Station Inn, Blue Plate Special, Texas Tour, Wax Cylinder Excitement And FREE DOWNLOAD!!

And let me not fail to mention my NEWEST RELEASE!!

Howdy Friends, old and new,

I started telling people that if they sign up on my list I will send them a FREE DOWNLOAD of one of my songs, so to be fair I’m sharing this with all of you. This could end up meaning a new free download every time I send an email out, or not. Who knows? But I hope you like it. I decided to share with you the Red Apple Rag (follow the link to download), which is a cut from my NEWEST RELEASE, a record I’ve been talking about for a while and is now finally available for digital download all over the internet. It’s called ‘Galax, NYC’ and I recorded it with Sam Guthridge on banjo and Erica Weiss on guitar. (I played the fiddle.) And beautiful artwork fromDoug Chayka. Follow the next link to get the whole story on it… I recommend downloading it from CDBaby or from my website because the big guys like iTunes take a big percentage from little guys like me, and CDBaby gives a bigger cut to the artist than any other digital distribution company. I like bandcamp, too, because you can hear the whole album before buying but I don’t have it up on there yet. Soon! But if I can get about 70 people to download the thing then I’ll break even and then might even go back under to make physical copies… Okay, maybe that’s too much information.

I got back last week from the first tour ever of Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line, my new band here in Nashville, and I must say the tour was an unqualified success. I think we almost broke even, even! I’d like to list some highlights but really every night was a highlight… It was great to spend some time in Detroit and visit my family and introduce them to my new band, and it was great to see so many beautiful old friends in Chicago and Ann Arbor, you know who you are! And getting Ike Turners at the Red Line Tap (i.e. a shot of Hennessy and a slap in the face. Really.) Playing our music every night to wonderful crowds and getting a few square and contra dances in there, too, (with our friend T-Claw calling most of the time) was just a great time all around. And Cincinnati chili. And all the amazing hospitality we received from friends and friends of friends (and of course my family!). And surprise party fun times in unexpected places like Three Rivers, MI… Oh, and going to Toronto for the Folk Alliance conference for my first time and seeing my dear old friends Betse Ellis and Jefferson Hamer and meeting lots of new friends and hearing all kinds of different music that is somehow classified as ‘folk’…

So I’ve been back in Nashville for about a week now, we just finished a band practice in preparation for our Station Inn debut tomorrow. I had a party last night for all my local friends to see them before going on the road again. And we’re leaving for tour early Friday morning. I’ll give you the tour dates here in a second, but first I’m going to give you a little list of some of my recent projects I’m proud of recording in the past year or two, for the benefit of those new to the list or anyone who may have lost the links… Here they are, my babies!

Froggy Mountain Boys – Route 77 This is my Western Swing band from Berlin. I’m so excited to go back there this summer and play with them in Finland!

Wild Hog – This is a project with my old friend Thomas Bailey and our bodaciously talented bass player buddy Max Johnson

Those two links are the main ones for me but there will be more soon. Last weekend I went to the Breaking Up Winter festival and caught up with my friends Curly and Carole Anne of The Old 78’s and made some new friends, too. Check out their music, they are really at the top of the pile as far as I’m concerned. Oh, and the other thing that happened there is that I recorded on a real wax cylinder, just like they did 120 years ago, in the earliest days of recording. I recorded a lovely and obscure old ragtime tune called ‘Ragtime Pipes of Pan’ with my friends Lindsay McCaw on fiddle and Timmy Findlen on banjo-uke. (I played baritone fiddle.) The equipment and engineering was courtesy of Martin Fisher. What I’m getting at here is that in a month or two I’ll be able to share this amazing recording with you! As soon as I get a copy of it I will pass the wealth on to you.

OK, I could keep rambling about what I’m making for dinner tonight (veggie stir fry) or whatever (should I go to the 5 Spot later or just stay in?) but I’ll give you those tour dates now before you lose all interest — Remember, even if you live nowhere near these tour venues you can always tell your friends about the show if they live nearby. Or maybe you’ll be passing through that part of the world anyway. That’s why I keep sending all my tour dates to everyone instead of targeting specific dates to specific people. Last thing I have to say is you can always check my website calendar for more info, updates, etc. OK. Now. Really. The tour dates:

Thursday, March 7 (TOMORROW) – Station Inn, Nashville, TN, 9pm, $12
Friday, March 8 – Blue Plate Special on WDVX, Knoxville, TN, 1pm, FREE
Friday, March 8 – Pine Ridge House Concert, Clinton, TN, 8pm, $15
Saturday, March 9 – Boyd’s Jig & Reel, Knoxville, TN, 9pm
March 13-17 – SXSW, aka South By Southwest, Austin, TX. We have a couple of showcases and live broadcast type things during this time. Check up on my calendar or on the official band calendar for the latest info.
Thursday, March 22 – Dosey Doe Music Cafe, Conroe, TX, 8pm, $15
Friday, March 23 – Artworks, San Antonio, TX, 7pm, $15
Saturday, March 23 – Rear Window Listening Room, Ganado, TX, 7:30pm, $15
Tuesday, March 26 – River City Grille, Marble Falls, TX, 7pm
Wednesday, March 27 – Cactus Cafe, Austin, TX, 8:30pm, $12
Thursday, March 28 – The Badu House, Llano, TX, 7pm
March 29-30 – RiceGrass, Fischer, TX

And then I’m back in Nashville for three days before the next tour starts (going SE to NE in April…) Just enough time to go to the dentist and have another party. Oh, and maybe even do some laundry.

Well folks, I hope you’ve enjoyed this round of Aaron-talks-about-his-life. I really appreciate hearing back from you, so feel free to let me know what you think of the download or anything at all. Especially if you have any tips for me on getting by in Texas. I haven’t spent much time there and all I can imagine is lots of beef and big friendly people. I think it will be fun but let me know if you know anyone I should look out for, or great places to eat or music shops or record stores…

Finally, I will leave you with this video I just found (recently uploaded) of me and Ben Belcher singing the old I’ve Had A Big Time Tonight from Arthur Smith, when we were on tour with Thomas Dolby. Not the best quality but it brings back good memories for me and also features my crotch quite nicely… I really wasn’t thinking about that when I chose that outfit, I just thought the Reno 911 thing would be funny. Ben was supposed to be a crook and I was a cop, but it didn’t always come off that way to everyone… Anyway… Wishing you all good health and happiness, love and luck and success and above all, good food and good music and let’s not forget the dancing!

Yours, faithfully, as ever,