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.
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David Hakan's Blog
Tandem Axle Trailer
The Gypsy Wagon Studio will be heavy. The walls, floor and ceiling will be 4 or 6 inches thick to keep out sound. Weight is one way to keep most sound frequencies out. Think double the weight of a regular gypsy wagon. So we are going to start with a two-axle, tandem, trailer. Yes, this will cost more, but it will be more stable going down the highway. Heavy duty stuff.
OK, just call me the Gypsy Wagon Man. The Deal Is Done.
After 8 weeks, I finally got the detailed quote from Trekker Trailers on my Gypsy Wagon Trailer they will build. (Well, I did keep adding stuff. But those things will help make it Wow...just WOW.)
Monday I sent in the "half down" payment to get on the build schedule. I should find out soon when they expect it to be ready this summer.
It feels good to be out of limbo, out of questioning, soul searching, contingency planning and waiting for Someday.
This will be Way Cool.
But this means I am Now in the recording and filming business. I am upgrading my gear and software now and can do projects pretty much up till August when I leave for Colorado. That is, when I get back from my North Carolina Tour May 5.
Make me a Wanderer's heart.
Blizzard of '17
I had a good show at the Taos Inn in New Mexico Friday, March 24. I had one dinner customer fall in love with my song, Are You Going My Way, and he bought a CD with that on it.
Then it started snowing. I thought it was just that we were up in the mountains. I packed up and got ready to drive to the KOA campground in Raton, NM about two hours away.
But I found out that about half my route was in the mountains, two-lane, no shoulder, 20 mph curves, no guardrails, and more snow. I pulled into my KAO cabin just as it got dark. Still snowing.
For some reason, I got up at 5:30 am. I decided I should get an early start. This was my longest leg of the trip, a seven and a half hour drive to WaKeeney, KS by Hays, KS. I showered at the KAO, and the lights went out and then back on once. I thought, that would be bad. It would have been really hard to shower and dress in the dark. By the time I got back to my cabin, the power went out to the whole campground, including my little space heater. I decided I might as well pack up and go since it was 61 degrees in my cabin. 3 miles north of Raton, there was a big pile up on Interstate 25 and they CLOSED I-25. So I went back to my exit to the gas station. Then realized the WHOLE town had lost power. Luckily, the power came back on in the gas station and I could fill up my tank and use the restroom. I let the car idle and ran the heat and waited there till 10:30, then tried to go north again. I-25 was Still Closed. So I came back to the gas station to wait. About 12:30 I realized that the staff had closed the gas station and gone home. I also saw some cars turned around by the wreck coming into Raton With No Snow On Them. Hummm? The highway to the east was closed, I couldn't stay in Raton overnight because they still had no power. So I headed south (The opposite way I needed to go.) on I-25. In 20 minutes the roads were DRY. The only open highway going east was 412. It was 40 miles south out of my way, at Springer, NM.
It was by then about 1:30 pm. The woman at the gas station in Springer said, "You better fill up your tank if you are going east on 412, because there is nothing out there for a long way."
She was right. There was Nothing, no towns, no farms, no stores, no cows or horses, sometimes no fences. Just the two-lane. Backroads USA.
So I just kept driving, trying to make it to Dodge City, KS by nightfall. In Boise City, OK there was one convenience store open. The line at the bathroom was 5 deep. (Yes I filled up, just in case.)
The towns on this route were mainly at the big grain elevators or big cattle feedlots. I mean Big. I have never seen so many cows in one day. Thousands. Cattle Empire. (It really is called that.)
I made it to Dodge City, KS just as it was getting dark, to the Love's Truckstop. (One of my favorites.)
I fought a 60 mph wind from the north most of the way east from the storm that hit I-24 in NM and CO. But I had "A Hard Rain's A'Gonna Fall" on the stereo and lots of road food munchies.
Then I had to drive the 90 minutes north on two-lane at night. I was toast when I got to WaKeeney. I had been in the car since 7:30 am until about 9:30 pm, with just a couple of 15 breaks.
I knew this long day on two-lane would be a long hard drive, but I had NO idea what a challenge it would be. I couldn't have done it without my Subaru.
Put a neighborhood bar with a Wednesday night Songwriter Showcase and you have a really fun evening. Especially if you are the one performing. Cool big-city vibe, young and old, scruffy and upscale and a great staff ready to hear original music.
They were also smart enough to park a food truck right out front, since they don't serve food. The food truck staff gave them table numbers and then delivered their plates inside when they were ready. More like a mobile kitchen. Very cool.
All last week I had the honor of meeting the people who support the Glendale Folk Festival by performing, pickin, grinnin, volunteering or planning. To my delight many of them showed up at my main stage set on the historic Foreman's Porch stage, along with quite a few festival goers. I had begun to wonder what would happen to the crowds at that stage as the temperature rose to 96 degrees. Keep in mind that one of the stages is inside...with air conditioning. Although I did all originals, people seemed to enjoy my set and bought CDs. Who could ask for more?
Let's All Go To Barbara's Place is the start of the chorus for that song. And it is more true than ever. Besides the big house in Phoenix, Barb and Chuck Giamalvo have a huge barn in the back that could easily seat 120. Carpet, insulation and an arched wooden ceiling make for a great acoustical space.
People came out for my concert and bought CDs. But they also came out for the pot luck and the start of all the jams and song circles. Recording sessions in the morning. Workshops after lunch. At dinner, "Are you coming back to the Barn? Bring your instruments." All are welcome. That autoharp and fiddle will bring the angels home.
Corrales, New Mexico has this great bar that does live music every night of the week. Since I'll be coming through on a Monday, I get a show there. Well, it turns out I was playing for my supper. I was on stage (the open spot by the piano) singing as the last of the patrons went back home, and thought that this certainly wasn't the first time I had played for a meal. Then I remembered the Very First Time I sang for my supper.
I was 17 that summer. I went on a 6-week tour of the West with my buddy Mark. (Who was 16, and just learned to drive.) We took my parents' Volvo station wagon. (Was I a lucky kid, or what?) I took my brand new guitar that I got in April, my Martin D-12-20 (twelve string). We had a friend who said we could stay with them in Portland, OR. We kept heading north till we got to the first campground in Canada, just outside of Vancouver. It was a beautiful spot with a big pond. One family had camped right beside the pond. I took my guitar down to the pond and started playing. The family invited us over and wanted to hear more music. Then when they had their big batch of spaghetti ready, they asked if we wanted to join them. So I got dinner for the two of us from playing a few songs.
I thought that was so cool. Especially since we weren't really prepared for cooking on this trip. (Our experiment with chocolate pancakes was a big flop.)
But singing for my supper is really about people listening and appreciating my songs enough to offer something in return. Food for my body, food for my soul.
All along I-40 I was treated to the graceful dance of white giant windmills producing clean energy. Oklahoma had some really close to the highway. Then there were some in the Texas Panhandle. Then in New Mexico, I saw a farm with white and GRAY windmills. Too cool. Here is a map of windmill farms in the US. Let's build these while we can.
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