I have learned over the past few years the
two most exciting days of an extended tour are
the day you leave and the day you return.
So true – also true that only after a very short respite, I am itching to be back at it again!
I have so many cool memories and am so glad to have connected with friends, old and new in the Southwest, West Coast, Pac NW and Western Canada.
Thanks to everyone who hosted us and
to those who came out to our shows!
Still pretty wintry on arrival at home in mid March. I was hoping for this
Oh well, so glad I have lots of projects to keep me occupied while I await the season of sun and flowers!
At the top of my list is getting a whole batch of new songs finalized for presentation to my recording musicians. Look for the new album as early as September.
Titled “Drive On,” this album will feature songs that each, in some way, relate to the underlying theme – doing what you love, despite of, and in spite of the many struggles you endure along the way that so often seem to outweigh the joys of creating and performing.
As the title track says; “The one and only thing for you to do is just keep drivin’ on.”
Also, high up on my list is getting ready for upcoming gigs this summer. I am lucky to have a nice mix of both regional and beyond including major festivals in Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Vancouver.
I look forward to teaming up again with my long time friend, Gabe Stillman (2019 Albert King Guitar award winner and yes, long time friend – I met him when he was 14!), bass man Colin, “The Big Yellow Dog“ Beatty and harpster, “Shane the Hurricane” Sagar.
You’ll also see many of my usual suspects that I bring along – Mary Ann Casale, Gail Sparlin (backing vox), Sonny Rock (drums), and Tom Terry/Jon Coghill sometimes platooning on bass.
In between all of this I plan to get back to my “Doggone Blues” book series. I have to say I am very reluctant to call this three- book series “children’s books”, because they are really geared more for blues lovers who are also dog lovers. It would work great as something for parents and grandparents to read to children – something fun that would also serve to introduce Blues to the younglings!
The books follow a troupe of dogs as they struggle to start a dog blues band. Led by Bubba the Blood-rhymes-with-food-Hound, whose owner is a bona fide Louisiana blues man. Neighborhood dogs are recruited, but first must be introduced to and convinced that the Blues is cool. Bubba sparks their interest by telling them, “The Blues is like a half-eaten sandwich you find lying on the sidewalk. Give it a sniff. You might like it!”
The books are an off-shoot of my 2016 “Doggone Blues” album –songs about dogs who get the blues. The album was a fundraiser for the Blues Foundation’s Hall of Fame and is available for purchase in their gift shop in Memphis.
As I write, I am resting up from the weekend gigs in the Adirondack Olympic Village of Lake Placid, NY – a two nighter at cool regional venue called Delta Blue.
Upcoming are more regional things in the Hudson Valley and Central New York.
May is when things start to get busier starting with Chambersburg, PA Blues, Brews, and BBQ (May 4th)
before trotting off to Memphis to attend the 40th Blues Music Awards.
May will bring the band to the Northeast with gigs in Hartford CT (Black-Eyed Sally’s 5/16), Iron Horse Music Hall (Northhamptom MA 5/17), Laconia NH (Pittman’s Freight House 5.18) and the Time Out Pub (Rockland ME 5.20).
That’s it for now - I think. Hope to hear from you and even better, see you all soon!