Mark Erelli

February 2018 Newsletter

February 2018 Newsletter

(Editor's note: With no gigs of my own until March and Valentine's Day fast approaching, I am bringing my wife Polly onboard for this month's newsletter to contribute her, ahem, differing perspective alongside mine.)

He: I funded my 10th solo record with a successful Kickstarter, which allowed me to put more resources into my own material than I had in nearly a decade. I hit the road supporting Aoife O'Donovan and played in both New and Olde England with Barnstar! I had loads of sideman work with Paula Cole and Lori McKenna, and had a blast on a 5-week bus tour with Josh Ritter opening for Jason Isbell. The most lucrative and BEST year of my entire career. Felt like a complete rock star.

She: This year stretched me to the edges of my mental health limits. I am a music lover and I love Mark, so when he asked me with longing in his eyes to hit the road again, now that our boys are a little older, I told him to go for it. Several times this year I doubted all of my life choices, but music saved me from myself. I would listen to records in our living room, knowing that I somehow contribute to the tightly woven life of one musician in a complicated world. I would like to tell you that our boys joined me in this transformative listening. But in reality, I splayed out on the floor with my eyes closed and the music cranked, while our boys jumped, on, over and around me making fart noises.

He: An in-between, kinda fallow year. Lots of Kickstarter stress, wondering whether I'd be able to raise enough money to support the recording and release of my upcoming covers album. A large chunk of sideman work I'd been counting on for the fall fell through, leaving me scrambling for solo gigs at a time when most of the best venues were already booked. Money stress and career uncertainty. On top of all that, Tom Petty died. Get me outta this year.

She: This year was amazing! I was so relaxed. Usually Mark is travelling a lot, especially in the fall when the boys are transitioning back to school, and there can be a lot of angst. My stress meter was at an all time low because we were able to co-parent so consistently. I weathered Tom Petty's death, and many rants from Mark on his cultural relevance. I think his passing was so profound because Petty was both a frontman and a sideman--not unlike Mark--and so it felt like losing a musical hero and kindred spirit.

He: My 11th record, MIXTAPE, came out on January 26th to strong reviews. I have a short album release tour booked with the same band from the record PLUS a string quartet for several of the shows. The Boston show sold out 2 months in advance. Things are looking up again, 2018!

She: I would like to state for the record that I had absolutely no say in what covers made the MIXTAPE record, despite persistent attempts. Both Mark and Zack would smile and nod politely during my passionate pleas...and then disappeared into the studio under a shroud of secrecy. Maybe this will be the record that lets me quit my job.

WEBSITE ORDERS: Due to my being on the road with Josh Ritter from Feb 15th-Mar 3rd, orders for MIXTAPE CDs or LPs placed through my website during those dates will be filled upon my return. I apologize for the inconvenience. When my boys are old enough to press gang into this sort of manual labor, order fulfillment will happen with Amazonian consistency.

2nd SHIFT MUSIC SERIES CURATOR: I played a wonderful show last fall as part of the 2nd Shift music series at the Charles River Museum of Industry in Waltham MA. I liked it so much, they asked me to curate the series in 2018 and book the artists for the Spring and Fall seasons. I'm really proud of the roster that came together for the coming months. If you're in the greater Boston area, you really should check out this great space...and you can't go wrong with any of these artists. We kick off on Thu Mar 15 with singer/songwriter/fiddler/guitarist Joyce Andersen, who is a quadruple threat and more. Check out the Spring season and get advance tickets!

MP3 of the MONTH: In honor of Valentine's day, this month's track is a live cover of Melissa Etheridge's steamy 90's classic "I'm The Only One," which I'd like credit for singing in her original key. It was recorded with my friends Jake Armerding, Rose Cousins and Zack Hickman at the 14th annual "Under The Covers" show at Club Passim. It's available for free for the month of February on my Bandcamp site. Enjoy!

For the first time since I can't remember when, I have no solo shows this month.

SIDEMAN SECTION: (all dates with Josh Ritter)
Feb 16 - Ryman Auditorium, Nashville TN
Feb 17/18 - KCD Theater, Louisville KY
Feb 20 - Commodore Ballroom, Vancouva BC
Feb 21 - Hume Hotel, Nelson BC
Feb 22 - Eric Harvie Theater, Banff AB
Feb 23/24 - Arden Theater, St. Albert AB
Feb 26 - Broadway Theatre, Saskatoon SK
(see www.joshritter.com for the full list)

MIXTAPE full-band album release tour! (*with string section)
Mar 22 - Parlor Room, Northampton MA*
Mar 23 - The Word Barn, Exeter NH*
Mar 24 - City Winery, Boston MA* (SOLD OUT)
Mar 29 - Rockwood Music Hall, New York NY*
Mar 30 - Jamey's House of Music, Lansdowne PA
Mar 31 - Jammin' Java, Vienna VA


updated: 1 year ago