Well, as I sit here listening to the excellent new Danko Jones record "Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue",  it occurred to me that since it is Halloween, we have approached that time of the month when an update is generally issued via this site. Unfortunately, the previously-established tradition of such news being accompanied by a new demo track has been disrupted by a sudden flurry of activity that has made it next to impossible for me to get anything properly tracked. Now, while I could foist upon you a subpar effort that I'm not particularly proud of, I'd prefer to deliver the goods at a later date, possibly doubling up on the helping to make up for my inability to effectively manage my time as needed to maintain this time-honoured tradition.

OK, I know I'm overstating the case, but I wanted it to sound like I was legitimately distressed and horribly disappointed with myself. Truth is, I realize it's more likely that no one is actually chomping at the bit for the latest offering from Pastry Park, and having been caught up in other business allowed me to lose track of time and neglect my responsibilities. I'm sorry, and trust me, there is a TON of new music coming. Even though I wasn't able to do any full-blown demos this past month, in addition to doing a great deal of work on the two records we have in the pipeline, I DID cut some quick acoustic demos of 3 brand new tunes, 'Bleed', 'Up In Smoke', & 'Skyline', that will hopefully get their due treatment before long.

Speaking of records on deck, we've been discussing for quite some time the idea of compiling the fORMER tracks that we still do live, and pressing a CD to have on hand at shows, so as to alleviate the confusion of trying to explained the tangled trajectory of the fORMER/The Great Affairs/fORMER/back to The Great Affairs journey, which invariably gives way to even greater confusion on the part of the unfortunate soul who inquired. SO, we're assembling just such a collection, designed to encapsulate the tunes that have already, or may yet find their way into our live set-lists. Here's a look at some tentative cover art.

...and here's a picture of my dog Cash, sunning herself on our deck while I type this....

As for what has been keeping me away from my studio? Well, I haven't been away from it, honestly, I've just been busy with other things.

I went to Atlanta and had my mind blown by The Afghan Whigs, further blown by a mess of ridiculous roller coasters the next day at Six Flags Over Georgia, and  the most polite, jovial Waffle House staff I've ever encountered, including "Queefah", as Lee(ex-fORMER/TGA keysman) misunderstood our waitress to have introduced herself as. The rest of us heard "Quita(sp?)". In his defense, he had a pretty impressive bar tab the night before, and something in his sock was bothering him.

Back in Nashville, we got to plug back in spend 40 or so minutes getting back to  business and shaking off some bad vibes. For those of you who don't know, our bassist Henry lost his mom to cancer recently, and this was the first time I've seen him getting back to his old self since that whole sad story began to unfold. His dad Al came out too, and it was great to see him in good spirits as well.

The morning after that show, I headed up to Illinois to do a solo acoustic set as the opener for Damon Johnson, who fronted Brother Cane, and has since gone on to play guitar for Alice Cooper, and; currently, Thin Lizzy. My buddy Jamie Markley and a local promoter Ben Owen hooked me up with this one, and I've gotta say, it was probably one of my favorite shows I've ever played. Damon couldn't have been any cooler, and the folks on hand were good people. I sold a bunch of CDs, got to b.s. with some friends I hadn't seen in a while, and even got asked to roll up to Rock Falls the next night to play a few more(I had to decline, as I was pretty well burnt on being behind the wheel at that point, and had prior business obligations.). Hopefully Damon & I will get to hook up for some more shows down the line, which seems pretty likely since he told me he was looking at possibly moving to Nashville in the new year.

While I was in Illinois, I caught a KISS tribute band and stayed out too late drinking someone else's beer(Thanks, Mr. Glover), and I got asked if I'd contribute a song to mi amigo Tommy "B" Edwards' solo EP that he's currently tracking in Peoria with Colt Capperune. I sent Tommy a couple of tracks that didn't exactly fit our current direction, and it looks like one or both might end up on his record. This was made all the more likely by Mr. Michael Saint-Leon, my trusty engineer/producer, who made a timely house call yesterday, to explain the art of exporting session files from Logic that would be compatible with ProTools. As usual, I owe you, sir.

We rehearsed last night, sans drummer, since Kenny is just now returning from  playing the Lynyrd Skynyrd cruise with Bonepony. We worked up a few things we haven't played live in a while, and messed around with a couple of interesting cover tunes that might show up in the set tomorrow night at Tidball's and/or Friday at Charlie Bob's. At Tidball's in Bowling Green, KY we're firing up the amps, and taking over for the whole night, doing everything from our catalogue that seems like a good idea, and some covers from Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, KISS, even some Prince maybe...maybe. Charlie Bob's will be a stripped-down affair, with all of us on hand doing a couple of hours-worth of the same kinda stuff, with a few more oddball covers thrown in for shits & giggles.

There might be a sudden, surprise announcement regarding the weekend....stay tuned....not sure yet how that's gonna pan out, if at all.

Next Tuesday, November 6th, we go into the studio to put the finishing touches on the new EP from The Great Affairs. We have only a couple of bass tracks, some guitar, percussion, and a few backing vocal parts to slide into place, and we'll be ready to mix, I believe. Look for that thing to drop in December.

Once that is done, Kenny & I jet out west bright & early Friday morning, convening at LAX, and catching a lift into Hollywood, where we'll spend the next 2 days sorting through and refining tracks for Joshua Ketchmark's next record, that we'll be tracking here in Nashville next year. Working or not, I'm ready for some California sun.

When I get back, I'm off to Illinois again for a wedding, but while I'm there, I'm doing another acoustic gig at Double T's in Morton on Friday, November 16th, so Central Illinois folks, mark your calendars.

THAT is the long answer to why I haven't had time to cut any new tracks for the monthly download I'd previously guaranteed would be available. I'll try to be better...really, and like I said, there is plenty of new music just over the horizon.

See you out there,