cold winter: the darkness, hats, scarves, Polar Fleece and Gore-Tex…

There’s just something special about a spring day in Portland when optimism seems to be measured in the inches of a skirt and not in inches of rain…

‘Be Prepared’: What the Boy Scouts Taught Me…

Grateful Blog: Day 92: I was Cub Scout when I was little. Mom was our Den Mother. And then I was in Webelos, followed by Boy Scouts. It was 30 years ago. Both of my older brothers were Boy Scouts so naturally I was expected to join too. It was really one of the most funs things we did as kids. Sure there were meetings and merit badges and award ‘banquets’ but all of those activities were virtual excuses for us to get together with a different circle of friends (different than school and sports) and run around like banshees. I’m sure our parents liked the down time too.

My Dad helped a lot as a leader. He drove us places, took us camping, helped us make our Pinewood Derby Race Cars (well OK, he made them and we watched but consequently they actually ran well) and got dragged along on a number of rainy hiking or canoeing trips. When my Dad was a kid he joined the Boy Scouts too. But I guess when he got home with his tan uniform on his Dad made him immediately take it off and take it back, and quit the troop. His father had fled Germanyin 1933 and had seen the Hitler Youth and Brown Shirt movements and apparently the Boy Scouts was too close of a reminder. I don’t know much about either, but I suspect it couldn’t have been farther from the truth.

I made it all the way to Eagle Scout. Of course by then I was 17 and I was ready to move on. I was headed into high school and Boy Scouts wasn’t ‘cool’ any longer. But the truth is it was ALWAYS cool. It seemed like about every other weekend we were doing something fun: Usually some from of hiking, backpacking, camping, that sort of thing. Sure we did things that sounded like work, fundraisers, paper drives, etc. but our friends were there and we made it fun. Our adult leaders, Mr. Carges, Mr. Staub, Mr. Sullivan and my Dad in retrospect were some of the coolest guys you’d want to have around. They read you the riot act when you deserved it, but they showed you a few tricks too. And unlike what you read about Boy Scouts leaders in the newspaper, there was never any hint of that. Just our friend’s Dad’s showing us the ropes—and the knots for that matter. The Scout’s motto is ‘Be Prepared’ and its funny how we it prepared us for later on in life. Maybe the best part of being a part of Troop #233 was heading to summer camp every year. Swimming, sailing (more like tipping the sailboats over), campfires, hiking, rafting, day trips into places like Lake Placid to see where they had the Olympics, and singing in the mess hall (weird food and all the Kool-Aid you could drink).

Then there was the year we went to New Mexico, to the Philmont Scout Ranch and took a 50+ mile backpacking trip through theNew Mexican wilderness. It was AWESOME! Several days on a bus across an America I’d never seen before—the Mississippi River, the St. Louis Arch, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, the Rockies and Cimarron, New Mexico. The scenery was gorgeous, the camaraderie was great, and the memories have lasted a lifetime. From that point on I was infatuated with the ‘West’ and I suppose I was destined to be out here. It stoked my love of nature at an early age, that wonderment at the cathedrals and epic landscapes that I saw. Later I’d become National Park Service Ranger in neighboring SE Utah.

Also on that New Mexico trip I first ‘Cowboy’ music, the Sons of the pioneers ‘Blue Shadows on the Trail’ being played around a campfire under all those New Mexican stars. I’ve been a fan of that ‘Western’ brand of country and cowboys ever since. It wasn’t all epic trips and it was often work, but the best things in life often are worth working for and looking back now the work seems minimal. Hell, I think that Mom and Dad probably worked far harder at it than we did (so we’d stay with it), more than anything.

There’s a lot to be Grateful for when I think of the Boy Scouts. It saddens me the perception that it’s turned into. All I know is it changed my life: The friendships, the value of hard work—and playing hard, the love of nature, the ‘West’ and even the love of music. There were so many positive things about it that it’s hard to find any negatives now. The other day I ran into another guy I know who was an Eagle Scout and he’s got kids in it now too. I said ‘Oh yeah, cool! I used to be an Eagle Scout’ and he looked at me very seriously and said ‘Dan, you still are.’ Uniform or not, I guess that’s true…

‘Pay it Forward’: Cracking the Egg…

Grateful Blog: Day 89: A few years ago when I first started performing as a musician I took my songs out of the basement and into the light as it were. In retrospect, the light was not kind to some of those early songs. But the rest of my life changed in ways I had no idea it was going to change. Believe it or not, I’ve always been a bit shy and introverted and performing has given me the gift of opening up, and I’m Grateful for that. It’s helped me make friends and connect with some of the most wonderful people. I’ve often said that becoming a musician has been like ‘cracking the egg’ on another chapter of my life and it’s true—it’s been scrambled, fried, over easy and sunny side up ever since. But the best part without a doubt is the people I’ve met along the way.

Yesterday I got home from another long day at work and found a package fromNew York. Inside it was a copy of the issue of ‘American Songwriter’ magazine that mentioned me and my song ‘Lost and Found’ as an ‘Honorable Mention’ in the monthly contest. John Taylor sent it to me. John and I met on a train several years ago. When I was first thinking about making a CD he sent me his disc ‘Hometown Paper’ so I’d get a better idea of layouts, graphics, etc. Getting that and his advice helped a bunch–and his great tunes on ‘Hometown Paper’ were a nice bonus. So yesterday John sent a copy of the magazine and I immediately realized the thoughtfulness that took. I’d never gotten a copy of it and I like to save that kind of thing. Getting mentioned in their songwriter contest was a bit of big thing for me.

So it’s just that sort of kindness and thoughtfulness that I’m Grateful for today. For the people like John I’ve met who take the time to offer advice and think ‘You know I bet he’d like a copy of that magazine’ and sends me his personal copy. It’s the coolest thing; Because the next thing that inevitably happens is I start looking at the world through that same lens and wonder, ‘What can I unselfishly do for someone else today?’

So ‘Thank You!’ for the kind gift of the book John. But more than that, for the reminder to ‘Pay it Forward’. I think the world could use a lot more of that and we’d be all be more Grateful, no matter how many eggs we crack along the way…

Doverlaff House Concerts: ‘The Church of Song’

Grateful Blog: Day 85: (Part 2) Continued…

After yesterday’s Talent Show, I finished up my set list for the 2nd Official CD release show for ‘Ash and Bone’ and got ready for the show. The show was part of the Doverlaff House Concert series. It’s becoming legendary in the Portland area one epic show and fabulous artist at a time. It’s put on by Dan Dover and Cheryl Mitzlaff, 2 of the nicest people you’ll ever meet hosting musical acts in their home with 50 of the best audience members you could ever hope to have. In fact, it’s the polar opposite of the talent show: A full house and no judging. Its part concert and maybe part church service: The ‘Church of Song’ perhaps.

There’s something magical about the setting and the room, or I should say the people in the room. They show up early, stake out a choice seat, and then mill around with the artists prior to the show. Folks hug, catch up, and you can palpably feel the warmth in the air. Then the lights get set down low, the artist takes the ‘stage’, less than a foot from the front row, and then something special is about to begin.

There’s this beautiful mix of intimacy and electricity. At some point in the first set I played a brand new song, less than a week old. I wasn’t even sure I knew it. So just to highlight that (and because I’m a sucker for a certain degree of that high wire act) I got out from behind the microphone and played the song unplugged, acoustic and stood even closer to the audience. You could hear a pin drop. That might be scary for some musicians but for those of us who’ve played one too many noisy clubs the opportunity to really be heard is intoxicating. I think they loved the song as much as I did and somehow I believe they felt the experience as intensely as I did. It was truly amazing. The opposite is also true; with no real encouragement or direction that wonderful audience spontaneously bursts into song and sings along with you. Like being able to hear a pin drop, it’s also music to the ears. It’s better than that actually, it’s like being swept up in a wave and allowing yourself the freedom to enjoy the ride…

There are not enough words to describe how I felt about last night. Like the first ‘Ash and Bone’ CD release show it sold out and did so really quickly. I like to think it’s because my songs are getting better and because my shows are gaining a reputation for being special events. I don’t know. I guess I have no real perspective on that and maybe I shouldn’t. I’m just so dam Grateful when people spend their precious free time spending an evening with me, to let me tell my stories and sing my songs. It’s a bit like this blog. You start out thinking you’ll create something and then that something becomes more special than you ever imagined. And like the show at Artichoke Music, last night’s show was so, so special. It felt like part celebration, part graduation and part conflagration. For a little while we set the place on fire, fanned the flames and it kept us warm.

There’s nothing better for me than living in the moment and nothing better than that wonderful ‘Connection’ with the audience. Moments like last night define my life in a way I had no idea was even possible until I started this journey 4 years ago when I met Dan and Cheryl. I’ve often said that anyone you meet on any given night can change your life. It’s so true. And last night was just further proof of that. I’m so Grateful to be part of a circle of friends and a community that can still hear a pin drop, that loves to sing along on a chorus, that cries with you, laughs with you, and hugs you once beforehand and twice afterwards. Some night’s are better than other and last night was one or those…Amen!

The ‘Talent’ Show…

Grateful Blog: Day 84: (Part 1) I missed yesterday’s ‘Grateful Blog’. Actually that’s incorrect. I didn’t miss it so much as I lived it. I went to be early Friday night only to wake up Saturday morning at 4am and while tired and still 16 hours from my 2nd Official CD release show for ‘Ash and Bone’, I had a set list to do. Set lists are funny things. I’ve tried the spectrum form avoiding them entirely, under the guise of spontaneity to a blow by blow word for word set up. I’ve found the best lie somewhere between the 2 extremes. In any case, I was up early and spent a good portion of the morning toggling between working on my set list and listening to the early morning ‘Swing and Country’ radio show on KBOO 90.7 FM. By mid-morning I was off to do a talent contest (a what???), yeah, one of those American Idol type talent show deals.

It was set up very much like the TV show talent shows are. I was ENTIRELY unsure what the heck I was doing there but when they asked I thought ‘sure, why not, no harm right?’ It was first class and well run and when I got there the contestants backstage were anxiously awaiting their turn. At some point I realized that it was just like everything else I do in my life—I do it for the fun, for the experience and for the amazing people I meet. In fact I was having such a good time doing just that backstage that suddenly I was called up and it was my turn.

So there I was on this big stage, with almost no audience but the 3 judges at their table and I was clearly on the spot. It was actually a little nerve-wracking for a second or 2. But then I did what I did what I always do, tell my story in words and in song. I know that it’s not for everyone but for the people who like what I do, they really like what I do, and there’ll be that ‘Connection’ they’ll make with the songs and with me and that alone with be worth it.

I have no idea how I ‘placed’ or didn’t place in the contest but I know how it turned out—I did my thing, I met some great people and my song actually moved one judge to tears. I don’t know if that qualifies as ‘talent’ or not, but I do know this: I’m Grateful that I did it because it involves the process that as artists we continually struggle with: The fear of rejection. Nevermore is that so on naked display as a ‘talent’ contest. But I’m most Grateful because I met some really great people: Fellow contestants, organizers and judges–every last one of them. In the contest between ‘winning’ and that ‘Connection’ I’ll take the ‘Connection’ any day of the week. It’s really no contest at all. And I’m Grateful for the wisdom to know the difference…

What’s in a Name??? More than I thought…

Grateful Blog: Day 82: I’ve know this for a while. My whole lifetime actually. My last name is ‘Weber’. I often joke to people when I tell them ‘It’s like the grill’ so they spell it with one ‘b’ instead of 2. The ironic part is that despite being named ‘Weber’ and owning 2 grills of the same name; I am without a doubt the world’s worst griller. You name it; I can burn it, split it, stick it and generally kill it beyond taste or recognition. It’s a gift of sorts. Usually when it’s time to barbeque all it takes is a few minutes of high heat and shouting ‘oh crap!’ that brings the ‘Real’ cooks at the party running to ‘help out’. You know, the guys who just HAVE to be the one grilling (it’s either a pride or power thing I’m not sure which). They say ‘Hey Dan, can I help you with that?’ I look sheepish and hand over the tongs and the reigns, and rejoin my drink, the party and my friends in progress, which is what I’d rather be doing anyways. I’m not saying that was my plan all along and I’m not saying it wasn’t…

It turns out, that the name ‘Weber’ really has no connection to the grill and so I’m relieved by that. It’s generally thought to be derived from the noun ‘Weaver’ which I feel more qualified to do, that is if we’re not talking about working with yarn and we’re talking about TELLING yarns. That I CAN do. It comes natural somehow. But I think that comes from the ‘Winterkorn’ side of my family (Mom’s side) and I’m not sure how that relates. The meaning of ‘Winterkorn’ is likely more obvious and I’m thoroughly charmed by how the names of my ancestors come from their agrarian beginnings: Back ‘in the old country’ as my Grandparents used to say.

The thing is the world keeps getting smaller by virtue of the speed of travel, social media and the sheer volume of information available at a few keystrokes with our fingertips. I found lots of famous Weber’s out there. I may be distantly related to a few. There’s also a famous Winterkorn or 2, even one who’s now the Chairman of the Board at Volkswagon. Who knew right? In any case I’ve got a website now, www.danwebermusic.com and this blog, so I keep putting myself into cyberspace and sometimes you just never know where the connection is going to be.

So just recently I was contacted by a guy in Montana, near Kalispell. His name? ‘DanWeber’. And he’s a musician. His great-great Grandparents fled Germanyto avoid being drafted into the Prussian army against Napoleon. My Grandparents fled Germanyto avoid Hitler. Dan had his DNA sequenced a ways back and we’re checking notes to see how far back we have to go before we find a common ancestor. But I think we already have plenty in common right here in the present.

Just yesterday Dan was telling me that he “once won 50 silver dollars and a kiss from Miss Yucca Valley for playing a song.” Miss Yucca Valley “brought the silver dollars out in her apron, but said under her breath, “I aint kissin’ no hippy!!” But she did anyway right there in front of everybody!” Dan went on to say that he’d also “kissed a bear once” (waking up and have the bear’s nose right in his face) and that “having kissed both, I can authoritatively recommend the bear as the more memorable ‘kiss’…”

So you see Dan’s a ‘Weber’ and obviously a weaver too and he’s got stories to tell. We should get together. Swap a few tunes and stories. I’d even break out the grill. Put on some bratwurst from the local German deli. Maybe roast some corn. If he’s a better man with a ‘Weber’ grill than I am so be it. I’d be happy to hand him the tongs in a heartbeat. Turns out I’m not a griller, I’m a Weaver…