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Notes from the Road  
by Dennis Warner 2017

December 20, 2017
Clearwater, MN

Dear Santa,

I would like this car. You don't even have to wrap it or put a bow on it. Or figure out how to get it down the chimney. Thank you.

Your Pal,

Dennis

 

Dennis High School Orchestra
Dennis with his cello (Right) from the
Tech High School Orchestra. Pictured with
his buddies Glenn (middle) and Paul (Left).
Pete photobombing from behind.


Eckblad Williams
Bev Williams and
Steve Eckblad

November 18, 2017
St. Cloud, MN

Today I attended the funeral of someone who was very important in my music development, Beverly Williams. She was a fairly new music teacher in the St. Cloud school district when I was introduced to her as a fourth grader. I wanted to play the drums but so did everyone else. Stunned that drumming wasn't available to me, I made a decision that I'm sure you would make too, and became a cellist!

Okay, maybe that's an odd jump, but kids don't have preconceived notions of what's normal or cool. So I played classical music in orchestras from 5th grade into college, where I attended Bemidji State University with a music scholarship.

Bev and her husband Steve Eckblad were my orchestra directors all the way from elementary school through high school. Playing the cello was a great decision on my part, making lifelong friends that to this day are very dear to me. Bev and Steve also become good friends, and we visited in person every year while also keeping in touch through email and facebook. They supported my efforts of bringing bully education to the elementary schools with Beads on One String, even sponsoring me when a school didn't have the funds.

Thousands of families continue to be impacted in a positive way through music thanks to these two. What a gift to our community.

Though retired from the public schools, Steve still teaches privately. I wish every school district could have a "Bev and Steve", champions for kids, for music and for how the two combined makes our world simply more beautiful.

Moab Utah
Moab, Utah

October 18, 2017
Moab, UT

It's been a crazy but fun tour the past month. Over 6,000 miles driven and still counting. So many great shows and memories that began in Illinois and extended throughout the Pacific Northwest. Now we're back into the Rockies.

Moab's a fun town! In the photo I'm relaxing with some hazelnut gelato. Truth be told, I just wanted my picture taken with the 1940's Willie's Jeep! My Dad taught me how to drive on a similar model when I was 14 years old.

Heading to Keystone, Colorado from here, then finally home Sunday night. I think I'll be sleeping in on Monday.

Bend Roots Fesitval
Bend Roots Festival with new friend "Orion"

September 30, 2017
Bend, OR

The weather has been perfect since the tour began in Illinois a couple of weeks ago. I performed in Seattle last night before making the six hour drive to Bend in central Oregon.

On my way to finding good coffee this morning, I saw several teenagers carrying surfboards. I reminded myself that I am indeed in the middle of Oregon, not on the coast. My lack of caffeine must be causing hallucinations?

After a little investigation, I discovered Bend is noted for white water river surfing. Who knew! It's actually pretty cool and looks like fun. If I had an extra day here, I'd want to try this out. Here's a video I found on YouTube.

Later this afternoon I'll take the stage at the Bend Roots Festival.

 

Dennis Warner on Lakeland Public TVLakeland Public TV with Crew



August 31, 2017
Bemidji, MN

Back in my old stopping grounds where I first went to college at Bemidji State University. I remember thinking how cool it would be to have a college degree from BS University. I loved the place and still consider it the most beautiful college campus around, but ended up transfering out and graduating in my home town from St. Cloud State University.

So I was in Bemidji today to record an appearance on Common Ground at Lakeland Public Television. It'll be televised next spring sometime during pledge week.

It was also great to have supper with Pat Riley, the person responsible for bringing me to BSU in the first place by offering this scrawny 17 year old a cello scholarship. Pat has appeared on a couple of my CD's. Awesome musician and friend.

 

Dennis & the D's - Munsinger Gardens 2017
Dennis & the D's in Munsinger Gardens 2017

July 25, 2017
Clearwater, MN

I've made great progress in studio this summer working towards the completion of my 11th album. It sounds amazing and I'm optimistic that it will be released in early 2018. Stay tuned...

A couple of days ago we (Dennis & the D's) had a free hometown concert in St. Cloud in the beautiful Munsinger Gardens. We've played here a lot over the years and it's always been a great experience. This time around some estimates put the crowd size around 1,000. We were told it was probably the largest audience they've ever had for this marvelous concert series. I love my hometown.

I'm off to northern Minnesota for a concert in the beautiful vacation town of Park Rapids, not far from the headwaters of the Mississippi River. No doubt it will be a fun time!

 

Rod Warner-Dennis Warner-1960s
Dennis with his dad Rod Warner - approx. 1966.

June 16, 2017
Marshall, MN

It's a beautiful June day in Southwestern Minnesota. I'm on the tail end of 12 shows in a row, all different towns. It's been great. Thanks to my friend Rebecca Hudson for coordinating this tour and putting together a great routing plan.

The photo is my Dad (Rod Warner) and I playing guitar in the living room where I grew up in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Okay, my guitar is made out of cardboard, but I still had fun. I'm guessing this is around 1966? Check out the cigar boxes under my foot! I've been thinking about my Dad as this is Father's Day weekend. During this tour I've been dedicating Skippin' Stones to his memory. He developed/nutured my interest in baseball, music and all things on and in the water.

My summer vacation begins tomorrow with exactly one month until my next show. I think a lot of people assume that a musician only works when they're on stage. That's funny, actually. The time we don't work is when we're on stage. Performing is the fun part. The work is in the office, getting the concerts organized, website up to date, contracts sent, emails returned, promotional materials mailed out, etc. If we're lucky, we even get time to work on new songs and maybe sneak into the studio to record something.

So I'll be on vacation from the road, but still be working most days in the office or studio. Confession, though, when the wind is up, I just may sneak off to do some sailing. Being my own boss has it's advantages that way. And summer in Minnesota is hard to beat.

 

 

Reggie Harris and Dennis Warner -2017

 

< Dennis with
   Reggie Harris

 

 

 

Liam Purcell - Dennis Warner 2017


Liam Purcell & Dennis >

May 22, 2017
Charlotte, NC

I'm waiting on a Delta flight back to Minnesota after a fantastic and exhausting trip to North Carolina. Along the way, I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with my old pal Reggie Harris in the Blue Ridge mountains outside of Asheville. We were up until 5am one morning swapping stories and catching up on our adventures. Reggie lives in New York and continues to be a popular touring musician and frequent guest speaker.

We found ourselves at the Montreat Conference Center along with 300 others sharing our songs and figuring out ways to promote acoustic music.

Others in the mix were Kathy Mattea, Betty Friedrichsen, Gloria Holloway, John McCutcheon and so many other friends from both the concert promotion world and fellow musicians. Whew!  A great week.

And keep an eye on a kid named Liam Purcell. All of 14 years old going on 40. This kid can play and sing, and is as nice as they come.

 

Marietta GA 2017

May 14, 2017
Clearwater, MN

This photo showed up on my Facebook feed today, from Apriel Jessup-Searcy who ordered an autographed copy of the book for her niece after my concert recently in Marietta, Georgia.

Love this image. This is what Beads on One String is all about.

 

 

Whelk Shell- Port StJoe FL 2017 - Dennis Warner

April 7, 2017
Port St. Joe, FL

I've walked many beaches in my life and for the first time, I found a perfectly intact Whelk here in Port St. Joe. Only the bottom inch was sticking out of the sand during the incoming tide. My curiosity led me to digging out this most beautiful shell. My excitement turned to shock when I realized it was still alive! After a couple of photos, I returned him/her/it to the sea, feeling bad that I had disturbed it's safe slumber while it waited for the tide to come back.

I'm looking forward to my concert here tonight! The weather is perfect.

 

Florida Beach Dennis Warner 2017

April 3, 2017
Treasure Island, FL

This leg of the tour started in Ohio and moved through Virginia and North Carolina. I've met some amazing and wonderful people this spring!

Now I'm in Florida, which kind of suits me - beach bumming during the day, concerts at night. Perfect, right? My Mom, who grew up in Oregon and also lived for a short time in Florida, taught me to keep my eyes open for pretty shells on the beach. Somehow, a small bag full of retired sea life usually finds it's way to my van. Back in Minnesota, I put them out in the flower gardens. They're rarely as pretty as when I find them on the beach, but they serve to remind me of my crazy adventures and make me smile. I also imagine the geologists face who finds these shells in Minnesota 1,000 years from now.

Multnomah Falls Oregon- 2017
Dennis at Multnomah Falls, Oregon

March 11, 2017
Walla Walla, Washington


It's been a great two weeks out here in the Pacific Northwest. Even though it's rained and/or snowed almost every day, it's still beautiful.

I started out in Seattle talking with school counselors from Washington state about the Beads on One String program and how it can help kids understand the negative effects of bullying and the positive effects of realizing our connectedness in the world. The counselors were very receptive and I'm hopeful Beads on One String will be spreading through Washington this next year.

I also did a series of amazing concerts in Oregon. I've been touring out here since my career was launched way back in the dark ages when my first rig was a horse and buggy. "Lewis and Clark" was my opening act. At least that's what my young nieces and nephews seem to think...

After leaving Oregon, I made a stop at Multnomah Falls, one of my favorite places to visit anywhere. It still looks the same as it did during my first visit to Oregon when my Mom and I came out here on the Greyhound bus when I was 14 years old. No kidding! That was a great trip.

And I have stories of Walla Walla, too, where I'm staying tonight. Two buddies and I took off the day after high school graduation for a month long trek of the west and spent a crazy night in Walla Walla. I'll save those remembrances for later. Tomorrow I'm heading to Bozeman, Montana and hoping for good weather as I cross over Lolo Pass.

Kris Kristofferson with Dennis Warner - 2017
Kris Kristofferson with Dennis Warner in Kansas City

February 17, 2017
Kansas City, Missouri

Look who I ran into in Kansas City! The amazing Kris Kristofferson. We had a great conversation. He has a well deserved reputation for being a sweet man.

The weather has been weirdly warm in the midwest this winter. Consequently, there's not much snow around. I drove into town in my shorts, t-shirt and bare feet. If my van were a convertible, the top would've been down.

A couple of days ago I met with one of my favorite songwriters, Bruce Cockburn and had the chance to tell him I was recording one of his songs and WHY I was recording it for my new album. It was a touching moment for both of us. More on that another time.

Good news! Since I use Shubb Capos exclusively on the stage and in the studio, I was asked to be one of their endorsed artists. If you're a guitar player, come to one of my shows and ask me why I prefer them. Their logo will start popping up on my newsletter and website, along with Taylor guitars. I am grateful.

Dennis in the Florida Keys
Sailing in the Florida Keys. Well, actually I'm at anchor here. Great weather and beautiful water.
Wearing my
Woodstock Folk Festival shirt!

February 6, 2017
Somewhere in the Florida Keys


Hello! this will be short and sweet, because I'm taking a week off before the winter/spring tour kicks in. Everywhere from Oregon and Washington through the midwest, to the east coast and back down again here to Florida before Easter. Whew!

This is my time to rest. Love you all and look forward to seeing you on the road. If anyone asks, I'm out here doing research for future songs.

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