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Dale Robin Goodman: News

News, PLUS a deal you can't refuse - December 10, 2011

Greetings Friends,
It has been a good while since I have posted news. Life has a way of oozing all kinds of activity into all the time a day has to give. This year, it seems my focus has been my family. My oldest son graduated high school and entered University; my youngest son spent the summer working in his first professional theatre setting, sealing his devotion to the theatre as a lifelong endeavor for him. My wonderful Kiwi husband and I successfully navigated the Department of Homeland Security and procured his green card. He’s now working and settled comfortably into his life in the US.

This summer, my mother passed away after years of living with Alzheimers. In her last days in Hospice care, I took my small back-pack traveler guitar to Florida, and for the last 4 or 5 days of my Mom’s life I sang her all the songs I could think of. The nurses said it calmed her breathing and soothed her agitation, and I felt it was my only way to let her know I was there and loving her in her last hours.

Now, fall is ending, and instead of the raw hurt of recent loss, my Mom’s passing is becoming more a part of the tapestry of our lives. I miss her deeply, but I can tell the family stories again, knowing that she loved the fact that my telling of the tales of our lives makes people laugh. I can sing the songs she loved without feeling tears, but rather feeling a smile come to my lips remembering how she loved hearing me sing and play as only a mother can. In other words… I’m back!

At this time of year, I like to remind myself as well as all my friends, listeners and acquaintances that we should all love more and buy less. But I also know the joy of finding the perfect gift for a friend or family member… and I pretty much limit myself to simple small gifties that fit into a folksinger’s budget. I love giving music as a gift!

You know how there are people who are always trying to match up their single friends with potential dates/mates? Matchmakers! Well I have that propensity but not with peoples’ love lives… oh no! Your musical life is my interest! Hah! I am always trying to find an artist to recommend to friends whom they may not have heard yet. When the match is made in heaven… I am thrilled! I hope you’ll find some great music to give to a loved one… or receive some great music this gifting season!

Keeping in mind my advice to not buy stuff that you don’t need… if you DO need a gift for someone and they might like to have a copy of “Sweet & Salty”… have I got a deal for you!

If you’d like to order “Sweet & Salty” and have it sent to a dear one, get in touch with me. I’ll wrap it in some colorful tissue paper with an equally colorful ribbon, include a fabulously colorful note from you and me and even mail it for you!
Cost for this fabulous gift plus the service of wrap/mail: the bargain price of $15! You can email me, purchase the CD from my website via paypal and include your special instructions. Or you can even call me and talk to me about your Sweet & Salty gifting plans if you’d like.

I hope you have a meaningful and delicious season of celebration. Make the dark days bright! Tell the people you love that you do! Sing a song to your kids! And to your parents!
Thanks for allowing me to stay in touch with you. I’ll be posting upcoming gigs on my website and on Facebook in the coming days. And guess what? I’m on Twitter now, too! @dalerobinsingin
Dale Robin Goodman
dalerobin@dalerobin.com www.dalerobin.com 207 229-9072

She's A Beauty! - January 23, 2011

Musicians can be a bit overzealous about our instruments.  I freely admit to this problem... my instruments are the only possessions I am truly attached to.  I love their feel and their sound and their beauty. I am really lucky about the instruments I play -- I am happy with all of them, and I don't shop for or crave any others.   This is about my vintage banjo,  which was built in Boston long before my family was even in this country.

About 7 or 8 years ago, I bought a very old (c. 1890) Cole banjo that had been lovingly restored by banjoist Emery Hutchins of York, Maine.  It was a treasure; I always feel as though I am holding a piece of American history in my lap when I play her.  But being old, and with mostly original parts, she has become a bit temperamental ( I say this with great empathy, as I am a temperamental old woman myself. With mostly original parts.).  A few years ago, I purchased a beautiful handmade banjo by the master builder Chuck Lee from Texas.  Easy to play and pretty dependable about staying in tune, my Chuck Lee became my everyday on-stage banjo.


But didn't I long for that old Cole from time to time?  One year, I brought her to Banjo Camp with me and asked my lifelong friend, banjo expert Henry Sapoznik, for some advice.  He and several others advised me to take it to Glenn Nelson at Mockingbird Music in Berlin, Massachusetts and have him fix the failing the 5th string peg, repair the frets, and make other improvements.  And with a sparkle in his eye, he suggested that I lose the steel strings on this banjo and replace with some imitation gut.... nylon strings that are meant to sound and feel like gut strings... the strings which would have been on the banjo when it was new.

It took me three years of saving up the dough and getting through many changes in my life... and finally I brought the banjo to Glenn.  He liked this banjo right away, and was pleased that I was switching her over to nylon strings. 

Yesterday I picked up the banjo at Mockingbird Music. Glenn showed me the ways in which this banjo was designed for gut, not steel strings. It was fun talking with him because he is so knowledgeable about vintage instruments.  And the new instruments that Glenn makes are exquisite.  Murray took a good shot of a guitar and mandolin that he made. They need to be seen and heard in person to truly appreciate.

But this story is about my banjo: She sounds like a totally different instrument!  Soft and clear, with a gentle, plunky voice, this opens up a whole new banjo sound for me.  I can't wait for you to hear this old gal... the banjo, not me!

All photos by Murray Dellow

Picking up the newly improved Cole from Mockingbird MusicGlenn showing Dale Robin some of the neat things about this old beauty of a banjoTwo works by Glenn Nelson Luthier

Off Handedly - August 26, 2010

Well I had this empty space in my music schedule and the Docs have been telling me for several years that I need to have carpal tunnel surgery.  So August is my month for taking care of this.  While I've been putting it off, my hand has gone from moderate to severe.  Both the tests and my hand agree.

So a couple of weeks ago, I let them have at it, and it went pretty well.  Recovery has been slow but steady, and I can do a lot of things without pain.  But I can't turn door knobs, open jars or bottles, or wash dishes yet.  I just tried to play the banjo and it kinda hurts, but I did get to play a bit of one song.  What song was waiting for my fingers? "Music Tree."  Now that it is in my head, my hands are thinking about playing it.  Hmmm... frustrating to not be able to play.  Another week or two and I think I'll be strumming again.

So for the moment, the calendar is a bit empty. 

If you can't PLAY a show, might as well HEAR a show, right?  I caught David Francey and Craig Werth in Portsmouth.  An amazing show.  These two never fail to leave me slack-jawed.  And finally Murray got to hear them live, after nearly wearing out their CDs when we drove all through NZ last year.

Craig's new CD, "Spokes Man" deserves special notice.  His songwriting has developed so deeply over the years and his playing......  Depth is the word that keeps coming to mind.  I listened on the way to work today.  And I remember popping the CD into the player on Rt 5 in Saco... then the next thing I knew, I was on Forest Ave in Portland.  "Spokes Man" carried me to the radio station.  Floating.  This is the kind of recording one can get lost in.  Riveting stories, eloquent melodies and stunning instrumental execution.  And Craig's smooth but expressive voice conveys his songs as though you were having a conversation over tea.   

If you don't know Craig Werth, I recommend a little visit to his website.  www.craigwerth.com

Oh yeah... my CD is still available at my website, and I'd love it if you will buy one.  And I hope you will recommend me to your friends and your local coffeehouses, libraries and other venues.  But before you do any of that, give Craig a listen. 

I'll be back with a stronger, more accurate left hand in a few weeks.  In the meantime, I wish you a delightful end of summer.

Signing off for now,

Dale Robin

Isle au Haut - July 29, 2010

Heaven on earth.... that's the best way to describe Isle au Haut. So how lucky for me that my friend Laura has a family place there and invited Murray and Aaron and me to come over for a few days. Then the idea to have a show on the island came about, and a lovely Islander named Bernadine made it happen for us! The room was full, the crowd was warm and inviting and it was one of the most fun shows I can ever remember. It also happened to be my birthday. What a fabulous way to reach the Double Nickel! :-)

On the way over to Isle au Haut, as we made our way across the bay, a song came to me out of nowhere. I wrote it down, and by the afternoon, Isle au Haut had given me the gift of a new song. I practiced it a few times on the stone front steps of Laura's family's house, and that night I sang it. Almost forgot it... but it came back to me just in time.

I had the unique pleasure of having my son Aaron join me onstage for a few songs... singing harmony and backing me up on his trusty kazoo. What a joy that was, and the boy was a huge hit!! Aaron is a wonderful singer, and he is fun on stage! And the audience seemed to have as much fun as we had.

Aaron is embarking on his own musical career, with his a cappella trio, The Pepperell Squares. Check 'em out at www.pepperellsquares.com.

That was my proud mama moment for today. :-)

Imagine my embarrassment when, in the middle of that very night I awoke to realize that I had mistakenly referred to dolphins in my song, when I meant to say porpoise. I hope the lovely people of Isle au Haut will forgive the slip-up. The song is corrected for future singings.

As we returned to the mainland a few days later, I was glad to learn that the folks who came to the show were eager for my return next summer. I am counting the days myself!

Murray got some great photos of our Isle au Haut adventures, and we'll post those on Facebook and here on the site.

Thanks to Bernadine, and Albert, and Travis and of course Laura, Maria and Agata and all of our new Isle au Haut friends who made us so welcome and surrounded by care and friendship,

Life and then some - June 15, 2010

Hello Friends,

Life has been moving at a pretty fast clip these last months. So many life changes in the past year: boys are young men, CD released and getting radio airplay (thanks Wepecket!) and selling, divorce, new love, new place to live, new town... seems like I am drinking in change each day. Change is stressful?? Change is fabulous!

Turns out this friend of mine, Murray, is really my new partner. Murray is not a musician, but a music lover, and such a support to me in this way. On tour I ask, "don't you get tired of hearing me play the same songs all the time?". Smiling, "No," he says. "I love them every time."

So the times turn into dozens and he still loves them and it turns out I love him. And he loves more than my songs. So guess what? Caution gone. We're gettin' hitched next week. It's not just the songs he doesn't tire of, and I cannot get enough of his eyes and the sound of his voice and the way he takes my guitar from me and carries it out to the car.

So now the love songs are about somethin' and I could Waltz Across Texas... ok well I'd need some orthopedic shoes, maybe, but you get the idea. So that's the news from the Dale Robin corner of the world. We're getting married on Tuesday the 22nd of June, and I've got a gig on the 25th. He thinks this is a good thing. I love that fella!

RRR in New Bedford Apr 20, 2010 - April 20, 2010

Wepecket Island Records Rolling Roots Revue Road Notes - April 20, 2010.

The Wepecket Family gathers at the Black Watch Pub for kick-off the tour dinner and rehearsal. Jim McGrath’s new CD is playing, sounds fabulous! Tonight we are here for fun. We return here on May 7 for a gig. The night before our performance the Black Watch presents an Iron Maiden tribute band, called Iron Mustache. Gee, this place is eclectic! Lovely spot, nice selection of beer, great ambiance. This will be a fun gig! But first, we head out for Princeton, NJ in the morning. House concert tomorrow night, and my brother, who is a killer blues harp player will be sitting in with me. First time we’ve played together for a couple of decades. Oooh - band meeting starting right now!

On the road with The Rolling Roots Revue - April 18, 2010

Friends,

Oh my -- it has been a long time since I have written. I trust this note finds you well, and I apologize for the silence if you have been wondering where the heck I have been. Truth be told, it has been a crazy and hectic life I have been living. Lots of changes over the past year… for the good… but not without the challenges of change. You may recall that my CD “Sweet & Salty” was released in 2009… but what you may not have known is that all that chaos of change was happening at the same time.

Now, finally in a more settled place, happy and stronger for all the adjustments to life, I am getting ready to hit the road in support of “Sweet & Salty”. The great news for me is that I don’t have to hit the road alone! I am traveling with some of the best – and most fun! - musicians I know. My label-mates at Wepecket Island Records are touring together for a few weeks. Sherman Lee Dillon, Andru Bemis, “Ragtime” Jack Radcliffe, Jim McGrath and more… with special guests at many of our stops.

If we’re not in your town this time around, please let us know your favorite live music venues and we’ll try to include them on our next trip.

Well, I still have things to pack and the house to tidy. Gotta deliver Pickles the bird to our bird-sitting friends. And oh! – I have not changed even one string on one instrument yet. We hit the road Tuesday morning. I hope we see you on this tour – check the itinerary below for venues.

I invite you to read the road notes at my website www.dalerobin.com and also on Facebook www.facebook.com/dalerobin
Thanks for letting me stay in touch with you.

All my best,
Dale Robin

Rolling Roots Revue Tour - 2010

Princeton, NJ
When: Wednesday, Apr 21, 2010
Where: House Concert
Description: Call for details and directions: 508-292-5632.

Pittsburgh, PA
When: Thursday, Apr 22, 2010
Where: Calliope Center Stage, 6300 5th Ave, Pittsburgh, PA (map)
Description: 7 – 10 p.m. Call 412-361-1915 or 508-292-5632 for more info.

Streetsboro, OH
When: Friday, Apr 23, 2010
Where: Honky Tonk House Concerts, 1025 Montclair Drive, Streetsboro, OH 44241 (map)
Description: 7 – 10 p.m. Call 330-626-2961 for more info.

South Haven, MI
When: Saturday, Apr 24, 2010
Where: Foundry Music Hall, 422 Eagle St., South Haven, MI 49090 (map)
Description: 7:30 p.m. Call 269-637-1041 or 508-292-5632 for more info.

Kalamazoo, MI
When: Sunday, Apr 25, 2010
Where: The Strutt, 773 West Michigan, Kalamazoo, MI 49700
Description: Brunch show ~ 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Call 269-492-7200 or 508-292-5632 for more info.

New Haven, CT
When: Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010
Where: Sullivan's on Chapel, 1166 Chapel St., New Haven, CT (map)
Description: 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Call 203-777-4367 or 508-292-5632 for more info.

Taunton, MA
When: Thursday, Apr 29, 2010
Where: Steve’s Backstage Pass, 15 School St., Taunton, MA 02780 (map)
Description: 8:30 p.m. Call 508-824-3436 or 508-292-5632 for more info.

Dartmouth, MA
When: Sunday, May 2, 2010
Where: Dartmouth Grange, 1133 Fisher Road, Dartmouth, MA 02747 (map)
Description: 3 - 6 p.m. Call 508-292-5632 for more info.

Portland, ME
When: Monday, May 3, 2010
Where: One Longfellow Square, 181 State Street, Portland, ME 04102
Description: 8 p.m. Call 207-761-1757 or 508-292-5632 for more info.

New Bedford, MA
When: Friday, May 7, 2010
Where: Black Watch Pub, 266 Dartmouth St., New Bedford, MA
Description: 8:30 p.m. Call 508-997-0023 or 508-292-5632 for more info.

New Bedford, MA
When: Sunday, May 9, 2010
Where: Kirby’s Irish Pub, 818 Kempton St., New Bedford, MA
Description: 7 – 10 p.m. Call 508-992-1999 or 508-292-5632 for more info.

Sweet & Salty on the Road with the Rolling Roots Revue - April 8, 2010

The tour in support of Sweet & Salty finally begins in a couple of weeks. When Sweet & Salty was released, after so much delay, life was all a-whirl. Huge changes in my personal and family life, selling my house, moving from a large home in the woods to a small apartment in downtown Saco, Maine, managing an almost-scary medical bump in the road .... wow! ... so much has happened, it's hard to list all the headlines! But now, with all those life changes and improvements in place, finally the time has arrived to give Sweet & Salty her due. Wepecket Island Records, the label that released S&S, produces a tour each year for the Wepecket artists. The Wepecketeers, as we like to call ourselves, are hitting the road! Sherman Lee Dillon, Don Barry, Andru Bemis, Jack Radcliffe, Jim McGrath and I - with special guests in many of our tour stops - are such different musicians, but we are all tied together in the musical traditions of America. The traditions are the glue... and the disparate genres are the flavors that make our collaboration fun and vibrant. From Jim's seafaring songs to Jack's ragtime jazz and blues piano, there ain't a root that the Wepecket Rolling Roots Revue doesn't trip over and have a ball with. See our full tour schedule calendar at http://www.wepecket.com/tourdates.htm. There's even a link for advance tickets for some of the shows! We'll have a road blog... Murray will be taking photos... and I'm planning for a way for us to keep an audio journal too! Stay tuned for more details.

It's Sweet and it's Salty - April 22, 2008

My my my … it sure has been a while since I have written. I thought I would be able to stay on top of everything AND keep in touch about my recording project, but it’s all been happening so fast and so wonderfully, I don’t know where to begin.

It was just the other day when the latest version of the rough cuts arrived in the mail. These are the studio takes of all the songs that we think we want to keep. So far there are 15 songs that we like or love. A little over 50 minutes of music that may make it to the final cut!.

Who is “we”? “We” is: Jack Radcliffe, my able and almost-genius, think-outside-the-box producer, friend, mentor and general wise-guy; Cat Radcliffe, Jack’s lovely, brainy and impossibly patient wife; Erik Lindgren, our able and most-definitely genius recording engineer; Don Barry, the most wonderful bass player a girl could ask for, as well as dear friend, deep listener and spirit-lifter (thanks, DB!); and Steve Ventura, Wepecket Island Record’s musician wrangler, fresh ears and plank tester. That’s “us!”

Of the 15 songs, three are written by me, and most of the remainder are songs I have been playing for many years and have always dreamed of recording. A few are new-ish to me, but have caught my ear and my heart. Two of the songs are written by dear friends of mine. Four of the songs were learned from my musical (s)heroes and two from musical heroes.

The working title of the disk, “Sweet and Salty” is now the actual title for the disk. “Madwoman of West Kennebunk” did have that je ne sais quoi, (HAH!) but “Sweet and Salty” comes from a line of one of the songs I wrote, and it seems to fit the whole project really well.

Right now the greatest challenge I face with this project is the visual art for the cover and the disk. A good friend who has access to an endless supply of chocolate offers to help with the “sweet” part. But what about the “salty” part? I have some of the best artistic minds in my circle of friends and acquaintances working on this. But so far we’ve not hit on it yet. Another dear friend agrees to help with the photography, but what exactly to photograph?

Jack is getting nervous about the art. So am I. Time is ticking quickly! I have a lot of the writing for the booklet notes done or at least outlined. We’re not sure whether we have the space to include the lyrics, but we’re figuring that out. There are so many facets to this project, it’s hard to think about them all, and also such a blast to think about them all!

If you have some inspiration for me about how to make the cover of “Sweet and Salty” look… well… sweet and salty… please step forward and help me. Right now! There could be some chocolate in it for you. And some hugs from the whole gang!

“Sweet and Salty” is in the home stretch... one more studio session for one possible do-over of a song and then we add some harmony vocals and we’ll be all done with the music. The rest of the work is written word, art and manufacture. Then planning the CD release events and some touring… getting it on the radio and selling the thing to thousands of people! Oy!

There is information about Wepecket Island Records here. It is a wonderful and generous thing that Jack and Cat Radcliffe are doing with this label. The most recent release on Wepecket is “Dirty Dusty Road” by Sherman Lee Dillon and the Dillonaires, one of the most fun family of musicians I’ve bumped into!

As always, thanks for keeping up with me. Thanks to all those who read my emails and ask about my music and this record. Well, CD, not record. Guess I’m showin’ my age here! Hah!

I spent some time in Atlanta a few weeks ago and then in Massachusetts, without access to my email. My mailbox got full and started bouncing things back to people. If you wrote to me and didn’t get an answer, please send again; I may have missed it.

If you are reading this far. I consider myself lucky!

Happy Spring!
Happy Earth Day – take care of our Mother – she needs some TLC!
Peace!
In song,
Dale Robin
www.dalerobin.com dalerobin@dalerobin.com

Freedom Thoughts - April 22, 2008

In the non-music-obsessed part of my life, it is Passover. Yes, time for matzoh and macaroons.... but more importantlly, this is a time to reflect... to retell the story of being released from slavery and long journey to freedom. To tell it as if we were living through it in the present time. Well, maybe this isn't so farfetched. The Exodus is a poignant story now, as we hear and read about starvation and bloodshed and predictions of huge economic challenges all over the world right now. We are all enslaved to the whims and judgments of those who hold the power. It seems that in a democracy it should be us, the people, who hold the power, but it is clear we do not. We have lost hold of the reigns and this buggy seems to be driving out of control.

At the Passover table this year, I enjoyed the company of friends and family, but I also prayed hard that I would learn what I can do to make a difference, that the Passover story would reveal to me some new inspiration. I vote, I write letters, I do stuff… but not enough. I prayed that I would be able to end my feeling enslaved by fear of the unknown, and the fear of speaking out and the enslavement of too much comfort. Wasn't that the very struggle of the Israelites at points in their journey? There was some really good discussion at the Passover table that night, and I think it has opened me up to some different thinking... different action.

It seems clear that we are at some kind of turning point in our country, our civilization. Although it doesn't look like it right now, I have to believe that the power to turn ourselves to a purposeful and peaceful direction lies in our own hands. I am seeking -- praying, thinking, singing, talking with others - about how we can each push the whole into the right direction... and even what that right direction might be. I am seeking my own place and my own voice in the work that is ahead of us to save the American Dream as I believe it is meant to be dreamt. I welcome dialogue with others to help enllighten me. I pray that this becomes our national discussion.

Radio Daze - January 27, 2008

A lot of people have called and emailed to ask how my WMPG radio debut went a few weeks ago. I am so surprised by that. I mean surprised that anyone would give it that much thought. And touched by the enthusiastic response.

So here's what happened that day.

Starting right from 8:30, the show went pretty well. It was the first time I ran that control board for a music show, so it was a little nerve-wracking. But .. no train wrecks, no major glitches. I was having a fine time. The phone started ringing at about 9:15,and I got a little distracted by the phone calls, but they were fun. Lots of Lincoln's listeners calling to say they were enjoying the show. I thought since no one at the other end of the line was crying for Lincoln's return, I was doin' pretty good. And I wsa able to keep my hands busy with radio and not with talking. :-) (read "big shoes..." below if you don't know whta I mean by that)

And then my pals started calling. From all over the country! What a madhouse, but a wildly fun one!

I started losing track of what I had cued up and I couldn't figure it out, and I couldn't figure out why I was so confused.

And then suddenly it came to me…. CDS!! The last time I had done radio, we were still on vinyl and turntables. Used to be, you cued the record up and got it ready to go, but you cold still see the label. Now, with CDs. They slide into that drawer and out of sight, and if you haven't made a point to note which CD player each of the selections was cued up in, you have no idea which player has which CD.

Now once you get the hang of it, you make a little system for yourself so you can remember. But of all the advice I got from my fellow MPG-ers, no one thought to tell me about that, because it is an issue most radio people have long ago figured out for themselves. But it had been so long since I had been on the radio….. pre CD era!

I didn't let it get to me - I just told the folks in radioland that I had NO IDEA what we were about to hear! It was a fun time, and I was glad for all the friendly voices on the phone!

I heard from a number of folks that they could not get onto the internet stream. I guess so many folks occupied all the stream slots there was no room left! Well, thanks to those who listened and also to those who tried to listen. And thanks for all the emails and phone calls and cell phone messages and voice mail at my office phone, too!

I had a blast on the radio, but still I am not looking to have my own show just now. I'll just keep subbing when occasional opportunities arise. I feel that I still have so much to learn in my job as Development Director, and I don't want to get distracted from that process. WMPG is relying on me to build our financial support and listenership base and that is where my energies need to go.

I love being at WMPG. It is a hectic and busy place, and the energy is great. There is so much to do it can be a little overwhelming, but I love what I am doing and I love all I am learning. And I get to see some of the most fabulous and interesting people in Maine every day. How lucky can a girl get??

Thanks to Lincoln for trusting me to sit in for a morning! Don't miss him on Mondays at 8:30. Folks.... HE produces some of the finest radio I have ever enjoyed!! 90.9 and 104.1 fm, and wmpg.org.

Songwriting: Old dog, new trick? - January 11, 2008

Something happened to me this past year that has never happened before. This ol' dog started writing songs that I am willing to play out in public. Poetry I have written; prose I have written too… but songs just have never come to me. Well the ones that have come to me in the past are just not worth repeating. At 51 I started writing songs. I can't explain it except to say that I must have had some muse-generated writing going on. At least three of the five songs I have written this year have been approved by those I trust to say yea or nay. I won't name those individuals here in case they are wrong. Heh heh heh... they know who they are!

How did the songs happen? Well I ask myself this same question. I am not sure I actually wrote these; it seems more like they were delivered and I just happened to be home, and the one who happened to answer the door at the time.

There is a line from a song by Darrell Scott that I use as a quote at the end of some of my emails. It says "… a good song never comes to those who chase, it comes to those who listen…" I love that line (and Darrell Scott is a writer and performer who is at the top of my list and I highly recommend you take a listen at www.darrellscott.com if you don't already know his work). I suppose I must have been listening, because I know I wasn't chasing.

Hmmmm.... Well, they may not even be good songs... I guess I'll let you be the judge of that. At least a few will be on the disc, which is still in the rehearsal stage.

Hey, thanks for checking in with me and reading my notes. If you want to comment, (I do like hearing from you) I'm always listening at dalerobin@dalerobin.com.

Big shoes for my hands - January 5, 2008

This fall I made a change in my day job, from my work at Community Action/Head Start (a job I loved) to working as the Development Director at WMPG community radio (the job I have always wanted to do and also love). A lot of people keep asking me when I am going to be on the radio, but my responsibilities at work don't actually involve me being on air even though I'm now certified to be on-air. I don't have or even crave a regularly scheduled show, and thus far I have only subbed for the mid-day news and public affairs shows.

Well, this past Friday afternoon I was out of the office visiting with a new WMPG underwriter (Welcome Linda Mansfield of Keller Williams Realty!) and when I returned to the station there was a message from Monday morning's "South By Southwest" host asking if I could sub for him this coming Monday.

Lincoln's "South By Southwest" show is one of my very favorites on the air. Vintage country music of the highest caliber accompanied by some of the most informed and engaging radio music commentary there is. I think Lincoln knows as much about this kind of music as anyone I know, even experts like Paul Brown and Henry Sapoznik and Andy Cohen from whom I learned so much in my younger years.

How can I possibly fill these shoes?? Lincoln's shoes are huge and I only wear a size 8 or so. 8 wide, though...

I talked to Lincoln and he told me about some of the country music treasures in the WMPG library. I thought about some of the music I could bring from here at home. OK, I think I can do this. Not as well as Lincoln, but I'll give it my best shot.

Although I have done plenty of radio before, this is going to be my first show on WMPG. I'm not nervous about talking on mic…. Anyone who knows me knows I like to talk -on mic, off mic - I can talk about almost anything.... and about music - well -that's my passion! So no problem there…. But it's the thinking about all the switches and dials WHILE I am talking that seems so daunting to me. Anyone who knows me knows that I talk with my hands… so how am I going to click and twist and push all the things that need clicking and twisting and pushing , all the while gesticulating wildly as I talk about the music I am playing AND telling you the weather and other important stuff???

I have been known to let go of the steering wheel when talking on the phone while driving so that I can express my thoughts fully by using my hands. That's why I had to get a Blue Tooth device. It wasn't about safety- those auto safety research people tell us it is no safer to drive and talk with a hands free device than without one…. That is UNLESS you also need a hand or two to finish the sentence!

I am facing a new challenge on Monday. Do I, Dale Robin, have the ability to speak fluently without also waving my hands around in order to complete the thought? Tune in and find out. Monday, January 7. 8:30 to 10:3 am0. If I can master the talking and engineering thing by mid-morning, I'll even start taking phone calls. The number in the on-air studio is 780-4909. But don't call til I've got the hands thing down, hands down. Hope to see you on the radio….
WMPG is on the air at 90.9 and 104.1 (Portland) and streams live at www.wmpg.org

There are dozens of dollars to be made - December 23, 2007

Musicians are a funny lot. Almost all the musicians I know are struggling to make ends meet at a most unlikely line of work. Yet, if given the chance, they'll play for almost no pay, perform free at benefit events and give away their CDs just for the opportunity to share their music. Most of us have a "day job" to keep the bills paid.

There's that joke I've heard -
Q: What does a musician do when she wins the million dollar lottery?
A: Keep on playing music til the money runs out!

One day last January, my friend Jack Radcliffe called me up and told me "Wepecket Records wants you". Although I was in disbelief, I knew the source was reliable, because Jack is the chief cook and dishwasher at Wepecket; he owns and runs the label. This has got to be the work of fools, because there are at least a thousand easier ways in which one could try and make money… but Jack, a wildly talented musician in his own right, has music to share - his own and others'. He is disturbed, as I am, about the scarcity of actual tradition-inspired music in the folk music world. It seems that much of today's "folk" music is really pop music that can't fly in the commercial world. Jack wants the ballads and the sea shanties and the blues songs and the fiddle tunes to live on and he is doing something about it; he is recording it and releasing it!

I had received that call once before from Jack - an invitation to record on the Wepecket label. But I was in the middle of recording "Pot Luck" with Mom's Home Cookin' and I could not switch musical priorities right then.

When I got the call for the second time, I was ready and able to commit to the project. After some delays, largely caused by health issues I was dealing with this past summer (much better now, thanks!) we are finally at work on this CD. I am still so excited about it. Tune in here for continuing updates. There are some pretty amazing musicians being invited to work on this thing… I can't wait to hear what happens when they come to play and record!

I am grateful for all the support I receive about my music, and in this case, it's Jack Radcliffe who is to blame for my recent spate of musical joy. I hope I can live up to the expectation! And although it's never just about the dough for me, I hope we can make at least a little. Just enough to help the next Wepecket project come to fruition, and maybe finish paying off my instruments!

Broadcast Email of Dec 15, 2007 - December 15, 2007

Hello Friends,

This is the first message from the dalerobin.com mailing list. First message? Why now, you ask? There are two answers:

1) Well, it’s about time! I’ve been playing music on and off for about 35 years and I have always done promotion for everyone and his brother, the bands I have worked in, but never for my own solo work. A few friends told me I really needed to do this, so I am. That’s what friends are for.
2) I have just begun work on my first solo CD. Some folks have been asking about it so I reckon this is a good way to keep notes and share the progress on the project.

About the CD:

WOW! Gotta say it again so I believe it! I am recording my first solo CD!!

I just spent a delightful day in Bristol RI with Jack Radcliffe, of Wepecket Island Records and the almost-miraculous Don Barry, a multi-instrumentalist whom I met and heard when we both performed at the Taunton River Folk Festival (first annual) in October. How lucky I am to be in the company of these two fine artists/thinkers!

We played music and talked music and jotted our notes and now we have a song list (including a few originals), and a roster of side players to work with us. We’re looking at early to mid-February for studio time, with an early summer release date. I’m on Wepecket Island Records – a very cool tradition-oriented label and I am honored to have been invited to record with these fine folks.

Need Title, You Can Help!!

One thing that is still up in the air is a title for this CD (at least a working title), so if you have any ideas, please send them my way. The last suggestion to arrive in my email inbox was “Madwoman of West Kennebunk”, which, after I realized it was the ultimate flattery, seemed too boastful, so the search continues...

Don Barry and I are looking for a few gigs in and around northern New England just to work together some more. Any ideas or suggestions for venues? Send ‘em my way; I’ll be grateful.

Folks have asked if my focus on my solo work means that I am not working with Mom’s Home Cookin’ anymore. Not so! I am still playing music with Monica and loving it and we will be getting started soon on our third CD.

You received this email because at some point in my recent or distant past, you expressed some interest in knowing more about my music – or maybe I just thought you did, or I dreamed you did… or maybe I really wanted you to. Or you might be on my list by pure coincidence or serendipity. Who knows…

Well, I am glad you are here on my list. BUT if you do not want to receive periodic updates (I promise that periodic does not mean daily, or even weekly… maybe monthly or less) on my work, please email me back with “unsubscribe” somewhere in the message and I will promptly delete your address with not even a trace of hard feeling. These updates will also be available on my website, www.dalerobin.com.

Thanks for reading this and for being a part of my musical community. If it weren’t for the encouragement of listeners, friends and fellow musicians, I would not have the chutzpah (nerve) to do this. So thank you for your support. I hope I will see you soon.

From my home to yours, sincere wishes for a meaningful and festive season. Buy less, love more.

In song,
Dale Robin
note to you if you are reading this on the website~~ if you would like to receive occasional news from dalerobin.com, please send me an email and let me know

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