Back At It


Haven’t performed in what feels like ages. But probably is only a year. As a way to stay out there, am doing a release evening for Something I Said (Kindle/ and Shelter (also Kindle/ Just an hour of reading a couple essays, doing about a dozen songs, running my mouth between numbers. If it comes off, should be a nice turn. And it looks good to come off: an intimate maybe 15, 20 seat living room at Cultural House in South Minneapolis. By invitation. Mainly, ’cause it should be a reasonably easy room to fill. Hell of a lot easier than playing Corner Coffee, so far off the beaten track you couldn’t draw flies. We’ll see.

Rehearsal, as you might figure, is a bitch after having laid off so long. Surprised I still have callouses. Working on that old Todd Rundgren classic, “I Saw The Light”, couldn’t remember half the chords. Put that one to side and tried the Blind Rev. Gary Davis spiritual “Death Don’t Have No Mercy”. It took a half-dozen false starts but did get through the whole damn thing eventually. Then, sat down, burned another bone, poured a little more and wrote a set list. Have to include a solo rendition of (shameless plug) CD Baby single “End It All Over Again” by Dwight Hobbes & The All-Star Hired Guns featuring Alicia Wiley. And “Mary Jean”, about, swear to God, having a crush on a blonde, white lesbian. It’s pretty swinging and, at one gig, had, kid you not, Da Black Pearl dancing in her seat. Got a whole bunch of lyrics for new material but no music. 

Promoting Something I Said has worked well. Beginning back a few months. More to the subject than writing skills. Fuck it. 
Was with Ahmed Tharwat on “Belhadan” (TPT Ch. 202 and You Tube). Got interviewed by Marvin Banks over at Minnesota Hott Radio, Charles Hallman for Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and topped it all off with an interview on “Voices” with Sam Simmons & Rashida Fisher at KMOJ. So, this upcoming gig will be about it for now. 

Until the novel Black & Single Blues (Kindle/ hits in April, maybe May. Otherwise, it’s installed as a weekly series at Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. Nearly fell off the floor when MSR commissioned a sequel. Which’ll start running soon as this series wraps up. Folk already digging Black & Single Blues will get one hell of kick out of Black & Single Blues II: one thing I’ve finally figured out over all these years is how create a good strong, female character. Starting with the play You Can’t Always Sometimes Never Tell, hitting home with the next script Shelter (Kindle/, somehow, somewhere along the line, I managed to get a good handle on. On the page. on the stage. Funny out how it worked out. The female characters going from catalyst to protagonist all on their, literally taking on a life and then taking over the whole damn play. Finally, I threw in the towel. This last time, simply went ahead and started with a female protagonist. Saved a lot of time and aggravation, not to mention rewrites: Ella Stanley is based on the life and times of Effa Manley, the only female owner in the old Negro Baseball Leagues. Dan Sullivan, by the by, out of the warm goodness of his customarily cold heart, gave me a crispy fresh, hard-bound The Most Famous Woman In Baseball: Effa Manley and the Negro Leagues when I was over at Jungle Theater, doing a guest lecture for his U of M journalism class (now, there’s a frightening thought, my influencing young writing minds).

Anyway. The release thing ain’t until late this month. Been rehearsing, scraping of the rust As a dry run, it’ll probably do well to prepare for a guest spot on Soapbox at some point. 

Ain’t invite but a few folk. Should be fun. A nice, intimate time at Michael Chaney’s Cultural House. 

After that, serializing Black & Single Blues at Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder should be a wrap. Plans are to it out on Kindle/ as a novel by late May. Might just actually happen on time.

Okay, see y’ in the funny papers. – dh