July 2013: In a Nutshell.

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I had the pleasure of catching an acoustic set from Frank Turner the other afternoon for Radio BDC at the Boston Globe studios. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my lunch hour. Frank was fantastic (as always) and the whole performance was such a treat. Thanks so much to the good folks over at BDC for the invitation. I really appreciate it!

Well, August has arrived! Just one more month (well, a month and a couple of weeks, if we’re getting technical,) left of Summer- and I’m determined to cram in as many warm-weather activities as I can before Autumn shows up. July was lovely, and for the first time in a long time, the month didn’t seem to fly by so quickly that it made my head spin. Whether it be because of the week-long heatwave we got slammed with here in the Northeast that seemed to briefly melt the space-time continuum, my lazy days in the picturesque White Mountains and Ipswich, or just because I made it a point to force my usually busy self to pump the brakes and really take it all in- July was slow and steady- and I enjoyed every minute of it.

On a more somber note, this past month marked one year since my father passed away, and while the actual day of the anniversary was indeed a sad one with more than a few tears shed, it wasn’t without it’s good moments. I spent most of the day reflecting on my dad’s life- my memories of the time we spent together, his unyielding humor that he carried with him up until the mere minutes before he passed- and all the lessons I learned from him in he 20-something years I was fortunate enough to have him.

It also gave me a chance to really reflect on myself, as well- how I’ve grown and changed and how much stronger I’ve become in his absence. There have been bumps along the way, of course, but I have yet to let them stop me. I do my best to keep my head up and keep moving forward, and I hope wherever my dad is, he’s proud of me and all that I’ve accomplished so far.

August, as I said at the beginning of this post, is crunch-time for end-of-the-Summer fun. I’m in the midst of planning the last days of digging my toes into the sand at the beach, and the last nights of making s’mores by a bonfire- as well as a couple of other adventures.

I’m just hoping August will take it’s time and ease on by slowly the same way July did.


“But if ever I stray from the path I follow…”

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Last night I made the trek out to Northampton to catch a set from Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls at the Pearl Street Nightclub. I don’t spend a lot of time in Western Massachusetts, so I tend to forget what a peculiar place Northampton is. It’s like it’s completely cut off from the rest of the world. I ended up parking about a half mile away from the venue, and had to walk through the downtown area to get there. On the way, I saw so many different little shops, cafés, and restaurants- and now I have the inexplicable urge to return there some afternoon in the near future and just walk around and eat, drink, be merry- and shop.

I digress. The show was fantastic. Frank never disappoints. He was so energetic, and fun, and full of that infectious positivity that just seems to radiate through his music and his personality. I’m sure I’ve said it before, I’m certain I have, but his songs are something I truly cherish. His lyrics are so inspiring. There’s no bullshit. It’s just raw and real, whether it be about the complexities of relationships or losing your way in life, to the simple things like drinking with your friends, dancing, or listening to rock n’ roll. The message is clear, though: keep your head up, be good to one another, enjoy and appreciate life as it comes at you, and roll with the punches- because everything will be just fine.

I had a brief correspondence with Frank at the beginning of last Fall after a show he’d done at The Royale in Boston. I had thanked him for a terrific performance, and for his lyrics, which meant so much to me at the time- especially after having just lost my father a couple of months before. Frank was so unbelievably kind, compassionate, and genuine with his words, telling me to stay strong and to “keep fighting”. It resonated with me, and still does to this day. He is what more musicians should aspire to be: grounded, unabashed, approachable, and of course, talented.

Last night Frank mentioned that they’d be touring the area again in the Fall. You know I’ll be there.