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Early Spring Update: Fever, Wonder, Music City Roots & Beyond

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: ) 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.









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