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The Illustrated History of Soulpajamas (abridged) 

  600 AD  Pope Gregory the Great codifies & collects the chant, used in Roman Catholic services.  Names it Gregorian Chant in his honor
  850 Western music starts to move from monotony, no, monophony to polyphony with vocal parts in church music moving in parallel intervals

1180 Troubadours, the original singer/songwriters, appear in Germany and call themselves minnesingers, "singers about love."   So Paul McCartney's Silly Love Songs had a historical precedent.
1430 The Renaissance begins and some other stuff happens.
1565 In Italian music, castration emerges as a way of preserving the tone and high range of young male singing voices.  Bad news for males. 
1565 St. Paul's dictum prohibited women from singing on stage and in churches.  Bad news for everybody.
1599 Dick Clark was born
1631 Erin heaves a sigh of relief when professional female singers appear for the first time on the English stage.
1866 Invention of the radio by Al Gore.
1888 Thomas Edison introduces an electric motor-driven phonograph.
1936 Electric guitars debut
vinyl LP
1948 The microgroove 33 1/3 rpm long-play vinyl record (LP) is introduced by Columbia Records

autoharp1959 A young Erin starts the Kumquats, a small and sour
a folk trio, in which she sings and plays auto harp.
1960 Dan gets his first (toy) guitar and takes a bow
1961 Erin takes her first classical organ lesson

1963 Philips introduces the Compact Cassette tape format, spelling doom for 8 tracks
1964 Dan gets his first real guitar with S&H Green Stamps.

1965 Family visits rellies in Kansas and Dan gets his first guitar lesson from uncle: classic C&W songs.
1966 Erin starts weekly commute to NYC for voice lessons
1967 Dan returns to Kansas for his second guitar lesson and Erin auditions for the Broadway production of Hair! in NYC (for real)
1969 While studying theatre at Ithaca College, Erin sings with jazz bands in clubs
1970 Dan starts writing songs with Bob Camp and they form a duo called Nightwing
1973 Nightwing on haitus
1974 Nightwing reunites and morphs into Taxi with added members Don, Denny and Rod
1976 Taxi opens for Steve Martin at Penn State University
1977 Saturday Night Fever ignites the dreaded disco craze.  Taxi adds Al Seligson on drums and renames itself as Hatdance.
1979 Hatdance dissolves and the Student Nurses jam band is born.  Skylab falls to earth.  Dan joins the Phyrst Phamly, a long running tradition at the Phyrst bar in State College, PA.
Buffalo Chipkickers logo
1980 SONY introduces a palm-sized stereo cassette tape player called the Walkman.  Dan successfully auditions for the Buffalo Chipkickers, a quirky, non-traditional bluegrass band and retires from the Phyrst Phamily.
1981 Buffalo Chipkickers do a short tour of Europe
1982 SONY releases the first CD player.  Buffalo Chipkickers return to Europe for another tour.
1982 Dan sings and plays in a variety of wedding bands.
1982 Erin sings in a variety of wedding bands

1988 CDs outsell vinyl records for the first time.  Joe Loftus & Sacred Ground is born.  Dan and Robert Cote help Joe finish the album and it's released on cassette.
1996 Dan and Erin meet.  It's 'like' at first site.  At their honeymoon, Dan hears Erin sing for the first time and sparks fly.  Erin hears Dan sing and tries to annul.

early Soulpajamas (duo) press photo
1996 Dan and Erin start the duo Spa Mamas which plays a few gigs and changes name to Soulpajamas.
2000 Soulpajamas releases 3 song EP.
2001 Apple introduces the first iPod.
2003 Apple launches iTunes Music Store.
2007 iPhone launched.  Soulpajamas releases first full length CD entitled Dreaming a  New Reality.
Chapter Three
2009 Dan joins forces with Chapter Three
2011 Soulpajamas releases Reaching for the Sun, their 2nd full length CD.
2011 Dan, John Robbins and Jeff Halverson start a trio called Mandolin Rain.
Soulpajamas, now a quartet
2012 Mandolin Rain merged with Soulpajamas.
2013 The new and improved Soulpajamas plays it first gigs.

Extreme weather 

Our drummer, Jeff Halverson is, in real life, a severe weather meteorologist.   He was recently cited in this article:

irregular and unpredictable 

As you know, the delivery schedule for our email newsletter has been wildly irregular and unpredictable (like us), but we try to send no more than one a month (we're lucky if we do one a quarter - the last one was sent in April).  So we're doing our bit to keep your inbox free from clutter.  If you're not getting our quarterly emails, sign up here.

In those long barren stretches between emails, if you get an urge to find out what's up with Soulpajamas, you can find our latest calendar of performances, newest videos & downloadable songs here at our home in the cloud. We love it when you visit.

This next bit is for our friends who use gmail. If you don't, you are free to roam about the web site.

You may know that Gmail recently added three tabs to the top of your inbox - Primary, Social and Promotions.

You may have even found our email in Promotions, along with emails from Best Buy, Walmart, and who knows what else.

We hope you enjoy our messages enough to want them to appear in your Primary tab.

Here are some simple things you can do to make sure you see all of our future emails:

1. Open Gmail.
2. Click the "Promotions" tab.
3. Look for any emails from Soulpajamas. When you see one, drag it to the "Primary" folder.
4. A question will pop up asking if you want this done automatically in the future. Click YES.

If you want to completely remove these new tabs:

1. Go to the Settings box in the upper right hand corner of your inbox and choose "Settings."
2. Click on the "Inbox" tab, then unselect all categories except "Primary."

A great big thanks to Bob Baker for alerting us to this and for his solution (which we blatantly copied).

Michael Stelzner also posted a helpful video that shows how to navigate some of these options.

Watch it here.

tags: gmail, google mail, Soulpajamas newsletter, quarterly email, irregular, unpredictable, delivery schedule, new tabs, new gmail tabs

Tornados in Maryland followed by perfect weather 

Jeff's weather predictions all came true: wild weather hit our part of the world Wed and Thursday and cleared up just in time for our Friday outdoor performance at Elk Run Winery

Forget dark, sweaty bars.  Our sweetest gig ever was at Elk Run last night.  The sky was clear, temps were moderate, the wine was great and the views were amazing.  It's always great at an outdoor gig when the audience gets a great view, but in this case both the audience and the band had great views of the vineyards and beyond.  Bucolic.

Wild Weather 

Doesn't every band have an inhouse weather expert?  Jeff is our resident weather professor.  Today he sent this email to the band (our next performance is outdoors at Elk Run Winery on Friday):

Fasten your seatbelts.

1) tonite/early thurs AM - remnants of what might be an Ohio Valley derecho may pass through, although likely in a greatly weakened/disorganized state;

2) tomorrow afternoon - possibly a headliner severe weather event, most likely east of D.C. region - damaging winds, large hail, flash flood and strong tornadoes;

3) thurs nite/Friday AM - cold front w/ strong wind gusts - isolated power outages region-wide as whole trees may fall in water-saturated soils

Friday afternoon/eve - delightful, mid-upper 70s, sunny, breezy

Music starts at 6 (also delightful, sunny and breezy).

Elk Run Winery and Vineyards
15113 Liberty Road
Mt. Airy, MD 21771

Name your price 

You can now name your price. We're experimenting with a new flexible pricing structure for song and album downloads. That means you can choose to pay the standard 99 cents per song or a smaller amount. It's entirely up to you.

And we would be remiss if we didn't mention that you can also choose a price higher than 99 cents. Your choice.  It all goes toward recording our next CD.

The flexible pricing on Soulpajamas downloads is not available on iTunes or anywhere else. Try it here: music |

Say 'yes' to everything 

Rule #1 for improv (in comedy and acting) is ‘say yes to everything.’

This might be a good New Year’s resolution for me. Should I say yes to everything that presents itself? It’s not that I want to commit myself to lots of additional, well, commitments, but it’s a reminder to be open to new directions, new people, new ways of being. And to not shut out new opportunities before giving them a fighting chance.

In 2012 Soulpajamas said yes to John and Jeff and we doubled the size and sonic palette of the band. We are grateful for the addition of these two fine musicians. At this point 2013 is a blank page. Stick around to see what the new Soulpajamas says yes to in the coming weeks.