coffee and country, cantaloupe and california
I am on my second cup of coffee, sitting at the desk barefoot and eating a big slice of cantaloupe. Woke up at 7, and too soon after was dragging the laptop on to the bed, and researching Dallas media contacts–a regular part of the pre-show assault, and in this case, all too necessary since I hardly ever play Dallas. Nothing against Dallas; I just don’t seem to get there much. (I’m at the AllGood Cafe, on Saturday June 13; send everyone you know).
Went down to the Wash last night to deliver posters for my show there tomorrow (no time like the present: my publicist’s motto at Stealth Promotions Presents) and to listen to Pete Finney and Co. render some classic country music. Incredible. I love Jon Byrd’s singing; he’s the real deal, and a damn fine human being, to boot. Finney and that amazing Tele player really nailed it; whoever-that-guy-was on guitar played with great tone, chops, and . . . God bless him, restraint. Rhythm section, too, played just what needed to be played and nothing more. I was having a fine time, and had just finished my second pint when Pete called me up to sing. Man, do you really want me to drive your Bentley after I’ve been drinking? Well, okay. Did Ole Slew Foot, which I know from Johnny Horton, and Bucket’s Got a Hole In It. Great fun, but I quickly made my escape afterwards. And I felt, and feel, country music like Lightnin’ Hopkins was country, like Brownie Ford, like Jerry Lee. I love hearing that music played so purely like it was last night, but it was all too apparent to me when I was up there that maybe I come at this from a different place. Not “country”, not even “alt. country”, somewhere else. Turns some purists off, I’m sure, but at this point, well, that’s pretty much the way it’s gonna be. I’m in awe of those guys I heard last night, and sometimes wish I could tuck it in, in a little more traditional way. Thanks, Pete, for letting me infiltrate and render, such as I do. I went to school last night, and once again found myself thankful for living where I do, and getting to hear such talented folks just killing it, three blocks from my door.
The new record is coming along nicely–working at it piece by piece, whenever it’s possible. I’m really excited about it; it’s different from anything I’ve ever done. More details to follow. I’ll be previewing songs from the record during my upcoming west coast tour, which starts in Little Rock AR on Thursday June 11. Hope to see you along the road somewhere. Still plenty of open dates–and remember, I love playing house concerts . . . NO venue or crowd is too small. Send me a message if you’d be interested in having me stop by. I’m fired up about the new record and the new songs, and want to share this music with as many people along the way as possible. Here are the dates, as of today:
June 11 White Water Tavern Little Rock AR
June 12 (tba)
June 13 AllGood Cafe Dallas TX
June 15 (house concert) Albuquerque NM
June 19 Brookdale Inn Brookdale CA
June 20 private party Napa CA
June 21 KPIG Watsonville CA
June 21 Ace Ciderhouse Sebastopol CA
June 23 The Crepe Place Santa Cruz CA
June 26 Tucker Farm Center Calistoga CA
June 27 The Music Store San Francisco CA
June 27 Plough and Stars San Francisco CA
July 3 private party Hood River OR
July 4 Waterfront Blues Festival Portland OR
July 5 Laurelthirst Pub Portland OR
July 6 Sellwood Riverfront Park Portland OR
July 11 (TBA) Kansas City MO
Some of these shows will be with Stephen Simmons and Sean Garvey; details to follow.