Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist  

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Journal   November 2004

Greg walking on the beach in Clearwater solarized in photoshop

November 30, 2004
It is a good day to be alive. Thanksgiving was really wonderful. It was the best turkey I have ever eaten. Andie out did herself again. The company was good. It was nice to have Sarah at home for a day. Freedom called with Thanksgiving wishes. Chani left a message. Family is fine. I had adventures in garbage hauling over the weekend. I say that to share that God is good because, once again, the van from hell broke down on the way back from the dump. Of course the dump closed 10 minutes early, so the van was full of garbage when the transmission decided to take a leave of absence. The road has no pull off space and people fly down it. It a continuous series of hills and turns and a very dangerous place to break down. I said God please get me to a shoulder. He did. A man pulled up behind me when I stopped. He has the same van and told me I had lost my transmission fluid. Now that is a nasty smell, burning transmission fluid. So I was safe. Andie came to get me and I said good bye to the van and we drove home. A week later I went back and no one had stolen or towed the van so I added transmission fluid and drove it home. Thank you God. That van has been an albatross but it really helps me do clean up around the yard and I made two more dump runs without any break downs. God is great.
I heard from Andrey again. He is doing well with Bon-Macy and his many other endeavors. He mentioned the possibility of doing some writing together. It sounds like fun.
To my sister Maria, who I love very much, I hope you are having a good day and your heart will be kind and strong, that your thoughts will be happy and reflect the lovely person you are.

November 29, 2004
Well I guess I didn't take the day off like I said I would. I didn't sleep a wink all night. I was thinking about our friends Randy and Terri. I was thinking about house repairs. I was doing mental plumbing, electrical and roofing work. I was siding the house. I was sorting through junk in our home. I was working on the computers. I was in Mexico, Florida, Japan. I was setting up the stage at Cafe de Paris. I was writing songs and working on mixing the new CD. I was visiting friends and family. I am weary today from all the mental travel and work. So the new week begins and I wish everyone well and hope to find the strength to face the coming changes. It is good have hope.

November 28, 2004
I will taking a few day off to think things over. It was a great Thanksgiving and I hope the same was true for everyone out there in the world of cyberspace.

November 25, 2004
 Happy Thanksgiving. May every day be a day when we are thankful for what we have. May we do more to help one another and I hope this is a day for a peaceful heart that finds its way to people everywhere around the world. To our family and friends who won't be with us this holiday we send love and blessings. You are ever in our hearts. Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless.

November 24, 2004
  This day has passed into evening in a blink. We went shopping tonight for a while and had dinner at the little Vietnamese restaurant in Everett. I was fun with Andie, Liz and I hanging out for a few hours. We picked up Sarah and headed home. Now there is the music of Brazil playing in the background as we relax for the night. The big party slid down the number ladder and now there is only going to be about 5 of 6 of us here. It will be laid back and that much more food to eat. Just Kidding.
The recording session was a blast last night. Manolito, Ronnie, Jimmy and John laid down some tracks on the songs we have already recorded. We are taking Don Quijano's advice and finishing two songs at a time. That way the project won't take a year. We spend so much time laughing, it is hard to concentrate on playing. Every single person is bringing their inputs and talents to the board so this will truly be a band CD. I am glad to be a part of it. Happy Thanksgiving.

November 23, 2004
  Two days before Thanksgiving and I am ready for the break. Tonight is another recording night and I realize that I have a lot of work to do to get this recording project on track on moving forward. It is great to have everyone together at once. I just want to play everything. There are so many choices of songs and so little time. I am thinking about coming up with a name for the band. Too much for this early in the morning. There is an Ethiopian person I met whose name is SABA. I like that and it made me think of Samba Nova. Can you tell I want to stay in the Latin Jazz venue? Anyway I am looking forward to the holidays. We teeter totter with all the emotion of each day. Our hearts are with Terri and Randy and I hope and pray we can see or talk to them soon. There is big news coming up for our family that I am still processing before going into detail. I am blessed is all I can say. I am thankful for the lessons each day brings and I am hopeful for the future and to learn not to limit myself and my possibilities with negative thinking. The Lord is good to me all the time.
  I will miss Chani and Aaron at Thanksgiving. It looks like Josh will be coming over and Sarah will be stopping in for a visit on the way to her mother's house. Kathy and Dale will be coming over and Faith and her friend Sharon. Rob, our friend, and musician mentioned he may be house jumping so he may come over to play some music later in the evening. I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday.


November 22, 2004
  The new week begins and I am feeling good after a weekend of playing. I learned some things this weekend. First of all, like in the quote that Dale sent me on happiness says, I am renewed from playing. Even though the week is long and I am short on sleep, when I am singing and playing I am healing myself at the same time: giving back what God has given me through music. When I see the smiles on people's faces it does my heart good. My fellow musicians and I are having a great time together and that goes in a circle to the people listening and back to us. I am blessed with so many musically talented friends and when I have an opportunity to perform live with them it is pure joy. Some of the musicians come from quite a distance, like Scott MacGougan who came all the way from Gig Harbor, Manolito Fuentes came from Whidbey Island. The Island music is about sunshine and good times. It is about life. Jamie Phalen's powerful voice and dynamic conga playing create an experience that is emotional, humorous and heartfelt. Ronnie Llinas rocks on guitar and adds that edge. Jimmy Culler was back in the sound vacuum spot when we played and he still managed to drive us with his melodic and percussive bass playing. Manolito is another musician that is of international caliber and he adds his signature to whatever we play. When he plays his flute, it is like having a percussion section, a singer and a wind instrument all coming out of that silver tube. Sometimes I get caught up in watching and listening to the other players, get carried away and forget I am in the band. Scott MacGougan is an inspiration to play with and he encourages me so much by grabbing any new tune I write, picking it up right away and taking it to a higher level of performance. God is good.
 We all go through the dark as well as the bright times so today we send out some prayers for Terri and Randy and hope that peace and comfort will come by the Spirit. We love you guys.

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.
If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
Herman Cain

November 21, 2004
  It is Sunday. We made it through another night at Provinces with a standing room only crowd. There was a lot of musicians to fit in a very small space and a whole lot of sound. My ears are still ringing. It was a crazy night and I am thankful for the friends who showed up and all the players who played. Members of the Banana Brothers, Delivery Boys and Bahia combined to make a wall of good energy and music. I was crammed in the corner behind Ronnie and couldn't really see much of the crowd while we were playing. Andie and Liz surprised me and showed up and stayed most of the night. It was good to see so many familiar faces. Provinces is a great place and Mr. Kenny Lee is the reason. His food is wonderful and so is his persona. Kim was busy tending bar and making sure the band stayed happy. We aren't much for drinking though, like we were in older days. Most of the time anyway.
There was much to do today and nothing got done. I had hoped to spend some time in the Studio with Mike and Jimmy. Aaron, of Fat Cat Productions said he will be coming to the studio to shoot a DVD of one of the recording sessions. Won't that be fun. There were some great moments last night. Today I have a black belt in lazy. Tomorrow is another day.

 

November 20, 2004
  A few hours of sleep have passed now and it is a new day. Mr. Scott MacGougan played the whole evening with me at Provinces, what a pure joy that was. Scott produced, recorded and played most of the instruments on my first album. He made a ten hour, one day appearance on Room With A View where he played the acoustic lead on Heaven in Your Eyes, Let it Go, the synthesized strings on Love of My Life, the electric piano on Make Peace With Yourself, what I am saying is he is a very talented man. He has such a melodic and rhythmic command of the guitar and I think he knows more of my songs than me. Another person who knows as many, if not more, of my songs is Jimmy Culler. He showed up around 10 PM after his rehearsal with The Penguins and he stuck out the rest of the night and sat on the edge of the bar playing his 5 string bass. We played nothing but Murat songs all night except when our friend Jim came in and requested Popsicle Toes. Jimmy sang it for him and I watched Scott play the real chords. I was jazzed up being around Scott and his wife Deb. I visited with Kenny Lee at the end of the evening while I changed out the PA for the bigger band I am having tonight. I previewed a couple of rough cuts from the new CD, everyone loved them. Kelly sound tested the PA by singing I Loved A Cowboy (a song by a Canadian singer named Lynn Miles) and ended by cheering "I am a rock star!".  By the way, Lynn Miles is a very poetic lyricist and a good guitarist herself. Although her CD's are a bit on the dark side, if you happen to be in that kind of melancholy mood, Lynn is good company.
   We had a guest appearance on shaker by Aaron Ewing and his friend Greg. They were having a really good time. Dale, Deb and Andie took turns shaking it up with shakers and the cabasa from the back corner. Dale also stuck it out for the whole evening. Tonight should be a wild one and I anticipate a great turnout, but for now, it is chore time. I'm not a rock star.

November 19, 2004
  This is the double up weekend when I play both the Cafe de Paris and Provinces on Friday and Saturday nights. Every month when this comes around I wonder how I am going to do it. But once I start playing it is all okay. Getting to and from the gigs is when I run into kryptonite and feel a little weary. My friend Dale has been sending me the quotes I have been putting in the journal. I love quotes that are food for thought in the day. I am very thankful to the friends involved in this time of recording. I know how busy we are all and yet everyone is finding the time to make this their CD. I was just talking to friend who told me Latin jazz and especially Bosa nova is popular in Asia at this time. Imagine that. If there is a favorite groove to me, it is the Bossa nova. I love the feel and the flow of the music. I am listening to Joao Gilberto. What a warm sound. Music is good for the soul. My soul will be cooking this weekend. Scott MacGougan may stop into Provs Friday night and Saturday Jamie, Jimmy, Manolito, Ronnie and me will be kicking up the sand with the Island Band. Have a good weekend and thanks for the visit.

November 18, 2004
  It is a cold November morning but the sun is shining. The predicted wind storm did not hit us and I am grateful. I am still amazed the weather people can get in front of a camera day after day and be wrong time after time and still speak with such an air of certainty and confidence. Maybe we could all learn something from them, maybe not. The weather is a huge contrast to the photo of me on the beach in Clearwater Florida. I am wondering if we will see that beach again. The days are short now and darkness falls by 5 PM. It is strange, this season. It seems like late evening by 7 o'clock. It is a good time for working in the studio and a good time for reading. It is nice to settle into bed early with a good book. Andie read a story to me last night about the battle of Jericho, Solomon and the main character of the story, Rahab. Rahab displayed amazing faith in God. Andie does that too, she points out how blessed we are when I am having a hard time seeing the same picture that she sees. The book was was well written and it was fun to listen to a story being read. Andie and I used to do that a lot more often, and now that days are shorter and colder, it is a good time to begin again. It is a good thing.
 I also got to talk with Sarah Maria yesterday. She is busy with her films. She is working on finding a school in New York or California to pursue her love of making films. She is so gifted in music, art, photography, dance and writing: quite an array of talents to bring into the making of a movie. That is another event to add to my list of good things that happened. I am getting better.


November 17, 2004
  I talked to Manolito on the phone and he said he is headed to the studio early. It does my heart good that we are excited to be making music together for the sake of making music, oh yea, and the record button is on. You can't create that energy from individual tracking. The better the players the better the tracks, but when you interact with each other live there is a new musical entity that arises from the pooled talents and energy of the musicians. I love that. It is real. It is honest. It makes sense. It is being alive. We have all the tools to manipulate sound, but so much better to simply play from the heart and put in down on tracks. I have been thinking about effects in audio and photography. Filters are something that apply to life as well as to art. I have somehow developed this filter that blocks out much of the good things and amplifies the bad. Becoming aware that I do that makes me want to replace that filter with one that focuses on the good things. So often in the course of a day I am contemplating something stressful and then I realize something good has happened that I have given almost no attention. My friend Don Quijano told me I need to stress out less. I agree. There are plenty of good experiences everyday. I need to keep my glasses on, pay attention and make sure they don't go unnoticed. I got a phone call from my son, Aaron and it was so good to hear his voice. He said Josh did a fantastic job on the tour and that he was very happy to have him with the band. All is well for him and his family in Sedona. That is a good thing that happened.
  We were all a bit tired last night at the recording session. We revisited some old songs like Don't Trade Tomorrow and When My Baby Cannot Sleep. We also recorded Give Us Free. It is a coming right along. Mike had CD's for us all to take home and for me to mail to John Matthews. I am tired today, but it was good for the soul and I am looking forward to more sessions. It makes me happy that we are all making it every week and playing our hearts out together. Beachin' man.


November 15, 2004
  Tonight is another band get together in which we will be going over some new tunes and checking out what we have done so far. I am looking forward to it. It was my friend Martin's birthday on the 12 of November and it slipped past me again. I went to see him last night and it had been a long time since my last visit. It is difficult to go into a prison setting. I am always secretly terrified that they won't let me back out. It is also demeaning because the security people have a condescending attitude and they are accustomed to ruling over people. Both of those things don't sit well at all with me.  Last night I reminded myself that it isn't about what I feel but about my friend and his feelings. He would come see me if the situation was reversed. It was a good visit and they did let me go home when visiting hours were over. I managed to walk to me car although down deep I wanted to run. He invited us to a show in December that is a benefit concert and he will be singing and playing guitar. I am hoping we can go.
  I had a very good conversation with Larry Mason in which he thanked me for the contact with Miya at Celeste Records in Japan and mentioned that although she indicated they would offer licensing to Rhythm Cafe, in this business you never know until the papers are signed.  We talked about moving forward by sending her some of the new material I am recording. We spoke of the craziness of the music business, our many very talented friends and the desire to see us all be successful in sharing our music with the world. Larry and Cindy both have always been very kind to both Andie and I . I am looking forward to working together on some ideas for working with Celeste Records and other possibilities for distributing this music. Larry mentioned catalogues as being a good way to get a product out and said it was helping Island Trollers get their fine Albacore products to sell on a national level. There are so many possibilities.
  I am thankful today for more moments of life, for my wife and family, my friends, for music, faith and the freedoms we enjoy.
The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you
a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one.
Russell Lynes

 

November 14, 2004
  We did the Vesper service in Bellingham today and it was a good evening.  Prior to that I spent a few hours at Studio 04 with Mike and worked on the new project. We listened to several tracks and made notes on the progress. There is a wide range of tunes that definitely put this project in the realm of World Music. 911 is very powerful and very passionate in its natural and first time of playing the song. Mike's drums and Manolito's haunting flute are powerful stuff. I don't think I will writing tomorrow. I have so much to do. It is a new week and another new beginning I am thankful for the weekend, the music, my family and friends. I look forward to what is coming next.

November 13, 2004
  The morning quiet is muddled with the running of water in the aquarium. Liz is off to Saturday school. I guess she doesn't get enough school time during the week. I am stirring the emotional soup and preparing for another day. I am working on a song called You Are The One and I just about have it down. I am preparing songs to share with the rest of the band as we continue to lay down tracks in Mike's studio. It is a gray chilly morning. I have a free pass to the emotional roller coaster and I am having ride after ride. People on medication miss out on these delightful mood swings. I have to get some CD's in the mail for John Matthews so he can work out his parts. He is playing percussion with us but at the moment he is busy with his Video recording business. It is field expedience, we rehearse by mail.  I was listening to Caribbean Islands this morning and it put a smile on my face. The Island where Gilligan used to live was a lot of fun and it's one of those happy places I can go from time to time in my head.  Where we put our thoughts and where we focus can make all the difference in how we feel from day to day. The nice thing about the roller coaster is you can get off, evaluate, shift perspective and of course get back on if you so chose. I think I would like to set out the next few rides. Thanks for the encouragement Dale.

 

November 12, 2004
  Another day in paradise arrives in the morning fog. It has been so intense lately. I had been hoping that some good momentum might come from the contact with Miya in Japan and at the same time wanting to move forward and just make new music happen. I am considering sending the new CD over to Celeste Records when it is done. It just feels good to be recording. The Room CD was a great effort that represents a time that has passed, gone to yesterday. It is beautiful, and yet tied to a lot of losses and it is time to make a new CD and have fun doing it. I am updating my catalogue to include the last 5 songs I have written. I am looking forward to singing with Kevin and Paul in Bellingham this Sunday. That is a time of healing and it has been a wounding week. I have been feeling a mixture of elation and despair lately. Well, not really a mixture, more a fluctuation between the two. I think I hoped to share in the excitement of the Rhythm Cafe success with licensing but then again, how? It brings back those long gone memories of feeling like I'm standing on the outside looking in. I told Andie I thought I might get an email saying" Thanks for the connection, we got the deal.!" She said the fact that I got an email sharing that Rhythm Cafe would be getting licensed was a big thank you. Thank God for Andie.
    But there are much more pressing things on my mind at this point in my life. I have the ability to say the wrong thing far too often. Robin Williams and I are probably the only two people on the planet who could piss off even a Dolphin. Of course I run epic scenarios in my head that, far too often, don't have anything to do with reality. I am looking forward to recording again on Tuesday.
I spoke to my sister this week and that was nice although the circumstance wasn't the best. I also talked to Andrey via e-mail and that is always pleasant as he is a gifted writer. He sounds as busy as ever with work on his new book and trips to New York. Andie and I are tossed about emotionally by what lies ahead but it is small in comparison to what so many in the world are undergoing. We have shelter, food, work, family, faith, friends and love, so it's all good.
The accumulation of small, optimistic acts produces quality in our
culture and in your life. Our culture resonates in tense times to
individual acts of grace.
Jennifer James

 

November 11, 2004
  I got together with Mike last night and listened to some of the tracks we have recorded. I made a feeble attempt to record the vocal for These Blues. We were just checking our settings and running through the tracks. I only lasted till 7:30 and headed home. It has been an emotional roller coaster of a week. The human drama without commercial breaks can be a bit trying at times. Thank God for friends. The thing about family that is wonderful and difficult at the same time is all the changes that you go through over choices other people make. I have to smile to myself when I think back on my own dumb choices and the way I am being paid back for them. I didn't see it coming in the way it has. The irony of it all is I am still so very grateful for all the people in my life. I miss the ones who have come and gone. I am humbled when I reflect on the blindness with which I faced so many situations and relationships. I get a big E.T.  Kind of pain in my heart as the mist fades and I see how clearly I saw the world revolving around me. I probably still do, but God I hope not. If so I am as unaware of it as I was when I was young and foolish. I have been talking to this young man about some issues with my family and as I listen I get explosively angry at his selfishness. As days have passed, very few days, I am beginning to think I see a vague reflection of myself in his words and it grieves my heart. These are the times in which we live. I fought for the freedom to live in or leave this country by my own choice. I have been a master of flight, a marathon runner in the race against maturity and responsibility. I wear walking shoes these days and I do not run away. But there are mornings when I look out at the road and I want to start running down it and never stop. But I am anchored by love, and securely in port to brace against the coming storms and if I set sail, I will take my whole crew with me.

 

November 10, 2004
  It was a late nighter last night for Ronnie, Jimmy, Dale, Mike and me. We were recording until nearly midnight. I was looking out of the vocal booth and across the main room into the control room. I could see Mike's reflection off a picture there and Ronnie and Dale playing away with big smiles on their faces. Jimmy was running the console and he was just out of my field of vision but in my headphones I could hear him smiling too. It was a great feeling and I thought I am right where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to do. I was very happy for those 5 hours. We played a jamming version of The Trouble With Love, a new song with a kind of Murat-Funk feel. Dale and Ronnie traded smoking solos and we were the dancing band for three takes. We were using the technique of recording the songs as you learn them. I was learning the song too. We did Boody Wah Scoody which is a "smile while you swing" song. I definitely had happy feet. We went to the Islands for a while with a Reggae version of the Hamilton-Murat song, Where Can I Find Love. During a break between takes I showed Dale the changes to Is This Love, which is a tune I wrote in the style of Jobim's Waters of March. If you can't be electric then be eclectic. I think we did one more song but I can't remember right now. Mike was cooking last night. When we all get excited the tempo wants to creep up and go faster. Mike had a firm grip on the reins though and he made us behave. When you are recording, a good headphone mix can make all the difference and Mike wired everything up so we had all the options to make for a perfect mix. I wish I could record for 12 hours every day. I brought over a partial list of my songs, 94 tunes. There is certainly enough material to keep us busy for more than a few minutes. What a great bunch of musicians and friends all of these guys are. I am so blessed to be in such good company and very excited about the outcome. Perhaps even more, I am loving the moments spent making music with my friends.
  I just got a note from Larry Mason and it looks like Celeste records is going to license the Rhythm Cafe CD for release in Japan.  It is a great CD.  Congratulations!
Miya mentioned that she liked one song a lot from the CD Room With A View: Make Peace With Yourself. Kind of funny since that song barely made it onto the CD.

 

November 9, 2004
  It is time for another get together with some of the band members tonight. We are having some fun with new songs. I am writing this silly tune called The Trouble With Love. Bend down put your hands on the hood. Cupid's going to get you real good. Make you feel like you own the world. There's nothing you can't do. Then it will turn your world upside down and make you feel a fool and that's the trouble with love. Those words are the second verse that I wrote this morning. The first verse is really funny. It is a funk song with all the seriousness of Happy Feet.
   It has been one intense week, there is so much I would like to say about it but don't feel like I really can right now. We are in for some huge changes at our house and quite possibly a bit of battling with forces outside our home. If we do, it will be a fight for life. We have fought that fight before and lost and the grief still haunts my heart daily. Once again my prayer is simple, I hope we are on God's side.
    It will be Veteran's day in just two days and a time of remembrance for fallen friends and for those in harm's way now. I hope the spirit of peace will be in the hearts of those who lay their lives on the line daily and a veil of protection will surround them. The greatest lesson we can learn in life is the ability to look outside ourselves and care for others more than we do for ourselves. The younger we are the more life seems to evolve around only our wants and needs. If we are blessed, that view changes with time and opens on the vast expanse of humanity. If so, it makes for a bigger heart and a richer life.
The best of all things is to learn. Money can be lost or stolen, health
and strength may fail, but what you have committed to your mind is yours
forever.
Louis L'Amour      Thanks Dale

November 8, 2004
  Mostly I wonder what surprise is coming next. I am amazed at the way Andie can see the bright side of everything. She points out alternate scenarios that would be worse whenever we encounter some challenge or situation. I get overwhelmed with the current events while she is polishing the picture and making it more bearable. It is an amazing gift.
    I spent several hours running back and forth from the vocal booth to the console trying to record some tracks last night. I didn't get anything. I realized, after the fact, that it is best to move on when you are stuck on something that is not working. I would like to record some of my gospel tunes and send them to Terri and Randy in Ohio for Christmas. It would be fun and I was missing that last night. Sundays are tough because we haven't found a new place to go to church and that leaves a hole in the week. Once a month to Bellingham for singing and playing worship songs in the evening is not enough time. We are harvesting the fruits of our absence now and it is not a crop I would not have ordered for home delivery. But new surprises await around every turn. We all need balance in our lives. The spiritual side is often the last on the list, although it is the most important of all. God blesses in mysterious ways sometimes. At least the plan seems unclear to me. Father knows best, I guess. We will find out soon enough.

November 6, 2004
  Mike Daily spent a few hours on the roof with me yesterday fixing holes and looking for leaks. I spent the remainder of the day before playing at Cafe de Paris putting that wet cement on the roof. Pretty soon it will look like an asphalt drive way. I hope the patching stops the leaks for a time. It is too wet and cold to put on a new roof. I guess in the spring I will take a roofing vacation and put on a new roof. It doesn't look like we are going anywhere anytime too soon. I called Mike to ask advice on fixing the roof and, true to his style, he got in his car and came over to help. He wouldn't take no for an answer. What a friend. He has been working so hard on this CD and it is really showing. I wish I had that ability to focus better. It seems my mind is too often a blur. Today it seems like every thing around me is falling apart so I think I will just lay low. The way things are going, I am afraid to turn on anything in the studio for fear it will blow up or start smoking and shooting sparks.
  I got an email from Larry Mason saying he hadn't heard anything from Miya at Celeste records. At this point I don't feel like it really has anything to do with me but I am still excited to hear if some good comes to some of my friends as a result of that first email. No matter how many times you tell yourself you won't get excited when you hear something good might happen, you do any way. The the torture of waiting kicks into gear. Such is life. Such is life. Such is life.

 

November 6, 2004
  I stopped into Provinces last night after Cafe de Paris and ran into Bob Marcure, formerly one half of the duo, Rhythm Cafe. We had a nice visit and talked about music, guitars, his grand kids and getting old. Bob is such a powerful song writer and he is a master at harmonies. I said I suck at harmony. He said, yes you do. But he added, you can play guitar like nobody's business and you can write. He concurred with my opinion of his harmony arrangements. I love performing live. Well, it is more like a love hate thing. I really enjoy it when it is happening but the time leading up to playing and singing is not that fun. Andie said I think of my music, which is my passion, as work. Not good. It is funny how much impact our perspective can have on every aspect of our lives. Bob said he loves being in the studio and he just wants to create beautiful music now. I was glad to hear that he is playing. We both said we are weary of bars. Three Shades of Gray were playing in the lounge and we were standing outside looking through the partition. We joked that we felt just fine being on that side of the divider. Then it was off to home and I was so tired I can't even remember the drive. And that is just from being tired, not from partying. I am too old for that stuff!

 

November 5, 2004
  I heard from Dave Noren today. That was great. The other half of the Delivery Boys may be coming home to Seattle. I hope it happens. I love when Dave comes into Provinces and sings some harmony with me. We have a great time. It is pretty busy right now so I haven't had much time to stop and write. We are making progress on the CD and it feels good to be excited about recording again. It has been a very long time for me. I was working on the lyrics pages and I have about 50 songs to add so that will keep me busy for awhile. I am meeting today with Don Quijano and listening to his suggestions on recording the new project. He is a very talented man and I respect his opinions.
  It is getting quite cold in the mornings and listening to a friend talk about going to Florida last week made me jealous. Thinking about warm weather and sunshine brings back a lot of good memories from the last year. I think we were just meant for warmer weather. I am trying to grab the reins of the run away wagon that is my life. It just seems like days go by more and more quickly. I am so happy when I take the time to get into the studio. It is nice when Andie is engineering while working on her films. We are the studio family. I think we will just get rid of the furniture and make the whole house a studio. Might as well, that is where we spend the most time. I am listening to the practice CD Mike made and feeling good about where we are headed. That is my story and I am sticking to it. Thanks for the visit.

 

November 4, 2004
  We had a good evening making music last night at Studio 04. Mike has been working very hard on preparing for the recording sessions of this next CD. He is also playing great. Manolito made the trip from Whidbey Island and Ronnie Llinas came in from Seattle. John Matthews couldn't make the session but Jimmy and Mike carried the rhythm. I was tired but thinking, this is what I am supposed to be doing and Andie told about 3 times to have fun. I did. I was a bit in shock yesterday over the election but I reminded myself to have faith that things are as they should be. Well, at least things are the way they are.
I heard from Sarah and she seems to be doing good and staying busy. I miss having her around. She gave me some links to a site called Craig's list that has a lot of music gear on it. It was good to hear her voice. I also talked to Chani a few times this week and she is loving Alaska still. She is looking into how to get her art work scanned. That is kind of expensive. I've called Aaron a few times but haven't heard back. He is busy with Natalie and with being a dad to Sebastian in Arizona. Josh is out and about. I don't know much more than that at the moment. Liz is doing well and looking for a new job. And so it goes with the family. My sister, Maria, called to say hey and talk about life in Florida. We haven't abandoned the idea of moving down there. We seem to be stuck with too many things to do and not a lot of energy to do them. We will get unstuck though. Andie said we are sayers and we need to be doers. I think she is right but I need a kick start to get going. Hope this is a great day. I am doing some clean up on the web site as I can fit it in and I hope that Andie will help me with some web slide shows of her photos. We have a back log of beautiful pictures she had taken from Florida, Mexico and Washington. Keep your eyes peeled and thanks for the visit.

November 3, 2004
  Well the election returns are pouring in and it looks like another four years of, what some would say, GW dangling from Dick's puppet strings. We are a nation divided. What is that old saying says, united we stand, divided we fall. It has been a time of difficult choices. I am encouraged that moral values was so high on everyone's priority list. It is a bit disconcerting that so many departures from that value called honesty are overlooked by everyone: the press, my fellow Americans. One interesting comment came up on the news this morning, you can't elect someone to the office of president by voting against some one else. That is probably a good point. I walked the line myself, because I wasn't impressed with the challenger but I was sick of the other guy and what he has done to our economy, our health care and our retirement. I wonder how all the people will feel when a draft is enacted to support the continued expansion of our interests abroad, when our sons and daughters are involuntarily sent off to fight in foreign lands to "help" people who hate them and us. We will see, won't we? But still I have faith and even after I voted I asked that God's will be done in the end. I even gave thanks, perhaps a bit grudgingly, this morning and put it back in God's hands. I hope we are on God's side. I read an interesting passage in the Bible last night. Jesus said "The time will come when those who kill you will think they are doing God a favor." It looks like that time is here.
  Hey, aren't I a bundle of fun this morning. It is a new day so keep a sense of humor and say some prayers.


November 2, 2004
  Water, water everywhere. The rains are falling with a fierceness this morning. The roadways are awash with the build up and I fear flooding is coming our way. When we have those heavy downpours for any extended length of time the yard floods and we have to wear waders to get to and from the house. We are usually caught by surprise the first time since our waders are inside. If we come home to find the yard under water, the first trip to the door through that very cold water is not my cup of tea. All this rain!
   I don't know what has happened to these freeways. There are big grooves in the road that catch the rain and make treacherous pools that envelope your car in a water fall and take over the steering. It is voting day to top it off, so there will be still more driving to be done. I think it is time to clip the wings of Dick and his friends and get a little balance of power back into our government. The days of John Wayne are gone. It is a crazy world in which we live but I trust God has a plan and yet we still at least need to try to make a difference where we can. I hope the next president is actually elected, whoever it is. I will keep my waders ready and watch for the outcome.

 

November 1, 2004
  We had a house full of company last night with Josh, Liberty, Christina, Rob, Mish and Pure. Andie kicked in and fed everyone and was her wonderful self. It was a nice evening. Rob showed me some Nuendo tricks and helped me work on a mix, Josh played some guitar and we had a nice visit. We also had our first ever trick or treaters last night. Being in the country there have never been any trick or treating children. I think they all go to the Mall or to big neighborhoods. It was just our neighbor's kids so it was short and sweet. Pure also trick or treated us and Andie baked her some peanut butter cookies. Yum! I had in mind to do some recording yesterday and last night but that went by the wayside in exchange for friends and family time. No worries though, it was a grand evening. As the cold creeps in ever more in the morning's I think of winter and lots of time indoors working on our projects. Andie is editing some footage she shot and I have been mixing next to her. It is cozy in the control room of Silent T. Warm vibes makes for lovely music.

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Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist