I normally spend a part of the summer back at my farm in Virginia. This year, rather than flying back and forth from Seattle, Nell and I found ourselves with too many cars in Seattle and not enough in Virginia. We drove across country, and left the Subaru Outback at the farm. We logged an exhausting 4500 miles, counting the side trips to the beach in Delaware, to Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, and up and back to Delhi, NY with Nell’s parents. We did trick out this car with full electronics, so whomever wasn’t driving got to watch the World Cup! The internet reception was pretty good in most populated areas, though Wyoming proved a challenge. Or maybe Wyoming just isn't ready for soccer......
At the farm there was the usual fence fixing and mowing the pastures with my vintage Ford tractor. It's a 1974 gasoline (not diesel) industrial model, perfect for traversing the hilly terrain.
I do find my gear lust has changed character, I used to drool over rare vintage basses, then shifted to exotic microphones and preamps, now I can't drive by a farm equipment dealer without turning my head to ogle the backhoes..... (sounds like a band name....."ogle the backhoes")
At some point in the next couple of years we plan to build not only an addition to the house but an outdoor concert space down by the pond - a little stage, hillside seating, cooling summer breezes, snapping turtles, no neighbors within a half mile, what could be better?
I did a number of voiceover/music sessions this summer, including one in suburban Maryland with the ever-clever Russell Ginns for his next project “The Big Reading Show.” (also on the gig was former Bob Amy Engelhardt)
End of July it was a flight to Portland, OR to meet up with the rest of the Bobs for a weekend of gigs in Pacific NW: Portland, Seattle and the San Juan Islands.
I spent a lot of time this summer researching and writing (as well as shedding on the string bass) for my next project — which may be labeled “Bluegrass from Mars.”I recently picked up this lovely Italian carved bass. Singing the bass parts with the Bobs has really focused my concept, now I just have to practice many hours to regain the fingering technique I once had.
In August Nell and I went back up to San Juan Island for a weekend that included walking the annual Friday Harbor loop run — once again I didn’t win my age bracket. Next year I “advance” to the next age grouping and now have a whole coterie of trainers who are going to “help” me to win.
And, several years ago, just for a laugh, I recorded a couple of old folk ballads. My son-in-law has posted them to Soundcloud and has suggested I do a full albums worth of nautical songs. I link to them here so that y’all may sample and if the demos are to your liking, please comment on whether I should do that record.
Richard Bob Greene