July 6, 2016
Hello, friends and music lovers! My buddy Brett Litton used to say, “Boz, when I die I want’em to cremate me and put a little bit of me in about a dozen shotgun shells, then give one to each of my good buddies so they can blast me off into the atmosphere.” Well, that Brett is still living and so am I, but this past month has sure felt like being loaded into a shotgun and blasted into outer space.
In an unexpected chain of events, my partner Rebecca and I rolled out of the high hills and valleys of Kentucky for Little Rock, the capitol city of Arkansas. Two days of packing and driving, then we pulled into town, parked at the gas station, and I jumped on stage at South on Main to accompany my old friend Dom Flemons in a night of singing and storytelling I’ll remember for a long time. A few days later, I was back in the pickup headed to Kentucky for Appalshop’s Seedtime on the Cumberland Festival and Hindman Settlement’s Family Folk Week; then a few days after that, back to Little Rock, where my fellow Kentucky Colonel JD Wilkes invited me to join him on stage at the White Water Tavern. I was fiddle to his banjo that night, and we had a big time, but then it was back up to Kentucky with me so I could teach music at the place I learned, Cowan Creek Mountain Music School.
In the midst of that wondrous week, I did one of the most important, frightening, courageous, and rewarding things I’ve ever done: I turned my second record’s fate over to my community and launched the Indiegogo campaign that will fund what I’m calling Gone Boy, a solo project of new old time, with covers and originals alike.
I drove back to Little Rock after Cowan, sad to be leaving the hills for a while, but happy to be coming home to my love and my new life. We’ve met some real nice people here, like Max and Julianna who helped us carry our stuff into the new digs. And Matt who’s giving me door shifts at White Water to make ends meet. Then there’s Sydney, a punk singer who cuts my hair and has me looking like Elvis (the way my mamaw always intended). I even met a Rockefeller or two. But lord it’s been a lot of change at once! And I think the scariest one has been leaving my work at Hindman Settlement School so I can focus on music.
This is what the Indiegogo campaign is about for me. By creating a way for you to pre-order Gone Boy, I’m asking you to join me in this journey, and I’m asking my community to be my good friends as I finally move from arts administrator to artist.
So, yes, I’m fixing to ask you for money. To mix, print, and push Gone Boy into the universe, I need your help. But in truth, to get back to doing full time what I full-heartedly believe I am meant to do, play this music—I need your help. I’ve spent my whole life studying and practicing the Kentucky repertoire. Nothing else in my heart feels the way this does, my desire to go out into the world and share these traditions. Come with me?
I’m scheduling gigs from Little Rock to Brooklyn, and I’m putting fresh oil in the Ford. But I’m putting my faith in the folks who have never let me down. You can support Gone Boy in a bunch of ways designed for a bunch of budgets. Go here to learn more, and take a behind-the-scenes look at the project. Any dollar you spend with this project will take root, I promise you that. And I’ll be bringing you with me the whole way.
I so appreciate you. I truly do.
From Little Rock with love,