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.
DREAMAWAY // COLORADO // BEARGRASS // NASHVILLE // WOLVES
DREAMAWAY - The Dreamaway Lodge is a delightful, strange oasis in the Berkshires of western MA, where Dylan and company hung out in ’75 and shot parts of the truly terrible film Reynaldo and Clara. Forty years later, I’ll be playing there on June 18th. I don’t play many solo shows anymore, so let’s call it an opportunity for exploration. If you have a request, phone the bartender at the club and have him write it down on a cocktail napkin, with your credit card number and an open tab in my name.
COLORADO - Billy and I will play the Night Ride portion of the RIDE festival in Telluride CO again this July 10 and 11, downstairs at the Roma bar downtown both nights. Last year while seated on the fire escape of the Opera House waiting to check sound we met a real nice man who was grilling chicken on his deck across the alley, and ended up joining him for dinner. The next day he and I piled into his vintage Alfa Romeo convertible with our fly rods and sounded the San Miguel for a few hours. To answer your question, yes, this is precisely how my life works.
BEARGRASS - At the end of August in the midst of Montana tour Billy and I will be taking part in the Beargrass Writer’s Retreat on the E Bar L Ranch in Greenough, Montana. I’ll join a bunch of high-test writers in various genres, including my good friend David James Duncan, whose books My Story As Told By Water, The River Why, and The Brothers K are old favorites of mine; Alexandra Fuller, whose memoir about growing up in Africa I read some years back and thoroughly enjoyed; and the poet M.L. Smoker whose collection Another Attempt at Rescue has got the spook, as well as others in a series of readings, talks, workshops, and Q&A. The ranch fronts the Blackfoot river and I’ve been promised a small cabin and full days to fish as long as we show up to play cocktail hour. To answer your question, yes, this is precisely how my life works.
NASHVILLE - On September 17th we’ll be down in Nashville for the first time in a long time, playing City Winery as part of the Signature Sounds Showcase at the Americana Music Association Conference. What is Americana, one idly wonders? Well as far as I can tell it’s anything that sounds kind of like Steve Earle, and somehow doesn’t include jazz, arguably the most distinctly American achievement in music. But we’re going to go anyway, and see if we can find someone to argue with. We may even rustle up the full band.
WOLVES - The new record - SALT AS WOLVES - featuring Bo Ramsey on electric guitars, Billy Conway on drums, Jeremy Moses Curtis on bass, and Caitlin Canty on backing vocals - is slated for a 16 October release. We’re mainly laying in the weeds through the summer but we’ll be on the road around the country and overseas this fall, and through the spring of 2016. Look for us in Montana in August, Midwest in October, CA and the Northwest in November, and out east in December. Keep an eye on the website for further details, early tracks, sightings, soundings.
NEW ENGLAND // MIDWEST // DREAMAWAY // COLORADO // WOLVES
NEW ENGLAND - Billy Conway arrives with the suitcase kit for a few nights in Massachusetts, with shows at the Vinegrass series at O’Shea’s in West Dennis on 4/30, The Parlor Room at Signature Sounds in Northampton on 5/1, and Passim in Cambridge on 5/2. Laurie Sargent, who in a long and illustrious career has fronted famous rock bands, sold her paintings and drawings, and run an organic farm, opens all shows. She may also sit in on our set, and drive the car, if I ask nicely.
MIDWEST - In the second half of May, Billy and I will play a series of towns in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin that you have probably never heard of, including Kalona, Owatonna, and Oconomowoc. Billy and I have heard of them. Billy was mostly raised in one, and in another my brother Jim once caught a 50” Muskie, and my then-girlfriend’s Buick caught fire. These events were not related. We’ve furthermore added a special Memorial Day show at the Cafe Carpe 5/25. Those of you hoping to wring the last full measure of holiday from the holiday weekend, we have done this for you.
DREAMAWAY - The Dreamaway Lodge is a delightful, strange little oasis in the woods of western MA, where Dylan and company hung out in ’75 and shot parts of the truly terrible film Reynaldo and Clara. I’ll be playing there June 18th.
COLORADO - Once again Billy Conway and I will be playing THE RIDE Festival in Telluride Colorado July 10-11. Expect a few more CO shows to coalesce around our fly-fishing.
WOLVES - my new record SALT AS WOLVES - featuring Bo Ramsey on electric guitars, Billy Conway on drums, Jeremy Moses Curtis on bass, and Caitlin Canty on backing vocals - is slated for a October 16 release. It’s the best record I ever made and we’ll be laying in the weeds through the summer and planning release tours around the country and overseas. Keep an eye on the website for further details, early tracks, sightings.
NEW ENGLAND // MIDWEST // RARITIES // THE WIFE
NEW ENGLAND - A string of shows at the end of April and into early May in New England, beginning with solo appearances at the Tamworth Lyceum - a small-batch whiskey distillery in northern New Hampshire - and the Amoskeag Studio in Manchester NH, April 25 and 25. The weekend following Billy Conway arrives with his suitcase kit and we’ll play a short run in MA and CT. Laurie Sargent, who in her long and illustrious career has fronted famous rock bands, sold her paintings and drawings, and run an organic farm, opens all shows. She may also sit in on our set and drive the car, if I ask nicely.
MIDWEST - In the second half of May Billy and I will play a series of towns in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin that you have probably never heard of, including Kalona, Owatonna, and Oconomowoc. Billy and I have heard of them. Billy was mostly raised in one, and in another my brother Jim once caught a 50” Muskie, and my then-girlfriend’s Buick caught fire. These events were not related.
RARITIES - Intermittent reward offers the strongest incentive, and we’ve revived the RARITIES section of the MEDIA page of the website with a streaming playlist of unreleased recordings, including acoustic demos, alternate mixes, and album outtakes. Tracks will change at odd intervals when I remember that I have a website.
THE WIFE - In April Kris Delmhorst, a frequent collaborator who is also my wife, tours the UK with her most recent album BLOOD TEST, backed by Hayward Williams (another frequent collaborator whose fine new album THE REEF I produced and played on). Great shows in intimate venues, including a rare Monday night show at the Voodoo Room in Edinburgh. Fortune favors the advance ticket holder.
TULSA // NEW ENGLAND // MIDWEST
Home for two months for the first time in six years, I don’t have much to tell you. The new business model for the independent artist assures us that we must relentlessly press our suit on the internet, and scarcely sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. But I got a new tape echo pedal for my electric rig and it’s sunny in the kitchen, and the house is empty. Beyond feed the chickens and look out the window there are few pressing claims on my time. So mind your own business, and I’ll see you in May.
TULSA - In a hotel room in Colorado a few years ago on tour with John Statz, he played me a song called Tulsa. It was built on a riff, and neither the lyric or the melody resolved, which was a fitting approach to a song about being stranded. When he told me how he wanted his next record to sound, I told him I knew how to make that record. So we went up to Verdant studio in Vermont, where we’d cut the first Satellite record on an old Neve console they pulled out of the BBC, and spent three days further refining my production philosophy: get the best players you can into best sounding room with a great engineer and cut live for three days. There are corollaries having to do with food and alcohol, but that’s the heart of things. We brought in Billy and Moses on rhythm, and Mark Spencer (Son Volt, Kris Delmhorst) on steel and electric, and cut John’s songs about gambling, washed up ballplayers, love, war, and traveling. Vermonter Caitlin Canty even showed up to sing back-ups.
You can stream the TULSA album right now below this article, and follow the link in the player to purchase the album right away, which you can play at parties and in the car and people will say, ’Is this Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers?’, or, ‘That second electric guitar player makes the guy from Son Volt sound amazing’. John is currently embarked on his release tour. Why not go find him?
NEW ENGLAND - In early May Billy and I will play a short run of shows out here in the Northeast. We plan to arrive in our waders and, like Mr. Rogers, start the show by changing into our other shoes. If it’s raining and we can’t fish we will stay drunk the entire time.
MIDWEST - In late May Billy and I will play a series of towns in Minnesota and Wisconsin that you have probably never heard of, including Owatonna and Oconomowoc. Billy and I have heard of them. Billy was mostly raised in one, and in the other my brother Jim once caught a 50” Muskie, and my then-girlfriends Buick caught fire. These events were not related.