Thursday, January 29, 2015

RIP Rod McKuen

Letting Go

Letting go is hard, so I refuse

Instead I hold on, and choose

To keep in a pocket all day

The chance I’ll have time to replay

A memory that is so near

That sharing it I would fear

To upset the people around

And others it would astound.

So I will not let go for a while

The memory picture of your smile

The sound of your voice

Yes it’s a personal choice.

By Dave Schipper © 2014 Rose Riversongs

Monday, January 26, 2015


My favorite playlist lately to bring me out of any funk... a crazy mix of Christian and way not Christian music..... Ha I definitely resemble a Saint and Sinner..

I'm unelectable...

We are back on the cliff overlooking another race of hugely paid for politicians bantering about how their side has all the answers... to that I say "Phhhhhtttt"

In most cases the answers are compromise and finding solutions that work within our government and bylaws.  Here is my platform that will never get me elected...

I am unelectable:

1)   I’d raise income tax rates gradually back to 25% of Pre-Reagan days.  Let’s not get crazy, but the wealthy have been living in luxury on the rates that have dropped dramatically.  I would reduce their taxes in other places, because taxes are best when they are targeted to influence behavior.  What is a child credit or a donation credit to your church if not influencing behavior?
2)   I’d TRIPLE the corporate tax deduction on the bottom 80% of their workers pay.  In other words giving them an enormous tax credit on wages for all non-executive salaries and wages. Hire more people in the US please.  If you import, think of a domestic model fast.  Funded only if we do number 1).
3)   I’d bring up Minimum wage gradually to $12.50 / hr. but only if 2) was enacted. 
4)   For every $15.00 of Welfare, I would impose a requirement of an hour of work at either a government, non-profit, or God willing a church.  Reported monthly, if they don’t comply the Welfare is deferred until the put the time in an accredited.  Physical handicaps deferments would need to be approved by Goodwill.  If they can’t find a spot for them, I’ll be amazed.  If they can’t find a job, governments should start cleaning up streets and building new parks like they did during the New Deal era.  
5)   I would sanction government sponsored daycare facilities or a credit that they have to pay with more hours at a rate of $7.50. Hey it’s a tough life being a single parent so we should help, but it’s no excuse.  Guess what... one of the jobs available for #4 is #5, but they need training.
6)   Dump Obamacare, and adopt Medicare for anyone but rate based on need.  For all the Conservative banter on this, their 401k are loving every minute of it if they have Insurance companies in their mix; and the Accountants are making a killing on it trying to describe it.  Simpler and Medicare is a program that actually works.
7)   Put in the pipeline, we need a disaster to make any decent policies and we haven’t had a good oil spill that we haven’t been able to clean up. 
8)   Modernize a few good nuclear plants, or better yet build on one of our missile silos that we’re neglecting, cheapest energy and least amount of carbon issues. 
9)   Legalize marijuana; we need the tax revenue; and we could free up a lot of prison costs.  Imprison any one shooting some one else; let’s keep this place safe.  You want to own an Uzi, fine just don’t shoot someone with it.
10)                   Allow Cities and States to charge a rate up to 25% of property tax allotments to non-profit organizations for services rendered.  Yes this might be a hardship to some, but it needs to be voted on locally.  There are many exploiting this loophole and no one wants to talk about it because it’s in Southern states that could affect their electability.

That’s enough… pretty sure I alienated enough sacred cows not to get me elected, but boy this would change America for the good.

For those of you who ran into this blog thinking that this was a music blog... think of this as satire.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Rolling thru the library...

Feel free to guess the artists on the Playlist I made for driving four hours over the holidays... this one gets you about half way there...
  1. 1  Yellow
  2. 2  The Lion
  3. 3  Hard Way Home
  4. 4  Dance the Blues Away
  5. 5  Cannonball
  6. 6  Rocky Boat
  7. 7  Paint My Life
  8. 8  Comeback Kid (That's My Dog)
  9. 9  Double Wide Trailer
  10. 10  Here and Heaven
  11. 11  Born In the Country
  12. 12  Rag and Bone
  13. 13  Till I'm Too Old To Die Young
  14. 14  Freckles
  15. 15  Flowered Dresses
  16. 16  Lay Down Your Weary Tune
  17. 17  Crossing The Water
  18. 18  Follow the Heron Home
  19. 19  Phantoms
  20. 20  When I look into your eyes
  21. 21  sail on white moon
  22. 22  Fall Down With You
  23. 23  Tree By The River
  24. 24  Furr
  25. 25  Achin' All the Time (Live)
  26. 26  Most the While
  27. 27  Old Man
  28. 28  Man In The Long Black Coat
  29. 29  The Storms Are on the Ocean - Aoi...
  30. 30  Home To Me (is Anywhere You Are)
    31 Soul
    32  Ain't No Reason
    33  Fields of Illinois
    34  Seeds
    35  Raise Hell
    36  Ring Them Bells
    37  Share the Well
    38  (ours Is A) Simple Faith
    39  how can i keep from singing
    40  My Sweet And Shiny Eyes

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Six month hiatus

Have to really say I'm sorry... I have a lot to say about the great music I encountered in 2014, the Great River Folk Fest that I became chair of, and my love for hosting live music.  So much to do though... wish me luck to find time, tell me that you read it and it might inspire me more.

The Lucky Dog by Dave Schipper

Ah the second CD… at least from the purposes of organized and ready for hand out.  The first one Gypsy Soul by Dave Zeman I dedicated a whole blog for and spent a couple years keeping it on iTunes.  This one was started as a gift to a fine young friend leaving the place I work, but it also is kind of a point in time for me and what I've been doing the last few years.  Many of the songs became the vocal tracks off my videos, but some I did putz with a little before they got into the folder of choice.  Oh the folder of choice.... it still didn't get originals like Grace or an improved Blonde Attitude, nor covers I love to do like Way over in a Minor Key or Ring Them Bells... still many of hours of work and so little quiet time at home or maybe it's just focus.

Here are the liner notes:

1) This cd has to be given away because I truly don't own the copyrights to many of the songs, including my favorite and the first on the CD, Lady Mary Eyes.  I song in which I took a beautiful song written by Janis Ian for Mary Black, and changed it to a song for Lady Mary Crawley from Downton Abbey.  The instrumentation is two simple guitars, a bass and a harmonica, but it's the words I love.  Janis wrote beautifully but my twists and the number of times I've sang them have put her version completely out of my head.  I have loved Mary for a while... Ha.

2) Take the Dance slides in at number two. My original that my band mate Lynn has pushed me to play in every gig.  Funny I've simplified the first verse and know that I sing it better than in the recording, but I still thought it was worthy.  Now if Ashley helped inspire the CD and now the first two songs about women with dark eyes and fair complexion, she's probably worried if the cd is just for her.  Well I'm a sucker for dark eyes, and wove everything I loved into the song.  I had written a blog post about the journey of writing this song funny how it started way back in 2012. The video is in the blog post.  Ashley, keep going and don't worry the songs change from being all about brown eyed girls, though you might understand that I tend to be a little romantic gypsy by the end.

3) Julia was on my first release, but I still love this song and it was really written for another loving soul that left my place of employment so I thought it really fit. I've already written about this song here, and I've kept in touch with Angie has she has ventured around the US.  She considers me a loving crazy Uncle Dave.

4) Picks up the beat with Done with Bonaparte, a cover of an old Mark Knopfler tune that I just learned.  Oh my I love this guy's work, he can write interesting tunes about history too!  The song hasn't made it into our Lucky Dog set list yet... needs practice, and I not sure if Lynn has time to learn the lead part on the bouzouki, hope she does though.  Again this was the vocal track from this video:

5) Graceful and Grand is the only instrumental I put on the CD and it is one many times I slip into my instrumental breaks.  As a single guitar I've found the style of picking melodies and then back to chords, it works for some songs; though I still love Garageband and proverbially "playing with myself" and filling up the rest of the song.   The song has words dedicated to Lady Mary Crawley again, but she is too pretty for me to kill the song by singing with my gruff voice; here's a different blog post to explain.

6) Family Tree... another song from the 1st CD, but another song that frequently makes it into Lucky Dog set lists since it gives a choice of what instrument to play it on Banjo or Guitar.  I'll let you read more on the old liner notes, but now that I know Jessie at Ecker's orchards I'm going to share it with her when the Spittler family re-union shows up their placard.  Lynn, Sue and Lori always loved my reference to petticoats.

7) One more Cup of Coffee, what's a music CD from me without at least one Dylan cover.  Inspired to learn this after buying Calexico's cover with Roger McGuinn singing lead; mine pales but still it's all about the inspiration. I still go back to listen to it and then my next time I cover the song it changes ever so slightly.

8) Another Like You a love story about a Right Wing lady and Left Wing guy.. Lucky Dog had a night messing around with recording live at home, this one had to get on the CD.  Lynn and I do this live when no kids are around.  Again here's the inspiration from the talented Hayes Carll and Bonnie Whitmore.

9) Most of the While, a cover of Natalie Gelman's beautiful song about being on the road as a musician. While I never have been a road warrior, I have travelled for work and have hosted numerous artists... this song really works and spoke to me to cover it.  I blogged about it here, and she even responded. We hosted Natalie recently when she played at the Elmaro Vineyard and look forward to her playing a house concert at our place in 2015.  Here's her much better video and original.

10) Where you heart is, written for our church's mission statement a long time ago.  I sometimes forget that it was one we used to sing many times with Tim and Paula on lead for ACTS.  Here's a real old blog post from a site I ran for church with the lyrics.

11) Gypsy Soul... This song has always been a favorite and I named the first cd after it.  It never gets played in Lucky Dog; maybe someday... of course I'll have to put up with Lori asking me who I wrote it for; dang if I knew.  Here's what I wrote about it back in 2008.

12) Jolene... another cut from our Lucky Dog recording night, a song filled with such texture from a great writer, Ray Lamontage.  I learned it from a recording of Hope Waits first on a EP of her second CD which she hasn't released yet.  I do love Hope, who is now married to David Carducci and is expecting her first child.  She has graced this blog numerous of times.

13) Ghost of St. Augustine, fitting for the 13th spot an ghostly song....  My most researched original written after a fantastic ghost tour.  Best just to enjoy this old blog post.

14) West Shore... not sure how I ever made this song sound like this... it's got to be written and produced with all the great tools I had back in 2007.  Never made it on the first CD, and the whole premise with the chorus is double meaning of "Ride a Lie" an opinion about casual sex.  Something I have no experience with thus was written as an observer, not always the best place to write from but in this case the safe place.

15) To Make you feel my love, ah the second Dylan piece.  Had to learn this to back up Katie Johnson for a wedding, and when I recorded her to help her practice at home... later I couldn't help to add my voice.  Haven't played the song in ages, but anyone want to sing like Katie, and I'll never pass up a chance to play guitar for them.

16) Opposite Destiny.  Ah another one of my co-writes from the original CD, but it's one of my favorite internet stories with a woman who I've never met and recently fought a battle with cancer.  Read more here.

17) Talkin at the Texaco... the results of loving a great song and having a quiet house for the night... many tracks added to this one, even had the hat from late step dad on...

18) Hard wired... ha just a silly original.  Wow wrote it back in 2005 and still putzing with it.

19)  Eight is Midnight with Rose River and a co-write with my band mate Tim Kolek.  It was Shelly's flute addition that has kept this a mainstay in every 2nd or 3rd set of Rose River.   Read more at:

20) Wreck of the old 97, what's a cd that has covers without one from my youth and love of Johnny Cash.  I was surprised I had a pretty decent recording of the song.

Hey if you got this far... thanks... I'll try to have some copies of this to give out at future gigs.