David Hakan's Blog

I will post here when I can about life on tour and my work with The Online Musician Course. Please subscribe here to see all the posts. 
I will also send these to Facebook on my David Hakan page. Thanks.

Betsy Speaks Up

posted Jan 18, 2018, 5:32 PM by David Hakan

Most of my albums have a song where I play my 12-string. This new album in the works, Gypsy Wagon Man, will have three songs with Betsy. 
It is 1969 and my dad has agreed to get me a better guitar than my nylon string Epiphone. We go to Quigley's on Troost and try out some Martin guitars. One was a new D12-20. When I put that 12-string back into its case, I accidentally brushed the strings. So it rang. 
And rang, and rang, while dad and the clerk were talking prices. I swear it never stopped ringing on that open chord till I picked it up again and chose it. 
I played only that guitar for the first 20 years. Along the way, she informed me that her name was Betsy. (I really wasn't naming my guitars then.) 
I quickly switched to stringing her as a 10-string, without the high octave strings on the low E and A strings. The sound is unique, even among other 12-strings. 
"I love this old guitar, as much as anything. My fingers may hurt, but it's a hand powered machine." 

Studio Day One

posted Jan 11, 2018, 1:29 PM by David Hakan

After many hours of planning, setup and software testing, I am finally in the new vocal booth for Gypsy Wagon Studios Inside. This was day one getting the main guitar and vocal tracks done. This album, Gypsy Wagon Man, will be my ninth solo album of original music. Right now I'm doing 18 tracks. My goal is to have something ready for Folk Alliance International in February so it is full on recording every day till I'm done. So grateful for my beautiful guitars and my Blue microphone. This is sounding great. 

Finishing Touches

posted Aug 9, 2017, 6:37 PM by David Hakan

Finishing Touches

Three weeks without a post. Three weeks in despair. Three weeks working every day at 5:30 am. Three weeks fixing, adding, sanding, sawing, staining, varnishing, climbing ladders, climbing under the trailer, glueing, black sharpie (really), and putting the finishing touches on the Gypsy Wagon Studio. I set up a temp site and a YouTube channel for my first artist music videos. 
So....now you get photos of the almost finished interior of the studio. It is feeling done for now. Next year......

Day 5: Toast To Musical Adventures

posted Jul 18, 2017, 2:46 PM by David Hakan

Day 5: Toast To Musical Adventures
I made it home without mishaps. And Dave Lizor helped me back the Gypsy Wagon Studio down my driveway so we can work on it. (The connectors came today to hook up the two additional solar panels.) 
So raise a glass with us for a dream becoming reality, to all the musical adventures to come. Cheers. 

Day 4 First Music Video (test)

posted Jul 17, 2017, 7:16 AM by David Hakan   [ updated Jul 17, 2017, 7:24 AM ]

Day 4 First Music Video (test) 

Another early morning to get through Nashville. It was Sunday so I slept in...till 6 am. 
It was so nice to get north to Illinois where the hot afternoon was only in the low 80's. For the very first time, I was able to sit out on my front porch and have lunch. 
First I had to clean! The space still had dirt tracked in and sawdust from construction. 
I set up all my filming gear and Blue microphone. I had just loaded my newest song onto my iPad. It is a much tighter space for running back and forth in front and in back of the camera than the Dandelion Concerts Stage. (Step carefully.) But I got a good capture of a rough take on a new song. I went outside and it was nearly dark!

Keep in mind this is straight into the camera, no reverb, no compression, no effects, no EQ, no color correction. Just like it would be for a live broadcast. Please let me know what you think. Here's the YouTube link. David Hakan - The Box

 Please subscribe here and to my Channel. I will be launching a Gypsy Wagon Studio Channel as soon as I get some videos produced. 

The Box by David Hakan

Day 3 Sneaking By Atlanta

posted Jul 15, 2017, 3:04 PM by David Hakan

Day 3 Sneaking By Atlanta
So sticking to the Interstates has one big flaw. Atlanta.

The Plan: I stopped in Forsyth, GA just 30 minutes south of Atlanta. The last 30 minutes getting there still had heavy traffic, but not that bad. Then I set my alarm for 3 a.m. Yes Three A M. I showered the night before. I didn't unhitch. Coffee drink in the cooler.

The Outcome: On the road by 4 a.m. My running lights let drivers know I was there from miles away. Very little traffic. I went right through on I-75. No overheating either. The little bit of rush hour as I left Atlanta was going south into town on the other side of the highway. After two hours I stopped for breakfast. When I arrived at the nest campground I took a two hour nap. 

So tonight I will drive two hours to a truck stop just south of Nashville. I'll boondock till early morning (Sunday) and drive through early. Same with St. Louis. That may take a 3 a.m. start. 
I am also getting used to towing the Gypsy Wagon Studio, but my hitch does need adjustment, so I would rather take it easy and avoid sudden traffic maneuvers. 

Day 2 Too Hot to Fish

posted Jul 14, 2017, 5:27 PM by David Hakan

Day 2 Too Hot to Fish
I took a short drive today to the south side of Atlanta, GA. Even 40 miles south of the city center traffic started getting thick and wild as a wayward mare. Lots of hills coming from Florida to Appalachia. But better fuel meant more power, and no blinding thunderstorms. 
I ended up at a campground with a fishing lake. By the time I took these promo photos, I was ready for the air conditioning. I took porch only, two signs and full rig. Which do you like the best for the website? 

Day One Rollin' Home

posted Jul 13, 2017, 6:46 PM by David Hakan

Day One Rollin' Home
First day on the trip back to Kansas City, MO. The Gypsy Wagon Studio adventure has finally begun. 
Lesson 1: Stick to the Interstate
I had two routes all mapped out. One on the Interstate highways I took coming down to Florida, and another that Avoided the Atlanta Crazy Dukes of Hazzard traffic. This route was the scenic backroads and state highways through Alabama. I hate scenic backroads. I took those getting away from the New Mexico blizzard last March. So I choose the Interstate route. I call up the GPS from my Leesburg, FL location...and it takes me on this crazy backroad twisty, 10 mph turns, no edge to the road route that eventually leads to I-75. (probably 40 seconds faster than the main highway) Later during the blinding thunderstorm, I was very glad I was on a well-marked, three-lane freeway. 
Lesson 2: When in Doubt, Wait it Out
I stopped for gas (and binged on junk food to calm my white knuckles) and literally pulled up to the side highway to leave the gas station, when the storm I had driven out of overtook the town. It was a downpour with lots of wind. Now I'm only getting up to about 55 mph on an uphill entrance ramp, and I couldn't really see to the end of the block. So I read for a while. I practiced straightening out the trailer back and forth, and finally the rain lulled. I got back on the highway and went through the tail end and into blue sky. 
Lesson 3: Get a Pull Through RV Site
Backing up with my trailer is SO IMPOSSIBLY HARD, and that is even with expert help! It is so tall and wide and so fragile (actually it is built like a bunker, but one scratch is Too Many). I know I will get really good at it, like I did with my popup trailer, but right now, I was so glad to have a pull through site at the end of all that rain and nervousness. 
Lesson 4: Passing Trucks is Stressful (or was)
I only passed one truck all day, and it had flashers on. It was Nice. I didn't have to negotiate, speed up, worry if one of the trucks was going to pull out in front of me. I just plugged along and let the truckers pass me. With all my weight and distribution hitch, I didn't even feel them as they went by. Yes it takes longer, but not that much longer, driving 65 instead of 75. I think this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.  
Hello Georgia, River Park RV! 

Rollin' Home

posted Jul 13, 2017, 5:52 AM by David Hakan

Rollin' Home

It took three and a half days to finish up details on the Gypsy Wagon Studio. I was living in it that whole time. I love it. It is so beautiful. It sounds so amazing inside. I have been too busy to test the soundproofing, and it may have to wait till I return to KC. My main goal now is to get this tiny house on wheels, camper, film set, concert hall, stage and recording studio back to KC in ONE PIECE. Easy does it. 

Day 30 Finishing The Gypsy Wagon Studio

posted Jul 2, 2017, 6:55 PM by David Hakan

Day 30 Finishing the Gypsy Wagon Studio
The soundproofing layers are done. What a tremendous challenge.
Now the fun begins, making it look awesome. This photo of the cypress paneling is Unstained. Unfinished. Use your imagination. 
The back end on the tongue side is almost done. This will get dirty like a windshield on the highway, so I went with paint, not paneling. The LED amber lights are all wired, but not encased yet. The window plugs are being finished, too. They took off the regular metal fenders and brake lights, and are building ones to fit the Gypsy Wagon Studio. 
If you look closer, you will see that the brown is really dark stain against the yellow. Now for making all the details of the interior kitchenette, bathroom and benches come together.
We are in crunch time. The crew is working weekends and sometimes 18 hours straight. I leave in 3 days for Florida. 
These photos stopped me in my tracks. 
So beautiful. So much more than I expected. Feeling very lucky. 

1-10 of 51