Rest in Peace, Mike “Rat” Connell, original Will and the Bushmen drummer who kept the backbeat on “Gawk” and all our early shows. Mike was a great drummer and a great guy. We were roommates way back in the Mobile days. I first heard him in the Jive Bombers w/ Mark Pfaff and Warren Wolf. Mark turned me on to a brilliant live cassette of Mike playing in The Blues Band, which blew me away—the band consisted of Topper Price, Wick Larsen, John Anthony, Harold Floyd, Mike Connell and Twiggs, the legendary Allman Brothers tour manager (who toted around Duane Allman’s Les Paul, by the way). Mike—who I always knew as Rat—also played with Snow Rabbit. As far as drumming goes, Rat had great time, swing and feel. He was the best shuffle drummer I ever played with or heard. So rest in peace, Mike. Tell Hank and Topper and Wick and them I said hello.
As you can see from my new lick of the day, I am enjoying my new Fredholm and Recording King guitars! It’s an embarrassment of riches. To top it all off, I’m about to do my first run of Trigger Hippy shows! I am very excited about this band. It’s yet another embarrassment of riches—-Joan Osborne, Jackie Greene, Steve Gorman, Nick Govrik—-folks whose records I’ve bought—folks who have been longtime friends—folks who I admire and dig. So now I get to be in a band with them. The fact that Audley Freed—another friend and musical hero—was my predecessor in Trigger Hippy is not something I take lightly. At the same time, it’s a rock n roll band, and that is something I understand. So it’s with a happy heart and blisters on me fingers that I head off on yet another road trip with a new band—Trigger Hippy.
Last weekend was one my best solo weekends ever. I feel like I’m learning new ways to play my songs by myself. All the time I’ve put in learning to use a thumbpick and play fingerstyle is paying off. I still have a lot of work to do. And now, of course, I’m going back to electric guitar with Trigger Hippy, so it’s time to shift gears yet again. It will be a welcome opportunity to dust off my Novelli and Fender guitars, and crank up the Burriss Amps.
But theres more…Emmylou Harris has tour dates throughout the Summer and Fall, in the US, Canada and Europe. I will be playing as many of those dates as I can. Most of them, in fact, but a few were in conflict with existing dates. First dates are in June, so stay tuned.
I am still sitting on a pile of new and unreleased songs that keeps growing. I am working towards overcoming some scheduling and economic barriers, so I can release new music as soon as possible!
Please send up your prayers and send out the good vibes for folks out there who are hurting. And to their families.