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Tales From Camp Lure - Spring 2007

Greetings from Camp Lure …

On the open road. Wild woods and fields. Swollen rivers, April deep. Winter beaten farm house. Thirsty for new spring paint. Black crows and buzzards. Dead red fox. The ghosts of the last snow still peeking out from the shadows of the pines. I’m heading north on Route 8 along the Unadilla. I’ve got some dark chocolate, black licorice, a few cigarettes and a bottle of cold tea to keep me going. My good friends, Rick and Cathy Balsey, gave me a care package of CDs back in Philly. Kelly Parde Kooper and some vintage Chicago blues. The best stuff I’ve heard in a long time. Thanks. Soon I’ll cut out thru the city of Utica, thru the abandoned brick canyons of warehouses and defunct factories. Then into the foothills of the Adirondacks, across the Black River and the Blue Line. Then I’ll be home. Surrounded by the things I love best- the big trees, the diamond waters and the old ways of slow change, patience and grace.

I’ll be up at the lodge at Camp Lure. Among the glowing logs and cracked oil paintings (all the stuff I love) some ancient fishing gear and legendary lures sit around on table tops like old soldiers, their bright patterns darkened and scarred from the battles of their past. I’ve got an old Guild guitar up there that was 25 years old when I bought it 25 years ago. It’s not in perfect shape, but either am I. It’s finish is cracked and golden with age. I wore a notch in the sound hole with my flat pick and little finger. It lays around the cabin. Lays on the bed or leans against the wall or a chair. It never leaves the camp. It sounds great even with dead strings and it holds its tuning better than any guitar I own. I’ve written a lot of bad songs over the years which I hope no one will ever hear. But I’ve never written a bad song on that guitar. She’s a demanding mistress. I get excited just looking at her. There are leather bound books and bamboo fly rods. Trusty bird guns, some gifts, from the near and dear. Antique furniture and rare oriental rugs. All the things I’ve collected over the years. Things that keep giving. Things I can count on. Like old friends.

Pete Heitzman and Karen Savoca are producing my new record. They live and work in upstate New York, in an old church, surrounded by ancient tomb stones. A damp heavy fog lay over the place when I got there in late March. But Pete and Karen had a warm fire going in the parlor and we sat around and talked and played songs and got to know each other. We were fast friends and made some good music together. They are talented musicians and Karen sings like a bird. She can cook too. If she’s cookin’ and singin’ at the same time you’re a dead man. Knocked out, she’s that good. Pete Heitzman is an angel of a man, but plays the guitar like the devil Himself. They both lavished me with kindness and hospitality when I was there at Alcove Records in the old church.

Pete and Karen have some nice old Guild guitars up at their place as well and I fell in love with Pete’s vintage F-47. I played that guitar over most of the record. It was the guitar that Greg Brown played on his “Milk of the Moon” CD. And I was proud to be playing the same instrument. It’s honey brown with a built in pick-up and big old celluloid knobs on the flat-top. A real dreamboat.

You should really check out some of Pete and Karen’s CDs. Go to www.karensavoca.com and you can buy CDs and get all the information on their music and careers. You really will be glad you did..

The record’s coming along just fine. We are shooting for an early October release. Can’t wait to start performing some of the new tunes at the clubs and fairgrounds. My favorites are “Blood on My Hands” and “Nobody but the Night” but they are all my babies and I love them so.

I’m on my way back to Chaplins in Spring City, PA on May 11th and on May 12th it’s Camp Jam on the outskirts of Hammonton in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. Every time I’ve played Camp Jam the moon was full over the pines and the lake. I think they plan it that way. It’s a beautiful event. The party lasts all night with great music and beautiful people dancing and singing along. The campfires burn down until the dawn. And the Jersey devil comes up Route 666 to prowl the grounds, enjoy the music and check out the pretty ladies. And this Camp Jam will be more special than ever for me because we are filming a video of our concert there to be used as a companion DVD to the new RYKO  CD . footage of the show and an acoustic campfire version of the new song "Blood On My Hands" will accompany the CD and be a part of the packaging. come on down and be a part of the video! it'll be alot of fun. The next night, Sunday, May 13th, I’ll be solo at the Sellersville Theater. I really hope you’ll come out to keep me company.

So the frogs are peepin’, the fish are jumpin’’ and the guitars are strummin’. Hello Spring, Hello Summer, it’s been a long time. I’ll see you on the road.

Robert Hazard

 

Previous Newsletters:
Winter 2007
Fall 2006

Spring 2006
December 2005
September 2005
April 2005
January 2005
December 2004
Fall 2004
Summer 2004

 

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