City Island

May 10th, 2010

resizedIt took me less than an hour back in the city to spot a dead body.

I opted to shake of my sixteen-hour commute from Yemassee, SC, to New York, NY, on Amtrak's Silver Meteor last week with a bike ride (inspired secondarily by a rapidly approaching triathlon in July).

I pedaled my Cannondale north to 103d Street, then east across the pedestrian bridge connecting Harlem to Ward's Island. Ward's and the adjacent (and connected) Randall's Islands are home to huge tracts of grassa and athletic fields, as well as several public facilities, ...

[Read More]

Into The East

April 4th, 2010

resizedAbbi and I moved from West 56th Street and Tenth Avenue to East 71st and First this weekend. To most, this would seem a simple, two mile, two zip code, cross-town move. Which would be true. But man, what a difference two zip codes can make.

New York neighborhoods are rife with generalities, none more pronounced that the Upper West and East Sides. The Upper West is for cultural and artistic workers, the Upper East for more commercial and business types. Nothing is that simple, of course, still, it often bears out. The Upper West has ...

[Read More]

Moment Of Zen: Litchfield Beach

March 30th, 2010

resizedLitchfield Beach sits just south of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a broad and flat stretch of sand at the center of Long Bay.

I rose before dawn to greet the sunrise there, hit the sand, and turned north towards Murrell's Inlet. The waves were soft and low, the water grayish-blue. The sun peaked over the water a few miles into my run, just as the modest, gray-clapboard houses gave way to the rolling dunes of Huntington Beach Park.

I jogged into the park at a break in the sand, following a shallow creek to a pond bolstered by evergreen ...

[Read More]

May Your Song Always Be Sung

March 21st, 2010

resizedIt was a strange rehearsal. But then, it's been a strange gig from he outset.

I booked this Thursday's Rockwood Music Hall performance months ago, but didn't mention it to the guy's until a few weeks ago; I wasn't sure how to approach it (solo, acoustic, electric, etc), I just knew I wanted to get one-last show in before the baby comes. And I knew I wanted to play it exactly five years to the day that Abbi and I met there.

A few Thursdays back, I mentioned the booking to Chris Abad.

"A Thursday night at eight o'clock?" he asked, ...

[Read More]

Crazy Nephews

March 10th, 2010

resizedMy brother, Christofer, called Sunday morning.

"Dude, is there any way you can watch the boys this afternoon?" he asked breathlessly. Jen took Ella to the hospital. I'm running up there to meet her."

My pointer finger was on their Upper West Side buzzer fifteen minutes later. I could hear Ethan and Edward's tiny feet scurry on the hardwood above me as I climbed the four flights of stairs. I knocked on the door to the sound of giggles. The door swung open mysteriously to an empty hallway.

"Boo!"

The boys leapt from behind the ...

[Read More]

Golden Slumbers

March 8th, 2010

resizedLast night, just before her eyes turned heavy after her traditional page and a half of reading, I slipped a pair of Sony headphones onto Abbi's belly, and pushed play.

I was running two hours behind my "Forever Young" recording schedule when singer/songwriter Misty Boyce finally took her seat at the piano. She banged out "Morning Has Broken" with just seconds of practice in three takes. Moments later, we began recording our cover of The Beatles, "Golden Slumbers."

"Do you think I'll be hung in effigy if I added an extra chorus?" I ...

[Read More]

… But Now I See

March 1st, 2010

resizedJamie Leonhart and I arrived to our "Forever Young" recording session a few minutes early, so set out for a cup of coffee.

The sun was broken free of the weekend's snow-choked clouds. The trickle of melting snow hummed beneath the rumble of passing subways, far off-music and a faint inkling that birds were beginning to return from their winter hideouts.

Galuminum Foil Studio sits at a crossroads of Brooklyn neighborhoods south of Williamsburg's newly-gentrified lofts and studios, north of Bed-Stuy's Marcy Projects, and west of Bushwick. ...

[Read More]

“Forever Young” LP Due This Fall

February 23rd, 2010

resizedI began recording my eighth studio LP (and sixteenth solo album overall), "Forever Young," Saturday night in Brooklyn. The ten-song LP is scheduled for a fall release.

Though the idea behind this new record gestated slowly, it ultimately came together pretty quickly. It starts, I guess, with Ethan.

My brother's first son, Ethan, was born seven years ago this June. I was eager to expose him to the joy of making music from the start. I bought him bongos, a piano and guitar all by his first birthday. Few things have made me happier in ...

[Read More]

The Wave

February 4th, 2010

resizedFunny story from Dominican Republic. Sort of.

Our hotel, Casa Colonial, was wedged in the middle of Playa Dorado, a World Bank-funded hotel, golf course and mall development roughly half-way between the Puerto Plata Airport, and Puerto Plata itself. Again, I can't say enough nice things about the hotel itself, and particularly the staff. Playa Dorado, was oddly-contrived (horse-drawn carriages to shuttle pedestrians the literally dozens of feet between hotels, for example) and antiseptic, though. It took me less than twelve hours to ...

[Read More]

Baby, Light My Way

January 25th, 2010

resizedThe twenty-week ultrasound is the big one; organs are measured, digits are counted, gender is determined (if you're interested in that sort of information).

Our appointment at New York-Presbyterian (the neonatal unit is located in the historic Lying-In Hospital dating back to 1799) loomed large on our calendar for weeks. That it marked the edge of our long-planned "Babymoon" -- one week in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic booked long before that island shook in sympathy with Haiti -- only added to its heft.

My brother encouraged us to ...

[Read More]