Our song Take This Town took 6th place (Honorable Mention) in the 2009 Indie International Songwriting Contest, in the Rock category. 

You can check it out on the winners page for their spring/summer 2009 songwriting contest. Better yet, just download the song for free or send it to a friend.

Several years back, The Spelunkers cut this track for our little music project. I think this was take 2 of 2. John tuned the drums to match the key of the song and played with tympani mallets. Tommy added the guitar solo bit before packing up and later overdubbed the strummy baritone guitar. The song also features strings from Shannon Sullivan and backing vocals from Clay and Diann. Take This Town was always one of my favorites from 'As Tall As The Sky' so we entered it into the contest for fun.  

About Indie International

"The Indie International Songwriting Contest is a semiannual song competition to give recognition to some of the best emerging songwriters in the world, help develop their talent, and provide useful tools for developing the success of the artist."  www.indieinternational.com  

Thanks again Indie International.

Kurt Hoffman, Jeff Greeneberg, Edwin Pierce from 100 Year Picnic

Photo by Breann Neal, May 23, 2009.  Thanks Bre!!! 

Thanks to everyone who came out to our two sold out shows at TheatresCool. Both audiences were awesome. We had an absolute blast with y'all. I guess we are gonna have to do this again...    

We did get some good video footage, so my son and I are in the process of putting together some video for youtube. Also, our friend Matt Edwards from Redcorn Studios (and The Redboy Podcast) was on hand to capture some amazing photos, including the photo in our new website header. Here are a few more great shots from Matt...

IMG_0057 IMG_0021 2 IMG_0017 IMG_0156 IMG_0318 IMG_9933 IMG_0212 IMG_0073 2 IMG_0202 IMG_9986 IMG_0259

We just found out we took 2nd place in the pop category with "Looks Are For Free." You can check it out on their homepage or on the winners page for their fall/winter 2008 songwriting contest.  

This is a song that Greg Pare and I wrote together as an experiment through email. Greg played a huge role in this particular arrangement. I sent him this little acoustic track with ideas for melody, chord progression, and song title, and a few days later, he sends me back a slew of lyrics and this big idea of a production. The track also features stellar arrangements and performances from Kurt Hoffman on cello and Ken Thornton on the slide guitar solo. Don't tell anyone, but we recorded it in Garageband.   

About Indie International
"The Indie International Songwriting Contest is a semiannual song competition to give recognition to some of the best emerging songwriters in the world, help develop their talent, and provide useful tools for developing the success of the artist."  www.indieinternational.com
That seems like a good cause. Thank you Indie International.

It is always nice to know that people continue to discover the music. Here's a sweet little review from the Chicago-based print and online pub, the Illinois Entertainer:  

"Bloomington duo 100 Year Picnic delivers a stunning collection of songs on Tales Of A Modern Splash. Friends/neighbors Jeff Greeneberg and Edwin Pierce revel in family and the everyday humdrum of life lived to the fullest while channeling The Beatles and Wilco. Greeneberg dons a slithering John Lennon on “I Don’t Know What To Tell You” before switching gears into Calexico’s Joey Burns’ twin brother on “Isolation.” Guests Brian Choban and Jennifer Rusk imbibe the funky “Everything’s Perfect” with sweaty trumpet bleats and Prince-worthy calisthenics. (www.100yearpicnic.com)"
– Janine Schaults

Thank you Janine.

Everybody Dreams Under Big Trees

Come out to see 100 Year Picnic's first show of 2009.  We are the opening act for Chicago songwriter Matt Robinson and his band at NV Lounge in Normal IL on Saturday, January 31. Festivities start around 9.  

Last summer I had the opportunity to sing background vocals and play drums on Matt's vibey LP, Everybody Dreams Under Big Trees. The record features a nice mix of country-tinged, folky, blues rock with big themes, lonely highways, blue skies, and haunted dreams. There's plenty here that rev-up, but the chilled-out ballads are my favorites.  

Matt conveys his unique perspectives in plain yet descriptive language with a sincere vocal delivery.  In the Neil Youngish Sing Me Do, "A young couple's love spills out onto the fire escape." The happiest sad song on the album is Sad Song Honey, where Matt laments, "And in this city, I'm never alone. It crawls through my closed window and I just want to be alone."  

My favorite tune on the record is Time Will Only Tell.  You will believe Matt when he delicately sings, "Yes time will only tell, if I will find you well. The moon lit our path, it turned red, and now it's black. I hope we can be, become friends."  It's an understated and beautifully arranged track, with violin, vibraphone, moog, percussion, and acoustic guitar.  If you're like me, and I know I am, this one will sneak up on you.

My friend Tony SanFilippo produced the album at his Oxide Lounge studio where he recorded and co-produced the last several Backyard Tire Fire albums.  Anyway, it was a blast working with Matt and Tony, plus some other music friends, including my lovely wifey who lent her sweet lullaby voice on Into A Dream.  To check out the music, visit Matt's website and CDBaby page.  And come out to the show!

A good friend of mine is a generous and giving soul.  To me he is someone who gives freely from his heart and I'd like to be more like that.  He's also a gifted musician and you would know his brilliant cello arrangements and performances on Looks Are For Free and Come On

He's also a goofball who writes some of the wackiest yet somehow sincere tunes.  Like, he has a new one called Sputnik, which is an earnest dedication to his beloved vacuum cleaner from the 60s.  Then there's the wild and psychedelic round of golf in "Fear In The Heart Of A Sportsman."  And how could we forget that summer beach classic "Conch Shell" about blowing loudly into a conch shell just to annoy your lover?  Well, you get the picture.  You need to hear these songs!  He's planning to put together a website later this year to share these fun little tunes.

But for now, he has given me permission to share one with you here on our website.  The song is called "Mother Lode," and it's by Kurt E Hoffman.  Right click to download it:  Mother Lode  

Here's what Kurt says in the song:

In my life, I have loved, then there's all those things that I was born with
And I was lucky as we all know, to have known the Mother Lode.
And I was lucky to have found, a love that would last and last, 
And I was fortunate to have a family with a future and a past,
Guess I got me here the Mother Lode, Yes I got me here the Mother Lode.

As I look back on this crazy year, this song puts everything in perspective for me.  Despite all the ups and downs, I am so very thankful for the love in my life, my beautiful wife, awesome kids, great parents, friends (and neighbors), and so much music.  

I think it's interesting that he chose the Mother Lode as the metaphor for Love, because the term came from the mining industry and usually it implies hitting the paydirt or finding the main source of gold or silver.  A life of love is indeed a rich life.  

Kurt then goes on to say:

And if we're all just as lucky to have found the Mother Lode, then maybe we can all return the favor.
I believe the Mother Lode is a treasure that we all, can share upon.
So I will put my best foot forward in an effort to lighten up the store, 
And we give this all to the Mother Lode, including all those things that we adore.

Yes, it is not enough to be gracious and grateful for this gift, but we must also give it back.

So here now in 2009, I will put my best foot forward in an effort to lighten up the store.  Kurt, thank you for this gift of a song, and here's to the new year brother.  Cheers!  

Well, I know next to nothing about numerology, but I do know that this year goes to eleven (2 + 0 + 0 + 9 = 11).  And that can't be a bad thing.

So long 2008.  It was nice while it lasted.  Well, bits of it.  Somewhere around this time last year, I posted my highest Yahtzee! score ever (549) and subsequently predicted a GREAT year.  

There were some great moments in 2008, one of which was the release of Tales Of A Modern Splash.  A songwriter friend of mine recently told me the album sounded like a realized dream.  What a nice compliment but also a wonderful insight, because that is what each record is, the realization of a dream.  And this is one we are really happy with. 

Despite ridiculous gas prices and a crashing stock market, we managed to have lots of fun with friends and family, with some great parties and also a jump on some brand new music we can't wait for you to hear.

Am I glad to move on to 2009?  Sure.  It seems like 08 was a tricky year for just about everyone in one way or another.  Besides the rickety economy, we personally had an interesting medical year and a trying year as parents.  Nothing disastrous though, and we are pulling through the storm.  Jr. High is just a wicked age. Basically, I think the kids are discovering that it sucks to grow up.  The other day my wife so eloquently pointed out that we spent too much time in 2008 feeling sorry for ourselves.  That won't happen this year.  

I recently ran across the blog of a successful singer-songwriter, Christine Kane, who also leads creative retreats for women.  She started doing this "Word Of The Year" thing as an alternative to the soon-to-be broken New Year's Resolution.  I like this idea.  My word for 2009 is GIVE.  

It's thanksgiving weekend here in the states, and we'd like to say thank you to all of the hard-working podcasters out there still playing independent music.  100 Year Picnic has now been featured on over 90 podcasts around the globe.  Here are some from the past two years:

Mevio Radio, Florida, played Hot Balloon on February 4.
The Redboy Podcast, Bloomington, IL, featured a live interview with Edwin and myself on March 16, including a live performance of Looks Are For Free.
The Philosophy Guy Show, Wisconsin, played Heaven on March 22.

This Week In Podcast, Texas, played Hot Balloon on April 4.
A Quiet Time Podcast, Wisconsin, played Someone's In The House on April 11 & Mary Faye Tucker on April 14.
Dalecast featured Make Things Right on April 14.
A Quiet Time Podcast put together a special feature of our music on April 16, playing Marilyn County, Take This Town, and I'd Take You Anyplace.  Thank you so much Terry!
Belle of the Ball played Come On on April 18.

A Quiet Time Podcast, Wisconsin, played another 100 Year Picnic tune on July 1: Catch This Crazy.
Lost Bearings chose Take This Town for their July 5th show.
The Double M Show, Netherlands, featured Make Things Right on August 12.
Homecast, California, played Hot Balloon on September 18.

Sounds From The Yellow Room, Florida, put together a 100 Year Picnic double feature with Looks Are For Free and Hot Balloon on October 10.
Cirque de Sophie, California, played Heaven on October 17.
Winchester Journal, Germany, played I'd Take You Anyplace on November 24.
Dalecast, UK, played another 100YP tune, this one on November 26: Another Phase.
Poddycast, UK, also played Another Phase on November 26.
Pick Of The Day, featured Come On on December 1, with a little intro from yours truly.


Legendary Pirate DJ, Dave Rabbit, featured us in a fun interview in January 2007.
da-rum, Germany, played Marilyn County in January.
Digital-era, UK, played I'd Take You Anyplace in January.
Rusty Chain Commute, Virginia, featured 100 Year Picnic on two shows in January, playing Marilyn County and Someone's In The House
The G Spod, Pennsylvania, played Someone's In The House in February.
Podcast9, Poland, played I'd Take You Anyplace in May.

Supanova, Australia, played Heaven in June.
Under The Carpet, Pennsylvania, played Hot Balloon in July.  
Hit The North, Northern Ireland, featured Hot Balloon in July.

Filmed But Not Forgotten, Canada, played Hot Balloon, October.
JJFM, New Zealand, played Marilyn County in October.
Comedy Music Cellar, Utah, played Billy Bob Joe in November.
Playlist Mix, Ireland, featured Hot Balloon in November.
Reaching for Lucidity, North Carolina, played Hot Balloon in December.

It's wild to see Hot Balloon being our most popular tune featured by podcasters these past couple of years, followed by I'd Take You Anyplace.  Both songs were originally recorded and released 10 years ago in 1998 on the 10 Gallon Cat EP.  I guess that's what they call the long tail...

For more podcasts featuring 100 Year Picnic checkout this, this, and this as well.  

For the most part, I like to stay out of politics and I'm an independent voter.  But never in my life has there been a more important election here in America, and I'm casting my vote today for Barack Obama.  Take a stand Americans, and exercise your freedom to vote.