Mark Erelli

March 2018 Newsletter

March 2018 Newsletter

I heard an interview with noted drag queen RuPaul on NPR a month or so ago, and was taken aback by how much I enjoyed the conversation. One thing that stuck me in particular were his reflections on the relationship between artists and spirituality. I'm paraphrasing here, but he said something to effect that artistic people don't need to know everything or cling to absolute notions of how things should be. Artists embrace, and are comfortable with, the mystery.

Wow. It got me thinking about the mysteries in my artistic life, and whether I embrace them fully enough. I've heard the recording process described as 'mysterious,' but I find the work to be straightforward and perfectly suited to my introverted nature. When it's just me, a song and a microphone, life is whittled down to three things I am most comfortable with and feel I can control.

The real mystery comes into play with all that needs to happen after a record is completed. I don't understand how to get the attention of the New York Times or how to get DJs to play it on the radio. I don't understand how to convince venues to book me to play a show, or the conundrum of how to get people to come see it. All these puzzles require much more than an introverted artist doing what he does best.

MIXTAPE came out officially a little over a month ago, and now I guess it's time to, as RuPaul famously intoned, get out there and 'work it.' I have no idea what I'll find: some shows sold out months in advance, others, I have literally no clue if anyone will show up. Mysteries abound. Shows like these are incredibly expensive and difficult to pull together, and won't happen again anytime soon. So this is me embracing the mystery, crossing my fingers, and hoping that you'll join us!

REVIEWS: MIXTAPE is getting some raves, like this one from Elmore Magazine: "Not many singers can do justice to Solomon Burke, Patty Griffin, and Roy Orbison on the same album. Although most listeners will be familiar with many of these ten songs, Erelli transforms them beautifully. So much so, that you may begin to prefer his versions over the originals." If you haven't gotten your copy yet, what are you waiting for?

MP3 of the MONTH: With all this talk about cover songs, I don't want you to think I don't have any new ideas of my own. In fact, I have a ton of new originals piling up and I'm waiting for them to reveal what I should do next. In the meantime, here's a new song called "The Western Veil" that I recorded with a slew of Boston friends at a recent live show. You can download it for free for the month of March. Enjoy!

(All shows are full band, * shows will also feature string quartet)

Thu Mar 22 - Parlor Room, Northampton MA - 7 pm*
What more can I say about Northampton and the folks at Signature Sounds? It seems fitting to kick this tour off in the town where my musical dreams began to come true, presented by the record label that made it happen. That said, I have no idea how all the musicians are going to fit onstage. Come to the show and find out...you may end up sitting next to the viola player.

Fri Mar 23 - The Word Barn, Exeter NH - 8 pm*
I don't play the NH seacoast enough, though that's an oversight I'm always trying to rectify. I kind of wish every venue I played was a barn, so I know I'm going to love this show. This show is your next closest bet if you were hoping to go to the Boston show.

Sat Mar 24 - City Winery, Boston MA - 8 pm* (SOLD OUT)
I didn't see this one coming folks, though perhaps the fact that Lori McKenna is opening this show for me (!) had a little to do with it selling out 2 months in advance. I dunno, but I do know it's my biggest hometown show ever and I'm extremely excited. You can get on a waiting list in case any additional tickets open up at the last minute.

Thu Mar 29 - Rockwood Music Hall, New York NY - 7 pm* (w/ special mystery guest)
New York city is always tough, as it's not like you don't have any other entertainment choices. But this is my first full-band show in NYC since I can't remember when. In an effort to entice you to choose the Rockwood, I have lined up another special friend to open the show. I can't tell you which friend just yet, but I can say that you'll kick yourself if you don't come. Seriously.

Fri Mar 30 - Jamey's House of Music, Lansdowne PA - 8 pm
Never played this room before, but it'll be nice to return to the Philly area with a band. I hear this place has great food and great sound, so that sounds like the start of a great night for all.

Sat Mar 31 - Jammin' Java, Vienna VA - 7 pm
The final date on the full band MIXTAPE run and you won't want to miss it. We'll know all the songs really good by then, and Deni Hlavinka (who sang with me on FOR A SONG) will join us for heavenly harmonies.

Mar 3 - Northampton MA (with Anais Mitchell)

Apr 7 - Benefit For Dick Pleasants, Regent Theater, Arlington MA
Apr 27 - House Show, Santa Barbara CA
May 3 - Seven Steps Up, Spring Lake MI
May 4 - Cafe Carpe, Fort Atkinson WI
May 5 - Three Springs Barn, Lancaster WI


updated: 1 year ago