Making Things and Breaking Things
A couple of weeks ago we spent an afternoon recording with Keith Thomas at Ivy River Studio. So far we've done all our recording in Rick's basement, learning and cursing as we go. It's been difficult and fun and we've learned a lot. All that being said, I can't say enough about what an incredible experience it is to record on excellent equipment with someone who has already done the learning and the cursing. Now it's just pure fun. And happily it means that we will finish our long in the works second album in far less time.
This Saturday, March 23rd we are playing at The Native Kitchen in Swannanoa from 6:30 to 8:30. If you're looking for some music and really great food this weekend, come check it out. It's a gem in Swannanoa, lacking only in tourists and downtown parking. Win/win.
And now my friends, it is story time. The last time I wrote to you, I told you about the radio show in Statesville that we were about to do. Well we did and it was super fun. But that wouldn't be a very interesting story, now would it? Stories are more interesting when unexpected things happen, and something very unexpected happened indeed. Wait for it.....I broke my ukulele half an hour before we were to go on air. Yes I did. How, you ask? I am embarrassed to tell you that I fell on it—and no I was not drinking—and essentially snapped its neck off with my posterior. Dang, you say. Yup. It was a moment.
So here is what happened next....I saw the looks of shock and horror on my band mates faces a split second before I realized what had happened, I then commenced to curse loudly and vigorously, and then quickly decided to A. not cry and B. pull myself together. What happened next is this—Terrell gave me a hug, Josh assessed my broken uke and assured me it could be fixed, Rick ran with me to a music store that was two blocks away where I bought a uke for the show, we ran back and Josh tied it on me with a piece of rawhide and away we went.
All this is to say that they had my back and for that I am very grateful. We had a great radio show anyway and now I have a good story to tell. And happily my ukulele is fixed and sounds better than ever, just as Josh predicted it would. It is stronger for breaking, as are we.
Hope to see some of your beautiful faces this weekend.
Hello 2019 and Goodbye Mary Oliver
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and New Year. I think that I did, although it’s hard to remember at this point. Everything moves so fast and each day leaves the recent past a blur. All I know is that so far 2019 is kind of kicking my ass. I’m not sure yet if it’s in a good way or a bad way. Or both. I haven’t written a thing in several months and that always feels precarious. However, I have been learning lots of new fiddle tunes and that is joyful to be sure. I have laughed a lot and cried quite a bit. I’ve had a lot of good food and wine, and also a stomach ache for a month. It’s a mixed bag, as everything always is. And I feel like this year has barely even woken up yet. Oh lord.
In happy news, we are playing The Drive at Five, and hanging out with the Chillbillies on 92.9 FM WAME Radio in Statesville this Friday, January, 25th from 4-6pm. You can listen live by clicking the button on the WAME website or you can even watch the show on the ChillBillies Facebook page
Take a look at our website for other upcoming dates. But not to worry—I will send out reminders. We are also working on our new album with Keith Thomas of Ivy River Studios. So far we’ve always done everything ourselves, so it’s a departure, a relief, and a delight to be working with him.
A Whimper into the Void
First things first. I want to admit to you that I haven’t been telling the truth when I give you the weather report and then claim that I don’t know why I love to talk about the weather so much. I do know why. It’s because it’s so damned hard to talk about other things. We may not all agree on all things, but we probably can agree that these past two years have felt much like living in the middle of a maelstrom. It. Never. Ends. And maybe it’s naive to pin it all on these past two years. Maybe it’s all years, all the time, for all time. Maybe. But these past two years have been particularly hard for me personally. It’s a hard time to be human. So with all this in mind, I will not give you the weather report other than to say that weather happened. Some of it was catastrophic. Some of it was lovely. Let’s move on.
It is August and it is raining. I should have written a post in July so I would have had something, anything different to say about the weather, but I waited too long and now we’re back under water. There are flood warnings in our area and we are hoping that we get through this bout with less damage than the last time. And that is your weather report. I’m not sure how or why I became a weather reporter, but I seem to love doing it so expect more to come!
In other news we have been hard at work recording songs for our second album, working on new stuff for our shows, learning to appreciate red wine, and generally having a good time. It’s been a good summer so far. Here is a clip from the new song Dogwoods to Maples, taken at a recent practice session.
We have some exciting shows coming up. On Thursday, August 30th we will be playing a patio show at The Grey Eagle. This show is from 5 to 7 and we’re pretty excited about it. The Grey Eagle is one of the best venues in Asheville. We’re starting on the patio and hoping to get ourselves on their main stage one day soon.
In October we get to do one of our most favorite things and play a house concert at the beautiful Far Flung Farm in Canton, NC. Ben and Kelly Lovejoy moved here from Columbia, South Carolina, where they hosted an ongoing house concert series. They are now starting a farm and continuing the tradition in WNC. Their series is called The Opulent ‘Possum House Concert Series and you can find them on Facebook.
That’s about it for now. Looking forward to playing some great shows in some new places and to seeing lots of your beautiful faces in the not so distant future.