Good evening from the sofa. I’m here with the Mrs. and a snoring (again) dog; I’ve got one eye on Netflix, one here on the “page”. Thinking, thinking. Having some red wine with the kale salad I made (my cooking is, unfortunately for, and unfairly to, my spouse, a rare thing). We’re just back from five days in Portland, Oregon, land of Dean’s Greens, Farma, Potlandia, et al. And current home of our son, whom we went out to visit, along with his darling girlfriend and her fine folks, as well as our daughter Charlotte who flew in on Saturday. We had a great time, though I don’t enjoy airplanes much, (never have) and my current minor spinal troubles sure weren’t helped by even proper posture in an airplane seat for 5-6 hours. But I played a fun show with the amazing Jill Sobule, whom I hadn’t seen in twenty some-odd years, thanks to my dear friend Jim Friscia, one of those “highway angels” touring musicians call on for an occasional miracle, such as, in this case, a show successfully put together and presented with about three weeks’ notice. Had a great visit; bought 6 books in a total of about 15 minutes inside Powell’s, including a so-far wonderful biography of poet James Wright by Jonathan Blunt. Indeed, Mr. Wright’s smiling countenance in the cover photo is staring me down benevolently right now. It’s good to be home. But hey, I’m leaving again tomorrow, and taking a few books with me.
Thursday night (tonight!), you’ll find me in Little Rock, Arkansas, in view of the state capitol and the railroad line, dishing it out once again at the genuinely fabulous White Water Tavern—my pals The Frontier Circus play at 9; I follow with my very own self. Then on Friday:
LAST-MINUTE SHOW ALERT(gasp)! This Friday, March 16, come on down to the Flying Tiger Brewery in my hometown of Monroe, Louisiana; I’ll be playing an early show from 6 to 8:30ish, delivering songs you know, and some you don’t, including a few from the forthcoming new release, due out this summer. Come on and grind on the groove early, kids. It’s gonna be fun. And then I just might head over to Ruston and sit in with my friend Monty Russell at Ponchatoulas!
March—a skittish month around here. One morning it’s 29 degrees and there’s snow on the roof, the next it’s 55 by noon and 69 by 3. Nature with its seasonal urges doesn’t quite know what to do. I’ve got less than a week to figure out what to call the new record, as well as figure out the track sequence. Yeah, I know—you’ll sequence it how YOU want, which is fine. But I feel obligated to present it how Joe and I hear it, and then you can do with it what you want. K? Ok.
PLEDGEMUSIC/CROWD-FUNDING/PRE-SALE/ETC.: Yes yes yes—I keep talking about the Pledgemusic campaign to raise capital to promote/distribute this here new record. Well, I’ve gotten a few emails from folks wanting to help NOW. And, it is true: we need help now, AND later. And the thing about Pledgemusic is that the artist doesn’t see any of the funds raised until all of the “rewards” have been mailed. Which is not ideal, if you’re looking at paying for manufacturing of CDs (yes, the old technology), vinyl (yes, the even OLDER technology), shirts etc. So, in response, we’re working on a two-tier approach to all this, towards the goal of maintaining a financially solvent status while moving forward, onward, and upward. Stay tuned, please. More info very soon.
Sorry to post and run, but I’m dragging as usual, trying to get out the door and onto the interstate. Hope to see you out there!
Feels so good when the fever breaks. But it did give me an odd perspective on the world in front of me—I was totally captivated by the simplest things: the smell of a just-ripped-open banana, cool rush of damp breeze rattling the window screen and blowing across my face as the storms rolled in Saturday night. How the 22-years-now-familiar train whistle doesn’t echo through the neighborhood as much when it’s raining. (I mean, “duh”, but to realize that as you’re hearing it is, or was, to my off-kilter mind, significant and beautiful, in the way that so many things happening around us every day in the natural world are–most of which seem lost on us.) I spent all weekend in bed, thinking and feeling like I had the flu, but judging from my relatively low-grade symptoms, it must be a lower devil of another name. And, I finished this great novel–Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders. Feeling better now; I woke up feeling okay except for having developed one of those head colds I’m so “fond” of, where your standard human gravity doesn’t seem to apply in the usual ways—and there’s a slight slip in cognition now and then, between idea and action. But hey, I’m functional, the sun is hanging out up in a clear blue sky, and it’s great to be alive!
You may have noticed (if not, I’m gonna tell you) that I haven’t posted much on social media of late—(except how could I NOT post my new theme song, ha ha, by another KG, the Australian rugby star: https://youtu.be/fGhO6uyNW8w ) Intended to be (and is) funny, though likely in most cases N-quite-S-F-W. (Depending on where you W.) I guess like other folks, a fatigue has set in. I love my friends, family, and most of my “friends”, but personally I’ve had to stay off the inner-webs a bit, just to re-center (as if that’s just a “little” thing). Yes, the can-it-get-any-weirder-yes-it-can politics and the associated intransigence are a part of it. And down inside: at this point in my life, doing what I do–making songs, recording them and playing them anywhere from Houma to Hiawatha–those dark little moments of “WTH are you doing/have you been doing for the last 30 years?” seem to call out with a louder voice from a deeper chasm. Especially in slower parts of the record-making/touring cycle. So, maybe: Pare it back? Start from the center–where I am, not where I was; who I am, not who I was. What I have, not what I don’t. Life might indeed be what’s “here” and “now”, though the “here” part of it is more complicated. With the cultural dominance of social media, the development of significant connections with others far away happens easily, with people whom you may never have met in person. Yet, they are part of your “now” life, via virtual means. I’ll get back on the stem and start posting again, though I might keep a distance—so don’t be offended if I don’t “like” everything like I used to; it’s not personal. I have a new record coming, and I feel anxious as a first-time father trying to get himself together before the child’s arrival, though of course it ain’t my first time. But inevitably the business has changed since the last time, except for the persistent question of who-knows-what-to-do re: marketing, distribution, and on, and on. Many ways to skin that proverbial cat; many ways to do it wrong.
Music City Roots!: This Thursday, March 1, I’ll be performing with my band (Joe McMahan, Ron Eoff, and Joshua Hunt) as part of a Music City Roots “Roots on the Road” show at 3rd & Lindsley here in Nashville. The MCR crew always does a great job—you can see some of my prior appearances floating around on YouTube, etc. My friend and inspired impresario Alan Brockman will be coming by my house on Thursday, with film crew, to get a feel for life around “the estate.” This should be interesting. These and other pieces of footage will be edited into something special I’ll talk about in greater detail later. Also appearing on the show will be our pals Daddy (featuring Will Kimbrough & Tommy Womack), Lillie Mae, and Katie Pruitt! As they used to say at the infamous J & H Productions up in Cincinnati, it’s just “stars after stars after stars . . . .” But never mind about us; we hope to see YOU there.
Portland: I’ll be sharing a bill with the fabulous Jill Sobule way out in Portland, OR on March 8, at O’Connor’s. Look to the bandsintown schedule for details. Looking forward to playing in one of my favorite towns again! (And yeah, seeing my kids will be really nice, too.)
New album: Yep, about that new recording I mentioned. Ten songs. We’re almost there, but for one very special guest’s contribution and a mix of that track. It will then be full speed ahead with figuring out a track sequence and title (which I’m already working on), and then mastering. Look for an early summer release. More details will be released as they develop. More tour dates as the warmer weather comes on, til then there’s a backlog of domestic work to take care of: delineating piles of stuff, for the trash, or the recycling bin. (We found out the hard way that those Barney videos on VHS we bought for the kids way back aren’t exactly hot items in the contemporary yard-sale market.) Harvesting data for the forthcoming income tax return. Planning and planting the little garden on the east side of the house. And maybe most importantly–finding a better way of carrying/displaying merch on the road. The plastic bin-o’chaos must go!!! And I’m sure a solution is within those very internets I mentioned avoiding earlier. Uh oh. Well, as long as it’s a “purpose-driven” search, right? Hope to see you out there, somewhere, soon.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018 So much for a “year-end” blog post! Dang, I looked up this morning and two weeks had gone by. It’s a quiet morning here in east Nashville. You see, we’re being snowed on/in again(snow still falling from a northwest wind, at about a 45 degree slant), and even here in the […]
9:05 am GOOD MORNING: I’m sitting on the sofa, sipping a quickly cooling 2nd cup of coffee, occasionally turning my green-hatted head to the left to watch a chilly wind tear through the remaining leaves on the little oak in the front yard. Passing traffic offers its usual waves of banality. The right of the […]