Being All Around This Whole Wide World

Greetings from sunny County Tyrone!

I’ve been on tour in Ireland with Tumbling Bones for about two weeks now and we’re enjoying a beautiful day off. We brought the good weather, apparently. It’s sunny and just lovely here, and that means a lot when it’s cold and rainy and windy much of the time.

In this email I will list my upcoming tour dates, share some exciting news, reviews of the new Corn Potato String Band album, some bonus videos from the vault, and my latest book report. Not all in that order. First, the exciting news!

I auditioned for the American Music Abroad program with Tumbling Bones a couple of months ago and right before we left for tour we found out — We’ve been chosen to represent the USA with our music on a tour in some yet-to-be-determined country next year! Many bands audition and few are chosen so we’re proud and very excited to participate.

The Corn Potato String Band record is getting attention for some reason. I don’t know why, maybe it’s the best thing I’ve ever done? I really don’t know. With past releases such as Froggy Mountain Boys, Wild Hog and Square Peg Rounders I would sell one or two copies online. With this one I’ve already sold five or six copies! What’s going on here? I really don’t know. Anyway, this past month the album got two reviews, one from Sing Out! magazine – and one from Gideon Thomas’s Roots Music page:

When the Tumbling Bones tour wraps up in about a month Lindsay and I are going to have a few Corn Potato concerts with my old friend Ed Hicks before Ben Belcher joins us. I toured a few times with Ed, even made a record with him (Taking Razzer To The Tinkers), and I haven’t seen him in a while. So I went through youtube and made a little playlist to relive some of our glory days. Some of this stuff is just great music played with great people, but some of this stuff is all that PLUS smoke machines and light show… Check it out:

Now that I’m back on the road I have time to read again. I like reading a lot. Right before I came to Ireland I was in Portland, Maine, rehearsing with Tumbling Bones, and I went to this little used book store that I’d visited before, and I got a copy of In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote for one dollar. I also got a copy of The Valley of Horses, by Jean Auel. It’s the sequel to Clan of the Cave Bear, which Lindsay is reading right now (so I can give her the sequel when she gets here). Luckily all the members of Tumbling Bones are readers, too, so when I finished those books I was able to read Jake’s copy of East of Eden, by John Steinbeck. Wow, that was amazing that book. Best fiction I’ve read in a long time. And In Cold Blood was staggering as well, not just the amount of research that went into it but the thoughts it got me thinking about violence in society. The Auel book also had some good points in that it led me to daydream and theorize about our beginnings as a species and the roots of our behaviors and beliefs. (This is one of my favorite topics; if you didn’t already know  I’m a big fan of Joseph Campbell…) But the quality of the writing was more like a drug-store romance novel and I found myself pushing to get through it, unlike the Capote and Steinbeck books which I didn’t want to put down but I also wanted to make them last as long as I could. Well, now I’m looking for a new book to read but I can see that Kyle is almost at the end of Trinity, by Leon Uris, and I think I’m next in line for that one. It’s appropriate as it’s all about Ireland.

Finally, for my upcoming gigs I’m not going to list ALL the information here. You can find that on my website calendar — But here are the places I will be in the next couple months. New dates are still being added! Just yesterday I confirmed a bluegrass festival in Rotterdam for the Corn Potatos. So that will be fun! OK here’s where I am:


Thu 24 Apr – Wexford Arts Centre – Wexford – Ireland – 8:30PM – Tickets

Fri 25 Apr – Athy GAA – Athy, Co. Kildare – Ireland – 8PM

Sat 26 Apr – Seamus Ennis Cultural Centre – Naul, Co. Dublin – Ireland – 8PM – Tickets

Sun 27 Apr – The Roadside Tavern – Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare – Ireland – 9:30PM

Tue 29 Apr – The Crane Bar – Galway, Co. Galway – Ireland – 9PM

Sat 3 May – Bühl Bluegrass Festival – Bühl, Germany

Sun 4 May – Room 77 – Berlin, Germany

Thu 8 May – Eighty Six’d Cafe – Ironbridge, UK

Fri 9 May – SpArC Theatre – Bishop’s Castle, UK

Sat 10 May – Orwell Bluegrass Festival – Orwell, UK

Sun 11 May – The Blueberry – Norwich, UK

Tue 13 May – Mrs Yarringtons – Battle, UK

Wed 14 May – The Anchor – Wingham, UK

Thu 15 May – Old Duke – Bristol, UK

Fri 16 May – Green Note – London, UK

Sat 17 May – Rickmansworth Festival – Rickmansworth, UK

Sat 17 May – Square & Compass – Swanage, UK

Sun 18 May – Square & Compass – Swanage, UK

Mon 19 May – The Cock Inn – Sarratt, UK

Tue 20 May – The Snowdrop Inn – Lewes, UK

I think that’s probably enough for now. If you want to find out where the Corn Potato String Band is playing you can find out on my website or on the Corn Potato String Band website

Until next time my friends, stay sunny and bright!