August 19th, 2015

Posted by sitemanager Category: Diary

Hi everyone,

I’ve had a great summer so far. The weather has been wonderful and I’ve had a light gig schedule. That means more time for relaxing on the patio. I don’t get out of the house much when I’m at home … I suppose a combination of my age and the travel I have to do to make a living.

I’m quite happy to practice guitar and paint. A steady diet of that might be too much, so, when the gigs come along (like the mini-tour of Colorado this week) it’s like a shot of steroids. I get excited.

Even though I am often at home pursuing a casual life style, I never “let go” of my guitar playing. Everyday, I practice so as to stay sharp. If I don’t, I end up losing that edge.

The new album “The Devil To Pay” is slated for release on September 18th. You can pre-order at Amazon (or your favorite online site), wait to buy it at a show or get a signed copy from the website (soon). Initial response to the album has been good and I hope people like it. There will also be a vinyl release.

People say to me “you’re busy”….. I say “nothing compared to how it was when I was in my teens and twenties!” I worked like a maniac back then. I am having a creative surge lately and I’m running with the ball. I already have 2016 planned and a batch of new songs written.

My health is good (yeah, at my age that’s all us old folks talk about) and I’m told my shows inspire. “How does that old dude do it?!” I’m being self-deprecating of course. I’m very lucky to have been born with good genes …. and a healthy dose of nervous energy. I utilize both to my advantage and try not to tempt fate TOO much.

I have a new guitar given to me by Dean Zelinsky. It is a Tagliare model. It has a Strat-type body with single coil pick ups, but has humbuckers front and back so I can toggle between pickups and get a variety of tones. Check out Dean’s new company and his affordable, professional instruments.

On the new album I mostly used a vintage Epiphone jazz box. Killer tone, but you have to listen yourself and decide. I’m biased.

I prefer Ernie Ball strings with a 9-42 gauge. Yes, light strings. Always used light gauge. I do put a 10 gauge on the first string for live gigs these days, so as not to break the string so easily. All the classic 60’s and 70’s recordings had me playing the light gauge strings. I have experimented, of course, over the years. But I have small hands and weak fingers!

My youngest daughter finishes college this next semester. It’s been fun seeing her take her life seriously ….. in education and how she lives. I, of course, never even graduated high school. But, I grew up in an age where my institutional education, until 15 years old, was light years ahead of what a current young teenager gets. In addition, back then, you weren’t considered a child at twenty one years of age! We had to grow up faster … and did.

Coffee break! Back in a few minutes.

I’m back. As usual, I’m writing in the early morning (well, 7:30 am). It’s my creative time.

Back to talking to you about my health (I told you) …. I have arthritis in my middle back. but I exercise by doing yoga and I eat lightly, to keep my weight down, and that seems to keep it completely at bay. In other words, I look after my body. And always have done …. mostly!

Now, I’m sitting on the patio. Watching our two West Highland Terriers run around. Our oldest died a little while ago and we now have a new puppy. Quite the handful.

I listen to music quite often ….. not all the time. I’m always looking to be inspired by other artists. I have the recent Buddy Guy album and I look forward to hearing John Mayall’s new release. My taste still is with the guys I grew up with. It never leaves you …. right?

That’s it.

Let music bring joy to our lives,

Kim Simmonds

New York