See ya 2020!

To say “It was quite a year” understates the uniqueness of 2020 and also short-changes both the highs and lows. For many, there were countless physical, emotional and economic hardships. Indeed, so many of our lives changed, forever. Losses have been incurred that we won’t get back.  

Focusing on the positive, and what I am thankful for, it’s my immediate family’s health and general happiness. We grew closer this year because, well, we had to. We were together a lot, and sorted out how to make it work, and how to even make it fun. I’m not wishing another 2020 on anyone but that was a nice by-product. 

On the music front, a high was managing to get a CD released. Even though it was written and mostly recorded before January 2020, I felt that it was timely and relevant to 2020’s political and societal landscape. So I am glad I got it out. This gave me an excuse to safely get the band back together and play some virtual venues that did not exist last year, namely the PDX Couch Tour and Northwest Talent Spotlight, run by Brian J. Straus and Bobby Palotta, respectively. These shows were ‘attended’ by so many who frankly would never be able to see us in person given their location and the fact that I don’t tour, even when there is no pandemic. I also did one acoustic show behind a sheet of plastic at the Dublin Pub before Portland locked everything down again. It almost felt normal. Thanks to JT for that! 

I also met and worked with some great people who started their own media outlets (or leaned into their existing ones), like drummer Kevin Rankin who started up a videocast called All Access Live and interviewed me and my Floydian Slips partner Ned Failing, or Tim and Naomi Bunch, who interviewed me for their fantastic podcast The Audio Brew, or my buddy Eric Gessner who keeps having me on his Now and Then radio show on KMUZ FM

Eric and I did a three-hour tribute on KMUZ to Neil Peart in January (Neil’s dying in January was an early point where this year turned to shit and didn’t turn back), and ran an hour-long special on the new CD this month. Radio was friendly in general and I was proud to be added to the rotations of the Portland Radio Project, Shady Pines Radio, Radio Hot Tub, and NWCZ by old friend and supporter Darryl Fortune. 

So there was some music and some community! And I got to PLAY, virtually and also in person 6+ feet apart with my musical partners Dave Kendall and Mike Budd, without whom…! Thanks guys, as always! 

For 2021, I remain thankful and hopeful. As this year turns to next year, I wish all of you safety, warmth and happiness and hope that whatever your jam is, that you are doing it. See you on the other side!

--Paul Lesinski


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