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Getting to the Keys

In just a couple of weeks, it will have been ten years since my first trip to Key West. I will, of course, be celebrating that tenth anniversary by spending even more time in the Keys than I ever have on a single trip.

(You can listen to my song, “Living Key West,” while reading this. Just click the link.)

Southernmost - beautiful beach!

Southernmost – beautiful beach!

As part of my preparations this year, I’m rereading the book that probably did the most, after years of Buffett music, to get my fundament out of its comfortable rut here in the Bay Area and on a plane to south Florida. The book is titled Callahan’s Key, by Spider Robinson, a somewhat wacky romp by a loose “tribe” of individuals, formerly the clientele of Callahan’s Place, formerly the clientele of Mary’s Place, sick and tired of Long Island, who caravan to Key West to open up a bar and get telepathic in the hopes of saving the Universe. The back cover calls it an “improbable tale of impending doom, a road trip, space, drugs, and rock ‘n roll.”

Oh, and they all tell puns.

I’m not making any of this up.

As a writer, Spider has been influenced by the likes of Robert A Heinlein and John D. MacDonald, among many others. His descriptions and characters draw you in and keep you reading, even when you’re not entirely sure what’s going on. This book introduced me to the Keys, to Key West, and to some of the fascinating places there – Schooner Wharf, Mallory Square, and more. And motivated me to go *see* these places for myself.

So I did. πŸ™‚

And over the years, I’ve collected my own share of pictures and stories about being in the Keys.

Picture of sunset at Mallory Square

Sunset at Mallory Square

This is the way I want to go to work every day.

This is the way I want to go to work every day.

Reef them sails before we capsize!

Even the cloudy days are beautiful.

Ten years of memories…and more to be made! πŸ™‚

So this year I’m arriving in Ft. Lauderdale on 10/26. Yes, I’ll miss Fantasy Fest again. So it goes. Instead of racing to get to Key West like I have the past few years – needed to make the trip quickly in order to make gigs – I’m taking my time. I’ll spend two days traveling the 160 or so miles from FLL to Mile Zero, checking out places I’ve never been before, taking pictures, making memories. I’m hoping that Eric Stone will have his new bar, Dockside, open by the time I get there on the 27th; if not, I can always hang out at the Sunset Grill. Or both – I’ll have the time. πŸ™‚

My “big gig” of the week is Monday night in Key West at the Rum Barrel. It’s my second year there, which is another first for me. I’ve got a four-hour set starting at 7, I’ll have Allen “Frankendread” Holland playing steel pan with me, and I know that a few of my musical friends will be stopping by to play a few.

I’ve got a show at Green World Gallery on Thursday at 2:30, will be in Key West Chris‘ showcase at Durty Harry’s sometime after that, and will otherwise be roaming the island with my guitar, hopefully playing a few songs here and there.

As well as getting off the beaten track every now and then to recharge and maybe write something new.

I bid farewell to Key West on Monday the 4th, and fly home on Tuesday the 5th.

There and back again, ten years after my first trip.

Should be fun.

On the Road: Partying with Parrotheads in Utah

I spent last weekend hanging out with the Wasatch Mountain Parrothead Club in the Salt Lake City area. And I had an incredibly good time.

I’d been hired to play for their summer party, along with a local duo called Marmalade Chill. They played a lot of cover songs exceedingly well, with two-part harmony and good guitar work.

My outbound flight ran about an hour late. This was a good thing, as I was somewhat less than fully-organized and needed the extra hour at home (thank you, Southwest, for the phone notification before I left for the airport!) to get everything done, including a couple of press kits into the mail and my Day Job stuff to a good finishing point.

I always arrive early at the airport, because one never knows how long the security lines will take. As my gate was right across from the Gordon Biersch micropub, I stopped in there for a Marzen and some garlic fries. Tasty!

Picture of The view from Gordon Biersch, at Oakland Airport

The view from Gordon Biersch, at Oakland Airport

Well, they finally let me on the plane, we left the gate, and off we flew! I was looking out the left side hoping to see the America’s Cup races going on, but apparently they were done for the day by the time we took off.

Upon arrival, I was whisked away by Kathleen to the home of my friends Mike and Rene, who were also going to be hosting the party. Several other WMPHC folks were there, having helped set up the stage and various other stuff. We then hung out until it was time to get a token amount of sleep so that we would be ready to party the next day.

Morning dawned with a few unexpected sprinkles. This worried us a bit, as a downpour would make it a bit harder to have a big outdoor party. But the storms went around us all day, so we were good. I even made myself useful, hanging lights and such:

Picture of me hanging lights

“Just a little to the left…”

The place looked wonderful, as we awaited the arrival of a bunch of fun people:

Picture of the party yard

Popcorn beneath the willows 


picture of the stage
My “office.”

We had a good bunch of people there, as the day wore on into night. I played about three hours’ worth of music, with Marmalade Chill taking a few hours in the middle. After the raffle prizes were given out, some folks wandered off, but we ended up with a hard core of partiers who stayed right to the very end, and even demanded a couple of encores! πŸ™‚

Here’s a shot of me from the middle of the day, taken by my friend Sharron Lukens:

Picture of me performing

“Good afternoon everybody!”

Alas, all good things do come to an end, and eventually we all crashed. The following morning dawned bright and sunny, and I got a couple of good pictures of the Wasatch Mountains on my way back to the airport. Here’s one of them:

Picture of the Wasatch Mountains from SLC

A beautiful morning in Utah

My flight home was reasonably uneventful. I had the pleasant surprise of running into an acquaintance I hadn’t seen in about six or seven years, and we spent the flight home getting caught up. That was enjoyable. And I got home early enough to get a few things done around the house!

Thanks again to the fine folks of the WMPHC for inviting me out to their party, and to Mike & Rene for their incredible and comfortable hospitality! Thanks also to everyone who bought raffle tickets, bought jewelry, or just made donations to Buffalo Blessings, our charity. We raised quite a bit of money for them!

Partying with a purpose. That’s how we roll.






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:


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! πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ 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!

My MOTM 2011 Schedule

On the road to Key West:

  • Sun 10/30, 3-9 PM: Freaky Tiki Party, Ft. Myers – with Jimi Pappas, John Friday, Tiki Thom, others
  • Mon 10/31 – Tues 11/1 (all day): Pit Stop Party, MM101, Key Largo – with Captain Josh and a cast of many as they pass through

In Key West:

  • Wed 11/2, 4 PM: BeachFront Radio β€œWelcome to Key West” Party – Southernmost at the Beach. Part of a full lineup of Trop Rockers.
  • Friday between 11 AM-2 PM: Jimi Pappas & Friends, Green World Gallery
  • Sat 11/5, 1-2 PM: Green World Gallery, 712B Duval St. – Solo show

Other possible appearances:

  • Thursday between 2-5: Kelly McGuire’s songwriter showcase, Lighthouse Ct.
  • Thursday between 12-4: Chris Sachs & Friends, Captain Tony’s

Are you having a party in Key West during MOTM? Want some music? Call me – 510-821-1812. Have guitar, will bring fun.

I’ll be appearing in other places, both with and without my guitar. To find out where I am in realtime & hear about some of the cool stuff happening during MOTM: Follow @lorendavidson on Twitter.

Crowdsourcing Contest!

I’m going to try something new and fun on Sunday.

I’ve got this show over at Forbidden Island in Alameda. It should be a good show in a very visually-interesting place. I’d like to get recordings of parts of the show, and if you’re going to be there, I’d like your help. To make it fun, I’m going to make a contest out of it.

I want to try it like this: If you’re coming to the show, film one or more songs, either on your smart phone or borrowing my Flip camcorder. Afterward, upload your videos to YouTube or Facebook and tag me in them. I’ll look them over, and the best one gets a free live CD, personally autographed – either the physical CD, or downloads; your choice. I can’t autograph the downloads though. πŸ™‚

If this works out well, we’ll do it again. πŸ™‚

Sunday on the Island – Forbidden Island, that is

I’m getting ready to play my next scheduled gig, rehearsing, doing up the set list, and making sure I check in with folks so they have the details and will show up. It’ll be at Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge, on Lincoln Ave. in Alameda. It’s one of the nicer tiki bars I’ve been in, with an excellent line of libations. They even have a “rum club” called the Kill Devil Club. You can work your way through their entire long shelf of rums; when you finish the list, you get your name on a plaque on the wall.

Alameda has been one of my favorite places to hang out in the East Bay for about the last ten years. My first solo gig was just down the street at McGrath’s Pub, where, ironically, I don’t think they do live music anymore. The opportunities for music come and go depending on the year and season; this will be my first gig in a tropical-themed place here in the Bay Area in years. Hopefully it’ll go well and we can do this every few months on a regular basis.

I’m planning a reasonable mix of covers and originals, in part because I’ll be playing to their regulars as well as my own. I’ll be bringing out one or two very new songs that I’ve only played out once or twice as part of the show.

Doors open at 3 on Sundays; the music starts at 6 and runs ’til 8. If you’re in the Bay Area, I hope you’ll come check it out.