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November, 2011:

Living my Bliss – What I Did on my Vacation

(Yes, the title of this post is a tribute to post-summer essays from my childhood. My vacations have improved somewhat since then.)

I’ve now been home almost a week from this year’s Key West vacation at Meeting of the Minds (MOTM). It’s a working vacation for me, because I need to be out performing, networking, and otherwise promoting myself as a Trop Rock artist. So there’s always this inner conflict going on between “need to be at X event(s)” and “want to sit by the water and do nothing.”

This year I made sure to do some of both. I was going eight days in a row partying, and I knew that if I didn’t pace myself, I’d never make it through. So I did, and I did, and my voice was in better shape on my second Monday than on my first as a result.

I did get out to play in quite a few places, and you can see a lot of the pictures on my Facebook pages. I played with and around a bunch of my fellow Trop Rockers, and had something I was invited to play at every day this year – a first.

Here’s a partial list of the cool and talented folks who either invited me to gig with them, or whom I actually did gig with: Captain Josh Ramsteck, Chris Sacks, Dusty and Barry of the Conch Fritters, Gary PhillipS, Barbara Smith and Scott Paulsen, John Friday, and the good folks at BeachFront Radio. Thank you, one and all, for inviting me to be part of your party.

I also wrote drafts for two new songs down there, one more than usual. :)

Even cooler than that: I’ve been doing a lot of spiritual work the past year around embodying and manifesting bliss in my daily life. It’s easy to be blissful, driving through the Keys and looking at the gorgeous scenery. Something I consciously focused on this year was drinking in all that natural beauty and the magnificently-elated mood I’m in when I’m down there and “storing” it inside me. Now that I’m home, all I have to do is remember one or more of those really cool, magical moments when I could look out at the water or breathe the air, and no matter what’s going on, I feel better. And I’m still smiling about 95% of the time.

My friend Howard Livingston calls that “Living on Key West Time.” I call it “Island Standard Time.” It’s the same thing no matter what you call it – remembering what it’s like to be in that beautiful place, surrounded by several thousand of your closest friends, excellent music, good booze, and spectacular scenery, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. Heck; I’m even smiling my way through rush hour traffic.

If you were down there too, try that the next time you’re faced with something that’s been stressful for you in the past. If you weren’t down there, remember the last really wonderful and blissful time you had, breathe that in, and remember it when things threaten to get a bit shitty. What’s the worst that can happen?

Sunday 11/27 – Loren Davidson Music in Your Living Room!

Good news! I’ve finally assembled a gift bag full of round tuits, and am scheduling my next online concert via StageIt. Here’s the link:

http://www.stageit.com/loren_davidson/post_thanksgiving_recovery_show/5820

For approximately 50 minutes, I’ll be playing music, telling stories, and sharing a good time with whomever shows up. And it’s all as close as your computer! :) Expect a few of my songs you might already know, maybe a cover or two, and a few relatively new songs that I’m thinking of putting on my next album.

My friends who showed up for my last StageIt show had a great time, and most of them have been gently nagging me to do another one. So here it is. Nobody wants to leave the house on the Sunday after Thanksgiving anyway – the football games are mostly over, the turkey remnants have been frozen, and either you’ve made it home from your relatives’ place or you’ve tossed all your guests out by then and told them to go home. And if you’re a shopping fiend, you’ve probably done that to death by Sunday and you’re ready to mellow out a bit.

How it Works

In order to watch the show, you will need to create an account with StageIt if you don’t already have one. Sometime between now and the show date, go to their home page and click the “Sign Up” link at the top right. They’ll want some info from you like an email address and payment info, and they’ll want you to buy at least $5 in “notes,” which is what you’ll use to buy tickets to shows and to tip performers. Like me. :) Each “note” is worth ten cents, so 50 notes is worth $5.00.

While I do list a suggested ticket price of $5, I’ve left it editable, so you can adjust it all the way down to zero if you want. But I hope you’ll consider paying the price and helping me afford to produce my next album. Or pay my next bar bill.

A few minutes before show time, click the link I placed up above, sign in, and kick back with a cold one. The show will appear, Webcam-style, once I start it at my end. The quality is relatively good – a couple of my friends had it on a big screen TV last time!

You’ll have the ability to type comments to me during the show, and I will be interacting with you, reading your comments between songs and talking to respond – it’d take too long for me to type replies. :) I won’t be able to see you, but we’ll be having a conversation.

After the show, we can move the conversation to my Facebook page or some such, but they let us continue to chat there for a while after the end of the show – they did last time.

Note: I’ve had issues using Firefox with the StageIt software. Consider using IE or Safari. If your screen freezes or crashes, reload your browser and the concert URL.

Thank for reading all this, and I hope to “see” you at my show on the 27th!

If I were Jimmy Buffett

It’s funny…I was originally thinking that I’d be writing some travelogue-style posts about my Keys “working vacation.” And I might still do that. However, in the process of taking some down time tonight, away from the hustle and bustle of Duval Street and the Casa Marina, I started pondering something very different.

For those who are just tuning in and haven’t been following the whole thing on Facebook, I’m at the Meeting of the Minds in Key West – an annual convention/festival/party for Parrotheads. It’s the twentieth annual such event, and the ninth that it’s been my privilege to attend. Hopefully I’ll also have some reflections later on how my participation here as a musician has evolved over the years, but that’s also a topic for another time.

The perennial rumor is that “Buffett’s going to be here.” We hear it every year. Generally, the expected time is one show or another featuring many of the Coral Reefers, members of his band. The last time he actually *did* show up was in 2004. It was a memorable year for me, for multiple reasons. The Buffett show at the Casa during a Peter Mayer concert was one of those reasons.

This year, there has been a last-minute scheduling shift on Friday afternoon for the Street Fest on Duval right outside the Margaritaville. The new schedule lists Mac MacAnally and a “Surprise Guest” to do a show around Mac’s new album. Several other major programming items were timeshifted to make room for this. So if Jimmy’s going to show up this year, this makes sense as one possible time. Then again, Mac knows everyone in Nashville, so we could get anyone from Zac Brown to Kenny Chesney.

And on Saturday, all of the Coral Reefers – except Ralph Macdonald, who’s had some health issues – will be doing a show at the Casa. It’s another possible time for Jimmy to show.

Personally, I think he could show at one, both, or neither. But if *I* were Jimmy, let me tell you what *I’d* do:

I *might* show up at both. It’d be a zoo, but the Key West PD and con security could probably handle it. But where I *would* show up would be the Trop Rock Music Awards on Friday night. I’d show up to encourage all of the new artists doing their (okay, our) best to create new stuff based on the inspiration of Mr. Buffett and others. I would at least stop by, give a short talk and present an award or two, and maybe arrange to meet all the award nominees personally, just to give them some encouragement from the Head Parrot. I’d do it just because it’s the right thing to do, and because other than paying some extra money for security – which I, as Mr. Buffett, would certainly have in my other pair of pants – what would it really cost me? A day away from fishing and flying?

As the TRMAs aren’t that heavily-attended, he could attend without being horribly mobbed, at least initially. And as the word spread across the island, it would bring more people to the TRMAs, which would be worthy.

(Note: Despite much effort on my part and a great song originally in contention, I’m not an award nominee, and wouldn’t get to meet Jimmy as part of this. I still think it’d be a good idea.)

Don’t get me wrong. Jimmy doesn’t “owe” us anything. He’s produced some great music, which we’ve taken as inspiration to do other great music. He’s helped instigate some good community service among the Parrothead Nation. That’s all he has had to do, and he’s been compensated for that. He doesn’t have to do anything more.

But it would sure be a kick if he *did*.

I’m just sayin’.