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Sunday, September 16, 2007

taking the high road - Baltimore to Boston

Sleep comes easily on long days in foreign towns. The dreams have been vivid though, like my days. I'm sitting in the passenger seat of Melissa's car writing on my laptop on my knees. The I-95 is calm this time of morning. We left at 8am for Boston. I'm sipping my green tea soy latte, and occasionally glancing at the greenerie bordering the freeway like some invitation into a wild forest. Melissa pipes up "I love it. I love driving along these freeways out here. Trees are starting to turn. Little bits of gold sprinkled everywhere". She's drinking a green tea soy latte too, and has a back up tea in a thermos cup ready to take over to keep her focused on the road.

Road trip!

We've had a GREAT time in Baltimore. It was way more than I could have possibly imagined. Our second day in Baltimore was equally as pleasing as the first. Susan Souza, hostesss with the mostess, took us for a tour around inner Baltimore. We parked the car in Fells Point, a kind of grungy, but funky inner suburb right on the docks of the Chesapeake Bay. We wandered around a bit, checked out a jamming old record store (i noticed a few mom and pop stores in the area), and then headed to Bertha's Mussels for some famous Mussels that is well known all around the world. At the end of the ginormous pot of mussels, now just shells, we all got bumper stickers with the check. They have this notice board with photos of Bertha's Mussels fans who've taken their bumper sticker to interesting parts of the globe, like the snow or Hawaii. Kinda funny.

Back to ye ol' house in Towson, and it was time to get ready for the house concert. Susan had the gear. Actually quite a light system. Her little Fender speakers pack a punch but they are lighter than my laptop. Kristin, her partner, organized an assortment of snacks, including her delicious home made grape leaves with rice. So yummy. We pulled the keyboard out and got the guitars tuned and ready, and waited for the masses of locals to come by. Well, I can't say we got masses, but we sure did get a nice little group of guests who turned up. We all sat around enjoying some wine and the dips and then it was time for some vocal warblings. Susan hit it off with a few tunes. We decided to do it in the round style, we a couple of songs each, then keeping the round going till we get tired. She has some great tunes, and her sense of rhythm is impeccable. Next up, Melissa with her fiesty songs and passionate lyrics. She has a lot of energy for a pint sized gal. I finished the first set off with 'Release Me' done a whole new way, using my loop station. It's a cool little unit and i don't use it enough. I started recording a beat box beat with my mouth, then added (each loop you can add more to it) a beat box kick drum, then some beat box high hats (with my mouth. love doing this lip smacking, ha ha). This gave me enough to start the piano progression, and vocals. Lots of fun.

We did the round of songs all night, in between grape leaves and red wine, until we could go on no more. That day, Melissa and I rehearsed a song i've been thinking of doing live for a while: Don Henley's "Heart of the Matter". Though I prefer India.Arie's verson of this song, nice and laid back with an RnB groove, doing this combined with Melissa's guitar brought it more rock like Henley's. I didn't mind at all. It rocked. It's a nice duet to end the show and hope to use it up the coast.

I cannot speak more highly of Susan and Kristin. They are a magical couple of human beings who are very gracious and generous and so hospitile. It was such a pleasure to stay with them and get to know them. Go to and check out their wonderful organization of Kickass Women Songwriters.

Now, we are heading north, taking the high road away from anyone who can touch us, disarm our love for pure creativity, or point fingers. Being on the road means being invincible, searching for truth, light and a creative reason d'etre. See you in Boston MA!

Quote Melissa shared with me today:
Quote of the Day The first stage of higher consciousness is the state of equilibrium where praise does not inflate you and slander does not depress you. You may like praise, but you offer it at the altar of your Creator; you may dislike slander but you offer it at the altar of your Creator. A person who lives in this state is super-sensitive, therefore he is grateful. This attitude of gratitude makes a person great. - Yogi Bhajan
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