Category: friends


I don’t have a picture handy to illustrate my point as well as how I have had difficulty posting when in the past two and a half weeks the refrigerator died on us, the company the home warranty people sent us to was, to say the least, less than satisfactory – meaning we still don’t have the replacement refrigerator – a friend tested positive for Covid and I had been in contact with him so I had to get tested (negative, thank you for asking), not to mention the whole holiday season thing and sons visiting. The year of 2020 can kiss my ass and will not end soon enough. New Year’s Day will last for-freaking-ever. Moving on…

When a girlfriend would break up with me – back when I had girlfriends – I would comfort myself with one thought. Even though I would never know when it happened, at some point in her life she would realize she screwed up when she broke up with me.

On a commercial for Law & Order, the district attorney presumably looks at the witness and speaks to him or her.

“What did you expect? What did you reasonably expect?”

How does this tie together? I know there are innumerable people who protested and rejected wearing a mask who die (or will) from Covid. Like my ex-girlfriends, I’ll never know when that happens. But if it is possible, I would like a recording played as they lie fading away, asking three questions.

“What did you expect? What did you reasonably expect?”

and “What did you think was going to happen, dumbass?!

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

Okay, so the wild animals are a stretch. But a very large cat likes to settle back under the bushes in front of the house – driving our dogs bananas periodically. The cat looks like the burned cat at the end of Sweet Home Alabama – but half again as big. And I did have to get rid of a dead mouse in the middle of the driveway – for which I’m sure I can thank the cat. But there is no universe where a mouse is a wild animal, so, well, you know what, oh – never freaking mind!

But Poor David’s Pub and Kerrville Folk Festival are both real entities. At least for the moment. Like many venues across the country, they are trying to keep the doors open (and the festival/family going in Kerrville’s case). And until the government decides to, well, govern, it’s up to us to help.

A group of songwriters get together on Mondays on Zoom/Facebook to play their music in support of the two venues. Some are regulars, but there are always new songwriters in the rotation. Your duty – should you decide to accept it – is to watch and listen to the show and have a good time on a Monday. If you like the music and are so inclined please donate. The donations are divided between Poor David’s Pub and the Kerrville Folk Festival.

The show can be found at 7 p.m. CST on Rob Case’s Open Mic – Poor David’s Pub page. Rob is the host and his wife, Lynda, is the staff, the whole staff, and nothing but the staff. She spends hours inviting new songwriters and scheduling the shows as much in advance as she can. She stays in the “production” room during the show, reminding Rob of anything he missed or filling him in on new developments. And that’s not all she does. So if you watch the show, throw a comment Rob and Lynda’s way saying thanks.

In the spirit of shameless self-promotion, I am one of the regulars and I’ll be playing about 8:15. After Poor David himself talks all things PDP. It’s going to be another great show tonight. I say it every Monday, but it’s true. The cool thing is you don’t have to take my word for it – show starts at 7 p.m.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

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’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

 

 

916 Acklen Ave., in Nashville

[Read Part One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine]

Okay, so it was more a skirmish than a war, but it could have escalated into a war.

Most of the time we lived at 916 Acklen Ave. an older African American woman lived downstairs. Ms. Patricia, as we called her at her request, would sit on the top step of the front stairs and watch the world go by – at least the people on the street.

There was a gas station down on the corner that had acceptable greasy fried chicken and great potato wedges, if they cooked them enough. We’re talking actual wedges of a freaking potato, not the miniature things in the frozen food section or fast food places. And it was pretty cheap so it wasn’t unusual that we would frequent the place to avoid the “what should we have tonight” conundrum.

When we left to walk down to the gas station, Ms. Patricia would give us a couple of dollars and ask us to get her a quart of beer. She never accepted the change. From what we could ever ascertain, she preferred to be called Ms. Patricia because she hadn’t had a last name she liked or could relate herself to.

Then for some reason, Ms. Patricia moved out and Martin moved in. Sonja, our other roommate at the time, began dating Martin. As it turned out, Martin sold pot. Which at first was a good thing. When he got a shipment in, he would give us free product to help him break up the bricks into baggies. We didn’t think grass was all he was selling. Which made me nervous. However, having no frame of reference, we didn’t know to be wary and worried. (Did I say we were young and stupid?)

Turns out a neighborhood gang did not appreciate Martin – and us by extension – selling to their customers. Since we didn’t do any selling, or buying for that matter, we had no idea. Until one late afternoon when we were hanging around in our apartment upstairs. Assumably, Martin was downstairs.

Suddenly we heard the screech of tires. It sounded like someone was doing donuts in the street – which wasn’t too far off. Whoever was in the old Cadillac was making sure we all had time to get to the window with the rest of the neighborhood. One more reverse laying of tread in the street, then forward, a hard right, and then they rammed into the side of Martin’s car. It was the closest I’ve ever been to a gang war. But it wasn’t really a war because Martin wasn’t in a gang. It was more of a warning statement.

We decided we would just stay in for the rest of the night, staying clear of Martin. Not surprisingly, he wasn’t around too much longer after that. We went back to being harmless musicians and college students to the neighborhood.

_________________________________________

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

Tune in tonight and every Monday night for a stellar show of songwriters performing their songs. On Mondays they perform to benefit Poor David’s Pub and the Kerrville Folk Festival – two of Texas’ oldest continually operating venues. All venues across the country – and, indeed, the world – need assistance. We can only focus on local venues. Thankfully, due to Save Our Stages efforts and concerts, songwriters across the country are doing the same thing in their small way to save the venues.

So grab a cold beverage and maybe something to eat, then go to Rob Case’s Open Mic Facebook page at 7 p.m. Central time. Settle in and watch a line up of seasoned songwriters playing their songs. Tonight’s line up is in the picture to the right or above, depending on your device. I play at 10:15 – just sayin’.

And please, don’t forget to donate. The donations are split between the two venues and they could use your help. The donation links are also in the picture. Please be generous – let’s make sure when this crap is through we still have places to play.

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

I’m getting ready to leave for the mini tour this weekend surrounding my first live show since March. Today I’ll play a half hour set on my YouTube channel from the hotel in Amarillo at 7:30 p.m. CT.

Tomorrow I’ll play a half hour show at 8:30 p.m. CT from my friend’s home in Colorado.

Saturday, I will be livestreaming the last set of my show at World’s End Brewing in Canon City, Colorado at 9 p.m. CT. The set includes a tribute to John Prine on his birthday.

Sunday, I will be playing another half hour set at my friend’s home at 8:30 p.m. CT. The half hour sets will include stories behind the songs. All shows before the open mic on Monday will be on my YouTube channel.

Monday night, I will be playing in the Poor David’s Pub/Kerrville Folk Festival online open mic on Rob Case’s Open Mic Facebook page or on my Facebook page from the hotel in Amarillo. It’s always an enjoyable show with a variety of good songwriters and is always a fun time. It you would like to play at a future open mic, contact Lynda Case. Donations during the open mic are split between Poor David’s Pub and the Kerrville Folk Festival to save the venues.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

Southern Plains – Nashville Edition: Joel NIchols, Cat Waldeman, Dan Roark

[Part one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight]

This is a rare picture of the Nashville version of Southern Plains. It’s also a rare picture of me with a beard (it was short-lived). Cat Waldeman was a session musician and would help us get studio gigs occasionally, in between gigs and numerous jam sessions.

As I said in Nashville, part two, our core songs were Cold Wind Blows, River That Flows, and Can’t You See. Almost every show began with those three songs. I also talked about the three of us writing the music for Cold Wind Blows to Mostly Williams’ poem and I added some lyrics. Now you’ve got a picture (albeit blurry) to put to Cat’s name. Hopefully, I’ll run across a few more pictures that will be clearer.

In the meantime, here is a picture of the original Southern Plains.

Joel Nichols, Dan Roark, Bruce Gibson

 

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

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