The Morning Star – February 2012

 
 
 

February 21, 2012

Thank you to friends and fans over Christmas 2011

We hope your new year is in full tilt, with the wind at your back (without too much snow) and good momentum that will keep you thriving through the rest of winter! You made our journey through the end of 2011 unforgettable by joining us on the road for Stars and Promises, our Christmas tour. We played 13 shows in 12 cities, and featured songs that have been staples for us along the way, along with an old time radio story feature that we composed with original songs and the big voice of Steve Huntington from Radio Margaritaville as narrator.

For The Record – The One For Me

This song is on the new Live CD “Under Your Spell.” Don’t have it yet? Follow me to www.petermayer.comGiven I’m writing this on Valentine’s Day, it’s appropriate that I’m writing about a song that’s unequivocally a love song, but it gets a little strange from there. You know…that special person in your life of whom you have to admit, “you know, he/she’s the one for me.” Sometimes the joy of uttering this beautiful sentiment is followed by a slightly different emotion two hours later when your favorite Beatles’ poster is being used to soak up oil under your Honda, or a too-close-tail-gater has prompted that special person in your life to start a high-speed road chase, cat and mouse game to get certain vengeance on the 90-year old woman driving. You find yourself wondering, “who is this person?” And how in the world did we collide into this long term relationship.” Maybe it’s the way they chew, or the way they don’t, maybe it’s the way they brush after they chew, maybe they don’t have teeth, but somewhere along the way you may find yourself silently thinking; maybe I was wrong? Was I confused – bad prescription for my glasses? “They’re definitely NOT the one for me.” Tell me if I’m the only one who experiences this, and I’ll live with my poor sense of judgement.

 

But here’s the kicker. I’ve dated people that were technically, physically, personality-wise, intellectually, religion, weight and favorite band-wise “the one for me”…. it was a disaster! After the opening introduction, dinner and conversation, I was more attracted to Fatty Arbuckle than the perfect person sitting across from me. So it has to be more than lining up the match.com categories and pressing enter, there has to be a spark! And for me, that also means enough difference to chase away the indifference and keep your life unfolding into something new. Chris Walters, who plays some great piano on “The One For Me” said to me once, “you know you’ve got something really special when you love someone but you can’t explain why.” In other words, there aren’t enough words to describe the mystery that’s happened to draw you to that person. Whether the car runs or is broken down on the side of the road, you want to be together where you are and where you are going. So, can we be honest and say that you can have a most magical once in a lifetime Valentine next to you, and at various points in the evening, or in the next ten thousand nights that you spend together, you can still think in the distant reaches of your mind with complete honesty, “ummhh, definitely not the one for me.”

 

Are you still there after my two ranting paragraphs above? That’s kind of what started the song for me. I penciled down the lyric on a napkin and asked Mac McAnally at some point if he was interested in working on the song with me. After a few days, he played me a great chorus he had come up with. We finished the song while in Hawaii, and it debuted on “Still In One Peace,” and then we decided to put it on our new Live CD. On the studio recording the original tracks were recorded at Sound Emporium studios in Nashville. We were lucky enough to get the great rhythm section of Roger Guth, Jim Mayer, Billy Payne (of Little Feat), and Mac together. I finished the song on the road in Santa Barbara in a hotel room where I had microphones and a computer recording rig set up. John Lovell plays the beautiful trumpet solo on the version that appeared on the “Still In One Peace” CD, and I played an Eastman hollow body jazz guitar for the guitar solo.

Ralph MacDonald Tribute

Ralph’s music soothes the savage beast! On January 16th, on a beautiful day in Stamford, Connecticut; the family, band-mates, and many fans and admirers of Ralph MacDonald gathered to celebrate the life of a dear friend, master musician, song-writer, father, and lover of life. There could be no better way to celebrate Ralph’s life than to play his songs! Artists from every period and aspect of Ralph’s career assembled, including Ralph’s all star band, singers Roberta Flack, Dennis Collins, Valerie Simpson (of Ashford and Simpson) and Jimmy Buffett with fellow Reefers Nadirah Shakoor, Mac McAnally, Robert Greenidge, Roger Guth, Jim Mayer, and yours truly.

 

We gathered that night at the Palace Theater to a full house with scores of musicians. Jimmy had asked to go on early in the show because of previous travel arrangements. After a drum piece, Nefra-Ann, Ralph’s daughter and MC for the evening, welcomed everyone. We took the stage and did two Ralph songs, “King Of Somewhere Hot” and “Creola.” But before Roger counted the songs off for us, Jimmy mused about his years as Ralph’s band-mate and friend. He talked of hearing Ralph’s longtime songwriter partner William Salter play earlier in the evening in the band “The Ebony Hillbillies” and the significance of coming together to celebrate Ralph’s life and work on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Ralph’s early years were spent touring with Harry Belefonte and other bands in a time in our nation when a black man could not eat, sleep or use the restroom in the same places that white folks could. Jimmy mentioned how much Ralph had taught him about music and song, and how much he treasured their friendship. There wasn’t a musician or listener in the house that did not feel fortunate at that moment to be part of the unifying, uplifting, and liberating force that music is in our lives.

 

After our part of the program, we took a seat out in the audience to listen to the other performers for the rest of the night. Ralph’s all-star band was fantastic. Listening to Robert Greenidge play steel pans with them, a different setting then I’m used to hearing him in, really highlighted his amazing abilities. The mountaintop experience of the evening for me was when Valerie Simpson sang Ralph’s song, “Tradewinds.” I was floored by her voice and presence. Roberta Flack followed her with “Where is The Love,” the hit song of Ralph’s from 1972. To hear her voice come through that microphone is an experience I will never forget. As she sang the title track on Ralph’s new CD, “Generations/We Are Family,” every single person in that theater knew that we had been lucky enough to live alongside a treasure that Ralph has been, and will be, for all who continue to be touched by his presence. As the song says:

 

Generations/We Are Family

Another year has passed

And we’re together once again

And though the ranks are thin,

There are new souls to welcome in

We celebrate our lives together living faithfully

But what are we here for? Who do we live for?

And how did we come to be?

 

We are a family. We are young and old

We are the songs we sing. We are the stories told

We are one beating heart. We are the memory

We are the fruit on one tree, as you can see

We are a family

 

Take a moment if you have a chance and visit ralphmacdonald.com and check out the music and history that Ralph has been a part of.

Smokey Shadows

Thanks for all your texts, emails, facebook messages, and smoke signals asking where and when it is we’re going to be playing your hometown. Most of you have heard by now that it was necessary to move our Smokey Shadows shows to April. We regret any complications or trouble this may have caused, and hope that all who planned on coming the first time, will be there for the second try. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon to strike up the band! On April 27th and 28th, we’ll be playing a weekend of shows in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, at Smokey Shadows Lodge. If you have not been to any of the Smokey Shadows shows we’ve done over the years, consider it this year!! You should know that there is no other location like this! Our friends Gail and Steve Weams introduced this treasure to us years ago and it has been a yearly stop for us in spring, fall, or at Christmas. It is a rustic lodge in the mountains run by our good friends Bud, Ginger and their wonderful family. The food is fabulous, the view is beautiful, and the main lodge and the couple of cabins are all quaint, done in log cabin style. There are sights to see and things to do if you choose during the days, and at night you can relax with dinner and enjoy the show.

 

The shows we have done have all been different, from pajama parties to Christmas celebrations, gathering around an outdoor fire or in the comfortable living room area; they’ve been all acoustic shows or the full band. When you sit, living room style, with an old stone fireplace and a porch that looks out onto the Caroline hills in the back…well… it makes for a special setting that brings out something unusual every time. We’ll be playing songs off the recent release; “Under Your Spell,” a few from “Goodbye Hello,” and the other albums along the way. We’ll mix it up each night to keep it interesting, and don’t forget to bring your song requests as well. No night is quite complete until I can embarrass myself forgetting a lyric or two. We’ll look forward to seeing you there! Here is one that we do every year, written especially for Smokey Shadows:

 

No Better Place to Be

 

Up here in the hills where my heart does roam

There’s no better place to be

 

They call it Smokey Shadows, but it feels like home

There’s no better place for me

 

Lookin’ out the back porch you can feel nature’s power

There’s no better place to be

 

You get startled by the beauty, then get scalded in the shower

There’s no better place for me

 

Chorus

And we’ll rise up high my love

Let the world go by my love

And sud-den-ly

There’s no better place for me

 

Some call Bud and Ginger eccentric or insane

There’s no better place for me

 

I’ve been to the city, and I’ll tell you who’s got the brains

There’s no better place to be

 

Leaning doors and windows the rooms are measured wrong

There’s no better place for me

 

But it gives and it sways just like my favorite songs

There’s no better place to be

 

Chorus

And we’ll rise up high my love

Let the world go by my love

Smile for free

There’s no better place for me

 

And now to Bud and Ginger you’ve waltzed through 50 years

There’s no better place for me

 

You can dance up any mountain when you’re good at shifting gears

There’s no better place to be

 

You’ve refined the ingredients of life’s finest cuisine

There’s no better place for me

 

With your friends and your Bud, true Love is all we need

There’s no better place to be

 

Chorus

We’ll rise up high my love

Let the world go by my love

Sud-den-ly

There’s no better place to be .

 

 

Musically Yours,

Peter

Thank you to friends and fans over Christmas 2011
For The Record – The One For Me
Ralph MacDonald Tribute
Smokey Shadows

Know someone who might be interested in the email? Why not forward this email to them.

Feb 25 Birmingham, AL (with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band)
Feb 28 Tallahassee, FL (with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band)
March 1 Little Rock, AR (with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band)
March 3 Louisville, KY (with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band)
March 8 San Jose, CA (with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band)
March 10 San Diego, CA (with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band)
March 16 Maui, HI (with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band)
March 18 Honolulu, HI (with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band)
March 22 Peter Mayer Group at Georgetown College; Georgetown, KY
March 23 Peter Mayer Group at Blueberry Hill: St. Louis, MO
March 25 TBA
March 30 Tampa, FL (with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band)
April 14 Omaha, NE (with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band)
April 17 Des Moines, IA (with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band)
April 19 Dallas, TX (with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band)
April 27-28 Smokey Shadows Lodge; Maggie Valley, NC

  Shine On!

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