Archive for November, 2020


Ok, so the pandemic is not a quandary. It’s straight up in our freaking face. And beer drinking isn’t so much a quandary as a given. Particularly during the pandemic that is not a quandary.

And you might be wondering (or you might not, but let’s just pretend) why, when I’m playing in the virtual open mic to benefit Poor David’s Pub and the Kerrville Folk Festival tonight, and have a big show on Friday (also at Poor David’s Pub) that I’m promoting, I’m taking time to worry about beer. And there it is folks, the pandemic in a quandary bottle (or can) with beer on the label.

Actually, I’m not so much worried about beer. There’s some in the refrigerator. It’s just that I’d like to go back (or forward) to feeling like I earned a beer. “I’ve done a hell of a lot today. Damn, I deserve a beer.” Rather than, “why the hell not, I’m not going anywhere.”

I still work of course (can you see me now), and Cyndy works from home too, but we don’t really DO anything. Even when I social distanced my butt to Colorado, stayed with our friend, Sally, and played a live (safe) show, that’s all we did. I got there, we hung out, went to my show, came back, hung out some more, and I came home. No sight-seeing, no going out for a beer, no nothing.

What would going out for a beer matter when I don’t (in my mind) deserve it. Or I deserve it, but I just can’t enjoy it. It’s sad when you can’t fully enjoy a beer.

And that’s my quandary. That, and I’ve run out of ways to use quandary. There’s nothing to do but ride this damned thing out like we’ve been doing for what seems like an eternity.

Come to think of it, I may have another idea. I’ll have a beer and get back to you.

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

No matter how long I’ve been playing music, I’m still amazed when someone goes out of their way to show their appreciation. I was already grateful that Tom Martinez and his staff at World’s End Brewing in Canon City, Colorado, invited me back in October and November, after months of no shows for either of us. Not only that, it was a safe and enjoyable environment for all concerned.

The October show went well, but last week’s show went especially well. The staff was great and the audience was responsive and appreciative. Our friend, Sally (Cyndy’s best friend), was with me and sitting at the bar. We stay with her when we’re in Colorado.

After my third set I packed everything up. I came back from one of my trips to the van. As I walked in the door, a guy sitting in the alcove on the other side of the door from the alcove I was playing in, stuck his head around the wall.

“Thanks for playing tonight. We really enjoyed it!”

I smiled and said thank you. In a non-covid situation I would have shaken his hand and given him a card. This time the smile and thanks would need to suffice. Before I turned completely around, he continued.

“We put something in your bucket for you.”

“Thanks again! I appreciate it.”

Then I was packed and Sally and I headed out. That’s when Sally told me what actually happened.

The guy had called the waitress over. He said he didn’t have enough cash for a tip and asked if there was an atm nearby. Then he walked down the street in cold, windy weather to the atm, got some money out, walked back to the brewery, and dropped money in my tip jar.

With all the shit that has gone on this year, and all the bills and such that he probably had to pay, he took time and money out to show how much he enjoyed hearing me playing my music.

Damned if I didn’t appreciate it! And feel grateful.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

I figured better a picture of this than the actual toe. You might be eating at the time.

I was staying in a hotel in Amarillo Saturday night. I was coming back from Colorado after playing an album release (Southern Plains Revisited) social distanced show at World’s End Brewing in Canon City on Friday night. There was a bench at the foot of the bed in the hotel room. The bench had a metal frame with a tuck and roll type cushion on top.

I got up to go to the bathroom and banged my shin on the bench, cursed, took care of business, and went back to bed. The next time I had to go to the bathroom, I tried to give the bench a wide berth without running into the dresser. It almost worked. But I caught my little toe on the frame of the bench. It hurt considerably more than my shin earlier. So I cursed more.

When I got through and started to move, it felt like I’d stepped on something sticky. I was curious because it was clean before. I didn’t think too much about it though and started to go back to bed. As I was getting into bed I realized my little toe was bleeding. I went back to the bathroom, turned on the light, and realized I had been standing in a pool of my own blood.

I wiped my foot with a hand towel and put a bandaid on my toe. I used toilet paper to wipe the blood off the floor. The towel was bloody enough. I noticed a spot on the carpet where I’d stepped out of the bathroom. In the morning I noticed there was a spot of blood on the sheet. I cleaned my foot good with a bath towel and put a new bandaid on it.

I didn’t say anything when I handed in my “key” as I left. They probably weren’t the ones cleaning the rooms anyway. But I do kind of wonder what scenario enters the cleaner’s mind when they see the bloody towels, the spot on the carpet, and the blood on the sheet – and probably on the frame of the bench. Oh, and my toe still freaking hurts.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

I’m doing a Colorado album release show and a Dallas album release show for Southern Plains Revisited. While the show at World’s End Brewing in Canon City, Colorado on November 20 will include some songs of John Prine, the album release at Poor David’s Pub on December 4 will be just mine and John’s songs in a more intimate setting. It will also be livestreamed on the Poor David’s Pub Facebook page as well as my own. Up to 30 people will be able to see the show in person, following social distancing rules, and donating. The club can comfortably hold 300, so there is more than enough room to spread out. If you are interested in seeing my show live, please contact david@poordavidspub.com. We would love to see you.

Tickets to the livestream are $10 and are available on my website. All tickets include a download of the album when it becomes available. Currently, it will only be available as a download and will be available in all the usual places online on November 20. In John Prine’s honor, a major portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to Poor David’s Pub to help David Card keep the doors open. The Pub has been around for 43 years and we’d like to see many more years of shows at the iconic venue.

Keep writing the songs that are on your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

The memorial for Mr. Troll (Danny Ramon Mallow) in the parking lot of Poor David’s Pub was enjoyable, successful, social distanced, and appropriate. There was a ceremony before the memorial in which they marked his spot in the cactus garden with his picture and bowler hat for the memorial.

I had the honor of starting the show following the host, Rob Case. Thanks to Anni Howe, I have pictures. You can watch the whole thing here. We were playing on the stage from Bill’s Records and Tapes. Which was appropriate considering Troll had showcases at Bill’s on that stage.

Speaking of Mr. Troll, and Poor David’s Pub, you can see a number of the performers from the memorial “live” on Monday nights at 7 p.m. CST on the Rob Case’s Open Mic – Poor David’s Pub Facebook page. It’s always a good show and donations split between Poor David’s Pub and the Kerrville Folk Festival.                                                                                                                     

And, in the spirit of shameless self promotion, I have a show at Poor David’s Pub on Friday, December 4. More information in the next post.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

I pulled into the parking space in front of the Carriage Factory Art Gallery in Newton, Kansas on Thursday, November 5, about 2 p.m. My cousins, Tom and Beth Burns, and Beth’s daughter, Ellie Bradley, have an exhibit of their artwork in a gallery upstairs. Their exhibit is titled Art From the Pandemic.

I set up for my livestream – which was to replace the live show I was supposed to do for the opening that never happened due to you know what – and had time to take pictures of my cousins’ art. The livestream went well, but the video isn’t the best due to bandwidth issues – it was Newton, Kansas, after all. But the sound is pretty good.

I didn’t get to visit with Beth and her family. Aunt Edna lives on the other side of the house. Edna just turned 90, so we erred on the side of caution. We had seen each other on the Zoom call for Edna’s birthday a couple of weeks earlier.  I did get to stop off on the way home on Friday and visit with Tom in Oklahoma.

A sculpture of Ellie’s I bought. I think it’s a cross between Tom and Jeff Dunham’s Walter.

Beth’s paintings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of Tom’s paintings and Ellie’s sculptures

 

 

 

 

Ellie’s sculptures – on the table are the Three Heads. The one that is now on my desk is on the right.

 

 

Beth’s paintings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom’s paintings

 

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Except for playing Zoom open mics for almost nine months now, I was late to the livestream train. I’ve stuttered all my life and I hate talking on the phone because I can’t look them in the eye. So performing to a camera and interacting with people I’m not sure are there was a daunting task. But I’ve played live long enough to be able to get past that. It’s just that having all this freaking time on my hands has made it hard to follow a thought at times. Then there are the times I can’t stop the thoughts from coming en masse at top speed.

That’s just an explanation, not the pitfalls I was referring to. Doing a livestream from home with my home studio setup results in minimal problems. Except, of course, for operator error, which causes me to exclaim to myself out loud, “way to go, dumbass!” The reason there are few to no problems is because I control the variables. When I’m at our friend, Sally’s, house, the point is the same with the exception of occasional lapse in wifi reception.

Hotels aren’t too bad if I use my hotspot as long as they aren’t out in the middle of nowhere. The acoustics are obviously good and I can get all the light I need. At one hotel, I got a notice that there was not enough bandwidth, but it didn’t seem to effect the livestream. That was also the Monday night Songwriters Benefit for Poor David’s Pub and the Kerrville Folk Festival hosted by Rob Case, so it was about four hours. Which would explain that.

But in places like breweries the variables increase. The noise and electricity of the brewing and cooking equipment for example. Reception even with my hotspot was dicey – it was in the mountains. The video sucked and the sound cut in and out. But I didn’t know that until I tried to watch it the next day. One of the major problems/variables is that I’m doing it myself and don’t have anyone to man the computer while I’m playing. The second brewery I tried a livestream in, the video was perfect, but the sound was garbled.

I think I know what the problem was. But I’ve already called myself a dumbass over it at least three times, so I’m not going to further my own embarrassment by telling you what it was. If you make sure what should be turned off is off, and what should be turned on is on, you won’t repeat that particular issue. That is – if that’s what it was. Which comes back to knowing the variables. Which I didn’t and don’t as far as the two breweries.

But pitfalls be damned! I’ll keep getting back on that horse. I have a livestream on Thursday, Nov. 5th at 3:30 p.m. in the Carriage Factory Art Gallery in Newton, Kansas. My cousins Tom and Beth Burns, and Beth’s daughter, Ellie, have an exhibit of their art work there. I was supposed to play at the opening, but guess what screwed that all to hell? I wanted to see the exhibit before it closes and the livestream takes place of the opening show.

There will be more livestreams. Hopefully, each one will go smoother than the last one. But, oh, those variables!

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

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