Saturday, June 17, 2017
This page gives a false impression of lethargy. I am still vigorously writing songs, hoping to demo and sell them. It's just that I haven't posted them here (can't really post songs that I want to publish). Enjoy again the videos of Fifteen Minutes, which is one of the songs my new band will be playing. Oh, but I can't say much about that either. Anyhoo, have no fear, projects are in the works. Coming soon to your ears.
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Today my first music video came out. Yeah, baby.
Oh wait, no.
Today my first two music videos came out!
They're entirely the work of my dear friend, Vittoria Abramo.
(I'm not even in them.)
You can find them on Vimeo here:
Fifteen Minutes by Martin Pedersen, first video by Vittoria Abramo
Fifteen Minutes by Martin Pedersen, second video by Vittoria Abramo
or on my Reverbnation page here:
Please take a look or two, comment, vote for your favorite and tell your friends.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Martin Pedersen has been writing songs since he was 53.
As a child, Martin had three 45 records that came with the hand-me-down record player. One was One O'clock Jump by Harry James (B-side: Two O'clock Jump), Caldonia by Louis Jordan (B-side: Open the Door, Richard), The Barnyard Song by Alan Mills (B-side: There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly). Was that enough? I should say so! Jazz, rock, blues, folk, swing, everything.
In 1972, Martin's 10-piece rockabilly band, SPIKE, was on Fresno television evening news on two different channels at the same time. There were no TV recording devices back then, so some band members watched one and some the other. Then they compared notes. (Currently, a SPIKE reunion is in the works.)
The final exam on the final evening of Martin's grad school education was the same evening as Elizabeth Cotton's only San Francisco concert. She was in her late 80's. Martin knew he'd never get another chance to see her play. But if he chose the concert he would not graduate. He had an around-the-world trip planned leaving in three days. What to do? He borrowed an Elizabeth Cotton record from the public library and passed his exam. Then he left and never returned.
While Martin was waiting outside the Great American Music Hall for a Bill Monroe concert in 1977, the bus drove up with Bill driving. They said hello and then during the break while Bill signed records Martin asked him why he drove the bus himself. "Don't trust anyone else," was his reply. Classic Bill.
One summer Martin worked for Joan Baez, but they never met. She did come eat dinner once at the house where he lived, but he was away for his father's birthday.
Martin owns several instruments older than he is, including a 1950 Martin concert ukulele. There's also an S.S. Stewart banjo in the closet dated 1890.
Weren't those fun facts?
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Well, first I had a bitchin' month plus with Daniela and Mario, including visits from Mike and Cathy and Drimay/Karen and David and Don. Lots of music was enjoyed: Jim Lauderdale, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Alley Cats, Willie Watson, Punch Brothers, Party Monsters, Fast Times, East Bay Banjo Band, Savannah Blue, Audioboxx, Old West Trio, Scofield Brothers, Sourdough Slim with Robert Armstrong, Shrek the Musical. Lots of other stuff done: Yosemite hiking, Giants games, Alameda county fair, tennis lessons, shopping, barbecues, YMCA day camp, daytrips like Fitzgerald Marine Reserve or Apple headquarters, San Francisco, Water Polo tourney at Stanford with nephews Erik and Ben.
But then, but then, that all ended, the troops went home, I went to Colorado, Lyons, Planet Bluegrass, Song School, songwriters meeting songwriters for five days. Was it intense? Like 3 hours sleep each night. Like people very gently telling you that your work sucks. Like performing to an audience with WTF expressions. Or knowing smiles. Like a finished song that’s not even near finished. Like internalizing the DO BETTER idea. So many things you didn’t know or overlooked. So much work now. Songwriting seems easy. That’s what makes it so hard.
The echo rings in my head of the words and examples, the messages of Mary Gauthier, Bonnie Hayes, Pat Pattison, Steve Seskin, Arthur Lee Land, Chicago Mike Beck, Alan Rowoth, Bill Nash, Vance Gilbert, Amy Speace, Rebecca Folsom, Val Denn, Jay Costa, Paul Reisler, Ellis, Etan Rosenbloom, Annie Wenz and the Tibetan monks. The pleasure of meeting and sharing with the other participants, many professional singers already, was great and lastingly important. The compliments meant so much. Critiques even more. And just someone listening to my work for the first time. The contacts will be pursued.
Mary said we didn’t know it but we really came there to cry. Yeah, gotta do that. When you dig under the skin, get inside to what really hurts, the source of pain and other emotions, when you expose yourself so carelessly, then you relive your traumas, turn them into stories, tell others and they are healed too. Intense. You thought we were writing marketing jingles? Listen to Mary’s Mercy Now.
So I’m taking a crack at it. Working every day. Shooting for a roster spot in the majors. Already have a decent fast ball (lacking control and consistency), I need to learn the curve and the slider. I have time to work my way up through the minor leagues. I want to be good enough. My best. My self. That was Song School, a life-changer.
shave and a haircut, two bits