A Letter from Dirk

I welcome myself back and salute you all, dearest email list participators!

I actually got back something like two weeks ago and have been hangin’ with my kids, catchin’ up on stuff and resting. It was a good tour.  We did 10 concerts in 10 cities in 11 days, then the band flew home and I stayed to do a final concert for the book, “Alias I (all the songs of Yours Truly 1966-2009)” which is in stores in Italy. My friend Bob Formignani accompanied me on lead guitar. It was held at the Ferrara Jazz Club, which is in a beautiful, circular, medieval structure built into the ancient city wall.

It was great playing with the band.  We just keep getting better and tighter. The tour was named “The 30th Anniversary of THUG OF LOVE tour”. There was so much for us to learn because we were doing that entire album and hadn’t played many of those songs in years and, in some cases, only Don and I had ever played them. We only had one rehearsal as a complete band in Ferrara before the tour began. The first gig was at Big Mama, my favorite club in Rome. I had decided to play MOSES AND ME solo because it seemed to me to be pretty powerful played solo and it would be one less thing for the band to have to remember.  As it turned out, during sound check before one of the early gigs, I decided to try it with the band. The only direction I gave was, “Play it like I SHOULD’VE NEVER LEFT TEXAS” and the guys improvised a beautiful arrangement first attempt!  I called that song every night for the rest of the tour and it will be on the CD/DVD that will be coming out sometime in the fall. What a band! Usually it takes a couple of rehearsals for the band to gel but this time we were all in THE SPACE from the very first gig. What a band! 

In case you don’t know, the band is:  From New Jersey, Don Evans on lead guitar.  Don and I started playing together in the 70’s right after my first album YOU CAN SING ON THE LEFT OR BARK ON THE RIGHT was released. It would be my first real tour in The Big Time. Don had just left The Billy Joel Band before auditioning for me and after a half hour of playing and loving everything he did on every song, I knew he was the perfect guy for my music. Don’s work on my stuff is like what George’s work is to The Beatle’s stuff… always the perfect part for the song. It’s uncanny. Don is one of the rare ones. He loves painting songs with his instrument to complete and make them more beautiful rather than stepping out into the spotlight and doing the guitar slinger thing (tho’ he can certainly knock you out doing that too).  We ended up co-producing MEET ME AT THE CRUX and THUG OF LOVE together as well as some of the albums in ‘part 3’ of my strange and often trying but overall cool career.

Eric Westphal plays bass and, with Don, handles backup vocals. I met Eric in Stockton, California where ‘part 2’ of my little saga began. He’s Music to the bone and the perfect bass man for my stuff.  Actually, a lot of ‘my stuff’ is also Eric’s stuff too because, over the years, we’ve written lots of songs together. Eric is one amazing cat  He hold’s down a serious fulltime job while, at the same time, working not only with me but with multiple and varied other musical projects. Only once, as far as I know, while cleaning a swimming pool dressed to the nines in a suit and tie, has he fallen in. He is my remarkable and unique little brother.

Tim Seifert I often introduce as Tim ‘Feel’ Seifert.  He’s one sensitive guy and his drumming is the same.  It’s absolutely musical. In my long career I have had the opportunity to play with quite a few world-class drummers and Tim easily fits right in there. Never do I feel like he’s pulling or pushing.  He’s always right ‘in there’. Tim’s main challenge playing this music is holding back and keeping it simple. Because he has so many chops, I imagine them all standing around in the background in his mind grousing and complaining because they don’t get enough chances to come out and dance. Tim needs to play complicated jazz and polyrhythmic Latin stuff to air out his troops from time to time. I’ve never seen a drummer more adept at taking a drum kit, no matter how sketchy, and tweaking and tuning it ‘til it sounds absolutely great.

So I’m now working on a theatrical piece written around some of my lyrics that I’ll be performing with a theater group in Dozza, Italy this summer.  I have a backlog of unrecorded songs I’m always adding to, of course.  And Memorial Day Weekend we’ll be playing the Topanga Festival in the LA area as well as the annual Waldo Fest in Stockton the weekend after.  Please stay tuned.  We’ll be adding dates in the near future and we’ll be posting them on the site.
    
My absolute very best to you and yours, friends.

Dirk

 

 

 

 
 
 







 

 









 
 


 

For more information: dirkhamilton.com

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