Okay – well I am always procrastinating on this web thing. Why is it so hard? I don’t know. Anyway, the time has come to catch up. I am enjoying a nice post-rain, spring evening – glorious greens, yellows and purples. I have gotten to see flowers that bloom for a day and then are gone – excellent!

We are gearing up for the summer tour season, which we are really excited about. This is gonna be some summer. In a week, we are heading to the Southwest to play some shows including a couple of Honor the Earth benefits and the Long Beach Pride festival. Then we head down to New Orleans for an artist activist workshop. We are going to spend a couple of days seeing the city and what’s being accomplished. I know most news from down that way can be depressing, but I also know there are triumphs of the human spirit happening right now. I know a lot of folks are scared to think about New Orleans because it seems so damn impossible, but it’s important that we do. We need to learn, think, and act. Come to think of it, the same thing applies to the indigenous in this country. Most non-Indians would prefer to ignore the environmental plight of indigenous communities and lands, but it’s better that we pay attention. The point is that we can make progress and we can make change if we are willing to face some hard truths. I will report on how the Honor benefits and the New Orleans workshop go. I am nervous but excited to dig in.

We are psyched to be touring with Brandi Carlile for most of our summer shows. She is one sensational performer. I am sure we will be learning some more tunes together and work up a little trio music set. Her new record is on the rise and deserves every bit of attention it’s getting and more.

Emily in the U.K.

We spent a couple of weeks in February touring the U.K. and Ireland. A lot of my friends wondered why we would go over at such a cold time of year, but we actually saw the sun and had many warm days. It was a pretty glorious tour. The fans were totally amazing. We couldn’t believe how full the rooms were and it made us feel great after such a long time. There were some highlights:

We got to be interviewed by a couple of legends at the BBC. While in London, Johnnie Walker had us into the studio, thanks to a nice write up the one of the London papers. He is quite compelling. He started in radio in 1967 on a pirate station that garnered a huge listener-ship and helped to usher some of the greats of that era. While we were in the studio, Roger Daltry popped by to say hi to Johnnie – Wow!

Another BBC star, Janice Long, showed us a good time at BBC 2 in Birmingham. She is a walking encyclopedia of music and really uses her clout helps young bands get noticed. We felt honored to be on her show because she is such a special DJ. The BBC still has those maverick types riding the airwaves.

While at the Birmingham BBC studio, we saw the radio set of The Archers-a radio drama that has been ongoing for 50 years. Cool!

Doorbell sounds on the set of The Archers at the BBC

Our longtime friends, who helped us make Come On Now Social had a special dinner for us at John Reynold’s flat in London. The songsmith, Damien Dempsy, played some tunes for us. Emily and I shared a song as well. It was an awesome reunion.

Clare and John

Carol Isaacs and her friends showed us their native Londoner stuff by taking us on a little tour of some sights by the riverfront. I got to see one of the storefronts used in Harry Potter, an old prostitute’s graveyard that is doomed to be built over (jeez, no rest for the weary), and an incredible marketplace full of very colorful food.

Harry Potter store front
Cross Bones Graveyard

Food Marketplace

We are writing songs now and looking forward to recording sometime in late winter. I have overheard a few of Emily’s new ones that sound really cool. I have tried out a few new songs live, which is the only way for me to get them out of their infancy.

We have two new videos that we are gonna post soon – “Last Tears” and “Rock and Roll Heaven’s Gate”. So be checking in with us, and the video sites. I want to thank everyone again for coming to shows and participating in the live music world.

over and out-

P.S. Here’s my public service message for the day… I was turned onto this while visiting family in Florida…

This is a new campaign started by a coalition of environmental advocacy organizations, Save Our Cypress.

As Louisiana residents rebuild their homes and re-tame the wilds that were once gardens in their yards, they’re grinding up those beautiful trees and tossing them onto their lawns as mulch.

Private landowners are selling their cypress stands to out-of-state operators at a record rate. A few workers and a mobile mulcher are all that’s required, making it easy for manufacturers to disguise the true origin of the mulch. They like to promote the false notion that their cypress mulch is”sustainably-harvested” from Florida or Arkansas forests, and may advertise that fact by selling Louisiana cypress mulch in bags stamped with Florida or Arkansas locations. But don’t be fooled.

Meanwhile, because entire trees are being mulched – not just the bark and limbs which were the by-product of historical board lumber production – none of the benefits of cypress mulch hold water. Cypress mulch isn’t “no float” or “insect resistant” anymore. As such, it’s better to buy pine straw or pine park, or to use leaves or pine needles.

We need to preserve our cypress forests, a precious habitat which may still be hiding the ivory-billed woodpecker, and which is a vital storm barrier.

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