Monday, February 28, 2011

New CD available NOW!


I'm here to tell you that there is a new cd available by me, and it's called Songs from Radio Free Song Club 2010, and you can buy it at this link.

It looks like this:

You'll have to trust me on this one, it's pretty good. Some of the songs are REAL good. You can decide for yourself once you buy it.

You can also pick up a copy of 1997's "classic" CD Out of My Way if you, like so many people, don't have a copy of it.

Either CD is priced reasonably at $10.

Thanks for your support, and I hope you like what you hear.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas report, 2010

This post comes to you over half a year since the last one. Much has changed, mostly for the better.

I have all three of my beautiful children here with me in the house we bought this summer. My Smart Wife is poking around in the kitchen, preparing to cook a roast for the evening meal. There's about five inches of snow on the ground here in Durham. I have been working at a new job at the Durham Performing Arts Center as a ticket salesperson; I'm also able to help with the construction of emails and website entries.

Musically, I've been a little less active than in the past. The dB's album is not finished yet, six years on. We work on it when we can, but everyone has busy schedules. Will and his family have relocated here from Ohio, and that should make forward motion more plausible. Luego continues to record and play, and I'm called upon when I'm able to perform with them. I took on bass guitar duties with a local children's music band, Baron Von Rumblebuss and the Redd Zeppelin. That's been great fun; Smart Wife also constructed a fab outfit for shows.

Most exciting is the continued and thriving existence of the Radio Free Song Club. They've posted nine shows so far, but I've sent in a dozen songs now, each under the monthly deadline. Some of the new songs are just passable, but a few of them are really good, in my humble opinion. My colleagues' tunes are great impetus to create and do it well, never in any competitive sense but only as a personal best/quality control manner. I'm thrilled about RFSC and hope you all have been listening too.

My usual M.O. would be to apologize for not posting more and promise to be better at it; I think I won't do that this time as it seems grossly insincere, having done it many times here. Instead, I will say that I plan on being more organized and more career-focused in the year 2011 and will try to make this hangout a better place for you to see what I actually am doing.

Happy new year to you all!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Alex Chilton

Alex Chilton died today. His music and production profoundly influenced me and a generation of my peers and their bandmates. I feel fortunate to have known him a little and to have worked with him live and in the studio. Alex knew music inside out. He could sing it, he could play it, he could write it and he could record it. O my soul.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Newsflash and a note about Robin Holcomb

And the second installment has 'dropped'

Radio Free Song Club

My tune, "Don't Ever Leave", is referred to by me as an 'homage to Robin Holcomb'. If you're not familiar with her vast catalog of wonder, please go to her website and do some exploration. I was fortunate enough to get to record with Robin and her husband and collaborator Wayne Horvitz for her album Rockabye, having been stunned by her 1990 Elektra debut. Her latest album is John Brown's Body. I remain in complete awe of her originality and ability to convey a mood through matching lyric and music. Robin Holcomb is as original a songwriter as they come.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Radio Free Song Club

has gone live, as they say.

Please listen in to a neat new project that I'm involved with, which features monthly new song contributions from the likes of:

Peter Blegvad
Jody Harris
Victoria Williams
Freedy Johnston
David Schramm
Freakwater (Janet Bean and Catherine Irwin)
Laura Cantrell
Kate Jacobs

and your host
Nicholas Hill

Radio Free Song Club

Thursday, December 31, 2009


Happy New Year, and it looks pretty promising:

a.) I enter the new year employed
b.) there's music on the horizon from The dB's, Radio Free Music Club, Luego, the Jakeleg and the kids' shows.
c.) everyone's healthy
d.) nine years sans alcohol
e.) old debts have been squared
f.) my writer's block seems to have abated

Thank you for visiting here. I'm not the most consistent correspondent, but I'm certainly the least dependable and that should count for something. May your own new years be eventful only in good ways and full of love, friendship and great music.


Friday, December 25, 2009


We had a nice one in Durham. The children came away from it satisfied and exhausted. Smart Wife made a devastating French onion soup and a small roast beef sandwich which I had when I got home from the airport.

I got to experience "I Wish It Could Be a Wombling Merry Christmas Everyday" by Roy Wood and the Wombles, and I hope you do too.

I got everything I wanted, including hi-hat cymbals, and it was all very chill, with one exception: in the first half hour I was at work, I heard a father loudly berating his daughter for forgetting her book. His voice carried throughout the store, and the sound was harsh and unnerving. They came around the corner and the father announced that his daughter "needed a book." The girl looked like she was in shock but not unused to this. I addressed her, not Dad, and I showed her A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'engle. They bought it and left, and I hope she lost herself in that book when they were on the plane to wherever. Merry Christmas to them both.

The day was tempered with the bad news about the death of Vic Chesnutt. His friend Kristin Hersh has set up a fund for donations to help Vic's family with costs from his recent hospitalization and death.

Now we can not hear "Wonderful Christmastime" again for another eleven months, or "Santa Baby". My Christmas song this year was Darlene Love, and no, I didn't see her on Letterman for the twenty-third year but I wish I had.

Merry Christmas everyone, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The sky

Yesterday, I got to work at 7am, as usual, driving through the dark from Durham where I live to the Employee Parking Lot. I worked at Terminal 1 which is on the older side of RDU airport.

There, to meet me, was a beautiful morning sunrise sky, all salmon pink and red and yellow. The east windows are across the hall from the store, a long line of glass panes that let you see a little take off and landing action, but mostly sky. And what a sky to enjoy, a living moving sunburst like on a 1959 Les Paul. For about ten minutes, I went about my business restocking shelves and helping customers, with the morning streaming in at me and a quiet satisfied smile on my face.

I left work at 3:30pm. The sky was already starting to move toward the evening, darkening slightly, a rich deep blue with scant clouds and mostly visible clarity. It took about twenty minutes to drive home from RDU. All through the ride, I was treated to a spectacular batch of broadening colors, culminating in a near sunset as I got off at my exit.

Last night, I took out the garbage in the cold night air. Looking up, I saw my third beautiful sky, with a big bright moon illuminating our porch from a rich blue cosmos. Speckled with a few stars, I admired the night for a couple moments until my lungs couldn't take the cold any more. Then I went inside, satisfied with the free and expansive wonders I got to enjoy for a day.

I wish I'd had a camera for all three of my moments, to help share the beauty with you all, because, as we all know, 'this blog is useless without pictures'.

You'll just have to take my word for it.