I was sharing the package design for the new Wealthy Orphans album with a couple of friends a little while ago and the one of them asked if I was familiar with the African saying about chicken teeth. I said no, and he went on to explain that where he grew up in Africa, sometimes they would say, "That will happen when chicken have teeth." This saying would be similar to us saying "when hell freezes over". Impossible!
I have for many years been slowly building my reputation and career as a visual artist. This has included art competitions, writing for grants, working with galleries around the country and even a couple museum shows. I am now 52 years old and have been able to support my family doing this for now many years. I am thankful for this -- and it has often felt like we are doing the impossible.
In 2005, I released my first music album entitled Seamless Life. Our family moved to Brooklyn NY that summer and lived there for a year. I continued to make art, but I also began to seek out ways to get my new CD heard -- as well as find opportunities to perform. I played in coffee shops and the open mic at the Side Walk Cafe. I did have one gig at the Side Walk Cafe, the birth place of the Anti Folk movement, where I played to 5 people on an early Sunday evening -- and one show at the now defunct CBGBs Gallery stage. Even though I didn't get very far, I had begun, and I was learning.
It is seven years since the release of that first CD and I now have a band (we call ourselves the Wealthy Orphans) - which is two years old. We have our first new album as a band, entitled Throwing Glory (Which is a phrase that is lifted from the French lyrics of the Talking Heads song Pyscho Killer) online now. With A Little Piece Of The Pie, this makes my third album to date. There have been a lot of new developments in the ways we can access music in these last seven years -- and it continues to evolve every day.
Trying to build a profile as a professional musician at this stage of my life sometimes feels like looking for a chicken that has teeth. Building a new career along side an existing one -- and keeping both potent, also feels like an adventure of constant learning. Who could want for more? One of my favorite quotes by Picasso is; “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” I love that attitude and want to make it my own.