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Gale Mead: News

2009 archive - November 30, 2009

November 18, 2009

Writing again

Well it's about time something broke loose in my brain.... More songs are in the works, and I'm learning some new covers, too. Still in the market for a good gigging partner. I'll be in NYC December 8, paying tribute to JWL at Strawberry Fields. Not a gig, just happen to be in the city at the right time. Maybe I'll see you there!

Finally, I would like to thank Spider Robinson for once again including some of my music in his podcast (#73, "Music from the Heart") - once in the middle and again at the end. Spider's wife Jeanne continues her battle with cancer, but continues also to pursue her dream of bringing their book Stardance to the big screen, engaging David Gerrold ("Martian Child," "Trouble with Tribbles") to work on the adaptation. Check out the Stardance blog for the latest.



October 12, 2009

Holy moly! My mother's on Colbert?!

So I get home this afternoon from my "knitter's retreat" to find no fewer than seven voice mail messages from my mother. I call her back and we chat for a half-hour or so, and just as the conversation seems about to come to a close, she casually mentions that she's the guest on tomorrow night's Colbert Report. Seriously. How cool is that?

Update: Here's a link to the interview.


September 23, 2009

Dream of, for, with, and loving Jeanne

Who knows how many new humans went from conception to birth in the time it's taken me to update this page? I have no excuse. What's finally prompted me to post is new photos, from a benefit concert thrown for Jeanne Robinson to help pay her bills while she goes through chemotherapy.

Here's the story, from Spider's site:

"Earlier this year a brilliant surgeon, Dr. Andresz Busczowski, helped Jeanne Robinson beat back a rare and virulent form of biliary cancer. But it’s so rare even he can’t say how much time he‘s bought her, how soon it might recur—and her latest blood tests have been so discouraging they’ve now decided she needs to start chemotherapy as soon as possible. Besides the prescription drugs to counteract the chemotherapy, she needs special therapies and supplements, counseling, and extensive diet and lifestyle changes, to reduce her stress level and the strain on her liver to as close to zero as possible. All those things are expensive...and like many artists today the Robinsons were already running on fumes financially."

Continuing from Jeanne's blog:

"...After all these months of being silent and private about my illness, I recently said yes to my close friend Michelle Meyrink when she asked if she could organize a benefit concert for me. Others have since jumped in, including my Vancouver Buddhist sangha, Mountain Rain Zen Community, and a dear friend in Florida, Jan Schroeder, who has been auctioning donated items (such as rare Babylon 5 scripts and other SF memorabilia) on eBay for me. Goods or services can be donated for the auction by contacting Jan at dreamforjeanne@aol.com. Several other methods of helping out, including a straightforward PayPal donation account, can be found at http://wedreamforjeanne.blogspot.com/.

"Another way to help would be to buy our books from Amazon by clicking-through from Spider's site, so we can get the affiliate commission. We’ve spent decades holding up visions of humankind’s highest evolutionary potential while entertaining you enough to keep you turning pages. Any help you can offer is gratefully appreciated by Spider and me."

(me again)
The benefit last weekend was something I struggle to describe. Friends from their community and beyond put together an amazing group of musicians and organized a successful live and silent auction. Friends from their community and beyond filled the hall to capacity. Love was in the air. Spider serenaded. Tears rolled. Jeanne danced.

Dance on, sister from another mother.


Fall 2008 - January 19, 2009

September 28, 2008
Common Good now on iTunes
All songs from "Common Good" are now available for download on iTunes. The CDs are also now in stock at CDBaby. Meanwhile, I have new Galapagos photos from my August trip at galemead.shutterfly.com ( email me for the password).

In other news, our country appears to have finally noticed that we're broke, and has reacted (predictably) by borrowing more money. Terrific. In the face of all this, if you have a few dollars to spare, please consider donating to help elect Barack Obama to be our next President.


August 31, 2008
Common Good now on CDBaby!
My new CD, Common Good is now available for download, or to pre-order the physical disc, at CDBaby. The discs will be in my hands by the end of the week. I can hardly wait!


July 13, 2008
Radio Interview Tuesday Night
We finished the final mixes for the CD last week, and are headed to Paul Stubblebine's studios Monday for mastering. Tracks from the finished CD will debut this Tuesday night, July 15, from 10:00 p.m. to midnight (Pacific time) on KSVY radio. I'll be spending the evening talking with host Dave Robbins and sharing some of the new tracks. You can stream the program at KSVY.org



July 7, 2008
The War Goes On
We just finished mixing the first of the songs with Amos Garret's stellar solos, and I can't wait to share it! And it's a song that resonates a lot for me with the current FISA legislation on the Senate's plate right now. It's called "The War Goes On." Please give it a listen and let me know what you think!. As I write this, Eric McFadden is in the studio with us playing some unbelievably beautiful guitar on a song called "Where I Go." It's really, really gorgeous. I'm so damn excited.....



July 6, 2008
Poetry in Motion
My sister, Jane Mead, has just released her new collection of poems, The Usable Field. I so admire her talent and eloquence. She's amazing.

As for the CD, we're in the home stretch! We're currently mixing in the marvelous guitar tracks supplied by Amos Garrett for four of my new original songs. We should have all tracks mixed, mastered, and ready to go within the next couple weeks. Here's a preview of our version of Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic."



June 12, 2008
Great Moments in Film History
Last weekend I watched a hilarious “jam band” riff on the mock-rockumentary genre, a film by Les Claypool called "Electric Apricot: Quest for Festeroo," featuring the fantastic deadpan improvisational stylings of Oz Fritz, the genius recording engineer who’s working with us on the CD. You might consider adding it to your Netflix queue, if you have one.

On the recording front: Members of the choral group Cantiamo Sonoma have added their harmonies to a couple songs, and Ysanne Spevack played some stunning string parts for "Streets of New Orleans," among others. Ysanne will be interviewed on Hunnypot Radio on Monday, June 16, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. (PDT). We’re almost done with tracking, minus a few touch-ups on the vocals and the special contributions from out of town artists. We’ll start mixing this weekend.

In other news: Hooray for Plutoids! Former planets could do worse than become the namesake for a whole new kingdom in the celestial taxonomy.



May 26, 2008
Preview of Coming Attractions!
Our work at Prairie Sun continues, and the tracks are turning out really nice. We have most of the instrumentals completed, and I'm thrilled that the legendary Amos Garrett has agreed to lend his prodigious talents to the project with guitar solos on several songs. Vocals continue to be a work in progress, and there's much to be done in mixing, etc. but I think we're more than halfway to the finish line. In honor of Memorial Day and the servicemembers who have shouldered the terrible burden of the war in Iraq, I'm posting the rough mix of the song "Miguel." It's still a work in progress, but today seems like a good day to share it. (Update: Final mastered version uploaded 7-18-08)

News Archive

Summer Updates - 2008

July 7, 2008
The War Goes On
We just finished mixing the first of the songs with Amos Garret's stellar solos, and I can't wait to share it! And it's a song that resonates a lot for me with the current FISA legislation on the Senate's plate right now. It's called "The War Goes On." Please give it a listen and let me know what you think!. As I write this, Eric McFadden is in the studio with us playing some unbelievably beautiful guitar on a song called "Where I Go." It's really, really gorgeous. I'm so damn excited.....



July 6, 2008
Poetry in Motion
My sister, Jane Mead, has just released her new collection of poems, The Usable Field. I so admire her talent and eloquence. She's amazing.

As for the CD, we're in the home stretch! We're currently mixing in the marvelous guitar tracks supplied by Amos Garrett for four of my new original songs. We should have all tracks mixed, mastered, and ready to go within the next couple weeks. Here's a preview of our version of Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic."



June 12, 2008
Great Moments in Film History
Last weekend I watched a hilarious “jam band” riff on the mock-rockumentary genre, a film by Les Claypool called "Electric Apricot: Quest for Festeroo," featuring the fantastic deadpan improvisational stylings of Oz Fritz, the genius recording engineer who’s working with us on the CD. You might consider adding it to your Netflix queue, if you have one.

On the recording front: Members of the choral group Cantiamo Sonoma have added their harmonies to a couple songs, and Ysanne Spevack played some stunning string parts for "Streets of New Orleans," among others. Ysanne will be interviewed on Hunnypot Radio on Monday, June 16, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. (PDT). We’re almost done with tracking, minus a few touch-ups on the vocals and the special contributions from out of town artists. We’ll start mixing this weekend.

In other news: Hooray for Plutoids! Former planets could do worse than become the namesake for a whole new kingdom in the celestial taxonomy.

Spring Updates - 2008

May 26, 2008
Preview of Coming Attractions!
Our work at Prairie Sun continues, and the tracks are turning out really nice. We have most of the instrumentals completed, and I'm thrilled that the legendary Amos Garrett has agreed to lend his prodigious talents to the project with guitar solos on several songs. Vocals continue to be a work in progress, and there's much to be done in mixing, etc. but I think we're more than halfway to the finish line. In honor of Memorial Day and the servicemembers who have shouldered the terrible burden of the war in Iraq, I'm posting the rough mix of the song "Miguel." It's still a work in progress, but today seems like a good day to share it.



April 18, 2008
In the Studio
We're on our way! After three days at Prairie Sun, we've got some rehearsal under our belt, and basic tracking completed on the first three songs, and I couldn't be more pleased with how they're turning out! Terry has done an amazing job of creating arrangements, and the musicians have been bringing each of them to life just beautifully.

Mooka and Terry have put together an amazing team, including Dave Weeks on guitar, Steve Evans on bass, Tim Gorman on keys, and Dale Chung on percussion. Oz Fritz is an incredibly talented and accomplished engineer, and is backed up by Prairie Sun's in-house engineers (Adam helped us out last week, and our old friend Matt Wright will be in the control room as we go forward).

More updates to come....

April 6, 2008
Letters Home featured in Spider Robinson podcast
I'm thrilled and flattered that Spider Robinson (one of my personal heroes, and among the greatest SF writers alive today) has included the song "Letters Home" in a recent "Spider on the Web" podcast. Check it out here, (scroll down to the 3/28/08 podcast) and while you're at it, give some of his other stuff a listen too.

March 31, 2008
After too many changes in plans, we're finally making progress on the new CD. With help once again from Prairie Sun Recording in Cotati, CA, we're on schedule to lay down basic tracks in April and finish overdubs, mixing, etc. in May.

February 28, 2008
Yes, I'm still here.... I was appalled when I realized it had been so long since I posted any news.... End of 2007 was busy, with songwriting, a few gigs for the political crowd, and a terrific dive trip to Belize with some of my best buddies. So far this year, I've traveled to Baja California and the Galapagos Islands, indulging my photography itch and sharing some quality time with my Mom. The photos are posted at my Shutterfly page. If you're interested, please email me for the password.

Meanwhile, I'm in pre-production for my next CD, which I'm co-producing with mentor and friend Terry Bradford. Lots of new songs in the works....



This is so nice! Davina Rubin sent a letter to the editor of the Napa paper about the concert at Copia. Very kind words indeed....

Many thanks to Sonoma Sun columnist JM Berry for this blushworthy review of our May 19 gig!

TWO UPCOMING RADIO INTERVIEWS! - October 12, 2007

I'm scheduled to be interviewed on Saturday, Oct 13 at 3:00 pm Pacific time, on the local PBS station, KRCB 91FM. You can stream it at KRCB.org. I'm also on the schedule for "Busking With Dave Robbins" on Tuesday, Oct 16, sometime between 10 pm and midnight on KSVY 91.3 (You can stream it at KSVY's website. On both occasions I'll have a little opportunity to talk a bit about the Oct 20 peace rally, and sing a couple new songs.

SINGING FOR PEACE! - October 11, 2007

I'm excited to report that I've been invited to sing at the "Sonoma County Stand UP!" rally on October 20, in support of ending the occupation in Iraq. The rally will be held at Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa, from noon to 2:00 p.m. and I'm scheduled to sing at around 1:00. Speakers include Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey and Dr. Peter Phillips of Project Censored, and the band Midnight Sun will also be performing.

I'll be joined onstage by Steve Della Maggiora on guitar. Over 1,000 people are expected to attend, and we'll be debuting some brand new songs. I hope you can join us there! More information about the event is available on the Sonoma Progressive Democrats website.

New songs - June 12, 2007

Joe and I have been making great progress putting together songs for our new CD, with the working title "1968." We've been cooking up plans with producer Bill Cutler for pre-production this summer, followed by recording at both Prairie Sun and Hyde Street Studios. Our goal is to have the finished product in our hands in time for Christmas.

We're having a great time breaking in our new guitar player, Nazar Eljumaily and working out new arrangements in preparation for our July 24 gig at the Last Day Saloon.

Linda Lefler is putting the finishing touches on a feature article about me for the July issue of Napa Valley Life magazine. Today, wine country, tomorrow the world!

last day saloon - May 29, 2007

We performed Saturday at the Last Day Saloon in Santa Rosa, as part of a tribute to soldiers killed in Iraq. After "Letters Home," a Marine who'd lost both legs in the Gulf War asked me to wear his "cover" (Marines baseball cap) for a couple songs. I kept it on for the rest of the show and he gave it to me afterwards. Knowing that I could touch even one person with my music makes it all worthwhile. We've been invited back to play July 24 -- details to follow....

wow! letter in napa register - May 25, 2007

This is so nice! Davina Rubin sent a letter to the editor of the Napa paper about the concert at Copia, and it ran today. Very kind words indeed....

nice review! - May 24, 2007

Many thanks to Sonoma Sun columnist JM Berry for this blushworthy review of our May 19 gig! He writes: "To me, when Grace Slick was in her prime, she is easily ranked as one of the top five female rock vocalists of all time. After one upping Joni Mitchell on her CD, Gale took yet another legendary female vocalist and roughed her up a bit with an acoustic version of White Rabbit that sent chills down your spine, it was that good. Her show last week at Copia earned her two standing ovations. Occasionally you come across a singer/performer who has such incredible potential that it’s hard to look past. Gale is one of those people." Wow.

Phew! - May 21, 2007

I want to thank everyone who helped to make Thursday night's concert at Copia such a tremendous success, and that includes all the wonderful folks who came to listen. The band and backup singers were tight, and the energy was terrific. Our two sets were concluded with not one but two standing ovations, and we were able to raise both funds and awareness for the Land Trust of Napa County.

Saturday, Joe, Darren and I had a chance to perform at "Stringfest by the Riverside" in Sonoma, a wild, wonderful celebration of good music and good company. Many thanks to Mary & Lane for including us in this year's event.

Our plans for the coming months? We're writing a lot of new songs, which we'll be working on with the band in preparation for recording our next CD later this summer. We're also happy to welcome our new guitar player, Nazar Eljumaily, lately of the band Gatorbeat, who has already been diligently at work getting up to speed on our material. Stay tuned for new developments....

Earth Day success and.... - May 7, 2007

The concert at the Earth Day Festival at the Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre was a big success. By the middle of the first song people started to gather to listen, and it was a real treat to see some folks swaying back and forth to the music, especially during "Into the Mystic." We sold some CDs, donating the proceeds to the organization that hosted the event, Nature in the City.

In other news.... The Copia show is nearly upon us, and rehearsals are just getting tighter and tighter. We've added a third backup singer to the lineup; the lovely and talented Darleen Gardner will join Linda Peterson and Jessel Miller at the mics. It's shaping up to be a great night, so if you haven't bought your tickets yet, go to Copia.org or call Copia at (707) 259-1600 to reserve your spot!

Copia Concert Update - March 24, 2007

Good news! Both Napa County Land Trust and Humanitas Wines have agreed to work with us on the Copia concert May 17. Humanitas will do a complimentary wine tasting from 7:15 to 8:00, and the concert will be billed as a benefit for the Land Trust, with a portion of the proceeds to be donated to this very worthy cause. Please save the date and join us for a very special night.

Back from LA - February 14, 2007

We’re back from Los Angeles, and happy to report that the show at Largo was a terrific success. We played to a sold out crowd, and were very well-received. A huge THANK YOU to Cindy Lee Berryhill, who organized the event, and musicians Jamaica Rafael, Randy Hoffman, Marcia Claire, and John Hughes for sitting in with us on violin, drums, bass, and harmonica, respectively. They did great work – you’d never know we’d only had the one run-through together!

It was great getting acquainted with all the musicians involved. I especially appreciated the praise I received for “Letters Home” from Josh Hisle, a singer-songwriter with serious street cred, having served two tours as a Marine fighting in Iraq. I was also glad to get to meet Jenny Yates, who writes incredibly beautiful lyrics, and sings them with depth and sincerity.

Neil Young was, sadly, not in attendance, but sent his video crew to document both the show and the behind-the-scenes activity beforehand. Word is the image and sound quality turned out great, but we’ll have to wait awhile to find out what Neil plans to do with all that footage. Meanwhile, plans are afoot to have a second show at Largo, as well as other shows in other parts of the country. I’m in contact with Cindy Lee about putting something together in the SF bay area. Stay tuned!

Letters Home is currently enjoying a new surge of popularity on Neil Young’s website. It’s finally broken the top 40, and could go higher, with a little nudge from you. Please go to the Songs of Our Times page and click on Letters Home! I’ve also submitted “The Streets of New Orleans” to the site, but it hasn’t posted yet.

Don’t forget, we’re being interviewed on KRSH FM 95.9 Thursday, February 15 at 8:00 p.m. If you’re outside the area, you can stream it at the above link.

And finally, if you’re in the area, please save May 17, 2007 for our show at Copia in Napa. We’re expecting it to be a really great night.

New CD, radio play etc. - February 6, 2007

I'm pleased to report that we survived our interview on JM Berry's show on KSVY 91.3. James made it incredibly easy on me for my first radio interview, and he's been very kind to me in print, too, with his Sonoma Sun column. I'll try to post some excerpts from the interview on the website soon.

We have another interview on Feb 15 at 8:00 p.m., this time on KRSH Radio 95.9. If you're out of range you can stream it here. Wish me luck -- I don't know whether Andre will be as easy on me as James was!

The CD "Live at Jessel's" is now available on CD Baby. Also locally at Sonoma Valley Music and Napa Music Supply.

We're getting ready for our big Los Angeles adventure this weekend. Thanks to my song "Letters Home" being well-received on Neil Young's "Top 1,280 Songs of the Times" website, we're part of a special showcase at Largo and based on reservations made to date, it looks like a sold out crowd! A lot of interesting people may turn up, since it's the night before the Grammys!

Speaking of Grammys I'm still blushing over comments made on air about me by KSVY radio host Michael Castle this past weekend:

"...It's one thing to sound like Joni Mitchell, or maybe even better than Joni Mitchell, doing a Joni Mitchell song. It's another whole thing to sound like Janis Joplin -- or maybe better -- doing a Janis Joplin song. So what we're talking about is an immense vocal range. And if that were all she did, that would be enough, but she's also a great songwriter.... I've been in this business a long, long time and I think this woman is definitely going to -- with the next couple of years I think you're gonna see her on the Grammys, and if you don't, that's probably the fault of the Grammys."

And I =swear= I didn't pay him to say that.

On the Radio - January 23, 2007

I'm happy to report that I have been invited to be a guest on KRSH radio 95.9's program "Thursday Night Live" with Andre de Channes, February 15, at 8:00 p.m. If you're in listening range, I hope you'll tune in! You can also listen live online at www.krsh.com no matter where in the world you are.

But before THAT radio interview, you can catch me live on Thursday, January 25 between 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. on KSVY 91.3's "Sonoma Valley Music Scene" with JM Berry. The show will stream at www.ksvy.org/home.htm.

And if you're local, don't forget to save the date, May 17, for our concert at Copia, in Napa, CA. It's a great venue, and we're working on putting together a very special performance.

New drummer! - January 16, 2007

I'd like to extend a very warm welcome to our new drummer, Steve Cross. Steve has proven himself to be skilled at a wide variety of styles, a perfect match for our eclectic musical selections. Welcome aboard!

Living with War Today Concert in LA! - January 7, 2007

For the past couple months, I've been following my song's progress on Neil Young's "Top 1000 Songs of Our Times" website. Now, the project is going LIVE! A concert is being organized in Los Angeles February 10, to feature six artists from the list, and I'm one of them! The event is being organized by Cindy Lee Berryhill, and will also include performances by John Doe, Josh Hisle, John Hughes, and Jenny Yates, with an invocation by Reverend Madison Shockley.

The concert will be at Largo, one of the best intimate venues for acoustic music in LA (just ask Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, or John Mayer, just a few of the notables who have performed there and speak highly of the place). Get this: Audiences are actually QUIET during performances -- people go there because they want to HEAR great music, and they'll quickly correct anyone who thinks the middle of a concert is a good time to yap on their cell phone or gab with their seatmates!

If you're anywhere near Los Angeles, please come join us for this very special show.

Date: February 10, 2007
Venue: LARGO
Address: 432 N. Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles CA 90036
Phone: (323) 852-1851

In other news: Songs from the CD "Letters Home" are now available for download on iTunes!

More news: We've been booked for a concert at one of the nicest venues in the Napa Valley, COPIA, for May 17. Please save the date, and invite your friends! It's a pretty large room compared to what I'm used to, and I'm anxious about filling all those seats. It should be a really great show, though -- they have a very professional sound system, and we'll be rolling out some new originals, plus new arrangements of some other songs.

Still more news: Joe and I will be interviewed live on KSVY radio 91.3 on JM Berry's show, Sonoma Valley Music Scene, on Thursday January 25 at 8:00 p.m. If you're out of range, you can listen by streaming the show at KSVY.org We'll chat, sing a few songs, and try not to embarrass ourselves too profoundly!

And finally: It is with bittersweet feelings that we have to say goodbye to our drummer, "Shoeless" John Fisher, who's decided New Zealand would be a nice place to raise his kids. He'll be missed, but on the upside, maybe he can establish a beachhead there for my future kiwi fanbase!

All my best to you, and please keep listening to "Letters Home" at the link below, to help keep my position in the rankings: Top 1000 Songs of Our Times

New music files now online! - December 20, 2006

Another 12-hour day at the studio with mastering master Tim Gennert, and voila! Twelve great tracks from last month's live show at Jessel's. Four new tracks are now available for your listening pleasure on the music page. The full CD will be replicated over the next couple weeks, and should be available sometime in January on CDBaby.

Coming Soon: Live at Jessel's CD! - December 16, 2006

After two LONG days of mixing in the studio, we're almost done with the live CD. I can't say enough good things about Matt Wright, the engineer who worked his magic both in recording the show and polishing up the resulting tracks. The guy is amazing, and Prairie Sun Recording in Cotati is a great place to do the work. We're going back Tuesday for mastering, so I'll be able to put some new tracks on the site as early as Wednesday. Please stop back in next week for a listen!

Back to the Studio - December 12, 2006

Joe and I are headed back to Prairie Sun this week to do the final mixing on the Nov 15 show we recorded. My hope is to have something in hand by Christmas --- we shall see.... Meanwhile, "Letters Home" has jumped to #41 on Neil Young's Songs of Our Times! Please keep listening via the above link, and tell your friends!

"Letters Home" to be featured on KSVY radio - December 2, 2006

Last night at Kelley's was a wild ride, with friends Tom Overton, Linda "Songbird" Peterson, and Dan Orsborn slipping in and out throughout the set. Even Steve and Joe took turns at the mic. Next Thursday, Tom'll be on his own, as Joe and I will be at radio station KSVY to talk about the song "Letters Home." You can catch it live at 8:30 p.m. on 91.3 FM (if you happen to be in the Sonoma valley) or on the web at ksvy.org

Rising in the ranks! - November 29, 2006

Happy news.... "Letters Home" has now risen from #351 to #52 on the Neil Young list of protest songs! The more listens it gets, the higher it might go -- Maybe I'll break the top 10 yet! Check it out at http://neilyoung.com/lwwtoday/lwwsongspage.html

Living With War Today - November 21, 2006

Hey, this is kinda cool: My song "Letters Home" is now ranked #351 on Neil Young's Top 900 Protest Songs list. OK, so it's not exactly the top 10, but it's something! Check it out on the: Living With War Today Songs Page.

Another fun night at No Bad Days - November 17, 2006

We played Kelley's No Bad Days Cafe again last night, and it was, as usual, a lot of fun. Our good friend Tom Overton sat in with us for a few songs, and Kelley enjoyed it so much she's asked us to play again tonight! Maybe we'll see you there....
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