Category: guitars


Dan Roark

The Poor David’s Pub open mic on Monday, October 23 was one of those magical musical nights when you should have been there.

Guest host, Dan Roark, welcomed everyone at 7:30. He played his set of upbeat tunes and the songwriting talent never slowed down. John Mason followed the host. His set, played on his newly acquired Taylor guitar, included the title song from his upcoming cd, Branches and Leaves.

John Mason

Harry Hewlett took the stage next with his west Texas country, including a song about the effects of drinking Everclear. Called, oddly enough, Everclear. Cat McGee, with her hypnotic voice, followed Harry with her music consisting of stories she tells so well through song.

Laurelle and 3ple were the first featured act. They began the Make It Change tour in New York and the two musical friends are traveling across the country to California and back. Based on the saying that you can do nothing or you can make it change. The two are doing what they can as they play in various cities. With tracks on computer, and 3ple  on guitar, Lourelle sings her soulful music with a positive spin. They played a delightful set of inspiring, toe-tapping, heart filling music.

3ple and Laurelle

Keith Crow played his homespun songs for the audience, which included members of his family. Tracy Allen followed with a set of nice cover songs. Monk played his introspective, stories and lessons from life, songs that leave you with no doubt about how he felt at the time. His set included What’d I Say and My Mom. Rob Case followed Monk and played songs from Last Call in Texas, such as Bayou City.

Joe Cat was the second featured artist. Joe hails from Athens, Georgia, where he works the first half of the month and tours the last half. He writes songs of the heartland and the working man. He just released his new cd, Preaching Drunk, which he is working on putting out in vinyl.

Joe Cat

On one of his previous visits to Poor David’s, Joe was caught up in the spirit of the occasion and said that the PDP open mic was the only one he played anymore. I published a post on the show and quoted him. “I have to be careful what I say in front of Dan,” he said last Monday, before he told the story. “A host of an open mic called me up and asked, “You don’t play open mics anymore.”” “I said, No, wait!” He went on to play a number of his earthy songs including two of my favorites, America’s Best and Silver Thread City. He played Red Hawk from Preachin’ Drunk, which includes Americas’s Best. Follow the link and check out his music.

Scott Thornton took the stage after Joe Cat. Scott played his music that seems to be stream of consciousness at times. His songs are spiritual observations of what is happening in the world. You certainly seem to be at peace listening to him.

Craig Langford closed out the evening with his country songs that take you to the places and times he sings about. With a distinct unique voice that adds to the effect. Check his music out for yourself.

In fact do yourself a favor and check everyone’s music out. And go out and support live music. More pictures will be on my Facebook music page.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart. Peace be with you.

Bill Hook

I went to play at Guitars and Growlers at the third installment of the every other Wednesday open mic, hosted by Bill Hook on October 11. Guitars and Growlers is – to quote the website – “an adventure of Rob and Amy Baker to bring craft beer and hand crafted instruments to the great folks of Richardson Texas.” There mission is to build a new way for people to see what is going on in world of guitar building while enjoying a great craft beer. And pretty damn good food I may add. Handmade guitars hang on one wall.

So quite naturally, they would have live music. And, of course, an open mic to showcase local songwriters. A number of local songwriters and performers were in attendance to play on this particular occasion. Bill Hook opened the show – as hosts are wont to do.

Cat McGee followed Bill. John Mason took the stage next. Alex Benavides followed

Cat McGee

Mason and preceded the inimitable Bill Nash. Riley Curnutt took the stage after Bill Nash. Riley is a fourteen year old songwriter and she performs her songs nicely.

David Christian followed Riley with his own take on cover songs. Richard Hunt, Dan Roark, and Baylis Laramore ended the list of performers with Bill Hook coming back to the stage to end the evening. Links are provided so you can check their music out for yourselves. Everyone performed well, receiving ample applause.

Come to the next open mic on Wednesday, October 25, have some good food and craft beer, and get on the list to play, or just listen. Guitars and Growlers is a good venue and it’s always a good time. More pictures will be posted on my Facebook music page.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Dan Roark

Dan Roark and Ray White opened the show at Love and War in Texas New Faces Tuesday on September 19. Terry Strange

Ray White

started out as host while regular host, Shaun Outen, had a scheduling conflict.

Dan and Ray swapped songs for five original songs each. The pictures are from a previous New Faces. It’s difficult to take pictures of

Jerrett Zoch

yourself when you are playing on stage. White’s traditional country style was a fitting counterpoint to Roark’s Americana style. Ray played lead on a few of Dan’s songs, but they really jammed on Chocolate Eclairs and Apple Fritters.

Terry Strange

Jerrett Zoch took the stage next for a set of originals and cover songs in his strong, forceful voice. Shaun arrived to take up hosting, and Terry Strange played a set of his red dirty country music to end the show.

Join Shaun Outen, Dan Roark, and other songwriters on Tuesday, September 26 for another installment of New Faces Tuesday. One thing you can be sure of – it’s good music and a good time. And it supposed to be cooler on Tuesday.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Vinnie Smith and I

After our tour of my old digs in Nashville on Friday, the 14th, Cameron and I had lunch at The Row and then headed out to the V-Picks shop. It’s actually a building outside of Vinnie Smith’s house on his property. We talked about picks, guitars, music, and this, that, and the other thing. He gave me a good deal on picks so I could stock up.

Vinnie also said he would send me the V-Picks logo so I could put it on the banner for my merchandise table.

The table I use for my drink, capos, harmonicas, etc.

Which, incidentally, Cameron is making for me. Naturally, it will be guitar-shaped. You can see other examples of Cameron’s work in the store at DanRoark.com.

After we visited for a while, Vinni had to go check on some people doing repair work at the house. We said our good-byes, then Cameron and I headed for Memphis.

When you come see me play, you’ll get a v-picks demonstration. Or you can order a few to try at v-picks.com. The cost is more than regular picks, but they heat up with your fingers helping them to stick to your skin and it takes a good while before they wear out. And they really make the instrument sound good. Each pick has their own unique sound. They also work with ukuleles and mandolins. Give them a try.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

V-Picks

There came a time when I could no longer buy any more guitars. I certainly don’t need any more guitars. Which is what led to the moratorium on buying guitars. Well, that and Cyndy wouldn’t buy any justification I might come up with.

So when I worked the Dallas Songwriters Association booth at the Dallas and Arlington guitar shows, I started looking at accessories. I have an impressive capo collection (more later). I have picks of many sizes, shapes, thickness, material, etc.

For years I used Fender medium picks like everyone else. Then John Pearse picks with the off-center point that helped with the way I played. A few years ago, a lot of people started making picks out of just about anything you can imagine. I have one out of petrified wood and one of granite.

So I began to experiment with all different kinds of picks. They were cheaper so Cyndy didn’t mind. It had never occurred to me how the pick can change the sound. Like everyone else, I tried different strings, different gauges, and so forth. I was amazed at the different sounds I could get with the different picks.

Then Vinni Smith introduced me to his V-Picks picks. I use them exclusively now- except for finger picks, which he doesn’t make. I also use different picks for different songs. The picture below is my V-Pick leather wrist band with the picks I use. Check out the website and see the variety of shapes and styles. There is bound to be one that fits your sound or even enhances it. They are made with Vinni’s special acrylic blend. And they stick to your fingers with the heat of your fingers.

Last week, I got an email from Vinni with the picks on sale and a new pick. The Nashville pick is a return in his special acrylic blend to that same Fender pick except “on steroids.” I didn’t like using a heavy pick, but I love this pick. It rounds out my wristband onstage selection quite nicely.

Check out the website. They have sets you can order to try different ones. Tell Vinni I sent you.  Or catch me when I play and you’ll have a demonstration. I’d be glad to show them to you and let you try them.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

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