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Looking Back; Looking Ahead

Did you know that the month of January was named after the Roman god Janus? This guy had a second face on the back of his head, so he could look forward and backward at the same time.

Which is pretty much what I tend to do every year around this time, as Janus’ month approaches. And oh, what a wealth of memories lies in my past this year!

I started the year fresh off the release of my fifth album, “Of All the Rum Joints.”  Adding the songs on this album to my catalog and repertoire gave me even more depth and flexibility for playing entertaining shows.

And play I did. In 2013, I made about 40 appearances, playing house concerts, bars, yacht clubs, and Parrothead gatherings from coast to coast. I played shows in California, Minnesota, Iowa, and Florida. I played where the Atlantic Ocean blends with the Gulf of Mexico, on an island in the San Francisco Bay, and on the shores of Tampa Bay and the Peace River. Along the way, I spent time by the waters of Lake Minnetonka and the San Juan de Fuca Strait, and took ferry rides at opposite corners of the continental US. Everyplace I went, I made new friends and “evangelists” for my music and performances.

I used to joke that I’d play “weddings, bar mitzvahs, and funerals.” This past year, I played for a wedding anniversary and played in front of a funeral parlor. Two out of three ain’t bad. :)

I also wrote about a dozen songs, several of which will be released in 2014 and more of which you’ll get to hear at shows here and there. I think the songs being released next year are among the best I’ve ever written, and I hope you’ll agree.

In my personal life, which kind of mixes itself up with my music life, I made a decision that took me most of the year to work out: I decided it’s time to relocate. Last November, the Universe started sending me messages that I should consider moving to Florida, and after hemming and hawing and thinking about it and doing research for most of this year, a couple of months ago I made the decision to move. Not to Key West; I’d love to live in the Keys, but can’t really afford it. And affordability is part of what’s driving this move. But to southwest Florida, within easy driving distance of the Gulf and within a day’s drive of Key West.

I’ve still got some planning and prep work to do before I can pick up everything I own, cram it into something transportable (I’m leaning toward PODS), and take it and myself across country for only the second time. And I have to wait for a few things to happen, one of them definitely calendar-based, that will make it financially feasible. But by next November, I expect to be in a new home in a new place.

It’s exciting. It’s scary. It’s sad, in a way – I’ll miss this place, and all my friends here.

Hopefully Janus, who presides over new beginnings and transitions, will help me out.

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