Category: Sound


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

 

 

 

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

 

 

This Friday, October 30, I will be doing a livestream at 5:30 p.m. CT on my YouTube channel and Facebook page. I will be playing songs, telling stories, and talking about the beer at Bitter Sisters Brewery. I will be displaying my virtual tip jar and all donations during the show will go to Bitter Sisters, unless otherwise noted.

You can buy beer from Bitter Sisters Mon.-Fri. 4-7 p.m, Sat. 2-7 p.m. and Sunday 2-6 p.m. So after my show, if the beers sound good to you, you still have time to get to the brewery to buy beer – depending on how far you live from Addison.

Or take a day trip on Saturday and pick up some beer for watching the moon Halloween night. Not only is it a blue moon, but it will be visible to the whole world for the first time since since World War II.  A Bitter Sisters beer would make it all that much more pleasant.

So tune in Friday evening, listen to some tunes and beer talk, and show your support for craft breweries, music venues, and family businesses.  #SaveOurStages  #SaveCraftBreweries

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark 

 

 

 

[Read part one, two, three, four, five, six, seven]

My immediate concern following the robbery was to get another guitar – the sooner, the better. Fortunately, my parents’ homeowners insurance covered the loss, but not did not pay enough to replace my Martin.

I flew back to Dallas. The next day I was in McCord Music in Valley View Mall. They had sound-proof rooms in the back. I picked out about six guitars. Four were within the range of the insurance check, and two were in the “if I like one of these, maybe I can talk Dad into it” category.

I was apprehensive because I wanted a guitar then, but I wanted to get the right guitar. I don’t remember what kind the other guitars were. I picked up the first two, played them a bit, and put them back. Then I picked up the handmade bicentennial edition Alvarez. I loved the color because it matched my red hair. It had a clear pick guard which I loved. Then I began to play it. It sounded so sweet and when I sang it complimented my voice. It still does – and it really sounds good now with John Pearse strings. The only other set of strings the Alvarez has had on was whatever was on it when I bought it.

Obviously, I’ve never regretted my decision – or losing my Martin really.  I have three Alvarez guitars now. They’re all three great sounding guitars, although I still call that first Alvarez the “good” guitar. It’s the one I’ve got in the picture above. As you can hear when you listen to River That Flows that is out now from Southern Plains Revisited and other songs to come from that album, the Alvarez became an integral part of the Southern Plains sound.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.(

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

V-Picks

It’s been a while since I’ve written about V-Picks. I’ve been using them for a good number of years. As I told Vinni – owner of V-Picks – a few years back:

“Since I can’t buy any more guitars and stay happily married, I began to collect capos, ending up with a collection of nice capos. I’ve been saving picks for years, but the material they were made of didn’t vary too much – mostly promotional picks. I had always used John Pearse picks which had the point offset so it fit my style perfectly. But it was still the old plastic medium pick, like the Fender tortoise shell pick everyone else used for years.

I began to see picks of different materials. Which was convenient so when I went to guitar and music trade shows, I could pick up different picks and Cyndy wouldn’t mind. But none of them produced a different tone on my guitar that was worth switching for fulltime. Some of the pick materials were not comfortable enough when playing. It was just an interesting collection.”

Then I tried V-Picks. Vinni Smith had a booth at a guitar show. I haven’t played anything else since. I never knew how much picks can change the tone of my guitars. I use different picks for certain songs. The Nashville pick on the bottom right is like a regular medium to heavy pick. V-Picks are acrylic picks. The heat from your hand sticks them to your fingers, making them easier to hold onto and almost impossible to drop.

V-Slide by V-Picks

Vinni, his wife, Nancy, and crew also make acrylic slides, among other things. Check out their products at V-Picks.com. Try their picks – you won’t be disappointed.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

My song, Poor David’s Pub, will be released on Monday, August 31 on all the regular sites. The single release party will be the Poor David’s Pub/Kerrville Folk Festival Virtual Open Mic hosted by Rob Case on Monday Night 7 – 10:30 p.m. CT. The proceeds from the song, as with donations to the open mic, will go to Poor David’s Pub to be split with the Kerrville Folk Festival. Let’s help these venues keep going!

Watch and listen to the open mic on Facebook on Rob Case’s Open Mic – Poor David’s Pub page, or my page.

_______________________________________________

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

As you  may gather from the title, the virtual open mic on Monday night is a Zoom meeting shared on Facebook. Hosted by Rob Case, with the more than able assistance from his wife, Lynda, the open mic replaces (for the time being) the live Poor David’s Pub open mic. It also benefits Poor David’s Pub and the Kerrville Folk Festival. The show below is from Monday, Aug. 24.

More about the open mic itself shortly, but first the reason for the title. While the Zoom meeting is going on one laptop, I have the Facebook video going on the other laptop so Cyndy can hear it, too. However, as you may or may not know, there is a short time delay between Zoom and Facebook. During the open mic a few weeks ago, I was talking to Cyndy and forgot about the delay. When the song ended on Facebook, I clapped on camera so they could see me clap. Sadly, he had already begun the next song.

But wait, there’s more… one of the performers said something to me – again, watching on Facebook. By the time I got my headphones on, unmuted the mic, and answered them, they also had begun their next song. Thankfully, they hadn’t started singing yet. Needless to say, I’m much more careful now.

Back to the open mic. There are always different and unique songwriters. Not a bad way to spend a Monday night. And if you would like to play, contact Lynda Case on messenger. The list from the show below is Rob Case, Allen Larson, Cat McGee, Jackie Sue Langford, Darwin, Dan Roark, John Mason, Don Wall, Baylis Laramore, Scott Thornton, Jenni Mansfield Peal, Rick Valente, and Harry Hewlett.

Check it out! Then tune in on Monday. Or join us and play.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

River That Flows is the first song I wrote about Cyndy, wife now, girlfriend then. Or rather, I was thinking about Cyndy when I wrote my half of the song. I was in college at NTSU (now UNT). Tim Duggins was my roommate. We met the year before at Richland Junior College (now Community College). On a Sunday, I think it was, we took our guitars and a 6-pack to the park.

We played the usual songs and practiced Sister Golden Hair by America. We had come to write a new song though. I don’t remember which one of us had the original idea. But after a lot of back and forth of ideas, moments of exhilaration and excitement, and when the 6-pack was gone, we had a song called River That Flows.

Southern Plains would be formed the next year. As I’ve said before, River That Flows was a staple of our set and it remains in my set list today. Joel Nichols and I added leads and flurries, but the song you hear now is the same song we wrote that day.

Unfortunately, Timothy James Duggins died of lung cancer a few years ago. I got in touch with him again

Tim Duggins on the left with his brother, Mike.

before he died. We were going to try to get together, but the last couple of years were tremendously hard on him. It was tough for him to get around.

Rest in Peace Tim!

 

 

________________________________________________

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

Cameron and I arrived in Nashville on Wednesday, June 27th. Thursday morning we checked in at Summer NAMM (National Association of Music Merchant) and got our badges. We went to the D’Angelico booth so I could sign up for the open mic to be held at 3 p.m. on the Reverb stage.

After cruising through all of the booths, we stopped at the Kyser booth. We also say hi to them because their down the road in Tyler.

Then to the John Pearse Strings booth. I have been using JP strings on my Alvarez for all of its 42 years. We chatted with Todd Newman and picked up a few things.

The Alvarez booth was next. We played a few of the new line of guitars and chatted with the staff. The guitars sounded really nice, with a full sound.

At 3 p.m. we were at the Reverb stage. I was concerned because a storm had just blown through, canceling the previous band’s performance. At 2:45, they were still taking the tarps off the stage. They finished in time and the D’Angelico staff situated guitars across the stage. The idea was to use one of their guitars for the one song. My name was called first, and I chose the guitar you see in the picture. I played I Got My Ass Kicked in Nashville – which incidentally is on the EP that will be released Wednesday at Malarkey’s Tavern in Dallas. I received good applause.

After watching most of the other performers, we left to go back to the hotel until time to head to Scully’s Saloon for the showcase…

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Dweezil Zappa and Ryan Brown

I had been waiting for Dweezil Zappa to play at House of Blues since November. Which was when Dweezil’s drummer, Ryan Brown, played on my songs when I recorded in LA in November with my son, Conner, producing.

Not so incidentally, the first of two five song EPs that we recorded will be released within the next few weeks – Hello Out There. Ryan did a great job on my songs, as did Lou Castro, L.A. session bassist, and I was looking forward to seeing him play the massive drum set he plays with Dweezil.

I, and the rest of those in the audience, were not disappointed. It was an excellent show. And Ryan was impressive on the drums, as the other performers were on their respective instruments. The songs they played of Frank’s I recognized. But all songs were played exceptionally well. It was a kickass show.

When I walked into the room before the show, I was getting ready to send Ryan a message to let him know I was there. Before I had a chance to get my phone out, I looked up and there he was with his friend, Collin, who had also come to see the show. We talked for a few minutes before Ryan had to go get ready. He was going to come out when the show was over. But when they played a two song encore, it was getting late and I didn’t want to hang around until the after show backstage activities were over. I sent him a message telling him the show was excellent and I’d see him later.

On my way back to my car – as I do every time I’m down there – I remembered that HOB is in the old White Swan building. When I was working at Famous Ramos Hot Dog Place that was in mall food courts in the early 80’s, when the stores needed more pretzels, I would drive down to the basement dock at the White Swan building and get as many boxes as my car would carry. Famous Ramos, and other companies, paid them for freezer space. That was when the only thing in what would become the West End was the Old Spaghetti Warehouse.

Things change. But sometimes it’s kind of nice to remember what it was like then. I know the memories floating around in the ether would appreciate it.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

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