Hi Friends!
The Book of AwakeningLast year, a friend of mine gave me a remarkable book: “The Book of Awakening”, by Mark Nepo. Since then, I have passed copies on to several others. It is really more of a companion than a book. It is organized by days. Each day’s entry starts with a theme and a quote, then a page or so of reflection on that theme, followed by a few suggested steps for the day. It is quite uncanny how often the day’s writings seem perfectly suited for what I am feeling, thinking or experiencing. I don’t always read it every day, but it is something that I go back to again and again. Today’s quote is:
 
“You often say ‘I would give, but only to the deserving’. The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pastures. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.” –Kahlil Gibran
 
Not a bad thought to start the day. When I first went to Sisters Songwriting Academy in Sisters, Oregon, the Texas based gospel-folk singer, Ruthie Foster, gave a class on performance. Although I was looking for some helpful techniques in order to overcome my fear of performing, she said at the beginning of the class that there was one thing we must always remember and that is that “performing music is not about getting love, it is about giving love.” It didn’t seem like exactly what I was looking for at the time, but it has rung truer and truer for me over the past couple of years. The Gibran quote this morning reminded me of Ruthie’s wisdom. 
 
We had a few magical gigs in January—the First Street Café and Davenport Roadhouse in particular. The audiences were lively, the sound was good and we all had fun working off of each other. It is an exciting thing to start to forget about exactly how and what we are playing, and simply to have fun doing it. My friend Larry Potts played a set of his beautifully crafted songs at First Street. We also had other friends play their own songs during the gigs: John Miller played his heart touching songs at First Street and Davenport, Jade Taylor played her stunning song “Kindness” at Davenport, Jeff Lionz played his beautiful instrumental “Big Sur in the Rain” at Davenport. In addition to backing me up, Julie Baker, Paul Fifield and Bob Hahn all contributed their original songs to the mix.  
 
February is another active month, with five scheduled gigs. I will be playing at Yoshi’s in San Francisco, the Davenport Roadhouse north of Santa Cruz, the new Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, First Street Café in Benicia and a first-time appearance at Ruby Hill winery in Pleasanton. So no matter where you live in the Bay Area, there will be a gig near you!
 
Bless you all. I hope to see you soon!
 
Peace and Joy,
Steve 
 
Upcoming Steve Meckfessel concerts...
Sunday, FEBRUARY 7th, 8pm to 11pm, Songwriter Sundays Series, YOSHI’S LOUNGE, SAN FRANCISCO
Steve MeckfesselThis will be a cool gig!  So once you are done watching the Super Bowl, come on over to Yoshi’s on Fillmore in San Francisco for the seminal Songwriter Sundays Series. Or if you don’t like football, or if the score is 63 to 3 at the end of the first half, come early and join us for sushi at Yoshi’s beautiful restaurant. I will be sharing the stage with two other local songwriters who will probably be hipper, younger and edgier than me. I am honored to be selected for this amazing series, which features a lot of up and coming songwriters, particularly since it tends to feature those young, hip, edgy, cool songwriters. I get to be the Willie Nelson of the bunch.  Even if you can’t stay up all the way to 11pm on a school night, come by and catch a couple of sets. And you can even eat in the lounge so you could catch the show while consuming your favorite morsels and beverages. Julie Baker and Bob Hahn will be joining me for some of the songs. Paul and his electric bass are outlawed since it is supposed to be all acoustic (but we have seen a couple of cheaters) and we can only have three on stage at a time. Sorry Paul…we will miss you on stage.     
YOSHI’S LOUNGE
1330 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
 
 
Saturday, FEBRUARY 13th, 6pm to 9pm, DAVENPORT ROADHOUSE, DAVENPORT
We really enjoyed our gigs in January at this beautiful restaurant/inn, located 100 yards from the ocean, on Highway 1.  Nestled into an artist colony, 11 miles north of Santa Cruz, the Roadhouse provides great food, beverages and accommodations. Again, I will be accompanied by some or all of the usual suspects, and, as always, there will be a surprise visitor or two. Another great spot to come for dinner, appetizers or dessert and enjoy a beverage of your choice.
 
DAVENPORT ROADHOUSE
1 Davenport Avenue
Davenport, CA 95017
 
 
Thursday, FEBRUARY 18th, 8pm,  the new FREIGHT & SALVAGE, BERKELEY!
I spent the past three years helping to build the new Freight & Salvage and I am excited to play there for the first time on February 18th. I will be performing an opening set for the legendary City Folk which features Keith Greeninger, Roger Feuer and Kimball Hurd. If you haven’t had a chance to come to the new Freight yet, this is a great opportunity to experience the comfy chairs, the great sound, and the beautiful listening room. The new Freight is located in the heart of downtown Berkeley near BART, and there is plenty of parking available. Also, there are a number of good restaurants in the area. Keith and Roger will accompany me for a few songs, along with Bob, Paul and Julie. This promises to be a special night.
 
You can buy tickets on-line - or, if you forget Wink, you can buy them at the door.
 
FREIGHT & SALVAGE
2020 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA  94704
 
 
 
Friday, FEBRUARY 26th, 7pm to 9pm, RUBY HILL WINERY, PLEASANTON
This will be my first time at the Ruby Hill Winery. Should be fun—music and good wine….hmmm… how could that not be fun! This is one of my first gigs in the Pleasanton area, so if you are nearby come and join us. I think we'll have the usual list of suspects playing with me:  co-writer Bob Hahn on harmonica, Julie Baker on harmony and Paul Fifield on bass—but I am not sure if I told them about the gig yet.  We are an informal bunch after all. My friend Joe Wilcox is driving all the way from Santa Barbara and he will be sitting in on a few tunes, if he gets there in time!
 
RUBY HILL WINERY
400 Vineyard Avenue
Pleasanton, CA 94566
 
 
Saturday, FEBRUARY 27th, 8pm to 9pm, FIRST STREET CAFÉ, BENICIA
Have I already said how much I love to play at First Street Café? I like to get there early, have a nice dinner downstairs, then climb upstairs and have some fun. January’s gig was one of the best we have ever had. The building oozes charm and is set on Benicia’s historic main street. The service is wonderful as are the food, beverages and atmosphere. If you haven’t experienced this jewel, come by and join us (or come back again if you have already been here). Julie and Bob will be there (Paul is playing at another gig that night, for which we may eventually learn to forgive him). Joe Wilcox may be there as well.
 
FIRST STREET CAFÉ
440 First Street Benicia
 
Steve Meckfessel  •  Alameda, CA