February 2016 Newsletter
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
BEGINNING TO SEE THE LIGHT
As I write this, we are less than a week away from the end of the recent Kickstarter campaign for my 10th solo record FOR A SONG. We met my goal of $30,000 after only 2 weeks, so with the remaining 2 weeks we are trying to raise extra funds that will allow me to make another video, press my first-ever vinyl LPs and maybe even pay my accompanists a (gasp!) living wage. I am incrediby grateful for your continued generous support, and though that is exactly what I've worked hard to deserve and honor for 17 years, it suprises and humbles me still.
In the past few weeks, I've had the privilege of entertaining the doubts and fears of a couple extremely talented musical friends as they head back into the studio to make new records. Don't ask me which friends. I say "privilege" because it's a very vulnerable thing for an artist to admit that they aren't entirely sure of the path ahead, something I've felt many times myself, and I don't take their confessions lightly. There was a time when I would have validated those doubts, maybe even allowed myself to marinate in some of my own insecurities til I felt raw and exposed to the world. This time, however, I really felt like I knew what they needed to hear, and I was able to reflect back some of what you have taught to me.
I reassured them that they have everything they need to make great art. They have songs that give voice to what many of us feel are our private struggles, to be borne alone. They have unique, soulful and perfectly imperfect human voices that can make hearts soar or ache, often both at the same time. I told them they could be forgiven their doubts, but their job is always forge ahead, further in. Such gifts must not be hoarded, caged, or hobbled. Maybe any one artist's voice might not contribute that much on its own, but collectively, art makes a hard and violent world just that much more bearable. If you can do that for someone else with your music, it is selfish and a damn shame to let your insecurities keep that light from shining.
My passion and conviction kind of took me back a bit. I might have already known some of this, intellectually, but I must admit I didn't really feel the truth and power of such sentiments until you all stepped up and supported this piece of work that you haven't even heard yet. I don't know how far I'm going with FOR A SONG, but I do know I'm starting the journey with confidence, grace, humility and love for the people who got me here today.
And if you're still reading this? That means YOU.
FIVE MORE DAYS: That's all the time left to pledge to the FOR A SONG Kickstarter. There's 5,000 people on this list, and just over 400 backers. Still plenty of ways to get involved, even if it's simply pledging for a download, cd or vinyl. Pledge HERE.
NEW SINGLE AVAILABLE NOW: I'm happy to announce that the title track of the upcoming record is available online NOW! You can (ahem) buy it on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, etc or stream it Spotify, etc.
AOIFE O'DONOVAN TOUR: Aoife O'Donovan is a friend and one of the most exquisite singers working today. She's got a brand new record out, and I am proud to announce that I will open a long run of shows on her spring tour! We'll be swinging through the Midwest and mid-Atlantic areas together, check out my TOUR page for details.
MP3 of the MONTH: I'm obviously getting in touch with my feelings this month, and what better soundtrack for that than...ADELE! This month's track is a live cover of Adele's "Don't You Remember," recorded at last December's annual Passim Covers show. You can download it HERE for free on my Bandcamp page for the month of February. Enjoy!
Thu Feb 4th - Mudville Music Room, Jacksonville FL - 7:30 pm
Fri Feb 5th - Fogartyville Cafe - Sarasota FL - 8 pm
Sat Feb 6th - Our Kind of Folk, West Palm Harbor FL - 8 pm
It's been awhile since I've been down to play some Florida shows on my own! I still have a little PTSD from last year's Boston Winter Of Our Discontent, so I'm looking forward to some palm trees and blue skies. I'm also praying that it doesn't snow while I'm gone, as I can't stand the thought of me driving along the ocean while my wife shovels the driveway.
Barnstar! Back In The Saddle!
Thu Feb 11th - Parlor Room, Northampton MA - 7 & 9 pm TWO SHOWS!
Fri Feb 12th - Peterborough Players Theater, Peterborough NH - 8 pm
Sat Feb 13th - Stone Church, Newmarket NH - 7 pm
Well, well, well...it's been awhile. We haven't played a show since last June, having scattered to the four corners of the world with all the other artists we play with. But we can't stay away forever, no matter how busy we get. We are excited to play what feels like our second hometown of Northampton MA, and two new venues for the band in New Hampshire. Live free or die indeed!
Barnstar! opens for JOSH RITTER & the Royal City Band
Thu Feb 25th - Carolina Theatre, Durham NC - 8 pm
Fri Feb 26th - Terminal West, Atlanta GA - 9 pm
Sat Feb 27th - Cannery Ballroom, Nashville TN - 8 pm
Sun Feb 28th - Headliners, Louisville KY - 8 pm
Mon Feb 29th - Taft Theatre, Cincinnati OH - 7:30 pm
OK....what?!?!? We know, it seems too good to be true. We're still pinching ourselves. But hey, sometimes the stars all align and it's a beautiful thing. We are all big Josh Ritter fans--we recorded one of his songs on our most recent album--and we can't wait to be part of this fantastic show in five towns the band's never been to before.
No sideman gigs to speak of this month, but you never do know where I'll show up unannounced.
ON THE HORIZON:
Mar 11 - Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 2, New York NY** **Barnstar! (to be confirmed)
Mar 12 - House Concert, Towaco NJ**
Mar 13 - Passim, Cambridge MA** special 3 pm matinee show!
Mar 19 - Williamstown Inn, Williamstown MA
Mar 30-Apr 8 - Supporting Aoife O'Donovan, check TOUR page for dates