Master Guitar News - 2009
December 15th, 2009: Did a quick jaunt to Vancouver over the weekend. Played one song at a private party. Rough gig! The thing that surprised me about Vancouver is that there are TONS of Asians there. I mean dozens of Asians for every Caucasian that I saw. It's like Seattle or San Francisco in that regard. Also like San Francisco it's a gay Mecca. My hotel was right around the corner from "The hottest gay bar in town!" Yes, that was what was up on the marquee. And I must say the idealized male torso on the sign out front was hot! It was also the first time I've flown since I broke my face two years ago. It hurt. And I had vertigo practically the whole flight(s). Being dizzy for 4 hours is no fun.
I just came from a photo shoot for Sue Vicory's documentary film on Kansas City Jazz and Blues. Apparently I'm in it since she emailed me and wanted me at the shoot. I was in a group that included Danielle Hudspeth, Mama Ray, Washboard Jo, Leon Brady, and Stan Kessler. We were jamming but nobody was plugged in, it was just mugging for the cameras. We were playing a Blues in C, Stan was playing a trumpet solo. He stopped right in the middle of it and complained, "I can't hear the guitar!". It did my heart good to hear that. That is the one-and-only time in my whole life I'll EVER hear Stan say that to me! I will treasure the memory of it for the rest of my life.
December 8th, 2009: I've blogged several times about my friend John Bukaty. For those who don't know, John is an artist who makes performances out of the act of painting. He paints to live music and interacts with the musicians in front of an audience. Many times he paints the musicians. I've done several gigs with him and am in several Bukaty paintings. For more detail go here.
I just found out that John is traveling across India, doing 100 paintings in 100 days. The trip, as well as John himself, will be the subject of a documentary being filmed in India as I write this. This is very cool, I'm thinkin'! The website for the documentary of John's adventures in India is here. I can't wait to see it!
November 28th, 2009: Booked every other Sunday from January through August solo at the Jazz Kitchen in Legends. A steady solo thing will be good. Consequently I'm on the lookout for singer/songwriter stuff. I discovered Dan Bern last week. One of my students brought him in - thanks Sarah - and I'm already doing "Kurt". Getting a good response so I'm gonna keep doing it.
October 25th, 2009: According to the calendar on the Blue Room's website the Pat Martino show for Nov 5th is cancelled. I'm disappointed.
October 23rd, 2009: I've been running my reverse scam on quite a few scammers lately. I've gotten several emails from other teachers who've found this website by Google-ing whatever name their scammer is using. I've had a couple scammers engage me even after I told them I knew it was a scam. One of them called me a "son of a whore"! (Mathew Medley) That's entertainment. Another one demanded I take his check to the bank and verify whether it was good or not. (Frank Stacey) Actually, I called the business the check was supposedly from (a motorcycle dealership in Phoenix). They said the check was forged, the lady even knew the account number printed on the check, and said this had been going on for over a year. Whoopie.
Pat Martino is playing the Blue Room on November 5th. I'm planning on being there. If you don't know who he is here's his bio: http://patmartino.com/biography.php Check it out, he's got quite a story!
August 26th, 2009: The student load is pretty severely down right now so a couple of days ago I put an ad up on Craigslist for guitar lessons. Wow - scam city! I did get a legitimate inquiry so I consider the ad worth it. But at the moment, a mere two days after posting the ad, I am stringing 3 different scammers along, holding out for that worthless $3000.00 check to add to my collection before telling them what I really think about their sorry asses. And I'll have more content for the Scam Section of my website. Sweet!
August 4th, 2009: Played the 20th anniversary party of the Sandbar in Lawrence last Saturday. Turned out it was a big block party - festival atmosphere, outdoor stage, the street was roped off for a block in downtown Lawrence - and we were the headliners. There's footage taken with Valentine's camera/phone at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFZhceGR9pM
There was a pirate theme going. Captain Jack Sparrow was there along with Barbossa.
Elvis also showed up - he really fit in!
Thus were all the pieces in place for another one of Jay's detached, surreal moments (See the 2nd paragraph for June 28th below). There are more pictures on the MasterGuitar photo page. All these pictures were taken by Nancy DeWitt. She's the wife of Andy DeWitt who is one of my musical compadres and she's an avid photographer of, among other things, Kansas City musicians. I have dozens of her photographs on this site. If you have a Facebook account all the pictures from this event can be seen by going to Nancy's Facebook page.
June 28th, 2009: Ok, so I played the Kansas City Kansas Street Blues festival this evening. I crossed paths with an old friend, Thomas Walker. Thomas is a wonderful drummer and is now touring with Glenn Patrick. Glenn is originally from here but is based out of Vegas now. I hear he's got a CD out that's climbing the Blues charts. His road manager told me they're playing all over the world. I met Thomas in one of my stints with Kevin Mahogany. Thomas and I later worked together at the Saturday jam at Harling's with Mama Ray and Rich VanSant. Thomas now lives in Phoenix but is traveling a lot with Glenn. He said it felt like it took them 3 days to get here - the tour bus broke down. Been there - done that. Touched base with Glenn as well - it's a small world. I've been known to tell drummers, "I want you to hit the freakin' snare drum as hard as you can!" I never had to say that to Thomas. Listening to him today reminded me what a solid, in-the-pocket drummer he is. 2 and 4 never went away. Ever.
So...this Queen of the Festival thing (see entry for March 25th). Sometimes...I don't know what it is. Maybe it's lingering effects from hallucinogenic drugs I did back when I was young and stupid, but sometimes it's like a switch goes off in my head and all of a sudden everything becomes very surreal. I feel very detached, and in an emotionless observation mode. It happens most often on gigs when unexpected and weird things happen. Many times it's triggered by something visual. Some kind of unexpected scene or disjunctive images mooshed together. Like today. Culturally, this festival was very mixed, lots of blacks, lots of whites, that's all very cool. That's one of the neat things about music. It can bring all these disparate people and cultures together. Because of the location, the whole thing had a gritty, urban feel to it. Dig it. So we start into "Low Rider". This is the song we decided to do while "Queen Mama" does a little parade around the grounds with her Queenly retinue in train. Well, we quit playing in the middle of it because Mama was being followed by a Drum-and-Dance corps doing their thing. Marching, dancing, and beating drums real loud. That's ok, no problem. We just quit playing and I grabbed my camera. So they walk around the grounds, then march up to the space right in front of the stage. They do this routine for a few minutes. All these black cheerleader-looking dancers and a bunch of drummers, performing for Queen Mama, who is dressed up in an Elizabethan-type gown, along with her husband, Will, and Will's brother who both are wearing, I don't know, something that looks like what an English Admiral would wear. They had a bunch of attendants who were also dressed up in Medieval English court-style clothes. That did it. It was the sight of dozens of black cheerleader-dressed dancers, doing bump-and-grind moves, dancing for characters out of a Shakespeare play, on a hot afternoon in the middle of Kansas City, Kansas. Click. I feel very surreal right now.
June 16, 2009: This is my 20-year-old son Evan on a wedding gig.- he's a drummer - and my granddaughter, McKenna Joy Eames. I love them both!
June 10th, 2009: Added a couple of links to my Tribute to John Elliott page. Gary Sivils and Bob Brookmeyer had some things to say about John in various interviews. Added some photos and redesigned the photo pages to make it more manageable.
May 12th, 2009: So today (while teaching!) I did a Google ego-search. That's where you type your own name into Google and see what comes up. I do this mainly to make sure MasterGuitar gets good rankings in the search engines. Also for ego-curiosity! Well, there are at least six solid pages of listings for my name before anything else gets listed. That's good. That reflects well on my web guy and also on CD Baby. I gave CD Baby permission to distribute my music across multiple platforms (iTtunes, Amazon, etc). A great deal of the hits have to do with CD Baby doing their job. Other hits have to do with promotional activities that various venues do where I perform. However, there are bizarre things that I can't explain. This one takes the top prize. I have no idea what this site is about: http://www.geocities.com/musicon27/jay-eudaly.html but there's this poem on the page:
Red as the dawn the trumpet rings,
Imperial purple from the trombone flows,
The mellow horn melts into evening rose.
Blue as the sky, the choir of strings
Darkens in double-bass to ocean's hue,
Rises in violins to noon-tide's blue,
With threads of quivering light shot through and through.
Green as the mantle that the summer flings
Around the world, the pastoral reeds in time
Embroider melodies of Jay Eudaly.
Dude! I just lay my music out there. It's amazing to me how it happens to affect people. I wonder if whoever wrote this actually has heard my music. It doesn't say anything about a guitar - which just happens to be the centerpiece of everything I do as well as the sexiest instrument on the face of the earth!
I also just discovered that I was the 4th top-selling New Age artist on Guitar Nine Records! .......for December 2000! Check it out:
May 7th, 2009: More gig news. This Saturday evening (7-11) I'll be at the 810 Zone on 119th between Roe and Nall. In addition to that, the Phoenix has booked back Phil Brenner and me . I also booked a new club in Lawrence called The Barrel House. That's me and Phil also. I signed a contract yesterday to play Chaz on the Plaza in the Raphael Hotel. That's a solo deal. That was booked through my friend Max Groove who is booking the room. The interesting thing about that gig is that Max wants as much original material as possible. Max gets away with performing his own material more than anybody I know as far as the local scene goes. But then again, Max has a history that goes far beyond the local scene. However, it's been my general experience that nobody around here wants to hear original music. Do I ever hear, "Hey, man, let's hear some of your stuff!" Nope, I don't. All I ever hear is, "Can you guys play Brown Eyed Girl?" I actually took a loss money-wise - I'm canceling more money from students than I'm making on the gig - for the chance to play my own songs. I don't have enough appropriate material to take up the whole 4 hours so I'll do what I normally do, which consists of covers that I put my own stamp on, except on this gig the covers will be liberally interspersed with originals. Max liked that concept. Max offered me the gig every Tuesday but I just can't justify that money-wise. I wanted to play it once to see what it was like and to expose myself to the management there. I would consider a steady gig there if they liked me so much that I could get more money! What's the key to that? Drink sales! So come on out people! It never hurts to "cast your bread upon the waters."
Notice anything about all these new gigs falling in my lap? They're all acoustic solos and duos. No bands, no electric guitars, no drums. Mark Valentine, who I've worked with for almost 20 years and who shoots me a lot of work besides the gigs I do with him, wants me to get my name branded. So whenever I book as a solo, or duo, or whatever, and I'm the front-man/singer, that will be called, "EuDaly".
Check the gig schedule for dates, times, and locations.
April 22nd, 2009: A couple of things have shaken out gig-wise: The Phoenix has booked back myself and Phil Brenner. That's billed as "EuDaly". I sing and play acoustic guitar, Phil plays sax and flute and we do a broad variety of tunes - jazz standards to James Taylor, Eagles, Beatles etc, to more current things like Jack Johnson, Dave Mathews, John Mayer, Foo Fighters, Nine Days, and so on. We'll occasionally do some of my tunes from the latest CD. Phil played on quite a few of the tracks, so with the two of us playing I feel like I can promote that CD on the gig. I've also been booked back into the Jazz Louisiana Kitchen in the Legends Shopping District as a solo act. I basically do the same thing there only without Phil. Check the gig schedule if you want to see either of those two shows.
April 5th, 2009:
Played another gig with John Bukaty yesterday. For those who don't know, John is an artist who makes performances out of his painting. He paints to live music and interacts with the musicians in front of an audience. This time he painted me. I didn't have my camera with me so I took a couple of pictures with my cheap cell phone. For more on my gigs with John go here.
March 26, 2009: Normally I don't get into personal stuff here (with the exception of my accident and surgery last year) unless it affects or impacts my music or teaching. This is somewhat related as you will see. Six weeks ago one of my daughters (Rachael) had a very premature baby boy (at 24 weeks, 6 days gestation). They call him a "micro-preemie". Of course there has been a lot of drama and stress. Rachael and her older sister Amber are both dancers and run a teaching program for the Heart of America Dance Center in Lee's Summit, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City. Before the birth, Rachael had been in the hospital on complete bed rest for a month. Because we were getting overwhelmed with phone calls and inquiries on how Rachael was doing, Amber started an update blog so that Rachael's students, friends and family could keep up with what was going on with "Miss Rachael". Since the birth of Rachael and Justin's son Jimmie, the blog has kind of exploded, people from all over the world, hundreds at least, probably thousands judging from the mail we're getting, are following Jimmie's fight for life in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) at Overland Park Regional Hospital in Overland Park, Kansas. Amber is maintaining the blog on a daily basis. In honor of Jimmie's six-week birthday Amber put together a picture/video montage of images of Jimmie, Rachael, and Justin, and used the song "Faithfulness" from my latest CD. (Faithfulness Montage)
Little did I know when I first wrote that song back in the late seventies how it would be applied, even in my own life. At that time I had probably not had a single thought about having grandkids, and yet here I am with several...and counting! Life is full of unforeseen surprises, both good and bad. I think Jimmie will turn out to be one of the good ones!
At this point I have great hope and expectation that Jimmie will survive and live a full and productive life, in spite of his rough beginning. He's already beat some pretty long odds, and it's obvious that he is a fighter!
March 25, 2009: Mama Ray has been chosen to be the recipient of the Lifetime Tribute Award and will reign as this year's Queen of the 9th annual Kansas City Kansas Street Blues Festival. Mama and the band will perform at the Living Heritage Tribute Show at about 6pm, Saturday, June 27th. Other recipients of this award in past years have been;
The web site for the festival is: http://www.kckstreetbluesfest.com/
More details will be announced as they are forthcoming.
February 22, 2009: Put up 10 pictures taken at the Phoenix gig last night. Andy DeWitt's wife Nancy took them. I've used quite a few of Nancy's photographs over the years. She is at many of Andy's gigs snapping away. She must have an awesome collection of photos of Kansas City musicians.
January 28th, 2009: Starting a new News page - the other one is long enough! It covers 4 years.
A couple of years ago I joined Facebook. The main reason I did it was to stay current with my kids. They were "facebooking" - posting pictures and whatnot so I joined to keep up with all the kids and their friends, my grandkids, etc. It was a window into my kids and their friends lives. A week or so ago I got a friend request from my good friend and a wonderful bass player, Andy DeWitt. In just a few days I have been deluged with friend requests from dozens of musicians, guys I haven't seen or spoken to in years. John Cushon, Bruce Sidener, Joe Miquelon, Tony Rustici,Rick Huyett, Jimmy Dykes, Wayne Hawkins, Chip Lewis and many more - wow! It's a whole network of Kansas City based musicians! I don't have to keep a "panic list" anymore! Whenever I need a player I can just put the word out on Facebook! Thanks Andy! You are THE Plugged-In Man!
Those of you on various email lists that I maintain will notice that you're getting emails from firstname.lastname@example.org instead of from email@example.com. This is because a !@#$%^&*! spammer stole my masterguitar email address! You can still email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All messages sent to that address will automatically forward to my gmail account. I began to notice that my emails were being blocked by sbc as well as yahoo. They were treating masterguitar as spam. Then I started getting spam - from myself! #%@&*$^#%!!!!! My web guy says not much can be done - think of all the spam (supposedly) from citibank, or ebay - and suggested I do the gmail workaround. I can even configure my gmail account so that it looks like the message is from masterguitar even though it's really from gmail, I just haven't gotten around to figuring that out yet. Don't worry, my lists weren't stolen, only my address - it could happen to you too. So if you happen to get spam that appears to be from email@example.com, it's not, it just has my address in the "from" field. So it's not from me or because of me, it's a @#$%$#@ spammer!
Somehow the Feel the Flame video on You Tube got put up on metacafe.com. O well - the more the better I guess - seems like I should be getting paid somehow. That is the cliche statement when it comes to the internet: "Seems like I should be getting paid somehow!"
Speaking of getting paid, I'm really re-thinking the whole CD thing right now. Since 1999 - ten years ago - I have released 3 CDs. The first one, Sound Tracks: as of today, I am $109.00 away from breaking even! Yup - 10 years later and I'm not quite even. The second one, Channeling Harold: released in 2001, without getting into the gory details (I went almost double over-budget on this one), as of today, I'm $1079.12 in the hole - 8 years later. If I hadn't gone over budget, I'd be in positive numbers by now. This one is actually my best seller. It's straight ahead, traditional jazz and there's a market for that - in Japan and Europe. Thanks to CD Baby, I'm selling this one overseas more than in America. Ironic, isn't it? Brings to mind Jesus' saying, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country." My most recent release, My Ship, has been out for a little over 2 years, and I'm $1520.00 in the hole. Before these CDs I was releasing cassette tapes. Industrial Moon and Waiting. Both those projects got into positive numbers, I actually made a profit on them. All these numbers don't count what I've spent on my home recording studio over the years (tens of thousands) or the hundreds of hours it takes to write and record these things. If I counted that, well, there's no way I could ever break even, let alone profit, without some major label help and distribution. Also thanks to CD Baby, the checks I'm getting are leaning big-time towards digital downloads as opposed to CD sales. The last couple of checks have been about half-and-half. One check several months ago was 100% downloads - not a single CD sale! Why am I forking out thousands of dollars up front to put out CDs (and scrambling - unsuccessfully so far - to make a profit) when more and more people are buying and downloading single songs? Good question. There are several reasons I can think of:
1) It's good to have product on hand at a gig. When someone comes up and asks if I have a CD out it's a sure sale if I can pull one out and sell it to them right then and there. Otherwise, I'm telling them to go to MasterGuitar and buy it off the website. Chances are they won't.
2) I still need promotional product to give to people in the industry - record labels, agents, A&R guys, publishers etc. A CD not only has the tunes, but lyrics, pictures, liner notes, contact info etc - or in my case the web address where all those things, and more, can be found. In this capacity a CD is like a real expensive business card. It's not a product you necessarily make a profit on, it's a business expense that will hopefully lead to more income in one way or another.
3) This is difficult to quantify but I call it, "Street Cred" - as in "credibility". Even though I'm not signed to a major label, my CD's are professionally manufactured, complete with bar code (Soundscan - those in the industry know what I mean), with copyright registration, BMI or ASCAP affiliation, and licensing fees paid for cover tunes - not some burnt CD made on a home pc with an inkjet cover and a sticky label - and for that I've seen guys charging $15.00! Please - $10.00 max for a burnt CD! I'd say $6.00 or $8.00 is fairer. Don't misunderstand me, I don't begrudge the guy selling home-made burnt CD's - more power to him - especially if there's a demand. He would be stupid not to endeavor to meet the demand. I'm in favor of capitalism. I know what it's like to do the best you can with what little you've got - I respect that. But there are issues that should be addressed. Do you think that guy who's selling burnt CD's has paid the licensing fees for the cover tunes he's got on there? Anyway, having a real CD out, or several, lends credibility to all activities. I have more credibility in the eyes of my students because I can honestly say I'm selling CDs world-wide. Wouldn't you want to take lessons from a guy like me? :-) Wouldn't you want to go to a club and see a guy like me play? Of course you would, in part because of the CDs. Everything affects everything - I sell CDs and get students from gigs, students come to my gigs and also buy CDs, and my CD's help me get students and gigs.
So I feel like I'm caught in a dilemma here, and I'm not very motivated right now to throw myself into another recording project. It takes a major commitment of time and energy - and a little money. If I do one in the near future, I think it might be another straight ahead jazz thing. Something real simple and easy to record, like an upright bass/guitar duet album or maybe just a guitar/vocal thing with me playing and singing standards, I don't know. Besides that, I don't have the up-front money right now, which is another reason I'm dragging my feet at the moment. But...I'm sure something will shake out of my psyche in the near future, and then I'll figure out what to do with it!