Monday, April 29, 2013

Thoughts for the Future

Now that the Reno Ukulele Festival and our three month winter tour is behind us,
i am slowly gathering steam, recharging and getting ready for what is sure to be a
really great summer.

I have some really choice local gigs at pizza parlors,
farmers markets and festivals, which i am really looking forward to.

Nationally, i will be appearing at The MacComb Ukulele Festival,
Ashoken Ukulele Retreat,The Strathmore Ukulele Gathering, Fox Valley
Folk Festival and The Nova Scotia Ukulele Ceilidh to name a few.

Soon, my buddy John Nicholson and I will be recording the audio tracks
for our new book:Fiddle Tunes for Ukulele, which we hope will be released
before the NAMM Show in January of 2014.

Once these tracks are done, i am going to begin work on a new book called:
Essential Strums, Strokes and Tricks for Ukulele, which is to be released as
a book/DVD combination. Again, this will be released in 2014 i hope.

Many of you are aware that i have been touring very hard for about 10 years now.
I have made so many wonderful friends and fans. I am grateful for the time you
have all chosen to spend with us as we passed thru your town.

In the future, we plan to make our southern and western tour in the summer
months since our daughter is starting school in 2013. Though, the WI winter will surely
drive me to schedule some select dates in CA, AZ, TX and FL.

This years eastern tour will be a tad shorter and every other year i will alternate
the cities i plan to visit. So those of you who live in the east, will see me every other year
unless you attend a music camp or festival. This year, i am planning stops in to PA & NC.

I would also like to visit Vermont at some point as well, though nothing definite yet. 

Lastly, i will also be doing alot of flying to points around the country, where i will do
shorter 2-4 day tours, before returning home; the whole goal is not to be away from
home too long.

I can't imagine anyone wanting to miss the golden years of their kids education!
I for one don't plan to.

                                             Lil Rev & Mariela Performing in San Francisco in 2012

Selected 2013 Summer Performance Schedule

Lil Rev’s  Selected Spring & Summer 2013 Dates:

5/4 Hawks Inn Delafield, WI 7-9pm

5/9 Charles Allis Blues Series Milwaukee, WI 6pm

5/10 Kenosha House Concert 7pm –Private event

5/11 Portage Co. Folk Fair afternoon show

5/18 Cascio Interstate Music Ukulele Workshop 1pm

5/24 Germantown Concert  8pm solo rev

6/14 Zaffiro’s Pizza in Mequon 8pm

6/28 De’0 Mally’s Pizza in Plymouth 7:30pm

6/29 Fox Point Farmers Market 10am-1pm

7/4 thru 7/7 Ashoken Ukulele Retreat   NY

7/12 Congregation Shalom 8pm Jews of Tin Pan Alley

7/16 Shorewood Public Library 2pm kids show

7/20 South Shore Farmers Market / Solo 10am

8/1 thru 8/4 Great Plains Tour thru KS and NE

8/10 thru 8/15 Strathmore Ukulele Camp Maryland

For details and lots of other dates- go to:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Song is Ended But The Melody Lingers On

Irving Berlin once wrote those lyrics to The Song Is Ended, a classic love and longing song.

Such is the case for touring musicians like myself who spend months at a time on the road.

My wife, daughter and i just returned home from over 3 months of touring FL, TX, NM,
 AZ, CA, OR and WA.. I have been making that jaunt for the better part of 8 years now
and time sure does fly.

While its hard to say what i love most about being on the road, here are few
things that come to mind:

1) I love the people who take us in and care for us, cooking, showing
us around, and helping to lighten our way. They have become so dear
to us. I could not do it without them.

2) I love the fans who enthusiastically turn up once a year, as i pass thru
their town to teach and or perform.

3) I love the grandeur that is the American West. While we start our
tour in the south and southwest, i cannot tell a lie, there is something mythical,
magical and haunting to me about the wide open spaces of the "deep west." Parts of
Arizona and even New Mexico hold true, but for me it's Northern California
(Redwood Country), parts of OR and WA...and finally onto Montana and The Dakotas.

This is where my heart really sings, rich in history, big sky, wide open, flowing rivers,
free spirits thrive in this part of the world. Then finally we pass thru the Black Hill of
South Dakota where time often stands still. Where the ghosts of Deadwood and Custer
still elicit and eerie song on the breeze.

4) I love being my own boss, being self-employed and doing what i love teaching
and performing. I made my living as a full time musician from 1993-2000, then i
taught grade school and College for about 5 years before it was time to hit the road.
I never did look back. My heart sure does thrive on the road. The positive juju that
fans bestow upon us is very healing for the soul when one simply does what he or
she was meant to do.

5) I love to see the sunshine. I love when my body makes its own Vitamin D.
 Being from WI, the winters are cold, dark and hard on the body, mind and spirit.
Touring the sunbelt is no mistake brother!

Are there things i don't love about being on the road?  Heck Yeah!

1) Sleeping in a different bed every night is hard on the body

2) Driving and sitting, performing and sitting, eating and sitting...get the idea...
too much sitting and not enough exercise is no damn good for anybody. I try to jog,
walk, do yoga, meditate when i can, but it is never enough when i am on the road.

3) Poor Eating Habits. That's right, i am gluten free and i have a few other food issues,
so making sure that i am eating well is an understatement. Ultimately, by the end
of 3 months, i am a bit shell shocked diet-wise and in dire need of clean eating and
lots of exercise.

4) Dangerous Weather, Car Problems and Crazy People, mean that i always
 have to be vigilant. Mostly cause its my duty to care for a little 4 year girl (my daughter)
as well as my wife. America is a beautiful place to live and see, but beware my good man,
the road can also chew you up and spit you out and it's no place for sissies. To be quite
frank, it takes a ton of courage to set out on the great highway for 3 months. One never
knows what awaits him or her and that's part of the great unfolding, the mystery,
magic and poison.

So here i sit, tucked into bed on a cold WI April night, remembering days
gone by, friends i left behind, gigs, classes, comforting meals, long drives,
inspiring vistas and sweet tunes.

Some choose to make music, others are simply chosen. 

So long as i shall breath, the road will call like a dream in the night.

Lastly, i am grateful to my friends, family, wife, daughter and Milwaukee
for giving me a sense of place and purpose. It was here, where it all began.


Lil Rev