Performance, Recordings

New songs from sunny Florida

1 Comment

Here are a few new songs recently added to my solo guitar repertoire and recorded live at my last gig.  You probably won’t hear clapping and yelling because I connect my little pocket recorder directly to the guitar amplifier and don’t use a mic.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

I Love You More Today Than Yesterday

Mad Men (TV theme) / How Insensitive

My Favorite Things

Louis Venne, a terrific local photographer, also showed up the same night and took this action shot.  The background is probably blurry because I’m playing something really fast!


Culvers Travel – new trio and new songs

No Comments

Here are a couple more songs from Culvers Travel.  Wow!  this is a fun band!  It includes Ben Culver on fiddle, Barney Culver on cello, and me on guitar.  I haven’t really figured out how to record and mix live acoustic instruments yet.  But we’re having a good time trying.  Sir Duke (Stevie Wonder)

Bowl of Bula (Mark O’Connor)

Mrs. Robinson (Paul Simon)


a thousand bucks!

1 Comment

Thank you everyone who purchased the new HiDef CD.  In the first 30 days we sold nearly a hundred CD’s that has resulted in more than a thousand dollars donated to Habitat for Humanity.  Thank you!!!


Hear HiDef on WEMU radio!

No Comments

There’s a new way to hear our music!  Listen to WEMU.  Linda Yohn has been playing us in the morning and Evelynn Hawkins on her program in the evening.  “Bungalow”, the title cut from our latest CD has been receiving most of the airplay.  Thanks WEMU!  (BTW, their programming has always been terrific, even before they started playing our new music.  Check their award-winning jazz programming at


Last night at Live at PJ’s

No Comments

Here’s the hard workin’ HiDef band performing last night downtown Ann Arbor.  Jim’s in the spotlight for another one of his blazing piano solos.  The two guys on the left have been playing music together for more than 30 years!

Thanks to Julian Konwinski for these photos.  Julian has been photographing the Ann Arbor live music scene for, well, for about as long as Howard and I have been playing together.



No Comments

We’re thrilled to have Ingrid Racine join the band.  Here are two songs we performed last night at the Keystone Underground in Ypsilanti that feature her trumpet and flugelhorn.  (sorry for the poor sound quality – it’s just a little pocket recorder)  Jim couldn’t make it so you’ll notice the absence of our brilliant piano player.  But look for the full 5-piece band Dec 3 at the WEMU 5:01 gig.Red Clay Grazin’ in the Grass


Find us on iTunes, CDbaby,

No Comments

Our new CD, “Measure Twice, Bungalow Once” is now available for sale at most popular online music stores.  To find us on iTunes, search for the album title or for “HiDef”.  Here are links to our music on Amazon and CDbaby.  You should also be able to find us at Rhapsody, Napster, Verizon, and other places.  (And if you have the opportunity, please, take a moment and write a review.  Thank you!!!)

News, Performance

Three fun gigs to close out the 2010 season

No Comments

Nov 4 – CD release party at the Quarter Bistro

We’ll bring a carton full of our new CD, “Measure Twice, Bungalow Once”.   You could take one home.  (makes a good stocking stuffer?)  Habitat for Humanity will be on hand to accept donations — all of the proceeds from CD sales are being donated to H4H.

Nov 18 – premiere performance at Keystone Underground

The Keystone in Ypsilanti picks up where the Firefly Club left off.  Lots of people, vibes, and even the piano migrated from the Firefly to the Keystone.  Are the rumors true — has Ypsilanti become hipper than Ann Arbor?

Dec 3 – third annual WEMU 5:01 party

This year it’s at Live at PJ’s, just above Goodnight Gracies.  It’s Friday evening from 5 – 7.  Invite friends and call it a holiday party!
For more details, see “What’s Up”.  We hope to see you soon!
News, Recordings

New CD!


The new CD is finally finished, mastered and shrink-wrapped!

Somehow, while laboring on this album, we started talking about it like we were building a house, you know, laying the foundation, etc.  And though it might not really make sense, you can see  how we arrived at the name, “Measure Twice, Bungalow Once”.  And consistent with that theme, we’ve decided to donate the proceeds from CD sales to Habitat for Humanity.

Here are a couple songs from the CD.  More samples can be found at Listen up >> HiDef Qtet

Four on Six


Performance, Recordings

HiDef begins 5th season with a bit o’ rock

1 Comment

After a summer off, we returned to kick off our FIFTH! season with a gig at the Quarter Bistro.  Wow, it is so much fun to play music with these three talented musicians!  And this time around we played a little more rock than usual.  (We’re not always that quiet jazz combo.  A while back my friend Larry Largin fixed me up with a Mesa Boogie amp.) We recorded a couple songs on my little pocket recorder.  As you can hear, it was a lively crowd!  We’ll be back to the QB for two more dates this fall.  Put it on your calendar and don’t miss it!




Hal’s pace this summer

1 Comment

It was a season for deep thinking and introspection,…  (you mean lazy?) This photo, by my old friend, Phil DeVries, tells the whole story.  Read about Phil on Wikipedia.

(Does that posture remind you of a Picasso painting?)

This weekend I attended the Interlochen Guitar Festival (note to guitar players: this is a great event!!! don’t miss it next year), and classical guitarist Brad DeRoche taught me about posture.

Wow, I feel like I just woke up from a long nap.

They say proper posture helps you play better music.  We’ll see.  In fact, yes, please come and see!  HiDef will be kicking off the fall season

Sept 16 at the Quarter Bistro.

More info to follow.


Three new songs from HiDef

No Comments

Lucky Southern (Jarrett)

Ann’s Kitchen (Davis)

Symphony #25 in Gm (Mozart)

Lucky Southern is a fun fast samba.  I love this melody, tho it’s really nothing like the intricate and mesmerizing piano work that Keith Jarrett is known for.  Ann’s Kitchen is a new composition.  The chorus of the song should be the theme of a television comedy show about my wife’s… oh, never mind.  The Mozart piece is,… well, you’ll just have to listen.

Performance, Recordings

Boneheads was hoppin’ last night!

1 Comment
John E and Joe
Emmanuel and Hal

Last night I joined the John E Lawrence Trio at Boneheads.  This is the third time I’ve played at Boneheads.  The audience is terrific and the owner, Jim LaChance, always makes you feel at home.

Smile – the first song of the evening, was probably the prettiest.

Here’s John E demonstrating his mastery of the guitar – first using it as a percussion instrument, and then messin’ with the dynamics – bringing the room down to a whisper, and then back up into a wild party.


Mike Adams composed amazing music

1 Comment

Earlier this month LOL reunited to perform songs composed by our friend and drummer, Mike Adams.  Here are some samples of Mike’s songs.   I play guitar on the 1995 recording and bass on the 2005 recording.

The Darker Side of Lonely (Mike Adams 1995)

Interstate Five (Mike Adams 1995)

Small Steps (Mike Adams 1995)

Hello and Welcome (Mike Adams 2005)

Night Walk (Mike Adams 2005)

Mike passed away earlier this year after kidney failure.  We will miss him.  But his music lives on!  Like many others, Mike could have lived with the right organ transplant.  Please consider donating your organs if you’re in a traffic fatality — see Gift of Life. By the way, you can hear more of Mike’s music, and learn more about the the history of LOL and other Ann Arbor bands on Les Bloom’s excellent website.


New YouTube videos


I just posted a couple new YouTube videos.  My Funny Valentine is a traditional jazz standard originally from the Rogers and Hart musical, Babes in Arms.  I developed this guitar arrangement after being inspired by the Ahn Trio, three Korean sisters, who performed the song at Hill Auditorium last year.   Chick’n Pick’n is a medley of licks from Chet Atkins, Charlie Parker, Boots Randolph, and Charlie Christian.  To watch these, and all of my videos, you can go to the “Listen Up” page and follow the link to my YouTube channel.


Summer is Music Season in Ann Arbor


Sonic Lunch starts this Thursday with a performance by the MacPodz, and continues every Thursday at noon at Liberty Plaza.  It’s a great way to break up the day and hear some fine performers.  Later in the summer The Ragbirds, Laith Al-Saadi, and My Dear Disco are all performing at SonicLunch.  Top of the Park also hosts some great music this summer:  FUBAR Jul 6, The Ragbirds Jul 8,  and My Dear Disco Jun 18.  Most of the TOP music starts at 8:00 pm.  But the show that I’m really looking forward to is Devo on Jul 6 at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival.  (See you there!!!)

On the quieter side, I can recommend solo guitar with dinner every Thursday evening: John E Lawrence is at Boneheads and Jake Reichbart is at Mercy’s restaurant in the Bell Tower Hotel.

And finally, if you want to step out of town, the Concert of Colors Jul 16 – 18 in Detroit will present some of Michigan’s greatest rock and Motown alumni, including Gary Quackenbush and SRC.

Rock On!!!