Last weekend I drove over to Ontanogan, Michigan to participate in the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival located in the state park up there. Peg Carrothers of The Mud Creek Warblers pulled some strings and got me a slot on the Busking Stage on Saturday afternoon. It was well attended and I was well-received. I met a lot of good people that weekend and had a great time camping, swimming, and watching Fred Eaglesmith and Charlie Parr play on the main stage. 10/10 would play again.
Filtering by Category: live music
I'm a little late in getting to this, but a couple weeks ago, Harry South and I drove up to Calumet, Michigan to perform at the Red Jacket Jamboree at the Historic Calumet Theater. Harry was part of the house band The Copper Cats which included Jerry Younce (guitar), Bill Carrothers (piano), Carrie Biolo (percussion), and Harry South (bass). These guys accompanied me on a few songs and it was a real thrill to hear jazz and classical players translate my songs.
Mean Mary graced the stage for the second part of the show and was a real doll.
Some highlights were standing on that beautiful old stage, watching the sunset in Copper Country with Carrie Biolo and Harry South, listening to Cole Porter songs with Harry late at night and sharing some of my favorite country songs with him. The Copper Cats did great renditions of "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)", "Don't Fence Me In", and "Up a Lazy River".
We also had a nice visit to the new Keweenaw Coffee Works the day of the show. The weather was perfect and the whole thing was awfully fun.
Below is a video of me performing the Billy Hill song "There's a Cabin in the Pines" with Jerry Younce accompanying me on guitar.
Several years ago I read an article by legendary mastering engineer, Justin Colletti, called Feeding the Machine (it’s long, but worth the read if you’re into that sort of thing). In it, he makes the case for returning to the method of releasing a lot of singles since at the dawn of the music industry, the whole apparatus was kept afloat by a tidal wave of singles, some of which “stuck” in the public consciousness, some of which didn’t. It was one of those paradigm shifting moments for me. I had friends that released singles on occasion, but my heart and mind were really with LP’s. It was the format I knew and connected with so well that doing anything other than that rarely even ever crossed my mind. However, Colletti made such a good case for the regular release of singles, that I’ve carried this concept around in the back of my mind for years, telling myself that when I ever get to the right moment in time and circumstance, I’d begin to do just that.
I happened to read Feeding the Machine at just the moment in time where my years-long road dog experiment was winding down. I fell into one of those chaotic in-between seasons, which happened to last for a few years longer than I expected. There was some upheaval in my relationship with my family, my living circumstances changed, my trusty Ford Escort finally kicked the bucket, I moved from one day job to another, learned a ton of classic country songs, got another car, moved to Tennessee with only a foggy picture of wanting something better and more, worked more day jobs, released a really cool record, fell in love with a girl who lived across the country, packed up and moved again, started adjusting to life in a way different climate and culture, began cultivating this life-long relationship, had a really cool, tumultuous band for a year and a half, played some shows, changed jobs again, got married(!) and finally life seems to be smoothing out a little. I’m out of choppy waters and aimed across a stretch of time fully supplied. That whole time, this little idea of regularly releasing singles kept twirling and dancing in the back of my brain and occasionally suggesting itself to me. Now I’m in a period where I actually have the time and resources and people around me to make it happen in a meaningful way that is satisfying to me creatively and that I can make work for me in a financial sense.
Working with audio engineer Peter Gummerson of Rivulare is a key part of this whole enterprise. He’s a cool guy with a great method who puts his money where his mouth is. We’ve worked really well together so far. I’m also excited to get my drummer Bud from my band The Ancient Urge back on board with me. Bud is a deep well, has a composer’s mind, and is great to bounce ideas off of, not to mention he handily plays numerous instruments and is therefore a treasure trove to tap for anyone in my position. Harold South is a really busy, very serious bass player who’s been making a living off of performing and teaching music for years. I’m getting to know Harold still and I’m excited that he’ll be part of this attempt at feeding the machine. I’m sure the revolving door will keep spinning and I’ll introduce other interesting characters (musicians, visual artists, audio engineers) as we go forward and get more songs in front of you all.
Thank you for joining me and for lending your eyeballs and earballs to this ongoing project.
This is a little tardy, but a recent weekend trip was put together to do some live tracking of our band and the songs I've written that we've arranged together. Here's some material compiled from that weekend at the Letts family deer camp with John Davey & the Ancient Urge.
John Davey & the Ancient Urge had a packed weekend and we're all resting up. I wish I would've got more snaps, especially from Sekoitus, but I've included some taken by Jesse DeCaire and Taylor Freeman. All the rest were taken by me.
Sekoitus Fest was so fun and we wished we could've stuck around for all of the festivities.
Farm Block was a treat. Great weather, old friends, new acquaintances, good food, fun set, some exploring of Keewenaw spots, delicious food, powerfully good bands, lots of laughs, and I had the pleasure of riding up with my treasure of a fiance with the windows down. Highlights music-wise: M. Sord, Big Dudee Roo, After Ours, The Go Rounds, Kansas Bible Company. JD&theAncientUrge also did a quick recording for The River Street Anthology. We missed Mostly Midwest.
Art on the Rocks. We drove back on Saturday night after all the fun on FarmBlock Saturday was over. We were up and at 'em early on Sunday to load gear down to Lower Harbor. Despite some heavy noise restrictions and being about a thousand yards from the nearest electrical outlet, the show went on and it ended up being a good exercise in adaptability for the band. I don't know if we'll ever play as subdued a set or two as we did at Art on the Rocks, but I loved it. Shout out to our buddy Greg Sandell who, out of the damned goodness of his heart, lent us gear, helped us load it into the festival, set stuff up, ran cords, coordinated and was supportive in every way. He is the man. His mug is that last photo in the set.