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Saturday, November 23, 2013

New CD available Dec. 12 and other updates from a big week!

CD design by Brent James
By Ted Slowik

It's been an incredible week. First, thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the tornadoes in Washington, Ill., and elsewhere. It's humbling to see how quickly events can change lives, and uplifting to see the outpouring of support for people in those communities.

Big news on the CD front: all the audio and design files for the solo debut "Comfort Zone" were finalized and submitted for production, which means we have a release date! "Comfort Zone" will be available Dec. 12 through iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby and more!

The new Martin D-15
Copies of the six-song collection will be available for $5 on Saturday, Jan. 4 at Chicago Street Pub in Joliet. I'll be joined by great friends Rich Westrick and Ron Kostka to perform songs from the CD plus other originals on acoustic guitar. Chris Corkery will open the evening, and the great Aly Flood will join us to perform "Red Rover." I'll switch to bass and  Chuck Pelkie will join us on electric guitar, and George Joch is on board to complete the one-night only Big Eddy Springs Blues Band reunion! Quite a night! Word is Suspended Animation bandmate Dave McGranahan will join in the fun, and who knows what other special guests may join in??!!

If the progress on the CD wasn't enough excitement, also this week I bought a new guitar! It's a beautiful mahogany Martin D-15. I purchased it at Down Home Guitars in Frankfort, and proprietor Steve Haberichter expertly installed a pickup. I'm very excited to welcome this instrument to my family of gear!

Steve Haberichter and Nikki Giblin at Down Home Guitars
I was in luck! The day I picked up the Martin happened to be the day of Down Home Guitars' monthly open mic. It was my first time experiencing that, and it was wonderful hearing some of the instructors and students perform. As I listened, I realized everyone who experiences the joy of learning and expression through music gets something different out of it. And when a group of like-minded musical types get together there's an undeniable sense of community. It was a pleasure meeting Debbie Parks, who runs the open mic, and Willie, Molly, Laura and others.

On Thursday I performed "Slowiks" for a group of fellow PR and marketing types from colleges and universities across northern Illinois. We
Ryan Olsson at Tribes Alehouse
get together three times a year to discuss best practices. I met a couple friends who do similar work at other schools for dinner a few weeks ago, and Jessica suggested I perform at the meeting. I took her up on the invitation. It's strange performing in a setting like that, but it was fun and certainly helped expand my "Comfort Zone!"

Also this week I took part in the Wednesday acoustic open mic at Tribes Alehouse Mokena, hosted by John Condron. It was a great time as always. Next week, Black Wednesday, marks the two-year anniversary of the night I discovered Tribes open mic and met John. I'm
very happy with my progress as a performer, singer, guitarist and songwriter since then, and I owe much of it to Tribes. There's no substitute for experience, and I can tell I've improved by getting up and performing every week. Plus, the thought of performing every week motivates me to practice and learn new material.

Tonight (Saturday) will be a lot of fun! I'm joining good friend and expert musician Tim Placher for a night of music at Thirty Buck. It's a restaurant/bar near my home in Joliet owned by the family of Tom Thayer, guard on the Super Bowl champion 1985 Bears team and color analyst on the WBBM-AM 780 broadcasts of Bears game. Tim and Tom went to grade school together at St. Ray's, and there's always a great crowd there when Tim performs. He lets me play when he's between sets mingling with his friends, and it's always a fun time.