Friday, January 29, 2010

Two Thumbs Up!

How do you like my new jewelry?!

Looks like something Elton John might wear, doesn't it? They are actually splints for my thumbs, which have lately had problems with hyperextension...again.

I say again, because I had the same problem in college. At that time I cut two shoe horns to size and taped them to my thumbs while practicing. It worked, and I had no more problems for over 25 years! I really should have patented my "fix", because these silver splints look suspiciously like my old shoe horns of 25 years ago! A month of this and I should be in good shape for another 20-30 years. The great thing is that they in no way impede my playing.

Susan Brown is the wonderful therapist that measured me for my splints. I had a picture of her on my Blackberry, but couldn't transfer the pictures to my computer or my iPhone. The iPhone by the way, makes my Blackberry look like a real dinosaur. Have I already said that? Well, it's true.

Timeless II is coming along. I'll let you hear a sample in a couple of weeks.

By the way, the dates and times for my April concerts in Pennsylvania are set. All three concerts will feature my friend and fellow artist Greg Maroney and me, each of us performing our own original music. Our styles are very different so you get two concerts for the price of one.

Friday, April 30, 2010, 7PM
DeMeester Recital Hall, on the campus of York College, York,PA
You say DeMeester, I say der Meister... =)

Saturday April 31st 7PM
Sunday May 1st 2PM
Harmony Grove Concert Series in Dover, PA
For ticket information please email

Thanks for visiting.
God bless.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thursday With Ted

On Christmas morning, I received a delightful phone call from a dear friend of mine, Ted Haddin. As a Christmas greeting, he read a Christmas poem that he had written, then dropped the phone and played the beautiful Coventry Carol for me on his 250-year-old violin.

Ted's a true Rennaissance man, with an astonishing range of talents and interests. He is a published author and poet, a former professor at UAB, he taught not only English literature, but Russian, German and French literature as well. He is also a very fine musician and gifted raconteur.

So, bright and early Thursday morning, Virginia Jones ( my new photographer-in-residence, remember?) and I set out to pay Ted a visit at his home. He serenaded us with some old standards, a little Fritz Kreisler, and at Virginia's request, a lovely rendition of La Vie en Rose. I even accompanied him in a performance of a Corelli sonata.

Ted and his violin

If you happen to find yourself in Birmingham on a Friday night, you can catch Ted performing at Nabeel's, a neighborhood restaurant known for its great Mediterranean cuisine.

As our visit came to a close, Ted smiled, and said, "I have a present for you." Imagine my surprise when he handed me an old impossible to find Melodiya recording of Vladimir Ashkenazy playing all the Chopin etudes and Liszt's Mephisto Waltz. Ashkenazy made this recording when he was 17 years old. He plays the etudes in a masterful way, and his performance of the Mephisto Waltz will send chills up your spine. He plays the leaps at the end faster than anyone alive. I always thought he must go to sleep every night with a smile on his face, thinking, "I'm the only one in the world who can do that." I have been looking for this recording for 30 years, and was absolutely bowled over by Ted's thoughtful gift.

Ted dedicated the following poem to me, saying that it was my music that inspired it. I was flattered by his kind and beautiful words.

( for Michael Dulin)

In the afternoon of evening

before morning came

I knew where I was going

down a certain lane,

and then it was morning

and the way I had come

reminded me of singing

I had heard in the evening,

a voice so pure and lovely

carrying itself along

I didn't want it to end

or a single note be wrong.

This singing sang to me

as if it did belong

to everything we know

in all the world's song.
Ted Haddin

Thursday, January 14, 2010


My news will have to wait until Virginia comes back from Paris, which should be in 3 or 4 days. It's terrible to admit that I am so dependant on her for assembling the blog.

Whenever I mention Virginia, I am referring to Virginia Jones, friend, photographer, shipping guru, and toast of three continents (okay, two.)

Perhaps I'll ask her to follow me wherever I go, as my photographer-in-residence. Sort of like Michael Jackson's combination bodyguard/personal magician. No lie, that was his official title.

When I was playing with the Temptations in Las Vegas, Michael Jackson happened to be in Vegas at the same time. Michael LOVES (loved, sorry) Dennis Edwards, and although Michael was afraid to go out in public, he sent his personal magician/bodyguard to our dressing room to pay Michael's respects, and while he was there he did a few magic tricks for us. Wish I could remember his name...

You can check out Virginia's Paris trip by visiting

Come back next week when order has been restored to the universe.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

Have you made any new year’s resolutions? I have made one – to be more organized.

I seem to spend half my time trying to find the thing that I had in my hand only two minutes ago.

Juggling so many activities – practicing classical piano, practicing my own music, composing, recording, managing and working in two studios plus running the record company – is a real challenge for me, and I often don’t do it very well.

This year I hope to do better…

Virginia, my blogmeister, has left me for a week in Paris. Can you believe that?! I am doing this post myself, hence its brevity - and errors, if you find any. Next week will be a masterpiece, I’m sure. =)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Christmas Redux

You've heard of a horse doctor, haven't you? Well our daughter Anna actually IS one - rather an equine vet as she'll be quick to tell you. She is in the middle of a one-year internship at an equine clinic in Florida. She and her dog Tucker spent a few happy days at Christmas with us. Anna is fun and fearless, and we love having her around. We were sad to see her go.....

Here's a shot of our beautiful girl.

Anna in the kitchen on Christmas Day

Now Tucker is a piece of work. He was SUPPOSED to be a full-blooded Bull Mastiff - at least that's what we thought we were buying. By the time we discovered that he was a mutt, (part Bull Mastiff and part Greyhound, at least that's what I think) Anna loved him and wouldn't hear of returning him. Love (hers) trumped outraged sense of justice (mine). Or headstrong daughter trumps doting parents. Take your choice.

Tucker scares Riley to DEATH. Whenever Tucker enters the room, Riley instantly becomes a statue. It's as if he thinks that by standing still he will be invisible. Riley did have one manly moment, though. Tucker tried to nose in on Riley's food and he tore into Tucker with a terrible roar. I cheered him on, but the ladies were very ashamed of Riley for his inhospitable behavior.

Tucker the 10th reindeer, in front of our tree.

I had to look up the number of Santa's reindeer, by the way. I lead a very sheltered life. =)

On December 26th, Jan played reveille about 7 AM and a mere 12 hours later, not a single remnant of the Christmas holidays remained in our house. An archaeologist would swear that Christmas had never existed here. Did I mention that Jan likes to be busy?

I bought myself a new iPhone for Christmas, and I LOVE it! I also surprised Jan with a new 13-inch MacBook Pro. (We also have a couple of Dells, but I use them mainly for target practice.)

Sorry to tell you this, but I am discontinuing the weekly download until Timeless II is finished. I'm in the middle of what Beethoven called a "raptus", so I have to take advantage of the inspiration while it's here.

Happy New Year,
May God bless you richly in 2010.
Welcome to my News Page. This is where you will find up to the minute information about recording projects, new releases, upcoming performances and more. You will want to visit every week because each FridayI will be offering a new original song for you to! In addition, from time to time I will be sharing studio happenings, what I am listening to, favorite books, and glimpses into my personal life. Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions on what you would like to know about me and my music.


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