Dear Friends and Neighbors;
I don't know how to peg myself. I suppose I could categorize nyself as a Folk Artist. Some would dissagree. But I do what I do.
Years ago while working at Wellers Bookstore (in Salt Lake City) in the used department, I came accross some strange little bookletts, printed localy in the mid 1800's with very strange script. It was the Deseret Alphabet, a phonetic script developed by the Mormons (L.D.S. church).
The leaders tried to get it going as the local script. But it was one of the few cases where the bulk of the faithfull refused to go along with the L.D.S. leadership & it was eventually droped.
I felt that since no one else was using it I ought to pick it up as my niche.
I am currently trying to get a body of work together for a show. I'm using ink on paper, stonewear, egg tempra on gourds ( I'm a member of the American Gourd Assoc.), and woodburning.
I like building things that if taken care of well could be heirloom items.
This catalog was made especially for the Weller Bookstore centenial window display where four of my jugs and two of my flowerholders were displayed for the first two months of 1996. However the prices are no longer valid and I am not now offering many for sale. Like I said I'm trying to get a show together.
I have been a "folksinger" since beginning to play the banjo in the 60's. The british invasion was on & psycadellic music then raged but I continued dogidly as a folknick. However in the late 70's I finally conceded to popular culture. I was in a "New Wave" band called Nightmare in Wax ( I wanted to call it Panic in the year Zero myself) We broke up when our bass player took off to Keen N.H. to get a math degree.
I then began playing with an "industrial" band called the Clocks, It seems I played with them forever. I must state I'm a damn good ameteur percussionist. (but no thank you, no drum circles please) but more often I ended up playing Child Ballads to the accompanyment of my banjo while the Clocks ( Jeff Kimball & Joe Stedich as the main players) banged on industrial objects.
It was then I did my first deseret piece. It was in Joe Stetiches HATW TERESET calander in the year________? Joe Stetich still puts out this calander. Most years I have contributed.
After the Clocks finally disbanded, I got together with Mike Kirkland (who I played with in Nightmare in Wax.) He was taking a sabatical from years of New York Rock n Roll life, working at CBGB's and playing in Damage and Prong. Although he's basicly a rock and roll man I think he wanted to try something different and so he helped me produce and arrange.
There is no way I could have done it without him.
Then the C.D. won The Private Eye Weekly (the dominant "local scene" paper) Best Product Of The Year award.
Despite that I can hardly find a place to play. I opened for a few bands and did a gig once on my own at a public bar and once with my friend Dee Wolfe (who is also my American type Guru and will known local novelest, poet and actor) but haven't been able to play in two months.
I love to play and have hours and hours of material. Jeff Kimball and I have about three hours of old murder ballads recorded. I have a lot of original bango intrumentals. I love to cover people I like. Here's a sampling of some of the people I cover:
Burt Bacharack, The Beatles, Hank Snow, The 5th. Dimension, The Beach Boys, Merle Haggard, Eddy Arnold, Sergio Mendez, Patrick Sky, Cole Porter, Buffy St. Marrie, among other's.
I love to pla;y and would very much like to tour. I think I could eventually work it to where I could play two 45 minute sits 4 nights in a row and not repeat myself (execpt for, perhaps, a few of my better intrumentals)
I play a 5 string bango. I play in folk style and use many tunnings. I also play a 5 string guitar in my on unussual tunning either in open E or open A. ( but sometimes use capo's to play in more keys) I do not read music but know chords pretty well. Lateley I've even been transcribing pop & light jazz and simplifying them and rearanging them. Of course except for chord notations I can't write it out. It's all in my head.
I would really like to get a band together but I've been a pretty isolated person hiding out in Clearfield, UT & hardly seeng a soul for about half a decade or more. I hardly know anyone. And the few people I know are commited.
I would love to hear from interested persons. Incidently I have a lot of pottery for sale but frankly I'm keeping the best stuff for a future show.
Before closing I wold like to state that I have been deeply influenced by and lateley have been taken to reading Erick Gill. But hey, I could never be as intent as these folks. It's a big inner struggle for me not to be downing those pure malt barley pops every possible opportunity, but I most definately have been deeply influenced by both these peoples writings, although I imperfectly understand them.
It's also been my karma to have been helped out a great deal by the very talented Kirkland family, Mike in music, and Steve in pottery; both have been excelent, exacting and patient teachers. (steve kirkland is a true professional potter, my favorite being his extensive head jug collection)
Well Friends and neighbors I've gone on long enough. I'd sure apprieciate any responce, especially suggestions on how to get my pathetic career going.
P.S. A little note on the musical selections on my web site. The first two selections are from my C.D. Tragic tales From the West.
When Mike & I wrote them we were vaguely thinking of selling the song to other artists.
The Ballad of John Babtiste was written with Screaming Jay Hawkins in mind. We didn't know if he was even touring. We also thought a Cramps type group might like it (rockabilly or R&B Gothic).
The song is about an early Salt Lake City grave robber. Bruce "UTAH" Phillips has written a more traditional folk ballad on the same subject.
Mountain Pass Lullaby is about the Donner party, due to it's gentle tone we decided not to include gorry gastronomical details. We made it with Rosanne Cash in mind. Or some other femaile C&W artist.
Johny Western is on the C.D. but I have included a live perfomance at Salt Lakes Famous Dead Goat Saloon. Joe Judd accompanies me on 2nd Banjo.
The next two selections are from the over 3 hours of recording Jeff Kimball made of me. We were going to release a C.D. entitled Songs of Murder, Suicide and Industrial Accidents. This project is on permanent hold for now.
A new C.D. is almost ready to go. It's with the same basic Merry crowd basicly. But minus Joe Judd who has since moved to Hawaii.