Crazy Cats, Farewell to MA, Hello NYC, and I’m Still Pupating

My Dear Fellow Cocoons,

I’ve been having a fairly creative and productive time here in western Mass despite there being relatively little going on. This pupating thing is working out pretty well. I even had a psychic tell me that I’m at the beginning of a serious creative period right now. Who would have guessed? I’ve never had a psychic reading before but I did enjoy it and might just do it again.

In this post I will share SOME of what I’ve been up to here, and I’ll list my upcoming gigs. There aren’t many of them but they will be fun. And I mean the kind of fun that comes from not knowing exactly who you’re going to play with or what you’re going to play, but knowing that they are great people and you will make great music. I really love that.

I’m finally getting some of that cold weather I would have had months ago had I stayed in Berlin. Love that frost! Last weekend Ben Belcher came out and joined Matt, Kip and me for some shows and a recording session in Great Barrington. It all went so well and I can’t wait to share with you what we’ve done. And I really will give you sneak peeks of this because I know that I can, I just don’t have the actual recordings yet.

I can share with you this song I made up and recorded recently. This is a rough and hastily-made recording so please don’t judge me too harshly for it, it’s just for fun: Crazy Cats — This song was inspired by the two kittens I’ve been living with at Matt’s house. They really are wild, and deadly cute. If I had access to a video camera I would make a video of them and use this song as the soundtrack and it would go viral on youtube and I would make dozens of cents on it. That could still happen, but for now enjoy the song!

I’ve written a few more songs but no other new recordings yet. I’ve also been working on TWOnew records which will both be ready for release soon. One is an old time record with myself on fiddle, Sam Guthridge (of Chester River Runoff) on banjo and Erica Weiss on guitar. We’re calling ourselves Square Peg Rounders and the record will be called ‘Galax, NYC’ and will feature artwork by Doug Chayka. The other record is a live recording of a once-in-a-lifetime performance that took place last year in Berlin at the now-defunct Soul Cat music club, my favorite place to play in Berlin. (Or I should say ‘my favorite place to have played’…) The group is called Triple Stops and it’s simply an all-fiddle trio with myself, Roland Satterwhite and Joe Troop. I just found this recording and it made me laugh so hard I thought I’d better make it available to the general public as a sort of cautionary tale, i.e. ‘You don’t want to end up like this, do you?’ Well, you’ll hear it for yourself as soon as I can get it mastered and get the artwork together for it.

I’ll tell you about my upcoming gigs now:- Tomorrow night, Friday 14 Dec at Castle Street Cafe in Great Barrington with Hunger Mountain, our last concert in Berkshire County for a while. 8pm, FREE

– Sundays, 16 and 23 Dec at Harefield Road in Brooklyn, not entirely sure of the band lineup yet but will probably include Thomas BaileyDennis Lichtman, and Tamar Korn, among others. 6:30-9:30, FREE

– Monday, 17 Dec at Barbes in Brooklyn, with Brain Cloud, 7pm, FREE

That’s all the gigs I have scheduled for now but keep an eye on my calendar and FB for last-minute updates! My next confirmed show is in Nashville in January and starting in February I will be very busy touring the whole goshdanged USA. But there are sure to be some last-minute shows between now and then so stay tuned.

In the spirit of sharing something special, here’s a blast-from-the-past video from my UK tour with Ed Hicks and Rosalind Masson about a year ago, closing the show out at Stereo in Glasgow with Durang’s Hornpipe. This was financially our worst show of the tour but energetically and audience-wise one of the very best! Don’t be put off by our vampire eyes, we’re just vampires. No big deal.

Lastly, I didn’t write this but I’ve been listening to it a lot. I really like it: Sobabamba — from the record ‘Indestructible Beat Of Soweto Volume One’

And so I leave you now, as ever, yours faithfully,