An Occasional Publication

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

December 2023 - As 2023 Draws To A Close...

 

Holiday Greetings To All -

My how time has flown since our last newsletter back in February!  While mankind continues to demonstrate its inability to cope with problems of its own making and goes full steam ahead creating new ones, we can still calm our souls and try to spread love and peace through music. So, without further ado, some music...

Video version of "If I Believed"
Penny sings our humanist love ballad along with alto sax, harmonica, and pedal steel features (background fine art selections by Penny).

Watch it here: https://youtu.be/DyaTPLXcNQI

Live In The Project Studio
Below you'll find our take on Jerome Kern's "All The Things You Are" as well as the Jobim classic "The Girl From Ipanema", with Penny singing the first chorus in French ("La fille d'Ipanema").
"All The Things You Are": https://youtu.be/mRk_j8gIv1I
"The Girl From Ipanema": https://youtu.be/bk0U2FBTD64
For our gear head friends...
This year I spent some time upgrading our "live" toolset with the addition of a new looper and drum box which work nicely together. This has taken some time to get right, but with these particular tools I've been able to craft my own drumsets based on my favorite samples from the many drum libraries I've been using in our studio recordings over the years. Then I custom programed the drum parts for each tune. This is all time consuming, but fun! Then, when performing the tune, I'm able to live-loop my guitar parts and have them stay perfectly in sync with the drums. - Slim

Slim's latest pedal boards for harmonica, guitar, looping, and drums:

For Monterey Bay Area folks..
Penny has two Viola da Gamba gigs coming up to celebrate the new year:

There's the annual Cherry Trio & Friends concert at the Carl Cherry Center in Carmel, CA, which is on New Years Day at 3pm. They'll be joined this year by two other fabulous musicians on Baroque Violin and Dulcian.

Then on January 5th and 6th, she'll be playing in the Pastyme Consort for the Madregalia!! concerts, also in Carmel, at All Saints' Episcopal Church. 
Details for both concerts are here: https://slimandpenny.com/web/schedule/

So, how else have we been spending our time?
Penny's been busy as she continues leading the choir at the Stroke and Disability Center at Cabrillo College as well as working on the boards of both The Santa Cruz Baroque Festival and The Santa Cruz Chamber Players. Slim's been doing some outside sessions on harmonica, playing some experimental music with friends on pedal steel and we've both been working on some new studio recordings which will most likely be the subject of our next newsletter.

Finally, a reminder that all our published music, bios, and video links can be found on our website:

https://SlimAndPenny.com

And our completed albums can be streamed from any of the major streaming services -- just search for "Slide Man Slim & Penny Hanna".

Here's to a more peaceful world in 2024, however unlikely that may be....

Slim & Penny
All our published recordings can be heard at https://slimandpenny.com/web/audio/, and our 3 CDs are on all the popular streaming services.

Online version of this newsletter is here: http://slimandpenny.blogspot.com/

Subscribe/unsubscribe info is here: https://slimandpenny.com/web/connect/

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

February 2023 - Some Things Old, Some Things New

 

Greetings Earthlings -

Since our last newsletter back in August of last year, we've published a few things: A new "live in the studio" video, a new studio recording of a new tune, a remastered old Penny Hanna album, and a video showcasing one of the songs from that album.

"If I Believed" - A Humanist Love Ballad
New studio recording of a tune written by Slim and sung by Penny with alto sax, harmonica, and pedal steel features. Listen or download here:

https://slimandpenny.com/web/articles/if-i-believed

"Shake On It!" - Captured Live (with looping) In Studio
This original harmonica instrumental first appeared on our "Procrastination" album. The video version was taped last October in our project studio. Watch on YouTube:

https://youtu.be/8BXSOjMPKIY

"Organic Software Vol. 2 - Cruel Lottery" - Penny's 1987 politically-themed pop album remastered
 Penny's songs on this album were, with a couple of exceptions, political in nature. It was 1987, Reagan was in the White House and plenty of bad stuff was happening here in the USA.  The lyrics riff on wide-ranging subjects including nuclear annihilation in "DEW Line" and "They Say, I Say", televangelist con men in "Oral Tradition" (fellow oldsters might remember Oral Roberts in the prayer tower), the never-ending racism towards African Americans in "Still Walkin'", the feminist lament "Girls Can Play", and Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (aka Star Wars) in "Somewhere Up In Outer Space". Sadly, much of her biting commentary holds true to this day. Most of all, I hope that you'll agree that the craftsmanship in these songs, both lyrically and musically, is exceptional -- a thing of beauty. - Slim.

Listen or Download (no charge) here (this page also has links to this album on the major streaming services):

https://slimandpenny.com/web/articles/organic-software

And for Black History Month: "Still Walkin'" - Video showcase (with lyrics) of Penny's song from the Cruel Lottery album
The year was 1987 and we were on the road doing a hotel gig in Hutchinson, Kansas. One night on the local news we caught a story about Martha Woodard Rawlins, a local African American civil rights leader who had recently organized Hutchinson's first MLK Day celebration. Rawlins had awakened to find racist graffiti spray painted all over the outside of her home. Penny was outraged and channeled her anger over this into a song which we recorded and subsequently performed during a return engagement in Hutchinson. The grainy footage incorporated in this video was taken by the news crew of Wichita TV station KWCH for their follow-up on this story.

https://youtu.be/9kz2JzYrbFc

Peace and Love,

Slim & Penny

Sunday, August 28, 2022

August 2022 - 'Stand Up!' - Our get-out-the-vote anthem

 

Dear Friends -

Like so many of you, we're concerned about the political environment here in the good ol' USA.

Among other things, our democracy is at stake in state after state where Republican propagators of the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen have been nominated for secretary of state and governor positions. Should they win, these are the very people who's job it would be to certify election results.

And then there's the US Congress to worry about. Without solid Democratic majorities in both houses, nothing can be done with respect to voting rights, abortion rights, and the out-of-control Supreme Court.
 
We will need huge voter turnout in November to make a difference.

It's with this in mind that we've released our new get-out-the-vote anthem Stand Up! and nothing would make us happier than for musical artists, especially those with a bigger following than ours (a very low bar), to perform and/or record this song to help remind people why their vote is so important this November.

So, if you like the tune, please share widely!

Video version (with lyrics) on YouTube:

https://youtu.be/RsS4KmuD3M8

Listen and/or download the MP3 version here:

https://slimandpenny.com/web/articles/stand-up/

Also available on all the major streaming services, including:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/3blE4YMiJ3uCJKRYyHhZiX

Amazon Music: https://amazon.com/music/player/albums/B0BBD5366Y

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/stand-up-single/1642102484

YouTube Music: https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=RsS4KmuD3M8
 
Thanks for listening and...
Vote Blue in '22!
Peace and Love,

Penny & Slim

Saturday, July 23, 2022

July 2022 - New Music & Videos

 

Howdy Friends -

Hope this finds you all well or at least coping in these troubling times. Music can help!

First off, hot off the press: Our newest instrumental recording written by Slim and featuring Penny on Bass Guitar and Sax, Slim on Chromatic Harmonica, Pedal Steel, and Guitars.

WARNING: Listening to this music might just leave you with a Contact High!

Listen and/or download here: 
https://slimandpenny.com/web/articles/contact-high/

Since our last newsletter, we captured ourselves live in our project studio doing an instrumental version of Luiz Bonf√°'s "Manh√£ de Carnaval" (theme from Black Orpheus).

Here it is on YouTube: https://youtu.be/1K_Bcrqd8yY

And we did a video for Penny's "If I Give You My Heart" from her recently remastered 1988 album "Often Running"

Here it is on YouTube: https://youtu.be/LSINdoIkjzM

Hope you enjoy these tunes!

Peace and Love,

Penny & Slim

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

April 2022 - Organic Software vol. 3 - Often Running (1988) Remastered

Dear Friends -

Over a three year period beginning in 1985, Penny wrote and recorded three albums worth of pop tunes under the "Organic Software" banner. These recordings were done in our home project studio using what was in the 1980s the latest computer-controlled synthesizer technology along with semi-pro multi-track tape machines. Penny would write the tunes and author the basic MIDI tracks and then hand them over to Slim for further enhancement before laying down the vocals and other instruments. Back then we got as far as the album cover but unfortunately none of these albums ever made it to vinyl -- so we just sold cassette versions at our gigs (as a few of you on this list may remember).

We're currently in the process of remastering and re-releasing all of these recordings. We're starting with Organic Software Volume 3 "Often Running", originally released in 1988 and currently available to listen to or download from our website (no charge) and is also now available on all the streaming services.
 
To listen or download, visit the Organic Software page on our website here: https://slimandpenny.com/web/articles/organic-software/
 

Additionally, we've released a new video version of "Electric Touch", one of the tunes from the album:
Watch the new "Electric Touch" video here: https://youtu.be/nPsU57DBPIs

Hope everyone's enjoying this spring season!

Peace and Love,

Penny & Slim

Monday, February 14, 2022

February, 2022 - New Music & Valentine's Day Video Card

 

To all those in love on this Valentine's Day -

"Smitten" is a jazzy love ballad written for Penny's 2021 birthday and here it is in the form of a Valentine's Day video card. Feel free to share with that special someone in your life:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBLlJZDdMX0

The MP3 version can be played/downloaded from our website here:

https://slimandpenny.com/web/articles/smitten/

Have a happy day and we hope the new year's treating you well so far!

Slim & Penny

Sunday, February 13, 2022

December 2021

 

Dear Friends -

A few new things to report:

We've just uploaded a new video of Penny performing on the viola da gamba in our project studio. Penny says:

"The composer and viol player Tobias Hume (c. 1579 – 1645) was also a soldier who traveled away from his native Scotland to the continent. Here is his "Pollish Villanel" a light hearted composition for solo lyra viol, perhaps inspired from the Italian 16th century Villanella. It appears in "The First Part of Ayers French, Pollish and Others" published in London, 1605."
Watch "A Villanel" here: https://youtu.be/9-eJ77bXoVM

And for those in our area, Penny will be performing on gamba with the Cherry Trio plus special guest violinist David Wilson at the Cherry Center in Carmel, CA on Sunday, January 2nd, thus reviving their annual tradition which was paused last year due to the pandemic.
Full details are here: https://slimandpenny.com/web/schedule/

Also, since our previous newsletter, we published a video from deep in the memory vault of Penny (along with yours truly) performing at the 1988 Austin Music Umbrella Songwriters Competition where she was a finalist and voted Best Female Vocalist for the outstanding performance of her tune "Love Rises Up".
Check it out here: https://youtu.be/ml2evb2pC3E

And finally, we've had wonderful reactions to our "Nature Will Have Her Way" video, but it hasn't exactly gone viral yet, so if you're so inclined, please share it widely:  https://youtu.be/-FsiZXEHbSw
Have a wonderful holiday season, and please do be careful out there during these insane times...

- Slim