August 2017 Newsletter
Friday, July 28, 2017
If you took a picture of the bottoms of my boys' feet this time of year, it would tell quite a story. You would see fresh wounds, sustained in the hot pursuit of crabs through the low tide mud. You would see old cuts, healing slowly from daily exposure to salt water. You would see plenty of dirt, leftover from long days spent in roving packs of shoeless boys making up their own fun, nary an iPad in sight. The tender spots around the injuries and the callouses built up from long days without footwear speak of the pleasures and perils of the barefoot life.
I'm constantly telling the boys to put on shoes, or even just flip flops, but I'm not sure I really mean it. They must pick up on my reticence, for they rarely listen to me. Sometimes I worry that there'll be a trip to the emergency room--from stepping on a sharp shell hidden beneath the sand or a preventable barefoot bicycling injury--but the truth is I envy their shoeless exuberance. They are taking joy in the tactile pleasures of walking on this earth, and at the same time they are acutely vulnerable to the ordinary peril of everyday life. In other words, they feel as alive as we all wish we could feel.
Soon enough, we'll have to buy them new sneakers and drop them off at school. Soon enough the days will be overflowing with structure, snapped to the grid of schedules, lessons and practices. Soon enough, I'll have to pull on a pair of boots and some fancy clothes, get in my car, and go somewhere to try and make a little joyful noise (and money). But there'll be time enough for that.
Right now, I'm kicking my shoes off. This exposed, idle time goes against every fiber of my ambitious, round-the-clock, self-employed artist mindset. After all, when you're an adult it hurts like hell to even step on a pebble in the driveway. But man, there's just one more month of this barefoot life left and I want to feel it all--the cool morning dew on the grass, the hot sand through my toes, and even the occasional pebble beneath my heel. In a world where you have to steel yourself against the daily grind, it feels good to let things breathe for a moment.
Here's to you and yours enjoying a few more days with your toes in the sand. Be careful, but be alive, too.
NEW ALBUM (& KICKSTARTER) ON THE WAY: My "MIXTAPE" is coming along nicely. I've been glued to the radio, hoping to dub my favorite songs, working hard at drawing the cover and lettering the song list. I'm almost ready to hand it to you, hoping you'll hear what I want you to hear in the song choice, that you'll finally know how I feel about you and then we can go steady forever. In all seriousness, my 11th solo record of covers is turning out to be pretty badass, and will heading off to the CD duplicators and vinyl pressing plant soon. I've run with this ball as far as I can on my own, and next month I'll be launching another Kickstarter to ask for you help in getting it over the goal line. If there was any other way to fund the release of the music I want to make, I'd do it...but there isn't. That said, if anyone wants to write me a $40,000 check before mid-September, by all means go ahead. Stay tuned.
MP3 of the MONTH: It's a wistful, pack-it-all-in-before-it's-time-to-go-back-to-reality time of year, and I've got just the song for that. This month's track is my summer waltz, "Moonlit Lullaby," recorded live at Club Passim with Zachariah Hickman on bass, Jake Armerding on fiddle and Deni Hlavinka singing harmony. Download it at my Bandcamp site for FREE for the month of August. Thanks!
Sun Aug 13 - Energy Park, Greenfield MA - 6 pm
I understand why folks wouldn't want to sit in a dark church basement listening to a solo singer/songwriter ply his trade in August. But what if I told you you could listen to that same singer/songwriter in a beautiful, flower-infused outdoor park in downtown Greenfield MA as the summer sun sinks slowly below the horizon? There, that sounds better, doesn't it?
ON THE HORIZON:
Sept 23 - House Concert, Seekonk MA
Sept 24 - Leonard Cohen Tribute Show, Somerville MA
Oct 12 - Charles River Museum of Industry, Waltham MA