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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 82. ‘Stay off the black keys’

As the serenity of night falls, I slip into the snug hug of my couch. A great few weeks away, so I feel justified in being still. My phone’s newly programmed ring tone, the theme from red dwarf, summons me from across the room. The bouncy nature of the music motivates me to haul my carcass from its glorious slump state to answer the call. I am greeted with enthusiasm and buoyancy. “Hey Stevie, how are ya!” “I’m good thanks, ‘Harry.’ ” (Let’s call him Harry because I’m nice). We exchange the usual chit chat and pleasantries which I’m happy to do. On cue and like clockwork, the rinse repeat dialogue I have on a regular basis with musicians begins. With knowledge astute and experience galore he theorises thus. “Do ya know what I reckon?” I pause for effect to indicate my surprise. “Not at all, what do you reckon?” “Well, ya know I love your music, I absolutely love you and what you do. ” Keeping my acknowledgment brief so not to interrupt his flow, I grunt, “ah hu, thanks.” ” But, in my opinion”……… I brace for impact at the most loathsome expression known to mankind! (Okay slightly dramatic, but remember I’m way overtired) “I reckon you should try leaving some of those chords out. Maybe just leave in the 1, 4 and 5, and do away with the rest. Downsize, simplify. Strip the band back to something basic. Also, you could think about changing your keys from those awkward flats to just ‘normal’ positions. I reckon make it simpler for the band to play your stuff, and wow girl, you’d be unstoppable.” He allows a moment for me to ponder his wisdom. My eyes begin to glaze over and I am thankful for the non-visual medium. I have long since abandoned explaining myself, and these days I just reply with a mastered tone. “Thanks, yes, great idea, I will think about that.” It’s just easier and puts me out of their misery faster. Alas, I was a heartbeat too slow. Already in the safety of my own home, there was no place to retreat. Pacing the well-worn grooves in my hallway, my guru for the evening continues, “I really reckon what you need to do is play 12 bar blues.” Granted I understand the slight conundrum for people, the blues industry is where I’ve been for some time now. But blues is a big wide world of beautiful diversity and the traditional 12 bar form suits me about as much as strapping on a tutu and dancing the lead in a Tchaikovsky ballet. ( There’s a thought to burn out your mind’s eye 🙂 ) I know enough about people to realise this isn’t about me or my music. It’s entirely about what might be best for the musician at hand. But I was weary from my trip away and found myself getting a tad impatient. Cutting my friend off at the socks, I gave him an emphatic and resounding no! I am a happy little vegemite in my little corner of the music world. I will continue to make music that I enjoy and hopefully makes the listener happy too. Not to be misconstrued, I am not at all upset or even annoyed at the four different conversations I have had like this in the last nine days, but it’s definitely the trigger for today’s blog. I don’t have a lot of musician friends, (I know what you’re thinking…..”well fancy that??” ) and probably even less now. But I know in my heart when I’m ready, there will be some good matches out there somewhere. 🙂

Have yourself a wonderful Friday and as always,
Thanks for listening!
Until tomorrow
Stevie. x

MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 80. ‘Stay tuned’

Still wiping up the plate, normal programming will resume tomorrow.

Until tomorrow!
Stevie.

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 78. ‘sheesh’

All I said was “who would like a bath?”

Until tomorrow…….soggily yours!
Stevie. x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 76. ‘We are all the same’

It’s hard to come to terms with the level of hatred in some people. Watching along with everyone else what has happened in New Zealand, I will never understand what could drive such viciousness. There are politicians in our country that should be deported to another planet. The intolerant and ill-informed rhetoric just stirs the pot to gratify their own warped beliefs. We! Are! All! The! Same!!! The differences in our culture or religion are categorically no reason for a divide. It’s an opportunity to learn, gain experience and make some incredible friends. I have just spent two weeks amongst the Doomadgee aboriginal community. Despite the terrible history white Australia inflicted upon them, they are able to rise above it and just see me for me. I was completely accepted and made welcome. We were just people working on music together. I share with you all the outrage, anger and utter sadness for what has happened. I know the world does not have to be this way, we need to find the kinder road.

Thanks for listening!
Until tomorrow!
Stevie. x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 75. ‘Short n Sweet’

Landed back in the Isa. Worn out but happy with the result.
Long flight back to Melbourne tomorrow. Looking forward to picking up my pups from their vacation. 🙂

Thanks for listening!
Until tomorrow!
Stevie. x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 73. ‘The Train Game’

My brand-spanking new BMX bike. Black frame with gold and red flames and gold padding. There was also a guitar with the presents, but it was quickly kicked to the curb in favour of freedom, speed, and adventure.
My friends lived on a farm down by the railway station. Trees blocked all view of the tracks making for a wondrous playground away from prying eyes. The dry river bed that curled alongside the train tracks was an invitation no bike could resist. The boys were already jostling for prime position as I squished in alongside them and waited. In the distance, the oncoming train bellowed in full pride, projecting its warning to move aside. This was not the first time we had engaged in a race with the iron beast, but that feeling of dread and excitement was always the same. The boys were always a little faster than I, but this time I was determined to leave them in the dust. Our eyes steadfast on the race flag bearer, we waited for our cue. The cry of “go” was muffled by the roaring engine but we were off in a heartbeat. Three gladiators charged into the dust with wild abandon attempting to beat the train at the crossing point. The first of the gladiators went down moments into the challenge catching a wayward stick in his bike spokes. He flew through the air like some comical clown, crashing down in the arms of shrubbery. Heartless and undeterred, the two of us peddled on frantically to stay ahead of our nemesis. The piercing sound of the train rattled around in my head bringing my attention to the level of danger and stupidity, but it was sternly pushed aside. My friend and I were neck and neck as we closed in on victory but the beast was starting to get the better of us both. My obdurate pride was nearly the end of me as my friend skidded to a halt just shy of the finish line. Yes! I thought to myself, winner! Leaving him behind I darted across the track. Almost, but not quite. I could have landed anywhere really. The rear tyre was clipped by the train and flung me headlong into trees and prickles. Under the train, sparks flew as my pride and joy was dragged for miles. I was gashed and bruised, but otherwise unharmed. (Can’t say the same for my bike. ) The youngest of our gang, the flag bearer, stood slack-jawed over the top of me and wailed out “ummmm maaaaaaa, you’re in trouble.” And trouble there was, and I was grounded for two months. At the end of my incarceration, my dad presented me with a new bike. It was girly pink with big white wheels and an enormous basket attached to the front end. My bike riding days were done. :-). My reflection on childhood adventures makes survival to adulthood quite the accomplishment. Certainly these days I pass on all race challenges with ” naaa I’m good thanks.”

Thanks for listening!
Until tomorrow!
Stevie. x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 72. ‘Rhythm Section’

My rhythm section for Top End shows in the future I’m thinking. I liked William and Darcy right off the bat from our first meeting three years ago. Their musicianship continues to grow and it’s great to see. I look forward to our live show together on my next trip to Doomadgee.

Thanks for listening!
Until tomorrow!
Stevie. x