May this find you well and safe; may we all find our way out of the madness that has been very much collectively ours in 2020. I’m looking forward to the holidays, such as they will be. But like every year, I still feel the same quickening pace–the increasingly vertical virtual slide down to December 25 and beyond. I hope your holidays and holiday preps are going well.
The mailroom here at KG Central is still open–same-day shipping on any merch, til the 19th. Consult with the the P.O., et al. to see what sort of shipping method you’ll need to get something to its destination on time. (Email us here at firstname.lastname@example.org if we need to huddle up on that–) And don’t forget those download possibilities–did ya know I put out a little record this year? An archival piece called Down to the Well: Solo Demos Unearthed, available only on Bandcamp.
I’ve told the story before, but the short version is: Before we went in to make what would become the Down to the Well album in late 1999, I made a group of informal solo recordings here at home, to test out arrangements, etc. Kind of a way to hold the record in your hands (ears) before you’ve made the thing. I found these some time ago, lurking on a cassette, and the audio quality was surprisingly good. Transferred them to digital, then had the amazing Alex McCollough at True East Mastering work his magic. A download-only release, it also comes with a PDF booklet with lyrics, photos, etc. Check it out on my Bandcamp site:
There are some other rare recordings there for your listening/gifting pleasure as well.
Thanks to all who tuned in on Stageit the other night for the annual Tom Waits tribute and Second Harvest fundraiser, Get Behind the Mule. Thanks to the band–my extremely talented friends Ron Eoff, Joshua Hunt, and Joe V. McMahan.
It was a quick live delivery of two songs, made fun, safe, and smooth by organizer Mary Sack and The 5 Spot technical crew. One of the very finest photographers around, John Partipilo, was there to catch the action, and take some cool portraits of everyone who played. Just spending an hour in that venue playing, even without a public audience, gave me a good indication of how absolutely great it’s going to feel to play and listen to live music again in a room with other people. There should be YouTube links being posted in the next few days, so that you can see the performances if you missed the initial streaming shindig on Dec. 12.
Better days are coming, folks. In the meantime, let’s play it safe out there.
First things first: I’m playing a show this weekend! I’m honored to be the special guest this week for Chuck Mead’s Lil’ SOB Jamboree series, happening this Saturday, November 28. I’ll be playing a few of my songs with Chuck and his fabulous band the Grassy Knoll Boys: Tune in on Facebook Live and YouTube November 28th 5-7pm CST. Hope you can make it—
Bandcamp Friday: As they’ve done for many months now, Bandcamp is waiving their cut of revenues earned from sales on Friday, December 4. Just means a little more jingle in the pocket for me and all the other artists on the site. If you’ve been hankering for some KG goods, that’s a good day to go shopping.
What’s goin’ on? It’s been a while. May this find you safe and well, however you might define that. For such an empty time, I’m staying busy, though per usual I’m not always cognizant of what it is I’m doing or have done. A little of this, a little of that. Get to the end of a day, turn around and ask myself, “What happened?” Cleaning out my inbox (again), scraping and repainting various windows. The daily afternoon dog walk with Boo. Playing guitar at night, for an hour or two. Letting my mind take me where it wants to go. Good choices on Netflix, and the PBS Newshour help keep me sane. Oh, the 2019 tax return. I’ll just say this—I’m very grateful for the recent long-awaited arrival of the refund check due from 2018, so that . . . I can write a check to pay what’s overdue for 2019. I’m sure this will all make sense eventually. Right?
Confessions: Well, the mirror is interesting these days, as my hair is in full-on PMM: pandemic mullet misformation. Gonna have to break down and get the thing tamed. Even for me, there’s a little too much of a “which ditch did you sleep in last night” vibe. I’ve fallen off the horse and stopped running. Seemed to coincide with the first chill in the air. I’m hitting the wine a little too hard at times, while reading more articles that include the phrase “sober curious.” Song ideas: sure, I’ve got ‘em. Finishing those? Not so much. Excited by the prospect of a Covid vaccine becoming available soon; at the same time, I’m more focused than ever on wearing a mask, a good mask (love those KN-95s . . .), and staying the hell out of places that seem risky. Except for going to a mall yesterday, to get an eye exam. For some reason.
If I owe you a phone call, I apologize. Something about life’s rich pageant in its current form finds me pulling back, and I’m not sure I can explain it. I just notice it happening. Maybe you’re feeling similar things. It’s not exactly that I don’t want to talk; last night I called my friend Joe McMahan to wish him belatedly a happy birthday, and we ended up talking for an hour—about music, about things that come up when playing/practicing guitar, about the venues we miss playing (hint: ALL of them–we even reminisced about places we couldn’t stand). I really enjoyed it. I love those conversations when I end up saying/thinking or hearing things that lead me somewhere new, to a perspective, an idea, a feeling, that I didn’t have when I picked up the phone. And speaking of birthdays, if I’ve missed yours one big reason might be my unannounced and unplanned retreat from Facebook. Again, I’m not sure I can explain it. I’ll maintain a presence, simply because so many friends and family remain active on Fb, but overall I’ll be more easily found on Instagram or Twitter.
Stay well! Thanks for reading this. If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, do it to it! After the last several months, I am simply grateful for being here. Love and gratitude. The rest is lagniappe.
Greetings, friends– City Winery, Nashville, Tonight: This evening(10/7) at 7 pm I play my first “real” show since the pandemic began at a venue that’s not within the walls of my house. I’ve spent a few frustrating hours this week remembering (or not) my own songs. It’s not like I haven’t been playing guitar, etc. […]
Yes, friends– it’s been a while. A while since we’ve talked, and a while since I’ve played a show in public, in a venue other than my dining room. But there’s one coming right up: Ben de la Cour and I are at City Winery’s Music City Wine Garden here in Nashville on Wednesday, October […]