June updates

Hi Friends,

May was another complete whirlwind of a month (surprise!) — between a week in Nashville, a short run of dates with the talented Ben De La Cour and other assorted friends, a trip to Ohio for the Nowhere Else festival, and a weekend in Kerrville, suddenly it’s June and I’m late with this newsletter.

Instead of focusing on what happened in May (I can’t remember details anyway, it’s all a blur), I’d like to tell you a little story. Some of you may know this, but I used to run a music blog, Uncommon Music. It started as a place for me to keep my own musings about the shows I’d seen, but it quickly morphed into a fledgling publication with album and concert reviews, the occasional editorial, and artist interviews. I look back on it now with some bit of amazement and wonder – in my mind I was living my own tiny version of Almost Famous – but also with some embarrassment-especially now having been on the receiving end of interview questions!

A few of these interviews stick out in my mind as ones where I had been completely unprepared to speak with a hero. The questions I had written to interview Nanci Griffith for The Loving Kind record were a strange combination of overly specific and incredibly broad. I stumbled over the words as I got more and more nervous: The interview was falling apart, and I didn’t know quite how to save it and create that special trust that has to happen for an interview to feel easy and open. It was all over in a matter of minutes, and I can only imagine what it must have been like to be on the other end of the phone. Looking back, I can only laugh and offer my whole-hearted apology to Nanci for my very green journalistic skills (I owed one to Guy Clark too, but that’s a story for another day).

At any rate, a few months back I was looking thorough the list of songs I love to cover and realized that they skewed heavily towards songs I learned from Nanci’s records: “Love at the Five and Dime,” “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness,” “Listen to the Radio”…the list goes on and on. I started talking to other folks and it turns out, lots of people feel the same way that I do about her music. So we cooked up a tribute show. Through the grapevine, I was able to ask Nanci where she’d like any money raised by the show to be donated, so we’re donating it to Austin Habitat for Humanity. The line-up for this show is stellar. You can get tickets here.

And the Sky Caught Fire
CD Release Show
The Townsend – July 14

This. Is. It. We’re a tiny bit over a month away from the release of And the Sky Caught Fire. I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around this. I am just so incredibly grateful for all of the extraordinarily generous people who made this possible. I’ve got a mess of radio shows and other fun stuff booked, but the release show is a really big deal – we’re going to have as much of the studio band as possible on stage playing this record start to finish for you, plus some other surprises.

Also, because it’s so close to my birthday, we’ll be combining that party with this party for an extra-special event. Don’t miss it. Tickets here.