December 2017; the best of times, the worst of times.

We are in the throws of the holiday season, 2017 as I write this entry, which has been one of the bleakest holidays I can recall since the days of the protests and riots of the late 1960’s, made even worse by the ravages of wind, rain, fire and flood.  It’s also been quite a while since I’ve sat down to add some thoughts here. On the plus side, In that time I’ve won two New Mexico Music Awards, with an additional 8 nominations and am preparing for the release of my first CD in ten years.   You’ll also note that, for performance purposes, I’ve let my last name sit off to the side, so that much of what you see will identify me simply as Gary Paul.  Sadly, Big Moose Music is gone, but Storm Canyon Music has taken its place. Also in the time between writings, I’m sad to say that I’ve lost a number of friends to the great mystery that is death; one I’m not looking to solve any time soon.

I’m grateful for the new friends I have made here in Santa Fe, though.  They have helped me on the road to new adventures.  Still, there comes a time when any doctor visit brings with it some level of dread; a time when the news will not always be good and and the prognosis can be worse. As Bette Davis said, “getting old is not for sissies!” My first procedure, Carpal Tunnel Release, has thankfully been a great success.  Although arthritis and tendonitis  is making its presence felt, I no longer suffer from numbness in my right hand.  However the ticking of the clock adds greater urgency to everything, which is why the time it’s taken to raise the money for each hour of studio time has felt like forever. I’ve continued forging ahead, dear reader. And, so long as the guy with the scythe and the black robe doesn’t come a-knockin’ I’ll continue to do so.  We’re very close to putting “American Road” out the door and into your hands.

Fate, I’m pleased to say, seems to be making its presence felt just at the most opportune of moments.  Several voices from my past have reemerged in my life just at the time their presence can make a great difference. A student of mine from many, many moons ago has reached out from the past to reconnect just as I prepare for the next step in the CD’s development, so that I can look forward to the excellent ears and perceptive skills of Mark Dann to make itself felt in the mastering process.  And a dear friend and masterful musician, Maurice Oliver, with whom I worked for many years in the band Satie, has once again become an active part of my life.  His label, Electronfarm records, will be handling the digital distribution of my upcoming CD.  I look forward to collaborating with him once again, with the possibility of his joining me on tour as my percussionist and me joining his Chillfactor-5 ensemble on bass.

And so, dear reader, though the year has been stormy, I hope you have been spared the worst of it and that you are celebrating your holiday season with joy, good cheer and good will to all.  My the coming year bring only happiness.

GP

About Gary Paul

Having worn many hats in my life I bring a broad perspective to my writing. 2-time winner & 8-time nominee, New Mexico Music Awards. Winner, 2006 Xtreme Folk Scene's Song Contest. Degrees: B.A, Psychology; & MPA, Public Administration; MS, Computer Science. I'm a Santa Fean born poor, but surrounded by music, theater & poetry in Brownsville, Brooklyn, NY. Piano gave me a love for melody. My grandparent's farm showed me the beauty of bucolic settings & bluegrass music. But around Boy Scout council fires I grew to love storytelling; especially a good ghost story! :-).
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