One of the hardest parts of being in your fifties is that people your own age start dying. My new year got off to a rocky start when a longtime friend of mine, Joshua Schoenfeld, unexpectedly passed away.

Joshua was not only one of my best friends, he was also one of my biggest fans. It was he who suggested the album titles Foul Weather Friend and American Proust. Josh and his wife also came to see me when I played at the Baggot Inn in New York City in 2002.

Joshua was the proverbial “glass is half full” kind of guy. After the Baggot Inn gig, we went out for a pepperoni pizza. (Though a devout Jew, Joshua believed that what came out of your mouth was far more important than what went into it.) I was unsure how well my performance went (sparse attendance, not much applause) when Joshua reassured me:

JS: When you started playing, did anyone get up and leave?

FM: Well… no.

JS: Then you did okay!

However, even someone of Joshua’s sunny disposition would have found it hard to put a positive spin on my performance at the Tipsy Bean Coffeehouse in Erie.

I was in the audience watching my friend Tommy Link play there last January. When he took a break, he invited me to play a few songs during the interim.

I pretty much cleared the room. By the end of my third song, I was playing to Tommy and the baristas.

Tommy – to his credit – didn’t hold a grudge. To the contrary; he put in a good word for me to play at the Breakwall BBQ in Conneaut, Ohio. (I’ll be playing there on Sunday, June 2.) The Breakwall, with its lakefront location and picturesque sunsets, is one room I know I won’t clear!

I’ve had a YouTube channel for about 10 years, but I haven’t done anything with it for a long time. When I recently saw how many subscribers I had, I figured I should probably get back into it. Over the past few months, therefore, I’ve uploaded several new videos: mainly live performances, along with a couple of instrumental pieces I’ve been working on.

You can see what all the fuss is about at:

Well, that’s about it for now. As always, thanks for your support.

Rock long and prosper (or, as Joshua would have said, “Shalom aleichem”).

Listen to music here!

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