alternate Hell cover

WatThe? After 40 Years, DNL and Richard d’Andrea Go To Hell and Back. Drag Pat Meehan With Them.

Posted on September 9th, 2017   Comments

announcing HellHell, the first of my four (sometimes five) recording projects, is all but finished. It is also the first of two such projects begun 40 years ago. To recap:

I arrived in Los Angeles on June 13th, 1975. Phil Kemp and Pat Meehan were waiting for me at the downtown Greyhound Station. I had returned form Toronto to do a job with Phil and Pat. In fact we set to work almost immediately. I had a notebook filled with songs I had written in Canada. Back then, I played a 1965 Olympic white Fender Stratocaster.  Phil had been studying recording and was prepared to put what he had learned into practice. Pat had become a fine drummer, muscular and lyrical both. Calling ourselves the Wat, we began recording an album. Or two.

Our recordings were never properly completed, however. I blame myself; there has hardly been a week in which I did not wonder how I will finish those recordings. There were many impediments. There were, that is, until Apple computers began including a free digital recording studio (GarageBand) in every Mac.

We changed the ungainly name The Wat to the much more gainly WatThe? and added veteran LA New Wave bass player Richard d’Andrea to the band. Richard worked very hard for three years to learn the songs, and to arrange and record bass parts. He was also tireless in providing expert advice on the recording and mixing processes. Pat Meehan, has bailed on the project, however. Much to my dismay. This fine musician who has been by my side for so many years simply cannot play like he used to. Enough is enough.

Though I categorize what we were playing 40 years ago as Proto New Wave, I was surprised to find how much of it it is not too different from the acoustic music I play today. Not all of it, however. In retrospect, the album could be categorized as Fairport Convention’s Full House meets the Who’s Live at Leeds.

I’ve been completing the final mixes with Fernando Flores at his studio, Chromaphonic Recording, here in Yreka.

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L to R: DNL, Pat Meehan, Phil Kemp and Richard d’Andrea


Los Angeles New Wave New Wave music Proto-New Wave Uncategorized
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Videoing a Ballad of a Man Named Trump: Even Some Conservatives Are More’n a Might Aghast

Posted on September 9th, 2017   Comments

  Come listen to my story ’bout a man named Trump / Poor billionaire, had to move into this dump / ‘Cuz one day he’d been shooting’ off his mouth / First thing you know / the county’s going’ south.  Late in October of 2016, gita and I thought it would be fun to set new Trumpian words to […]

contemporary folk parody song Uncategorized
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How He Found Out Who Who He Is: An Iconoclastic Loner of Acid Folk!

Posted on September 7th, 2017   Comments

Are you having a bad trip? Me too. Bummer. Did we drop acid? No. This is 2017: racism is back. A spirit of meanness is in the air. We are living in an ignorocracy led by a reality star who believes the US Constitution is an employee manual that he wrote and can rewrite as needed. […]

Acid Folk contemporary folk Psychedelic Folk Uncategorized
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Creativity is Not a Mystical Occurrence: a response to Michael Ruiz’s review of K. H. Kim’s the Creativity Challenge

Posted on February 24th, 2017   Comments

This is my response to “the Eight Signs of a Creative Person” by K. H. Kim as quoted by Michael Ruiz in How to Combat America’s Creativity Crisis, his review of Kim’s 2016 book, The Creativity Challenge: How to Recapture American Innovation.  I have not read Kim’s book. I am sounding off out of anger at […]

Arts Education book review critique Uncategorized

What Did Bob Dylan Do to Deserve the Nobel Prize in Literature?

Posted on January 3rd, 2017   Comments

Guns-a-blazing, Bob Dylan kicked the door wide open to the notion that songs are poetry. After the smoke cleared, many of us innocent bystanders struggled for decades to argue that songs sung can be and are literature. Ineffectively, it seems. And some were arguing this before Dylan’s in-bursting outburst. And now our argument is recognized […]

contemporary folk critique Uncategorized
post surgery 1

Slow Hand Healing: An Interim Report

Posted on July 8th, 2016   Comments

Anticipating that you might be wondering where I’ve gone or what I’m doing, I offer the following brief tales of surgical procedures, ongoing works in progress, leanings toward the olde country and physical manifestations. Meanwhile, a fairly comprehensive retrospective of my 40 years in music can be heard here:   Olde Leanings: The olde country […]

Acid Folk contemporary folk Los Angeles New Wave New Wave music Non Traditional Traditionalism Psychedelic Folk Uncategorized
DNL & Flag

IT’S A GRAND OLD ONION: The Autobiography of a Flag

Posted on January 6th, 2016   Comments

I may be the only folksinger with a flag. Flags aren’t very folk-singerish. I made mine several years ago: a conglomerate, mythopoeic emblem of sorts. You may have noticed it. A vexillological manifesto, it states that I’m from here and there and nowhere and thus it implies a love of freedom in all its aspects. Much […]

Acid Folk contemporary folk Non Traditional Traditionalism Uncategorized

No OctoberQuest 3! (some other October?)

Posted on October 2nd, 2015   Comments

  OctoberQuest 3 is postponed till some other October and who knows where it will take me then. This October, it was to have taken me to Berkeley CA: Alamogordo, NM; Lubbock and Dallas, TX; and back to Bakersfield, CA before coming home. I would have liked another gig or two. Instead, one venue lost […]

Phil's TEAC 3340 tape recorder today

ARB (April Recording Blitz)-itration

Posted on October 1st, 2015   Comments

What made me suddenly decide to dive deep into five recording projects at once? The usual thing, of course. Death. When flamenco guitarist Michael Olsen’s died this April, I heard a voice from within: Finish your work. It was an echo. Danny Guspie, another musician friend, yielded at last to cancer on January 2nd of […]

with Fred Perez and students

Migrant Kids Singing Folk Songs from Outer Space

Posted on September 30th, 2015   Comments

If the Littlest Rebel, the 1935 Shirley Temple film were made today, it might be called The Littlest Rebel Alliance and set not during the Civil War, but in a Galaxy Far Far Away. Princess Shur-Lee’s rendition of “Polly Wolly Doodle” might not be about moo cows and watermelons but quasars and super massive black […]

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