An Occasional Publication

Friday, April 16, 2021

This Life We've Had

Slim & Penny at Ralph's Showplace, Oakland, CA - 1973

 Howdy Friends -

This year has already brought many changes in our lives. We're very sad to have just lost Penny's sister and former bandmate Maggie Reynolds (memorial page is here:, but we're happy that there's new leadership in D.C. and grateful for the vaccine.

We're also happy to release our latest web single "This Life We've Had" into the wild today.  Yet another love song written for Penny, this one for her 2020 birthday (perhaps in a few years we'll have a Birthday Sessions Vol. 2?).

Listen and/or download here:

Hope this finds you all happy, healthy, and looking forward to somewhat more normal times ahead...

- Slim & Penny

Sunday, December 6, 2020

December 2020: New Music & Holiday Greetings

 Hi Folks -

As we leave the tumultuous year of 2020 behind us (good riddance!), we have for you a new upbeat instrumental "Above & Below" -- wishing for the world (and all of you) a brighter and better year ahead. This Brazilian-flavored tune features chromatic harmonica, pedal steel, sax and guitar with Penny on electric bass and alto sax and Slim on the other instruments.  We hope it helps to put a smile on your face...

Listen or download here:

Have a wonderful holiday and new year ahead!

- Penny & Slim

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

August 2020: Well, I guess this really is the new normal...

Dear Friends -

I'd like to begin by wishing you all the very best during these extremely troubling times.

At the outset of the pandemic I was guessing we'd be locked down for three months or so at worst. Boy was that wishful thinking! So here we are in the new normal, which includes an uncertain future and probably financial devastation and/or sickness and/or death for so many. And at a time when we need to pull together, not just as a country but worldwide (and not only because of the pandemic, but to deal with climate change), we see the opposite.

Having said that, we all still need to find joy in the life we have. Penny & I have been having fun practicing and playing music with each other. In addition to our nightly duo rehearsals, we've also been working on our jazz chops (on various instruments). Ever since I retired from my day gig I've been trying to fill in the holes in my musical knowledge as well as in my technique and what I've discovered is that some of those holes are pretty deep -- lots of work to do!

"Slidin' 'Round"

And we're of course still recording. We've just put this new Western Swing (ish) tune on our website called "Slidin' 'Round". It's my first attempt at a pedal steel guitar instrumental and it's dedicated to the pedal steel players we were fortunate enough to work with back in the 70's including Whitney Eisenwinter, Mark Erlewine, Billy Marshall, John Ely, and (much more recently) the incredible Bobby Black. You guys put these sounds into my head and I'm forever grateful!

Stay safe and vote early!!!

- Slim

Monday, April 13, 2020

April 2020 - New Music in the Time of COVID19

Hi Folks -

Sending warm greetings to all our friends during these very strange times, hope this finds you well and making the best of, or at least coping with, the various current world and national crises.

At the same time, we're delighted to announce the release of our new CD "The Birthday Sessions", which has been in the works for a few years now.  You may have heard some of these tunes on our website or on YouTube already but all of them have now been tweaked, remixed, and mastered for the CD.

Some of the tunes have a primarily Brazilian jazz influence , while others are kind of country. There are a couple of swing tunes and a couple that defy easy categorization. Penny and I played all the instruments and there's lots of chromatic harmonica and pedal steel guitar (my latest musical hobby) as well as some clarinet in addition to our usual array of guitars, basses, and various virtual keyboard and percussion instruments. These are all songs that I wrote. The ones with lyrics were written as birthday presents for Penny. They're personal, from the heart, and in some cases humorous. I'm also delighted that Penny agreed to sing a couple of them (in this sense she's re-gifted them to me).

You can listen to or download the album free of charge or order the CD at the link below. And as of today, the album is available on all the major streaming services.

Listen, download, or order here.

And do check out PT Gazell's wonderful review of the album here.

Peace & Love,

- Slim

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

December 2019 - New Music & Holiday Gigs

Hi Folks -

Just a few updates since our October newsletter:

New Music

We've now posted the rest of Penny playing Carl Friedrich Abel's G Major Sonata on viola da gamba in our project studio. This YouTube playlist contains all four movements (followed by her previous gamba cuts):

And here's a new mix (and obligatory YouTube video) of Slim's harmonica instrumental "64":

Jazz Harmonica Summit Videos

Also, for the 10th anniversary of the 2009 West Coast Jazz Harmonica Summit concert, Slim posted all of the cuts from the concert on YouTube, divided into three playlists (28 videos in all):

DVD Feature cuts:

DVD Bonus cuts:

Previously unreleased (not on the DVD):

If you'd like a copy of the DVD, we still have plenty left and are practically giving them away -- details are here:

Local Gigs

While our duo is currently gigless and in woodshedding mode (not a bad thing, we're glad for the break), Penny has some cool holiday gigs coming up:
  • Alto sax with Cabrillo College Jazz Ensemble (December 6)
  • Clarinet with the Cabrillo Symphonic Winds (December 8)
  • Viola da gamba as part of The Cherry Trio in Carmel for their annual holiday concert on New Year's Day (sells out each year, so get your tickets early)
  • Viola da gamba with "Madregalia!! and the Pastyme Consort" in Monterey (January 4). 
Details for all these events are here:
That's it for now. Do have a wonderful holiday season in spite of all the craziness :-).

Peace & Love,

Slim & Penny

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

October 2019 - New Music

Hi Folks -

Wow how time flies when you're having fun (and apparently even faster when you're getting old). Summer's over, the world has gone beyond crazy, and we've been busy woodshedding (delighted to see that Webster's correctly defined the "informal" description of the verb 'woodshed' as "practice a musical instrument"). We've also been doing a bit of recording.

Harmonica Music

Our latest studio tune is an original harmonica instrumental called "Words Can't Explain".

Audio and obligatory YouTube versions are here:

Viola da Gamba Music

Also, since our last newsletter, we posted the second in a series of video clips from Penny's viola da gamba project studio session from this past June. This one is the opening Adagio from Carl Friedrich Abel's G Major Sonata:

Hoping y'all have a wonderful autumn and that a reasonable level of honesty, integrity, intelligence, and compassion can return to the ruling governments of this fragile world we all have to live in.

Peace and Love,

Penny & Slim

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

July 2019: New Music and Other News

Hi Folks -

Hope you're all finding creative ways to enjoy this summer during these crazy and unsettling times. We're finding that music is pretty good therapy, highly recommended! 

New Music

Penny brought her viola da gamba into our project studio last week and recorded several pieces which we also captured on video. Here she is playing "My Mistress hath a pritty [sic] thing" by musician, composer, soldier, raconteur and self-proclaimed gentleman Tobias Hume published in "The First Part of Ayres for the Viole De Gambo alone" 1605, London:

Also, since our last newsletter, we recorded and posted another "Birthday Sessions" tune (a second song written for Penny's 2018 birthday). It's a country ditty called "Without You", a tale of a somewhat paranoid and needy husband:
Without You

The Birthday Sessions set on our audio page now includes 9 tunes, almost an entire album's worth. You can also scroll down and listen to either of our previous CDs in their entirety here:

10th Anniversary of the 2009 West Coast Jazz Harmonica Summit

This August will mark ten years since Slim produced this fun event, featuring 8 area jazz harmonicists backed by a terrific jazz trio, beautifully filmed in front of a live audience here in Santa Cruz. We have way too many of these wonderful DVDs still in stock, so we're having a blowout sale while supplies last. US domestic orders are only $3 including shipping. Details are here:

Peace and Love,

Penny & Slim