EAST // WEST // MIDWEST // LIVE ALBUM // LISA OLSTEIN
I've been listening to Tom Petty, thinking about the way he could sing a literal statement without metaphor or ornament, and deliver it with a conviction that made it move like poetry. Ricky Nelson had that power, and Eddie Cochran too, both singers who left the party early, like Petty. He believed in music as a life and death proposition, and you can hear the hunger in him, that lean coyote voice, long after he got famous and comfortable. There's a spiritual hunger in rock 'n' roll that comes from blues and gospel, and Petty cut the template for late rock 'n' roll while fashion bloomed and subsided around him. He had Elvis, Del Shannon, and Gene Vincent, and we had him. If you're looking for solace, go find Bo Ramsey's album In the Weeds. Nothing in the 'Americana' genre is going to cut it folks, it's mostly soybeans.
We're headed out on the road family-style for the rest of the year: put the band family and home family together in one Ford Transit van and never have to miss anyone, that's the plan. We're going to air out a pile of new songs, His and Hers, boxing the compass in 15 states. We've got a 9 year old Tour Manager who doesn't have an iPad. Shit's about to get real.
EAST - In October we play the Northeast on the first leg of a three-month North America tour with Kris Delmhorst for the release of her new album THE WILD, which I co-produced and played on with my band. We'll travel full band and split sets every night, playing songs from THE WILD and previewing my forthcoming record BLOOD BROTHERS, with Kris joining the band on my set, and vice versa. We'll start in Maine at the Stone Mountain Arts Center (10/20), playing the Once Ballroom in Somerville, MA (10/21); Higher Ground in Burlington, VT (10/22); Gypsy Sally's in DC (10/25); Rockwood 2 in NYC (10/26); The Word Barn in Exeter, NH (10/27); and bringing it all back home to finish up at the Shea Theater in Turner's Falls, MA (10/28). These are going to be fantastic shows, a rare bill, and now is the right time to buy tickets for you and a party of six, and forward this email to the people you know in the towns where we're going. We're not Russia, we can't afford to buy up all the ad real estate on Facebook to promote our brand of mischief.
WEST - With a quick turnaround to get some trick-or-treating done we'll tour the far west, north to south, with shows at Ballard Homestead in Seattle, WA. (11/2); the Old Church in Portland, OR (11/4): Seven Devil's Brewery in Coos Bay, OR, (11/5); the Arcata Playhousein Arcata, CA. (11/7); the Palms Playhouse in Winters, CA. (11/8); the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, CA. (11/9); Don Quixote's in Felton, CA. (11/10); McCabe's in Santa Monica, CA. (11/11); finishing up at Soho in Santa Barbara, CA. (11/12); Please note: there will be one show without Kris, just me and the boys, headlining the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts(11/3).
MIDWEST - In December we return home to the Midwest, traveling from The Ark in Ann Arbor, MI. (12/1) to Colectivo in Milwaukee, WI (12/9) over the course of a tour with stops in IL, MN, and IA (Details on the tour page). I always like to finish the year in Milwaukee because that's where my Grandma lives. If you have never had your ass handed to you in cribbage by a 89 year-old woman while distinctly hungover at 8 a.m. on a Sunday, let's call it a remedy for any number things.
LIVE ALBUM - Back when the Wolves record came out Billy and I kicked off the west coast tour with Eric Heywood on steel and electric at the Alberta Rose Theater in Portland, Oregon. That show was recorded, and as sometimes happens when you have no idea you're on tape, the performance was loose, candid, mildly drunk, and joyful, a snapshot of where we were in the songs just then. It sounded so good I decided to print it up and sell it for money. I won't release this record or make it available anywhere but on the road until my next proper album comes out in the spring, so if you want it you're going to have to come out and fork over the cash.
LISA OLSTEIN - I got to know the poet Lisa Olstein when I cut my second album, Stripping Cane, with David Goodrich in the old summer kitchen of their house in Hadley, MA., in 2003. Her first book of poems, 'Radio Crackling, Radio Gone' was accepted by Copper Canyon not long after that - for my money the best press in the country, publishing Kenneth Rexroth, Jim Harrison, and Jack Gilbert, and W.S. Merwin - and we eventually became collaborators, creating two albums of rock 'n' roll based on her poems, fragments, and lyrics with my band Cold Satellite. She's a dear friend and one of the best writers and poets working, easy. I've been working my way through her new book, Late Empire, and it's all at once harrowing, bracing, and beautiful. It comes out this month and you can order it right now. When was the last time you bought a book of poems? That's what I thought.