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New Live Video and Troubling New Tunes

Hola amigos!

I’m happy to announce the release today of my new live performance video. The one captures a live solo jam on Talamanca Trails, a song from my Punta Rasta album, caught at one of my weekly shows at the Lazy Mon in Puerto Viejo, Limon, Costa Rica, on a lazy afternoon in 2017.  I edited this video from footage shot that day along with a multitrack audio feed from the mixing board. It’s a bit rough in spots and far from a polished production, but I think the filming and much of the audio recording capture the best representation to date of my live solo performance, so I'm still pretty happy to share it with you.   https://youtu.be/cKOvpbImfFk

And if you haven't already, you may also want to also check out this more primitive - but also much more intimate - Bare Bones Acoustic playlist of lyric videos of the 3 new songs I released there in November. These were all written in the last two years, emerging in response to my feelings about living in the Trump era. http://tiny.cc/BarebonesAcoustic

“When life hands you conundrums, you turn them into art."

  • Frank Fisher (played by Nick Offerman) to his co-songwriter daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) in Brett Haley’s film, Hearts Beat Loud.


Those of you who know my writing over the years have probably noticed that I tend to gravitate to the emotional extremes in many of the themes that have been the focus in my songs.  From ecstatic love and joy to sorrow and rage - seemingly contradictory, but all so much a part of the range of human emotion and my personal experience of human existence on this planet as well. And, I must add, this has been especially so in this time of great upheaval and change around the planet. I love my life and life itself, yet at the same time feel deep concern for what the future holds for all our kids and grandkids.

These songs are not meant to depress us, though, but to motivate us.They are not calling for despair, but for enormous changes - and for fully realizing our own roles in bringing those changes about. I don’t mean to suggest that I have not at times felt overwhelmed and discouraged or, at times, nearly desperate facing what the past 2 years have brought us. And although I haven’t lived in the States full time since 2005 and generally don’t get back all that much, simply looking with both eyes open and witnessing even from this distance has been more than enough to take me into that darkness. Circumstances in my life have brought me back a few times since Trump was elected though, and usually with close to a month’s stay. So I can honestly say I’ve experienced at least a bit of the stress of life in our Divided States of America firsthand, and I don’t like where it’s going or the way it feels to be a part of it - whether I’m in close proximity to it or not. 

So what I’m sharing with you today is part of the result of that experience - of watching and listening both inside and outside my country’s borders and of grieving and fuming over all we’ve lost and are at risk of losing soon. Creative work remains one of my most valued coping strategies, as evidenced in much of what I’ve written throughout my life. I only hope that what I’m sharing here can be of some benefit to you as well.

Peace and love,

Jim

 

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