end of year greetings to all you beautiful homo sapiens, mammals, hominoids, mortals, bipeds, primates, water babies, cave dwellers, cloud-hoppers, apartment tenants, stargazers, moon-howlers, sun-bathers, basement occupants and ivory tower inhabitants!
there’s a bitter-sweet sadness accompanying this newsletter and not a little trepidation. i hardly know how to put this – you’ve been so supportive through the years, so responsive and enthusiastic when receiving my newsletters. but…this is the last newsletter you’ll be receiving from me… in this format!
after much pushing and shoving from an un-named, but extremely persistent and forward-thinking manager/booking agent (thanks, keith), all future newsletters will be sent in a modern newsletter format more befitting the 21st century. ‘but rene’, you say, ‘why isn’t this newsletter in that modern format?’
well, because this last one is for those folks who like to save things for sentimental reasons.
(do people even do that anymore?)
so print this one off and put it in a safe place. it’s gonna be worth a whole lot one day, even if it’s only worth a whole lotta laughs. i gotta tell ya, just before sitting down to write this wintertime newsletter, a “poem” appeared out of thin air and jumped onto the page. it needs to be read aloud with a touch of uppity-ass, nostalgic, southern pining, a stopped up nose, a delicate hanky in one hand and a stiff drink in the other.
my haiku is titled
Haiku for a December Afternoon
wish i had me a
poem for the coldest of
oh, sure. go ahead and snicker! laugh on, you laughers. scoff on, you scoffers. because i know what you’re thinking: you’re thinking “poem” is only one syllable, but that’s where you’re wrong. i looked it up.
what’s that you say? you think you can do better?
ok, fine. it’s on.
send as many as you like. i’ll post my faves on my website and in my next newsletter. and if yours is especially good, it may be used it as a blurb on my next CD or inspiration for a song – with your permission, of course. who knows? just remember: when you compose your haiku, they must be written in 17 syllables divided into 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, and uses highly evocative allusions on the subject of nature or one of the seasons. your haiku does not have to employ “highbrow language” unless that’s your style. just use any words you like, legitimate, illegitimate or adopted. if you’re not sure how many syllables a word has, look it up because i’ll call you on it!
as we say back home, “bring it!”
it’s fun blathering on like this, but not very productive. so, on with the production! first the news…
NEW LABEL! NEW CD!
the most exciting step i’ve taken this year: joining the motema label.
it’s so new, the info may not be on their website yet, but rest assured the deal was sealed with the recording of our latest CD, voice of my beautiful country. it is scheduled for release march 8, 2011. whoo-hoo! i’m excited! the songs on the CD are: John Henry, White Rabbit, O Shenandoah, Strange MeadowLark, Angelitos Negros, Imagination/Just My Imagination, Drift Away and the title track, a suite entitled Voice of My Beautiful Country. now, if you’ve been to any of our concerts in 2009/2010, you may have heard some of these songs. that’s the way we do it ‘round here – we work the songs, then we record them. listening to each track, it’s difficult to choose a favorite. the goal was to combine these tunes into a musical pastiche of rhythm, dialect and lyrical american history. can’t wait for you to hear it & then get your feedback. (twitter me!) okay. march 8. mark those calendars now! (on another happy note, motema’s latest artist, gregory porter, has just been nominated for a Grammy for his CD, “water”. congratulations to gregory and motema!)
right on the heels of our new release we’ve begun working on the next! on jan 7-9, 2011 the guys and i will be recording right here in denver at the only studio most jazz musicians from miles around prefer: mile high music, owned by pianist and composer jeff jenkins. i’ve used jeff’s studio many times for smaller projects, and it will be my second time recording a full CD there. my group, high maintenance – kevin bales, rodney jordan and quentin baxter, will be flying in not only to record, but also to play at dazzle restaurant and lounge on jan 8 & 9. with my dear friend pianist and composer bruce barth coming on board as producer, it’s gonna be a sweet project of all original tunes and a very busy weekend. bruce has some serious credentials, but a sweeter cat you won’t find. check him out.
UPCOMING 2011 APPEARANCES
see the itinerary for dates and details.
i’m on it.
new stuff is being added more and more frequently now that i’ve stopped kicking and screaming about it. truth be told, i’m actually enjoying it! it’s also linked to youtube.
i’m on it. got my own page, even.
videos being added weekly. check it out and leave a message!
holla! @manaymanee (pronounced muhNAY-muhNEE). confused? well, just say it real fast a few times and eventually it’ll make sense.
AND FINALLY…A FAVOR
sometime in january, i’ll be sending out my first newsletter in the aforementioned updated format. it will be much briefer and contain a survey for you to fill out.
i know, i know. i hate filling out surveys, too.
but after all that holiday partying it’ll be time for you to slow yourself down and recuperate. plus, this survey is for the purpose of finding out where my fan base is so that those who answer the survey can be expressly contacted when i’m in your neck of the woods, receive discounted advance tickets to shows, special prizes, etc. AND for those who complete the survey, there’s a reward at the end for all your hard work! you’ll possess something reserved only for those who fill out the survey! i want to thank you in advance for doing me this small favor.
ok…this is it.
the end of this newsletter and the end of the year.
may peace and prosperity accompany you into the new year!
p.s. don’t forget those haiku!