Countdown to Blastoff, New Recordings and Haircuts!

All Righty Right!

I’ve been settling in here in Nashville and getting ready for my first tour with Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line. We’ve been rehearsing and preparing and as our first tour date draws closer (this Thursday! In Lexington, KY!) we are all getting more and more excited. We had our first two shows in Nashville over the past two weeks and they both went really well. I especially enjoyed playing for the square dance at Fontanel Mansion, with calling by Te Claw and special guest fiddlers Chance McCoy and Kevin Martin.

So far have there have been no changes to the tour schedule with the exception of one new show in Detroit on Feb. 18 at PJ’s Lager House. I played there last summer with Sabra Guzmanand had such a great time. Plus, this time around we will have at least one great local opener,Shine On Kentucky Moon. Last time I played PJ’s local singer-songwriter Alison Lewis joined us and I hope she can join us again.

I don’t have a lot of news to add since my last message, I just thought I’d put something out before we hit the road. Since the last message I got a great haircut from Eastside Barber Shop, and those of you who have known me for a while will know that for me to get a good haircut is a pretty special thing.

What else? I just got a new clip-on condenser mic for my fiddle from Bartlett Microphones. I haven’t tried it out yet but I’m looking forward to having a more acoustic fiddle sound on stage.

Another bit of news: I had my first ‘real’ Nashville studio recording session, i.e., it wasn’t for a friend of mine and I got paid… I don’t think I can say who it was for just yet but I can say where I recorded, and that was at Quad Studios, on Music Row. I played banjo and fiddle for a pop-country record and I was very surprised at how easy it was, and fun!

I also finally got my Tennessee driver’s license. Luckily I didn’t have to do a road test. That would have set me back a few months because they’re booked up for administering those tests. But after many hours of waiting on hold to figure out what I needed to do, I went to the DMVand waited in line for about an hour, breezed through the knowledge test and got my picture taken for my new license.

I’m still reading books, and just finished Black Mischief, by Evelyn Waugh. Very funny and dark, my favorite combination. I just started reading something new but I don’t want anyone to know what it is… If I see you in person and you ask me about it I’ll tell you, ok?

I’ll repost my upcoming tour dates here but first I want to share with you two recordings. The first is from the debut record of the Square Peg Rounders (myself on fiddle, Sam Guthridge on banjo and Erica Weiss on guitar). It will be released soon, probably at the end of this month or some time in March, but I want to give you a taste of what you’ll hear on this record. We’re quite proud of our efforts and look forward to releasing the whole record and getting it into all of your hard drives. Here’s the link The other recording is something I made by myself a couple nights ago. I don’t know why I made this, I just felt like it. I don’t know how to describe it except that it’s connected to a larger project I’ve been working on for a few years now, called Softgels. Anyway, it’s only a minute long so it’s no big commitment. It’s a rough sketch right now, not a finished piece, but here it is, just for you: ghw

The last thing I’ll say before I leave you with tour dates is that I am still very excited and will continue to become more and more excited about the Froggy Mountain Boys’ engagement at the Kaustinen Folk Music Festival in Finland this summer. Here’s the link to our record

And now, as promised, those tour dates:

7 Feb – Natasha’s Bistro & Bar, 112 Esplanade, Lexington, KY, 8pm, $10
8 Feb – Barnesville Memorial Park, 130 Fair St, Barnesville, OH, 8pm, $10
9 Feb – Happy Days Lodge, Conservancy for Cuyahoga National Park, Rt. 303, west of Rt. 8. For Advance Tickets call 330-657-2909
10 Feb – The Southgate House Revival, 111 East 6th St, Newport, KY, 7pm, $10/$12
12 Feb – Square Dance at Northside Tavern, 4163 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinatti, OH
13 Feb – Square Dance at The Bishop Bar, 123 S. Walnut St, Bloomington, IN
14 Feb – Lovebird’s Ball at Danny Mac’s Pizza, 1567 South Shelby Street, Louisville, KY
15 Feb – Riviera Theatre, 50 North Main Street, Three Rivers, MI
16 Feb – Red Line Tap, North Glenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL
NEW! – 18 Feb – PJ’s Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI, 9:30pm, $5
19 Feb – Wolverine Brewing Co, 2019 West Stadium Boulevard Ann Arbor, MI
20-24 Feb – Folk Alliance, Toronto, Canada

Stay warm, stay healthy, stay happy everybody!