ok, wow, take a breath and do an update! Jaskamon (me?) has released the second CD, "All the People" and has been performing at numerous Saturday markets which seems to be a place where that music is appreciated.. I had John Neff (see google, youtube) do the mastering and was happy to find him residing in Portland..Randy Foote contributed 3 tunes and myself 7..fairly happy with the product, depending how fussy I feel..my friend Gary Vey did the graphics like the first CD. I took a lot more time than the first album just polishing the tunes, and added real marimbas. I have accepted the fact that Jaskamon is more a vehicle for my songs than Randy's, and is more original and concert-oriented than his band, so it is what it is. On a serious note the drummer, Marv Bauer, whose idea was to form Jaskamon, and even came up with the name, died on 7/10 from, well, we can't say yet, and that has shocked some of us as can be imagined..
Meanwhile, because Randy booked his band the same night Jaskamon was to perform at an outdoor event at a farm Jerry Garcia (see Greatful Dead) once helped purchase in northern Oregon, the opportunity arose to have a SPYN reunion show (see history section on this website) as some of the members were available..so after a break of 29 years or so we got up and did five tunes, which went over pretty well I thought. I enjoyed doing some of that stuff which is a different direction than the island-reggae thing. We ended the set with "Police Car", just like the old days back in the 80's. A pleasure playing with Brian, Bart and Roger again.
Pretty Eyes - SPYN 7/5/14
Simple Song - SPYN 7/5/14
Police Car - SPYN 7/5/14
Once again I should mention that the site jaskamon.com is where you can find details of that project.
Wow, time does fly as they say and I see I've neglected my personal site as far as updates..I've been way preoccupied with the Jaskamon music project (jaskamon.com) for the last 6 months... For details go to that site, although you won't hear "the real story" because it's a site to get the band jobs mostly...
We have performed at different functions, released the first CD, had two members leave, recorded a live concert video, and are ready to release the second CD. We did all our work mostly in Talbott Guthrie's studio (the drummer I mentioned earlier) and I am really pleased with the product. By far my best stuff probably because I took my time polishing each tune.
Not to say all is well, however... I had hoped and even been told by Randy Foote that he would focus on the Jaskamon project by the fall of '13, but alas, he still is booking Skankin' Yankee gigs (which includes all the players of Jaskamon but me..) I tend to take that as a lack of commitment to our project (by all involved) and the feeling is that Jaskamon is really only me! Of course I have been the main financial contributor... (recordings,sound, merchandise, etc.) So now I am wondering where the path will go from here.
On another note, I have begun gathering info and parts for a custom made electric guitar..this will be my third, the first since '97 when I had the Carvin Co. build the one seen at the top of this web site. The time has come!
Another month has transpired, and the Jaskamon project keeps rolling on. Marv the drummer came back after 3 weeks and things continued where they left off, more or less; we got in the Portland Underground studio and put down 3 songs of Randy's..with some more additions they can be added to the debut album..I finished with mine and all is needed is mastering..so, much progress in that department.
Finally Jaskamon in its entirety put on our first show, to an admittedly sparse crowd in a club in McMinnville Or.. no matter, we pleased everyone available and got that first outing under our belts..now on to the next show in a bigger arena on the 5th of July..!
UPDATE: May 26, 2013
Well, what a long strange road, as they say.. after an excellent start with the Jaskamon project, with a website and shows lined up, merchandise produced etc..., we are hitting some pot holes... the co-founder (me being the other...) has turned out to have some legal issues from the past and was taken in for parole violations, all of which I had no idea about... we are waiting to hear what that means as far as the project goes... I quickly asked Bob Blaidel (from E. Coconuts fame, see history section...) to fill in for rehearsals on drums, and he actually helped with a side gig already..only thing is, his forte is jazz, not island.. on a separate front the recordings of 8 "island" songs from the studio where I live, sent up to the studio in Portland, are slowly being developed for the Jaskamon album, which will continue despite the problems presented us..after all the effort/$ I do not want to stop the ball rolling on the project.
I have met a drummer who has a studio in Portland, reasonable rates, who may give me an alternative for laying down tracks in the future... at this juncture it may behoove me to make more connections to find the best ways to get things done...
UPDATE: April 9, 2013
I have decided to use the 8 island tracks on my solo album in the works for the Jaskamon project, since there is a need for recordings representing us, and have brought in the other members to put down parts... three of us were already on it so it is just a matter of the other three getting in there, and we are close to mix down... very exciting... we have the website up
www.jaskamon.com and are getting that polished little by little..and at our rehearsals we added more original tunes to the list, and what a thrill for me to hear some of those come to life..much conversation about where we can perform in the near future also... and the show we put on at the Portland Saturday Market went well, as it was a beautiful warm spring day and with the energy of what had to be over a thousand people we played with much enthusiasm.
March 25, 2013
I have rehearsed with members from Randy Foote and the Skankin' Yankees and this weekend coming will sit in with them at the Saturday Market sometime after 1pm.. and later at Blackwell's on NE 41st ave (both in Portland Or.) that night... we worked up 10 songs for me to sing, and am thankful for their invitation. In the future the idea is there will be a separate act (already named "Jaskamon") which will be a sort of off-shoot utilizing members from the Yanks and a keyboard player (Bob), myself, and probably recording sooner than later, an actual Jaskamon CD. A lot of the organization work has been through the efforts of Marv Bauer, for which I am very grateful.
Work continues on the new album of songs, 12 in all, including 6 reggaes, 2 socas, 2 ballads, and 2 rock tunes. Happy to hear these come to life with the help of many musicians, some of which I am meeting for the first time, others I have known for many years. One drummer named Marv who answered an ad has been introducing me to players from the Portland area who share my passion for island beats, and I must admit I am beginning to feel a little ray of hope that something positive can come out of it. I should say something already has, as the recordings reflect it. But could some live shows be in the works? Perhaps! Plan is for certain players to meet and create, get organized.. stay tuned.
I am finally beginning to record my next solo CD at Leon Forrest's studio close by in Lincoln City, Or. Very happy to get going on this set of songs that have been waiting patiently to be fleshed out in proper fashion. Included is a tune I co-wrote with a high school buddy, Peter Koelliker, "Drinkin' Buddy"... he passed away a year or so ago so I want to honor him. Also on the spur of the moment I'm doing "Love Is All Around", the song by the Troggs from 1967..Reg Presley, the author, just passed recently. Don't know if anyone has done a reggae version, probably someone has by now, but I will do another. The rest of the tunes are a collection island (reggae, soca, ska), rock, a cha cha, and a ballad. This time in the studio I want to spend some more time getting the beats correct. I sort of rushed through that last time.
I recently discovered an old cassette in my possession of instrumentals I recorded in the late 80's, early 90's that I never did anything with. I am transferring this to digital and will make some copies to share. I thought I had lost these years ago, in fact the masters are still missing, but I found this copy of a copy which is still listenable... It is like finding a time capsule from a bygone era of my life.. and ironically through this music site I have come in contact with Charlie Holman who played on many of those. He can be seen in the history section in at least 3 photos.
Also contacting me was Bob Spelman, who is seen playing flute with me at a gig in the early '70's at the University of Massachusetts. We're talking what, 40 years later! So one never knows what musical surprises await us...
In December I made a trek to California to meet August Bullock, who I had spoke with over the phone about music but never met. We had several music jams, trading songs back and forth... I am taking one of his tunes, "We We're Free", and including it on my new CD project... I of course will make some minor style changes but will resist putting it to a reggae beat..!
During the same trip I played with Tom, husband of my old college girl friend, and his vintage Hammond B3 organ with its excellent analog sounds..a good time had..and in Utah I performed a set on New Year's at my second cousin's house.
What else? Went to a jam session at a local watering hole where I tried out the list of old cover songs I dusted off... joined the Popham brothers who appear locally as the "Water Bros." so that was interesting. Both those guys can be seen in the history section, I believe in the SPYN part.