October 8th 2021

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Featured Video

Shows

Date Event Location
Postmodern Jukebox Playhouse Theatre, Darwin, NT Australia Playhouse Theatre, Darwin, NT Australia
Postmodern Jukebox Astor Theatre, Perth, WA Australia Astor Theatre, Perth, WA Australia
Postmodern Jukebox Norwood Theatre, Adelaide, SA Australia Norwood Theatre, Adelaide, SA Australia
Postmodern Jukebox Hamer Hall Centre for the Arts, Melbourne, VIC Australia Hamer Hall Centre for the Arts, Melbourne, VIC Australia
Postmodern Jukebox Wrest Point Entertainment Centre, Hobart, TAS Australia Wrest Point Entertainment Centre, Hobart, TAS Australia
Postmodern Jukebox The Civic, Newcastle, NSW Australia The Civic, Newcastle, NSW Australia
Postmodern Jukebox Anita's Theatre, Wollongong, NSW Australia Anita's Theatre, Wollongong, NSW Australia
Postmodern Jukebox Sydney Coliseum Theatre, Sydney, NSW Australia Sydney Coliseum Theatre, Sydney, NSW Australia
Postmodern Jukebox Llewellyn Theatre, Canberra, ACT Australia Llewellyn Theatre, Canberra, ACT Australia
Postmodern Jukebox Empire Theatre, Toowoomba, QLD Australia Empire Theatre, Toowoomba, QLD Australia
Postmodern Jukebox Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane
Postmodern Jukebox HOTA, Gold Coast, QLD Australia HOTA, Gold Coast, QLD Australia

Latest News

The Dead of Winter 

The red dots on my hands have faded, leaving only callouses on the tips of my fingers. They are peeling and remind me of upright bass players' fingers after heavy playing.

I went sledding with my daughter this week behind the Catholic church in town. There's a small sledding hill on the southernmost part of town and is a short walk from our apartment. The snow was wet and heavy and made for some good runs and wet gloves.

Chloe recovered from COVID after our trip to Mexico and Louise ended up getting COVID again. She missed school for the week and we took care of her as she healed. The first couple of days she had a fever and the rest of the week her throat was sore. I didn't get sick thankfully and took care of both of them as best as I could with my red rashed hands.

It's been frigid and cold in upstate New York the past week. My studio has old windows long and even the plastic sealing I put around one of the draftiest windows doesn't really help keep the room that warm. A little space heater under my desk helps heat the room and keep my feet toasty.

Chloe told me that the third Monday of January is called Blue Monday and is known as "the most depressing day of the year." I can relate and feel the depressing vibes all around. We're in our third year of COVID, both my wife and daughter got the Omicron variant, the days are short and frigid and everyone seems to be beaten by life.

I've been practicing meditation and writing when I wake up and go to bed the past week. I'm finding it's helping ward off the overall depressing vibes of sickness, darkness, and cold. I've gone in and out of practicing meditation throughout my life and find that it is truly an important part to balance the mind and give space to the thoughts and feelings that want to take control of energy.

My therapist helped remind me that it is ok to have sadness and be down. They are feelings and have something to show us. Rather than fight or battle those feelings, lean in and let them be. They too will pass. She reminded me that this is also the time of hibernation and it's ok to sleep in and not feel motivated.

I'm a fairly driven person and when I can't move at the speed and way that I want, especially if I'm sick, I'm prone to getting down or depressed. News flash, I'm human! Don't most people get down when they're sick and cold?

Meditation helps me give space to all of these feelings, thoughts, and negative emotions. It allows for leaning into being and breathing into the fear and uncomfortableness of living. It bridges the human doing mind to the human being.

I read a quote from a newsletter I subscribe to from Thich Nhat Hanh's book, Peace is Every Step. Thich Nhat Hanh passed away this week at the age of 95 and was a master of practicing "mindfulness". The passage this newsletter quoted was about enjoying each experience you are in and treating the act as a pleasant experience. The passage that stood out was about his perspective on washing dishes.

"I enjoy taking my time with each dish, being fully aware of the dish, the water, and each movement of my hands. I know that if I hurry in order to eat dessert sooner, the time of washing dishes will be unpleasant and not worth living. That would be a pity, for each minute,m each second of life is a miracle. Washing the dishes is at the same time a means and an end–that is, not only do we do the dishes in order to have clean dishes, we also do the dishes just to do the dishes, to live fully in each moment while washing them."

This week I intend to be mindful when doing the dishes. We don't have a dishwasher so they are done by hand. Maybe this one mindfulness action can help bring presence to the dead of winter and bring a little more light to these darker days.

Sea lice 

It's sunny and 4 degrees in Hudson today. I'm still acclimating from being in the 70s and 80s in Mexico to being below freezing back home in New York.

My 40th birthday trip to Sayulita was filled with meals, laughs, sun, and love for the most part. I was grateful to have shared it with my family and next to the ocean. On my birthday, January 11th, I woke at 5 am, meditated, journaled, visualized, practiced Spanish, and then went back to bed to snuggle with Chloe. I took a solo walk along the beach, went paddle boarding, swam in the ocean, and had a delicious dinner with my feet in the sand with everyone at Don Pedros, one of the oldest and most iconic restaurants in Sayulita.

I wanted my birthday to represent things that I value and living my ideal day. For the most part, I think I accomplished that nicely. The one thing that was missing was making music.

The last night in Mexico we had a private chef come and make us an authentic Mexican fajita dinner ending with banana flambes. I started to have chills and unfortunately couldn't enjoy it to the degree I wanted to. Chloe was also not feeling that well. That night I had chills and hallucinated trying to get to bed. It was kind of intense though fever hallucinations can be fascinating. I wish I could have recorded or remembered what I was thinking.

Everyone took COVID tests the day before leaving and both Chloe and I tested negative, despite being a little sick. When we got back I noticed my hands had red dots on them and were itchy. My feet were as well. After doing a little research I found out that I picked up sea lice in Mexico from paddle boarding. I've had rashes before but never specifically on my hands and feet. I've been taking Benadryl and rubbing Cortisone itch cream on my hands and feet for the past couple of days. Thankfully I don't have anywhere I have to be for a little bit and I can rest now that I'm home. 

One thing I learned this week is to be gentle with yourself if something doesn't go the way you want it to. I also learned how to paddleboard and what sea lice are.

Sayulita 

The internet keeps going in and out at the Amor Boutique Hotel in Sayulita, Mexico where I've been staying the past few days with my family. I was waiting for the internet to work to write today and then I thought, that's a funny excuse for not writing, "the internet was out". 

It's sunny, mid 70's and this open-air villa that we're staying in is called the Arbol Suite feels like a Mexican/Buddhist treehouse. There are three rooms and a huge open area with an open kitchen, plunge pool, fountain, and lounge area that looks over the bay in Sayulita. Two long-tailed raccoon-type creatures went through the garbage and some crackers we left out the other night. I bet they must love this suite and people like us who forget that you have to put food away or the animals will eat them, even if you are told at check-in to do so. 

I feel so incredibly grateful to be here with my family and for everyone making the trip to celebrate my 40th birthday this coming Tuesday, January 11th. Chloe and I went to Tulum in April during the pandemic last year and I remembered how much I love the ocean and travel. Living in the Northeast of the US, especially through winter can be long and dreary. I think it's important to find a way to break it up if you are able. 

Chloe and I walked into town this morning and went to a cafe called Organi-K. They served various healthy juices, smoothies, and acai bowls. I tried a red juice of some kind with a pink latte.

I just paddle boarded for the first time with my brother. The waves were a little choppy and I bailed a few times until I finally got the hang of it. I want to go back out there and do it again right now! The feeling of being in the ocean and having to find your balance with its movement is incredible. It's a total meditation, feeling how the board sways with the wind and waves. I also had a couple of shots of tequila before so I couldn't tell if it was waves or the alcohol impairing my performance. Most likely the tequila didn't help. When facing the sun on the water, shimmers of blue and whites sparkle off of the ocean waves like shimmering stars. This is one of the many reasons why I love being by the ocean.

New Year 

This year I say goodbye to my 30's and hello to my 40's. I'm turning 40 on January, 11th 2022 and to celebrate I planned a trip to Mexico with my family. I wanted to wake up and hear the ocean on my birthday this year. I LOVE the ocean.

I'm grateful for all the experiences and lessons I've learned in my 30's that have helped me grow into the person I am today. Some highlights in no particular order; I raised my daughter, went through a divorce, found the love of my life, and got remarried, toured the US and Europe with Postmodern Jukebox, released 3 albums under my own name, played for the Obamas at the White House twice, conducted a critically acclaimed opera, lost my father, played on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert with the rock band, Bash & Pop, got arrested in the US and Lebanon, went to Morocco, released over 100 #minuterags videos, trained musicians and musically directed for NDI and CTB in China, the US, and Lebanon, and started learning how to speak French among many other things.

A couple of days before New Year's Eve, I was talking with my wife Chloe and telling her I wanted to begin something new and creative stating this year that I could do throughout my 40's. I wanted it to be something that I could grow with and that could have some type of consistency yet also be manageable. 

This is what I came up with. Every Sunday, I'm committing to writing something here on my website. It could be a sentence, video, picture, poem, story, essay, thought, idea, or whatever. The only stipulation is that I post something every Sunday. That is definitely doable.

I know what it means to stay consistent at something. I released a video almost every week for a few years I called Minute Rags. I stopped doing them around the time I lost my piano, (that's another story).

I loved the creative consistency of them and love looking back and watching them. I stopped them because I lost piano and I also wanted to do something to challenge myself to go a little deeper into a song and arrangement.

Another consistent thing is that I began learning French in December of 2019 and have not missed a day practicing on Duolingo. I'm on a 733-day streak and have no plans of stopping! 

So, as of today, January 2nd, 2022, I commit to writing something or posting some type of content on my website every Sunday until whenever.

I hope this finds you in good health and my work brings a little joy and inspiration into your life. I love hearing from you so don't feel shy to leave a comment.

Hudson Ragtime Piano Suite 

I'm drinking my third almond milk cappuccino of the day at a cafe called Metropolis Coffee on Broadway Ave. in Denver, CO. There's a healthy jade plant to my left and a guy to my right with 4 earrings in his left ear looking out across the 3-lane avenue at a homeless dwelling of umbrellas in front of an anarchist book, record, coffee store called Mutiny Information Cafe. 

The first two cappuccinos I consumed at a cute French restaurant around the same area called Bon Ami for brunch earlier in the day. It's about 20 after 15:00 on a Sunday. There's a persistent af fly buzzing around me and landing on my hands while I'm typing. 

I'm in Denver working with a non-profit dance company in Colorado called, Celebrate the Beat, (CTB). Celebrate the Beat provides the highest quality in-school, after-school and virtual dance programs for all children that improves their physical health and well-being, inspires them to believe in themselves, and establishes a standard of excellence that impacts all aspects of their lives.

Last summer, I started drinking almond milk cappuccinos during the pandemic after finding out that they only have around 80 calories. I started caring about calories because of Noom, this weight loss/ health habits app that helped me look at food in a new way. Now, I go back and forth between drinking almond milk cappuccinos and black coffee, which has around zero calories. Currently, I'm not Nooming nor paying attention to calories with such diligence.

Another habit I picked up in 2020 was learning French on Duolingo. As of today, I'm on a 621-day streak of practicing French on the Duolingo app. You'd think I'd be fluent by now! Nope, I'm going to need some immersion to really have the language sink in. Sacrebleu!

I'm a sucker for a good app that helps improve your life in some way. On the same token, I'm also a sucker for a good app that sucks me in until I'm like, wait, why am I on here? What's your favorite app?

The hardest part of 2020 was the sudden loss of my father, Joe Kieraldo. Dad passed the evening of October 23rd of a heart attack. I spoke with him that night on the phone while I was making dinner. A few hours later my mom called me with the news that dad had past. I was in my studio working on a #minuterags video, a cover of the Cranberries song, Zombie. I was in complete shock and couldn't sleep. My incredibly supportive wife, Chloe was buy my side the entire night.

Dad was my biggest fan and was the absolute best guy and father in the world. He shared his love of jazz and classical music with me as well as his love of a good joke and comedian. He had the best laugh, biggest heart, sense of humor and I miss him every day. 

We had a beautiful celebration of life for him around what would have been his 80th birthday, August 12th in Madison, WI. My daughter, Louise, who is now 11-years-old sang the Rainbow Connection and played guitar while I accompanied her. There were around 130 people who showed up from various times of his life. The weather was perfect, which my mom said was the one thing my Dad had to do. He did. I felt so grateful for the day and everyone who was there to remember and celebrate a life well lived.

At my dad's celebration, I also premiered a couple new rags I composed during the summer of 2020 which are part of my new album, the Hudson Ragtime Piano Suite. The album is dedicated to him. The book is dedicated to him as well as the people of Hudson, NY.

The Hudson Ragtime Suite is my latest musical project and consists of a book, vinyl and digital music. The idea began during the summer of 2020 when I applied for and received a $500 grant from the Hudson Arts Emergency Program to create a work of art. My idea was to compose a rag for each of the five main east-west street of Hudson, NY. 

The Hudson Ragtime Piano Suite consists of a musical book which includes two historical maps and historical backgrounds of the 5 streets which were written and researched by Brenda Shufelt, Jim Hoon, & John Craig of the Hudson Area Library History Room. Brenda was a huge help in making that happen, thanks, Brenda! There is also a limited run of 12" vinyl records which I put out on Protzebie Records, a fictitious record label. 

Protzebie was one of my dad's favorite words. It was a Polish word used as a non-sequeter gag in early Mad magazines from the 1950's. Techincally the word is portzebie but my dad always said and pronounced it as protzebie. To me, protzebie rolls off the tongue easier than portzebie. So the Hudson Ragtime Piano Suite is the debut release on Protezbie Records.

I learned a lot about Hudson, ragtime, musical notation and a lot more in creating this project. I'm grateful for the help of Jeremy Siskind in helping edit the musical scores. I have never paid that close attention to notation before and learned a great deal from this brilliant pianist/composer/teacher.

The album release party for the Hudson Ragtime Piano Suite is Friday, October 8th at Hudson Hall at 7 pm. The show will weave the Hudson Ragtime Piano Suite with video interviews from elders about their memories from growing up in Hudson. The Spotty Dog will be selling the book, vinyl and more at the show. 20% of proceeds will go to Kite's Nest, a local educational non-profit that does great work in our community and that I've both taught for and that my daughter has attended.

I'm incredibly grateful for everyone who has helped with this project. Thank you so much! 

Milk Money - PMJ - Beirut 

I write from the balcony of my hotel room on the 15th floor of the Smallville Hotel in Beirut, Lebanon. I'm here working with NDI training musicians for a dance program in Lebanon called Dance by C.L.E.S. Kay Gayner and I are working in 5 school in and around Beirut where we are helping the dance teachers and musicians prepare for their end of year performances.

Lebanon is filled with history and culture. It has been truly eye opening and incredible to work in these schools, with these children and teachers and getting to explore Beirut the past week. There is one more week of training and performances and we finish the coming Thursday. My fiancé, Chloe is set to land in a couple of hours and I just got off of FaceTime with my gorgeous daughter Louise. It's been the longest we've been apart and that has been one of the most challenging parts of the past 4 months. 

Thank you to everyone who's been following my journey and especially everyone who backed my Indiegogo campaign for my first album, Milk Money. It was a blast recording and producing that album which culminated in an album release party at Club Helsinki a day after my birthday on January 12th. My friend from high school, Jon Singer and his group the Xylopholks joined me and it was a special and memorable night of music. If you haven't checked out the Xylopholks, do so. They're incredible musicians and the music is amazing, if you like furry animals playing ragtime music that is. Even if you don't, it's awesome!

The day after the show, my mom, Chloe and Louise and I went out to brunch at one of my favorite brunch spots in Hudson, Rivertown Lodge. During brunch I received a text via Facebook from my friend from high school, Jesse Elder asking me if I'd like to go on a 6 week tour of Europe with the band, Postmodern Jukebox. I was floored and excited! It took some rearranging of my schedule, incredible support from my fiancé Chloe and understanding from my family (I had to miss a family trip to Sedona, AZ to be able to go on tour) before saying yes. 

The next week however I was set to fly to Aspen, CO to work for CTB, another dance company I work for there so I was going to be gone for 2 1/2 weeks, get back to Hudson for 5 days, fly to Los Angeles for 3 days of rehearsals and then fly to London to play 32 shows in 6 weeks with PMJ all over Europe. I'll save how that experience was for another blog but in short, it was absolutely incredible and amazing making music with world class musicians in front of thousands of people and experiencing different foods, languages and cultures for 6 weeks. Life changing.

While we were in Switzerland, I got an email from my friend and colleague of 15 years, Kay Gayner from NDI asking if I'd be interested and available to come to Beirut, Lebanon and work from April 1st - 11th for a training. The timing of it couldn't have been better, though it would then keep me another 2 weeks from coming home and being away from my family. My last date of tour was March 30th in Helsinki, Finland and I was scheduled to return to the states on March 31st. Instead of flying back to NY, I booked a ticket to Beirut via Moscow on Aeroflot, Russian air.

I woke the morning of the 31st in Helsinki, spent 8 hours in the Moscow airport and landed in Beirut close to 2am Monday morning. I began work Monday morning at 9am and the next thing I new I was working in schools in Lebanon. 

I'm incredibly grateful for all of these opportunities and for everyone who is following my journey.

Next weekend I am taking Chloe to Byblos, the oldest continuously inhabited city on earth dating back 7,000 years BCE. It has been inhabited by 24 different cultures, paper was invented there as well as the alphabet. It was also where the Bible was written, hence Byblos–Bible. The journey continues and we return the following Tuesday where I'll be back in Hudson, finishing up working with Harmony Project, an after school program I work for and.....getting married to my love on May 25th!

8K in 15 Days 

I'm sitting at a cafe called Barista's in Portland, OR next to my love, Chloe Caldwell. It's my first time in Portland or the Pacific Northwest. The gray sky and misty rain hold a dark beauty to them. When the sun cracks through the clouds it's a welcome warmth. I'm in Portland visiting Chloe's friends and family and also playing a show this Sunday with my dear friend from college, Mike Gamble at a club called No Fun. I think it's going to be fun, contrary to the club name. If it's not, I'll understand.

In other big news, with the help of my family, friends and fans I raised $8,000 in 15 days on Indiegogo, a crowdfunding platform to cover expenses for my new album, Milk Money!! I'm so incredibly thankful to everyone that backed my album and excited that I reached my goal 3 days before the campaign ended. I could seriously have never done it without all of you and am stoked to share this music with you and everyone that discovers it. With the recording and crowdfunding done, it's on to the production part of finishing the mixes, mastering, licensing, printing and distribution.

Record Album: check
Crowdfund: check
Release music: in process 

A big part of this project is understanding the process of obtaining the licensing and release fees associated with making an album. There's a lot that goes into it that I've only been a part of on the peripheral side of things. Understanding the process of what goes into making an album, especially an album with songs that are not your own or in the public domain can be at times, overwhelming.

Thankfully I'm working with a really helpful online company, easysonglicensing.com in learning how to navigate these business hurdles. The representative, Aaron that's been helping me so far has been really helpful, knowledgeable and communicative. 

________________


I'm loving the Pacific Northwest air. It's clear, fresh and possibly a little rejuvenating, especially when the sun pokes through the clouds. When it's overcast it feels depressing af. Jk, though I think days of days of that it could get that way. I guess it gets like that on the east coast so what the hell do I know. People are much friendlier and nicer here. You don't feel guilty for ordering a coffee and there's much less honking from cars.

Portugal, Proposal and New Music 

The sounds of Portuguese conversations and slow rolling suitcases down old clay cobblestone streets pave the soundscape from my 3rd floor Air BnB in the historic Alfama district of Portugal ??. My beautiful girlfriend, Chloé Caldwell of a year and a half is taking a nap in one of her new jump suits in the small bedroom as I type on my MacBook with the French doors open on a little circular wooden table. She gave me one of the most incredible surprises of my life last night as we were strolling down the Lisbon streets.

We were walking through a little courtyard that had one orange tree with green fruit poking out of a square in the pavement, tiled buildings, potted plants and a tiled bench. She said, "Let's sit on this bench for a minute," pointing to a blue and white tiled bench. "When do you ever get to sit on a tiled bench," she joked. Or a bench at all for that matter. We haven't seen many benches walking around Lisbon thus far. Sounds good to me, I thought. We've got no place to be and it's an absolutely gorgeous night. "Why don't you relax and have a cigarette and enjoy yourself," she said. Cool! I started smoking a little in Europe again because it just feels like the thing to do and I enjoy it from time to time. It's not as taboo here as it is in the states even though half the packaging of cigarette packs has a person in cardiac arrest with probably some words that read in Portuguese, "Smoking kills." 

Chloe handed me her iPhone which was opened to a page on her notes app. The glow of cell phone light struck my face as I began to read. "I just came up with this today. Read it to the very end," she nervously, nonchalantly instructed as I began reading the beautiful letter she had written me. I got to the end and the next thing I knew she had asked me to marry her in the letter and she had an open box with a ring in it. OMG!!! I was shaking and crying and said YES!! I couldn't believe it and was over the moon happy. I have never heard of a woman asking the man to marry her. It felt perfect and right and SO us. The handmade hammered titanium ring with a blue lapis band made by an artist in Grand Junction, CO fit perfectly on my ring finger. We held hands and walked the night streets of Alfama to find a bottle of red wine to celebrate. 

Over the past couple of days we have slowly walked the old windy and hilly streets of Lisbon, in awe of this unique port city; from its red clay roofs to its cascading pink and magenta flowers that fall from its walls and windows, from old yellow open air cable cars to women of all ages selling "ginja", a sweet red liquor on card tables in the old streets for 1 € a shot. I find the narrow meandering streets of the Alfama district a somewhat fitting metaphor for the meandering though not always narrow way life unfolds. Especially after a perfect proposal like the one I received from my love, Chloe Caldwell.

What brought you to the Hudson Valley?, was a question everyone in the cast of The Mother of Us All, an opera I musically conducted in the fall of 2017 was asked within the first week of rehearsals. Bard College was many people's answers. Divorce, was my short answer. Being on the other side of the opera and the divorce, not that there's a parallel there or anything, has taught me a lot about responsibility, dedication, perseverance and what I'm capable of. If I could raise a daughter, go through a divorce and conduct a critically acclaimed opera without totally falling on my face there's a lot more that I could do. Getting married again after all the knowledge I gained from my previous one and creating an album under my name were on the top of the list.

Milk Money is an album of myself playing piano while simultaneously playing a wooden octagon shaped bass drum that I sit on and play with my right heal and a high-hat with my left foot. It's an album of cover songs,1 original rag and a couple mashups of a couple of my favorite rap songs mixed with a Bach Prelude and a Beethoven Sonata. It also features various singers from different backgrounds, styles and ages. From Ryder Cooley, a goth like visual and trapeze artist as well as lead singer of the Dustbowl Ferries where she plays accordion and the saw, to Ella Loudon, a brilliant actress originally from England who's mother is a jazz singer and father a well known actor, to Christina Kokinis-Viggers, a naturally born singer who runs a local theater company and had a viral video hit of her singing karaoke at a Sam's Club to Tommy Stinson, a dear friend and bass player from the Replacements and Guns N' Roses and lead singer of Bash & Pop to my 8-year-old daughter, Louise.

I wasn't sure how this album was going to be recorded or what it was going to be called. I wasn't sure what songs were going to be on it or if I could learn all the material on it. I only knew that it had to happen before leaving with my honey to Portugal and Spain on September 12th of 2018. 

July of 2018 was spent musically directing for NDI (National Dance Institute) in the Catskills of New York and CTB (Celebrate the Beat) in Aspen and Vail, CO. While in Aspen, after visiting one of the 8 weed dispensaries after work, I took the shuttle bus into town and found a corner of a French cafe at the base of Aspen mountain and started creating a timeline for what I'd later call, Milk Money. Shit!, I thought to myself. This could actually happen! By the time I put most of the dates into the calendar the cafe was closing. I was high, hungry and stoked!

Christina was the first person I called about recording. We played phone tag for about a week or so before finally connecting while I was practicing up in the music room of the Aspen Community School in Woody Creek, CO. She sounded excited and into it. She also said that our friend, JD Urban, a talented and motivated videographer would be into video recording it as well. "Great idea!," I said. I texted Ella shortly after that who is almost always down for anything. We've played some open mics in the past and I had her audition for The Mother of Us All which funny enough, ended up landing our photos in the NY Times. Ryder and I met at Motto, a coffeeshop in Hudson, NY and she also sounded genuinely excited. I thought her soft unique voice would be perfect to sing, "Highway to Hell" and "Karma Police". Tommy also said he was down though I knew would be a wild card since he was in and out of town a bit from touring. Tommy was the one who really helped form the shape of how Milk Money would be recorded. "Man, why don't you just do it in the club and not mess around with figuring out how to try and record it yourself," he called to tell me while I was practicing about a week before recording. "You can also borrow a couple of my mics." Jesus! That's a great idea. Ok and thanks so much!

Labor Day fell on Monday, September 2nd which was spent at Club Helsinki with sound man, Mike Schoonmaker, videographer, JD Urban and makeup artist William Sasek and all the singers at various times. It was a long ass day and by the end we captured some great music and had some awesome moments. My daughter Louise started off the day recording 3 takes of Tom Petty's, Free Fallin'. Ryder  Cooley followed singing, Highway to Hell and Karma Police wearing different costumes playing with the mood and vibe of the tunes while also drinking some oat milk she had brought. Christina Kokonis-Viggers continued with a jazzy ragtime version of I Wanna Dance with Somebody with her beautifully big voice. Ella Loudon showed up around 5 and later recorded Lennon and McCartney's, We Can Work it Out after coming back from finishing her summer residency of As You Like It with Shakespeare and Company. The bottle of Buffalo Trace bourbon I bought for the day was a prop that was consumed by Ella during these takes and led to some hilarious moments. Tommy Stinson texted around 9 and said he'd be there in 20 minutes. He came to Helsinki a bit "in the cups" as he sometimes puts it and we took a couple takes of him singing the Marshal Crenshaw classic, You're My Favorite Waste of Time. I was exhausted by the end of the night as well as excited and thankful that I recorded everything I wanted to with these amazing people.

The next Wednesday was spent recording alone. I had 8 songs to record and only that day to record them. Most of the songs I could play though some I had never played straight through without making huge mistakes. Black & White Rag, rag written in 1908 by George Botsford was the first song recorded. It took me about 2 1/2 hours to record it as one take. I recorded the rest of the songs in this fashion, some not taking as long and others taking about the same amount of time. 1am rolled around and I was finally finished after an exhausting and mentally taxing day living off of garlic hummus, carrot juice, coffee and Triscuits.

After an amazing vacation to Lisbon and Barcelona, I returned to Hudson for a minute to do laundry and see my daughter Louise for a few hours and take her to her soccer game with my now fiancé Chloe. I caught an Amtrak from Hudson to Philadelphia where I worked with Ballet X for the next week. Friday night I caught a plane to Denver and drove to Crested Butte on Sunday to musically direct for the non-profit dance company, Celebrate the Beat. I finally returned home Friday, October 5th around 1:30am, ready to attend and play a wedding the following day. 

It feels great to be back in Hudson and getting back into the swing of things. Tommy Stinson is helping me with the recordings of Milk Money, my daughter Louise is in 3rd grade at a new school and I started teaching again both privately and for Harmony Project Hudson. I'm also in the midst of my first crowdfunding campaign for Milk Money. Please consider backing this album if you're so inspired.

Thanks for reading! Mais Amor!