Category: Homefile


Secret Singer’s Sauce

So now that the cold and flu season is upon us, I thought I’d share my secret singer’s sauce, developed over years of having to perform to the highest standards even while sick. I have researched remedies by rock singers, opera singers, holistic practitioners, consulted with doctors and friends who also perform.

Here’s what I have discovered: Get as much rest as you can, drink plenty of water, warm up your voice slowly throughout the day, and use some combination of echinacea, zinc, steam inhalation, Dayquil, St. John’s Wort, green tea with whiskey, amoxocillin, yoga, bromelain enzyme, licorice drops, Albuterol, zinc, vitamin C, Flonase, Throat Coat tea, naproxin, Claritin, black coffee with whiskey, silver hydrolsol, a clove of garlic, apple cider vinegar, Afrin, organic cayenne, ginger tea, TheraFlu, honey & lemon with whiskey, slippery elm drops, Mucinex, papaya enzyme, followed by straight whiskey.

And if none of this seems to work (as is often the case), then proceed directly to tequila – because tequila works every time!

 

Cold Medicines 12-18-2016 02

Bar Tour of Gigs

Well, I’m halfway through my State College Bar Tour of Gigs Week. It started Thursday with the Gill Street Band at Tussey Wingfest. (I know it’s not really a State College bar, but it is one of the summer’s iconic shows). Friday I did double duty – at Zeno’s Pub with The Triple A Blues Band followed by sitting in at The Phyrst with Ted McCloskey and the Hi-Fi’s. Tonight It’s back towards College Avenue with the Skoal Brothers at The Rathskeller, and then I wrap it up on Sunday with Natascha & The Spy Boys at Cafe 210 West.

On Monday I get to rest!

Actually, no I don’t… There are errands to run and bills to pay and grass to mow and, yes – a rehearsal.

Now, I’m not complaining, not at all. This sure beats the days when gigs were few, but there were still errands and bills and dogs and grass to tame. I’m thankful for the opportunity to play with so many different great musicians who offer me work that I love, work that brings joy to so many people. And, I’m thankful for my wife, who understands why I do what I do and encourages me every step of the way.

OK, time to go and play some music!

April Showers

For a number of reasons, April seems the most hectic month of the year, and showers are a major contributing factor – showers of paperwork.

Yes, the weather is definitely a culprit – “Hey, it finally feels like Spring!  Wait – what happened to the sun?  Why is it so cold, I’m sick of gray cloudy days…  SNOW!?! You’ve got to be kidding me, I just want to be out in the Sun where it’s warmmmm.”

Yes, I wish it was warm and sunny, but right now I’m dealing with a shower of  TAX paperwork which, along with monthly bills, budgets, webwork, etc., keeps me inside staring at a computer screen. Ugh. The joy of being a full-time self-employed musician means my income tax preparation is complicated and joyless.  There’s income from many different sources to report, 1099-Misc forms to issue to musicians I’ve hired, receipts and credit card statements to mine for deductions.  (Yes, I keep track throughout the year, but there are always some that I miss).  But thankfully there is also TurboTax!  Sure, a professional tax whiz could fill out the forms, but I’d still have to dig up all the information, and that’s what takes all the time.

But there are other paper showers, too: contracts and stage plots.  One of the things musicians really look forward to is performing at summer music festivals, out in the open air with big enthusiastic crowds that don’t normally go out to the nightclubs where we mostly play.  Arrangements to play at these festivals are generally made in January and February, but the paperwork is due in April.  This season’s paperwork includes 2 PSU Alumni functions, 2 Summers’ Best Music Fest appearances, 2 Arts Fest appearances, a couple Musicians Performance Trust Fund programs, and several weddings.

All these dismal showers shall soon pass, however, and there will be plenty of time to enjoy the lovely flowers.  I’ll see you out in the garden!

 

Heartbleed – What passwords to change

As far as I can tell, my identity has not been compromised, my credit cards haven’t been maxed out, and my bank account has not been drained. I’m just not that interesting or lucrative a mark for the cyber criminals, at least not yet.

So I haven’t been in panic mode about the latest internet security flaw – Heartbleed – but I have been paying attention. And this IVPN blog post has the most sensible advice I’ve found so far. Check it out and change the passwords that need to be changed.

Heartbleed – What passwords to change | IVPN Blog.

Yay May!

Spring finally got around to pumping daylight into the central Allegheny Mountains, and I’m so glad to be trading in the snowblower for the lawnmower.

May also means some really cool, uh, nice and warm gigs.
Natascha kicks off her Eurpoean Tour with a farewell gig at The Bar in Boalsburg on Friday May 3rd, then JT gets a couple shots at the Grand Piano in the Atherton Hotel Lobby for PSU Graduation on May 4 & 5.
The Denicats, covering JT’s original tunes, shows up at Selinsgrove Commons on Saturday May 11 from 2:00-5:00, and the following Friday finds JT back in Boalsburg at The Bar (yes, playing piano)!
Saturday May 18th JT’s back at Brother’s Pizza of Howard, playing everybody’s favorite sings and sampling Yancy’s mother’s Guatemalan recepies – YUM!
Then the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend will be lots of fun, starting with Blues & Boogie at Webster’s from Noon-2:00, and finishing off with a real treat:
Dueling Pianos between JT & Tommy Wareham at Brookmere Winery! (You don’t want to miss that show).
And all this daylight means Music Festival time, and there are a few that I’ll be playing, both with the Denicats and other bands like Ann Kerstetter. Keep checking the Schedule!
Thanks so much – hope to see you at the next show!