Archive for February, 2012

Tour Diary – Providence RI and Ridgefield CT, (Feb 25 and 26)

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Providence
There is no getting around it…it’s a weird town. A huge organized crime presence, two prestigious educational institutes (Brown and RISD) and the money and culture that comes along with those institutions, and lots and lots of street crime. All of our gigs here have been a little unsettling and I don’t know if we’ve ever played any venue here other than a bar. Tonight was no different: although the Fete (where the gig was tonight) is a very good venue with a very friendly and helpful staff. I think we rocked like demons. I think the audience enjoyed themselves, although the bar at the back attracted the geese, who were polite enough to stop honking during the quieter numbers. We definitely rocked liked demons.

We spent the day on the bus in the alley behind the club. A very sketchy part of town, but there seems to be concerted effort to reclaim it as an Arts area. It was right around the corner from the world famous New York System hot dog joint. We ate wieners all day.

Ridgefield
Money, money, money, moooooonnnney……the Ridgefield anthem. Just far enough outside of Manhattan to keep the rabble at bay, but a close enough commute so that the battle can be taken-up at dawn. This is a beautiful town with a spectacular collection of 19th century mansions along its Main Street. While walking along the pre-revolutionary war downtown strip, I was accosted by two post-revolutionary war women who asked me to sign a petition to keep a high density (four stories), affordable housing development from being built in/near the town…”near single family homes”. It’s a beautiful town….and they’re going to keep it that way, goshdamnit. I’m not sure if it was the building that they were against or the texture of the people that would be inhabiting it…although I can probably guess.

The Ridgefield Playhouse is a very nice little venue and we always feel very supported when we come to this town. We had an amazing show tonight; full of energy and invention and passion. While on stage tonight I had my bi-annual epiphany….man this is fun, I don’t want to ever stop doing this.
 

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NPR – Tiny Desk Concert

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

We did a Tiny Desk concert this afternoon in DC. The concert will be posted sometime next month and we will let you know. Many thanks to Bob Boilen and his crew and all those NPR staffers that dropped by to listen.

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Tour Diary – Ithaca and West Long Branch (February 23 and 24)

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Ithaca
It’s always hard getting started again and it isn’t getting any easier as the years pile on. One has to put all of those niggling details on hold; tie up any loose ends that won’t keep for a few weeks; help to co-ordinate ones family-life to ease the guilt of leaving. Yes, guilt. It’s not just because you are abandoning your family for 2 ½ weeks, it’s mainly because it’s so darn fun. Bye honey, bye kids…Dad’s going off to Camp. And once you get rolling it’s like you never left.

We start in Ithaca. It’s one of those classic up-state New York cities, but with a twist. From my point of view, upstate New York is one of the most depressing places in the country. Maybe it’s because I live just over the lake and I spend a lot of time travelling through this area, but I am always shocked at how depressed these cities and towns are. Home to the kings and queens of industry 100 years ago and now left behind to rot in all their elegant splendour. The twist with Ithaca is that there is a thriving economy on the hill above it (in the form of Cornell University) and down here in the valley there is a thriving hippie community trying to turn this town around. Let’s hope that the community above supports the community below.

As I have written many times in these diaries: the first night of any tour is always stressful. It all comes down to trying to remember how to do this: how to sleep on a bus, how to spend the day preparing, resting, sightseeing, rehearsing. And that usually takes one or two gigs….so these first night gigs can be a little rough…..very occasionally, transcendent. Tonight we were just ok. We kept it together, we did our gig, we definitely worked hard and I think most of the audience had a good time. But we were just ok.


West Long Branch
Sometimes all it takes is one gig to shake off the rust. Tonight we were way better than ok. We were in Bruce’s hood and were well aware of it. The house where he wrote Born to Run, Thunder Road and Backstreets was just around the corner (http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/12/long_branch_cottage_where_bruc.html).

It rained and snowed and sleeted and haled all day. Horrible. Margo and I did a really good interview at Brookdale College’s public radio station, 90.5. It so refreshing to do an interview where the one asking the questions actually gives a shit about your answer, is actually interested in your music and is curious about it. Thank you Rich Robinson.

We had a rockin’ good gig tonight. A small but mighty crowd. Camp is fun.

 

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Nomad Series interview with CBC

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Margo and I sat down with Laurie Brown last week to do an extensive interview about The Nomad Series…..take a listen, here.

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Toronto show on March 14

Monday, February 27th, 2012

For all of you home town folks, we just want to let you know that we will be doing a special performance at the Glen Gould Studio on March 14th. This will be a full show focusing on The Nomad Series (with a couple of golden oldies thrown in) and it will be taped by the CBC. You can get your tickets here.

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Thanks for coming to the party! Wilderness pre-orders now available!

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Thank you all for coming to the listening party! We’re glad you got home safely and the place didn’t even get trashed!

As a parting gift, we’ve started pre-orders of The Wilderness. All items will be shipped on March 27th. 

Oh … and if you’re out and about town the next few weeks, we may just be playing in your area as the tour has begun.

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The Wilderness listening party

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

We will start streaming The Wilderness at noon (EST) today. The pre-order for the album will start at noon as well. Sorry for the delay….we will keep the streaming album up for an extra day. Come on back in another hour….see you then.

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The Wilderness (volume 4) – Demons

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Take a bit of Nebraska; a bit of Badlands; sprinkle in a couple of characters from The Caution Horses. Mix it together with my orange Resolectric and whisk in a fading Fall evening by Lake Ontario. And then pour it all into the mold formed by the attempted hard-wiring of a Catholic upbringing…and, voila…..Demons:

I was taught that there are
demons out there
so that’s what I believe.
You take away my demons
you take away my peace.

Broke my leg
at the age of twelve
couldn’t kneel beside the bed.
Learnt the lesson of habit
the prayers I left for dead.

Met him in
a corner booth
the jukebox at his side.
He took away all my quarters
he took me for a ride.

I saw his eyes
when the fires on
I never want that blaze to die.
If you take away the burning embers
you take away the burning sky.

If I could switch it
all around
I’d make you my very first kiss.
I’d take away the mystery
just to see what I missed.

I was taught that there are
demons out there
so that’s what I believe.

Previous blogs about the making of The Wilderness, Angels in The Wilderness, Fairytale, Unanswered Letter, We Are The Selfish Ones.
 

We will be having a listening party for The Wilderness on the site on February 23rd (which is the day that we will also start pre-orders for the album). Stop by and give the album a listen.

The Nomad Tour begins on February 23rd. The first leg brings us through the North East USA: Ithaca, West Long Branch, Providence, Ridgefield, Annapolis, Alexandria, Norfolk, Charlottesville, Charleston, Harrisburg, Boston, Philadelphia, West Hampton Beach.

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The Wilderness (volume 4) – We Are The Selfish Ones

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

When I write I need seclusion: somewhere to sit and stare and think and mutter to myself and plink away on my guitar. I often rely on the kindness of strangers (or family and friends) and borrow their unused rural retreats, where I set up for a week at a time and get lost in myself. It’s a completely egocentric, selfish way to spend ones time…and I love it. I think it’s my favourite part of an album project: the week starts with an empty page and six tuned strings and ends up with a song, alchemy at its finest. One of the locations where I wrote a lot of the songs for The Wilderness was a small cottage in Presqu’ile Park, set on the shore of Lake Ontario about two hours east of Toronto. We Are The Selfish Ones is, in some ways, a song about the process of creating, it’s about sitting and reflecting, it’s a nod to those of us lucky enough to make a living reflecting our inner most thoughts back at the world. Here is my song-writing demo for the song…I ended up adding another verse right before Margo sang the version that ended up on The Wilderness.

He sits alone in his perfect shack
the lake beside him freezing
the sun no longer shining
much past four o’clock.

We are the selfish ones
We are the lucky ones
We are the needed ones

She falls asleep, the book on her lap,
“all things change to something new,
something strange.”

We are the selfish ones
We are the lucky ones
We are the needed ones

We walk along with my hand on your back,
the days behind receding
forward to a day when all we love will pass.

We are the selfish ones
We are the lucky ones
We are the needed ones

He sits alone in his perfect shack
the lake beside him freezing
the sun no longer shining
much past four o’clock.

Previous blogs about the making of The Wilderness, Angels in The Wilderness, Fairytale, Unanswered Letter.
 

We will be having a listening party for The Wilderness on the site on February 23rd (which is the day that we will also start pre-orders for the album). Stop by and give the album a listen.

The Nomad Tour begins on February 23rd. The first leg brings us through the North East USA: Ithaca, West Long Branch, Providence, Ridgefield, Annapolis, Alexandria, Norfolk, Charlottesville, Charleston, Harrisburg, Boston, Philadelphia, West Hampton Beach.

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