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Fall '11 / Spring '12

After 30 plus years on the road, it is actually Magnificent to know that I will be Home from October 2011 until March 2012! Kind of the longest down time I have ever experienced but not totally continuous…..Oct 15/16 Arlington vintage Guitar Show in Texas, Oct 29 in Mexico City performing for the University, New Year’s Eve in the Magical Methow Valley, January 12 and it’s Los Angeles for NAMM, and then the Mother of all Musical Instrument Fairs begins in Frankfurt, Germany March 21 all with a quick 21 day tour!

These periods of Global Sprints are Par for the Course but nevertheless I am enjoying domestic bliss and Maintenance of the Homestead. Add some music composition and Lyric crafting on a daily basis, some Demos to check out what direction they are taking and chance to get my career organized by going through a ton of unreleased sessions and songs that exist on ADAT, 24 Track Digital, and some completely mixed and ready instrumental pieces. Loads of DVD footage, photographs and the Tying up of loose ends and endless project threads!

When I arrive @ the Frankfurt Musik Messe in 2012, I will be armed with a new CD, completely revamped promotional material, and expanded MP3 pages on my updated website! Friends will be able to order song by song, complete live concerts and downloads from my new catalogue.

Exciting times are here…NOW!

Summer Tour 2011:

Preparations for this summer began way back in early 2010, when first indications of a massive tour began to surface. Loads of inquiries and lots of interest in the Katharina & David Projects, CD's and Concerts. Having a Number One German Country Air Play Hit with Jolina Carl (I Hope You Stay) written by Iris Paesch focused a great deal of attention on us. Great press coverage and response for both "Celtic Storm" and "Blue Highway".

So it was no surprise that booking for this summer's tour began early Fall 2010, went into hyper drive during the Music Fairs (Messe) of Spring and now have entered the Standing Room Only phase. Europe has opened her arms to the returning Troubadour and heralded Katharina as the Musical Versatile Flower Child of the Century: Munster and Schleussingen Festivals in July, Klosterhof/Monestary Concert Series plus a tour on the Isle of Sylt in the North Sea.

Meanwhile in America: The Crossroads Concert Series is exploding June 9th, New Venue's (Wild Vine Bistro May13/June 3) are opening up and a great Benefit for Tim Noah's Thumbnail Theatre in Snohomish, WA is under way May 14 @ 7 PM.

Taking time out for new recording may be tricky but not impossible...

Winter 2011:

Summer Tour 2010 was highlighted by Katharina Gielen's magical performances. Joining David @ the Niederalteich Monastery Concert Series, adding her voice, bagpipes, penny whistles and transverse Flute to several Pullman City gigs and making the special trip to the Isle of Sylt for her 19th Birthday Concert were only a few of her many collaborations occurring all Summer long.

A special Performance @ the Ballroom in August was recorded by Wolfmangang of Toolhouse Studios for a CD release on Oct. 31st-Halloween in time for the Nurnberg Country Music Messe: "Celtic Storm" has already received European Radio Play and critical acclaim.

I Hope You Stay The same weekend premiered the release of new duet with Jolina Carl "I Hope You Stay" written and produced by Iris Paesch on Little Elephant Records in Berlin. Never before could we use the term "Number One with a Bullet", but that is exactly what happened. The record is Number 1 on the German Country Airplay Charts, which means it is being played on 100% of all Country Stations in Germany.

New Years Eve can be enjoyed with David Lee Howard Solo at Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop, WA high up in the Cascades as well as an encore concert Saturday Jan. 1.

NAMM Show with Shadow Pickup Systems in Anaheim, CA Jan. 13-16

Country Music Messe, Berlin Feb. 6-9

International Music Messe, Frankfurt with Hofner Guitars Apr. 6-9

New Projects: "The Ice Princess" with Katharina, "The Charlatan" with David Townsend

Summer 2010:

Currently on tour in Europe, 50 gigs in 3 Months as well as recording a new Celtic Fusion Project with multi-instrumentalist and classical vocalist: Katharina Gielen, David Lee Howard continues his 40 year Journey as a unique musician and ground breaking Artist. This latest project will combine flowing 12 String Guitar compositions with Celtic, Spanish and Scottish bagpipes, Irish whistles, American Indian Flute, and several other wind instruments as well Katharina´s outstanding vocal abilities.

2010's early release of this Duo's "Celtic Storm" sold out its original edition in 3 weeks. They have been invited to play @ Folk Fests, Country Music Festivals, and Events in Estonia, Latvia, Denmark, France and Germany as well as joining a "Celtic Irish Music Tour" in 2011. This success is due to the thrilling combination of acoustic instruments and inspiring soundscapes of traditional and original music.

Currently David Lee is writing lyric and instrumental pieces to be used in upcoming solo projects to be recorded in November 2010. Also this Autumn Kat N Dave will perform at the Nurnberg Country Music Messe (last week of October) where for the past two years they have been the featured attraction.

This combination of an experienced 12 String Guitarist and this 18 Year Old Rising Star is causing a lot of positive press and critical acclaim (see www.myspace.com/katharinagielen) YouTube features several intimate and heartfelt performances from France and Germany.

Thanks for staying tuned…………………….

Spring 2010:

Off to a great start for 2010 with the release of "Blue Highway" and "Celtic Storm" as well as the DVD release "Live at the Crossroads" and a European Tour Highlighting performances with Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Katharina Gielen at the Berlin Country Music Messe and Irish Pub Concert Series. Also work with Hofner Guitars and Shadow Electronics for the five day Frankfurt International Musical Instrument Messe Event.

"Blue Highway" is an eclectic sampling of three major elements in the extended Journey of the String Surfer, featuring four fully orchestrated productions containing massive 12 String Guitar and vocal interplay, three purely instrumental soundscapes and three songs featuring world class harmonica stylist Jim McLaughlin.

"Celtic Storm" is a production of original and traditional Duets with Bagpipes, Pennywhistle, Indian Flute and vocalist extraordinaire... Katharina Gielen and David Lee Howard's Orchestrative interplay on the Hofner 12 String Jumbo Cutaway Guitar-HA-JC 30 String Surfer Model.

Both CD's showcase adventurous, joyful playing and strong songwriting as well as honestly rendered pure vocals. Part of the long journey towards attaining an original voice and versatile 12 String Guitar sounds. Enjoyment of life and craft are openly apparent.

Three of these new songs are featured on www.myspace.com/davidleehoward

Fall and Winter 2009 and 2010:

Summer Tour '09 was a total success! Aside from performing on 64 gigs in 100 daze, touring beautiful European countryside's and cities, meeting up with old friends and making lots of new friends, how about writing new music in totally creative environments like old castles, along ancient rivers, deep in the Taunus Mountains, the Bavarian Forest, the Woods of Alsace, quaint cafes in Amsterdam, Berlin and Frankfurt, even along the raging Autobahn in between 120 MPH trex from one cool location to another. It was a blessed Summer.

There are many to thank and much to be thankful for. Especially Hofner Guitars and Shadow Pickups who supplied me with the trix of the trade and the technical support to keep me playing in full force. My small but effective management team of Dagmar and Helmut Volker who coordinate all the gigs into smooth and seamless sailing. Further booking assistance was furnished by Frank Schuler in the Magdeburg area, Leo Hildebrandt near Frankfurt, Eging and Passau can not be done without Lilo Kleese and Friends, thanks Sabine, for Sylt! Great help from Anna in Hamburg and Ralf and Krista somewhere in between Kassel and Bonn. Further thanks to the CFRM, Country Family Baton Rouge, Hattersheim Folk Club, Manfred at the Monestary, Ingo Jembarski at the Landhaus and nothing happens in Berlin with out the help of Ingo Liebl and his team. Thanks Mike Strauss too, just because you root for me on myspace.

Musical support is coming strongly from the incredible Gielen Family with Katherina helping out on the Pennywhistle, flutes, bagpipes, Hurdy-gurdy and anything you can hand her, she will play. They will join me for Nurnberg Music Messe in November. Add her fantastic singing and how much the 12 String Guitar loves her and you have the beginnings of a beautiful friendship.

Emil and Steve of the Bayou Brothers along with Hana Lounova went overboard during our killer encores and live jams, thanks. I look forward to jamming with Gabor in Berlin 2010.

Many thanks to all my friends and fans who just show up to dig the music and drive out of their way to be a part of my life. All those people who just could not live without my newest and oldest CD's and ask for the over 3000 autograph cards given out yearly.

Work in process on three or more fronts to write record and complete various promised musical projects as well as a exercise DVD called" String Surfers Guide to Musicians Health... wait and see. Children's Book and CD coming along great. Instrumental recordings on new schedule and the Thursday night music club will produce a totally new ensemble creation. Special thanks to Dave Townsend, long time college buddy, band mate, partner in crime and new collaborator!

Hang in there and all will be unveiled in 2010.

I love what I do and I love who I do it for.

SUMMER 2009:

Summer Tour '09 is well on the way. Flew into Frankfurt Airport 9 June and within one week did 5 local gigs just to start off. Made a lot of new friends. And that's what it still is all about. Every step, every musical note, song, performance, leads to new acquaintances and contacts. During a visit to the Frankfurt International Music Fair in 2001, I networked with Thomas Kosche of the Technical Museum of Mannheim which led to 2 of my vintage Guitars to be included in the exhibit "Stromguitarren" in three major European cities, which led to meeting Thomas Jordan of Hofner Musical Instruments and a Guitar endorsement for the String Surfer.

New 12 String Guitars and a Shadow Pickup Systems endorsement led to invitations to L.A.'s NAMM shows in 2008 and 2009. Music Industry showcases at Open Strings and MyMusic in Osnabruck and Friedrichshafen led to an invitation to play the greatest show of them all, Beijing, China in November 2009. Doors are opening in London, Paris, Sweden and Poland that were not even on the Horizon a year ago.

So why the delay in new musical projects? A new instrumental CD was started in Spring '09. A new children's Book and CD is in progress for publication in the Fall. Songs are being written for the Apex of projects, the marriage of String Surfing and Singer/Songwriter combo for early 2010 release?

What's taking so long? LIFE! As focused as I remain on these goals, it was also important to renovate my new House in Mt. Vernon, WA. To make it the perfect home for those very close to me in my life. Building a future means planning and executing those plans with a goal to own a Farm and acreage in about 5 years time. By diligently touring and performing all over the world I am enhancing the chances of surrounding myself with the beauty of and extended Family, horses and other animals, orchards, gardens and a place to meditate on what all this is about.

I never planned to become a Super Star but I do work at hand crafting music that a large audience wants to be a part of and support. My Websites depict this work and their results and my dedication to myself and others. The incredible support from patrons and grassroot fans alike, the daily internet sales and downloads, the new surge of local Seattle gigs and exposure, the interest of the music industry and manufacturers, keep me forging ahead on both a professional and private path.

It never feels like sacrifice though I miss loved ones on two continents. It is just something I do and I need to do it on a global scale. I see my music as an expression of a more deeply personal sentiment in the future and I see my life always making room to follow the path my music sends me.

Thanks each and every one of you for your caring and in many cases... LOVE

Wheels are turning and Time is burning.

Summer Tour 2008 was every superlative in the book, as in the past ten or so years I've logged in 100 plus days on the road with 80 gigs, promos, radio shows, studio time, and quite a few private concerts. That seems to be the new trend for me professionally speaking; many folks would just prefer to have me play in an intimate setting for 50 to 80 friends. Sometimes they intensely listen and sometimes we enjoy a Frat style party. Anyway it is up close and personal and the wave of the future.

And what else is in my future... aside from the fact that I am out the door after only 5 weeks at home and back to Europe for three major Musical Instrument Fairs, including the Nurmburg Country Messe, my music Festival and Open String Exhibition. All are part of my close partnership with Hofner Guitars. I will be playing on stage solo and with Band as well at their booth demonstrating the refinements of the HA-JC 03-12ET, which I have been using exclusively in the studio these past weeks to record my new instrumental project.

I have also installed Shadow's SH 145, active sound hole Hummbucker onto several of my 12 Strings and recorded a series of MP3 sound bytes that can soon be heard on Shadow's site www.shadow-electronics.com They will up on the samples page but if you log on sooner, you can enjoy the picture we took of myself and their product in the Artists section... I am next to Nancy Wilson, sssschwing!

Last months Crossroads performance with James Clark on acoustic Bass has been edited to DVD and viewable on Utube, Bliptv and MySpace and accessed from my Media page on this site.

In the Northwest, I have been collaborating with Dave Townsend, keyboard and producer extraordinaire; both live and in the studio and the long promised follow up to Brindizi will be completed by 2009.

Once again thanks for the support and friendship and in many cases...Love

A Few Words from the Past and Present

I see my music as having no boundaries, no specific genre and demographic orientation. My Guitar playing honors no restrictions and constraints, no pulled punches, crossing into fields known and unknown.
My goal is to free my soul by ever expanding my musical horizons and inducing wave upon wave of liberating improvisation as well as connecting to my past influences. In short, unapologetic and seeking the honesty in myself to never stray from this quest.

I have been a professional/working musician since age 14 and am now well into my 50's and find myself striving harder than ever. Touring the globe 6 months out of the year, recording @ every opportunity, gigging locally when home, hosting seminars on the "Secrets of the 12 String Guitar" and "Career Options for Musicians", performing showcases for Hofner Guitars and Shadow Pickup Systems, Jamming endlessly, taking Guitar lessons and expanding into new instruments and music from all over the world kinda keeps me busy and fed.

I may have started out in the 60's as a Beat musician, garage band apostil, traversing through Soul Groups and Texas Blues Tributes but by the early 70's I was deep into Progressive Rock with Classical influences. Leaving Europe for the West Coast was the eye opener I needed to continue this Musical Journey into Country Classics, Show Tunes and Lounge cocktail stuff, when I discovered Bluegrass and Acoustic Based Americana.

Landing in Canada, I chose the 12 String Dreadnaught Guitar as my main Axe and proceeded to explore as many styles as possible being endlessly fascinated by how few limitations this instrument held for me. Needing a fret job within 3 months was my first clue that I had found my Muse and playing it in a most untraditional manner. Learning new material, doing scales and practicing every lick I’d ever heard gave me a ground up musical education and I slipped quietly out of apprenticeship and established myself as a Journeyman. I celebrated by doing a One Man Band Elvis Show.

Enter the 80's...playing locally in Seattle and the Northwest, raising a Family, writing new Music...all done in relative comfort and in the Idyllic Setting of the Foothills of the Cascade Mountains. This led to several Wax releases including the now mystically Legendary "Marie Antoinette", which can still be found in record cutout bins in finer Goodwill Stores all over the West Coast.

Europe began to call me back on a regular basis and I started playing in Pubs, then Halls and Town Squares till I found my way into the Festival Tour and Concert Series. Lots of Open Air stuff and great audiences. By the time the 90's rolled around I had become known as the "String Surfer", releasing new age, avant guard, Mediterranean style instrumental CD's for local labels and really taking the 12 String into a realm I think no one has ever reached or even endeavored to. I was at the top of my game and playing almost anything I could think of, ever expanding and striving for more new notes and wild progressions...

And then it hit me, the Death of my Son Thomas stopped me in my tracks and I had no where to go but inside myself. Every morning's realization of our loss closed the world outside and forced me to confront my own fate and future as never before. I was very fortunate for in playing music and singing I was able to achieve some release and respite from this constant pain and soon began on a new quest.

Lyrics suddenly became the new drive in my creativity and I drove myself into the printed word as I had previously delved into the 12 String Guitars. I wrote lyrics, journals, film scripts, travel logs and a personal diary to exorcise my demons. Soon I had written and recorded a somewhat alternative country Trilogy and formed the Dave Lee Howard Band in Germany to perform these songs resulting in Live Sessions and, hopefully reaching the Apex of my search for the truth and the Grail of my Songwriting skills culminating in "Last Picture Show".

Heavily supported by independent Radio and a great European Fan Base I finally found myself with a career. Three years ago I joined Hofner Guitars as an endorsee, playing Demos all over Europe and California. Showcasing the amazing sound of their 12 Strings at the NAMM Show in LA and Frankfurt International Music Fair.

Shadow Guitar Pickup Systems invited me to endorse their great sounding pickups in 2008 and I am glad I am part of their great company. Frankly, I am looking to Adamas and D'Addario because I go through a fortune in Strings every year!

Now I a find myself full circle and I am releasing an Instrumental Extravaganza to implode upon the senses and establish me as a Trend setting, cutting edge Guitar Guru. Maybe that is what I need to be...a Pioneer... I know of no one else who plays the Guitar as I do and am extremely happy with this special Niche I find myself in...thanks in part to You!

Message to the Web World

December 2008

Sure it is going to be a Happy New Year. Open to changes and afloat with optimism. Warp speed ahead, Scotty, Damn the Torpedoes, Chekhov and how about some humorous text messages, Uhura? I have never started a year off with some many loose ends, unfinished projects, undefined goals, and budget busting EQ upgrades. Restocking the Listen Label catalogue and reissuing all my CD's with track tags and Windows Media friendly downloadable artwork is a major commitment, financial as well as in storage and shipping. Everything needs to be promoted, sampled; MP3'd, recopywrited, packaged into ring tones, downloadables, and sent off to over 100 independent radio stations worldwide. Scandinavia, Benelux, Italy, Australia, Brazil, most of Europe and 50 stations in the USA.

The Web site needs to be updated to accommodate new touring schedules, special events and exciting endeavors. The most challenging aspect of promoting me is to come up with a halfway decent current photo, which entails a two week minimum of healthy eating, yoga, running, home spa treatments, low cal meals, pushups and bench presses before a photo shoot in order to catch me at my unnatural best. Botox is out of the question as is corrective surgery and hair implants. A less radical lifestyle, moderate alcohol intake and just a few good nights sleep contribute the most to this much sought after glowing image. A great picture.

Of course this could not be done without the soft lensed camera and professional lighting and the help of long time image conspirators-Kevin Beach and Axel Gaube. All my deepest appreciation for your talent and loyal dedication. I still have to make a commitment to my health and longevity.

That is what it is all about when you reach 56. The first Baby Boomers are already collecting Social Security and most are well ensconced in retirement plans, golden parachute showers and well invested 401K's, funds and real estate. And they deserve it; they have committed the greater part of their adult lives to the secure landing in old age. I, on the other hand, dedicated the greater part and the best years of my life to a debauched, late night, environmentally hazardous, noon sleeping lifestyle for the best part of 40 years. Most of it by the seat of my pants even though I have been totally pro since high school with the exception of a 3 month job at the audio store on Rhein Main Air Base and 3 months in a warehouse on the south side of Seattle. And that was it, the rest of my life I have been a professional musician, managing to feed my family, the bank, the mortgage and a mild drug habit in the 80's throughout the last 4 decades, finding time to record and promote 10 CD's in the last 15 years.

Which brings us back to the Music...I owe you! Brindizi II has been a project I have talked about ever since my last tour ended. It has been written over the past two years and performed at every occasion where I play exclusively instrumental music, quite often in the last few months. I have invested in home studio software and EQ with the hopes of beginning this project as soon as possible. Dave Townsend, who graciously volunteered to assist in the production, has been gigging with me since September. We have been ripping through these new arrangements and massaging the tunes into free flowing jams. Actually sitting down and recording has eluded me but the music is in a state of readiness.

Dale Ayottte, the coyote on the Keys has been covering me in the clubs on the local scene and we hope 2008 will be as rewarding as the past 10 years of collaboration. New Years Eve will find me at the Everett Eagles on Broadway.

2008 Highlights already include the NAMM show in LA, the International Music Instrument Trade Show held every year in Anaheim Convention Center January 18 thru 20, I will be playing for Hofner Guitars and feature the new Hofner Jumbo Cutaway 12.

The Berlin Country Music Messe (Fair) where I will introduce my new 6 member band February 8, 9, and 10.

And followed by the Frankfurt International Music Trade Fair March 20 thru 24, another milestone in my Hofner Guitar association.

So, in conclusion Brindizi II will be done when it is done. Two major European tours for 2008. New pix on the horizon and through it all I wish you all a happy and sane New Year.

One thing is for sure...my love for you is growing and I feel your love intensely.

Best Wishes

Journal entry May 2007

So it is May, 2007, dear Journal readers it has been a long, long time since my last entry. No apologies are necessary between old and good friends. But how about an explanation?

First of all in the immortal words of Joe Walsh..."Life's been good to me so far...". Since last October, I've managed to get my career and home under control and rollin'. On the final days of my 2006 tour, we managed to record the band live in concert near Linzengericht at Luetzelhausen in Wolfman Jost's Toolhouse Recording and Performance Studio. . What a great ambience and audience...a large room with a sweet kidney shaped stage, groovy lighting...we set up as in live performances and for 2 days proceeded to run through 12 songs from the past and three songs from the future to compile a 14 song live CD with the flow and energy and inspired vibe that only live playing can produce.

Then in a global internet aided procedure, we edited this work over two continents including two vocal overdubs and preliminary mastering mixes. On my trip back to Europe in February 2007, I returned to Toolhouse for some work and then back to Falcon Audio in Sultan, WA with the talents of Marc Willet and did the final mastering.

Marc has been brilliant a he proved last November, when he completely overhauled my tarnished masterpiece, "Last Picture Show" a project I had started more than a year earlier @ Shade Tree Sound with JC Smith. Radical editing and ultra cool overdubs brought this project into the 21st Century. We polished this stone until it shined and came up with one of my finest productions to date. The fact that I had written some of by most autobiographical lyrics, revealing and intimate as well as poetic and prophetic. Melodically speaking, I was able to incorporate some of my finest chord formations and arrangements ever, to bring me to the apex of my singer/songwriter skills.

Both projects return from the manufactures in 2 daze, in time for my summer tour in Europe which begins June 4 @ which time I will begin a more personal reportage normally found in the pages of this Journal. Till then all my LOVE!

Guitar Crazy

Yes I am guitar crazy-I am crazy about my Hofner 12 and it is serving me extremely well in my songwriting especially since I am working on a new instrumental new age environmental CD-working title... "Brindizi II". The instrument is wonderful to play, responsive in the most sensitive ways, and returns my energy in sweet tones and intone melodies. I am ecstatic and truly inspired; The tunes are pouring out @ an alarming rate and I have pulled a wild card. The man on the keys at Live performances in the Northwest has been Dave Townsend on his Yamaha MO, very inventive, adventurous, intuitive and wildly talented on his keys during live sets to point that we are jamming out the bones and ribs of this new project, live and improvisational. Will we have time to begin tracking in these last 3 weeks stateside? Remains to be seen. Back to guitars- I have been in the market for another vintage guitar, local shops, national stores on the internet, ebay and private parties. I came up with 2 of my favorite all time Gibson's. Both custom shop 2000 issue date: Gibson Les Paul-Fire Mist Abalone inlays and a Gibson 335 dot neck sunburst. Both were found at John Bentley Strings across from the Events Center in Everett-from a dissolved collection @ a fair price. While I was shopping for a PA upgrade @ American Music in Bellevue I spied a Honey burst '86 335 dot neck that turned out to be a super sweet player, a jewel to look @ and a sustain like from here to Chicago. With this guitar and a vintage 1X12Gretsch Amp I could become a blues legend (in my own Mind, of course). I also have checked out the new Guild 412 antique burst built like a Mac truck right up here in Tacoma @ the same factory where I picked up my 6 and 12 when it was still Tacoma Guitars. I was drawn to the new D12-28 by Martin because of it's beauty and absolute bright tone. @ the end of the day my Hofner 12 wins out through pure playability and tone as will be revealed on my new recordings as well as on the solo of String Surfer on "Last Picture Show"!

Meanwhile on the 29th of April, which was not only Thomas' birthday but also the Greater Seattle Vintage Guitar Show in South Seattle- what incredible beauties were on exhibit but the ones for sale were a little too refinished or Frankensteinien or over priced to totally pull me into a purchase. One very clean '78 Fender Princeton was scooped away from me by the Quick and the Dead, so I was not able to find the Amp companion for my Honey burst. So I will settle for this year's acquisitions to enjoy and play in the coming years. During the weekend of the Guitar Show, was also able to pick up niece, Elly and her boy Martin in Lakewood and head out to the Pacific Ocean, to a town called Moclips for some major sun, sand and a great celebration of Elly's 28th Birthday. The views were great from our abode and we enjoyed some of Washington's greatest cuisine @ Ocean Crest. I know I am becoming quite the hedonist, but in order to play, perform and create like I'd, I truly need to enjoy some of the great things in life and the greatest is LOVE and I will get into that one in my next entry. Salutations!

October 31, 2006 - Halloween Day

After months and weeks of absence from my Journal, I would like to attempt to bring everyone up to par or at least fill in this lengthy gap.

First of all, since my last entry I was engulfed in the private matters of my Mom's estate, the completion of a monster tour while suffering from an ear infection and walking pneumonia, moving my entire European life from Goetzenhain to Offental, dealing with the irrational ran tings of a emotionally unstable sibling, taking a much needed Greek Holiday, Island hopping on a Turkish sailing vessel, rehearsing for a live in studio concert that was to become my new CD, 'Roots-Live-Sessions'.

First things first, the music. Wow, it has been a great ride, the fact that I managed so many gigs and the 10,000 miles (16,000 Km) it took to get to them, was incredible. And the music got better everyday, not once did I pull the brakes on my show, take long intermissions, or slouch off in my playing or singing, because I had to do 8 more gigs in a row. Not once did I give one audience less of me because I was saving it up for three gigs down the road. Out of the well of inspiration, I transformed every show into new arrangements and improvised guitar work with fresh singing styles. I was literally blowing my own mind every night.

From all this creative volcanic activity sprang forth the idea to record a live, in-studio album with my ensemble of musical misfits. Trying to pull it all off, rehearsals, recordings, concert catering, and rough mix in the final week of my stay in Europe was short of insane and though I had my doubts about the outcome, I went ahead with this bold move, so on Friday the 13th of October we a began a two hour show for our closest friends in Luetzelshausen, near Hanau, Germany.

We had been recording and rehearsing for the three daze prior to this, so the room was really tuned in, add the fact that Wolfman and Wolfgang, the team @ Toolhouse studios knew their stuff and the endless array of incredible microphones (40 year old, 'brand new Niemanns') and high quality equipment brought out a real living and natural sound and we could concentrate on groove. And boy, did it groove, I let myself get swept up in the pocket of this band's funky feel and played away like a virgin in Amsterdam. I sang like I always do live and blended with Katrin's voice in natural ease.

But it was not until the next day, when I was reviewing the tracks for obvious mistakes that I realized how wonderful it really was. During the sessions, I could not really concentrate on anything but my own parts and it was a sweet gift from heaven to realize how nicely it ALL gelled and cooked. The violin was a real gem, for the first time I could hear how great Ralf interplayed with the voices and my guitar.

That next night, Ralf and I opened for the Lennerockers in Frankfurt and tore the roof off that sucker. We were indestructible and romped through a set of original tunes with such ease that it was over faster than a premature ejaculation. The next thing I knew I was on a flight from Kopenhagen to Seattle and the stewardess was gently shaking my arm 'We are landing in 30 minutes, Sir,' Said her sweet voice and I crawled back from my Cognac induced comatose to greet the western hemisphere of my dreams and after 5 months of high energy, heart pumping, soul wrenching, love evoking, and just plain fucking frustrating, traffic jamming European life came to an end. Or something like that.

What now... as I take an inventory of successes and failures of the past and future, I realize that I better get crackin', time's a wastin', better not put anything off and get to work. I have several projects that were offered to me as well as one's I have yet to complete on my own. Let us start with the CD that I did not finish earlier this year. It has 5 great tunes on it and 5 not so, what do I do with this. I could write 10 more songs and do one great CD and one demo one.

Due to my new association with Hofner Guitars, I should record an instrumental CD with my old sidekick, Dave Townsend. Let's get it on.

I have been asked by ZDF or Second German Television to write and record a children's project of ten or more songs in German and English. They gave me a list of themes and topics that they would like touched upon and left the rest with me. Deadline.....March 2007.

Kahouse studio and producer Hans Jorg Wenzel think I should do a Singer Songwriter CD with their team and their musicians to bring me to a wider audience and higher production values. I am totally open to this.

When will I get around to writing that book?

I will try to keep you posted more in the coming weeks, thank you for your interest, support and groovy comments to ozkat@northwest.net love to all Dave Lee

Soulstice

Back in the Pacific Northwest I can already feel my creative nature taking its course. Early morning prose and late night inspired ramblings on the guitar have already netted some real gems. I have a back log of lyrics as well as completed songs to draw from but I always want to express myself in the 'here and now'. Like what is going on @ this very time.

I should be elated @ my recent success and future fortunes, but being on a spiritual path seeking simple enlightenment and more understanding and compassion for everything is not always a state of peace but a turmoil of an emotional kind.

Though I have found infatuation that surely could lead to love, I still can not make the commitment due to the direction and physical geography of my musical career. I do plan on recording and touring @ this rate and level @ least until 2011 and beyond and as much as I would love to settle on an Island of Romance or a Sea of Tranquility, some of my personal fortunes are still tied up with an unpredictable factor, such as a loose cannon with whom I am related.

So, this work in itself is proving to be my salvation and since the more I do of it the more I become immersed and infatuated with it and that naturally leads to new and hopefully brilliant creative outcomes. I am in a self perpetuating cycle of personal exploration and musical vanguard.

So far so good and if I can keep up this level of work I will have a enough material and music to cover several projects which can be completed in February and March in Europe and April and May in the US.

Onward and upward...


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