SOUTHEAST // MONTANA // NORTHWEST // EAST // CALIFORNIA // COLORADO // MOAB // NORTHEAST // MIDWEST // BO RAMSEY
Summer's over and my wife is roasting red peppers on the range top, making the whole house smell like a parking lot in Santa Fe. I built a fire in the wood stove this morning and sat reading Jack Gilbert poems in the half dark until the coffee strayed my attention, and then I realized it's about time to get on a plane, to be On the Road Again like Willie Nelson.
The Tønder Festival in Denmark was a hell of a lot of fun, and owing to a main stage cancellation that we covered, I saw myself on the Jumbotron for the first time since my 1987 outing as the Honorary Bat Boy throwing out the first pitch at County Stadium for a Brewers Game. Let us all pause briefly and give thanks that the internet did not exist when we were younger.
Here's the deal. If you know anyone that happens to live where we're going, it'd be nice if you warned them. Once more into the breach, via rented car.
SOUTHEAST - This week a run of trio shows in the southeast, returning to Eddie's Attic in Decatur, GA. (9/7), the Evening Muse in Charlotte, NC (9/8), City Winery in Nashville, TN (9/9), and The Warehouse at Mt. Victor in Bowling Green, KY. I haven't played most of these towns in years and some of them I haven't played at all. Kevin Gordon, whom I've wanted to see play for a long time, opens Nashville and Atlanta. The Bluegrass Situation will record a segment of their Hangin' and Sangin' program with me and boys on the afternoon before the City Winery Nashville show, broadcast live on Facebook and Periscope. Make your cubicle ring with our remote internet telecast.
MONTANA - September 21st Billy and I play the Montgomery Distillery in Missoula, MT, celebrating the release of Chris Dombrowski's forthcoming book, BODY OF WATER on Milkweed Editions. Chris has published two acclaimed books of poems and written eloquently, occasionally about our fishing adventures, in various publications, in addition to penning the liner notes to Salt As Wolves. BODY OF WATER is his first book-length non-fiction and having read it first loose-leaved and then again recently in galley proof, I'm willing to go ahead and call it a great book. But he doesn't need my praise: everyone from Ian Frazier to David James Duncan has already offered their own, and our late friend Jim Harrison said it was 'destined to become a classic.' Pre-order your copy now, and we'll see you there.
NORTHWEST - After a quick turn home we'll head right back out west with appearances at Wenatchee Valley College in Wenatchee, WA (9/29) the Republic Brewing Company in Republic WA, 9/31 and the Stage Door Theater in La Grande, OR (10/2).
EAST - October we'll open a short run for Eilen Jewell and her fine band at The Southern in Charlottesville, VA (10/12), The Hamilton in Washington, DC (10/13), World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, PA (10/14), and City Winery New York, NY (10/16). Saturday (10/15) we headline the Listening Room in Tom's River New Jersey. I've been told there's a whole state out there beyond the turnpike, but I remain skeptical.
CALIFORNIA - Late October it's California, starting at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley (10/27), and heading down to Soho in Santa Barbara (10/28) and McCabe's in Santa Monica, with a San Diego play just added at the Brick 15 in Del Mar for Halloween (10/31). The charming trio Quiles and Cloud open everything south of Berkeley.
COLORADO - In November we'll convene the trio with Moses for shows at the Walnut Room in Denver (11/1) and Brues Alehouse in Pueblo (11/2). (PLEASE NOTE: owing to contractual issues related to an overlooked territorial restriction, our previously announced shows at Cavalcade in Fruita and the Sunflower Theater in Cortez have been cancelled - apologies all around and we'll try to get back out that way soon). We'll be joined in Colorado by our old friend John Statz, whose most recent album TULSA I produced and played on, opening both nights.
MOAB - Moab Folk Festival (11/4-5). I've never been to Moab and only played Utah one time, a state whose rivers would seem to bear further scrutiny. Heard great things about this fest and glad to look into them firsthand.
NORTHEAST - Two shows in November with Kris Delmhorst, first at the Kate Hepburn Theater in Old Saybrook CT (11/16), and then at Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River MA (11/18). I'll be headlining the Capitol Center in Concord, NH on the Thursday night between, (11/17). Kris will have just cut a new record in October and the songs will be fresh in mind for all of us - come out and be first to hear them live.
MIDWEST - Starting at Ninth Ward in Buffalo, NY (11/30), we'll go up to Canada for a show at Hugh's Room in Toronto, ON (12/1), then over to the Tip Top Deluxe in Grand Rapids, MI (12/2) before continuing on to play The Ark in Ann Arbor, MI (12/3), City Winery Chicago on (12/4), High Noon Saloon in Madison, WI (12/7), Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis MN (12/8), Three Springs Barn in Lancaster WI (12/9), closing out both the tour and the year on the road at Anodyne in Milwaukee, WI (12/10). Will we buy a case of Old Milwaukee to celebrate? We just might.
BO RAMSEY - Bo Ramsey, whose distinctly spare and powerful electric guitar work defines both my Ghost Repeater and Salt As Wolves records, has released a new album of instrumentals and it's been on repeat here at headquarters. Cut in his Iowa City kitchen in eight hours, Wildwood Calling is like the unified field theory, reconciling the blues he was raised on with the interlocking textures and haunting melodic figures of his later work, so that everything he does shows up with that indelible light touch and a sort of sunlit airiness. Bo Ramsey is one of the best guitar players in the world, andI'm not the only one who thinks so: "It conjures up an uncrowded landscape" - Mark Knopfler. "Extraordinary!" - Iris Dement. You should go buy it, right now. An album from Bo Ramsey is an event.
TONDER // SOUTHEAST // MISSOULA // EAST // CALIFORNIA // COLORADO // MOAB // NORTHEAST // MIDWEST // LOST IN THE VALLEY // ACOUSTIC GUITAR
TONDER - August 25 and 26 I'll play the Tonder Festival in Denmark with the full band - featuring Billy Conway on drums, Eric Heywood on pedal steel and electric guitar, Jeremy Moses Curtis on bass, and Caitlin Canty on backing vocals - alongside everyone from the Blind Boys of Alabama and Jason Isbell to Rosanne Cash.
SOUTHEAST - In early September Billy and I will make a triumphant return to the southeast with shows at Eddie's Attic in Decatur, GA. (9/7), the Evening Muse in Charlotte, NC (9/8), and City Winery in Nashville, TN (9/9). As now, we don't have anything booked on Saturday 9/10 so if you have bright ideas please harass my management, else we're just going to Stuckey's and drink in the parking lot.
MISSOULA - On September 21st we'll perform at the Montgomery Distillery in Missoula, MT, to celebrate the release of Chris Dombrowski's new book, BODY OF WATER on Milkweed Editions. Chris has published two acclaimed books of poems and written eloquently (and occasionally about our fishing adventures) in various publications, in addition to penning the liner notes to Salt As Wolves. BODY OF WATER is his first book-length non-fiction and having read it first loose-leaved and then again recently in galley proof, I'm willing to go ahead and call it a great book. But he doesn't need my praise: everyone from Ian Frazierto David James Duncan has already offered their own, and our late friend Jim Harrison said it was 'destined to become a classic.' Pre-order your copy today, and we'll see you in Missoula.
EAST - In October Billy and I open a short run for Eilen Jewell and her fine band up and down the eastern seaboard, with shows at The Southern in Charlottesville, VA (10/12), The Hamilton in Washington, DC (10/13), World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, PA (10/14), and City Winery New York NY (10/16). On the Saturday (10/15) We'll headline the Listening Room in Tom's River New Jersey, where I will finally get to play my cover of 'Tweeter and the Monkey Man' for someone who understands it.
CALIFORNIA - Late October we head for California, starting at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley (10/27), and heading south to Soho in Santa Barbara (10/28) and McCabe's in Santa Monica. My management and agents are careful to book my west coast tours for the precise moment the fall fishing peaks in New England.
COLORADO - From California we'll fly to Colorado for shows at the Walnut Room in Denver (11/1) Cavalcade in Fruita (11/2), and the Sunflower Theater in Cortez (11/3), joined by our old friend John Statz, whose most recent album TULSA I produced and played on, opening all shows.
MOAB - From Colorado we head to Moab, Utah for the Moab Folk Festival. I've never been to Moab and only played Utah one time, a state whose rivers would seem to bear further scrutiny.
NORTHEAST - In November I'll do a couple of shows with Kris Delmhorst at the Kate Hepburn Theater in Old Saybrook CT (11/16), and the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River MA (11/18) (I'll be headlining the Capitol Center without her in Concord, NH on the Thursday night between, 11/17). As Kris and I are married you may think of these shows as 'dates,' where you get to pick up the tab.
MIDWEST - We'll finish the year on the road touring the Midwest in the first two weeks of December. Dates are still filling in but as now we'll be at The Ark in Ann Arbor, MI (12/3), City Winery Chicago on (12/4), High Noon Saloon in Madison, WI (12/7), Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis MN (12/8), Three Springs Barn in Lancaster WI (12/9), and Anodyne in Milwaukee, WI 12/10. I like to play Milwaukee because I get to go to my Grandma's house and play cribbage. At 88 she counts faster than I do and brooks no nonsense.
LOST IN THE VALLEY - Caitlin Canty, whose 2015 album RECKLESS SKYLINE I produced and played on, has released a companion EP called LOST IN THE VALLEY. In addition to the title cut the EP features three full-band outtakes from the Reckless Skyline sessions, and an acoustic duet recording of the song 'Idaho.' Caitlin is an incredible natural singer and her songs have the clarity and structural heft of gemstones. Fans of Reckless Skyline will want to get hold of this one before they're gone.
ACOUSTIC GUITAR - Billy and I stopped by the offices of Acoustic Guitar Magazine in the North Bay while on tour in California this past spring to record three songs at a perfectly indecent hour of the day. You can visit the Acoustic Guitar Sessions to watch us play 'Blues for Jessie Mae' (Salt As Wolves), 'Pretty Hands' (unreleased), and 'Heart to the Husk' (Horse Latitudes), as well enjoy my tremendous discomfort as I introduce the songs to no one in particular.
BUFFALO // DUNNVILLE // MARIPOSA // NAKED SONG // TONDER // THREE MINUTE STORYTELLER // FALL
BUFFALO - July 7 Billy and I fly into Buffalo, NY and play the Ninth Ward at Babeville. I've never been to Buffalo, much less played Buffalo, so if you have people on the ground in or near that town please send them out, else it might get lonely.
DUNNVILLE - July 8 we'll play a small cafe called Flyers in Dunnville, Ontario. Little towns that I've never been to are my favorite kind, even in Canada. Let's see what happens.
MARIPOSA - July 9 and 10 we'll appear at the Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia, Ontario, a long-running festival with a nice line-up featuring many old friends (including Eliza Gilksyon, whom I haven't seen since we closed a hotel bar together in West Virginia, ca. 2007). I am told Billy and I are to share a dormitory suite at a local college, which sounds like the pilot episode of a situation comedy. Hilarity ensues.
NAKED SOUL - July 22nd I'll play alone and unplugged for the first time in a long while at the Ruben Museum in New York City as part of the Naked Soul concert series, songs from all of my solo records on three or four of my favorite old guitars, the ones that never get to leave the house. It's a small room seating a little over a hundred people, and fortune favors the advance ticket holder. Everyone knows someone in NYC. Send them out.
TONDER - August 25 and 26 I'll be appearing with the full band - featuring Billy Conway on drums, Jeremy Moses Curtis on bass, Eric Heywood on electric guitars, and Caitlin Canty on backing vocals - at the Tonder Festival in Denmark, a large festival in a small country, one I've wanted to see for a long time. We're making a surgical strike of four days and haven't all been together in one place since December, so we're unlikely to change time zones for this trip, we'll just bring our own with us.
THREE MINUTE STORYTELLER - I recently recorded a segment for a program called Three Minute Storyteller, a collection of brief interviews on various topics, in which though I appear to be alone and speaking somewhat at random, I am in fact attempting to make cogent answers at an unforgiving hour to questions put me by a real nice guy named Mike.
FALL - In September we'll get down to Atlanta and points Southeastern for the first time in some years, then open a run of shows for Eilen Jewell and her band out east in October, heading for California and Colorado in late October and early November, on our way to a full band appearance at the Moab Folk Festival. Early December we'll be back on tour in the Midwest. Add in some hunting and fishing in Montana and Wyoming to which we may attach a couple shows to keep things tax deductible, and we'll call it a year. Keep an eye on the tour page and contact the management if there's some place you think we need to be that we aren't going, I'm sure it's an oversight. Thanks in advance.
EAST // AMERICAN ANGLER // MARIPOSA // NAKED SONG // TONDER // STORE
EAST - In the next few weeks Billy and I play a string of dates out east, including the Towne Crier in Beacon, NY 6/10, the Annual Skunk Funk festival in Nelson, NY (with old friends Peter Mulvey, David Goodrich, and Andy Friedman) on 6/11, Helsinki on Hudson in Hudson, NY 6/12, the Parlor Room in Northampton, MA 6/15, Steel City in Phoenixville, PA 6/17, and the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA 6/18. Mark your calendar or whatever soul-eating personal advertising device has taken it’s place. Rusty Belle opens Helsinki, and Zak Trojano - whose album YESTERDAY'S SUN is one of my favorite recent releases - opens the Parlor Room.
AMERICAN ANGLER - In the July/August edition of American Angler Magazine, I'll be appearing in the Five Questions section, speaking my wandering mind about the relationship between music and fishing, and the charms of traveling the country with a fly rod stuffed inside your electric guitar case. As the youngest child and loudest complainer in a family of stoical boat fisherman, who grew up on headlines like 'Spin Your Crappie Magic,' I can't tell you the sweet irony of appearing in a nationally published fishing magazine. I will buy a number of copies with which to harass my brothers.
MARIPOSA - In July Billy and I will play the venerable Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia, Ontario, along with Rita Coolidge and the Milk Carton Kids, and an improbably large number of other acts, some of whom may actually play 'Folk Music.' On the way we'll play shows at Babeville in Buffalo, NY, and Flyers in Dunnville, Ontario. We'll probably stop at Niagara Falls too. You know how romantic Billy is.
NAKED SOUL - In an act of striking iconoclasm, I will approach and enter New York City in July, the month when anyone who is able to leave it does so, to play an intimate, solo, un-amplified set as part of the Naked Soul series at the Ruben Museum 7/22. According to the museum's literature, "The musicians in the series draw upon the universal themes inherent in Himalayan art—spirituality, peace, tolerance, wisdom, compassion—on select Friday evenings." It's worth noting that on select other Friday evenings I draw on the universal themes of PBR and dry fly fishing, so it's lucky they caught me on this particular Friday night.
TONDER - August 25 and 26 I'll be appearing with the full band at the Tonder Festival in Denmark. I have never been to Denmark but I have one friend there. I'm counting on her to show up. Other acts range from the Avett Brothers to the Blind Boys of Alabama.
STORE - I have an online store where you can buy things that have more or less to do with me: record albums that I made, some of them many years ago; limited edition screen print posters, a live DVD containing sparking interview footage and live performance; comfortable tee-shirts that say my name on them so that when you wear them people will quietly marvel at your elevated and off-brand taste in authentic and rough-hewn songwriters. All this, and certainly more, at the STORE.
ATWOOD'S // WEST // EAST // BODY OF WATER // FESTIVALS // LIVE DVD // FRANKLIN LAND TRUST // KRIS DELMHORST SONGBOOK
I fished every day for a week straight and forgot about working. I didn’t miss it. My hands are red brown, burnished to a line against the pale underside of each palm, looking not unlike a trout. Time disappeared for a couple of stretches, and that’s all I was after, standing in the spring runoff working the seam of a deep clear pool, feeling my mind walk away. Here’s my deal for the next month and some, other various and sundry. We’ll see you out there.
ATWOOD’S - Atwood’s Tavern in Cambridge, MA is celebrating their 10th anniversary at the end of April with a series of special shows. On April 27 Billy, Moses, and I - with special guests including Jim Fitting (Session Americana, Treat Her Right) on harp, and the mercurial Laurie Sargent on vocals - will play the 8:30 show. Get there real damn early if you want to sit down. Will I bring my Mule Resonator? I might.
WEST - Billy and I tour the west coast in May from the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, CA 5/10 to Live from the Divide in Bozeman, MT 5/23, with stops at Tales from the Tavern in Santa Ynez 5/11, Don Quixotes in Felton 5/12, Brick & Mortar in San Francisco 5/13, the Vintage Wine Bar in Redding, CA, and the Arcata Playhouse in Arcata, 5/15. We’ll be back at the Triple Door in Seattle 5/18, the Alberta Rose Theater in Portland 5/19, the Green Frog in Bellingham 5/20, The Bartlett in Spokane, WA 5/21, and the Mountain View Music Hall in Butte, MT 5/22. The incomparable Laurie Sargent, one of my favorite singers and humans, opens the tour and doubtless joins the band to sing. Maestro pedal steeler and electric guitar player Eric Heywood joins us for the first part of the tour, and it’s worth pointing out that Kris Delmhorst is on tour in most of these cities right now. If you go see her tell her I sent you, so I can collect my finder’s fee.
EAST - In June Billy and I play a string of dates on the east coast, including the Annual Skunk Funk festival in Nelson, NY (with old friends Peter Mulvey, and Andy Friedman), Helsinki on Hudson in Hudson, NY, Steel City in Phoenixville, PA, and the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA. Mark your calendar or whatever soul-eating personal advertising device has taken it’s place, and look for other dates to fill in around these.
BODY OF WATER - Some years ago after a week of good fishing with my friend David James Duncan in western Montana, we went down to the Lolo steakhouse on my last night in town. Walking in ahead of Duncan I locked eyes with an owl-stared man at the bar in a blue check wool jacket and two day beard, holding what looked to be a vodka-lime on the rocks. A little bell chimed in my head and said, ‘that’s someone you’re supposed to know.’ We started talking and were old friends by the time Duncan walked up and said, “Oh, I see you met Chris.” In the years since we’ve fished together every year and kept in touch with letters, poems, and songs. Chris Dombrowski, the author, poet, and fishing guide who wrote the liners to my last record, and who has published accounts of our fishing in various magazines, is putting out his first book-length non-fiction this year. BODY OF WATER(Milkweed Editions) tells the story of the legendary native Bahamian David Pinder, the grandaddy of the Bahamian sport-fishing industry, with sorties into side channels of economics, race, and ecology, all from Dombrowski’s perspective as he journeys back and forth, initially to salve a wounded mind, and later as he becomes increasingly captivated by Pinder’s elemental life. I just read the uncorrected proofs and this book is fantastic, comparable to James Galvin’s THE MEADOW, John McPhee’s COMING INTO THE COUNTRY, and Matthiessen’s FAR TORTUGA as a vital document of a place, and the souls that become fitted to that place. You can sign up now to pre-order the book in advance of the October release. Jim Harrison praised the book in the New York Times and described it as ‘destined to become a classic.’ Beat that.
FESTIVALS - As now we’ll be appearing at the Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia, Ontario 7/9, and the Tonder Festival in Tonder, Denmark, August 25-28, and the Moab Folk Festival in Moab, Utah Nov 4-6. If there's a festival you think we should play, get on the phone and give them hell. LIVE DVD - A few years ago Billy Conway, Eric Heywood and I played a trio show at the Tales from the Tavern at the Maverick Saloon in Santa Ynez, CA., a series I’ve done many times over the years and always enjoyed. The performance was professionally filmed and recorded, and the Tales folks have released a DVD with my permission. The full performance, captured in hi-res black and white and inter-cut with interview footage, is now available at our live shows, and at the STORE. Did you know I have my own store? I’m told I do. I’ve never seen it.
FRANKLIN LAND TRUST - My friends at the Franklin Land Trust work to set aside farms, forests, and wild lands where I live in New England, placing them under permanent conservation. They do great work, and they’re currently raising funds in a matching gift campaign. If you live in Western MA or you simply believe in the principle that wild lands make us all richer, please consider making a donation today.
KRIS DELMHORST SONGBOOK - Kris Delmhorst has collected some of the many beautiful songs she's written in the twenty-first century between the covers of a new songbook, complete with musical notation I can't read, and guitar tablature, which I can, mostly. It's a lovely thing, useful and satisfying. You can pre-order your own copy today. I'm hoping to have my own songbook out before Christmas this year.
MIDWEST // COLORADO // ATWOOD’S // WEST // FESTIVALS // LIVE DVD // OLD JIM
I slept thirteen hours after flying across the ocean staring at movies, drinking red wine from a plastic cup and getting choked up over the cheapest sentiment. Modern living. Then I made the first proper cup of coffee in weeks, built a fire in the wood stove, and took a few days to gather up loose ends before heading out for a week of family travel - the confusing, elective kind where no one pays me - down on the Gulf of Mexico. Home last night and I get on a plane again Wednesday, so I’ll paint the billboard for April. Thanks to everyone who came out to see us on the European tour this month, one of the sweetest trips I've had over there. Our regards to our friends on the continent suffering through these troubled times. Keep an open hand.
MIDWEST - This week Billy Conway and I start a Midwest tour at CSPS in Cedar Rapids, IA 3/30, moving on to the High Noon Saloon in Madison, WI 3/31, Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, MN 4/1, Anodyne in Milwaukee, WI 4/2, and SPACE in Evanston, IL 4/3. Bo Ramsey joins us on guitars for the first half of the tour, and our friends Molly Dean and Barbara Jean of the fine Minneapolis duo Dusty Heart open Cedar Rapids, Madison, Minneapolis, and Evanston. Erik Koskinen, whom I’ve heard real good things about, opens Milwaukee.
COLORADO - From the Midwest Billy and I fly to Colorado for shows at Shine in Boulder 4/7, Songbird Cellars in Pueblo 4/8; Globe Hall in Denver 4/9; and the Friends Series in Colorado Springs 4/10 (please note corrected dates). We don't get to Colorado enough, I've always said so. So, now we're going.
ATWOOD’S - For the past decade whenever I wanted to play a straight-up bar gig around Boston, the kind where people drink and talk instead of just staring at me, I’d go play Atwood’s Tavern in Cambridge. It’s a great bar run by nice people, where they have a good hamburger, and real music going down most nights every week. Is there something else you require of a bar? Atwood’s is celebrating their 10th anniversary at the end of April with a series of special shows, and on April 27 Billy and Moses and I - with guests including old friend Jim Fitting (Session Americana, Treat Her Right) on harp, and Laurie Sargent on vocals - will play the 8:30 show. Get there real damn early if you want to sit down.
WEST - In May Billy and I roll from Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, CA 5/10 to Live from the Divide in Bozeman, MT 5/23, with stops at Tales from the Tavern in Santa Ynez 5/11, Don Quixotes in Felton 5/12, Brick & Mortar in San Francisco 5/13, and the Arcata Playhouse in Arcata, 5/15. We’ll be back at the Triple Door in Seattle 5/18, the Alberta Rose Theater in Portland 5/19, the Green Frog in Bellingham 5/20, and The Bartlett in Spokane, WA 5/21. Look for shows in Missoula 5/22 and possibly Sacramento 5/14, as further dates are confirmed. The incomparable Laurie Sargent, one of my favorite singers and humans, opens the tour and doubtless joins the band to sing some too.
FESTIVALS - Summer festivals are starting to come in. As now we’ll be appearing at the Mariposa Folk Festival, (with Milk Carton Kids, Rita Coolidge, others) in Orillia, Ontario 7/9, and the Tonder Festival in Tonder, Denmark, August 25-28 (with my friend Rosanne Cash, Jason Isbell, many others). If there's a festival you think we should play, get on the phone and give them hell.
LIVE DVD - A few years ago Billy Conway, Eric Heywood and I played a trio show at the Tales from the Tavern at the Maverick Saloon in Santa Ynez, CA., a series I’ve done many times over the years and always enjoyed. The performance was professionally filmed and recorded, and the Tales folks have released a DVD with my permission. The full performance, captured in hi-res black and white and inter-cut with interview footage, is now available at our live shows, and at the STORE.
OLD JIM - The poet and author Jim Harrison died Saturday down in Arizona. I knew him slightly, and I didn't know him at all. No writer had a greater impact on my adult life, and the world is a lonelier place with him gone. If you haven't read his poems, novels, novellas, journalism, or memoir, start anywhere. I'll leave you with the last poem in his last collection, Dead Man's Float, which came out earlier this year. Greg Brown said in a song once that 'Great souls are the only riches / In a world of shifting sand.' Jim was one.
Most of my life was spent
building a bridge out over the sea
though the sea was too wide.
I'm proud of the bridge
hanging in the pure sea air. Machado
came for a visit and we sat on the
end of the bridge, which was his idea.
Now that I'm old the work goes slowly.
Ever nearer death, I like it out here
high above the sea bundled
up for the arctic storms of late fall,
the resounding crash and moan of the sea,
the hundred-foot depth of the green troughs.
Sometimes the sea roars and howls like
the animal it is, a continent wide and alive.
What beauty in this darkest music
over which you can hear the lightest music of human
behavior, the tender connection between men and galaxies.
So I sit on the edge, wagging my feet above
the abyss. Tonight the moon will be in my lap.
This is my job, to study the universe
from my bridge. I have the sky, the sea, the faint
green streak of Canadian forest on the far shore.
- Jim Harrison
EUROPE // MIDWEST // COLORADO // WEST // FESTIVALS
EUROPE - The SALT AS WOLVES European Release Tour starts March 3rd at Paradiso in Amsterdam, continuing through the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. It’s a full band tour (with Billy Conway on drums, Eric Heywood on steel and electric guitar, and Jeremy Moses Curtis on bass), and we’ll stick to the continent this time but hope to return to the UK and elsewhere later in the year. Kris Delmhorst joins the band as my special guest in support of her most recent album BLOOD TEST, opening the shows backed by the band, and joining us on my set. Bring the family, what the hell.
MIDWEST - Billy Conway and I bring it all back home in late March and early April, on a Midwest tour that starts at CSPS in Cedar Rapids, IA 3/30, moving on to the High Noon Saloon in Madison, WI 3/31, Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, MN 4/1, Anodyne in Milwaukee, WI 4/2, and SPACE in Evanston, IL 4/3. We have a couple days off before we fly to Colorado, in which it is possible we will fish certain rivers in the Driftless region, making a survey of the taverns there.
COLORADO - From the Midwest Billy and I fly out to Colorado for shows at Songbird Cellars in Pueblo 4/7; Turks in Snowmass 4/8; Globe Hall in Denver 4/9; and the Friends Series in Colorado Springs 4/9 (links for these tickets will be live in the next few weeks if they aren't already). It is possible we will fish certain rivers on the Front Range, making a survey of the taverns there.
WEST COAST - In May we’ll get back out to the west coast, traveling 2,500 miles from Los Angeles, CA to Bozeman, MT with stops between times in Santa Ynez, Felton, San Francisco, and Arcata, CA; Seattle, Bellingham, and Spokane, WA; and Portland, OR. Details to follow as soon as all the shows are confirmed and the tour officially announced.
FESTIVALS - Summer festival offers are starting to come in. As now we’ll be appearing at the Mariposa Folk Festival, (with Milk Carton Kids, Rita Coolidge, others) in Orillia, Ontario 7/9, and the Tonder Festival in Tonder, Denmark, August 25-28 (with my friend Rosanne Cash and Jason Isbell, and many others). If there's a festival you think we should play, get on the phone and give them hell.
That’s all for now. Let me remind you that there is no occasion in American life that cannot be readily translated into an opportunity to buy something, and why not buy my records? The STORE is always open.
You can view the full tour schedule here.
EUROPE // FAI // MULE // MIDWEST // TRUE EAST // VINYL
EUROPE - In March the wolves come to Europe, or at least some of it, with a full band release tour slated for 3-13 in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. Kris Delmhorst will join the tour as my special guest, opening the shows and singing with the band, and Eric Heywood will have first chair pedal steel and electric guitar, Moses on the bass, and Billy on the kit. Like old times. Visit the TOUR page for full details, and get your tickets now.
FAI - Folk Alliance International holds their annual conference in Kansas City next week, and while I’m uncertain what this organization actually does (I think it's in the nature of criminal syndicate that assassinates people with drums and amplifiers) I do know that I will be there with a few members of my band, performing a series of showcases for the assembled industry-types in a very large hotel full of sincere people. Meanwhile we’ll kick things off with a real show for paying humans at the Tank Room - my first ever show in KC - on a split bill with Caitlin Canty on Wednesday 2/17.
MULE - I recently acquired a Mule Resophonic guitar, a twelve-fret steel guitar with a slotted head-stock and a P-90 pickup, and have given or maybe lost most of my daylight hours to bottleneck slide for the past week, trying to play minor behind the slide in a major key like one of my heroes, Rainer Ptacek. It’s an incredibly beautiful instrument, and a deeply pleasing object, and I wanted to take the opportunity in a slow month to do some advertising for these guys. I looked around for a short scale National resonator from the 30’s for years without finding the one I was after, and though it would never have occurred to me to have one built, the Mule is world-class. Go on and check them out.
MIDWEST - Look for a run of Midwest dates starting at the end of March and going through the first week of April, with stops at the High Noon Saloon in Madison 3/31, the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis 4/1, Anodyne in Milwaukee 4/2, and SPACE in Evanston 4/3. Dates are still being finalized so keep an eye on the TOUR page or, better yet, sign up for alerts from BandsInTown so you always know when I’m coming your way. Think of it as a radio tracking collar for musicians.
COLORADO - From the Midwest we'll fly to Denver, and while much of the tour is still being finalized, we have confirmed shows in Denver at Globe Hall 3/9, and Friends House Concerts in Colorado Springs 3/10. Look for further shows around the state earlier in the week. West coast, I think we'll see you in May, right around the time the fishing gets good out east. Nice work everybody.
TRUE EAST - The last thing that happens to a record album before it’s duplicated and packaged and sent into the world is mastering. In the simplest terms, mastering - a complex process involving specialized gear and knowledge - takes a bunch of disparate recordings and makes them sound like a record, a unified whole. Like a lot of things, done right you hardly know it's there, and done wrong it's hard to miss. For a decade now my albums have been mastered by Alex McCollough down in Nashville (who doubles as the steel player in Cold Satellite). Alex recently started his own company - True East Mastering - and if you’re a musician who makes albums, you should know about this guy: he’s top notch, a professional of the old school with great ears and impeccable taste. If you think my albums sound good, Alex is in no small way responsible. Go find him, and tell him I sent you.
VINYL - There are fewer than a hundred vinyl copies of SALT AS WOLVES left and duplication is a 16-week turnaround. If vinyl is your thing, order your copy now: this is last call for a while. If you haven't visited the Store in while, it's still there, it still sells things directly and tangentially related to me and my undeniable genius for self-promotion. Let's don't skimp, shall we?
THANKS folks, we'll see you out there, probably, somewhere.
NPR: MORNING EDITION
Jeffrey talks about life, love, and the Midwest on NPR's Morning Edition
THANKS // CAFE CARPE // 30A FEST // FOLK ALLIANCE // EUROPE // VINYL // MORNING EDITION
THANKS - It's been a hell of a year. I put out a record and toured it with the band, and we saw a lot of country and played music everywhere we went. I'm pretty happy to just sit by the stove now and sort gear, arrange and rearrange the pictures in my head, try to resist the late December temptation to day-drink while the freezing rain comes down. If you bought that new record or made it out to one of those shows, this is my chance to thank you. I have a good job and I like it fine.
30A SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL - January 15-17 I'll be attending the 30A Songwriters Festival in South Walton, Florida. When Jackson Browne and I are not drinking Mexican beer on the beach or eating fried mullet with hushpuppies, I will be performing both alone and with Kris Delmhorst. As most of Florida will be underwater by the middle of this century, this might be the best time to attend festivals there.
CAFE CARPE - January 23rd Kris Delmhorst and I will play a rare duo show together at the Cafe Carpe, my old home bar in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, the place where I started performing. This one sold out before I had a chance to mention it to you, something I would chalk up to the Carpe's aggressive advertising, except that to my knowledge they rely solely on the principle of surprise in their relations with the public. I mention it because if you live within 100 miles of this joint you ought to just look at their schedule, find a show that sounds good, and go. Ask for Kitty, tell her I sent you. Then if she lets you stay anyway, order some dinner and sit in the little back room that sounds so good, where I first heard Greg Brown, Chris Smither, Dave Moore, Bo Ramsey, Paul Cebar, and Peter Mulvey.
FOLK ALLIANCE - Imagine 3,000 of the sincerest people in the country crammed into in a hotel in Kansas City, clutching acoustic instruments and hungrily promoting themselves in hallways and conference rooms, while wearing laminate I.D. cards. The sheer tonnage of beard and denim alone would collapse the St. Louis Arch, to say nothing of the weight of existential ennui. Now imagine that it's been patiently explained to you by your agents and management that it is wise for you to attend this event in order to get booked into festivals. Did I mention I'll be attending the Folk Alliance Conference in Kansas City February 18-20, warming up with a public show at the Tank Room the Wednesday night prior, February 17, on a split bill with Caitlin Canty? Each member of the band will be given three days rations of barbecue and whiskey, and one potassium cyanide capsule in case the elevator gets stuck.
EUROPE - The full band European Release Tour for SALT AS WOLVES starts March 3rd at Paradiso in Amsterdam, with further stops in NL, BG, and DE. A number of people have asked me if it makes me nervous to tour Belgium and the Netherlands in the wake of recent terrorism on the continent, and I'll tell you what makes me nervous: the National Rifle Association. Also, our military-industrial-university-congressional-prison complex, the sixth great extinction, that sort of thing. 28 million people wake up in the Low Countries every day and go about their lives. I think we can risk it for two weeks. Get your tickets now to see this incredible band, with Kris Delmhorst opening the tour as my special guest and singing with the band.
VINYL - SALT AS WOLVES vinyl is in at the Jeffrey Foucault Record Store. Other new and exciting opportunities for you to own things with my name on them - magically appropriating the essence of myself to subtly communicate vital information about who you are to the general public - include: new T-shirt colors, screen print post-cards, and limited edition screen print posters. Stetson continues work on my Jeffrey Foucault Signature Model Open Road but they are having trouble replicating the smell.
MORNING EDITION - If you missed my interview on NPR's Morning Edition broadcast earlier this month, the program is archived here. Please share the link around widely with your friends and co-workers, as I worked very hard to come across as a sensitive and thoughtful, yet thoroughly authentic and rough-hewn character, and I hate to waste this kind of branding opportunity.
EAST // VINYL // NEW MERCHANDISE // MORNING EDITION // FLORIDA // EUROPE // VOLUNTEERS
EAST - The east coast leg of the SALT AS WOLVES North America Tour starts Tuesday, December 2nd at One Longfellow Square in Portland, ME, with stops in Burlington and West Rutland, VT, Somerville, MA, West Dennis, MA, Philadelpia, PA, Arlington, VA, and Rockwood Music Hall in New York City, finishing up the year at the old Memorial Hall here in Shelburne Falls, MA.
First chair electric guitar and pedal steel for the first half of the tour will be held down by Son Volt's Mark Spencer, and on the second half by my old friend Eric Heywood (there will be an exciting traditional pedal steel hand-off ceremony mid-tour... I think they wear kilts). Caitlin Canty opens all shows except Burlington and West Rutland, which are split bills. Visit the TOUR page for full details, and get your tickets exactly now.
VINYL - Those of you who have already pre-ordered SALT AS WOLVES on vinyl will be happy to hear that production is on schedule and we're nearing the ship date, hoping to have them out by the middle of December. I listened to the test print and it sounds beautiful. The drums are, if anything, more dimensional and dynamic. The exigencies of vinyl being what they are - the need to leave ample physical space for higher quality, and to stack the rockers on the front half of each side - this version features a different track order and two fewer songs (I left off 'Fool' and 'Take Your Time' but there's a download card for the 12-song digital version included in the packaging). I’m embarrassed to admit that I like this length and sequence better: it's tougher, and more succinct. The vinyl is for sale at the STORE. Make it a Hi-Fidelity Holiday.
NEW MERCHANDISE - Against native impulse and all better judgement we are expanding the list of things that we are willing to trade to you for money. Now for the first time at shows and in the STORE, in addition to the traditional record album we're offering Tee-Shirts with my name on them, three separate limited edition fine art screen prints and post cards by album artist Pearl Rachinsky, and stickers. You can even get a Cold Satellite Tee-shirt. Though we are stopping short of creating my own line of fly rods - or our tour manager Captain Steve's idea: Northbound 35 Brand Butter (TM) - we are branching uneasily into the wider world of commerce, just in time for the holidays.
MORNING EDITION - The interview I recorded with David Greene for NPR’s Morning Edition, was preempted - reasonably enough - by the events in Paris, and will air, allegedly, December 7th. I should be famous by that afternoon.
FLORIDA - January 15-17 I’ll be attending the 30A Songwriters Festival in South Walton, Florida. When Jackson Browne and I are not drinking Mexican beer on the beach or eating fried mullet with hushpuppies, I will be performing both alone and with Kris Delmhorst, who is by coincidence also playing the festival.
EUROPE - The SALT AS WOLVES European full band tour begins in March 3rd at Paradiso in Amsterdam, with two weeks of shows in NL, BE, and DE. I'm delighted to announce that Kris Delmhorst will be my special guest for much of the tour, promoting her latest album BLOOD TEST, in addition to singing with the band in my set.
VOLUNTEERS - We need some help selling records and merchandise at shows. In exchange for a free ticket to any show on the TOUR page, we’re asking for help manning the table. If you think this kind of work suits you, it suits us have you do it. Please email Miss Moneypenny at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘VOLUNTEER’ and tell her which show you’d like to sign up for, and she'll provide all the details.
THANKS - To everyone who came out to see us on the Midwest and West coast release tours, and to everyone who came to a show in 2015. It's been a good year and I'm grateful for the chance to run around playing music I care about with people I love. I've had a lot of jobs, and this is the best one hands down. We'll see you out there.
WEST // SALT AS WOLVES // DON HENLEY // MORNING EDITION // RADIO HEARTLAND // DAYTROTTER // EAST // VOLUNTEERS // TWITSVILLE
WEST - The SALT AS WOLVES North American tour hits the west coast this Thursday 11/5 the at the Alberta Rose Theater in Portland, Oregon, with stops in Santa Monica, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Twain, CA, Sisters, OR, Seattle and Bellingham, WA. Jeffrey Martin opens Portland, the 10-string Symphony opens in Seattle, and Caitlin Canty opens the rest. It’s worth mentioning that my old friend Van Dyke Parks - who, in addition to playing on my Horse Latitudes record in 2010 is more widely known as one of the actual geniuses of 20th century American Music - will be sitting in on piano at our show at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, CA on 11/6. I think it’s safe to say he will be the only member of the band to have both acted in a feature length film opposite Grace Kelly, and sung for Albert Einstein.
SALT AS WOLVES - The new album has been out for three weeks and reviewed kindly everywhere from the New York Times to NPR. We charted on the Billboard Blues and Americana charts for the first time (like you I’m unsure what that means, but I’m told it’s good, and it sounds official), and radio stations around the country are adding songs from the record to their rotation. You can read the press below - and naturally it’s gratifying when the publicity you paid someone to go out and get actually materializes - but word of mouth beats press any day of the week. If you love this record and you want more people to hear it, buy a few copies and hand them out like party favors.
DON HENLEY - Don Henley invited my wife Kris and I down to his show at the Beacon Theater in New York the other night. We went back stage to meet him before the show and he couldn’t have been any nicer. He told me, ‘Well, we’re going to butcher your song tonight,’ and I said that would be real nice as I’d been curious to hear his version. He said, ‘I only know about half the chords but I can let the other guys play the ones I don’t know,’ and I told him I didn’t know all the chords either but it had never stopped me. After a while we shook hands and parted company and sure enough about five songs into his set he launched into ‘Everybody’s Famous’ from my album Horse Latitudes, and I’ll be damned if he didn’t play it great. I decided to tell you this story because Don Henley has no reason to be kind to me, but that’s exactly what he’s done in the last few months, telling anyone who would listen about my songs. The best sort of kindness is a kindness that can’t readily be repaid. I figure that’s worth telling people about. Don has been busy dragging country music back toward country music, and you can buy his new album Cass County here:
MORNING EDITION - Last week I cut an interview with David Greene on NPR’s Morning Edition, which will air in the next few weeks. Keep half an ear on the radio while you make your kids’ lunches and you may hear a rangy hour and fifteen minute conversation condensed into six or seven minutes of one-liners about life, love, growing up the Midwest, and the new album, broadcast to several million people.
RADIO HEARTLAND - The morning after we played the Dakota in Minneapolis a few weeks ago on our Midwest tour, Billy and Caitlin and I went down to the headquarters of Minnesota Public Radio in the jungles of east St. Paul to record a session with Radio Heartland, a great program hosted by Mike Pengra. We had a long chat and played a few songs in the trio format we worked out last year on the road. You can enjoy that interview archived here:
DAYTROTTER - The next day the band and I stopped by Rock Island, Illinois on our day off to record a session at Daytrotter, the internet radio program. Cutting live to tape we tracked quartet versions of ‘There’s a Destruction On This Land,’ ‘Northbound 35,’ ‘Heart to the Husk,’ and ‘Hurricane Lamp,’ with Bo Ramsey on electric guitar, Billy Conway on the drums, and Caitlin Canty singing backups. I always wanted to get a version of ‘Northbound’ I could stand to listen to, and this may be it. Keep an eye on the web and the socials to find out when this airs. If I remember right, it was pretty good.
EAST - In December the band will reconvene out on the east coast, touring from Burlington, Vermont down to Washington DC with stops in Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania. Visit the TOUR page for full details.
VOLUNTEERS - I remember playing a dice game once with my Grandparents and their friends when I was about 14 and my Grandma got overzealous with the shaker, so that the dice shot out and described a brief arc before disappearing into her (ample) cleavage. Over the howls of laughter that followed my Grandpa pounded the table for attention and said over the din, and with tears streaming down his cheeks, ‘Men, we’re looking for volunteers!’ I bring this up because I need some help. It’s been made clear to me by a number of people on my team that I don’t have the time or talent to sell my own records at shows and do it well. So, in exchange for a free ticket to any show on the TOUR page, we’re asking for help manning the merch table that night. If you think this kind of work suits you, it suits me right down to the ground to have you do it. Please email Moneypenny at email@example.com with the subject line ‘VOLUNTEER’ and tell her which show you’d like to volunteer for.
TWITTSVILLE - Are you following me on Twitter? You should be. I say funny shit on there all the time.
Alright then, we’ll see you out there somewhere in America. Try to act cool when that happens.
SALT AS WOLVES RELEASE AND TOURS
Alright kids, the day approaches. I have only a vague idea at this point what the actual release date involves (beyond my buying an expensive bottle of French wine, and drinking it) as there are scarcely any record stores left in this country. But I’ll tell you this: the tour starts in Michigan on the 14th of this month and the day the record drops I’ll be headed north from Chicago, Illinois to Rhinelander, Wisconsin for a show at the Nicolet Theater, two nights into a full band Midwest tour run with the best band you ever heard. We just convened in Nashville and this band could hurt somebody. Horsepower. If you’ve already heard the record, you know what I’m talking about. The last time I played Rhinelander, we closed Judy's Hodag Bar, forever. It was the last night she had the bar open, pulling up stakes and moving down to Florida, a little bird of a lady. But she sang along with Van Halen on the jukebox and poured us 75 cent tappers while we played darts, and at one point she left us in charge and drove home to cook us frozen pizzas. That kind of bar, that kind of town. Spring Lake, Chicago, Rhinelander, Stoughton, Minneapolis, Cedar Rapids, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Goshen. Lots of kind of towns. Maybe you know.
Here’s what I need from you, if I may: have a look at the TOUR dates and figure out when I’ll be within 100 miles of you, and then get tickets for you and seven or eight friends. If you can’t make it figure out who you know that you ought to buy tickets for and then, well, do that. We’re playing some larger rooms this fall and I’m going to need to call out the cavalry. Which is you.
Here’s the boilerplate, in case you’ve been napping since July:
On October 16th, 2015 Jeffrey Foucault will release SALT AS WOLVES, his fifth collection of original songs. Featuring long-time tour partner Billy Conway on drums, WOLVES reunites Jeffrey with legendary electric guitar player Bo Ramsey (who produced the seminal 2006 album Ghost Repeater), and bassist Jeremy Moses Curtis (Booker T, Cold Satellite). Caitlin Canty - whose breakout 2015 release Reckless Skyline Jeffrey produced and played on - sings all the backing vocals. Cut live to tape in just three days in rural Minnesota, SALT AS WOLVES has been described by Greil Marcus as “A country plea, a blues reach for facts beyond sound... scary in the bend of the first note,” and by No Depression as “Life and death, surrender and commitment, pain and wanting, a sparse yet rich texture and sound that transcends pure blues.”
Check out the TOUR page for the details of full band tours of the Midwest, west coast, east coast, and Europe beginning this month. Alert your people, and if you haven’t already, PRE-ORDER the album today at the brand new Jeffrey Foucault STORE, or anywhere digital music is sold.
SALT AS WOLVES // AMERICANA FEST // MIDWEST // WEST // EAST // EUROPE // BEARGRASS
SALT AS WOLVES - The new album official release is October 16th, and meanwhile the pledgemusic.com pre-order campaign rolls along steadily, crushing everything in its path. We’re in the black as now, but how long we stay there as we embark upon the expensive American road is up to you, and how willing you are to tell everyone you know to go pre-order this record. Exclusive content abounds, and no one likes a quitter.
AMERICANA FEST - On September 17 I’ll return to Nashville for the first time in over a decade to play City Winery as part of the Americana Music Festival, with the full band from the new album (featuring Billy Conway, Bo Ramsey, Jeremy Moses Curtis, and Caitlin Canty). On September 18th I’ll be playing the same room as part of Caitlin Canty’s band. In between times I’ll be holding a cold beer, seated before an industrial-size fan.
MIDWEST - In October we’ll celebrate the SALT AS WOLVES release with a full band tour of our beloved Midwest, with shows in MI, IL, WI, IA, and IN, including the beautiful Stoughton Opera House not far from where I grew up, and Schuba’s Tavern in Chicago. This will be incredible and you should go buy tickets now, regardless where you live. Caitlin Canty opens all shows.
WEST - In November we’ll take the WOLVES out to CA, OR, and WA with shows from the storied McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica (featuring a special guest appearance by our old friend Van Dyke Parks) to the Triple Door in Seattle. This will be incredible and you should go buy tickets now, regardless where you live.
EAST - In December we’ll return to the Eastern part of the country with shows from northern Vermont as far south as DC. Keep an eye on the tour page as this tour fills in. Caitlin Canty opens (nearly) all shows. This will be incredible and you should go buy tickets now, regardless where you live.
EUROPE - In March the full band will travel the old world with shows in Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany, and Switzerland. This will be incredible and you should go buy tickets now, regardless where you live.
BEARGRASS - I just flew home from the first annual Beargrass Writer’s Retreat on the E bar L Ranch in Greenough, Montana, where in addition to fishing the junction of the Clearwater and the Big Blackfoot I managed to meet some great writers published, unpublished, and aspiring. The food was impeccable, the weather clear and fine, and the cocktails (care of Missoula’s Montgomey Distillery) tall and sequential. If you’re a writer or attached to one, get signed up for next year sooner than later.
SALT AS WOLVES (OCT. 2015) - AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW
On October 16th, 2015 Jeffrey Foucault will release SALT AS WOLVES, his fifth collection of original songs, and tenth full length studio album. Featuring long-time tour partner Billy Conway on drums, WOLVES reunites Jeffrey with legendary electric guitar player Bo Ramsey (who produced the seminal 2006 album Ghost Repeater), as well as Cold Satellite bassist Jeremy Moses Curtis. Caitlin Canty - whose breakout 2015 release Reckless Skyline Jeffrey produced and played on - sings all the backing vocals. Cut live to tape in just three days in rural Minnesota, SALT AS WOLVES moves like a vintage Chess record: a tough, spare collection of darkly rendered blues and ballads, like a field recording of a place that never existed. In a series of letters to lovers, friends, heroes, and family, Foucault deftly weaves together disparate strands of sound and experience, raw love, and hard wisdom.
You can pre-order SALT AS WOLVES right now at PledgeMusic.com to own the album weeks before the release and get access to exclusive content including videos, solo demos, track premieres, and backstory.