I know many of you think of seasons in terms of weather, but for working musicians, it's finally touring season... Oh, the sensory delights! The first blush of new stickers, opened from the box. The flurry of reservations, the bookings of hotels, motels, Holiday Inns. The guest lists, mailing lists, set lists...Like the sun breaking through the clouds, like the buds on the trees, we are On the Road again! Oh frabjous day, Callooh! Callay!
Seriously, the March dates went splendidly, San Diego was the Shake Down, always a bit..er.. rugged. But we made good friends with CPI, the Living Wage folks down there, and Rabbi Laurie with ICWJ and her Buddhist monk/boyfriend Dennis (pictured below) and Daniel Dean sang us a Hard Times song called Paper or Plastic? and all in all it was good sport. The new Freight & Salvage in Berkeley was top shelf, the James Nash Trio blew my ever-loving mind and the EBASE folks took time to help me get clarity on what makes their Living Wage efforts unique...it's all about the coalition-building, don'tcha know? And even Diamond Dave took the mic and did his old beatnik-down-the-cultural-continuum-to-hiphop rap during Strawberry Jam. Things were hopping at the Hop Monk in Santa Rosa, ok, Sebastopol, and Paul Knowles knocked us out with his Made Off Blues. Things may be bad for a long time, indeed. And finally, Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz...ah, a bastion of bliss, a bulwark of betterment...actually it was a groovy culture clash of enlightenment from every end of the spiritual spectrum. We're talking drunken MCs doing the Arkansas Traveler bits blended with the Holy Spirit hanging out in a blues bar, I guess He welcomed the communion, I surely hope we didn't offend!
Regardless, April is NOT the cruelest month, Phoenix and LA are tout de suite. Tonight and tomorrow in fact. And then sallying forth to Denver, Santa Fe, Taos, Seattle and Portland with a little help from our friends, the Jim Chayka Trio, as 'Roadworks: American Idle' heads eastward. I promise I'll give you the run down on those in next month's missive.
We continue to solicit songs that put 'a human face on abstract unemployment statistics' and to do outreach to Living Wage organizers around the country. If you've got a song that tells it like it is, please send it along to Andy Sharkey firstname.lastname@example.org. Better yet, check out my tour schedule and come up and sing it yourself if we're in your neck of the woods.
Keeping it short, sharp and always Shocked,