Are you sure this is how Richie Havens got famous? Part VIII: Wrapping up the year


Best laid plans, right? Back last January, the intent was to market a CD in late spring or by mid-summer with, no less, a release show at Bedlam Theatre with ace comedian K Jay consenting to do a double bill. It’s said that if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans for the day. Well, He must have laughed Himself sick.

It all started out fine. Even had a title, Angels Don’t Really Fly. By yours truly with a bunch of monsters a.k.a. Dwight Hobbes & The All-Star Hired Guns featuring Alicia Wiley. That’s Yohannes Tona (bass, piano), Stanley Kipper (timbales, vocals), Chico Perez (congas, vocals), Jeff “Boday” Christensen (guitar), Aaron “Orange A.C.” Cosgrove as guest guitar on a cut, and Wiley on piano plus singing a duet with me. Three songs recorded at Winterland Studios, one done with neo-soul producer Roger Lear at REL Studio. Nice little idea for an EP.

Smooth sailin’. Everybody coming in and laying down dynamite tracks over give or take six months. An inch from the finish line, those old words by Paul Simon gain new, improved significance. “The nearer your destination,” he sang, “the more you’re slip slidin’ away.” Sure enough, out of nowhere, money gets funny, putting a monkey wrench in the works.

Only just now able to get back in the studio, things ain’t going half-bad lately. Recently was on a bill at MJ Kroll’s School of the Wise II Showcase with Jeffery James Sutherland, Tony Ortiz, and, of course, Kroll. Videos from the whole shootin’ match are up at Before that, it was four gigs at Corner Coffee spread out over five months and a set at Hell’s Kitchen. Oh, yeah, and there’s been radio. Kinshasha Kambui had me on Heath Notes from the Heart of a Natural Woman (KFAI). And Jazzy J added me as a featured artist at Twin Cities Radio. On the Bead Bad Records label, “Lady Midnight” and “End It All Over Again,” the duet with Alicia, are available at CD Baby.

That poor rascal Mark Dorshak, my guitarist, has been so snakebit I refuse to stand beside him if there’s lightning anywhere in the county. When his health isn’t acting up, his day job is. Or the weather jacks him up in his very pretty but not so winter-ready convertible car. So we’ve missed a couple gigs together and I had to do them solo. The ones we’ve done in partnership have gone real well, if I say so my own self.

Next step is to wrap things up at Winterland with Stan Kipper, Chico Perez, and me singing on this cut, “Angels.” And to play Corner Coffee with Mark. All said, 2010, if it didn’t go as expected, was hardly a bust. And 2011 is starting out on the good foot.

Singer-songwriter Dwight Hobbes featuring guitarist Mark Dorshak at Corner Coffee, 514 N. 3rd St., Minneapolis. No cover, all ages. Jan 7th at 8 p.m.