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Chris Goering

Follow the link to read the latest essay I have concocted for the LitTunes site.

The essay is kind of a "what the heck have I been up to for the past six months" so if you are wondering, check it out. For those Chris Knight fans out there, I most recently finished an essay about The Grapes of Wrath in which I referenced his song "Broken Plow." The coolest thing in the world is that I got to interview Knight on the phone and some of that transcript is included in the essay. That was quite an honor as I consider him to be simply one of the best songwriters in any genre. If you would like to read the essay in advance of its publication, drop me a line and I will be happy to send a copy. I plan to interview and highlight other artists in the upcoming weeks and months.

chrisgoering at


Simply airing up the tires on that dolly will not do the trick. It needs to have one of two things happen to it: 1) Replace the pneumatic tires with solid rubber tires; or, 2) Take the dolly and kindly place it somewhere people not lifting very heavy things (i.e. your speakers and amps) can use it and replace it.

The problem with the dolly is the design. It was made for light residential use. You know, like taking a trash can to the curb or wheeling a UPS delivery of socks from QVC inside the house. By airing the tires you may have actually created more of a problem as when the heavy speakers, amps, etc are placed on the dolly, they will inevitably tilt and tip to one side.

I staunchly agree with your father on this issue. The dolly needs real wheels instead of toy wheels...

Have a great show tonight and tell Jim he is going to have to blog again soon or else...


Still making progress out here in sunny, ahem, Colorado. Yesterday it sleeted intermittently most of the afternoon. Today, they are expecting eight inches of snow up in the higher country. Brrrrr.

So far the critters have been pretty tame. I have been taking walks in the morning hoping for a glance of something cool. Today I did walk within ten feet of a deer. It looked dumb, like one of the deer which will probably end up in someone"s grille. I wonder what it thought of me? Hmmm. Fresh venison does sound tasty. Other than several of the aforementioned large hooved rats, I have seen a lizard, three ground squirrels, two rabbits, and several hummingbirds.

The writing retreat continues to be fairly productive as a whole. Currently, I am working on a book proposal that is due at the end of June. It seems I have more work than I remembered. Hmmm. Time for an ATB post, aka delicious distraction. Yesterday I worked on some songs including one I am co-writing with Effron White, a folk singer from the Northwest Arkansas area.

I am still hoping for a 2008 release date of my first cd, sort of a sampler of songwriting as much as artistry. If I could just play a Bm I would be set.

Back to work. Take care friends, g

They must run the whole country to have a COOP in Montrose, COI knew the Maddy family was big but had no idea they had their own COOP.

I took this picture yesterday in Montrose, CO on the way here to Ridgway which I misppelled in my post yesterday.

Today has been productive. I have two pieces submitted for publication and, if the internet holds out, I will publish at least one more here tonight when this post goes active. Aaron will probably get credit for it. Figures...since it is his band and all. I am the eternal offensive lineman.

I am on a regimented diet of exercises for the mind, spirit, and body. I read. I walk. I write. I watch. I listen constantly. I photograph. I dream. I play. I believe, I eat, I drink.

Is it Blake Shelton who has that song which says something to the effect of, "the more I drink, the more I drink, the more I drink" playing on the idea that drinking will lead to more drinking, etc. I have found this to be the truest thing...when it comes to writing. The more I write, the more I write, the more I write.

If I think back to some of the most literate times of my life, I was working on several things in several genres. Last night I wrote an ATB post and that will go down as the first of hopefully about 15-20 things I plan to accomplish during this trip.

One of those things is to get an up-to-date gauge on how my songs sound and more unfortunately, how not good at singing or playing the guitar I am despite doing it a lot. I swear I could do this music thing if I could only find someone to play guitar and sing my songs...but then I would be a hack.


Greetings to the ATB faithful from Ridgeway, Colorado.

I made it out to the 'Western Slope' after staying with Greg Seiler and family in Garden City, KS last night. That was sure a nice time; Greg and the girls are doing well. Today was a beautiful day for driving I say. Cross Country rocked the XM radio (except in the canyons). The Buick Riviera rolled over the 178000 mile mark like it was standing still.

I am inspired by the beauty. I am sitting on the back deck looking out at snow capped mountains for as far as I can see. I will try to get some pictures up in the next day or so. I am forever walking around with a 9mm in my hand because I keep hearing weird sounds, like the bear (this is an affirmation of your ATB faithfulness if you catch this reference) from last time. I don't want to find out if he has grown by two years.

I am here on a writing retreat--blog writing, songwriting, LitTunes writing, research writing, essay writing, article writing, encyclopedia entry writing. Don't know how much I will get done but promise to keep the ATB faithful informed.

I see Aaron has a couple more shows on the books. Aaron Traffas and The Combine are playing somewhere near Kiowa, KS on July 5th. Or are we Aaron Traffas and The Fiddlers still? Call us what you will.

Signing out from the Mountain Home Mesa Grande,


I find myself in the lobby of The Arlington Hotel.

JFK and Al Capone have found themselves here too.

It is creepy nostalgia at its best.

Alright, this is the coolest thing. The elevators here, of which one is still operated by a human, all have clock looking things above them. They turn as the elevator moves marking the floor of the lift. So, essentially, I can sit here in the lobby and tell which floor people go to.

There is nothing as nostalgic as the plumbing. This morning the sink wouldn't drain, the toilet wouldn't flush, and the shower wouldn't turn on all at once. The fire-starter electrical fixtures take a close second. The rooms have 81/2 by 11 dimmer switch plates with knobs proportionally as large. Very dramatic and absurd.

Mineral spirits and a massage might be in my future. This is one place you are supposed to drink the water. They say don't eat the ice though.

For those of you following my every music whim, the new James McMurtry CD came out today, tax day. Just Us Kids has been previewed for several weeks on myspace and from what I hear, I like. I haven't gotten around to downloading my copy yet at but hope to tomorrow or at least by the time we head back up the hill.

I am beyond jealous of my true heart attending the Counting Crows with Lucas, Aaron, and Diane tomorrow night at Liberty Hall. Who would have ever believed the CC's would be playing Liberty. With any luck I will get to Little Rock tomorrow night to see Chris Knight.

I would rather see him.

I really want to see the Crows though.

I might stay here.

I will keep you posted. is translated:


Or is it Blaine Younger?

It seems our friend Aaron Traffas has been a bit of a blogging machine of late. Maybe he is a Massey and will never quit. If this is the blogging championship, he will surely throw a bearing and spark the field afire, ruining his chances of ever matching the G blog.

I am happy to report I too was watching KU dismantle, uh, Memphis on Lawrence...and yes, I was one 45,000 people on Mass Street at midnight. Spectacular. If I had even minimal photo editing skills I would send some grist captured through the lens of my camera that night. I am sure you can YouTube it for hours.

Speaking of that colossal time suck, I spent most of the afternoon working and listening to a Scott Miller show on there. Neat stuff. Check out Scott Miller Studio 865.

"My old man could be your dad's old man/ he lied about his age so he could fight Japan..."

If you get a chance, check out "The Calm" by a friend of mine down here at

Sad. Depressing. Beautfiul.

I realize this has turned into a rambling of sorts. Sorry for you linear types out there. For the spastic-random, you should be right with me.

Heading to Hot, Hot, Hot Springs tomorrow for a three day writing retreat. I am responsible. Scary.

Better get back to work.

"The reflection keeps me facing the other way."


While the title of this post is heard often as a reference to the university where I teach, today I write from Washington D.C.

I have just finished the National Writing Project's Spring Meeting which included, amongst other things, visits to the offices of senators and representatives from Arkansas.

That was most enjoyable. There were a lot of people in the buildings who seemed pretty stressed and overwhelmed. The young people stood out to me as well. I am certain most of the country runs on the very handsome and beautiful shoulders of the twenty-something crowd. Vibrant and alive indeed.

We were here asking for continued funding for the National Writing Project, which, for those of you keeping score at home, is the largest and longest teacher professional development program in the history of the United States. We have a pretty easy sell but a necessary one too.

In the vein of the writing project, I thought it would be good to write. I have a few stories as I always do.

Certainly, the highlight of the trip played out on stage last night. Teller from Penn and Teller is the co-director and co-creator of Macbeth at the Folger's Library Theatre here in Washington. I was so fortunate to happen into a ticket yesterday to this otherwise sold out show and am going to try to go back tonight and fight my way into the door.

It was fabulous. The typical Shakespearean elements of sex and violence were futher stimulated by ghosts, magic, sex, violence, and enough fake blood to require the stage to be hosed after the show. Gory.

Magical illusions, rapping witches, and arm breaking realistic enough to send several little kids shrieking out of the theatre should give you a taste of what I witnessed last night. No cameras were allowed, however, so I am not able to share but words.

We had more meetings today and I fly back tomorrow. I have another story of the sad type to relate but it will have to wait as I have to leave this post.

Hope all is well. Thanks to those who joined us, both in person and online, last Saturday at Bobby T's. It was a glorious reunion.


Several people have been asking when this would finally make an appearance on this site. It has been circulating around the internet for several months now but finally it is here. Sorry for the wait.

And the winner is….

1. Wrinkle Neck Mules-The Wicks Have Met

This is by far the best album of 2007 about which very few people seem to know. The songwriting is cutting, the instrumentation is astute and original, and the vocals are true. While, “Cumberland Sound,” is my favorite song, the entire album spins constantly on my player nearly a year after purchasing it on a guess through Every single song is worthy of your ear creating an overwhelming album.

2. Chris Berardo and The Desberardos-Ignoring All the Warning Signs

Can alternative country be upbeat, happy, and rough and tough all at once? Most would say no but Chris Berardo has figured out the formula. A soft melodic voice, positive, intelligent lyrics, and a tuff band combine to push songs of love, admiration, and hope on a genre considered to be anything but. “So Good, So Far,” was my introduction to the group and this record. I almost like, “The One,” and “I Will Love Again,” better but the album is a solid listen straight through.

3. Scott Miller & The Commonwealth-Reconstruction

Though most of this record wasn’t released this year, I found the brilliance of Scott Miller this year and this largely responsible for it. Here is a taste of a song that is in my head on a daily basis.

“The Amtrak Crescent is a northbound train
When you can’t afford to stay no more in New Orleans
So I bought the cheapest ticket and I carried my clothes
With blood beneath my eyes from a broken nose.”

If you don’t know this guy and were clueless like me, you should not stay in the dark any longer. Scott Miller is legit. I would rank him in my top five of all time songwriters. I saw them play the Snorty Horse Saloon in Springfield, Missouri back in the late summer and have never been the same. He can rock on songs like “Eight Miles a Gallon” but can ballad as well as anyone in songs like “Arianne.”

4. Bleu Edmondson-Lost Boy

Thanks to XM radio, I heard most of this CD before buying it and finally think Bleu has something to say. A great artist if not a great songwriter, his previous releases contained lots of party music and cheap shots at the next big hit. Here he settles down, matures, and starts to talk about what really matters in life. “Jesus is Crying,” is an outstanding cut but “Back to You” is equally as desperate. Songwriter Brandon Jenkins is featured again on a BE album with “Finger on the Trigger,” not my favorite by Jenkins—"Feet Don’t Touch the Ground"; "Down in Flames"; "Red Dirt Town"—but another song with a message.

5. Steve Earle-Washington Square Serenade

While others have disowned Earle based on this effort, I love it and think it equals Transcendental Blues as his best since he got out of prison. It is a cross between a lament about leaving Nashville, an enthusiastic welcome to New York City, especially in the title track, and an appreciation of his true love Allison Moorer. I was fortunate to see Moorer and Earle at a show together in Lawrence, KS before, well at least publicly, they were an item. His tribute to her, “Sparkle and Shine,” is a must for anyone in love.

Honorable mention albums of 2007: Though these didn’t make my top five I would recommend you take a look anyway. Peter Case was the most unexpected delight and Todd Snider is his usual self—tough to beat.

Jason Isbel-Sirens of the Ditch
Bruce Hornsby and Ricky Skaggs-Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby
Jimmy LaFave- Cimarron Manifesto
Son Volt-The Search
Todd Snider-The Devil You Know
Ryan Adams-Follow the Lights
Peter Case-Let Us All Praise
Dale Watson-From the Cradle to the Grave