It Must Be the Season!

It’s the season!

That’s my new default response for any situation. “Must be the season,” “Of course, it’s the season!” or “It’s just the season, you know.” Personally I’m having a fine time in Portland, Maine, where I’ve been hanging out with a fine group called Tumbling Bones. Last night we had a little pickin party with some more Portland musicians, the night before we had a session at some new bar/restaurant in town and that morning (very early in the morning) we did a presentation at a middle school. I love being back in Maine — I graduated from College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, and I’ve been missing it ever since. I caught up with some great friends and I’ve been greatly enjoying the massive piles of snow and occasional blizzard conditions here. Seriously, I’ve been looking forward to this cold and snowy weather since August in India.

Before I go any further let me mention now that the Roochie Toochie and the Ragtime Shepherd Kings’ Indiegogo Campaign is only a few days away from its end, and I strongly encourage you to donate a little something and secure a copy of this incredible record for yourserlf. Just click on that link and follow through, you won’t be sorry. It’s really unique, like you won’t find anything else even remotely like it anywhere else. I’m just saying. Check it out.

In this letter I will tell you about my upcoming SQUARE DANCE TOUR with the Corn Potato String Band and Te Claw calling. And that’s pretty much the big news this time around. I’ll also give you links to all my projects that you might want to buy as gifts. I know you’ve heard all my stuff already and probably bought multiple copies by now, but I’ll be there’s a music lover in your life that has never heard of the Froggy Mountain Boys, or the Square Peg Rounders, orWild Hog… OK, I guess those are the links. These are now all available in physical CD form as well. Here are a couple more: Sounds of Mount Desert Island, a double-disc with 16-page insert for someone who maybe doesn’t like music that much but appreciates some interesting sounds from Maine, and Taking Razzer To The Tinkers, a lo-fi classic I made with Ed Hicks when I was living in Berlin.

Here are the dates for my January ‘Wild Old-Fashioned Fun’ Square Dance Tour:

Sunday, January 5 – Jalopy Theater, Brooklyn NY
Monday, January 6 – The Rotunda, Philadelphia, PA
Tuesday, January 7 – House Concert/Dance, Baltimore, MD, address TBD! (check Corn Potato tour page the day of)
Wednesday, January 8 – Camp House, Chattanooga, TN
Thursday through Sunday, January 9-12 – Dare To Be Square Weekend, Knoxville, TN
Tuesday, January 14 – Northside Tavern, Cincinnati, OH
Thursday, January 16 – Danny Mac’s Pizza, Louisville, KY
Friday, January 17 – Randolph County Community Arts Center, Elkins, WV
Saturday, January 18 – St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Washington, DC

All dances are taught, no experience necessary! There may be some last-minute additions so keep an eye on that old website. Follow those links for all the relevant info or just take a look at the website. If you want to get us to your town and it’s on our tour trajectory, just send me an email! It’s well possible we could do a dance or a little house show or something at least. It’s always preferable to do something over nothing. So please, let me know if you want us to come by.

Before I wrap this up I want to mention that my next move after I leave Portland in a couple days is to go to KlezKamp — I have been looking forward to this for such a long time. I’m so honored to have received a scholarship which covers my tuition and room and board, without which I wouldn’t be able to attend. I’m so grateful for the opportunity and I’m motivated to learn as hard as I can! I’m bringing staff paper, audio recorder and all my instruments and sharpest wits. I will also bring lots of ruach.

Lastly, my message would not be complete without a little book report. I just picked up a copy of Knut Hamsun’s A Wanderer Plays on Muted Strings, of which I’ve read a few pages. I look forward to that one because I enjoyed Hunger so much and this is another one of his early works. I also picked up a copy of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, which I plan to turn to whenever I need some beautiful words strung together in beautiful succession, which I may or may not fully understand. I’m still reading Occidental Mythology occasionally, as well as the Arabian Nights. Who knows what will come next. Your suggestions are always appreciated.

And so my friends, I hope you will enjoy the lengthening of days, as our longest night is tonight and shortest day of the year is tomorrow. Keep each other close during the cold, dark days and nights and I hope I’ll see you soon.