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St. Nick's Of Niles Benefit Bash w/ McNevin & Friends for "Giving Hope"  

Quite a lineup for the virtual 2020 version of the annual  St. Nick's Of Niles Benefit Bash w/ McNevin & Friends for "Giving Hope"  Join the party by Zooming/FBing in Saturday, Nov. 21. I'll be doing a tune between 6pm & 6:30pm PST

 a rompin' round robin with: Stevie Coyle, Teresa Tudury, Tom Prasada-Rao, Aireene Espiritu, Johnsmith, Sheryl Thirlwall, Brad Colerick, Deborah Crooks, Michael McNevin, Paul Griffiths, Dolly & JJ of Cool House, Phil Bennett, Angie Heimann, Dan Bracken, Sara Glaser, Rob Cassidy…

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#TB /Right now 

This photo from a trip to India in 2010 came up from the memory bank yesterday. I think I was walking back from the chai stand to the place I was staying in Mysore. Some mornings I’d see a pack of pigs cruising along this road. Another day, a funeral procession went by carrying the body for all to see. Most days it was more like this: slow pace, sun filtering through palms, parrots and the occasional Indian crow squawking: 

 If I squint, life in SIP Alameda doesn’t look or sound so different these days…

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Beauty where you find it: Pomegranates 

I spent an hour this morning, carefully peeling these pomegranates from our tree, to make two small glasses of juice. It felt just like yoga practice: slow down, breathe, carefully work through the pith, and then, gold! (or in this case, a ruby red elixir). The tree is just beyond our porch, which has become so many things as we weather this pandemic: music venue, cafe/dining room, entertainment (bird feeder watch!), simple respite, and Sunday, recording studio, as we continue working on tracking, both…

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Role Models 

When the notification about Joe Biden finally being called as president-elect on Saturday morning we whooped and high-fived and danced around the house. The somatic experience of the day surprised me most as a heavy brick in my chest began to loosen. 

There was a lot of scrolling and texting over the subsequent hours, posting in lieu of getting together to celebrate. How to share moments during a pandemic, a continual challenge. Later risers woke up to the sounds of horns and neighbors hollering. Musician…

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November: Staying the Course 

I love this time of year, even if this week is ...nail biting. When I've traveled to India in the past, it's always been during the fall. And I was in Mysore for the 2008 US Presidential Election. That evening, I found my way to an internet cafe that catered to international yoga students. The owners lived in the back part of the house but used the front of their home for the cafe. The night of the election, they let a group of students watch the news on their living room TV.  I was struck by the fact that…

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Play for the Vote 

 Busking for votes: We were invited to play as part of an Election Defenders action today. Fun and encouraging to see lots of people voting early in Oakland. We also learned about, and I signed on with, Play for the Vote on Election Day. Perhaps some of our fellow troubadours would like to do the same at a polling place near you? #playforthevote

Staying flexible 

“A flexible spine is a flexible mind," a yoga teacher told me long ago, and seeing how much I’ve been able to change my mind, and can change my mind each day, has kept me practicing for more than 22 years as much as anything else. This year practice has felt imperative. If there’s ever a call to stay flexible, active, creative, open to trying new things and considering the perspective of those who look or feel differently, it’s NOW. Voting is many of those things all at once: active, imaginative, creative…

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Beauty Everywhere turns 4 

Time flies. It's been four years since I released Beauty Everywhere, a 7-song record I made with some of my favorite people.While I haven't played with a full band in, ahem, several months, I'm still taking in as much beauty as possible these days and was very pleased that Corrina Carter recently covered this tune at one of her recent shows. 

Take a listen here:

The songwriting on Beauty Everywhere leans towards the personal, with songs covering the middle of a…

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FYC: The Department of the West for BEST AMERICANA ALBUM  

For Your Consideration first-round GRAMMY Awards®The Department of the West for BEST AMERICANA ALBUM 

"...what Americana music is all about for me; imaginative, cinematic, informative and last but not least ... entertaining." — The Rocking Magpie

With The Department of the West, Crooks continues to explores themes of natural history,  while also addressing the nature of land ownership and Native American history,  and the #metoo movement and relationship.

Listen: