May 2018

     I meant to get this letter out yesterday but instead I got into my truck and went fishing. I was only home from the road late the night prior, stopping for a bottle of Coke to keep my eyes open on the night drive from the airport, because I’d been bumped up to first class out of Raleigh and couldn’t resist the temptation of free drinks. The spawned out Rainbows are holding in a triangle of slack water where two rivers meet, stacked up like cord wood on the seam and the bright males painted in colors as improbable, and garish, as the interior of a Mexican restaurant. I caught a pile of them and let them go, and then I let a few others go before I caught them. I drove home and hung up my waders, drank a beer, and did the lunch dishes. Then I made a cup of coffee, wandered out to the screen porch and read Denis Johnson for a while. In the spring, knowing what ought to be done and getting it done are distant cousins at best, particularly when the Magnolia starts to bloom out the kitchen window.

     The pre-order campaign for the new album Blood Brothers continues great guns. If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy of the record already, and told everyone you know to do the same thing, there may be no merit badge in your future, no high five from Coach. Just saying. You have 18 more days.

     I wrote this record fast. There are a couple of old songs, but mostly I finished songs in the six weeks after booking the sessions. I went into the studio with people I love and admire - in fact some of the best musicians this country has produced - and we worked hard, with the kind of passionate intensity one associates with ten year-olds damming a creek for no reason. We offer the product of that labor up to you now. Early reviews have been favorable, with both my mother and my mother-In-Law saying they ‘like it.’

BRATTLEBORO - This Friday night (5/4) I’ll play the Stone Church in Brattleboro, Vermont. Playing occasionally in old churches, which generally still look and smell like churches, I have noticed that sometimes people have a difficult time shedding their prior training to sit upright and look nervously moral and correct. I invite you to bring a flask of whatever will keep that from happening. It appears they may have a smoke machine for the stage, which puts them one up on the church I grew up in, where the smoke machine was the pastor. My old friend Zak Trojano opens the show, and we may play together some too, if he plays his cards right.

PORTSMOUTH - On Saturday night I’ll join Kris Delmhorst on a rare split bill without the band, playing together on her songs and mine, assuming that I can stay up past nine this week to rehearse them. Kris and I are married, which, as I have explained to our nine year-old daughter, means I get all her money.

ALASKA - Billy Conway and I will tour Alaska starting next week, with shows at Zudy's Cafe in Seward (5/9), Jitters in Eagle River (5/10), Vagabond Blues in Palmer (5/11), and the Church of Love in Anchorage (5/12). They closed the Kenai to fishing because of the spawning season, and because they heard we were coming.

TEXAS - From Alaska we'll fly 4,000 miles to play the Backstage at El Mercado (5/16) McGonigel's Mucky Duck in Houston (5/17), The Guitar Sanctuary in McKinney (5/18), and Comfort Concerts in Comfort, TX (5/19) {PLEASE NOTE: the prior ticket link for the show in Comfort did not work, and the only way to get tickets for this show is to follow the link in this letter or call 830-888-0182}. Management assures me that I am famous in Texas and should play there more than once a decade. This will make it twice, because we were there last year.

MIDWEST - The BLOOD BROTHERS release tour starts in June, with a full band tour of the upper Midwest beginning at the Shitty Barn (SOLD OUT!) in Spring Green, WI (6/13), before moving through the Concerts in the Park series in Billy Conway's hometown of Owatonna, MN (6/14) The Mill in Iowa City (6/15), the Colectivo back room in Milwaukee, WI (6/16), and City Winery Chicago (6/17). Then it's the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis (6/21), and release day will find us onstage at the Des Moines Arts Festival in Des Moines, Iowa (6/22). Our friends Dusty Heart from Minneapolis open the Midwest tour, supporting their fantastic new record.

     Get your tickets now folks, and we'll see you out there, unless you stay home and watch the internet.