San Francisco, by way of Montana and Arizona

Hello Friends,

We hope this fall has been treating you well and offering up an abundance of cheer.  We are happy to report we have landed in San Francisco after reaping the benefits of autumn holidays with friends.  Apparently we’ve been having too much fun in the city to take pictures.  It was the pork store or a laundromat.

After much deliberation and organization, we found a place to hole up in the Mission while we rehearse with new band-mates for our Bay Area gigs.  But first, we open up for our dear friends, The Dirt Floor Band, in Ukiah the day after Thanksgiving!

***11/23/12. Ukiah Brewing Company. 9pm. $5  We will be joined by the dashing Kyle Madrigal on upright bass and perhaps the elusive Karl Kummerle on psychedelic fiddle.  FB Eventhttp://www.facebook.com/events/291908374260560/?ref=ts&fref=ts

***11/24/12. Local Edition. 9pm-12am.  All Bay area gigs will feature Sascha Jacobsen on upright bass, David Dieni on drums, and our new trumpet-playing sailor friend, Steve Stanley.

***12/12/12. Blondies Bar and No Grill. 9:30pm-1am.   Voted “the Best of the Bay to get your date drunk off of one drink” by the Bay Guardian.  That’s our kind of classy!

***12/14/12. Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. 7-10pm.

Up next, we will return to Montana for a winter of hot-toddy-induced song writing and a bunch of shows in Bozeman and the Big Sky Ski Resort.  We will also do a week long tour in Arizona over New Year’s!  Then we plan to return permanently to the Bay Area in March and put some city roots down.

For now, here’s a photo-journal of the glorious, sun-filled autumn we thoroughly enjoyed. We hope this cyber note finds you warm and healthy and surrounded by loved ones.  And don’t forget: If you’re hosting tons of family and you’re already all talked out, just take them to a loud live show in a small local bar.  Everybody wins!

Harvest goodies.

Bob Ross exchanges accoutrements with an Amigo.

Still Life with Sunset Soundtrack.

Eating something pretty makes you feel rich.

A proper Dia de los Muertos celebration.

Our 1st night in SF: Y La Bamba plays at Amnesia, 4 blocks from our door!

Until next time, friends.

Summer in the Treasure State

REACH Benefit. View from the microphone.

We have been back in Big Sky country for only a month and we have to admit, it feels pretty good.  We recently had the pleasure of playing the Reach, Inc. benefit up at Big Sky resort and it was a spectacular day.  Reach, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization that provides services and empowerment to adults with disabilities, and they’ve been doing so here in Bozeman since 1974.  They recently held their last “Trek to the Big Sky” benefit and we were lucky enough to be their mountain top entertainment.  Hikers received pledges from their friends to hike 3 miles up the mountain on what turned out to be a perfect day.  At the top they got a picnic lunch, some live music, and beautiful views of Madison County.  If they got $150 in pledges from their supporters, the hikers also got a free ski pass or golf pass at the resort.  It was a successful and beautiful day, and a great glimpse into an awesome community.  We are honored to be a part of it.

So it turns out, you can’t swing a BPA-free water bottle around here without hitting a gorgeous view and a bunch of toned, slobbering Labradors.  I sometimes remember all at once that I have many bucolic needs, and now, here, they’re satisfied on a daily basis.  And the best part about it is that when you see other people enjoying the same space out there in the hills, you all share a goofy grin and most of those folks are friendly as can be.  The smiles are for obvious reasons: we’re all out of the house and the weather is gorgeous.  Recently, I was enjoying a little hike up to the “M” which is a popular, quick hike just outside of town that overlooks the whole valley.  I was sitting at the top on a nice bench, enjoying the morning view, when a loud, coarse rustling above me turned into an eery silence and then a beautiful sight:

 

Two paragliders flew right over my head and did a long, graceful descent into a field below.  Motorists gave friendly honks and it seemed liked everyone on the mountain just froze for a few minutes and grew quiet.  It was a hell of a way to start the day.  A truck in the parking lot clued me into the strangers that put me in such a good mood: www.bozemanparagliding.com.

So I’m diggin’ this summer.  And I thought, while I’m inspired to say so, I’d remind you all to get out of the house, too.  Go fly a kite.  Go swing on the monkey bars meant for children.  Take a walk.  Even if it’s just to the city park around the corner or even if it requires a short drive.  Tis the season for dirty feet.

Itty bitty baby grapes!

 

Giant bird parents of the Osprey variety.

 

Flathead Lake

 

My Mama's flowers at dusk.

See you out there.

 

Notes from the Road #3

We pulled into beautiful Charleston, South Carolina and found our venue, the Windjammer, on the Isle of Palms.  I’m used to bars that have pool tables, maybe darts, and on a rare occasion, horse shoe pits.  This one had beach volleyball.  I tried to wrap my head around the combination of booze and highly physical activity, but I just couldn’t picture it.  We drove over the bridge to check out downtown Charleston and walked around the beautiful streets.   I even found the lack of parking to be downright charming.

We went back to the Windjammer and met members of the Will Lewis Band, who were playing before us.  They showed us a fine Southern welcoming and brought a great crowd.  We made new friends and thoroughly enjoyed the beach life, fleeting as it was.  After sticking our toes into the Atlantic, it was time to drive on to Georgia. We didn’t have a show in Savannah, but we’ve always wanted to see it, and this was our chance.

Savannah is full of moss-covered trees, beautiful old buildings, streetcars, and amazing parks.  Oh, and an open-container law.  It’s the stuff of dreams.

We moved on to our gig at Twain’s, in Decatur, had a delicious beet sandwich, and set up for sound check.  A dear friend from long ago showed up and ended up putting us up for two days.

Lisa and Andre (aka DJ Enchant’d) showed us a great time in a great city, and clued us in to a free concert in a park around the corner. The Sweetwater Brewery puts on a free 420 Fest every year.  You can get in for free or pay 5 bucks to drink, and see bands and comedians all day for 3 days.  Don’t mind if we do!  We saw Soulive play a great show in the sunshine and we meandered back and forth between stages and craft booths and around kids and dogs and hoola-hoopers and stoners.  A great time was had by all.

Soulive funks everything up at 420 Fest

Later that night, Lisa and Andre introduced us to the sexy, sexy world of salsa.  They told us “some friends” were headed to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History to dance a little.

We walked in and saw hundreds of beautiful people twirling under life-sized dinosaur re-creations while the Cuban music blasted over several speakers and filled the elegant 3-story room.  Salsa under dinosaurs…we never would have found this world without a little help from our friends, and now we’ll never be the same. We left feeling uncoordinated and unattractive, but inspired!

Next up was Gadsden, Alabama where the fine gentlemen of Tu’Kanoos (whom we had met on the patio of a bar in Big Sky last winter!) were having an all-day crawfish boil before our show later in the night.  That meant about 7 hours of drinking and eating before we had to be professional.  I kept telling myself the crawfish were like little lobsters, but my heart and my head kept saying they were cockroaches from the sea.  The heart and head tend to win these arguments and I stuck to the red beans and rice.

S**t Williams, Jr. paddles the murky depths of red beans and rice.

Tyler exhibits the subtle art of persuasion.

"Eat the tails. Suck the heads."

The carnage of little carcasses slopped up to our elbows, and then we put on our pretties and did our little ditties.  We continued to hang with the owners and staff of Tu’Kanoos until the sun came up.  Thanks for the wreckless hospitality, gents and lady; I had “West L.A. Fadeaway” in my head for DAYS (now you can, too).  Let’s do it all again in Montana!

On to Birmingham.  We met Keith Harrelson and played a show at his listening room, Moonlight on the Mountain which sits on a steep bluff overlooking the great city of Birmingham.

This is one of those rare music venues where you’re guaranteed to get a personal show, so you bring your own drinks and snacks, and you settle in and really get to know the performers.  We shared the stage with Amy Mccarley and her backup band and really enjoyed their set.  Keith put us up at his place and we chatted late into the evening.  We had such a good time, we decided to stay and see Tony Furtado play there the next night!

Tony Furtado plays Moonlight on the Mountain with local guest, Jason Bailey, on mandolin.

If you’re in that area, or you know someone who is, please point them to Moonlight on the Mountain and keep these great listening rooms in business.  It’s how music should be heard!

The next morning, we played at 8:30am on the local Birmingham TV channel (thanks again, Derek!) near the famous Vulcan statue that put Birmingham on the map.  From there, we headed on down to New Orleans.

Up at the buttcrack of dawn.

Thanks to all the Southerners that crossed our path in the last couple of weeks.  We appreciate your friendly, giving hearts and we certainly hope to return before too long.

 

Up next: Tumbledown House gets crabs in the Big Easy.

Notes from the Road #2

In my mind, the whole state of Texas looks like the set of Lonesome Dove, and people go around saying things like “You pigs get on down to the river if you want to eat that snake.” And in my mind there are trillions of said snakes there…rattlesnakes, water moccasins…and death by the bite of these killers is imminent. Everything is brown and dusty and there is an obvious hierarchy of cowboys. Women respond to that hierarchy and behave accordingly.  And actually, this is still a pretty accurate depiction of WEST Texas, which we drove through without incident and felt quite lucky. Then the air takes on a damp weight and the land starts to blush in a shade a green.

By the time you hit Austin, there is an intense muggy heat, the ground is exploding with every vegetation imaginable, and the vibe is very, very hip. We had only a little time there, but our gracious friend and host, Michael (who plays in Good Field, Hendrikz McLeod, and many other notable projects), filled that time with the perfect activities. We swam in a large, refreshing river that previously had been a barren, rocky river bed for the past couple of years, due to the drought. That experience makes you feel pretty lucky. Then we checked out some of Austin’s best music venues: The Mohawk and The White Horse. The next morning we had an amazing breakfast at the Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse Cafe and sadly headed out of town.

Our next stop was Memphis but we headed right into the tornado activity and had to hunker down in Waco, instead. The rain came down in such sheets that we lost visibility, so we pulled off the highway with most everybody else.  Then the hail hit. We thought it might even bust our windshield. Every gas station, car wash, and hotel carport had 10-15 cars huddling in for protection. Later that night, we saw news footage showing 18-wheelers tossed high into the air and flipping around and around all the way down. It was an unbelievable sight. Had we kept driving, we would’ve gone right into the thick of it all. As it was, we escaped the damage and merely had a long drive to Memphis the next day. Sounds like that area of the country is still battling tornadoes and we sure hope everybody stays safe out there.

We pulled into muggy Memphis and got to stay at a friend’s house for two nights, which was such a treat (thanks again Anna and Aaron!).We filled ourselves with Central BBQ (which was unbeatable, in my book) and had a great show at the Blind Bear. The Blind Bear is a speakeasy style bar that is beautifully designed and operated by Jeannette and Jamie West. We had such a good time in that sexy, swanky bar, that we’ve decided to return!  We’ll be there on Wednesday, May 2nd, and head back to Arizona the next day.

The next day, we headed to Knoxville, TN, to do the Blue Plate Special radio show for WDVX. This is pretty much the coolest idea I’ve ever seen. They have a gorgeous set up right in the Knoxville visitor center and they do these live shows (usually 2 or 3 bands per show) at noon, six days a week, so they do about 600 musical acts a year. Since it’s at noon, everybody comes in during their lunch break, and the tourists come in on Saturdays. The announcer introduces everybody and relays some pertinent information and the crowd gets a super intimate show, for free, almost every day. It was a well-oiled machine of highly professional people (all of them volunteers, I think) and on top of that, the acts get to reach countless listeners all over the country, either in their cars or streaming on their computers. We really enjoyed our time there and hope more places around this country follow this model. Thank you, WDVX!

We had a gig that same day in Asheville, NC, so we had to drive on out of Knoxville without exploring much, which was a shame.  We pulled into Asheville in time to walk around a bit and had an amazing dinner at the LAB, which is a brewery, restaurant, and music venue in one.  We were set to play at the Emerald Lounge, with Mystery Cult and Darien Crossley.  It’s a sad and ironic truth that we don’t get to see much music on the road, nor do we get to meet other musicians since everyone’s on a similar schedule.  So this was a fortunate experience.  We really enjoyed the variety in music among our new friends, and Mystery Cult even invited us back to their place to crash that night.  They were so welcoming and giving…and, as it turns out, quite crafty, too!  They had painted about 40 Easter eggs and hung them from a tree on stage.  Oh, and they were in full bunny costumes.  In my mind, they look like that at all their shows.  Oh, and Carolyn makes “monster hoods” by hand, and Tyler scored one!  Only a picture will explain that…stay tuned.  Darien headlined the evening with her beautiful songs, rich in melody and poetry.  It was a surprise indeed to find out she had just turned 18.  I wish I had that kind of old soul outlook when I was that age.  We will surely watch her do grand things throughout the years.

The next day was Easter and we headed to the Carl Sandburg Home.  We arrived just in time to get the last tour through the house, which was left to the National Park Service so that the next generations could tour it and learn about this poet, civil rights worker, Pulitzer prize winner (3 of them!), biographer, and folk singer.  Sandburg’s wife, Lilian Steichen, raised goats (and 3 daughters) and was known nation-wide for her booming business.  Lilian’s goat lineage remains at the home today, and was a major motivator for our trip. Every activity should include at least one goat.

We drove to Charlotte for the night and saw what appeared to be a very popular BBQ joint.  We decided to check in to our hotel and grab some dinner; we were pretty hungry and looking forward to a restful night.  We walked in to the Woodshed and saw that the place was hoppin’.  Tons of people were partying.  I take that back.  Many many MEN were partying.  With their shirts off. Pat, the host, told us it was a $3 cover, the Woodshed was celebrating its 10th anniversary, and that it was a gay bar.  The latter information was overwhelmingly obvious.  “Ok, do you have food?” “No.” “Alright, we’ll just have cocktails for dinner, then…May I have a vodka and soda?” “We’re out of vodka.”  Seriously.  This bar had run out of vodka.  It was a night we will never forget.  All the proceeds went to a local charity, so we were happy to stuff some $1 bills down the “cleavage” of the two owners dressed in over-the-top drag as they danced and lip-sang to “It’s Raining Men” and other appropriate hits from the 80s.  Thanks to all the “Woodshed Widows” who made us feel SO welcome and showed us a grand time, even though we unintentionally crashed their party.  By the way, we hope to crash your 20th anniversary in similar style.

At this point in the trip, we had a few days off and thought we should camp out, rest, and maybe get some writing done. We camped at Oyster Point, near the coast.

Osprey nest on the Neusiok Trail

There are several by-water places near the coast, so I couldn’t tell you how close the Atlantic even was.  But there was water.  And there were alligators.  An alligator had eaten someone’s dog in that campground a couple years back.  Sounds like a terrible vacation.  It was nice to camp and have some beers around the campfire but it got fairly cold and blustery.  The wind picked up and we huddled in our tent over a game of Settlers of Catan (judge if you will, but it’s a brilliant game that we play shamelessly).  A woman had solicited us earlier in the day for some kayak rentals, which was something that interested us.  We had exchanged cards with Amy and hoped to go out on the water the next day.  Well, she called that evening and thought we might be cold and miserable and offered us a place to stay at their cabin down the way.  We declined that night but the next day was still cold and windy so we took her up on it.

That was the beginning of an amazing connection.  We got to her fantastic house on the water, got a bit settled and took two kayaks out on the Harlowe Canal.

Miller paddles confidently through alligator-infested waters.

Turns out we were the very first customers of Osprey Adventures!  And we highly recommend it.  Amy is super experienced with boats and knows a ton about the area, both scientifically and historically.  She’s the woman for the job!  We ended up biting off more than we could chew (we had a much longer way to go (into the strong headwinds) than we knew) and she rescued our novice butts and took us home.  We warmed up and chatted with Amy and her family throughout the evening.  We had such a good time that my mother wondered aloud over the phone if she might be replaced.  They sent us off well-rested, educated, and fully loved.  They even came to our Beafort show on the coast a few nights later.  Thanks for everything, Salters!

From there we had 3 coastal shows in Swansboro, New Bern, and Beaufort, thanks to the Down East FolkArts SocietyWe had fantastic audiences and, like a house concert, they provided us with an opportunity to tell our stories.  We got to dine with Down East folks and stay with host families on our last two nights and everyone we met made us feel all rosy.  Many thanks to the Swans and the Millers for opening their lovely homes to us!  We stopped off at the Backstreet Pub in Beaufort after our show and had drinks with some audience members who tried to ply us with free booze in the hopes we’d sing more Patsy Cline, but we just chatted and generally giggled instead.  That is a magical pub and we were in great company.

From there, we did an actual house concert in Durham with the Cool/Hart clan.  They had a full cocktail/speakeasy party with their FANTASTIC friends and kids, and we had a blast.  The cocktails and rowdy guests made for a grand time.  Special thanks to Miss Mary for flying in from Portland, Oregon, for the event. See you again in June, darlin’.  We have fallen deeply in love with the state of North Carolina, and it is because of all the people we’ve met in just the last week.  We will most certainly return, friends.  Thank you!

Up next: Tumbledown House manages to leave Myrtle Beach somewhat sober…  Why, hello, Charleston!  We explore your treasures TONIGHT!

Notes from the Road #1

Hello Friends,

We’re back on the road, currently in some super beautiful area outside of Austin, Texas. We are happy to be back in our natural state: our possessions are crammed into a sweaty storage unit, our podcasts and audio books are downloaded and queued, our hygiene is on an oddly graceful decline, and hopefully everything else is in the trailer.

We had a fantastic show in Flagstaff, AZ last week at the Hotel Monte Vista where Jonathan Best and Carlos B. Jones joined us for a great evening of tunes. We want to thank all our friends who dressed up, piled into several cars, drove two hours north to support us (you make us look so good!!), then returned home around 4 AM on a school/work night. You’re insane. And we really benefit from that. THANK YOU. We miss you terribly and can’t wait to see you again on May 5th back in Preskitt. Let’s get together and make some regrettable decisions.

The next day we drove to Albuquerque to meet up with our sweet and wonderful friends, Tara and Brooks, whom we know from Bozeman. We had a nice, relaxing evening in perfect weather and company and a fantastic home-cooked dinner to boot. The next day, Jonathan and Carlos drove from Prescott at 5 AM and joined us in Albuquerque to play a swanky speakeasy-themed joint called Vernon’s Black Diamond Lounge. Once again, we had a great time with our fabulous band-mates, and staggered into bed quite late that night. Thanks to Jonathan and Carlos for driving all that way, playing their asses off, and driving all the way home the next day. We adore those two.

On Saturday, we drove down to Las Cruces, NM for a show at the Las Alturas House Concert series with our host, Lee Herman. We’re relatively new to the house concert thing, and we are officially hooked. Lee cooked us a lovely dinner with wine, set us up in a grand guest room, and had about 25 fabulous friends walk through the door for a super fun, intimate show experience. He has the perfect living room complete with stage lights and great sound. As you can imagine, house concerts are all about the personal, intimate concert experience and they provide the perfect situation for back stories. And let’s be honest, many of our songs could use an explanation, so that was a good thing. Lee is moving to Chicago and will be doing the Windy City Concert Series at that point so we sure hope to see him again up north.

The next morning, Lee filled us with a delicious frittata and a pitcher of coffee and we started our 12 hour drive to Austin, Texas. As the landscape changed from brown to green and the air took on a damp weight, we listened to Steinbeck’s “Cannery Row”, some new favorite artists, and enough silence to work on some new material. We stopped in Ozona for dinner at “Pepe’s” (which, from the outside, reminded us of Quentin Tarantino’s “From Dusk Til Dawn”, but luckily for us, what you see is what you get at Pepe’s, and we got great Mexican food in a room packed full of Ebay plunder).

Next up: we visit Austin today, we play in Memphis on Thursday, Knoxville on Saturday for a radio show and then again that night in Asheville, North Carolina. All details under our “Tour Dates” tab.

Until next time…

A Seasonal Review in Pictures

When the snows come to northern Arizona, there is less shock and insult than when they come to, say, Montana, where one hardly feels one has gotten a fair share of the long-awaited summer months one deserves. Instead, the snow in Prescott, Arizona, falls in thick, soft flakes, and the courtyard square is decorated to an extent that would make Jesus blush; there are countless parades and events celebrating celebration. Then the snow usually disappears completely in the next 72 hours or so. That’s really the way to do it. Everyone gets drunk on festivities (and hot toddies) and sunshine, yet no one has to be bitter about commuting with chains and a shovel.

Although these perfect Arizona winter conditions gently remind us of our not-so-gentle winter ahead in Montana, we can’t help but feel a little nostalgic for the glorious summer and fall we had this year. So before we pack our summer things away, we wanted to stroll down memory lane, in the only modern marketing way we know how: a blog with more pictures than words.

Enjoy.

Alaska in June: 12 shows in 13 days, thanks to the boys at Monolith Agency. We’ve got complete and never-ending love for that state and we can’t wait to return in 2012.

Then we went back to Arizona for a hot second, just in time for some desert blooms and a fabulous Great Gatsby party. When it comes to costume parties, our lovely Prescott friends are willing, nay, eager to impress.

Try the strudel. It's delicious.

Then it was back to Montana, where we rented a U.S. Forest Service Cabin for 6 days. No electricity, heat, or plumbing. Good for songwriting, reading, drinking, and the honing of mountain-man skills. Maybe if you’re already in the mountains they’re just called man skills.

You can't violate a health code that doesn't exist.

We recorded our next album at Peach Street Studios in Bozeman with Emmy-winning engineer, Jeremiah Slovarp. The stars aligned: the Dirty Dozen Brass Band happened to be coming through town and we got E.T., Roger, and Greg on the album! Then we found ourselves in beautiful Bigfork, Montana, singing at Jack Hanna’s house and partying with Wayne Newton. These things just won’t happen if we stay home every night.

We finally got to beautiful Colorado and did a quick tour through Boulder, Nederland, and Denver. The highlight was the loving crowd that came to see us at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret in downtown Denver. That room blew our minds; it even had hand-made chandeliers.

In Whitefish, Montana, we mixed our album at SnowGhost with Brett Allen. We were tempted to touch a bunch of his knobs. He told us not to. Afterward, we sent the mixes to Airshow, in Boulder, to be mastered by David Glasser. It will be officially released in March, but we’ll let you know all about that later. These pics are of the beautiful SnowGhost Studios.

We got to see lots of our family (even the arrival of another little niece, three days after my birthday!). We spent my birthday in the best bar in Montana: the Sip ‘N Dip. This is where Piano Pat (around 76 yrs. old) still plays 4 days a week and live mermaids swim behind the bar. I’ll spare my family’s privacy, but those mermaids had it comin’.

We had a photo shoot for our upcoming album with Rhea and Robert Hawkins of Be A Deer, but those photos will be revealed in due time, my precious.

Then we went to northern California and spent Halloween with some friendly freaks…

Come to think of it, Thanksgiving wasn’t much different:

Well, we only have about 5 days left in Prescott (just enough to fit in another costume party before we go!). We have one more show with Jonathan Best on piano and Carlos B. Jones on drums (Saturday, Dec. 10th at The Raven Cafe), then a mid-day holiday party at Granite Creek Vineyards in Chino Valley (12:30-3:30pm, Sunday, Dec. 11th), then we’re off to Montana for two months of COLD. And hot springs. And hot toddies. And sunshine. Doesn’t sound so bad, after all.

We hope to see you there.

Time to Ramble On

Fresh off a quick tour through Colorado (that was GREAT; thank you Coloradans, and friends and family from afar!!), we are back in Bozeman with 3 shows in 4 days. After that, we head to Whitefish to mix our album with Brett Allen of SnowGhost Studios. Then we make our way south, back to Prescott, Arizona. At that time we’ll be sending our album to Airshow in Boulder, CO to be mastered by the best of the best. Then we’ll turn around and head back to Bozeman by mid-December. We’ll spend some time playing up at the Big Sky Resort, and before we know it we’ll be heading to Memphis in February for another Folk Alliance Conference in the land of the dry-rub barbecue. By the end of April, we will be touring across the entire southern United States.

Shadowfax, Lord of All Tour Vehicles, has his work cut out for him. I still prefer to think of him as a her. But that’s neither here nor there.

Wednesday (TONIGHT!), 10/5 @ Starky’s, Bozeman, MT (6:30)

Friday, 10/7 @ Choppers, Big Sky, MT (with FULL BAND) (8pm)

Saturday 10/8 @ Ted’s, Bozeman, MT (7:30pm)

Friday, 10/14 @ The Raven (Our-Album-Is-Almost-Done! Party), Bigfork, MT (8pm)

Saturday, 10/15 @ The Raven, Bigfork, MT (8pm)

Sunday, 10/16 @ The Badlander, Missoula, MT (10pm?) (short set for Martini Sunday)

Monday, 10/17 @ Trillium Cafe, Hood River, OR (9pm)

Friday, 10/28 @ Ukiah Brewing Company, Ukiah, CA (9pm)

photo by Tom Vadnais

We are excited to wrap up this second album of ours; everything is going well and there has been a whole lotta luck thrown in for good measure. We can’t wait to see what you think. But for now, it’s time to ramble on. See on down the road.

WELL, ART IS ART, ISN’T IT?

Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now you tell me what you know. –Groucho Marx

West is west and we’re headed West, young man! We have a short Southwest Montana tour coming up this week and it’s gonna be a hootenanny. Here are the dates:

Wednesday, 8/10–Livingston Farmer’s Market 6pm.
This is one of our favorite farmer’s markets because they have BEER because the market is set up to not only include local music but make it a focused feature, which goes great with the tasty eats and drinks.

Thursday, 8/11–Montana Land Reliance Fundraiser outside Columbia Falls

Friday, 8/12–Bitter Root Brewery in Hamilton, MT, 6pm

Saturday, 8/13–Bale of Hay Saloon in Virginia City, 9pm.
James P. Miller walked 450 miles from Salt Lake City to Virginia City in 1865. Here’s an excerpt from his diary: “Resolved on October 22, 1865, that from this date I do not spend a cent for foolish expenses such as Billiards, Drinking or Eating, Driving, Riding, Smoking, that I limit my monthly expenses for Dancing and Gifts to $10.” Here’s an except from the same diary, two days later: “Bought a 5 gallon keg of beer, which I propose to drink for my health. Cost $2 per gallon, resolution intact.”

Friday, 8/19–The Raven in Bigfork, 8pm
The Raven, on Flathead Lake, is a very, very special place to us and we encourage you to visit it immediately.
Saturday, 8/20–The Raven in Bigfork, 8pm

Monday, 8/22–The Red Bird in Missoula, 7pm
Located through the lobby of the historic Florence Building. The food and drink here are damn good.

So there you have it. Buffalo Bill once said, “I felt only as a man can feel who is roaming over the prairies of the far West, well armed, and mounted on a fleet and gallant steed.” We are well armed, too. With nutritious snacks and hideous sunglasses. We have a fleet and gallant steed that seems to be holding up just fine (she goes by “Shadowfax“).

We have several reading materials from which to read aloud and learn nothing. We over-pack and under-budget. We are covering only the basics in hygiene. We will need bear spray.

We are heading WEST.

-Gillian

We’re Opening for Eilen Jewell This Wednesday!

That’s right folks, Bozeman is lucky enough to have Eilen Jewell stop along the way for a show, and we’re lucky enough to open for her! The show will be at the Filling Station this Wednesday, August 3rd, after the Bite of Bozeman. We will be joined by Adam Greenberg on drums and Sean Lehmann on bass. We’ve been covering a tune of hers (High Shelf Booze) for quite some time now (we should probably refrain from that on Wednesday) and have followed the news of her success over the last couple of years.

Here are a few of the praises sung in her honor:

“She’s got a sweet and clear voice with a killer instinct lurking beneath the surface.” –NPR Song of the Day

“Dark and haunting…but alluring just the same…give me more of that voice” –USA Today’s Pop Candy

“Not to be missed” –No Depression

“With a burnished voice lingering somewhere between Billy Holiday and Neko Case, Eilen Jewell’s aching vocals are pure, country gospel, box-car soul.” –My Old Kentucky Blog

“Sometimes as darkly damaged as Lucinda Williams, at others as defiant and teasing as prime Peggy Lee and always authentically Americana in the Gillian Welch tradition…she’s mighty good.” –LA Daily News

“Jewell’s songs are achingly good, twanged-out elegies to a world of barbed wire, rusty trucks, and a frontier that no longer exists. Listen for the swagger of ‘Mess Around.’ Blue state or red, cowboy or city girl, this is likely the best song about cutting loose that you’ve heard all year.” –Boston Globe

I’m definitely a fan of her “Letters from Sinners and Strangers” and “Boundary County” albums, but her work is solid, across the board, and I look forward to hearing her current tunes. Her latest album, “Queen of the Minor Key” was written in a cabin in the mountains of Idaho. She had no electricity and no running water. But she had a long, winding dirt road, a broken down truck, and access to a little local hot springs. I can find all those things here in Montana, and I have to agree, they’re quite inspiring. But perhaps they also hold a key to some of the success she’s had; maybe fame lies in a field somewhere, in the bottom of a steaming, muddy puddle full of naked people. Only one way to find out.

photo by scottheafner.com

So if you like rockabilly, country, surf rock, old-time, Chicago blues, ’60’s UK garage rock, or alt-country, there’s a bit of it all across her albums. If you like a little darkness or a little sadness or a little honky-tonkin’, dancin’, boozin’, swing, sweat, or stomp, then don’t miss this show. The Filling Station is the perfect backdrop for her. She’ll probably play at the Emerson for a higher cover charge next time she rolls through, so grab some grub at the Bite of Bozeman and come on down for a fine show.

This is what Bozeman summers are all about.

The show starts at 9pm at the Filling Station (2005 North Rouse Ave.) on Wednesday, August 3rd. $8 at Cactus Records in advance, or $10 at the door. Kevin Koutnik, from Helena, opens at 9pm, we’re on at 10pm, Eilen Jewell at 10:45 or 11. Three bands for 8 bucks! Your employer knows you check out by Thursday, anyway. See you there.

-Gillian

Alaska, Here We Come.

Talkeetna Landing Strip

It’s here!! This week we head to Alaska for a two week tour and we couldn’t be more excited. New dates/venues were added recently, so here is the updated list of events. If you know anyone up there, send them our way. If you ARE up there, we can’t wait to see you. Let’s drink too much and eat some reindeer.

Wed. 5/25, Blue Fox, Anchorage 10pm
Thurs. 5/26, Subzero, Anchorage 9pm
Fri. 5/27, Kharacters Bar, Homer 10pm
Sat. 5/28, Kingfisher Lodge, Cooper Landing 6:30pm
Sun. 5/29, Brown Bear Saloon, Indian 9pm
Wed. 6/1, Blues Central, Anchorage 9pm
Thurs. 6/2, Taproot, Anchorage 10pm
Fri. 6/3, 49th State Brewing Co., Healy 7pm (opening for Keller Williams and playing again afterward)
Sat. 6/4, Salmon Bake, Denali 10:30pm
Sun. 6/5, Fairview Inn, Talkeetna 9pm
Mon. 6/6 House Concert, Anchorage (email us for details: info@tumbledownhouse.com)

Looks like we might even get a tiny break from the rain this time, but no matter; nothing will get in the way of our ambitions to slather the 49th state with our scent. Yeehaw!

Soggy in Denali, 2010