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Fantastic Blues Concert - Joe Bonamassa - Muddy/Wolf Tribute At Red Rocks

Check it out if you can find it. Watching it as we speak. Wow!  Red hot band!

Not sure, but I believe this was in 2014.

http://www.kpbs.org/news/2015/feb/27/joe-bonamassa-muddy-wolf-red-rocks/

Small Houses in Cities and Al Green This Overcast Saturday Morning

Came on this morning as I was here working on a big shift in Shelter Publications' future output on building.
Nutshell: from country to city,
i.e. from Walden to Detroit

Small Houses in Cities

Stay tuned…

This is such a perfect song:
Tired of Being Alone by Al Green on Grooveshark

Hillbilly Rock - Marty Stuart

Hillbilly Rock by Marty Stuart on Grooveshark

Muddy Waters & Willie Dixon - Hoochie Coochie Man


This was one of the songs in a fabulous recording session in 1974 titled "Soundstage - Chicago Blues Summit - 1974" and it was on TV last week. It's a treasure. Includes above 2 guys, and -- Pinetop Perkins, Junior Wells, Buddy Miles, Mike Bloomfield, Johnny Winters, and Dr. John. Willie Dixon wrote this song.
Muddy looks so serene and beautiful in these songs.
Check out also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4i5XGnCyN2s

More on Small Homes in Cities

You know what? I am suddenly REALLY excited by this idea. Just as I was with the idea of building on a piece of land in the country in the '60s-'70s.
Different time now.
The last 2 posts hit a nerve: there have been 24 comments on the subject so far.
I was thinking last night about the concept of building in sketchy city neighborhoods:
To be sure, there are these. A beautiful young woman was gunned down 2 days ago in Oakland, trying to protect her kids from a gun fight on the streets. But I believe there a lot more neighborhoods that don't have drugs and gunshots. When I go to Berkeley, I often cruise Oakland, Richmond, El Cerrito, San Leandro; have checked out Hayward (big town) and Vallejo (on the bay, old buildings downtown, about to get hot I'll bet). Then there's Martinez, Benecia, Hercules, San Ramon, Livermore, Danville…This is San Francisco Bay area, my turf, but others in other urban areas will know the outlying towns of big cities.
Point is: not every part of every city's small building neighborhoods is a crime combat zone. I find tons of neighborhoods that don't look dangerous.
Here are a few homes in the East Bay. How many little homes like this are in the USA?

I just decided we'll have a big section in our forth coming book, Small Homes, on "Small Homes in Cities." If you have something to contribute, write us at smallhomes@shelterpub.com.



Fixing Up Old Small Homes In Cities

There was an article in the New York Times on March 7, 2015, that mentioned that there are 800 or so abandoned homes in the Bay Area city of Richmond. I think that fixing up run-down homes in less than opulent cities is one of the most viable, practical, and economical things that people wishing to create their own shelter could do in these times.

In fact, I make a point of shooting photographs of small homes in cities like Richmond, San Leandro, Hayward, Vallejo—nearby places where (some) neighborhoods are run down, but hopefully not infested with drug dealers and crime. I guess it's a balancing act—if you can find a neighborhood that is on its way up, instead of one that is dangerous and has no hope for the future.

Detroit, for example, has scores of well-built small homes in decaying neighborhoods.

I sort of have a fantasy about fixing up an old place and planting a garden and making friends with the neighbors, who will be pleased that someone is improving their neighborhood. Having a house party and inviting the neighbors. People respond to positive action. It could work.

This will be one of the main subjects in our forthcoming book, Small Homes.

Photo by Peter DaSilva for The New York Times

The Near Impossibility of Building Your Own Home Near Great American Cities These Days

A lot of young people who visit our half-acre compound are inspired by what we've got going here. Handmade home, garden, chickens, workshop, office/work studio. How can they get something like this going, they want to know.
Well, it was sure easier 40 years ago. Our land was $6500, building permit $200, I drew up my own plans, was my own architect and engineer, building and health department officials were reasonable, there was no coastal commission…
Since then, the bureaucrats have weighted things heavily in their own favor (bureaucrats beget ever more bureaucracy) and building permits in Marin County (Calif.) are something like $50,000 (more than my entire house cost). Building and health departments do not get their funding from the county, but from fees paid by homeowners (or builders), so guess what? Fees are ever higher, now to the point of absurdity. Regulations also have grown to have their absurdities (having to install sprinklers in single family homes is one such absurd requirement). And to the point of it being just about impossible for an owner-builder without a trust fund to build around here now.
So I tell young people, if they're looking for land to build upon, they have to get a couple of hours away from any of our great cities.
Tomorrow, I'll post a few ideas of what I might do now were I starting nowadays. It's a challenge!

Getting a human on the phone…

Using Get Human, I just got through to United Airlines in less than two minutes. Maybe everybody knows about this, but in case you don't: http://gethuman.com/ provides you with shortcuts so that you can skip all the annoying robot voice requirements, and get a real person quickly at just about any of the large companies in the US.

Maori Jade Pendants

The Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver,BC, Canada, carries art by the First Nations tribes of the Pacific northwest, the Inuit of the Arctic, and the Maori of NewZealand. I bought a jade pendant made by a 23-year-old Maori artist there about 5 years ago and have been wearing it ever since.

It's a wonderful store. Here is a link to the Maori pendants: http://www.spiritwrestler.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=5_17
Or you can look at their catalog here: http://www.spiritwrestler.com/catalog/index.php.

Nice Batch of Oak Firewood Yesterday

(The stuff on top.) It's healthy oak, not rotted out with sudden oak death disease. I've got 2-3 years of firewood ready to cut up and split. I love getting out and foraging…