|VOL 17 ISSUE 7||
My mom said she'd like to do an Alaskan cruise. So we went online and booked the Princess Discovery that sailed from Seattle on Independence Day weekend. Stops included Skagway, Ketchikan, and the state capitals of Juneau, Alaska and Victoria, British Columbia in Canada. So many good times with highlights including seeing bald eagles flying around everywhere, seeing glaciers wind their way into the sea, and seeing a buffet on the cruise that absolutely destroyed my keto diet. The one item that still remains on my bucket list is the Aurora Borealis which did not make an appearance for us this trip. The Princess Discovery was a beautiful new ship whose maiden voyage was just this past March so it was clean and state-of-the-art with wonderful food and quality entertainment (we especially loved the Rock Opera show).
It's been a while since I've added a new photo of a state capital building to my collection, but with this shot I am up to 37 of the 50 state capitals. This building was a short half-mile walk from our dock in Juneau Harbor and although there was just a little bit of construction (mostly hidden behind the trees), I was fortunate to have the sun pop out for a few moments to capture this image. The second image is the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in Victoria, a beautiful city, day or night, on Vancouver Island. Although I didn't set out to take pics of the Canadian capital buildings, I guess this begins phase two of the challenge.
Sometime around 1986 or so, I bought an electric piano from Tom Borum, the guitarist in my band Center Alley. It was a 1974 Fender Rhodes Mark I Stage 73 model and I had it set up in my townhouse at State College during my time at Penn State. It was a great companion, but when I decided to move across country to Arizona after graduating, I made the decision to leave it behind. I actually ended up selling it back to Tom for the same $200 he had sold it to me for. Unlike the Fender Rhodes, synthesizers had lots of sounds and weighed a fraction of the 138 lbs of an electric piano, so it seemed like a good decision to unload it. Plus in 1989, a keyboard from 1974 just seemed "old", not really "vintage" yet.
Fast forward a couple of decades and now the analog and tactile sound of the "vintage" electric piano was calling to me. I saw Rhodes pianos on eBay now selling for as much as $4,000 in good condition. I reached out to Tom to see if he still had my old Rhodes and joked that I'd give him $200 again to "take it off his hands." He had it still and took very good care of it over the years. Although he knew the value, he made me a great "friends and family" discount and let it go for $1,000. Thank you Tom! The challenge that remained was shipping it across the country from Maryland to Arizona which ended up costing $520, but still an overall bargain and it's pretty special to get back the original one I once owned! My first song that I recorded playing it is called Sing Out Your Song and you can find it on YouTube at https://youtu.be/HVSz1tR_nMU . Hopefully I'll have the music video for this ready by next month's newsletter.
So I've kinda' started a new band back in April. Well, not really a band, but a new moniker for songs that I am writing and recording, but not singing the lead vocals. The name is derived from an architectural feature in medieval castles as the elevated stage where the minstrels would play to the assembly below. If you watched the "Red Wedding" in Game Of Thrones, you know what a minstrels' gallery looks like. The double entendre meaning of the phrase for me was the fact that these songs are like an audio art gallery of songs that include my musician friends, aka my minstrels! The first song released under this moniker was sang by my close friend Roger Wiedabach and it's called "I'm So Ready For Change." I would have sang the song myself, but came down with Covid at the time, and my voice was just gone. But it was Serendipity to get Roger to sing it since he gave it so much of his personal style and I love it now. The song is available on all streaming platforms and here is the link to listen to it on YouTube https://youtu.be/CHTwydNMqO8 .
This "band" name seems to make so much more sense than releasing a song as Mark Greenawalt when I didn't sing the lead vocal. I know it worked for J. Geils Band, Elvin Bishop and Alan Parsens, but I wanted to try something different. The second song that I added to the My Minstrels' Gallery was a song I wrote for Dawna (Bradford) Scripps back in the 90's called Company Time. You can check it out here https://youtu.be/rSDV11GEL70 . More to come. Enjoy!
My gift to you is my music. Please kindly accept by going to these fine streaming services to download and stream! I hope you like some and consider them for your favorite playlists!
copyright Mark Greenawalt, Future-Class X Publishing - Phoenix, AZ 85044
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