“Americana Come Over” UK Tour Dates + More

Is winter coming to an end so soon? I’m sad to see it go, but with spring comes SPRING TOUR DATES! Let’s get vernal. This tour was originally planned for April 2020, as many of you may know, and for some reason it had to be postponed til now…
I’m not very creative so I crowdsourced the name of this tour and someone named cosmicmeatbagsystem came up with the winning entry: “Americana Come Over” 2022 UK Tour.

In this newsletter:
– US Tour Dates
– UK Tour Dates
– Ragtime Banjo Revival Progress Report
– Book Report
– Bonus Fun Thing!

Some very exciting gigs coming up pretty soon on my way to Boston:
4/19 – Chagrin Falls, OH – Send me a message for details
4/20 – Pittsburgh, PA – TBC
4/22 – Sheffield, MA – Dewey Hall – Workshop + Concert
4/23 – Greenfield, MA – New American Banjo Festival
4/24 – Portsmouth, RI – TBC – Send message for details
4/28 – Bristol – The Crown
4/29 – Sheffield – Cafe #9
4/30-5/1 – Crossover Festival
5/3 – Isle of Mull – An Tobar
5/5 – York – Black Swan Folk Club
5/6 – Kelso – Smailholm Village Hall
5/11 – Sheffield – Nether Edge Folk Club (TBC)
5/12 – London – Folk & Roots at The Red Hedgehog
5/13 – West Sussex – Music at the Buildings
5/14 – Hertfordshire – Fishery Wharf
5/15 – Swanage – Square & Compass
<<<holiday time including informal gigs with Thomas Bailey, with whom I made Wild Hog, and Johannes Hagenloch, with whom I made Route 77 (Physical copies of both of these CDs are still available, by the way!)>>>
5/27 – Enniskillen – Gallery Bar, Ardhowen Theatre
5/28-30 – Bluegrass Omagh (TBC)
5/31 – Belfast – Sunflower Public House
6/1 – Stranraer – Papa Rab’s
6/2 – Biggar – Hopetoun Arms
6/7 – Devon – Ashburton Arts Centre
6/9 – London – Green Note
and then when I’m back in the US I expect to play some more shows in the Northeast with Ben Belcher (of Corn Potato) and possibly some more solo shows on my way back to Detroit. And then I definitely plan to be at Galax this year…!

Ragtime Banjo Revival Progress Report
(Join my Patreon for behind-the-scenes exclusive content like rehearsal recordings and rough mixes!)

We are over the hump in terms of production, having recorded 17 of the 27 pieces. We’ve weathered some setbacks from last summer’s flood damaging the organ at the Senate Theater and repairs taking much longer than anticipated to serious health issues with some musicians and a death in the music community requiring others to attend a memorial when we’d planned to rehearse and record.

The good news is that a delay in production gives us more time to work on other parts of the project. I still haven’t gotten super serious about fundraising yet, although I have made a good connection with a fiscal sponsor (the organization that enables donors to make tax-exempt donations), and an enthusiastic marketing and strategy expert has joined the team!

Production will likely wrap in the summer or fall, which means this project may not be released until 2023 or later, but there’s no real deadline to get this out. I only need to pay all the musicians who contributed so much of their talent and time to this project as soon as possible. And depending what strategy we go with we very well could end up releasing some of this material before production is even complete. I mean, this could become a project with no end…!

New Video – Interview/Concert Live Stream
Back in January I did this live stream interview/concert thing. I haven’t watched it but it’s probably ok. I think I had a good time doing it. I wanted to share something new with yall.

Book Reports
Lake Success, by Gary Shteyngart, was recommended to me by my mom. She really gets me about 10% of the time, and this was one of those times! I really enjoyed this book despite how much of it made me cringe. The main character is an awful person who you can’t help but empathize with, so that’s an interesting process to go through. That, and the emphasis on Richmond, Virginia, and Greyhound buses resonated with me a lot. Would recommend but not for the faint of heart.

Blackshirts & Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism, by Michael Parenti, is highly informative and easy to read. Obviously it’s all about politics and not everyone will agree with Mr. Parenti’s opinions. My main takeaway was realizing how little I knew about the Soviet Union that didn’t come through channels of propaganda. Would recommend to anyone with an open mind.

The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin, is a fantastic well, fantasy/sci-fi novel that takes place on a freezing cold planet called Winter, populated by people without gender whose physical sex organs change depending on their circumstances. The story is moving and well-crafted, and it’s easy to draw relevant connections to our own world. I would recommend this book, however, The Dispossessed remains my favorite of hers that I’ve read so far.

Silence, by William Carpenter, took me back to Maine, where I spent four years going to College of the Atlantic in my early twenties. Aside from my longing to return, this was a powerful story about a disabled Iraq vet returning home to his small hometown in Maine and, well, just read it. I ordered my copy from Islandport Press. Would certainly recommend, especially to people living in the US or who want to understand more about living in the US.

Bonus Fun Thing
Matthew Lavoie’s website https://www.thewayofmist.com/ is simply delightful. Take a look!
And that’s all for this newsletter — Stay well everyone, and happy vernal equinox!