As I’m writing this, my clothes smell like smoked beets and floor-to-ceiling windows reveal winterized grapevines decorating gently rolling hills, viridescent from recent spring showers. It’s going to be a good day.
Once a year, I pal around with former Al Stone compatriot Greg Ehrlich, working for him as a sous chef during Zinfest at Castoro Cellars in Paso Robles. It’s a great time, getting ordered around by Greg in his frantic element. I perform all the unglamorous tasks, ie stuff I can’t fuck up - in this case, smoking beats, grilling vegetables, searing off steaks and making an unholy amount of mashed potatoes. Like, so much you could fill a kiddie pool (my having just googled that phrase likely resulting in the FBI kicking down the door at any moment).
It’s hard work, long hours, and a perfect palette cleanser after the botoxed broken dream emporium that is Los Angeles. I’ll be jamming with Jessica Childress tomorrow evening, performing solo here on Saturday and, most significantly, the Udsen family (the winery’s proprietors) are great friends.
I’m grateful that diverse interests have brought into my life innumerable kooky characters and generous spirits. I used to think being a jack-of-all-trades dude was a weakness, but it’s become clear over the past few years that, just like my ears are kinda dumbo-like, it’s in my DNA. It’s who I am, and by embracing it I'm happier now than I've ever been.
I never thought “go smoke beets” would be life advice I’d ever give, but hey. As artists, we all get burned out, start questioning our worth and over-think ourselves into unrecognizeability. Take a break. It's ok. The muse will be there when you get back. Go smoke beets.