2013 on a green plastic Ikea plate

This year started off hectic. The film I was doing the music for needed to be finished before rehearsals started for THW tour. I was not aware that mixing in 5.1 was so time consuming. Good friend and drummer Robert DiPietro called a month before the tour and said he was offered a full time job with health benefits, I told him in this day and age in the biz you MUST take it! He was missed and sad he couldn’t do the tour but it gave me the opportunity to reconnect with Marc Pisapia. Marc was in top form and a great travel companion, always positive even when hungover. Thank you brother. With the Long Vacations(Xema Fuertes, Cayo Bellveser) we rehearsed twice and started 4 months of touring.
Spain shows were sold out(except for Valencia, where I Ilve) and enthusiastic. I hadn’t been to SXSW in Austin since 2004 and wow, it has become a branding competition. I had a wonderful time seeing old buddies and eating well. I left with a suitcase full of useless freebies(except for the backpack). That said, I’ll be returning for sure. The weather and atmosphere on South Congress is worth it. Not to mention the songwriter workshop with Richard Thompson.
I also hadn’t done an “official” tour of the US since 2010 so I made it a point to go out after the shows to meet or reconnect with some of you. Thanks for sticking around to say hi! Quit asking me when I’m going to move back. I was surprised that most of the same clubs that I’ve been playing in for 10 years were…the same! It’s comforting, like visiting an old friend.
East coast opener Eleni Mandell was classy and dedicated to driving her 2 year old twins around with her. She’s a brave woman.
We had the soulful Sean Rowe in the splitter and on the stage with us for the UK run, please check him out. I’ve been playing the UK since 98′ and it juste get’s more enjoyable every time. The variety of sandwiches keeps broadening, I think you can actually get a ginger squirrel with rocket and curry mayo.
Flew to Philly in May for one night and reconnected with Jay Farrar whose book I had just read. I can relate to Jay, must be the midwestern boy gone artist thing. No flash, all song.
Speaking of midwestern boys we had Field Report out with us for the West Coast run and they were gentleman. Prince came to the show in Minni, yes Prince, unfortunately he only saw Field Report’s set and left in the intermission. I was devastated.
Bought a hat at the Doug Fir lounge in Portland and enjoyed chatting with Chuck Prophet and Mark Kozelek in San Fran…lifers baby, inspiring.
KCRW had us back for the 6th time in Santa Monica, great people. I actually went back and watched some of my past performances online and my interviews were not so good. The music had a few moments but I probably should not drink coffee before these performances. It’s like speed folk.
July was spent with the family visiting in Nebraska. Saw Mike Mogis’ and Conor Oberst’s studio, first rate. It’s in Omaha which I’ve just recently started playing these past few years. I like it, manageable, no crazy traffic, big yards, good eats.
In August we did some Spanish festivals in smaller towns and I loved the laid backness of it all, I think we started playing at 2am at most of them which puts the groove where it should be.
In Sept I did a run of solo dates and decided that my next album must be performed in that way. Don’t get me wrong, I always have wonderful musicians who want to play with me but I notice a stronger connection with the audience when I’m by myself. I also realized most of the music I listen to is one person and a guitar and a memorable/meaningful song. So there you go.
October, Halloween
November soundtrack release and concerts with the Long Vacations here in the “crisis” country. Great turnouts. For all the talk about crisis, people are still going to see live music.
Here we are in December and I’m thinking next year will be quiet and reflective. A trip to Rio Bravo now and then, the boys will turn 3 and 5 and myself 42 in the spring. Another year…the embers of time!