April 2016 Newsletter
Sunday, March 20, 2016
LET'S DO THIS
Sometimes, after toiling toward some distant harvest, it can be hard to believe it when the crop finally comes in. That's kind of what I feel like in the final days before the release of my 10th album, FOR A SONG, on April 8th. The fruits of my labor--all the songs I wrote, rewrote, then rewrote again, and the different sorts of productions I imagined, abandoned, then reimagined--are now both fully-realized and out of my control. I've been doing this long enough to know it's dangerous to let hopes run high. And still...as improbable as the first signs of spring, I can feel the slender green shoots of hope pushing up through the darkness, poised to bloom.
I have never felt comfortable with the notion that each new release be promoted mainly on its novelty or innovation. Perhaps we are more enamored of the brash and the bold, the gamechanger mentality that in many ways founded my country. Maybe we don't always prize the steady seeker, plumbing the internal and external worlds for nuance and overlooked meaning...but it is that very process that gave birth to FOR A SONG. I'm the same artist and person that I've always essentially been, but enough subtle change has piled up over the years that I feel I'm looking at things from a fundamentally different place than ever before. It's as impossible to for me to imagine making FOR A SONG as a younger man, as it is for me to consider having made anything other than this record at this point in my life.
Of course, all of this is now out of my hands. The envelopes have been stuffed and mailed, the 0's and 1's are streaming into the ether, and the music no longer really belongs to me: now it's yours. As I set myself to the work of taking this material on the road, something I'm doing a LOT of this month, all I can really hope for now is to not be anybody's best kept secret. If you love this record, if you believe in me as an artist, I hope you'll consider coming out to a show. Bring a friend. Or three. Buy a record for someone you think would love it. Or even just tell somebody about this great new song you can't stop listening to.
I can fill up my notebook pages. I can toil on through doubt and despair. I can sing til I can't sing anymore. But I can't bear the thought that it doens't make some small difference to somebody, somewhere. And if it has, then what's to stop it from being meaningful to more people, everywhere? That's the stuff that keeps me going, though I can sum it all up in one word: YOU. Thank you for listening, for buying records, coming out to the shows--for sustaining me.
Now...let's do this!
PRE-ORDER NOW: The first review is in, and according to Red Line Roots FOR A SONG "feels like the best of Paul Simon or Jackson Browne’s work." The record's not out til April 8th, but you can pre-order it on iTunes, Amazon etc on March 25. OR you can pre-order it HERE at my Bandcamp page NOW! You'll get one track immediately, a digital download on release day, and if you order a CD it will arrive the week of April 10th. NOTE: if you play downloads from my Bandcamp site on your iPhone, iPad, etc, you can touch the song currently playing to see lyrics and recording credits. Take that, iTunes.
MP3 of the MONTH: At a time when I want you to tell all your friends about me, this month's track is a cover of Blake Mills' "Don't Tell All Our Friends About Me." Just listen to the song and do the opposite! It's available for free for the month of April HEREhttps://markerelli.bandcamp.com/album/mp3-of-the-month on my Bandcamp site. Enjoy!
Wed Mar 30th - Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis MN - 7:30 pm
Thu Mar 31st - Stoughton Opera House, Stoughton WI - 7:30 pm
Fri Apr 1st - SPACE, Evanston IL - 8 pm
Sat Apr 2nd - The HI-FI, Indianapolis IN - 9 pm
Sun Apr 3rd - 20th Century Theatre, Cincinnati OH - 8 pm
Tue Apr 5th - The Southern, Charlottesville VA - 8 pm
Wed Apr 6th - Ramshead On Stage, Anapolis MD - 8 pm
Thu Apr 7th - Barns at Wolf Trap, Vienna VA - 8 pm
Fri Apr 8th - North Shore Point, Norfolk VA (FOR A SONG official release date!)
I'm beyond honored to kick off the month of April supporting Aoife O'Donovan, a friend and one of my favorite songwriters and singers, who also has a fantastic new album out. I'll be performing solo and acoustic, and I'm excited to get to so many new towns and venues on this run. You don't want to miss this.
Sat Apr 9th - The Spire Center for the Performing Arts, Plymouth MA - 8 pm
I'm very excited to release FOR A SONG with this special band show, featuring Marco Giovino on drums & Zachariah Hickman on upright bass. The Western Den will open, and Deni Hlavinka will join me for my set to sing harmonies. This is a gorgeous venue, that sounds as good as it looks. FOR A SONG comes out the day before, so come help us celebrate!
Fri Apr 15th - Stargazers Theatre, Colorado Springs CO - 8 pm
Sat Apr 16th - Soiled Dove Underground, Denver CO - 8 pm
Playing in Paula Cole's band is one of the most soulful and rewarding musical opportunities I've ever enjoyed, and I'll be playing with her for these dates, as well as opening the night with a solo, acoustic set of songs from the new album.
Wed Apr 20th - Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3, New York NY - 8:30 pm
Thu Apr 21st - Burlap & Bean, Newtown Sq PA - 8 pm
Fri Apr 22nd - The Strand, Lakewood NJ - 7:30 pm
Sat Apr 23rd - Front Porch, Charlottesville VA - 7 pm
Sun Apr 24th - IOTA Club & Cafe, Arlington VA - 8 pm
This is a first for me: two of my best friends (Barnstar! compatriots who also play on my new album) were both available to join me for a run of headlining dates down to DC and back to celebrate the release of FOR A SONG. Can't even articulate how pumped I am to hit the road with Zachariah Hickman on upright bass and Charlie Rose on pedal steel and banjo. SO much work has gone into lining this up...I can't imagine the calendars lining up like this again anytime soon...DON'T MISS THESE SHOWS! (Please note: the 4/22 Lakewood NJ gig is a very special 50th birthday celebration for WBJB dj Jeff Raspe, and we will open for Jesse Malin and friends for this show.)
Thu Apr 28th - O'Shea's Olde Inn, West Dennis MA - 7 pm
Ever since I married a Barnstable girl, Cape Cod feels like a second home to me. Can't wait to bring Zachariah Hickman (upright bass) with me and give him the full O'Shea's treatment (aka great beer, great food and a packed house)!
Fri Apr 29th - Club Passim, Cambridge MA - 8 pm
Sat Apr 30th - Parlor Room, Northampton MA - 8 pm
A weekend of shows at home...the Boston-area and the Pioneer Valley have always been the center of my musical and personal communities. I can't wait to bring FOR A SONG into these rooms, both perennial favorites of mine, with a band that includes Zachariah Hickman (upright bass), Marco Giovino (drums, 4/29 only) and James Rohr (keyboards). The Western Den's Deni Hlavinka will be on hand to harmonize both nights, and her band will open the 4/30 show. Both shows will very likely SELL OUT (only 30 tix left for Passim as of this newsletter), so get tix today by clicking the venue names above.
It's all about ME this month.
ON THE HORIZON:
5/7 - The Eclectic, Willimantic CT
5/14 - Red & Shorty's, Dover NH
5/19 - Live at the Ludlow Garage, Cincinnati OH (o/f Paula Cole)