Hola Good People, it’s great to be home! I just got back from a wild ride all the way to Anguilla in the Caribbean playing with Dianne Reeves and the group. Try and relive this marathon airplane stint with me — board a tiny plane in Carlsbad to L.A., sit around for a while, then take a red eye to Miami arriving at 5 in the morning. Check into the airport hotel and finally be granted some sleep in the horizontal position versus the inhumanly vertical attempt in the airplane. You know that vibe of trying to catch z’s while sitting straight up with your knees plowing into your chest? Whack! Then board a 12PM flight to St. Maarten and from there, a small boat to Anguilla. This only took 20 hours! But Anguilla folks, well, it actually was worth that horrific ride. What a magical place complete with perfect clean air, the trade winds doing their hypnotic thing, the warm water the color of blue that you only get in a few places in the world and the gentle people that have mastered the state of FLOW. All of this mixed in with a great jazz festival featuring Ahmad Jamal, Brian Lynch and on the last night, us! Dianne on vocals, John Beasley on piano, Terry Lynn Carrington on drums, Josh Hari on bass and me on the guitar. Super fun band and we had a great show culminating with an ending vamp on Dianne’s “Testify” that went on into the late hours of the night. Endless!

The view oustside my hotel patio. Check out the water color!

The view from Terry's drums set at the soundcheck.

And the view of a wild man in paradise.

OK, so the fun is over and I’ve taken my last swim in the wild blue. It’s up at 5AM and time to start the reverse cycle of boats, airplanes, airports, layovers, vertical devil sleep, hunger and the search for something real to eat. Take off your shoes and put the laptop in a separate plastic container, oh bless you TSA gurus, long lines, show your passport, customs and finally, 20 hours later, cozy Carlsbad airport and lovely Stef there to pick me up. But alas, one last glitch enters my the story —upon examining my electric guitar after it came out of the baggage claim I discover, can you believe it, a BROKEN NECK? This is unfathomable! This is a different guitar from 2 weeks ago. That one is still in negotiation as to whether or not it’ll get replaced or repaired. This week’s guitar is a Michael Stevens Fender Custom Shop axe that I had made for me 20 years ago. I love it and it’s sort of a rare instrument. Anyway, it was in a good strong case but somehow through the long day of travel from St. Maarten to Carlsbad either some prankster got a hold of it and once again paid his physical respects to Pete Townsend or perhaps Mister Murphy elbowed his way into the mix and created that perfect storm of freezing temperatures, brittle guitar, a big bang here and there and then presto—Peter has another decapitated axe to deal with. Unhappiness in Leucadia! Oh well, I’ll work it out. So far United has said they won’t pay for it but the good news is that I’ve connected with a friend of mine who not only plays wonderful bluegrass music and has recorded in my studio but who also is an attorney that's done a lot of legal work with musical instruments intersecting with the airlines. His name is Dwight Worden and he’s graciously offered to help with my 2 broken guitar neck saga and feels pretty good about me getting some bucks to get them repaired or replaced. He said there will be a bunch of details and steps to deal with but if we follow through, the law has a little mercy built into it to help the roaming troubadour to continue to spread the good news of music. Details switch, turned on...

The neck isn't all the way off but is leaning the wrong way.
Looking into the metal truss rod and a gapping crack. Let's see you play "Louie Louie" now...

In 1978 we had a group called The Dance Of The Universe Orchestra. The band featured Kevyn Lettau singing, John Leftwich on bass, Tripp Sprague playing the saxophone, Kelly Jocoy, Tom Aros and Duncan Moore all on drums at various times, and myself on guitar. Most of us grew up in the creative world of Del Mar. The word got out that this young gal (sixteen years old then) from Berlin was singing jazz. After hearing her play on a friend's gig I immediately knew she was just the right person for our new group. She had a long history with jazz (her dad loved Marlene Deitrich and Dizzy Gillespie) and she wasn’t afraid to take chances and jump right off the cliff into the scat singing freefall. Kevyn was into yoga, ballet, and lived a semi-wild hippie existence and these were all the right elements for the lead singer of our band. Our name came from a phrase that Ram Dass always used to describe being in the FLOW, in the dance of the universe. Our first gigs were playing on the street corner of Camino Del Mar and 15th Street in Del Mar and we’d open up the guitar case for tips. We'd use the 20 bucks that we collected after the concert for some falafels at the Roxy. We recorded two landmark records, played a bunch of shows, and were able to remain friends through it all. Oh yeah, there was some drama in the mix too but time does do that forgiving smoothing factor if you let it work it's stuff. It was a superb life then and I’m happy to report that the FLOW is still working.

The Dance of the Universe promo picture circa the late 70's. From the left to right, Tom Aros, John Leftwich, Peter, Tripp Sprague and Kevyn Lettau.

The super early version of the group playing on the Del Mar streetcorner. The guitar case is open with our band sign letting folks know who we were. From the left to the right, Scott Thile on bass (Chris Thile's dad before Chris was even born), Tripp, Peter and Kelly Jocoy. In the foreground is the back of Kevyn's head. We must of been playing an instrumental.

We’re bringing the band back together to play a show this Friday night at the Tango del Rey in Pacific Beach. It’ll be Kevyn, Tripp, John and myself rediscovering the Dance of the Universe. Were you in the audience way back then? Do remember the cool bridge section on “You Make Me Want to Sing”? This one is on the setlist. John also had the idea of doing a short medley of a few of our corniest tunes that highlight the “struggle for rhymes” thing that I had going on with my lyrics back then. I’m game and I’m laughing already! I think it’ll be a hoot and the other good thing is that the vibe and the setup for experiencing music at the Tango is first rate. The place is wild— the way it’s decorated inside — the sound is first rate and there is — yay — free parking. Hallelujah! Look below for details and I sure hope you can make the concert. Big fun in the works!

There has been some cool press brewing for my Wild Blue recording and also for the concert we played last week with Holly Hofmann and friends. Follow the above links if your want a take spin through the reviews.

That’s it for now. Let’s all give praise to United Airlines and American Airlines for their fine skill at safely transporting humans and also successfully decapitating the SpragueMan’s entire guitar collection.

Onwards and upwards!


Friday, November 20, 2009   Dance of the Universe Reunites!  
Tango del Rey
3567 Del Rey Street
San Diego, CA
Peter Sprague — guitar
Kevyn Lettau — vocals
Tripp Sprague — sax and flute
John Leftwich — bass
  7:30 PM   We had a mini SD revolution going on back in the 80's and we're getting Lefty down from L.A. to stir it up again. I'm laughing, it'll be a hoot!

Saturday, November 21, 2009   Bob Magnusson Trio  
Harry's Bar and American Grill
4370 La Jolla Village Dr
San Diego, CA 92122-1250
(858) 373-1252
Bob Magnusson — bass
Peter Sprague — guitar
Tripp Sprague — sax and flute
  7 PM   A little gig with the one and only Bob Magnusson.

Friday, December 4, 2009   Peter Sprague String Consort


Encinitas Community and Senior Center
1140 Oakcrest Drive
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 943-2260

Peter Sprague — guitar
Bridget Dolkas — violin
Jeanne Skrocki — violin
Pam Jacobsen — viola
Carter Dewberry — cello
Duncan Moore — drums
Bob Magnusson — bass
  7:30 PM   We've got a new recording called "The Wild Blue" and I've written a new piece for the group. We're all fired up!

Funded, in part, by the City of Encinitas and Mizel Family Foundation Community Grant program.


For my complete performance schedule click here.

To view this email online click here.

Click here to visit my website. It's pretty cool complete with the whole story, recordings and books, and some new videos.

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please reply to this message with "bail me out" in the subject line and I'll briskly take you off my list. No ill feelings instilled.

This is my most recent recording.
Click here for more info and to listen to the tracks.