My third CD is finally done and ready to be inflicted on an unsuspecting public. It is a mix of original topical, labor, and social justice songs with assorted thoughts, concepts, and mishagos.
“Forever Vigilant” is now available for purchase on CD Baby. You can order the physical CD or digital version, including individual songs.
It is also available through this website. To purchase a copy contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get ‘er did!
So much has happened since my last contribution to this site.
We finally got ensconced in our new ol’ cedar home on Camano Island…after a brief stint in Auburn…two major moves!
We have completed the major remodeling and are finally down to the regular remodeling. This was all precipitated on the impending arrival of our first grandson.
He arrived on St. Paddy’s Day, under a full moon. Daughter Carrie and S.O. Daniel became the proud parents of Jaden Michael Brian Laurie, 9 lbs/4 oz. Yep, a big baby!
Carrie invited me to witness the birth…which I did from a modest perch on the side. It was magnificent…his first breath…his cry…his neophyte mother nursing him…tears from the grandparents…watching their baby have a baby.
Jayden has rocked our world! Becoming a grandfather, I must say, is better than I could have imagined. I have seen the future and it is him! And, for the first time in a quarter of a century, there are three generations of my family alive at the same time. A sobering thought.
I am glad they are living with us…I get to see and experiences the day-to-day changes I haven’t witnessed since his mother was born.
I have assumed the role of manny…I feed…play with…console…and tend to the little prince as needed. I have even learned to change a boy’s diaper…a skill requiring exceptional reflexes…though he did send a line drive my way I misplayed into wet jeans.
I bore the shit out of everyone I can with pictures…on Facebook and in person. The cell phone is the greatest invention for doting grandparent photo display since the expanding wallet compartments.
I know he is intelligent. How do I know? He was only a few weeks old when…as I attempted to feed him he…well check out his middle finger!
That’s my boy!
Joe Teehan, host of Bellingham, WA’s progressive “The Joe Show”, graciously invited me to play some songs and talk about “We Do The Work.” We were joined via telephone by Rich Austin, co-founder/host of “We Do The Work.”
Thanks again, Joe!
“We Do The Work!” is a weekly labor-oriented radio show originating on KSVR-91.7 FM, Skagit Valley Community Radio, Mt. Vernon, WA.*^ The show was founded by Rich Austin, Ken Winkes, and Janet McKinney. Austin and Winkes alternate as hosts and commentators while McKinney serves as technical director and guru.
Guests have included labor leaders/organizers,educators, socialjustice advocates, elected officials, and a plethora of others. Rich and Ken have commented on numerous issues relevant to working people locally, nationally, and globally. They are always well-informed, factual, and passionate about their subjects.
The show now airs Tuesdays at 4:30 on KSVR inSkagit County and is covered in other stations in Washington, Michigan, and Massachusetts. It is also streamed live online (www.ksvr.org) and in archives http://www.skagitdemocrats.org/?page_id=246
I have appeared twice on the show, once solo and once with one of my political and music co-conspirator, Mike Dumovich.
Well, Ken and Rich are taking sabbaticals to attend to union matters and other flights of fancy. They have asked Mike and me to fill in during their absences. We should be in the host chairs some time in March. Fortunately, Janet will remain to provide adult supervision.
Meanwhile, we have begun recording interviews and other features that include poetry, music, and other performance art. By the time we are actually live, we’ll have so much pre-recorded stuff in the pipeline, neither of us will actually have to show up.
For more information and background:
* Mt. Vernon is the ancestral home of media vermin Glenn Beck, which makes doing the show so much sweeter.
^ Mt. Vernon is occasionally referred to, on the show, as Glennbeckistan, which is purely coincidental.
It’s been awhile since my last posting. Lots of life-changing events.
2013 has gone to wherever old years go…it was an emotional one.
We moved twice…finally settling on Camano Island, about an hour northwest of Seattle, overlooking Port Susan Bay and the Cascade Mountains. We lost two pets, my dog, Kelly, and our favorite cat, Milo. Gordo, Milo’s formerly introverted brother, and our sole remaining cat, has come out of his shell and grown into the role of family cat. We are proud of him.
Biggest news is our daughter,Carrie, expecting our first grandchild this March. She and sweetie, Daniel, made the move with us to Camano and I have already been primed for “mannyhood.”
Amid all the mishagos I have made some headway on my long-awaited by me) third cd. I have had the fortune to tap the talents of my friend, Greg Deer, to work on the musical arrangements…such as they are… and Greg will be playing the main guitar parts. He has also been coaching me on singing and has had the audacity to insist I not chew gum at the same time. Hmmm.
Also, am slowly getting back to public performing. Somehow, through miscommunication, I missed a scheduled gig at SoulFood Books in Redmond a week ago…not a great start to a New Year. One date I will be sure to keep is this Saturday night at The Black Dog in Snoqualmie where my special guests will be the fantastic duo of Mike Antone and Camelia Jade. Greg, hopefully, will be joining me because we need the practice prior to hitting the studio.
My political and music hero, Mike Dumovich and I have been asked to serve as fill-in hosts on the KSVR-FM (Skagit Valley) “We Do the Work” weekly radio show. Founders and hosts Rich Austin and Ken Winkes, will be off for a month or so attending to union and other business. We tape the first show this Friday…our first interview: Rich Austin, Ken Winkes, and co-founder/engineer, Janet McKinney. The topic: Why in hell would you entrust your precious show to the likes of Dumovich and me? Broadcast dates will be announced.
It’s good to be back!
Move over, Reggie Jackson; meet the new Mr. October!
What a great honor!
I am the “member of the month” for the Musicians Association of Seattle (local 76-493, AFM) for 10/13.
As a young folkie back in “the day,” union and labor rights seemed a settled issue. Social activism at the time was largely centered on civil rights and the Vietnam War which pretty much merged into the overall march toward social justice…which seemed to be progressing quite nicely, thank you!
Now, here in the future things don’t look so good. The wheels have come off and the engine is sputtering. Civil rights are being curtailed by massive waves of voter suppression. We have developed a full scale war economy and the Empire soldiers on. The labor movement has been assaulted with malice unseen since the 1930’s. Union membership is low…with, by no coincidence here, dramatic reductions in standards of living throughout the country.
I took up the union banner by organizing two Seattle-based benefit concerts to raise funds and awareness for the Wisconsin recall elections. One of our guest speakers was then Rep. Jay Inslee, our current governor. Another speaker was Mark Lowry, president of the Northwest Washington Central Labor Council, who had earlier recruited me perform at the group’s first annual Labor Day picnic. My friends and I have been there each year since. Mark is transit driver in the northwest corner of our state, president of his ATU and my labor mentor.
Since that time I have worn the union label, joining AFM in 2011. performing at various labor and social justice events. Most recently I organized two concerts for the berry pickers up in Skagit County who are waging a courageous fight for dignity and fair pay with Sakuma Bros. Farms…who refuse to negotiate in good faith, employing various and sundry intimidation techniques to stall the process.
Motter Snell, president of my local (76-493, AFM), concerned that the right-to-work forces were concentrating there efforts to undo our tradition of labor progress, going back to the famous Wobbly Spokane actions of 100 years ago, asked me to create a song as a response. , “Right To Work Is Wrong” was recorded at Audio Logic, a union studio in Seattle, and is currently posted on the website at
Brain Trust: Mark Lowry, pres., NWCLC, Michele Stelovich, Sec’y-Treas.
For the third year in a row, Greg Deer, Mike Dumovich, and Greg Deer celebrated our new tradition by performing at the Northwest Central Labor Council’s annual Labor Day picnic. Coincidentally, it was the 3rd annual such event…so we were proud to have become part of the tradition.
Mark Lowry, president of NWCLC is one of my personal heroes and mentor in the fight for workers’ rights. It was Mark, who originally extended the invitation to perform two years ago, when I was just learning the state of the labor movement and the overwhelming obstacles facing it. After that phone conversation…I was all in. So were the boys…Mike, Greg, and JW.
Angelic Guillen, Chicana poet y mi hermana
U.S. Reps. Del Benes and Larsen shared thoughts and spoke about working issues and, of course, the deepening crisis of Syria.
This year was particularly sweet as there was representation and presentations by the Sakuma Bros. farm workers along with their friends and supporters from Community to Community Development.
Ramon, democratically elected president of farmworkers’ negotiating council (left) along with C2C’s Rosalinda and Edgar,
Several were from the worker-elected negotiating committee who shared information on working conditions, wages, the status of negotiations, and localized boycotts. Their fellow guests at the picnic, representing most union locals dug into their pockets and contributed generously to the fund.
Once again, I was proud to be a union man in solidarity with my brothers and my sisters.
Viva La Picnic!