Why Can’t I Repeat Myself?

I don’t know about you but it’s mud season in Detroit. Yes, it’s that time of year when you discover the holes in your shoes because your socks are wet, and every step you take seems to go “Squish, squish, squish.”
It’s also the start of chirpy birdie season — I can hear a very persistent cardinal right outside my window as I type this…
I’m going to jump right in to the tour dates here. Scroll down a bit for some introspective rambling. Here are the dates!
Tonight, in Ann Arbor, I play solo at a house concert with friends of incredible ingenuity and talent, including my friend Andy Eggleston’s project where she literally makes audible music with her mind (using a homemade brain-to-synthesizer control device.) Contact Greta Van Doren on Facebook for details.
And then I’m on tour with Escaping Pavement:
Apr 4 – Red Sky Stage LLC, Petoskey, MI 
Apr 5 – Blackrocks Brewery, Marquette, MI
Apr 6 – The Orpheum Theater, Hancock, MI
Apr 7 – Musicians Corner House Concerts, Woodbury, MN
Apr 8 – Leo & Leona’s, Bangor, WI
Apr 11 – Driftless Books And Music, Viroqua, WI
Apr 12 – Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL
Apr 13 – Two Way Street Coffee House live music venue, Downers Grove, IL
Apr 14 – Tangled Roots Brewing Company, Ottawa, IL
On April 15th I fly to Los Angeles and begin another tour, this time with Henry Barnes and friends. As soon as I land we begin:
Apr 15 – Tiki Parlor Fiddle/Banjo Workshops
Apr 16 – The Yard w/Frank Fairfield
Apr 20 – Oakland Dance
Apr 26 – Arcata House Show
It’s looking a little desperate for some gigs at this point… If you have any ideas or contacts for us please don’t hesitate to let me know. We are heading from L.A. to Seattle over a 2-week period. Help!
So yeah, that happens sometimes. You take a risk and it doesn’t work out perfectly. It could still end up being an amazing time, and I’m sure whatever happens we will meet some wonderful people and come away with some great stories to share.
In May the Corn Potato String Band is reuniting and we are doing a secret show in Minneapolis. You have to be on my mailing list to find out about it. OK, you are still on the list? OK. (It will be at the Ivy Building on May 10.)
Then we have a little Corn Potato tour, starting with
May 11-12 Gays Mills Folk Festival, Gays Mills, WI
May 13 – Anodyne Coffee, Milwaukee, WI, wsg Fox & Branch
May 14 – Chicago Barn Dance at the Irish American Heritage Center, Chicago
May 15 – Cabin Concert in Oregon, IL – Contact Tim at [email protected] to
RSVP and get directions. It is a beautiful spot right on the water! We will be canoeing and splashing around all day…
May 16 – Foundry Hall at Cognito Brewing, Bangor, MI – Tickets
May 17 – Kalamazoo House Concert – Contact Howard at [email protected] for directions and to RSVP.
May 18 – Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit – Free Show
May 19 – G.A.R. Hall, Peninsula, OH, wsg Jen Maurer and Anthony PapaleoTickets
May 20 – Over the Mountain, Rockton, PA – 4pm
May 21 – Sportsmen’s Tavern, Buffalo, NY, wsg Tyler Westcott – Our first appearance in Buffalo! Spread the word…
May 22-23 Rehearsing, maybe recording, maybe taking care of stuff we’ve been putting off for a long time, or not, maybe learning new material, maybe just laying around and eating lots of hot dogs and tacos, maybe all of the above. WHO KNOWS.
May 24 – Huntington Woods (MI) House Concert – Contact John Parrish 248 996-0057 [email protected] to RSVP and get directions.
May 25-27 – Wheatland Traditional Arts Weekend, Remus, MI – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED weekend of workshops, dances (squares, contras, Cajun, maybe some others),
And in June we have some shows lined up with Roochie Toochie and the Ragtime Shepherd Kings in the Midwest, including the Indiana Fiddlers Gathering in Battle Ground, IN, as well as another Cabin Concert in Oregon, IL. Additional dates TBA!

I just got home from New York City, where I had the best time working with this exciting new project, Lovestruck Balladeers. I also got to play with Thomas Bailey and Max Johnson, with whom I have a project called Wild Hog, and I got to play with my dear friend Tamar Korn and with my blues hero Blind Boy Paxton. What an amazing trip.

Now I’m about to start a two-week solo tour co-billing with Escaping Pavement, and then two weeks on the West Coast with a new project featuring fiddler Henry Barnes. Meanwhile, I am very close to releasing an album I’ve had in the works for almost ten years that is totally unlike anything else anyone has ever heard me do before.

The thing I keep thinking is, I could be a lot more successful (in terms of making money, growing my fan base and reputation) if I just did one thing reasonably well, and kept at it. Why am I compelled to constantly start new projects and explore new territory, and so uninterested in focusing on self-promotion and streamlining my image to make myself easier to promote?
I don’t really have an answer for this but it’s what I’m thinking about these days. Ever since I started playing professionally I’ve wanted to do many things and do them well. My long term goals, aside from making great music and making at least a decent living (still working on it), have always included learning all the time, and meeting and working with interesting people who challenge me and help me improve my playing and my self.
At this stage I am feeling half lost in the woods and half on the verge of a breakthrough. I have no idea what to expect. I will keep trying things and maybe eventually my career will take some kind of definable shape. Or, maybe I will continue poking around all the little musical corners of the world I can find that appeal to me and all that will come of it is a life full of adventures, friendships, and great music.
I didn’t have any time for reading lately although I got some great recommendations. I think there are a lot of new videos of moi on FB and YouTube but I haven’t seen them so can’t recommend any especially.
Still thinking about making loads of videos of myself playing/teaching tunes but just when I’ve come around to saying, “All right I’ll do it,” I’m out of time. It’s on the list for the next time I’m wondering what to do with myself!
I hope I will see you or meet some of your friends in some of these new places —
Until the next time,
I remain,
As ever,