A Week of Holidays

Hello everyone! If you’ve been wondering why it’s been a while since I’ve posted, it’s because the last few weeks have been quite a hectic time. Day-job stuff has been unrelenting, but I have been able to get out and play live quite a bit more as well, for which I am quite thankful.

Another thing to be thankful for is – it’s holiday week! I’d like to share with you what holiday week means for us here at Tunnel 18: 

Day 1 – December 21 – RUSH DAY2019-12-21 08.47.53

Written “21/12” in European Standard, December 21 is clearly and forever shall be Rush Day. This holiday is celebrated by playing the entire Rush catalog from the debut album through to Clockwork Angels and then watching Exit Stage Left and Beyond the Lighted Stage at least twice each. 

2015-12-17 18.04.25Day 2 – December 22 – 1st Night of Hanukkah

Hanukkah does not always fall at exactly this time of year, but this year it does and therefore I am counting it in the list. Although this is a minor holiday, for someone with not-particularly-mild seasonal affective disorder, the chance to light candles, bring light into the world, and eat fried food is of incredible comfort. 

Day 3 – December 23 – Tibb’s Eve

A shout-out to my dear friend Mark Morrissey for bringing my attention to this excellent holiday! Advent has historically been seen as a time of somber (and sober) preparation for Christmas. A Newfoundland tradition, Tibb’s Eve was established as the first day where the populace could let loose and have a drink, or many drinks. (By the way, don’t let this happen to you.)

(Sidenote: I and a few friends will be going to the open mic at Devlin’s in Brighton on Tibb’s Eve this year, hoping to establish the tradition here in Boston much as Mark has done by bringing it with him from Newfoundland to Edmonton.)

Day 4 – December 24 – Erev Christmas

I am Jewish, but come from a Christian family of origin, and as such am grateful to have the opportunity to partake in both traditions. So, we’ll light the third candle, finish up present wrapping, and read through cards while binge-watching a show to be decided upon at that time.

Day 5 – December 25 – Christmas Day

Christmas Day shall be spent in the Traditional Way: getting up late, quietly exchanging a few minor gifts, and then finding a place for Chinese food and a good movie. It is entirely possible that the new Star Wars movie may find its way into our eyeballs on this day.

Day 6 – December 26 – Boxing Day

Boxing Day isn’t really a US thing, but in many countries, it is essentially a less formal Christmas Day, during which presents are given to public servants and people get together with friends, rather than with family.  In observance, we’re planning to have at least one good friend over for dinner. 

A bit less traditionally, Boxing Day for us will also include boxing a whole bunch of stuff up in preparation for travel to …

Day 7 – December 27 – The Gathering

The family holiday celebration takes place in New Jersey, usually a couple of days after Christmas. This year we are all heading to Bergen County on or about the 27th. Hopefully traffic will be a little lighter than it would have been a few days earlier. It would be nice to think the traffic is actually part of the celebration, but that’s asking quite a bit.

Day 8 – December 28 – The Feast

And then finally, we all are together with family for reunion, celebration, gift-giving, drama, hijinx, and anything else that happens when you get 20 to 30 people together in any confined area. 

(It’s worth noting that Letterkenny Season 8 drops in the US on the 28th!  Uncertain if we’ll start watching while away or have to wait until we get back home.)


May your holiday week also include your own traditions. May this time of year bring light, warmth, love, friendship. May you afford yourself time to rest, recuperate, regenerate, and most of all to create.

A Special Place

I am of an age at which starting new habits or routines is unusual and often difficult. We become set in our patterns and are loath to change them – which is why when it comes time to make a change, having a supportive community around you is so incredibly valuable.

An institution of seven years came to a close this past Monday night. The Open Mic Jam at Bill‘s Pizza* – formerly at Terry O’Reilly‘s and at Smoken’ Joe’s before that – provided that supportive community for many songwriters, musicians, comedians, poets, and even novelists. It was on this stage 16 months ago that I first returned to performing live (after a break of few decades).

2019-12-02 21.14.38I will be eternally grateful to Terrance and Andrew for providing this environment, both for a returning performer to find his chops again, and also for providing a great workshop for trying out new songs and material as I was writing them. I am so, so pleased and honored to call you my friends!

Likewise, I now find myself in the community of some truly talented fellow performers, including (but absolutely not limited to) the up-and-coming Elliot Wren, the folk voice of Bob Greenwood, bassist extraordinaire Ethan Mackler, and theater composer/lyricist/blogger Danielle Pinals. 2019-12-04 23.11.35

In the meantime, the revitalized Tunnel 18 is moving forward. I’m gonna be playing with a couple of interesting people over the next couple of weeks, including a drummer who I am really looking forward to collaborating with. Look for new music soon – I know I’ve been promising it for a while, but it’s on its way. Love to you all, and best wishes for warmth and fellowship this holiday season. 


*Bill’s is still an institution on its own, and run by some damn fine people. Go and enjoy the food!