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Thoughts While Layering/ New Year/ New Record

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 “upper” South, travel tends to slow down, if not stop—errr, slide off into the ditch. But I welcome it—somehow the weather provides good reason for internal focus, (and interior chores), so why not sit down with a hot cup and write for a while. I love how the snow soaks up what sounds there are out there—an insulation of sorts. Always cool to see the ever-familiar landscape of “home” change temporarily in such circumstances, too, though this house sure isn’t made for temps in the teens. Keyword: “layering”!

I’ve got a birthday coming up on Thursday—and though I am slowly coming around to the idea of embracing and frankly, feeling proud of and lucky about the number and what all it represents, it’s still a little difficult. Various people in my life have told me for decades to grow up; I steadfastly refuse. To grow is one thing; to “grow up” is something else entirely–something less about living, less about joy, and seldom about growing, really. I RESIST! And I feel very fortunate to live the good and crazy life that I do. 

Last-minute show alert!  THIS FRIDAY, January 19, should you find yourself in Nashville, I’ll be celebrating that birthday by playing a show with my good friend from NY, Pete Mancini, who’ll be performing in band formation this time around, our second show together at the legendary Douglas Corner, all the way over on the other side of the river. 9 pm start. I’ll be playing some songs from the forthcoming new record, and who knows what else. More info:

On Wednesday, January 24, I’ll be playing another Nashville show, at Betty’s, out on the west side, sitting in with my friend Michael Dinallo and several other pals including Tom Hambridge and Dave Jacques. More details forthcoming.

Mr. McMahan at the controls

I’m here to tell you, among other things, that recording is finished for the new album! Joe McMahan is sitting in the control room in the studio as I speak, starting to mix a third track from the record, a song Gwil Owen and I wrote called Right on Time. We have mixes for Saint on a Chain and a song I’ve played out with the band only a couple of times, called Fire at the End of the World. I’ll write more about each song at a later date. But it feels so good to hear and feel things coming together—during the recording process we seem to go by “feel”, by intuition, and of course by Joe’s direction as producer. And in that phase there is a general hunch when you’ve gotten a good “take”, but that’s all—you only start feeling more certain about it after the recording phase is done and mixes start being “printed”—that’s when the whole thing starts to sound like a record. It’s also when I start thinking about how the songs go together thematically (or not)—combing lyrics for a possible name for this new animal, whose paw prints are unidentifiable, whose roar and cry is alien, unfamiliar, new. What is it saying, what does it need? And part of getting it right, if we do, is to let that strangeness exist—to not beat things into the old familiar—to let new be new, and “let it eat”, as is said.

My team and I are working on the details of a forthcoming Pledgemusic campaign, to help offset recording expenses, and hopefully provide resources necessary for getting the record out there, i.e. marketing. Of course you’ll be hearing much more about this very soon. 

Other social media stuff: I’ve finally started messing around with “stories” on Instagram. Follow me there and catch the chaos. Most of my posts (except for blogs) these days start there:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Egads: flurries and single digit temps out there. Think I’ll stay inside this drafty house and have another coffee, and do what I can from indoors today. Last night I finished one of the books I got for Christmas, James Baldwin‘s The Fire Next Time, which is quite the little 100-page explosive–Baldwin’s ever-present eloquence is there, and he is very much his own man–a fiercely independent thinker, and, as is obvious in the current documentary “I Am Not Your Negro”, an astounding orator. Perhaps the most profound thing about reading this book now is that it could have been written yesterday. It was originally published in 1963. Think about that.

Some of my resolutions for this year are: To read more. To connect more. With the unvarnished word. With people. In writing, and in life. To give without expectation, and to accept that which is given with gratitude.  To act out of love instead of fear. To believe in myself more consistently (which for me, well, let’s say I got a-ways to go) and push harder for what I want and what I need. To give openly and honestly to those I love, which includes both praising them and celebrating their accomplishments, as well as calling them on their “crap” when they’ve got it coming, and to accept same from them when it’s my turn. Willful silence is a toxic cauldron, and is in no way merciful, IMHO. And to put all this forth might be better done with a reformed self–more prayer, meditation, and, yes, exercise. I fell off that particular horse a while ago, and have never made it back. Walking and running out on the greenway and elsewhere did me a lot of good, and I must get back to it.

Happy New Year! And thank you for your love, friendship, and support of my efforts.

As always–got a problem with merch you bought online or at a show? A question, a complaint, a compliment? Find me here:

I’ll be hitting the road hard once we get close to the release of the new record. Is there somewhere you’d like to see me/us play live? Reach out to my agent, Val, at the mighty Mongrel Music:



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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 two windows I’m looking toward is now obscured by our lit-up Christmas tree; I lobbied for a larger one this time around, and due to mutual shopping fatigue one fateful day, the family will was bent to my wishes.

DOG: I’m sitting here next to a dog we’ve taken in, another pit-mix, black with white accents like Apollo, yet quite a bit smaller. And calmer. Pearl, formerly named Boo (yes, since that’s my wife’s nickname, it would’ve caused all sorts of awkwardness), is beginning her second week wearing a translucent plastic cone around her head, having successfully ripped out some post-surgery stitches the day after she arrived here, but seems to be handling it well, and everything is healing as it should. The “Elizabethan collar”, as the vet calls it, serves her well in the recovery process but does offer unique challenges when trying to recover a thrown ball—inevitably the ball ends up underneath the collar, and the more she backs up to retrieve what she can partially see through the plastic, well, the ball just follows her backwards. But she’s in good spirits—more so than I would be in such straits of ridiculousness. She appears to be part antelope, based on the way she runs—often springing off of all four feet at once to gain more ground than she ever could using the stretch of her “wheelbase.” It’s pretty hilarious to watch. I’ve laughed more in the last several days than I have in quite a while. For this I am so grateful. Yes, I’ll forever miss Apollo—in fact when taking the holiday decorations out of their box the other night, I stopped still when I saw his stocking in there. Just another strange part of it, I guess.

UPCOMING SHOWS: Two shows on the road this week; being home has been restorative, as it should be, but I’m thrilled to be heading south once more before year’s end. This Thursday, I’ll be playing in Birmingham, AL with the full band (Joe McMahan, Ron Eoff, and Tommy Perkinson) at WorkPlay, a special show presented by The Writer’s Share. It’s a great venue, and always a good time. Early James opens the show. I hope those of you in the area can take a break from the holiday bustle and join us! Check the tour page and your local listings for details.

On Friday, 12/15, I’ll be playing a solo show at The Olive Drop in Pensacola, FL—my first time to play the venue, and the town. Really looking forward to this! If you’re in the area, come on down. I’m hoping to make it back to Florida for the 30-A Songwriters Fest in January, though I haven’t gotten “the call” yet. If you 30-A residents/supporters would like to hear me in your neck of the woods next month, reach out to the fest and let ‘em know you’d like some KG in the mix. It’s always a great time, and a fine way to start the year.

On December 23 you’ll find me back at Byron’s in Pomeroy, Iowa! Glad to be returning to one of my very favorite venues, visiting with some of my very favorite folks.

JUST ADDED: To close out the year, I’ll be playing a solo show at Haymarket Pub & Brewery in Chicago on December 28! Check the tour page and venue website for details.

HOLIDAY KG BUNDLES: The elves over at Stealth Marketing have been sleeping on the job again, not coming up with much in terms of KG holiday merchandise specials. So I suppose I’ll seize the reins, put down the eggnog, and offer a few just for fun, albeit at the last dang minute:

1)LONG GONE TIME CD & SHIRT BUNDLE: A signed copy of the Long Gone Time CD, along with a LGT t-shirt of your choosing; they are available in limited quantities, depending on size, in both a unisex and women’s cut, in black or heather brown. ORDER IT HERE:


2)LONG GONE TIME VINYL LP & SHIRT BUNDLE: A signed copy of the double-LP edition of Long Gone Time (which includes free download), plus a LGT t-shirt of your choosing; shirts are available in limited quantities, depending on size, in both a unisex and women’s cut, in black or heather brown. ORDER IT HERE:



3)GLORYLAND CD & SHIRT BUNDLE: A signed copy of the Gloryland CD plus your choice of either the Gloryland “Angels” t-shirt (in an off-white/ “oatmeal heather”), or the  Gloryland “copter” shirt (in a “charcoal heather” color). Both are printed on a beautiful and cozy Belle Canvas cotton blend T. ORDER IT HERE:


4)DELUXE GLORYLAND BUNDLE: A signed copy of the Gloryland CD plus your choice of either the Gloryland “Angels” t-shirt (in off-white/“oatmeal” heather), or the  Gloryland “copter” shirt (in a “charcoal heather” color). Both are printed on a beautiful and cozy Belle Canvas cotton blend T. PLUS a rare copy of the home-made (with Mac assistance) Gloryland “demos” CD which was originally issued to sponsors of the Gloryland record. PLUS a handmade (with Mac assistance) Gloryland lyric book, with lyrics to all the songs from the record. LIMITED QUANTITIES AVAILABLE. ORDER IT HERE:



5) Not a bundle, but . . . need a little special stocking stuffer? Incredibly, there are STILL some copies of the limited edition of 300 hand-signed and numbered Louisiana Snow 7″ vinyl 45s. Comes with free download of both tracks. Fantastic cover art and screen-printing by Andrew Vastagh of Boss Construction. In a resealable mylar dust jacket. (ORDER IT HERE)

Gift wrapping not available (believe me–you don’t want ME doing THAT). We’ll ship these to US addresses up until December 20, via USPS Priority Mail. For shipping to international addresses please inquire. If we run out of a certain size/style of shirt, we’ll email you immediately; you can pick an alternate, or we’ll refund your money. 

IN THE REARVIEW, & IN THE STUDIO: Had a wonderful weekend recently playing a Kelly House Concert in St. Louis, and a Celebration Concert for Tri-States Public Radio at their studios up in Macomb, IL. Thanks to my bandmates o’ the weekend, Steph Graham and Tommy Perkinson, for kicking such remarkable musical ass (boy, ain’t that a way to say it!). And special thanks to all of you who came out to hear us.

Work continues on the new record—we hope to have the recording phase done by year’s end. Two new songs will be recorded on 12/19. Watch for details on the upcoming Pledgemusic campaign; you can play a part in making this new record a success!

Here’s hoping you have a safe and joyous holiday season!



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Where Are Those Tour Dates, You Ask???

Hell if I know. I’ve got my miner’s helmet on, crawling down into the depths of plug-in/widget hell, trying to make every little snaggle-tooth code-critter behave. Til I accomplish this mission, please go directly to to SEE where I’ll BE. Thank you, Bandsintown, for making this an exciting afternoon . . . .

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