Slab City and beyond...

Greetings from the road!

I just spent most of the past four weeks out in Slab City, CA.  It's one of those places that is hard to explain if you've never been there.  A friend of mine recently told someone, "If you're judgmental you won't like it."

It's true.  It's a place where everyone is welcome.  Lots of people chose to be there because they don't "fit in" to regular society.  There is a strangely deep beauty held in the chaos of uncertainty and spontaneity that becomes a daily routine.  Everyone slows down and takes time to really be together; cooking meals, writing songs, painting murals, building sculptures, soaking in the hot spring, sharing stories, and dancing together.  It reminds me of summer camp... you go in, you see friends from last year, you make new friends, you overcome differences, you create, you sing, you learn, you try new things, and you connect.

 photo credit Anthony Hitchcock

This is a picture from my camp this year.  There were other travelers and visitors that came and went from our slab and we all shared meals, stories, hacky sack games, and support.  Here's a panorama from the top of my van during a sunset hacky sack...

I did venture to the other side of the Salton Sea this year to Anza Borrego.  I met a few new friends over there for some great hiking up Hellhole Canyon.

To see big horn sheep...

And an oasis at the top...

I also took a Sunday cruise on the back of a Harley to do some bird watching at the Salton Sea.

A huge flock of pelicans flying in was the highlight.  

Here's the main street corner in Niland just 3 miles from Slab City.  This is the little grocery store carry out.  I love the stark beauty of desert towns...


To try and capture the Slab City experience in photos is beyond me, but there are other people out there doing it.  Here are some from a talented photographer, Stefan Lisowski.

photo credit Stefan Lisowski

Singing around the Wednesday night acoustic jam campfire at the Oasis Club

photo credit Stefan Lisowski

Singing at the VIPer Lounge

photo credit Stefan Lisowski

This is from a dramatic reading that was performed last Saturday.  I'm the second from the left in the black robes.  David, a Slabber and playwright created this piece "Don't Us Forget". It is a moving collection of stories of the Holocaust.  I was one of the voices of the dead haunting the survivor with their tale.   A flyer had been posted up earlier in the week and about 50 people came out to watch it.  It's events like this that really bring home the power of Slab City for me.  There just seems to be time and space to create things together.  

You can check out more of Stefan Lisowski's photos on his Facebook page.  I also recommend checking out Bob Zahn's photography at for some really great portraits.

... as for me, I hit the road Sunday and headed to The Ranch in Lancaster.  Though my friend Timbo wasn't home, I was met with a handful of fine folks including my good friend Myron.  We spent part of yesterday outside playing instruments and singing together.  Myron was the first person to put a guitar in my hands when I hitched a ride up to his old mountain home outside of Ashland, Oregon on my first big road trip nine years ago.  He started me off on quite a journey.  This morning we started him off on a little journey when we dropped him at LAX to catch his flight to Hawaii...


Happy trails to everyone out there whether you're headed just down the street or across the sea!  I'm making my way up to San Francisco tomorrow.  Catch a song at... 

Java Beach Cafe 2/27 @7:30PM

Genoa Castle House Show 2/28 @6PM

Sweetwater Music Hall 3/6 @11AM

Thanks for reading the blog!  Comments and ramblings welcome...