It has been very green here in Minnesota this summer. We still have a vernal pool that is usually gone by the middle of July, so I guess it is a full fledged pond now.
I’ve been covering a lot of ground in recent months, with shows in Washington State and Oregon, North Carolina, Colorado, Texas and Michigan, as well as a number in the northeast and a few closer to home, in Zumbrota and Cedar Rapids. In April, I was in Europe for nearly three weeks, with shows in the Netherlands, Germany and the Basque region of Spain. It was a trip of contrasts: the lowland fields of Holland blooming with daffodils and hyacinth, the hills along the Rhine where I played in Germany at Mayence Acoustique, the mountains rising from the Bay of Biscay at San Sebastian, where my hosts treated me to two late-night, multi-course, after-show feasts that I barely but happily survived. I was glad to be able to extend the tour to visit our son, Joe, who was in Dublin at Trinity College for the semester. He played a short set at an impromptu show, the first time we’ve shared the stage.
I enjoyed returning to two song schools this summer, meeting up with students to talk about songs and songwriting. As usual, I came away inspired by being in the company of such talented people. The first was in June at Eliza Gilkyson’s Casa de Musica near Taos, NM the second was the long-running Swannanoa Gathering near Asheville, NC in late July. Outside of my own sessions, it was great to sit in on Tom Paxton’s class “What I Learned from Pete and Woody,” and Jon Vezner’s session on song critiquing. Scott Ainsley was generous with his time and gave me a short lesson on slide-guitar. I think I learned more in twenty minutes with Scott than I had in a couple years of messing around on my own. My family thanks him.
I hope you’re hanging on in these troubled and chaotic times. I’ve found that music helps. You maybe saw the recent study suggesting that attending live music does more to extend your life than yoga or walking the dog. I’m not sure about that. To paraphrase Grouch Marx “Outside of a dog, music is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too hard to hear.”
Looking forward seeing you at upcoming shows. Next up is a run of shows in Fort Atkinson, WI, Chicago and Geneva, IL. Visit the tour page for more info.