As a tribute to my father-in-law, who on CBS-TV's Amazing Race program remarked to my son admiringly of a fellow contestant, "She's a smart girl -- she went to one of those falutin' colleges," I will be falutin' around the midwest this weekend with 4 other smart fellows. There's Robbie Gjersoe, the goofball multi-instrumentalist and Rodney Dangerfield impersonator, who is going to play resonator guitar this outing; Todd Phillips, bassist and co-founder of such enterprises as the David Grisman Quintet and the Tony Rice Unit; Shad Cobb, radically unassuming fiddler whose musical chops are matched only (symmetrically speaking) by his computer expertise; and Don Stiernberg, of whom -- enough!
We'll be in Milwaukee Friday, at Shank Hall, then on to Stoughton Wis.'s pretty opera house on Saturday. In Stoughton we could use a few more tickets sold, if you don't mind. Email for them here:
On Sunday our show in Peoria is, I'm fairly sure, private. Then on Monday we're over to the Hideout. Our set there will be heavy on songs I wrote, but we'll also do quite a few bluegrass songs and off-the-cuff stuff. I've seldom worked my residency with four players so heavy, so please come and clap and offer diet tips.
Farther on down the road, I'll be playing with a trio at Jammin' Java of Vienna, Virginia (outside D.C.), and this estimable club is interested in bolstering its bottom line with your advance-ticket cash infusions. If you're thinking of coming to this one, please just go ahead and buy tickets while you're thinking, and decide later. The link is:
Today is my beloved son Preston's 18th birthday. He's got to choose in the next couple of weeks among four colleges that have accepted his dogeared application: Bennington, Bard, Berklee, and Lewis and Clark. If any readers have personal experience with any of those institutions that might bear on his consideration, holler! Meanwhile Preston will be noodling on a sleek mahogany Guild guitar that I bought for him at Evanston's Guitar Works yesterday.
UPDATE: Our Sunday Peoria house show is in fact open to all rubberneckers. For more information please contact Brad at email@example.com .
Scott Stevenson, he of the outsized brain and intrepid fingers, has invited me to be a part of his Chicago all-star salute to Richard Thompson this Friday night. The master songwriter-musician turns 65 or 66, I forget which, on a date not far from this Friday night. I'd be happy to play these great songs on an excuse twice as thin.
I think I'm late to the Brennan Leigh party, not having heard her or heard of her until last March when we got to sing some impromptu duets at an equally impromptu night slashing out honky-tonkers with Rosie Flores at Ginny's Little Longhorn in Austin. I had a great time harmonizing with her, and when I saw she was playing within a few hours of Chicago this April, I made my move. Brennan will be my special guest on Monday, and if you like Texas music and old country, I'm confident you'll enjoy spending Monday night in our company. We'll sing Louvins and other standard and semi-standard duet fare, and I believe she and her husband, Noel, will also do some music from her records. Vote yes for high lonesome!
Whoa, where have I been? Tonight it's Elvis Costello's 1980 LP Get Happy!!, performed in a very recognizable manner.
Also, up on Talkhouse as of today, I dish on Ron Sexsmith's latest and greatest. Link:
And my interview with Chris Shiflett of the Foo Fighters went up today as well:
Hear me stammer! Wheeze! Mumble! Steal a joke from Dino Stamatopoulous! Really, my interview style is pretty awful, and I will work on that. As it happens I just watched a recent Edward Albee interview. The old man's pugnacious intellect serves him well in a staged conversational volley. His eyes are wide and clear, he delivers unambiguous replies fleshed out with vivid anecdote, and he's never at a loss for words. The opposite of me in this podcast. Writing's more my thing. Anyway, if you listen more than 15 minutes in, you hear me starting to loosen, and talk a little more freely. I guess my surprise that someone from the Foo Fighters wanted to talk to me lasted most of the way through the exchange. Very nice fellow, though, and knows country music well.
Thursday might not be an ideal night for a party, but maybe an early-evening start time could make it fly. The date is Thursday May 14, and the area is north of Charlotte, south of DC, not closer than 60 or so miles to either. Raleigh, Richmond, or anywhere in between would be perfect. Acoustic trio: Robbie Gjersoe, Todd Phillips, and myself. Drop a line if interested.
Something's there, not me. Back next Monday.