I have heard and seen so much incredible music these past few months. Sometimes, it dwarfs my own stage experience, because I often find I’m more of a fan than a musician. Not to be self-deprecating at all, I am just feeling the fire in a big way.
Here is a list of shows I have seen that have won me over to the bright side:
Detroit7 – You have to YouTube them! Japanese garage rock at it’s best.
Brandi Carlile – She’s been doing an acoustic tour with the twins in small rooms, previewing some of her new songs. What a treat. They prove to be perfectly magical in the small spaces and the intimacy lets you experience the rock vibes in a big way. The new record is coming soon and it’s going to be her best yet.
Bruce Springsteen – Bruce is one of the only bands I want to see at an arena. He plays it like a bar and no matter what song he chooses, the show never lacks for me. He is ever present, soulful, fun, deep and a man of the community.
Michelle Malone – She is in rare form these days. Her guitar rises above the rest and her voice is whatever she wants it to be. MM has a new CD out called Debris, it’s getting rave reviews. Once again she proves she can rock like no other. I was blown away by her most recent show.
Ani DiFranco – We just played a show with her in Madison, WI – the 100th Anniversary Party/Benefit for The Progressive Magazine. I haven’t seen her in a while and I have to say, I was stunned at the power of her performance. I regretted how long it had been because this is the kind of energy that can keep your life humming along.
Screaming Females – Well I didn’t actually see them, but I YouTubed them on Emily’s recommendation and wow, talk about guitar players, the woman fronting this band is killer. I ordered the CD the old school way, from Don Giovanni Records, and you probably should too.
There’s so much good music out there right now, that I was glancing at someone’s mix CD and didn’t recognize a single band…. that was exciting, always more to discover.
Bruce @ Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA. My view.
Practicing Closer to Fine at The Progressive 100th Anniversary Party/Benefit with Ani DiFranco, Dar Williams, Melissa Ferrick, Hamell on Trial, Catie Curtis, Peter Mulvey
The April tour was a mixed bag of learning new songs and getting our sea legs back. I feel good about it now. I think we’re getting it down. It feels so amazing to be playing new music and already have the audience singing along. (Thanks for that!) It’s only gonna get better. Julie Wolf is playing keys with us and proving to be a one-woman band. Her skills are down right amazing.
As some of you know, with the help of Rock for a Remedy and our audiences, we have been collecting food for community food banks as we tour. At this point, over 1 ton of food has been collected and this food has been donated to local food banks in each community we have visited. In addition, our audiences have made financial donations that will allow these same food banks to distribute another 22,000 (11 tons) of food to those in need.
We have also collected over 500 pounds of pet food on the April tour. A big thank you is owed to the national Humane Society of the United States. They worked diligently to connect us with local animal shelters and rescue organizations in each of the cities we visited. They specifically paired us with organizations that have established pet food banks and are already serving those in need.
We’ll be continuing this food drive through the summer. We’ll be taking food donations in every city and pet donations in most of them, so
let your friends know.
Thank you for making such a big difference in these hard times.
While I was on tour, I did get a chance to visit the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis and see where MLK Jr. was assassinated. I can’t believe I had never made this visit. I felt the power there, but in a very humble way. The site of the museum is connected to the motor lodge where MLK Jr. stayed and spoke his last words off of a balcony. It’s such a plain little motel, it made me realize what a man of the people he truly was. That’s a strange way for it to occur to me, but I stay in a lot of hotels, a lot nicer than that one, and I guess it made me feel pretty small and awestruck.
Okay, I think that’s about it. Stay tuned. I am working on editing all the footage we took while rehearsing and recording Poseidon and the Bitter Bug. It’s coming your way very soon.