Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Banjos, Ghazals, Buses & More

Happy Wednesday afternoon, all. It’s yours truly checking in with news & highlights & coming distractions!

Speaking of which, & as illustration of the titular “more,” check this out: tomorrow on Robert Frost’s Banjo: a Writers Talk interview with our own regular contributor & fan favorite, L.E. Leone! In addition to her interview, L.E. will also have a new poem for us tomorrow on the Writers Talk blog.

But there’s more: regular contributor, B.N.—who is now officially in the market for a different nom de plume—will have a 5-part story running in this space Sunday thru Thursday of next week. The story is titled All Knees Shall Bend And Every Tongue Shall Vow, & it’s a powerhouse. To accommodate the story, the Photo of the Week feature will move to Saturday.

Not to mention: 2 more installments of Homegrown Radio with Joel Murach, both this Friday & again on October 29th!

Ghazals? Yes, folks, The Spring Ghazals is on & is awaiting all you kind potential buyers! Is it ill-advised to self-publish a book of poetry during an “economic crisis?”
Perhaps, but there you have it—the book is published. I can honestly say that The Spring Ghazals is a good book, one that I’m proud to have written, & one that stands up to comparison to other books of contemporary poetry, whether self-published or not. I also can honestly say that I’m not a natural marketer or self-promoter. If I were those things, it’s safe to say my life experiences would have been quite different. But having said that, I do hope you’ll consider purchasing the book, & that in addition, you’d consider writing a review on your blogs &/or giving yours truly a “writerly” interview. These things would be much appreciated & would I believe win you much good karma in the long run.

Speaking of poetry (& more): how about The Poetry Bus? I have my copy, I’m happy to say, & it’s wonderful. Lots of good writing in this issue, & yours truly has a poem in there (page 32!)

You can get The Poetry Bus for approximately the cost of a movie ticket, & you can get The
Spring Ghazals for less than the cost of your average cd (per CDBaby, the average cd is $12.85)! Just saying.

Banjos: Well, Eberle & I had a music show on Friday. First, let me say that Eberle played great. In retrospect, I wish she’d played on more songs. Yours truly? Well, my guitar playing was fine—I felt a bit off, I think largely due to a small turn-out, but I do have a margin on the guitar. But the feedback I’ve gotten so far is that there was just too much intense blues stuff & that my singing style (at least my delta blues singing style) is too “talky” for a full-length stage show. This feedback has been the source of much soul-searching over the past few days. Right now, I’m leaning toward spending the winter working on some instrumental material, both on the guitar & on the banjo—so for a bit at least, future Monday Morning Blues segments may be instrumentals. I’m also considering expanding my repertoire to involve what’s typically referred to as “old-timey” music these days. Can I mix “I Wish I was a Mole in the Ground” with “Banty Rooster Blues” or “Gonna Wear That Starry Crown” with “Levee Camp Moan?” We shall see!

Have a great rest of Wednesday, folks, & hope to see you early & often around Robert Frost’s Banjo for the great upcoming features.


  1. All exciting stuff, John and if I can find your book (and I think I may know where it is) I'll write a review.
    I have a suggestion/request, since you interviewed Eberle for "Writer's Talk", how about you get her to interview YOU for all of your fans to read? I, for one, would love to read more about your background and ideas.

    Looking forward to the story by B.N. and to L.E.'s interview and poem tomorrow.

    Have a good night!


  2. Hi Kat: Thanks! I really appreciate your support for "The Spring Ghazals." I'm really baffled as to why the book is generating so little interest, but this only makes me appreciate the handful of people who have stepped up all the more!

    Thanks again.

  3. good luck with your next transformation john. just a crazy thought, but since you've mastered such an authentic and sincere acoustic approach, i think it would be a hoot to hear you play along with a drum machine...

  4. Hi Scotty: I must admit--I have mixed feelings about the new approach, I really do. I feel like the delta blues is such a good match with my strengths & also that it exposes relatively few of my weaknesses. I just don't know if that will be true when I mix in the more "country" old-timey stuff.

    Interesting about the drum machine. I've actually seriously wondered if Eberle would like to try beat-boxing.


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