Putting The Trio In Rough Hewn Trio Or Some Upcoming Shows

We’ve booked a couple of shows around Chris’ summer tour with Martin Fabricius and Craig’s ongoing tour of regional correctional facilities.


In chronological order:


  • Saturday, April 30 · 2:00pm – 3:00pm UC Irvine, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, Winifred Smith Hall – 4002 Mesa Road – Irvine, CA – iPhone Not Required (but bring’m if you got’m) i.e. Lavender’s Grad Recital
  • Friday, May 27 – Tribal Café – 1651 West Temple Street Los Angeles, CA 90026-5026 (213) 483-4458
    Yes Memorial Day Weekend.  No – we’re not sure who’s going to be in town to be there. Yes it will be awesome. Starts at 7:30 – bands TBA
  • Friday, July 15th – Tribal Café (Do you see a trend here) Starts at 7:30 – bands TBA

Here’s the info for the Irvine show from Chris.  This is going to be a really cool recital that will feature audience members playing with the band using Chris’ Thumbafon iphone ap.


iPhone Not Required (but bring’m if you got’m)


Saturday, April 30 · 2:00pm – 3:00pm

UC Irvine, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, Winifred Smith Hall

4002 Mesa Road

Irvine, CA

This is the penultimate performance of my graduate work, which is centered around the investigation of using mobile devices as a means toward audience collaborated performance. It’s an epic social/musical experiment* that YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS!

Performance starts at 2pm.

Checkout www.thumbafon.com for information on the iPhone App which will be used during the performance.

Featuring the Rough Hewn Trio”

Finally if you want to get a sense of the mellower side of our ensemble:



Getting Through The Gig – Negotiating A Chord Chart Part 3

I took the wrong weekend to sleep in!  Guitar Squid distributed a link to part one of the post and by the time I got to check my stats for the weekend I had already missed my record keeping days.

However, you got here – welcome.

In the previous posts (part 1 and part 2), I talked about deciphering chord symbols and developing shortcuts for playing them.  In this post I’m going to talk about my approach and  how I ended up reading the chart.


One final time – here’s the 232 chart with upper extension triads written in:


Full Triadic Substitutions / Shortcuts

Here’s an mp3 of the track.  This was recorded with an FnH Ultrasonic recorded directly into AU Lab with PodFarm 2.0 @ 44.1.  The goal was an ambient wash of sound but in retrospect, I should have gone with a longer delay time/wetter reverb to hold the sustain.

Here’s the PodFarm Patch:

Here’s Bar 1 of the chart:

232 Measure 1


  • Simple is better.  I usually start with 3-4 note voicings and then add from there on subsequent passes.
  • I chose the F minor chord in the first position to make the C in the chart the top note of the voicing (and thus accent the melody) – this kept my initial focus on voicings primarily on the D, G and B strings.
  • I added the bass note on the E and A strings so I could get a little more of the chord texture.
  • On the B minor 11 chord, I made some alterations on the fly.  To get the melody note on top of the voicing I doubled the 11 (E on the 5th fret).  Technically this isn’t a minor 11 chord as there’s no 3rd – but in this case Chris was playing the full voicing anyway, so I’m just adding texture.  Depending on what the bass was doing on the second pass I would probably add the 3rd of the chord (D) on the 5th fret of the A string.
  • The 3rd and 4th chords follow a similar pattern so I used the same voicing.
  • I decided to drop down to 1st position for the last chord to get some low-end emphasis.  I’d probably add some harp harmonics as well.
  • The same voicings and approach are used in Bar 2.


Bar 2

232 Measure 2

Bars 3-4

232 Measures 3-4


  • A 9 (sus4) – This went to g,b and e strings to facilitate the melody note.  With the kind of ambient swell sounds that I used – muting the strings with the pick hand between chord changes becomes important to maintain smooth delay.
  • Bb Maj 9 – Here I was actually thinking Dm 7/Bb.  So I’m just using the top notes of the voicing.
  • E min 9 – This is a stock A string minor 9 voicing I use.  I have a couple of these for E and A strings I throw in when I need to.
  • F#9 (sus 4) – E maj/F# voicing based off of a VII position E barre chord.
  • G maj 9  – I was thinking B min but then added the A on the 10th fret for the melody and the G on the A string for the root.
  • C#min 9 – I moved the melody up an octave on the last 3 chords to amp up the arrangement.  Stock E string rooted voicing.  Sometimes I’d play the B on the D string and sometimes not.
  • D Maj 9 – Variation on the C#min9 shape – 2 useful voicings to have at your disposal.
  • E9 sus 4 – Just kept the D Maj 9 voicing, added the F# on the top string and played the low octave E.  I addition to filling out the chord the voicing puts me in a good spot space wise if we decide to repeat bars 1-4.


This has been a long series of instruction for a pretty simple chord chart, but the purpose of it was to detail the process behind those short cuts.  It might seem long and involved – but it gets easier over time.  In reality – the voicings took about a minute to suss out.


I hope this helps!  Please feel free to reply here or send an email to guitar.blueprint@gmail.com with any other questions you might have about this.


Getting Through The Gig – Negotiating A Chord Chart Part 2

In the previous getting through the gig post, I talked about how to interpret chord symbols to determine what a song is asking for.  Today, I’m going to use upper structure triads (triads built on chord tones other than the root) to simplify the chart.  If you’re unfamiliar with the chord symbols below, you may want to start with Part 1 of this lesson.

This lesson will continue to use the  232 chart used in part 1.


(232 © Chris Lavender 2011 used with permission)


For now – let’s assume that you know how to play at least some major and minor triad shapes.  (If you didn’t take my advice to review the triadic inversions at the end of  the last post – you may want to do so now.)


Getting through the Charts part 1 – Unfamiliar and familiar

When sight-reading a chart, my goal isn’t neccessarilly to have a brilliant interpretation playing it the first time (although if I can make it better – great) . I just want to make sure that I’m playing the chords as written and then try to adapt it to the song.  So if I have stock voicings at my fingers for chords on the chart and they make sense, I’ll play those and then voice lead or tailor the approach from there.

Let’s assume for a moment that it’s a worse case scenario – you’re given this chart to play and all of these chords are alien to you.


Step 1:

Look for common chord types.

In this case, there are only a few different types of chords in the piece:

  • major9 #11
  • minor 11,
  • 9sus4,
  • major 9 and
  • minor 9.

If generic voicings can be developed they can just be moved to the roots of the chords that need to be played.


Step 2:

Convert to the key of C and figure out the chord formula.

The reason to convert to the key of C – is that the lack of sharps or flats in the key signature makes it easy to alter chord formulas as need be.

Here are the chords in question in the key of C:

C major9 #11:  C, E, G, B, D, F# (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, #11)

C minor 11:  C, Eb, G, Bb, D, F (1, b3, 5, b7, 9, 11)

C 9sus4: C, F, G, Bb, D,  (1, 4, 5, b7, 9)

C major 9: C, E, G, B, D (1, 3, 5, 7, 9)

C minor 9: C, Eb, G, Bb, D (1, b3, 5, b7, 9)


Step 3:

Focus on the upper notes (7, 9, 11, 13) of the voicing (and/or any alterations) and make a short cut:


This process assumes that there’s a bass player who will be playing the root.  You also loose the 3rd in the voicing, but you can always add the root, 3rd or any other chord tone  in later. The initial step is to just get through the chart, and then spruce it up as you gain familiarity.


In the C major9 #11, the upper notes are the 7, 9 and #11 (B, D, F# ) this is a B minor triad with a C in the bass (also written B min/C).


The shortcut here is –

if you play a minor triad a ½ step down from the root

you’ll have the upper extension of the major 9 #11 chord.

Here are the transposed voicings

Gb major 9 #11 = F minor/Gb

A major 9 #11 = G# minor/A

F major 9 #11 = E minor/F

C major 9 #11 = B minor/E

D major 9 #11 = C# minor/D

Bb major 9 #11 = A minor/Bb

Here they are penciled into the chart:

Maj. 9 sharp 11 Shortcut


I’m going to into specific voicings in the third and final post – the idea here is to just to document how to figure out some basic chord substitutions.  While I haven’t written in the bass note (i.e. Gb major 9 #11 = F minor/Gb  – written on the chart as simply Fm), the bass note is still in the original chord voicing, so I can work it into the tonic as necessary.

In the C minor 11, the upper notes are the b7, 9 and 11 (Bb, D, F) this is a Bb major triad with a C in the bass (also written B/C).


The shortcut here is –

if you play a major triad a step down from the root

you’ll have the upper extension of the minor 11 chord.

Here are the transposed voicings:

B minor 11 = A/B

C# minor 11 = B/C#

E minor 11 = D/E

Gb minor 11 = Fb(E)/Gb

and applied to the chart:

Minor 11 Triadic shortcuts


Next, let’s look at the 9 sus4 chord

C 9sus4: C, F, G, Bb, D,  (1, 4, 5, b7, 9)

Here the upper extensions are the b7, 9 and the added sus4 (Bb, D, F)

The real difference between the C9 Sus4 and the C minor 11 is the Eb.


The shortcut here is –

if you play a major triad a step down from the root

you’ll also have the primary tones of the 9sus4 chord.

Here are the transposed voicings:

A9 sus 4 = G/A

F#9 sus 4 = E/F#

E9 sus 4 = D/E

and applied to the chart:

9 sus 4 Triadic Shortcuts


For 11 and 13th chords, I tend to think in terms of  triads based on the 7th or the 9th.  Major and Minor 9th chords can be seen as triads starting from the 5th (but I usually see them as 7th chords from the 3rd – more on that in part 3 of these posts).


Major 9th shortcut –

if you play a major triad chord a 5th up from the root

you’ll have the upper extension of the major 9th chord.


Here are the transposed voicings:

C major 9: C, E, G, B, D (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) = G/C

Bb major 9 = F/Bb

G major 9 = D/G

D major 9 = A/D

and applied to the chart:

Major 9th Triad Shortcuts


Minor 9th shortcut –

if you play a minor triad a 5th up from the root

you’ll have the upper extension of the minor 9th chord.


Here are the transposed voicings:

C minor 9: C, Eb, G, Bb, D (1, b3, 5, b7, 9)  = G Minor

Emin9 = B min/E

C#min9 = G# min/ C#

And the big reveal or…



Okay here’s the initial chart again:


and here’s the modified chart with triadic substitutions written in (click on the chart to see it full-sized).


Full Triadic Substitutions / Shortcuts


Which do you find easier to read chord-wise?


“Hey take a solo…”

As an additional bonus to this approach, these upper extension triads can also be approached as arpeggios that can be played over each chord for soloing or as a simpler tonal center for chord scales (just realize that not all chord scales that work for the upper extension triad will work for the initial chord – but experiment and use your ear to guide you for what works.)

In the final post of this series, I’ll show how I ended up voicing the tune.

Thanks for reading!


Getting Through The Gig – Negotiating A Chord Chart Part 1

In the previous surviving the gig post, I talked about some memorization skills that can help get through gigs that require learning a lot of tunes.  In this series of posts, I want to focus on how to get through gigs that may have unfamiliar chord changes.

In this post, I’m going to be discussing how to interpret chord symbols and then developing some short cuts for how to generate chord voicings on the bandstand as it were.  If you are already familiar with how to read chord voicings – you may want to skim this and just go to part 2.

There will be a lot of detail over these posts for how I’m doing what I’m doing, but once you get the concept under your belt.  It should be something you can do on the fly if need be.

As an example, I’ll be look at part of a chart Rough Hewn touch/stick/Warr guitarist Chris Lavender sent to me, called 232

(232 © Chris Lavender 2011 used with permission)


First Step – Know what notes the chord symbols are asking for.

It’s not that hard to figure out chords if you know what the symbols mean.  Here are some general shortcuts for chord types beyond triads.  There are only 3 basic categories that we’ll look at: Major, Minor and Dominant:



(Sometimes designated by “major”, “maj” or a triangle)

Any type of major chord always has a major triad (Root, 3rd and 5th) plus a major 7th in the full chord voicing unless it states otherwise.  If a chart has any type of C Major chord variation (C Major 7, C Major 9 or C Major 13)  –  the voicing has a C, E, G and B.


When removing notes from any voicing the 5th is usually the first to go (unless it’s altered like #5, or b5).

The initial short cut is: any major type chord starts with (1,3, 7) or (C, E, B) in the key of C.


(Sometimes designated by “minor”, “min”. or “-” )

Any type of minor chord always has a minor triad (Root, b3rd and 5th) plus a b7th in the full chord voicing unless it states otherwise.  If a chart has any type of C Major chord variation (C minor 7, C minor 9, C minor 11 or C minor 13)  –  the voicing has a C, Eb, G and Bb.


When removing notes from any voicing the 5th is usually the first to go (unless it’s altered like #5, or b5).

The initial short cut is: any minor type chord starts with (1,b3, b7) or (C, bE, bB) in the key of C.


(Sometimes designated by “dominant”, “dom”. or no designation

i.e. “C7”, “C9” or “C13” refers to a dominant chord unless otherwise stated)

Any type of dominant chord always has a major triad (Root, 3rd and 5th) plus a b7th in the full chord voicing unless it states otherwise.  If a chart has any type of C dominant chord variation (C 7, C 9, C 11 or C 13)  –  the voicing has a C, E, G and Bb.


When removing notes from any voicing the 5th is usually the first to go (unless it’s altered like #5, or b5).

The initial short cut is: any dominant type chord starts with (1,3, b7) or (C, E, Bb) in the key of C.

Beyond this, you just need to add in additional pitches based on what the voicing indicates.

Here’s a chart that relates all of the potential chord tones that you might see to a scale degree for quick reference.

Putting the chart to use:

The first chord in the 232 chart is a C major 9 #11.  As a reminder – any extended C major chord will have C, E, G, B in the full voicing.  Since it’s a C major 9, a 9th – which in the chart above is a D – will have to be added.    The #11 means an F# will get added to the voicing as well.  This brings the full voicing to (C, E, G, B, D, and F#).

Again, the only time you would probably play a full voicing is for a solo guitar or perhaps a duet performance.  In the next post, I’ll discuss how to extract what you need to get through the chart.


Second Step – Know some chords

When I went to Berklee, I was advised that I should learn at least 2 chord voicings for any chords that could be put on a chart in front of me.  These stock voicings are typically low E or A string rooted (as it helps with visualization) and are the default voicings that you would use if you were sight-reading a chart.  These typically include triads, Major /Minor / Dominant chord 7th, 9th, 11th and 13th chords.

While this is, generally, useful advice, I should state for the record that while I did the initial memorization required for school proficiencies – I quickly forgot the majority of voicings I wasn’t using all the time. Learning every inversion of every possible 7th, 9th, 11th and 13th chord on multiple string sets will take YEARS.  For some people, it’s the best method, but it never worked that well for me.


Once I understood how chords worked, I never bothered to memorize many specific voicings above a 9th chord because I found some shortcuts to get the sounds I needed.


This is not to say that you should be lazy.If you follow through on the suggestions that I have – you should plan on learning triads and 7th chords at a very deep level (i.e. you should have the goal of being able to play any triad or 7th chord in any inversion in any position).

(more on how to do that in a future post)

I hope this helps!  In the next post – I’ll simplify the 232 chart with some harmonic shortcuts.

While digesting this – I’d recommend you take some time to work on your chord inversions.  If you’re unfamiliar with them you may want to check out the D major inversions I’ve posted below, and adapt this process to minor triads (just flat the third – F# and make it F in the examples below), and 7th chords (major, dominant and minor).


(The following is adapted from another post (Recycling Chords Part II: Triad Transformation).


Thanks for reading!!




Note:  D major is used in the following examples instead of C major because the original post dealt with transforming triads.  Each note of a 1st position D major chord can be lowered to another note on the fingerboard, without using open strings.  In other words, each chord is a moveable voicing on the fingerboard. The following should be adapted to C major and other keys as necessary.


The first step to adapting voicings is to make sure you can visualize triads both horizontally and vertically across the fingerboard.


Horizontal (i.e. positional) Visualization

Here’s a series of  D major chord inversions in the 2nd position.

Helpful Tip

As you play through these voicings pay particular attention to which chord tone each finger is on (i.e. for the first D Major chord voicing – the first finger is on the 5th of the chord (A), the third finger is on the root (D) and the second finger is on the 3rd (F#). More on this later.

Here are the D major inversions in the 5th position

and in the 10th position.

Vertical Visualization



the important thing with both the horizontal and vertical voicings is knowing where each chord tone is located in the voicing.


One way to practice this is to play through the chords and stop at random points and ask, “where is the root?” “where is the 3rd?”  “where is the 5th ?”  This has to be full internalized to be able to realize the goal of instant chord tone identification.

Rough Hewn Trio – Some Live Excerpts

The Rough Hewn Trio –  an instrumental trio consisting of Chris Lavender on Warr guitar, Craig Bunch on drums and myself on guitar are getting back into the rehearsal cycle and gearing up for some shows this spring.  To get a feel for what the shows will be like here are some live excerpts from some improvisations we did this fall.  The live sets – will include a combination of pre-composed and improvised material.

For those of you who are interested – this session is all drums and laptops.  I’m running Pod Farm and Sooperlooper and Chris is using Guitar Rig. (an amp was used to re-amp the guitar in 1C – which had some gnarly digital distortion tho…)


mp3 playback is sometimes a little glitchy in Safari.  If it doesn’t play in your web browser – you may just have to reload/refresh the playback page.



Improv 2b

Improv 2a

Improv 1c

The Double Edged Sword Of “Fix It In The Mix”

Recently, while working on some mix downs of the Rough Hewn Trio improvisations we found a track that we all really liked had some nasty digital distortion on the take.

So as a workaround we decided to see if we could salvage it  by reamping the track through the Atomic Amp.  Craig and I sent the signal through the Duet out into the amp and then threw a 57 on it to see what happened. (From a technical standpoint there was a noticable difference. I’d like to think that the tubes smoothed it out a bit  but I don’t know if it was really a huge sonic improvement over just reamping it in POD Farm.  I’ll have an excerpt online soon.)

“Let’s fix it in the mix” in general is an act of desperation but it’s one that can be rooted in prgamatism (and one that is encouraged in recordings made by the music industry).

DIY Recording

When a new band records something they typically don’t have a lot of cash.  But they have a computer, some recording software (or worse warez) and some USB audio interfaces and think, “Oh hell I got all those great plug ins the pros use, we can record our cd here and it’s going to be amazing.” (and to be fair – sometimes it is and (in general) I’d say the overall quality of sounds people are getting at home is the highest it’s ever been largely due to the quality of samples and processing available –  but if you’re recording everything from scratch you’re usually in for a world of pain.

If said band is a live act with a live drummer then they either buy a bunch of mikes and stands and track it home OR go to a studio and track it there.  If they do it at home – they probably don’t have very good quality microphones, headphones or monitors – and will go to the studio to try to try to fix the problem.  This is the tip of the sonic iceberg.  There will often be a lot of other mix problems and it will either be a sub par recording OR at the bite the bullet point – they will get a professional to come in to fix it.

This is typically expensive (to get it fixed properly) or unsatisfying (if heavily compromised).  Fixing something that has gone horribly wrong is usually very time consuming and therefore very expensive.  With solutions of either have to spend money trying to fix what exists or re-record parts of it, at a certain point new bands simply run out of money and then make the most of what they have.  Again – usually with mixed results.

Let’s look at a major release for a moment.

Another Story Time With Scott

Again, the following has been altered to protect the guilty.

A very good friend of mine is a world class engineer/producer.  Super cool guy.  He was telling me once about a major label session that he did when he first went to NYC with a well known band.  The recording he worked on with them was a multi-platinum release.

“I can’t listen to that cd”, he once told me, “there’s not 4 bars of anyone playing at the same time on it.”

See (it used to be that) when you’re signed to a major label – you got the sweet sweet advance.  On the surface, it’s an intoxicating dollar number and the band is thinking they’re going to be able to live off of it for years!

But then the manager gets a cut, and the agent, and the producer (picked by the label and either working a flat rate or percentage or both), and then there’s the studio with the sweet sweet gear.  Even with the block book rate it’s still costing a pretty penny and it’s all recoupable against media sales.

So the gear gets all set up.  And scratch tracks are recorded and the first track is played down.

Repeat 30 times.

Move to next song

Repeat as necessary

Then the producer and the engineer go through the recording of the drums – meticulously for a LONG time (think days, or weeks versus hours) .  The producer starts making notes like – “Okay for track 1.  I like the intro from take 6.  The first verse from take 10, the chorus from take 2,” etc. and frankenstein a drum track together.  Then beats are corrected.  Drop fills, etc.  Until they have the perfect drum track.

For a moment – think about how long that would take someone to do.  Even if they knew Pro Tools really really well.

Now imagine this process repeated with bass, guitars, vocals, etc.

Now imagine mixing it.  With this same attention to detail.  With mutiple mixes run by multiple people.  Until (finally) everyone signs off on the mix and it gets sent for mastering.

If you’re imagining time as money, you can see why a new release might cost $250,000 or more.  Since this money is all advanced  based on sales you can imagine how long it takes for a band to get their money back.

It is essentially  a brilliant type of loan sharking.  Money is loaned to an act at an impossible point of payback with the full knowledge that they will never be able to pay the money back to get paid for their work – BUT in the meantime -the actual work they’ve done (said recording) would still be raking in money for the label that they weren’t entitled to.

It’s kind of like if a loan shark had you paying money back – but somehow was able to deposit 90% of your paycheck before it got to you.  As you were getting full taxes deducted on that amount and drowning in debt – you ask when you’re going to see some money and are met with a response of , “What do you mean get paid?  You’re still paying the interest.  We’ll let you know when you get some money.  I understand it’s hard.  Why don’t you borrow some more money and go on tour?That will bring in money.”  The touring expenses are also recoupable, and so it continues like indentured servitude.

As a contrast – Poison’s debut was done in a weekend.  Not a brilliant sonic document – but I heard that they spent something like 30k on the recording and actually made money off it.  (think about that as a cost for a weekend record for a second next time you budget going into the studio).

For a more musically satisfying example – Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Texas Flood was recorded in an afternoon.  They set up their PA in the studio.  Played their set.  Went to lunch.  Came back and played the set again.  Then John Hammond took the best takes and mixed it down.

It’s important to be able to perform at a high level without having to rely on digital editing to get a useable take.

Because there’s no second take when you’re playing in front of an audience.

The double edged sword of “fix it in he mix” – is that it’s also important to know when to stop.

When you’re on take 100 of the verse vocal and it’s not working – you may have to call it a day and edit it together later.  Metalocalypse, has a brilliant moment involving this idea with  “One Take Willy” that, unfortunately, is truer than it is comfortable.

When spending time in a studio tracking, there’s a constant balance of the cost/performance/time ratio. (i.e. getting the recording with a minimal number of takes). If you’re (insert major label super over produced auto tune vocal act here), this is not really an issue – but if you’re not rolling in money – “fix it in the mix” always has a certain degree of uncertainty to it and a general loss of money.

I’m not saying, “don’t be experimental” but it’s important to realize that ‘experimental” usually has a high cost either economically in a studio or in time if done at home.  And it’s important to keep your eye on the bill so you don’t get stuck with the full tab.

Thanks for reading!

Guitarchitecture Post Featured In Guitar Player Holiday 2010 Issue – Quick Licks Section

It’s been a couple of productive days – The pentatonic/blues lick that was featured in the quick lick/rig du jour post has been featured in the Guitar Player Holiday 2010 issue. It’s the issue with Santana on the cover.  Thanks again to Matt Blackett  and the GP staff!

The long overdue Tubtime cd, “We Bleed The Sun And Make It Pay” – is finally up for sale on Itunes and on the CD baby tubtime page. Featuring the talents of Patty Barkas, Geof Chase, Joe Rauen and Keichi Hashimoto – Tubtime was the first project I was involved with that was based solely on of structured improvisation and in many mays was a cornerstone of what I do now. In addition to cd baby and Itunes – it’s also available on emusic should be available on Amazon and any other digital distribution service over the next several months.

Rough Hewn Trio @ CalArts was a big hit!  We should have video/audio up soon.

More info coing soon!  Thanks for dropping by!

Rough Hewn Trio

I just wanted to take a second to announce a new project I’ve been working on with Chris Lavender  and Craig Bunch.  Rough Hewn Trio is a project that mixes through composed ideas with heavy doses of improvisation.

We have our first gig this Thursday @ CalArts where we’ll be accompanying Germaine Dulac’s La Souriante Madame Beudet (The Smiling Madame Beudet) and Teinosuke Kinugasa’s  Brilliant “lost” film – Kurutta Ippeiji, (aka Page of Madness or Page out of order).

Craig and I have done a preliminary mix of some live recordings we’ve made – so we should have videos and mp3s up on a dedicated site soon with other novel things like an EPK and a bio.

Thanks for reading!  More info coming soon.