Hey, all you in the greater Los Angeles area this Tuesday night: the boys and I will be playing at the Troubadour, as part of a music taping for the Carson Daly show. The public is more than welcome, and there are three other acts, including the vivacious Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion. Our six tunes start at 8:15.
This weekend I'm out with a trio. We're coming to Kansas City, Tulsa, and Omaha, and we'll finish off with a return to the Hideout Monday series, which I left idling for awhile to travel and promote my new music. Come see the dynamic act that slew the masses in Johnson City!
Speaking of idling, I haven't had much of a chance to blow smoke on here lately, and my sturdy intentions of reporting on my weird summer Scandinavian trip and subsequent high jinks have been drowned out by God's cruel laughter. I would promise a substantial piece of reportage or meditation by a certain date, but the sad fact is that next week, when my travel schedule starts to slacken for a few weeks, I must dive into the organization of the year-end show -- my annual comic politico-musical revue, I mean. At the same time my grandson, Logan, will be born, and that's sure to raise a stir. Then I'm away out west for much of December, back touring. So I'm not sure when...
Some groovy little side projects are also bubbling away, but if I get too specific I'll jinx them...
If you live in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, or West Virginia, then check the tour dates, because it's pretty likely I'm appearing within earshot of you this week through the weekend. It's a busy, nearly frantic, several days for me. The show towns aren't that far apart, but the added press and radio obligations make some of the daily scheduling tight, and then in the scattered off-hours in hotels I'll be working on one composition for a November show start to finish, another I need to get started for December, and two songs to learn for a friend's record next week. It's my wedding anniversary today (20th, if you must ask) but we'll have to do something about that some non-travel week!
My interview on the Bob Edwards show airs today on Sirius/XM. When I get a link to an MP3 version post-broadcast I'll put it here. Same with Jim Lauderdale and Buddy Miller's show, which I'm taping tomorrow morning.
OK, off to ship some website orders of Gone Away Backward, get the van out of the shop, and drive to Tennessee. Soundtrack: Sea and the Cake, Ry Cooder, Plastic Ono Band, Eric Dolphy, Flatt Lonesome, Jodee Lewis, Billie Holiday, Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott, and George Jones. Looks like someone's living in yesteryear!
I'll be performing on Music City Roots next Wednesday, October 23. Backing me will be Ron Spears, Robbie Gjersoe, and Shad Cobb. I'm filling out the thick stack of paperwork related to the date here at the kitchen table, and there's a paragraph telling me that use of an audiovisual recording of my performance will be provided in exchange for putting this link on my site -- here it is --
This top-notch show is broadcast live, and you can find out more about accessing it from their site, I'll bet.
Man, this generating of instant calendar dates by a simple notice in this space is phenomenal. I've filled holes twice this way in the last month, and it's left me feeling very grateful to: the two men who instantly invited me into their homes to play music, the Pentagon and Al Gore for coming up with the relevant technology, and my long and tortured career path, which seems to have left a small but potent number of large-hearted fans strewn all over the country. I'm impelled to reiterate the general idea that I love doing house shows, so you needn't necessarily wait for me to solicit. If you live within a few hours of Chicago and have had good luck doing concerts at your home in the past, feel free to drop me a line any old time. And no matter where you live, if you're feverishly interested, go ahead and write me, because I file these emails away and have an amazing mental capacity that allows me to dredge them up years later when routing through Redding, Cal. or similar backwater hellhole.
Got home from the east coast dates last week and have been calming down. Thanks to all who came to the shows. Some of the rooms I've been playing for many years -- the Mercury in NYC, Iron Horse in Northampton, Ashland Tea near Richmond VA, Passim in Cambridge -- were crowdeder than on any previous visit. And I wouldn't say there was any real dog among the dates, which is saying something when you have 12 dates some of which fall on nights like Monday and Wednesday... and you're a cult singer on a little label and so on.
I'm also thankful and a little amazed that within several hours of posting that last blurb, asking for house party opportunities on a date this month, the date was filled, by a gentleman in Indianapolis. How great to have the worldwide web. And people who like your records.
All right then, let me push my luck. November 16th, anyone? This time the box goes from Minneapolis east to Chicago and south to, I don't know, Peoria. If you live within those rough coordinates and want to thrill your friends with some hardcore acoustic picking/singing and my particular brand of ass-kicking and no-name-taking, drop a line! (As always, a little experience with house concerts gives you authority.)
Gone Away Backward has been chugging along fine review-wise and, I'm told by the junior bean counters down at Bloodshot, sales-wise too. The most fun part for me, since recording it two years ago anyway, has been hitting the road with a fiddle and upright bass and three solid country voices to promote the thing. Having a good sound man on top of all that, to allow us to play through mikes these last couple weeks, has put the tour on a level approaching pure joy. We have some trio dates coming up, the downside of which is that we lose the fiddle but on the other hand we gain the unbelievable tenor voice of Ron Spears. If you've heard "Rose of the Summer" or "Sometimes the Grass is Really Greener" from the record, you know I'm not waxing hyperbolic when I compare him to John Duffey and Joe Mullins -- his high lonesome is intense and accurate and rare and real. Check the sidebar for where we're at over the next month and I'll be updating for November and December real soon.