THUMP! Scrape. THUMP! Scrape. THUMP! Scrape.

“What in hell?” I murmured as I rolled over and extricated myself from the tender arms of somnolence. I reluctantly blinked at the clock that blinked back at me: 5:15AM. The day, or what there was of it at that hour, presented as murky, dull and grey. The same could be said of my brain as I groggily wrapped erratically firing synapses around the strange, percussive sound that was emanating from the next room.


You Guys Are Like Catsup!

May 31, 2011
Last night I crossed paths with a musical colleague who was playing at one of my favorite venues, The Lion’s Den in Stockbridge, MA. Jeff Martell is an ol’ singin’, guitar-slingin’ road-dog whom I don’t see often, but when our paths cross it’s always an interesting exchange. Last night was no different.

After we got caught up with each others comings and goings, we hit on the topic most of us itinerant solo musicians approach as our primary, yet necessary, annoyance: Booking and Self-promotion.

Rattlin' Riddim Wit' Wesley


photo * jaime elliot/Tradewinds, St. John, USVI

Rattlin' de Riddim Wit' Wesley

KOKO & THE SUNSHINE BAND is a popular West Indian quelbe, or "scratch band", group from the island of St. John, USVI. Here they are performing for the 20th Annual Folklife Festival recently held at the Annaberg ruins near Maho Bay. Notice that the percussionist, Wesley (left), is playing a pair of genuine RattleCaps made by David Reed hisself! The man obviously knows what de riddim needs! You, too, can shake it (almost) like Wesley...just go to our Dry Ducks Records General Store page and order a RattleCap or two for your own self!

DR & Max Creek - Together Again



David Reed Helps Celebrate Max Creek's 40th

ONE OF THE COUNTRY'S most legendary and beloved jam bands, Max Creek, were still rockin' hard in April, 2011, as they celebrated forty years of stirrin' up the rock 'n roll jam.

As a founding member of the band back in 1971, David Reed was invited to join his old high school pal and first Max Creek drummer, Bob Gosselin, along with original bassist and current MC member, John Rider, for a lively set of musical reminiscences. Among the tunes they selected to play before an enthusiastically adoring crowd of 400 "Creekers" at The Old Well in Simsbury, CT were "July" (a John Stewart-penned chestnut Reed still keeps in his solo set-list), "Crystal Clear" (a Rider original), and "Wreck of the Old '97" (both tunes added to Reed's solo repertoire since the reunion!).

Later in the set, the original trio was joined by current keyboardist Mark Mercier (who replaced Reed when he left the band in 1976) and guitarist Scott Murawski (who once was a music student of Reed's and can sometimes be found moonlighting with members of the Allman Bros. Band, Phish and Jeff Pevar!) for a rousing version of Paul Simon's "Diamonds On the Soles of Her Shoes" and Reed's chicken-pickin' barn-burner, "Back Porch Boogie Blues" (a tune covered by Phish...see "A Real Phish Story" in the TamPro December 2008 WebJournal).

Mystery of IED Solved

Mystery of IED Solved

April 1, 2011
You just can’t make this stuff up.

It was a dark and bitter cold night actively being strangled by the frozen fingers of February. I had spent most of the week packing and re-packing all my clothes, instruments and gear in preparation for my annual Caribbean music tour that was scheduled to begin way too early the next day. Delightful images of blue skies, lovely beaches with tall coconut palms swaying gently in the warm breezes, plenty of sun and playing music almost every evening had carried me through this brutal winter of horrific snowstorms and meager income. On this last night at home, I had planned to kick back, relax, have an early dinner and even earlier bedtime so that I would awaken at 2:45 AM, refreshed and ready to endure the full day I’d be spending in cars, airports, planes and boats before I arrived at my Virgin Islands destination.

The best prescription for disappointment is expectation. Fate had other plans.

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