What you'll find in this friendly letter from that jazzy, folkslinger, Michael Tomlinson:

  1. Quite Silly Greeting and Important Utter Nonsense
  2. Cat Daddy Speaks: Vital info on the next little kitty in your life (I have two kittens left)
  3. Upcoming MT Concerts (singin', pickin', weed whackin')
  4. Two ways to get my New Acoustic CD; Standing in Troublesome Creek
  5. Update on the book that some people think I'm not really writing
  6. What the Heck Happened to Radio?
  7. Hep me! Hep me! I must get my songs on TV and in Movies and I need your hep!
  8. Sappy closing paragraph (a MUST READ for the terminally jaded)
  9. Lyrics to Big Moon from my new CD

NOTE:this email is 100% biodegradable, when you're done, just wad it up and toss it out the window

Howdy my friends,
        I was just sitting here enjoying my iced Soy Chai Tea on a 93-degree Seattle day, when suddenly it occurred to me that less fortunate people in other states can't always access such spicy, cool, nirvana-inducing beverages. If I know your region of the country, (and I think I do) you're probably drinking last year's instant Lipton's or some old powdered milk you found in the closet. My condolences. At least put an ice cube in it!
        I played some East Coast concerts last month, performing in Virginia, Vermont and Maine, and had a good time singing for everybody. I also had a great time outrunning local law enforcement with my rental car. It's so easy in those quaint New England towns, they just don't expect to see a high performance, turbo-charged Ford Focus tearing through town with a Bread CD blaring at full-volume. (Tip: always rent your car under an assumed name. I use my mail list and print out fake licenses under various identities of my most loyal listeners. I have to choose wisely though, my picture looks absolutely ridiculous next to the first name; Bunny)
        I've been back home in sunny Seattle the last several weeks, doing exciting things like watering my flowers and feeding kittens. Manly activities all - at least the way I do them. I wear cowboy boots, spurs and a hardhat when I water my yard. I don't shave and I have a cigar chomped in my teeth. You've never seen a manlier feller sprinkling the daisies. When you're a very rugged, leathery, outdoorsy, folkslinger-type who just happens to have a little fluffy white purse-of-a-dawg named Bungee, you must go the extra distance. As for feeding the kittens, I wear chaps and a welding hood. The chaps are NOT just for show. I'm telling you, you have never felt pain until you're dishing up cat food and whistling Whole Lotta Love, and two 8-week- old tigers launch themselves from four feet away and stick with all eight paws into the flesh of your bare calves. I went into full seizure; screaming, cussing, hyperventilating, hopping around the backyard trying to shake them off. They did not come unfastened but stuck there like someone had stapled them on. I finally had to calm myself down and gather the will power to pluck each razor claw from my calf, one by one. It felt like a couple of dozen bees had stung me. Later, in front of the bathroom mirror, (after having gone to the grocery store) I was horrified to discover that I'd apparently gotten a mouthful of cat food when they struck me. It was all around my mouth like a kid that had slurped chocolate ice cream. No telling what the people at the store had thought. I licked the rest off - ummm, I believe the flavor was Simmering Ocean Fish.

2) Don't you need yer very own little kitty cat?
       
A few months back I rescued a stray domestic cat who thanked me by giving birth to a litter of five kittens under my couch.
        I've been taking good care of Gracie and her kittens and made a commitment to allow them 12 weeks with their mama before I adopted them out. So far, I have a home for Gracie and three of her kittens. I have someone from across the country who will take one of the two remaining, but I'd first like to see if there is anyone who would be interested in taking the two remaining females so that they can stay together.
        I play with them every day, getting them gradually used to human touch. They are very healthy and playful little creatures, gray tabbys - at least as near as I can tell.  Click here to see them!  The mama is solid light gray, a dear, affectionate cat. All the kittens are gray with stripes. Of the two that I have left to adopt, one will be a short hair and the other seems only slightly furrier. If you're interested in one or both of these two female kittens, please email me at mt@michaeltomlinson.com They were born on May 3 and I'll make them available for adoption around Aug 1.

Intro | Cat Daddy | Concert | My New CD | My Book? | Radio? | Hep Me! | Outro Big Moon

3) Upcoming Concerts - Public and Private
       
Most of the concerts that I'm working on right now will be happening in the fall or coming winter. Unless I produce them myself, I never really know how or when shows will appear, I just have this faith that if I keep writing and singing songs that are uplifting and true to me, then there will be an audience for my music and opportunities in the world for my singing and story telling.
        In the past year, about half of my concerts have been private performances; usually instigated because someone has gone to my website and seen that, as well as public performances, I also do private and house concerts - and they've contacted me and made arrangements to create a special show at their house or venue. I've done these private events all over the country. The arrangements for each show are unique to the occasion, needs and wherewithal of the people putting on the shows. Though I have the general range of fees and arrangements posted on my site, I'm always happy to talk over alternatives.
        Also, I've done many benefit performances over the years for good causes. When I can  afford to, I do them for free, but usually, I need to at least receive a portion of my fee. What sometimes happens is that someone finds a sponsor for the event to pay my fee, so that 100% of the ticket proceeds then can go to the charitable cause.
        If you're interested in putting together any type of concert of your own or having me come to your part of the world for a concert, please go to my website and click on "Concerts" and read about the various types of situations I have posted.  More on Private Concerts

I always send advance notice via email when I'm playing in your area. Often, even though you may have signed up on my list, your email server will think I'm a spammer and will bounce my message back to me. If you have a block on your email and would like to be sure I can get through, please list me under these two addresses - michaelt@nwlink.com --or-- mt@michaeltomlinson.com

I may have an old snail mail address for you. I usually send a postcard to be sure you know about my concerts. Unless you've only recently signed up, if you did NOT get an actual paper newsletter from me in late summer/fall of last year, (my first one in a couple of years)  please email me your physical address so that I don't continue sending paper to your old address. I may have a previous address for you or I may have typed it in wrong. Please know that from my very earliest days of keeping a mailing list, I have never shared your information and I never will. Your privacy is always honored.

4) My New CD ~ 10 New Songs

1) The Way Out West 6) Kaley's Mountain
2) The River in Your Eyes 7) The Beckoning Sea
3) One Way Through 8) Valentine I Never Sent
4) Wild Horses Run 9) Big Moon*
5) Somebody Said 10) She's Like Falling Rain

I've entitled my new Acoustic CD, Standing in Troublesome Creek.  Next autumn I'll have it for sale online on my website, but over the next few months there will be only two ways you can get it early: a) by mail order  b) by ordering 4 or more other CDs online.

a) To order a copy of
Standing in Troublesome Creek,
         Please send a check c/o Michael Tomlinson to:
              PO Box 15248, Seattle, WA 98115-0248
              CD=$17, P&H for 1-2 units = $3.50 Total =  $20.50
I'll mail your CD out within a few days. Be sure and let me know if you'd like it signed for a friend. I usually automatically sign my CDs for the person who buys them.

b) Go to my website and order any 4 of my other CDs. Then, in the Comments field, tell me to send you a free copy of Standing in Troublesome Creek.  I'll mail it right out with your online order. Click Here to Order ...and don't forget to leave me a message in the Comments field.

Intro | Cat Daddy | Concert | My New CD | My Book? | Radio? | Hep Me! | Outro Big Moon

5) My Book? Yes, I'm still working on it. I know it's been nearly 4 years now and it must seem like I'm just making excuses for how long it's taken me, but writing about my life, friendships, adventures, loves, music, has taken me on a long, slow inner journey, a process of introspection, looking back and taking stock. The fact that my father passed away two years after I started my book has had much to do with my slow pace. His passing happened less than a year after 9-11, when practically the whole world was tossed into a whirlwind of questioning and soul searching. That and my father's passing set me on a journey that I didn't expect and don't really understand, but I trust the process and know that it's what I must face and embrace. It's been at times painful and I haven't felt the motivation to write as often as I would hope I would. You've probably noticed that my website ramblings haven't been updated as often and I know those too have been affected. Sometimes I drift, sometimes I have much to say. Sometimes it's silliness and may not be worth writing but I do it anyway. Whatever the case, I choose to approach this book in the same way I've recorded all my records; I take whatever time is necessary to do it well. I let it unfold to me and then I shape it the best I can. If I'd hurried my songs you wouldn't like them so much and they wouldn't be a comfort to listen to over the years. It's important to me for my book to be as meaningful, rich, humorous and benevolent as my songs and I am confident that it will be all of those things if I stay committed to it, yet allow it to unfold at a natural pace. To those of you who pre-ordered it, I thank you for your great patience and faith in me. I promise you that you're not forgotten and I believe that you'll be glad I took my time.

Intro | Cat Daddy | Concert | My New CD | My Book? | Radio? | Hep Me! | Outro Big Moon

6) What the Heck happened to Radio?
        Does radio suck in your city as bad as it does in mine? The answer is that the station in your town is most likely the same as the one in mine. I read a great article recently in Performing Songwriter about what has happened to radio and how artists are finding alternative ways to get their songs heard. As many of you may know, radio was deregulated in the nineties. Congress and the FCC thought it would be beneficial to the general public if only a few massive organizations could own and control all of the airwaves in the country. 'Preshate that, Congress. Before deregulation, it was a more balanced system; any one organization could own only 14 stations. Now it is unlimited and whichever company has the most money gets to decide what we all hear on the air. Companies such as The Clear Channel own nearly 1300 stations in the U.S.  It's not just their ownership that is the problem, it is their programming. The mega corporations often hire a single consultant to program every one of their same-format stations with the exact same artists and songs. What happens is that a station in Orlando is playing, song for song, the same playlist as a station in San Francisco, Boise, Boston.
        When this happened in the 90s, I lost almost every one of the hundreds of stations that used to play me. Now they are all gone and I have only a handful of stations who play me during special programs; Sunday Morning Acoustic shows and such. It was not only deeply depressing to lose these markets where I'd played successful concerts for years; it actually cost me my career. In recent years I have had more of a small cottage industry than a career. I've made it work somehow and I try not to forget that I'm fortunate just to be able to write and sing for a living at all, but I know that hundreds of thousands of people who used to listen to my music and would still enjoy and respond to it, no longer know I'm even still recording. Not a week goes by that someone doesn't stumble onto my website and express amazement that I'm still singing and that they've found me after all these years.

I'm determined to find alternative ways to get my music out in the world again and I could use your help. I'll soon be working with several of the paid-download organizations and distributing my CDs on CDBaby.com and other sites. Currently, you can pay to download my music from  SmoothJazz.com

Intro | Cat Daddy | Concert | My New CD | My Book? | Radio? | Hep Me! | Outro Big Moon

7) Do You Have Personal Music Contacts in TV or Movies?
        For years I've had people tell me they could imagine my songs used in movies. I agree, but I haven't had the contacts to get this to happen. These days, since radio is out of the question for many of us, artists are placing their songs on TV shows. The exposure can mean that thousands of people will hear a song featured prominently. I have a wealth of material that would work well in both tv and movies and I'd love to find an inside track to get this to happen. One great advantage I have - besides nine CDs filled with melodic, meaningful songs - is that I own all of my copyrights, masters and publishing. That is extremely rare in the music business, most artists, even very famous ones, do not own all their masters and publishing. Where most TV or movie producers would have to acquire permission from two or three sources to use a song, I'm the only one who has to give permission because I own all rights.
        If you are inclined and in a position to help me connect with someone in this industry, please get in touch. I'll be glad to send out CDs, promo, etc.  Just email me at
mt@michaeltomlinson.com
 

Intro | Cat Daddy | Concert | My New CD | My Book? | Radio? | Hep Me! | Outro Big Moon


Every month or so I put up a new silly rambling on my website and I hear from quite a few folks around the world who check in to see what I'm up to. It makes me happy to know that I can take my little iBook and form a group of sentences that gets whole groups of folks in Kansas or New York or Australia or England standing around the computer laughing. It's a worthwhile goal, I think.
        When I was thirteen I was the new boy at my junior highschool and had this crazy idea; I would write something very, very funny and see if the rest of the school liked it. But how would I get my work published? I would glue it to a wall in the hallway when nobody was looking - unsigned of course. (as if anybody knew who little Mike Tumbleton was anyway) Then when the bell rang and hundreds of kids began storming the halls, a group of five, then ten, then fifty or more kids grouped around my hand-written story and began to laugh and holler and giggle so loudly that I could barely contain myself from jumping up, peeing uncontrollably, and confessing, "Hey! It's mine! I'm the genius who wrote that!" But of course I couldn't do that because several teachers and the vice-principal were featured in the story in a somewhat unflattering light. Even though it was years before I began to reveal who the Hallway Humorist was, it was the raw beginning of my lifelong love of writing - particularly humor. It's still a thrill to write something and know that people will laugh aloud when they read it. (I have better urinary control now)
        Thank you for reading my occasional ramblings and listening to my songs. I'm grateful for your personal support, it has allowed me to keep doing what I love to do.   I wish you peace and courage and the spirit to forgive yourself and all the rest of us. And don't forget to take some deep breaths now and then and remember to be grateful that you're alive. If you think I may be forgetting, feel free to remind me. It's what friends do. I'll leave you with the lyrics to one of the songs from my new CD. I hope you enjoy them.
        In Friendship,  

         Michael Tomlinson
 

            (formerly known as li'l Mike Tumbleton)
 

Intro | Cat Daddy | Concert | My New CD | My Book? | Radio? | Hep Me! | Outro Big Moon

                 Big Moon 2004 Michael Tomlinson

I saw the moon roll into the sky, low above the ground
Big, full and mighty bright, making happy fools all around
It seemed a sign of good things coming, everyone agreed
We left the house and screen door running
Fell out, right there into the street

She seemed to hang there against the law, bigger than allowed
Every kid had brought a dog, and then they all began to howl
You should have seen us all there grinning, silly as loons
Pretty soon the whole damn neighborhood spinning
Out there under the moon

Big Moon, above me
Copper and gold
Apricot pie up in the sky
I can't get no sleep
Long as you roam
I guess I'll just follow you home

Even jaded people stopped, staring up in the sky
I saw a spell-bound traffic cop, looking up and letting all lanes fly
Everywhere was indecision, nowhere left to drive
Quit the car and cut that engine, people, we must get out alive

Tomorrow I hope we're going to remember
How we felt so alive and we really surrendered to ~
Ah, the warm spring night and the full moon light
And the smell of life when you breathe it in again

Everybody's cell phone died, too much mighty moon
All the tv screens went white, it was turning into one great night
Everybody met their neighbors, some they never knew
I know it probably sounds like a fable but honey, you've never seen such a moon

Big Moon, above me
Copper and gold
Apricot pie up in the sky
I can't get no sleep
Long as you roam
I guess I'll just follow you home
Big Moon, I'm going to follow you home

Intro | Cat Daddy | Concert | My New CD | My Book? | Radio? | Hep Me! | Outro Big Moon



   

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e-mail: mt@michaeltomlinson.com