Musings on Music #1 (reviewing 2019, looking ahead to 2020)

Musings on Music #1 

As circumstances would have it, I didn't end up playing or performing a lot of music in December.  I certainly did not plan to take the month off!  But one thing lead to the other, and now, having spent last week playing informal music with family over the holidays, and the past couple of days rehearsing and preparing for shows this evening and Thursday, I realize that something was getting lost in the shuffle. 

The minutia of running a private lesson studio and booking/promoting a couple of bands are necessary evils.  My email inbox (and the ever growing list of other sorts of inboxes) reads like a never-ending to-do list, and the hustle of the gig economy is a real thing.  As I look back at 2019, I see that this hustling and attention to minutia has paid off: I've gotten a lot done (more on that below). 

But as work slowed down and winter closed in, I found myself feeling exhausted and depleted and without energy even to play music for fun. 

With a renewed sense of purpose and clarity, I am excited to start 2020 focussed on playing music for the simple joy!  Sometimes I will have to take breaks, sometimes I will have to do the dreaded "admin", and sometimes I will have to spend time on musical jobs that aren't pure fun; but in order to fully celebrated all of my achievements and accomplishments, I am going to spend more time in 2020 simply "playing" with music.  I'm looking forward to it! 

Looking back at 2019: 

Drank The Gold (my duo with James Gascoyne) accomplished a lot - here are a couple of highlights: 

  • being nominated in the Folk/Traditional category of the Capital Region Thomas Edison Music Awards (the Eddies) 
  • recording Sipped The Silver 
  • successfully funding the recording/production of Sipped The Silver via Kickstarter 
  • performing at many new venues, including the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival & Caffe Lena 
  • being invited to participate in Caffe Lena's Artist Development Series 

But most importantly, we developed and honed our sound and got the chance to make a lot of beautiful music!  How lucky we are! 

James and I also helped found two new bands! 

Folk Song Ensemble: masterminded by Galen Passen and with the support of a Saratoga Arts grant we rehearsed all summer with a culminating performance in September at Caffe Lena.  Look out for more from this group in 2020, including a performance this Thursday at Jalopy in Brooklyn. 

STEPTUNE!: we started conspiring with Danielle Enblom last February, and developed material and gave preview performances over the summer and fall.  We're very excited for a string of North East performances with this group in February and March, and more over the summer. 

Looking forward to 2020: 

I am launching a new teaching experiment tomorrow!  I hope you'll consider joining in the fun! 

Drank the Gold is excited to be participating in tonight's First Night Saratoga 2020 celebrations: we are playing two sets at the Marriott Courtyard in the Canfield Room at 6 and 7 PM.


DTG has a fun and varied January in the works: 

See my website for all of the details, and I hope to see you around! 

All the best, 


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