Monday, March 2, 2015

This Week : Empress!

Reminder : This Wednesday at  the Empress in Vallejo - early nite - starts at 7:00

Music Monday : Patti Smith : People Have the Power

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Social Media Updates, Second Album on Hold, Next Week in Vallejo

Hey There, Friends -

I am getting around to updating my various social media accounts. Admittedly, I have allowed myself to get distracted by too many things besides music.

Finally got the first album up on Soundcloud . Second album is on hold due to budget constraints. If you know of any philanthropic blues lovers looking to do a good deed so we can recut a couple of tracks, get this puppy mastered and pressed and all that, tell him or her to give me a shout. Otherwise is it waiting until I sell everything I own...

Kind of bummed that I caught a head cold of some sort. Hopefully, it will be gone by the weekend. Then, with a couple of days' rest, I'll be good to go for next Wednesday's Ramble at the Empress Theatre in Vallejo. Worst case scenario, I will sound raspier than usual.

In the meantime, thanks for your patience and have a wonderful day.

Much Love,

Friday, February 13, 2015

A Tear and a Smile by Kahlil Gibran

I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart
For the joys of the multitude.
And I would not have the tears that sadness makes
To flow from my every part turn into laughter.

I would that my life remain a tear and a smile.

A tear to purify my heart and give me understanding
Of life's secrets and hidden things.
A smile to draw me nigh to the sons of my kind and
To be a symbol of my glorification of the gods.

A tear to unite me with those of broken heart;
A smile to be a sign of my joy in existence.

I would rather that I died in yearning and longing  than that I live Weary and despairing.

I want the hunger for love and beauty to be in the
Depths of my spirit,for I have seen those who are
Satisfied the most wretched of people.
I have heard the sigh of those in yearning and Longing, and it is sweeter than the sweetest melody.

With evening's coming the flower folds her petals
And sleeps, embracingher longing.
At morning's approach she opens her lips to meet
The sun's kiss.

The life of a flower is longing and fulfilment.
A tear and a smile.

The waters of the sea become vapor and rise and come
Together and area cloud.

And the cloud floats above the hills and valleys
Until it meets the gentle breeze, then falls weeping
To the fields and joins with brooks and rivers to Return to the sea, its home.

The life of clouds is a parting and a meeting.
A tear and a smile.

And so does the spirit become separated from
The greater spirit to move in the world of matter
And pass as a cloud over the mountain of sorrow
And the plains of joy to meet the breeze of death
And return whence it came.

To the ocean of Love and Beauty----to God.

Source : 
All Poetry

Sam Andrew : December 18, 1941 – February 12, 2015

Dear Friends,

Yesterday, ten weeks after his heart attack and the open-heart surgery that followed it, Sam lost his gallant fight to hold onto the life he lived so well. He died peacefully in Elise's arms at 5:15 pm. There will be much more to say abou
t him in the days to come and there will come a time when we will gather together to remember him. Now is a time for Elise to regather her strength after the long vigil she has kept and the vital role she played in overseeing Sam's care. For now we can all remember him in our own ways until we can remember him together. He lived his life in music and art and a loving marriage. It doesn't get much better than that.

John Byrne Cooke February 13, 2015.

That Medical Insurance Thing

Hey Everybody!

Forgive me in advance if posting about anything but my music bothers you in any way, but I'm not here to give you a moment of escape from real life.

Maybe I have that privilege when I am singing, but right now, I'm here to share whatever it is I feel like sharing at the moment.

At this moment I'm thinking about health insurance. Why? Because, everyday, I have friends who need help just to stay alive. Most of those friends are musicians.

I'll spare you one of my long rants about how RIDICULOUS it is that we do not yet have a single payer system - and just share related info. This Sunday is the deadline for open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare.

My search for a day gig has been unfruitful so far. I got a couple bites, but nothing yet.
Happy to share that I'm writing more songs and have a demo recording session tonight.

I wish you good health and happiness.

-- Mari

Last Minute Op Ed from Pitchfork. It has a good overview, facts and figures from Future of Music Coalition regarding how many musicians don't have health insurance:

Now, here are a few of my fellow music artists (in alphabetical order) who could use a little more help paying for their medical bills - whether or not they have health insurance :

Sam Andrew: Is best known as one of the cofounders of Big Brother and the Holding Company.
Sorry to report that he passed away at 5:15 yesterday evening. You may donate in his memory to assist his beloved wife, Elise, with medical expenses incurred over these past 10 weeks:

Lynn Asher : Lynn discovered she had breast cancer in January of 2014. You may know Lynn because she has done a bunch of gigs with BBHC and is a vocal coach in the Bay Area.

Jesse Brewster : You may have seen him on ABC News last night. Has been battling Polycystic Kidney Disease for practically his entire life and his absolutely adorable wife happens to be a match for his kidney transplant, so she is giving him a kidney for Valentine's day.

Harvey Mandel : A living legend of electric blues guitar, has undergone so many surgeries for nasal cancer, that he is the epitome of a real life warrior.

Last but certainly not least. Shannon Cinnamon McCloud: Is battling Lyme disease. She doesn't have a crowdfunding page, but we were able to set up a Paypal account.

There will be an Artista party at Zodiacs this Sunday - more to follow.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sam Andrew Medical Expense Fund

As most of you already know, Sam Andrew, a founding member of Big Brother and the Holding Company, had a heart attack in early December 2014. Since that time he's battled infections, setbacks and had multiple surgeries in an attempt to save his life. This fund is to help his family with the mounting expenses and medical bills incurred during that time.
Sam has been known to help many people in need from playing benefit concerts and giving free interviews to mentoring aspiring singers and musicians. This is now our chance to give back.
We will always know Big Brother and The Holding Company as the breakout band at the Monterey Pop Festival which skyrocketed Big Brother and The Holding Company with singer Janis Joplin to stardom. With his long flowing hair, blue eyes and impish smile, he was a representation of the 1960s San Francisco music scene.
Not only is Sam a musician and composer but an amazing artist as well. His paintings have been exhibited in several bay area galleries. As a linguist he speaks a myriad of languages and is known for his vast knowledge of any topic.
Sam has given us a lifetime of creativity and intellectual musings for free. Now is our chance to help out a brother in need.