In case you hadn't noticed, we put the merchandise and gigs page in the capable hands of Linda T. She's taking time out, a pause for the cause, to learn some web-weaving. Thanks to that net-crazy Linda!
The merchandise page is now linked to ccnow.com, who give us all the ability to use a credit card to order cvs items direct. Amazon.com and cdnow.com weren't getting orders out quickly enough, and frankly I was happy to cut out the middle-man once again.
OK, enough biz talk. So, how was Japan? Well, it was genius. Fantastic, great!
Khoi and I went on a Japanese tour in September 99. Seven shows in four cities (if you count the huge tokyo as only one) and a whole lot of socializing. We met John Wesley Harding in Tokyo and played double bills at each gig. It had been a while since we'd played together, but by the close of the tour we'd worked up a bunch of songs to sing together, not to mention the late night karaoke duets...
Khoi, my tireless piano companion, made fast friends in the land of rice and the rising sun. His growng new fan base immediately dubbed him "Khoi-San" which he changed to ALL CAPS when signing autographs. Sorry girls- he's taken! Visit Khoi-San's website for photos from the tour...
I was teased for drinking beer during the daytime hours, but I couldn't resist when it was available at every turn in machines- the "bender vendors."
Apart from an enchanting trip to Kyoto to see the zen temples, we were kept busy with travelling on trains, carrying bags, and having continual laughs since Wesley is such a crackup. The ribbons of shame were worn by all at some point.
The gigs were great, the food was the best, and I would go back tomorrow. Maki from Lazy Cat put out the Sportsmen CD, and her friend Tsukada from Bridge reissued "Wood + Wire" for Japan. Together they organized the tour and did an excellent job. Read what the Japanese fans had to say on the Lazy Cat BBS...
The Left Bank label in Osaka is releasing a CVS single in December. The A-side is "Unkind," recorded at the now-defunct Brilliant Studio in S.F. The flip is the full length version of "Without A Prayer."
In the meantime, I'm boning up on my Japanese, in case we have to take the subway on our own again!
The 3rd Thursday LA coffeehouse show was a real hoot. Here's one person's report from the scene...
The Sportsmen "Spirited" disc is now in stock and available through Miles of Music, and Jeremy Morris.
The Sportsmen CD, titled "Spirited" is out on Lazy Cat in Japan. The Lazy Cat link has info about the Japan Tour (9/24-10/3) and the new album.
At this time the disc is available in the US only as a Japanese Import.
October plans include that aforementioned Sportsmen recording. The US version will differ slightly from the Japanese release, with some new songs. Sportsmen gigs around California are being booked, mostly around the Bay Area. Sign up for the email notification list.
Two MP3 sound files from Wood + Wire are ready for download on mp3.com. RealAudio streaming lo-fi files are on there as well.
Sportsmen gigs were a blast, thanks to all that came out early this week for the debut. Next we're recording some new material for the USA version of the CD, and preparing for the Ivy Room in Albany, CA on 8/14.
Listen.com, a new mp3 directory website for (all?) mp3 files on the web has featured me as one of their artists to check out. It links to my files available on audiohighway.com, and tomp3.com.
the Sportsmen are coming to San Francisco the weekend of July 17!
See the show calendar for the schedule. No excuse not to see us if you live anywhere near S.F.
the personnel lineup is:
Teenage Rob on bass
Derek Ritchie on drums
Khoi on piano
Dave "shaggy" Gleason at guitar
and little CV wonder singing and the occasional acrobatic routine
photo by Wade Grubbs
Are we nuts? Yes.
Is it different? Very much
How much different? Not really actually, unless you have zero imagination, which i doubt!
The new album is done and is to be released 9/99 on Lazy Cat records of Tokyo, Japan.
Hi, it's been too long. All the emailers requesting lyrics and chords will be happy to find chord charts now on this site. Ditched the MP3 files for now.
I'm putting my time and effort into more immediate things, like the new record.
New record? It's titled CVSoul for lack of a better or more confusing title. Since it is so different in some ways, I'm calling the band the Sportsmen. Unlike many of the previous cvs records, the band plays on the record, and does the live gigs. The record is essentially done, and the band will debut in S.F. in June on my roof.
I've promised to myself that I will eventually abandon the guitar for live shows, at least for the Sportsmen gigs, as I'll be very busy. Jumping around, wearing my cape, dancing, selling the song. Very sporty.
Also, in the facelift of my career, I've challenged myself to sing in front of the audience without the guitar, which is often a prop for a lead singer. You'd think you wouldn't want to cover the goods in this business, but I guess it also hides a beer gut.
I found singing this way to be easier and sounds better for a variety of reasons, mostly because I'm not distracted having to tend to the guitar. At the beta-test show at Cafe Du Nord of this new format, I played a little bit of guitar on solos but put it aside otherwise. One guy apparently said, "God, I've never seen anyone more nervous on stage ever...he had to set his guitar down mid-song because he was so rattled!" Sorry for the confusion sir.
Cafe du Nord liked the cabaret-style thing we did there in February, so we'll be bringing the cvs/khoi duo back there this fall for a weekly dinner show.
The live record is still in the works, I have yet to weed through the hours of live tapes in order to compile a decent volume. It shall be released.
I've recorded a cvs version of Gene Clark's 1974 "From a Silver Phial" for a tribute CD to be released on Not Lame Records later this year.
Lastly, I'm going to tour Japan in September. Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, and Osaka. John Wesley Harding and I are running for the champion title of the charming singer/songwriters on neutral turf.
December's shows were fun, successful, and showed off the new band, which everyone seemed pleased with. Consensus is that it's my best band so far. The Los Angeles part of the trip was a California vacation, visiting the beach zone. L.A. is a pesthole, but there's nothing like driving and driving to get to a place where you just drive some more. Visited the Guitar Center there. They have everything there, except the little thing I went there to buy.
New York and Philadelphia were fun shows, thanks to JW Harding. He's still a crack up and he claims now to have been born again. What's next? I heard his new CD that's coming out next month, and I really like the songs, which is a backhanded compliment, since he didnt' write any of them, but what the hell. The title? Trad Arr Jones. No, not Trader Joe's, silly! Traditional songs arranged by Nic Jones.
Happy New Year from CVS with a letter dispensing thought.
Looking forward to the battle of the Poptopias (www.poptopia.com): SF and LA festivals running at the same time. Why? I don't really know, it's a bad idea, but someone had to come up with it. I'm participating in several ways, more info in the cvs show calendar.
Plans for this new year include a cvs live album.