Stay Warm This February With Route 77, The New Froggy Mountain Boys Record, Now Available Online

Brrr! Shivery Greetings from Berlin,

It is definitely winter here and I hope you are staying warm this February. I’m getting by, staying close to the coal oven with lots of hot tea and getting out for lovely jam sessions in warm places whenever possible.

I’ve got some exciting news and I’ve got some REALLY exciting news for you in this post. You can decide which is which! I’m going to tell you about the Froggy Mountain Boys’ trip to Finland for the TunturiBlues Festival. I’m going to tell you about my gigs this month in Berlin. I’m going to tell you about my upcoming tour with Thomas Dolby. And perhaps most exciting-ly of all I’m going to tell you about the NEW ALBUM from my Berlin-based Western Swing band, the Froggy Mountain Boys! It’s called ‘Route 77’ and is now officially released to the world! We’ve worked so hard on it, recording in Berlin at Paul-Lincke Studio (Alexander Ott), mastering in London at Marylebone Studio (Pete Thomas), including fine artwork from Doug Chayka and fifteen tracks of hot swingin love from your very own Froggy Boys! OK, enough waiting, here’s the link!

I love this bandcamp format because you can listen to the whole album for free as many times as you want. Then you can order a physical CD (definitely the recommended option as it includes immediate download as well) or plain download in almost any format you desire. So please, take a listen and share the link with your friends. ‘Like’ the Froggy Mountain Boys on Facebook and tell your friends about us. This is one of the best things I’ve ever done in my musical career and I want to get it out to as many people as possible.

Speaking of the Froggy Mountain Boys, how was our trip to Finland, you ask? I’ve never been to Northern Lapland before and it’s a different kind of place, very far north, reindeer everywhere, Aurora borealis at night, only a few hours of sunlight each day with the sun just above the horizon… We stayed in a nice hotel with a sauna in each room and had access to lots of skiing, sledding and snowshoeing. But the best part was the music! We shared the stage with Eero Raittinen and his band, and Swamp Ash. All of these folks are incredible musicians and we had a couple of really great late-night jams with them. Here is a link to the Blues-Finland review of the event (in Finnish, which google-translates quite amusingly, e.g. “The band’s cheerfully swinging software was Saturday night gig in a little celebratory mood was the public feet, but it is not seem to hamper the mayhem.”) and includes about 60 pictures from the event. And here are some pictures of my own. On our last night in Finland we went to a place with a ‘smoke sauna’ and a frozen creek with a hole for swimming!

Now I want to tell you about the upcoming tour with Thomas Dolby. I’ll be on tour with his band from March 17-April 17, playing all over the US and Canada. Really, we’re going to be almost everywhere during that month. You can see all the tour dates here — I’m very happy to play with Thomas Dolby and his band again, and I’m ALSO very happy to be playing with Ben Belcher again as we are the support band for the tour! I made a little Facebook page with some text/photos and one track to whet your appetite, so you can ‘Like’ us on there too, if you like!

Finally, I’ll tell you about my gigs in Berlin this month. (Only a couple more weeks before I’m in the USA again!)

– 9 Feb, I play with Francois Perdriau and Laurent Humeau at Eis 36 for a little gypsy jazz trio. Adalbertstr 96, Kreuzberg. 9pm – 10 Feb, a solo set at the Kugelbahn bowling alley in Wedding. I will most likely bring my brand-new Charlie Hardie fretless banjo! Grüntalerstr 51, Wedding. 9pm – 11 Feb, I play Oriental and Blues dance music (or Oriental Blues dance music) with a band including Serdar from Latcho Nash Nash! We’re making the music and Amani is doing the dance instruction. It’s at Aky-Lounge, Tellstr 10, Neukölln. Doors at 7pm, show at 9pm, entry is €4.50. – 18 Feb, Salon Obskur with Plump and Juicy Boys (That’s me on banjo,Roland and Laurin of the Froggys on violin and clarinet, and George on bass) We play atBadehaus, Revalerstr 99, doors 10pm, we play 1am. – 25 Feb Roland and I play our fiddles-only duo as The Double Stops opening for the Runaway Brides at 3 Schwestern. Mariannenplatz 2, 10:30pm.

One last, and quite different, performance I’m doing this month is with my partner, Rosalind Masson, performing a piece we began over three years ago and have performed in different forms and in different venues since. The piece is called Beating/Breaking Shell and you can find out some more about it here. We perform this piece as part of a triple-bill at Ada Studio called Nah Dran (“Up Close”).

Stay warm and cuddly, everybody!