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Alex Whitmore: News

Devonport - November 19, 2006

I have been hearing about the Devonport Folk Club since before we left on our New Zealand tour last spring. I suppose it would be considered by most here as the ulimate folk venue. Well I must agree. I would consider it one of the best anywhere in the world. We had an incredible time there last night. It was a great audience, with great atmosphere. It is located in a bunker used in WWII to protect the Auckland harbor. The view from there either day or night is the best in the city. I hope to post some photos as soon as I get to a computer where I can upload them. We leave Auckland today for points South. The next gig will be at the RSA in Napier on Wednesday....

Tourists in New Zealand - November 13, 2006

After our wonderful time in Wellsford we headed North to the North East coast of New Zealand. We followed our friends Walley and Kathy to Walley's brother's place right on the coast. It is simply beautiful. Walley's brother has a wooden sailboat that is over 100 years old. We went for a sail yesterday and it was awesome. The scenery here is wonderful. It was a good day and a good time was had by all. Tomorrow we continue another 50 miles to Kaitaia to visit some friends and have a jam session with musicians we met last tour. Check out the photo of "Queenie" the 100 year old wood sailboat.

First Gig in New Zealand - November 11, 2006

It feels really good to be performing in New Zealand again. We played a dinner show last night to a sold out hall (about 50). We were paired with a local dance band which took a lot of pressure off of us to have to play cover tunes. It was wonderful. I sold a few cds and met some awesome people. This was in a local meeting hall and up againt two very popular events the same night in town. It really made me feel good that in spite of that, the show sold out. It looks like next time we will be looking for a bigger venue....wooohooo.
The rest of this week we will be tourists and drive around the North part of the North Island. We will sail on a friends sailboat for a couple of days and basicly just goof off. The next gig is coming up next weekend with two shows on Saturday the 19th. Check out the new photo on the photo page.....

Chiggers is the feature - November 9, 2006

Please check out the following link http://www.thetexasmusicstore.com My song chiggers is featured and the CD BarFarcist is also.

Wet Weather - November 9, 2006

Well our first two full days in New Zealand were pretty wet. A major storm moved across the area leaving downed trees and lots of wind. Things have cleared up today and the weekend promises better weather. We leave today for our first gig in Wellsford, about 2 hours North of Auckland. We will be driving our newly purchased Honda Shuttle...a real bargain at 1000 NZ (about $700.00 US) If you want to see it take a look in the photo section. The car is in excellent condition and will be good cheap transportation while we are here....stay tuned

Back in New Zealand...Woooohooo - November 7, 2006

Well we arrived in style with guitars in one piece. Air New Zealand is a great airline to fly on. Even in coach they treat you quite well. We have a couple of days to chill out and purchase our car then we are off to our first gig on Saturday the 11th. The weather is clearing and we are looking forward to seeing friends and catching up.

Second Life - September 29, 2006

Well these posts are arranged from newest to oldest, but you really should read the next post to get the background for this one. The latest thing amongst the independent artists is a virtual world called "Second Life" It is a place on the net that you interact as you would with your game figure in real time with others. Unlike some other chat services, there is a visual world you can interact with. The really cool thing is that artists can come in the different "sims" simulated rooms complete with stages and lighting and perform live with a high quality stream of music into the room from their own home. It may sound bizarre but once you have experienced it, it is really fun. The audiences are made up of just about every kind of listener.
I've been playing there about once a week for a couple of months and have developed a good following. The software is available no charge from www.secondlife.com but it is not for the computer faint of heart. It requires a Pentium 4 or better processor, lots of ram and a high speed connection. Finally the internet is living up to its promise of interacting directly with the fans and performing live with high quality sound. Look for a photo of my Second Life "avitar" Capos Calderwood coming soon.

How to Listen on the internet - September 5, 2006

With upcoming and continuing shows scheduled on the net I thought I would give a little info to make sure you can listen. When you click on the link on the calendar page it will take you to a "shoutcast" page for that internet station. If the page loads and says that the "server" is up, then click on "listen" at the top on the menu. At this point if you have a player with "shoutcast" enabled on the preferences it will launch the player and begin to play. If you get your standard box that asks do you want to "open" or "download" click "open" if you have a player capable of playing the show it will launch. If you get an error or can't launch a player then you need to download one. Players I recommend are available free from musicmatch.com, winamp.com, itunes.com and many others. Go there and download a player...if not for me you will need it eventually. When the player installs it may give you a chance to enable "shoutcast" if so check it. If you have any problems getting a player or knowing what to do with it I will be glad to help. Please email me through the contact page on this web site. Thanks, Alex

The guest book - September 5, 2006

I'm pretty sure that I have a lot of traffic here on this site but not many people feel comfortable about leaving comments in the guest book. Please note that when you put your email into the field, it is only visible to me when I log on to edit. I hope that makes you feel more comfortable about it.

Rain...Finally - September 5, 2006

For those of you outside of Texas it has been a tough summer here. Lakes are down 20 feet. We finally got enough rain this weekend to make the grass turn green but still a long way from filling the reservoirs. You may note on my calendar I have published shows I'm doing on the internet. The internet is finally living up to its potential. The show from "the Songster" on the 17th is a live show with an audience that will be broadcast live on the internet and also into a program called Second Life. In all I may have about 70 listeners. The following two nights 18 and 19 are also scheduled for live performances. The internet seems to offer me and my music a lot more exposure than I am getting playing in local clubs. You can listen with your Windows media player, but most people use a dedicated mp3 player such as "Music Match" from musicmatch.com. Many other players will work, but music match seems to always work. Another thing that has made the idea of listening live on the internet a reality is the proliferation of broadband connections. This and improved speakers for computers has made the quality of the sound worth listening to. You will have three nights this month to check it out. I hope to see you on the counter.

Dog Days of Summer - August 9, 2006

I've been back home in Texas for the last week with a short jaunt to Little Rock Ar and Tulsa Ok to play some music. There is a new video on the music/video page...check it out.
Things are coming togther for my next tour to New Zealand in November. Although nothing is showing on the calendar between now and then, I will be busy with my music. I'm going to a small festival in Iowa the weekend of the 18th, back to the Kerrville Wine and Music get together over Labor day weekend then private showcases at Broadhead Wi, Columbus Oh, Wayne Me, and Paso Robles Ca. Then it is the Regional Folk Alliance in Austin the first of Oct, more music festivals in Ozark Ar, Terlingua Tx and then off to New Zealand. Right now I only have the last weekend in Oct open. Watch the calendar...something may pop up.

New Guitar!!!!! - May 17, 2006

It has been a good week. I recieved my brand new 12 string Papoose from Tacoma. I feel like I was influential in convincing them to go into production on it. After I high strung my 6 string Papoose I sent them a copy of a song I wrote for the guitar. They wanted to see it for themselves so I went to the factory and played it for them. I told them it would make a great 12 string since most the strings on a 12 string are high strings it would make sense that a small body guitar would sound better. I was right. You my download the song I have now recorded on the 12 string for free by clicking here http://www.2aw.com/mp3/wind12.mp3

Back home in Texas - May 2, 2006

It was a tearful departure with friends we had made driving to the airport to catch us as we changed planes for the flight back to the US. We are back, we are tired, but still on an incredable high from the trip. The last two gigs did not loose any momentum. It looks like we may be going back in November for more...stay tuned

Installmet 14 Paraparaumu Wellington Suburb - April 29, 2006

The last two nights have been fantastic. We actually played an afternoon gig today after a wonderful tour of the Southward Museum nearby. In addition to some of the most rare automobiles in the world they have a Whurlitzer (sp) Pipe Organ that was built in 1927. We got a special performance from Len Fifield who plays for special events including many silent movies. Check him out http://www.lafmusic.net The entire theater is like a transformer model. It transforms from a flat dinner floor for weddings to a tilted theater floor with theater seating and a movie screen. The organ disappears into the floor. If you are ever near Wellington in New Zealand this is a must see place.
The show today was sold out again. We are going to do another show again tomorrow night for the folks that were turned away....what a way to end a tour. See ya'll back in Texas later this week.....

Installment 13 Marton - April 29, 2006

Wow..what a surprise. 140 seat theater sold out. What an awesome night. Marton is a small town about 3 hours North up the west coast from Wellington. Someone did above and beyond to promote this show. It was a great audience and we put on our best show to date. boo hoo we have our last show in New Zealand tomorrow (Sunday here) then it is back on the airplane on Tuesday to go home. I guess well be seeing everyone back in Texas soon. It is going to be hard to come down from this high....

Installment 12 Napier - April 27, 2006

It has been a couple of days since we have had computer access and much has happened. We played to the largest number of people Wednesday night at Taurunui (not sure about the spelling or pronounciation of this one)..about 90 paying. It was really fun. We spent the next day driving around the Lake Taupo area and seeing increadable breathtaking sites. Check your map for this one, it is the large lake in the center of the North Island...about like lake Tahoe with beautiful mountains and clear rivers. The photos will eventually be up on the photo link (below) sometime next week. We have a show in Napier tonight and it is expected to be well attended. This is the one town where the radio station covers the whole town. Dang it, there is less than a week to go and I'm not ready to go back.....

Installment 11 Putaruru - April 25, 2006

We are heading south now. Our show last night went very well. It seems like the smaller towns go best for us because they don't have as much exposure to live music. It is getting cooler, but still comfortable when the sun is out. Today we are doing touristy things again. We went to see living Kiwi birds and learn about their vanishing habitat. We are on the the Waitomo Caves and then a regular club gig tonight. Less than one week left on the tour...boo hooo.....

Installment 10 Auckland - April 23, 2006

This is our last day in the Auckland area. We played to a pretty full house last night at the East coast RSA. The show is getting smoother and tighter. The weather is still surprisingly warm, even the locals are saying this is unusual for this time of the year. We leave Auckland tomorrow for shows further South. If you want to look at the schedule to come it can be found at http://www.countrymusic.net.nz

Installment 9 Puhoi Pub North of Auckland - April 22, 2006

Well last night some friends put together a music jam and party with lots of other musicians. We got to hear some great local musicians. Today we did an outdoor show at Puhoi about an hour north of Auckland. It went well and I sold out of coozies. Still having a ton of fun...

Installment 8 - April 20, 2006

We have been staying with some lovely folks here in Auckland. Last night we went to dinner with friends and listened to a very talented musician by the name of Kip Tipuna. He graciously let all of us get up and do a couple of songs. Today we climbed the Rangitoto volcano across the bay. It was good exercise and greatly needed after the way we have been pigging out of food here. Tonight we will be jamming with local musicians at a neighbors house. We have shows tomorrow and Sunday then we will be southbound for gigs enroute to Wellington. The Weather is still awesome with mostly clear skys and temps hovering in the low 70's.

photos photos photos - April 19, 2006

Ok, finally I've uploaded a couple of photos here, but there are lots more on the web at this link http://www.flickr.com/photos/pshaw/

Installment 7 Titirangi (Auckland) - April 19, 2006

Last night we played a concert. Wow, what a thrill. After the country clubs and a couple of bar gigs it was very special. Tickets were sold, promotion in the paper etc. We had quite a respectable turnout for a mid week gig. We have another one on Saturday and in the mean time we will be just shopping and relaxing around here with a couple of jam sessions with local musicians. The people we are staying with this week are both musicians and the husband is an outstanding finger style guitar player...we have bonded :-)........

Installment 6 Back in Auckland - April 18, 2006

After two really wonderful days and a house concert provided by Kevin and Melissa Wallace in Wellsford, we returned to Auckland to do a couple of promo things for our concert tonight. We busked in the local mall and handed out flyers and then did a short show for the local country music club in Drury...finally, a name I can pronounce. Tonight we will be doing a concert at a theater in Titarangi (Auckland suberb) We are hoping it will be well attended of course. I did not understand before I came to New Zealand what a country music club really is here. They are clubs that form around the common interest in the music. They have a band that is made up of members plus nearly everyone in the club either sings or plays something. They meet once a month as a social get together with the familys...usually in a local RSA club (equivilant to our local VFW halls) or some community building. Everyone either sings something that the band knows by heart or they have charts for the band. They also pay an admission to cover the food expenses and guest artist they pay periodically to come and perform. It is really a great idea and I don't understand why we have nothing like it in the US. It is a built in audience that is very receptive to our songwriter material. Most have been doing the same "oldies" for years. It is quite refreshing for most of them to hear some new songs. They still like a few old standards thrown in and will gladly sing along with us. Tonight's show is one that we have promoted on our own, so we don't know if it will sell out or if we will be entertaining a handful of people....more on that tomorrow.

Installment 5 Wellsford - April 16, 2006

The hospitality of these people is incredible. We have just finished 3 nights with our "billets" people we stayed with in Kaitia. They fed us, ran us around to our rehearsals/radio interviews etc and gave us a place to sleep. We had a great gig to boot. Today we returned to our good friends we met on the way up to the Northland. They will put us up for 2 nights and have a house concert for us tomorrow. It doesn't get much better than this. The weather is still wonderful...so no complaints....

Installment 4 Kaitaia - April 13, 2006

The last two days have been days off and we have done some really fun touristy things. We took a boat ride out to Hole in the rock. It is an island that actually has a hole not only through it but deep enough to take a rather large cruise boat through it. It was breathtakingly beautiful complete with large fish and plenty of dolphins jumping around the ship.
Today we went on a tour up to the very North tip of the country and returned by way of 90 mile beach. Visualize Datona beach when it was first discovered by the Spaniards (absolutely no development) and then make it twice as wide and more flat and then be able to drive down it at 90 miles an hour....pretty impressive.
Tonight we are being treated to a BBQ by the local Country Club...should be fun. Tomorrow we have a show here and a radio spot...we are really having a great time...
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