A new chapter…

Friends,

It’s just on three years since I left my little sailboat in the English Channel and returned Stateside. It was a time full of adventure and more than a twinge of missing my friends. The plan was to get a veggie-oil powered van that I could live in, and do laps of the country visiting friends and seeing if I could hack it as a performing songwriter.
All that has pretty much worked out so far. But I miss the travel. Not like I don’t already travel now – 36,000 yearly road miles, yadda yadda yadda. But I miss the new languages, currencies, cultures, the smell of spices in the marketplace, the quiet of cathedrals, and the chaos of third-world traffic – that stuff. It’s been a tough year already, and this wandering soul thing is exactly what I always used to do to take care of myself.
So it’s back. In January, the advisory board scratched away at a new business plan, which incorporated the new wholistic model and began refining it. That was on the back burner until last month when I saw Matt dance. If you haven’t seen it yet, go hit www.wherethehellismatt.com and watch white boy do his thing. He reminded me of a man I met in Mauritania three years ago who couldn’t stop smiling. He’d biked the several thousand miles down from the Netherlands into the Sahara, and from the look of it, he kept going.
So here I go. Around the world again, making music with locals, and this time, filming it. Brian from Alive in Baghdad loaned me a video camera, and Composite Acoustics gave me an amazing carbon fiber travel guitar to take with me – I could use the thing as a paddle, and still play it on stage afterwards. Musician’s Atlas has already asked for regular updates for their magazine, and the Morristown Daily Record just did a nice article on the new career model. It’s going well.
Tomorrow very very early, I leave for Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic – and if all goes well, Haiti and Cuba. In December, it’s India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, then Native Alaska in January. In March, it’s back to Europe for a month, then off to the Netherlands Antilles in April. There’ll be other gigs stacked in there – Rochester, Columbus, Chicago, Philly, DC and New York – And a book tour early next year when my sailing story comes out in print (click the link to download the last draft for free.)
Friends, I think this is it. At very least it’s a sustainable lifestyle that gets me out from behind the computer and the steering wheel. But frankly, I think it’ll work as a career model, too, like a third-world Rick Steves, only musical. As the community grows, there’ll be fun things to get involved in, and I’d love to have everybody get the fingerpaints out and create this new vision together with me. There’ll be cool clothes to wear, too.
I’ll post regular blog entries, and video if I can manage the bandwith. The calendar is already better integrated and easier to read, and I’ll fill in more dates and places as they become available.
The shuttle comes in four hours, and I still need to pack. Good night, all of ya. Thanks for being part of the community.
Randall, in Rockville Maryland tonight
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