Retail Therapy

originally published in Sound Waves Magazine September 2020

We’ve all had to do what we had to do during COVID-19.  Some of us have taken this time to reflect and really focus on what’s important.  Some of us explored new creative outlets and found out there’s more to us than we thought.  Some of us focused on family.  And some of us just went nuts on Amazon.  Like buying nutty ridiculous things such as two kinds of wire whisks in different colors, new dust pans and tons of forks and knives.  (Guilty!)  But on the plus side, all that kind of balanced out.  Here’s a list of things I DID NOT buy over my summer pandemic vacation:

  • Guitar strings, guitar pics, 9-volt batteries, those little dime-sized batteries for Snark tuners, new guitars, amps, speakers, instrument and speaker cables or mixing boards
  • Oodles of snack for band practice
  • Pints of Blackberry Brandy to hide in my purse for getting through shows
  • Gas for the gig van, oil changes for the gig van
  • Shiny rock star outfits for gigs, a nice salon haircut and color
  • Lunches and dinners trying to track down booking agents, drinks and appetizers consumed while enjoying other musicians’ shows, drinks for long lost buddies who showed up to my shows, late night breakfasts
  • Concert tickets, new music

When you do the math, which I’m hesitant to do, was I better off?  I really do like my new Amazon king-size sheets.  On reflection though, I think I’ve had enough of Amazon.  As my favorite season approaches, and uncertainty still looms, I’m thinking about my own apple trees…  Oh wait, I forgot about L.L. Bean!




originally published in Sound Waves Magazine July 2020

Improvisation in music is a time-honored skill reserved for the best of the best musicians. In jazz, it’s downright required to have the skill. In rock, we call it jamming. In theatre, we call it sketches. Whatever the words we use it all means we’re making stuff up as we go along, and we’re rolling with it.

During this COVID-19 global pandemic and economic disaster, businesses across all industries are improvising to make it through. Restauranteurs are serving meals in their parking lots. Manufacturers are making masks. Distilleries are making hand sanitizers. The list goes on.

Musicians, those most creative of human organisms, are really getting clever. The need to express themselves and try to send out healing and comforting vibes is at an all-time high.

Here are some rather interesting examples of ingenuity and improvisation I’ve witnessed on a musical level:

– Load a band onto an oyster barge, drop anchor, and tell other boat owners to gather ’round and drop anchor. Power up the amps, speakers and mixing board with a generator. Ocean Concert – Done

– Load a band onto the back of a flatbed truck. Same concept with the generator. Drive through neighborhood streets and crank it up. Encourage people to come outside and listen if they want. Stop the truck in front of a house if there’s interest. Band on a Float – Done.

– Set up a band on a stage in an empty field. Have fans drive their cars and park in the field and listen to the band. Drive-In Concert – Done.

I’m sure there are more. Let’s keep it up. It’s the American way!

God Bless America and Happy Fourth!