January 2016 Newsletter
Monday, December 28, 2015
It's always nice to start the new year on a high note, so it is my pleasure to announce the upcoming release of my 10th solo album FOR A SONG on April 8th! It's been six years since my last collection of original material, so this one feels like it's been a long time coming. Of course, I've had plenty on my plate since 2010's LITTLE VIGILS, and those years were rich in musical milestones and life experiences. But it feels great to come out the other side a tad wiser (though unfortunately also a bit older), and to finally have the chance to focus a bit more on what I do best.
FOR A SONG came together gradually, from songs written wherever I could find the time to write them: in airports, during an ice storm in the Great Plains, around campfires, on school playgrounds. Much of what I've experienced personally in recent years, from the birth of my second son to turning 40, went into the mix. Everything I've done professionally as of late, from playing in a rowdy bluegrass band, to backing up Josh Ritter and Paula Cole, producing Lori McKenna albums, and paying tribute to Bill Morrissey, informed the writing, recording and production of this batch of songs.
As much as my life has evolved over the last six years, the music business has changed even more drastically. Recording technology has empowered me to do some things at home, but gathering great musicians in an inspiring room to capture the magic of a live performance costs just as much as it ever has. And cutting through the noise of all the other music that's out there just to get my record heard costs even more than it used to. I'd be downhearted if I didn't have something on my side that is, well, priceless: YOU.
A couple years ago, I released MILLTOWNS and asked you to help me tell Bill Morrissey's story. Now I'm asking you to help me tell mine. I have launched a new Kickstarter campaign to support the release of FOR A SONG and I hope you'll consider joining me. I've always been a little cautious in sharing pictures of my family online, but I believe so strongly in this record that I enlisted the help of my wife and boys with the Kickstarter video. I'm biased, but it's certainly the cutest and best-looking video I've ever made. Check it out HERE.
If a quarter of the people on this list simply bought the cd or downloaded FOR A SONG, I would easily surpass my goal. If I've done anything to earn your support over the years, I hope you'll be inspired to kick in to my campaign because if I don't make my goal then I don't get any of the money. There are lots of great rewards (t-shirts, posters, my childhood renderings of Michael Jackson...and more!) and you'll be the first to hear all about the new album. And PLEASE...don't keep me a secret! I could also use your help spreading the word on social media, etc about what I'm trying to do.
It's a brand new year and I've got some brand new music, the best I've ever made. If that ain't good news, I don't know what is.
MP3 of the MONTH: In a month filled with good news, what better fit than an exuberant cover a Sam Cooke song called "Good News?" The song was recorded live last month with Zack Hickman on bass, Jake Armerding on mandolin and Rose Cousins on tamborine (only because we couldn't find a cowbell). It's available for FREE for the month of January. You can download it from my Bandcamp page HERE. Enjoy!
SUB ROSA: SONGS FROM THREE MILE ISLAND SHOWS!
Sun/Mon Jan 10th/11th - Club Passim, Cambridge MA - 7 pm
Oh boy, these are going to be spectacular. Every year, a bunch of Boston songwriters and musicians camps out on Three Mile Island on New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee to write songs and collaborate for a week. These shows will feature collaborative performances of the songs we wrote on the island last June, 90% of which have never been performed in public before. The lineup? Check this: me, Rose Cousins, Rose Polenzani, Dinty Child, Zachariah Hickman, Charlie Rose, Dietrich Strause, Kristin Andreassen, Laura Cortese, Sean Staples, Jocie Adams, Dave Champagne, Annie Lynch and Kris Delmhorst. Right?!? Get tickets for 1/10 HERE, and tickets for 1/11 HERE.
Fri Jan 22 - Bluseed Studios, Saranac Lake NY - 7:30 pm
I've never played this room before and it's been a looong time since I've been up in the Saranac Lake area. I'm really excited to return and catch y'all up on what I've been up to for the last 10 years.
Sat Jan 23 - Mountain Folk @ Tunbridge Town Hall, Tunbridge VT - 7:30 pm
Vermont. In January. What could possibly go wrong? Nothing! Vermonters are hardy stock--I've had them cross country ski to a gig of mine. I'm looking forward to a cozy night in this beautiful old town hall.
Sun Jan 24 - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs NY - 7 pm
Been awhile since I've played this room too, and I'm excited to share the stage with Dana & Susan Robinson. Dana was one of the first veteran performers that befriended me, while also inspiring me to get better and learn my history to play this kind of music. Haven't seen him in a long time so I'm looking forward to catching up at the show. In fact, come on down and let's ALL catch up at the show.
Jan 14 - Belly Up, Solana Beach CA** with Paula Cole
Jan 15 - Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga CA**
Jan 30 - Stone Mountain Arts Center, Brownfield ME**
ON THE HORIZON:
Feb 4 - Mudville Music Room, Jacksonville FL
Feb 5 - Fogartyville Cafe, Sarasota FL
Feb 6 - Our Kind of Folk, West Palm Harbor FL
Feb 11 - Parlor Room, Northampton MA^^ Barnstar! headlining shows
Feb 12 - Peterborough Players Theater, Peterborough NH^^
Feb 13 - Stone Church, Newmarket NH^^
Feb 25 - Carolina Theater, Durham NC## Barnstar! opens for Josh Ritter
Feb 26 - Terminal West, Atlanta GA##
Feb 27 - Cannery Ballroom, Nashville TN##
Feb 28 - Headliners, Louisville KY##
Feb 29 - Taft Theatre, Cincinnati OH##