The Morning Star – July 2013 Edition

July 4, 2013

Welcome and news!

Hello friends and welcome to July. It’s hard to believe Spring has come and gone and summer’s in full swing – the year is flying forward faster than I can process – I turn my head and tomorrow becomes today and then “remember when.” And… all the while, it’s good to be here I must say. We’ve been getting weekly rains that have kept the TVA land close to me, the parks, and our hastily growing –need to be mowing- lawn, green as an Irish meadow. I’m thankful for that, and in the same breath I remember our friends in Oklahoma, Texas and across the Midwest who have suffered some severe weather hits this year. Some of you have been asking about a new album?! Like… when?? There are songs in progress that I’m excited about, they are just having to share time with the busy touring schedule and other projects that I’ve dived into lately; such as working on Tina Gullickson’s new CD, continuing work on “Passages for Passages,” and co-producing a few other new projects. So…thanks for your patience, I’m inching if not at light speed in that direction.

 

Thanks to our friends in Columbus, OH, for a wonderful night at “The Bluestone.” It is a beautiful space, a former church turned concert venue. Jared Mahone, a talented singer songwriter opened up the show and we followed with an electric band set with Chris Walters, R. Scott Bryan, Marc Torlina, Brendan Mayer and Chad Stewart running sound. The highlight for me at the end of the night was getting off stage and playing acoustically for the crowd of friends that gathered round. We traveled on, south, to O’Fallon, IL, the next day to play a Sunday morning at the First United Methodist Church. Thanks to Pastor Ron, Bob Noland, and Alex Ray for the warm welcome, hospitality, and expertise with sound and logistics. We ended our short June tour in Nashville at “The Basement” a cool club below a classic record and bookshop, “Grimey’s” on 8th Avenue. Brendan Mayer and the Marathon opened up the night with four songs and we layed a loooong set of songs from albums through the years with Miles Vandiver on drums, Maggie Estes White [back from her honeymoon (more info below)] on violin, and Brad Albin (The Time Jumpers) who joined us on bass for the first time.

European Date(s)

Calling all fans near and far. Peter Mayer, Jim Mayer and Brendan Mayer will perform in Amsterdam for the first time on October 3rd at the famed live music cafe De Heeren van Aemstel. Peter and Jim will be performing songs from their collective body of work (15 CDs, PM, The Peter Mayer Group, and extensive live touring together) along with Brendan (Brendan Mayer and the Marathon) singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Some will have come a long way to this special performance, so we are offering a unique Eat & Greet that will precede the show. It’s a chance to dine and chat with Peter, Jim and Brendan and enjoy a short set of some of their mellow music before the show.  Doors will open at 7:00 pm.

 

Tickets go on sale soon and are limited, so please stay tuned and check the website http://www.petermayer.com  for updates.  Your support is deeply appreciated; we are offering you a 72-hour window to book tickets before sale starts to the general public.  Please go to the contact heading on the website, http://www.petermayer.com/contact, leave your e-mail address and a message if you are interested and/or have questions and we’ll stay in touch.

The Tokens Show

I had an opportunity to play the “Tokens” show in Nashville, this past May, during the Homiletics Festival that took place there this year. The Festival of Homiletics is in a way the “World Series” for preachers. They come from around the country and all over the world not to compete, but to hear “homilies” and lectures by some of the finest writers, pastors and teachers around. For any of you out there like myself who have sat through a 25-minute sermon that felt like a long day’s journey into night, I was amazed at the variety, skill, and Spirit with which these ministers carried on. And… the music was fabulous: Ashley Cleveland, Kenny Greenberg, Beth Nielson Chapman, Sherry Cothran Woolsey and Yours Truly took part. On the final day of the festival I played the Tokens Show. Lee Camp, a writer and professor of religion and ethics at Lipscomb University, has developed a variety show that is reminiscent of “A Prairie Home Companion” and deals with theology, justice and ethics in today’s world. It’s a great mix of music, humor and interviews that is both hilarious and deep. The Tokens band is made up of world class musicians: Jeff Taylor-accordian, Pete Huttlinger-guitar, Aubrey Haynie-violin, Buddy Greene-guitar and vocals, Odessa Settles-vocals, Brad Albin-bass, Chris Brown-drums, and a string quartet headed by David Angell. I performed two songs with the group, the John Denver song “Wooden Indian,” and “Here Comes The Sun” from our “Goodbye Hello” album, which was great with the string quartet. Thanks Lee, Jeff and the band for having me along.

Rehearsal for The Tokens show

Paul McCartney and Bonnaroo

We cranked up Lucky, our trusty RV, and sent her wheeling to Bonnaroo again this year. This is the yearly festival that is held out in Manchester, TN, about an hour from our home in Nashville. Brendan and India, my two kids and Eric Darken, percussionist for The Coral Reefers, and his daughter made the trip with me and it was a special one. Sir Paul McCartney was to play the fest for the first time. I had seen him a few years back in New York, but I am always eager to hear this Beatle play when I am able. Back up though by a few days to a phone call I received from the Jimmy Buffett camp. There was to be an Atlantic City opening of the Landshark Bar and Grill on 15th of June and it happened to be on the night of Paul’s performance; the band would include me I’m happy to say, but it meant missing out on the concert that would probably feature at least five of my “songwriters seven wonders of the world.” It looks like my job was to be a chauffer in Lucky, then turn around and head out of Manchester, TN, and head to the East Coast. All was not lost though, just a day before departure for Bonnaroo, as we prepared to play the “Basement,” a club in hometown Nashville, I heard from our friend who handles security that he had arranged for us to attend the Paul McCartney sound check which was happening the day before! A tiny window had opened up.

 

Wow… there we were at Bonnaroo, a little like being in a spy novel. Absolutely no one was allowed in for this special sound check, only techs, security, band and as it happens… us. We were escorted in and led to the sound-mixing tent. I got out my Nikon camera with the 70-300 telephoto lens. The next thing I knew one of Paul’s security guys was sprinting across the grass toward our tent. He pointed at me and said, “Put the camera away or you’re out of here!!” I calmly said, “no problem,” and laid it down out of sight. The sound and light engineers smiled as they were used to the tight security constraints around a Paul concert. That’s when we heard the sirens. Paul’s escort, a huge motorcycle motorcade that could have ushered in the President, Liberace and his wardrobe as well. A few moments later Rusty Anderson, Abe Laboriel Jr., Brian Ray and Wix Wickens, stepped on stage. And then there was Paul. Lights started to come up, the PA was on. Paul said hello to the crew and commented how they had done a good job the night before on sound for the Colbert Report. I had watched that show the night before. He strapped on his psychedelic Les Paul and started playing a blues riff. In a few moments the band took the cue and joined in with a groove. For the next twenty minutes he sang an impromptu Bonnaroo theme song, “Bonnaroo bonnaroo bonnaroo, what you wanna do wanna do… Bonnaroo.” It was wild. The song stopped and he noodled a bit more on guitar. Rusty Anderson put on a 12-string and suddenly the band launched into “Eight Days A Week.” It was amazing, the sound, the memories, and the fact that we were there, six people watching some of the world’s greatest music on a spot of land that would be teaming with 80,000 screaming fans the very next day. But for now… we were somehow privy to a Paul McCartney house concert. He put on his Beatle Bass and started “Penny Lane” and stopped after the first two bars… ”whoa whoa, aren’t you all supposed to join me on that?” The band had forgotten to come in, and so they started again and it was “Penny Lane” like it was 1967. “For the Benefit of Mister Kite,” “Calico Skies” and “Shake Baby Shake” followed with Paul on the piano.

 

When it was all over we sat there taking it all in for a good half hour, listening to echoes in our head of “Lady Madonna” mingled with the disappearing sirens of this Nashville bound motorcade. Below are a few photos that I received in texts from my family and friends who were there the night of the actual concert. You can’t see me, but I was there alright, close to Atlantic City, cheering along, tuned in to the music on the beach, and memories of the night before.

Tom Petty on stage at Bonnaroo

Eric Darken, Brendan and me with Paul Marsh and Jay Calabrese of FESS Security at Bonnaroo.

Hole And A String- Junkman’s Christmas

In each issue of the Morningstar, we take a moment to feature a different instrument, guitar or ukulele that has had a place in a song or season along the way. This issue’s candidate is a diminutive nylon string guitar I call “Junkman’s Guitar.” It really belongs to my daughter, India, so I thank her for the use of it all these years. It has been in our house since she was about 5 or 6 years old. For my son’s 7th birthday, I bought him his first guitar at a music store down the street. I had planned to follow suit with India when she got a little bit older, but in order to avoid an unwanted birthday scuffle, Patricia ran out and picked up a small child’s guitar for India, that way all the Mayer kids would be headed down the same wild, unpredictable, vocational path of being a musician. I’m sure all the grandparents were thrilled! We played the guitar together once in a while, but by the time India got interested in playing guitar, she had outgrown the little one. Back about five years ago in preparing for our “Stars and Promises” Christmas tour, I wrote a song remembering my father called “A Junkman’s Christmas.” It’s about a junkman who creates his Christmas decorations out of the odds and ends that other people have thrown away; toy soldiers for angels, old carburetors for candle holders, a worn out clock, stuck at 11:00 reminding him he still had a little time to change his point of view and remember what Christmas was all about. Playing the song reminds me of my dad who on one Christmas eve, long ago, had to get creative with gifts when yours truly was forgotten on the Christmas gift list. He went to his office and collected odds and ends that may have been useless to many, but they were treasure to me. We decided to collect odds and ends of junk or instruments to play the song live. I looked into my guitar closet and found India’s little guitar waiting there to be used for just the right piece. I asked her if I could use it and she agreed as long as she could decorate it, and spruce it up for the journey.

Maggie’s Wedding

A big congratulations to Maggie Estes and Zach White on their wedding on May 12th. Maggie, as you probably know, has played violin in the Peter Mayer Group and with “Stars and Promises” each Christmas since she was 16. The wedding took place at the Hermitage in Nashville, on a perfect blue-sky day.  Brendan and I played a few songs for the ceremony. My wife, Patricia, shared her artistic talent as the designer and seamstress of the beautiful bridal gown.  After some wonderful food, the dance floor was cleared for the spinning of some classic LPs. Godspeed and best wishes to Maggie and Zach.

Radio Margaritaville

We were fortunate enough to spend two weeks in Austin, TX, this spring getting tour details together with the Coral Reefer Band. Kirsten Winquist, Program Director for Radio Margaritaville, invited brother Jim and myself over to play a set live on the air and do some chatting as well.  Thanks to Kirsten, JD, Steve, Carson and Coleman at RM for the excellent job with all the music and thanks for the support over the years.

Jim and Peter perform “The Last Island” LIVE in the Radio Margaritaville studio, Austin, TX

Postcards from the “Songs from St. Somewhere” Tour with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band

These boots were made for shopping with Nadirah and Tina.

Jackson Browne opened the show in Austin, TX

Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon incident

The Stanley Cup makes its home in Chicago!
Welcome and news!
European Date(s)
The Tokens Show
 
Paul McCartney and Bonnaroo
 
 
Hole And A String- Junkman’s Christmas
Maggie’s Wedding
Radio Margaritaville
 
Postcards from the “Songs from St. Somewhere” Tour with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band
 
 
 

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August 2 Nashville, TNPeter Mayer Group performs at The Bluebird Cafe
August 4 Tulsa, OKPeter Mayer Group performs at Venue 68
September 15 Amagansett, NYPeter Mayer, Scott Kirby and Brendan Mayer will perform at The Stephen Talkhouse
September 19 Ashland, VAPeter Mayer, Scott Kirby and Brendan Mayer will perform at Ashland Coffee & Tea
September 21 Leesburg, VAPeter Mayer, Scott Kirby and Brendan Mayer will perform at the Tallyho Theatre
October 3 Amsterdam, The NetherlandsPeter Mayer, Jim Mayer and Brendan Mayer will perform at De Heeren van Aemstel
November 2 Key West, FLPeter Mayer Group performs at the annual Meeting of the Minds convention
November 2 Key West, FLPeter Mayer will perform with the “Unplugged Coral Reefers”
November 2 Key West, FLPeter will perform with “Club Trini and the Coral Reefer Band”





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