Saturday, April 24, 2010

Play That Mountain Music

Last weekend Jan and I went to the theatre to see a new play by my friend Norton Dill. The play is entitled "Wedding on Sand Mountain". Norton wrote the book, music and lyrics, and he also directed AND was one of the actors! I had other friends in the cast, Scott Stewart and Theresa McKibbon. I think everyone in the cast played at least 2 instruments, and they were all terrific! Norton's music continues the Appalachian mountain music tradition, and was inspired by the time he spent on Sand Mountain filming the documentary "Music in Their Bones".

The cast members are also the members of the "The Dill Pickers". You can check them out at I am trying to convince Norton to write a " Cornbread Concerto" for piano and dillpickers. Shoot him an email if you think this sounds like fun.

Speaking of the theatre, my lovely wife has an important theatrical engagement coming up. She is going to be the Crabby Cabbage in a kindergarten production at a local school. Believe me, I will be in the audience to see this and will post a picture.

She is also going to be atop one of the floats in one of our city festivals. I'm coaching her on waving techniques. ( No Honey, from the ELBOW, now do it again....)

Yesterday I received a wonderful surprise in the mail - a copy of the first CD by my friend Derek Patton, who lives in Jacksonville, Florida. Derek is a wonderful guitarist and composer. You can buy his CD on CDBaby. When reading the album insert, I was very touched to see that Derek had dedicated one of the songs, These Three Remain, to me. I had no idea! Get a copy of his CD, you'll really like it.

Timeless II is really gaining steam now. As with the first Timeless, I am giving these classical pieces a new and unique treatment, so it will really be like hearing them for the first time. I can't wait for you to hear it! I am just about ready to start the album design process.

I am leaving next Thursday for 3 concerts in Pennsylvania. Believe it or not, this time I am DRIVING! Seriously, the last two flights to PA were disasters, so this time I am taking a nice drive up the back of the Appalachians. When I get home Jan will be gone to the west coast for a a seminar. So I won't see her for something like 10 days. I'm lonely for her already...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tippecanoe and TImeless II

The new album is coming along. I think you'll really like it.

I am extremely happy about the Bach Siciliano, and this week I added another Bach piece, the 1st mvt. of the B-flat Partita. I have always loved this Partita, and remember hearing an excellent performance by Andre Watts at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. I was surprised at the simple elegance of his Bach playing. The repeats were beautifully ornamented in perfect style.

There will be lots of Chopin on this album.

If you haven't done so, please sign up as a fan on my Facebook artist page. You can access it from the homepage.

As the NY Times says, that's "all the news that's fit to print".

Hope you got your tax returns in on time!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Road Hazard

Since I have no news other than that I am sitting at some type of keyboard almost every waking moment ( piano, synth or computer), I'll try to amuse you with a true story....

A couple of years ago Jan accompanied me out west for a concert. It was very well attended, with about 600 people in the audience.

After the concert was over, Jan helped with the CD sales while I sat at a table some distance away, autographing CDs.

Let me say that I tell everyone who will listen that I am a very happily married man, and I frequently talk about Jan from the stage.

On this night, however, it was obvious that a very attractive young woman was undeterred by my marital status. Since she didn't see a wife nearby, she must have assumed that I was traveling alone, and therefore fair game...

After a while, all the CDs were sold, the crowd had gone home, and one person was left at the autograph table...HER.

I could easily have handled this situation, but Jan, who has a sixth sense about these things, came to my rescue. In fact, on this occasion she couldn't have timed her appearance any better.

At the VERY moment that my new "friend" leaned over the table and said, "I noticed that your wife isn't here with you tonight," Jan walked up beside her, so all I had to say was, "She's standing right next to you!"

She looked at Jan and, somewhat sheepishly said, " You are a very lucky woman." Then she turned tail and quickly left the building.

My Jan - my love, my bride, my sentinel...

Friday, April 2, 2010


I recently took a drive to Brookside, the little town where I grew up. In 2003 the town was devastated by a major flood; most people sold their houses to FEMA and moved away.

The town has a fascinating history. Around the turn of the century, Brookside rivaled the wildest of Wild West towns. There were SEVEN saloons on Main Street, and disputes were more often than not settled with the pull of a trigger.

After coal was discovered in the surrounding hills, a flood of Eastern European immigrants arrived in Brookside to work the mines. Little by little, Brookside was transformed from a Wild West town to something resembling an East European village.

My grandfather Dulin, who was Ukranian, arrived at Ellis Island with his mother in 1904, when he was 6 years old. After a short time in Pennsylvania, they came to Brookside.

When I was growing up, the old world culture was still strong. I vividly remember All Saints' Day in Brookside, with the priest swinging a censer full of strong incense, followed by church members holding banners aloft, as they all marched up Tiger Hill to the only Russian Orthodox cemetery in all of Alabama. As night fell, the cemetery was magically lit with hundreds of candles, one marking every grave.

Our family celebrated an old-style Christmas Eve on January 6th every year, with carolers going from house to house, coming in to sing a few Russian songs and being rewarded with delicious Russian food and wine.

I have been told that my forbears in the old country were very musical, that they played all sorts of instruments by ear. I am proud to continue that tradition.

The onion dome, St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church

A headstone in the Russian Orthodox Cemetery

The Russian Orthodox cross

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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