Dear Music Lovers,
Happy Thanksgiving! Or, after-Thanksgiving! I hope you all have been able to spend time with loved ones this holiday, perhaps succumbing to a turkey-coma, or in my case, a pumpkin-ravioli-coma, or hopefully at least you had pie. I thought I’d take a little break from pie eating and Katherine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy marathons to drop you a line. It’s been a minute since I last wrote to you, and the world has certainly changed in that time.
After the election, I took off for a much needed adventure through Tennessee, playing some of my favorite radio stations along the way. I ran out of gas trying to get to WDVX’s Blue Plate Special on time; luckily, my dear friend Julie Belcher (from Pioneer House--you really should stop in the next time you're in Knoxville)--she came and rescued me from the side of the road and Blue Plate host, Red Hickey, bumped my start time to 12:30pm. I pulled in with minutes to spare, out of breath and reeking of gasoline. But Red let me play. (It takes a village to build a music career). You can listen to the WDVX show here, along with Milagro Saints, with whom I had the pleasure to share the Blue Plate stage. I had a great time getting to know those guys and catching up after the show with my old friend Red. From there I went on to play Behind the Barn, a weekly live radio concert series hosted by my friends Jeff Barbra & Sarah Pirkle, and broadcast live on WFIV 105.3FM from Barley's Taproom in Maryville, TN. Jeff and Sarah sounded amazing, as always, and I got to meet some nice folks from Maryville, even sold a couple of Cold Icy Mountain CD’s to help get me down the road. Next up was Bristol's WBCM, where I played for the Radio Bristol Sessions hosted by my pal Kris Truelsen from Bill & the Belles. Radio Bristol Sessions is recorded live in the Birthplace of Country Music Museum’s intimate 100-seat Performance Theater. This is especially cool given the name pays tribute to the original Bristol sessions, which are considered the Big Bang of country music. Held in 1927, these sessions illuminated influential artists such as The First Family of Country Music (the Carter Family) and The Father of Country Music (Jimmy Rodgers), among so many others. The Museum also puts on one of my favorite music festivals Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, honoring Bristol’s history while continuing to push the boundaries of roots music. I really enjoyed walking through all this history in Bristol, and we got some good video from the session, so look for that to be shared around on my social media pages pretty soon; I'll be sure to include it in my next letter, too. In the meanwhile, you can check out WBCM Radio Bristol and the Birthplace of Country Music Museum here.
f course, I'm also writing to share with you the news on Gone Boy. Last month, I received test pressings for the vinyl. I cannot express to you the joy of sitting in front of my turntable and hearing my music on vinyl for the first time in my life. Dream come true! They send you five test prints of the record, and they ask you to listen to each song on each one, listening for any faults in the pressings, making notes about what needs to be fixed. It's a delicate, scary, special responsibility, let me tell you. How many nights did I spend listening, over and over again, trying to make sure I was hearing what I thought I was hearing. Anyway, Furnace Records and I are now finalizing the mix, and the album packaging design is nearly ready, so things are progressing well. Once everything is in and approved, it will take a couple months to press---so to those who are expecting to receive Gone Boy in vinyl, all I know to say is: all good things are worth the wait! ;) Thank you for patience with this slow, careful process.
In the meanwhile, we’re gearing up for a big push for the music, thanks to your all’s support. Once the vinyl is sent to press, we will begin to process the CD manufacturing, which will take significantly less time to print. I'll also be making Gone Boy available for digital downloads very soon, hopefully in time for your holiday travel listening! We're also figuring out the plans for marketing and releasing and touring--including a March trip to the U.K., where it seems like there's a folk club on every corner! I'll write more about all that in my next letter.
I want you to know, I so appreciate you all. As this record progresses, as this crazy fall continues to unfold, I spend more and more time reflecting on the value of community, of art, of truth telling. You all stood beside me and made this music possible on the good faith you had in those values. Rebecca and I talk about you in the house like you're family. From my heart, to yours, thank you for coming with us on this journey.
Pray for Standing Rock.