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Howard Livingston

Taking it on the Road

I’m going to be a bit busy with travel the next few months. Well, actually with travel *and* working on my upcoming album *and* the 97 other things that make up a Life. :) But I’m really excited today about my upcoming trips.

May 17-20: Phins to the West, Laughlin NV

This just in: I’m performing on the Horizon stage (at Registration) on Friday 5/18 at 2:30 PM. If you’re out at PTTW, I hope you’ll stop by. It’s a short set, so it’ll be all-originals, and I’m thinking of weighing it a bit heavily on new material.

PTTW is one of the big West Coast Phlockings that happens every year. It attracts some extremely talented musicians and a whole lot of fun people. It’s at the AVI Casino and resort, right on the Colorado River at the pointy end of Nevada. I’m looking forward to a good time.

June 13-18: Meet Me in the Keys mini-tour, Key Largo to Key West

This is part of what I love about my weekend job. I get to go to the Florida Keys twice a year on business.

The Coconut Castaways, Howard Livingston’s fan club, has an annual weekend-long party in Key West. This year, they’ve invited me to join them and make some music. Being no fool, I accepted. I’ll be playing for them on Wednesday night, and then wandering around town doing my usual two-songs-here, three there thing the rest of the time if I can find friends who’ll share their stage. I’m still hoping for a house concert or some such in the Upper Keys on Sunday; if you want to help make that happen, give me a call.

This will be the first time I’ll be in Key West with some actual time to kick back. If you’re going to be there, let’s get together and have drinks somewhere.

July 4-8: Upstate NY – Trop Starz & Tiki Barz mini-tour

The third trip of my summer touring trifecta comes to my old stomping grounds of upstate NY on the Fourth of July. Anchoring this trip will be my appearance at Trop Starz & Tiki Barz, a Phlocking in Binghamton, NY. This will be another fun, fine event with lots of excellent live music. I’m still available for other shows on July 5 and July 8, anywhere within a couple of hours of Binghamton and preferably not more than a half-dozen hours out of my likely flight hub of Buffalo.

Three trips, time spent with friends and fun people listening to excellent music, and making a bit of it myself. All of it coming up in the next couple of months!

I hope to see you somewhere on the road!

New Album Update – “Of All the Rum Joints…”

Cover for "Of All the Rum Joints..." - new albumI’ve been working hard with producer Kevin Johnston and with artists Dave Daily and Albert Hinojosa, and some of the early bits of this new album are starting to fall into place.

The title, as you may have heard, will be “Of All the Rum Joints…” It’s my fifth album, and the second on which I’ve used a song lyric for the title.

Albert is responsible for the new Cafe Tropicale logo, visible in a slightly altered form in the album cover graphic. Dave took that logo and some other bits of guidance from me and created this way-cool cover concept. They’ve both done excellent work so far. Dave is also working on a couple of T-shirt ideas for me right now.

Another bit of trivia: Partly by design and partly by happenstance, I do album covers that alternate having and not having my picture on them. So albums 1, 3, 1nd 5 (this one) have my picture on the front; 2 and 4 do not. So the odds are good that the eventual album six won’t either. But as I haven’t even finished this album yet, I’m not making too many plans that far ahead. :)

Meanwhile, Kevin and I have approximately finalized the song list for this one. There will be eleven original songs and two covers. The covers will be a reggae version of John Denver’s classic “Sunshine on my Shoulders” and my own interpretation of an old Doors tune, “Moonlight Drive.”

Here’s a list of the other songs on the album. The links, where provided, are to “snapshot in time” and “homebrew” versions; the songs have continued to evolve, and will likely be different on the album. But still worth listening to.

  • Green Flash” – upbeat and using an alternate guitar tuning, this is a song about watching sunsets for that elusive and rare atmospheric phenomenon known as a “green flash.” And it’s about the journey being as important as the destination. Stuff like that.
  • Looking at You” – A few months back, I realized that the song “Margaritaville” and the movie Casablanca pretty much had the same premise – boy meets girl, girl dumps boy, boy goes someplace with palm trees to drink it off. Which may be powerful, but isn’t very empowering. So I wrote this song, which is really “Margaritaville” meets “How Do You Like Me Now?” It provides the album title and theme.
  • “Voodoo Lounge” – I’ve written earlier about this song, which has undergone some revision since the earlier version I posted about. We’ll be going musically to some of the less savory corners of New Orleans to flesh this one out.
  • Fly Away” – This was inspired by a couple of other songs, that I won’t name here. It’s upbeat and lively and hopeful, because I think we all need that to look forward to every now and then.
  • “One More Rum” – This song took shape one day as I was contemplating one of the Greatest Lies in the World – “C’mon, man, we’re only going to have one more round and then we can go home.” Never happens. It’s becoming the signature “last song of the night” when I play, and will be the last song on the album.
  • “Pontiac Motel” – This song has no beaches, no boat drinks, and no bars in it. I’ve had the title kicking around in my “hook book” for at least five years. It’s really a counterpoint in some ways to everything else I write – we fantasize about walking away from our jobs now and then, but there’s an entire class of people who don’t have jobs – the homeless – who probably fantasize about having lives like the ones we fantasize about escaping from. And if your employer were bought out tomorrow, or went out of business, or just decided, “hey, let’s let a bunch of people go,” how many paychecks are *any* of us away from living on the streets?
  • Island Moonlight” – Everyone loves being in love…right? But even the best romance has its bad days, and sometimes you question whether it’s all going to work out. In this song it does, thanks to the magic of island moonlight.
  • “Way Out” – In addition to an interesting play on words in chorus, this song is going to put the “rock” in “trop rock.” Really. I was stretching my writing skills in a particular direction, and this is what emerged.
  • “Somewhere, Someday” – One man’s dream of Paradise.
  • “Tropical Therapy” – Because I’d been trying hard *not* to write Yet Another Margaritaville Near-Clone for many years, and realized that I’d succeeded. So, having proved I could write nearly everything else, I proved I could write this too.
  • Living Key West” – One of my friends is musician Howard Livingston, who posts about his carefree, happy life in the Florida Keys. A lot. Some might even say to excess. I say it’s easy to live on Key West Time when you’re in the keys; it’s a bit more of a challenge for those of us in the “upper 48.” But it can be done, and this song is about how I do it. Any resemblance between my song and Howie’s is out of love, done with his blessing, and as far as I can tell, doesn’t cross any legally bad lines anyway.

I’m featured on ConchTV!

I love getting phone calls like this.

I got a call an hour or so ago from Artist Koz, the owner of Green World Gallery in Key West. I did a solo show down there back in June, it went well, and I’m playing there again during Meeting of the Minds (MOTM) next month.

He was excited because he’d recently filmed a video with Howard Livingston about the music series he’s hosting during MOTM and he’d just seen the results. He pointed me to ConchTV’s Website, and there they were in full, glorious Key West color! And I was one of the artists discussed who is coming down to play there.

So the schedule is also posted on ConchTV’s home page right now, including my performance on Saturday, 11/5 from 1-2. If you’re going to be in Key West during MOTM, I hope you’ll stop by for my show, and wander through the gallery and see if there’s some piece of art and a few CDs that just want to follow you home.

Follow my progress from Ft. Myers to Key West and back home on my Twitter feed, @lorendavidson, or on Facebook if you’re my friend there.