Folk Alliance was extremely fun, but like many forms of “extreme” fun, you feel exhausted afterwards. Staying up past 3 a.m. is for 20 year olds. I’ve lived in New Orleans, Montreal, and New York City so I am well-trained in the art of late nights. Still, I’m a family man now so early mornings are also part of the equation. When I returned to Nashville I needed almost a full week to recover.
Not that I had much time. There were plenty of local gigs and songwriting sessions to attend to. Much of the past few weeks are a blur, but one of the highlights was the “For the People” radio show on WSM 650 AM. Apart from our standard repertoire, I busted out a new song for the first time, “Lafayette”. We hadn’t rehearsed it so I had no idea how it would go. It’s such a great feeling to play new material for the first time. You can stream the song here.
I’m hard at work on songs for the new Runner of the Woods record, including a separate French album. All of this means less time on the road, but there are plenty of local shows on the calendar. Check `em out here.
In the meantime, read all about the smallmouth bass I caught in a snake-filled creek at the Fish Blog. Here’s a teaser photo…
Happy New Year from Nashville, Tennessee. We have much planned for Runner of the Woods in 2018, including a live stream on WSM’s Americana program, “For the People”, (Jan 25th) a Mardi Gras show for Honky-tonk Tuesday at East Nashville’s American Legion Post 82, and several showcases at this year’s Folk Alliance Conference in Kansas City. And this only the first two months.
We are currently shopping for studios to record the follow-up to our debut, “Thirsty Valley”. I can’t believe it’s time. I’ve spent much of the past few months holed up in a songwriting studio on Music Row. My God, has it been fruitful. I used to enjoy writing songs while wandering the rooms of my craftsman-style cottage, but being a father has transformed the space forever. Without privacy and silence songs never get done. Renting a quiet space far from the odor of diapers and spilled apple sauce has proven to be a wise investment.
The fishing has also been good. I say “good” because, frankly, it hasn’t been anything more in quite some time. Tennessee’s Caney Fork River, where I spend most of my idle hours, has been tricky this year. I’ve spent hours in both the heat and cold wiping my face in frustration (what do they want?). Whatever the cause, lack of easy success has made me a better fisherman. Read all about my adventures on the water at my Fish Blog.
Thankfully, being in nature is nearly always its own reward. Man, do I love it, especially for moments like this:
We’ll be performing at Nashville’s top honky-tonk event, Honky-Tonk Tuesday, on Tuesday, December 12, 2017. Native Magazine recently wrote an excellent feature on this weekly happening. Say what you will about Nashville’s population and real estate boom. This is a new golden age for honky-tonk and hard country in Music City.
As always, I encourage you to visit our Fish Blog for tales of trout fishing and photos my adventures in the great outdoors of Tennessee.
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of band member, Craig Aspen.
In addition to being a talented musician, he was a gifted photographer and videographer. His handwork behind the lens is still there for you to see. The wonderful music he recorded with his band, The Believers, is also out there forever.
More than anything, I will miss laughing with Craig in the touring van. We spent hours on the road joking ourselves into a frenzy. Sometimes we would get so obnoxious that other band members would retreat into noise-killing headphones. Who could blame them? We both loved dark humor, and the exhaustion provoked by long drives and late nights fueled some crazy shit. I’m grateful no recordings exist.
I can’t make sense of his departure but I treasure the time we spent chasing the dream together.
If you are able, please consider making a donation to his memorial fund. And by all means, check out the links below. The music is the least of it. Just get a feel for a man who had style.
With Runner of the Woods on “Good Day Dallas” (2016):
In Nashville, this is the best time of year. For starters, it gets cooler and the mosquitoes relinquish their hold on the outdoors. You can sit on your porch again and sip a mug of coffee in the morning. Feel decent.
I’ve been woodshedding all summer and writing songs in preparation for a new album. Songwriting takes time, and quiet moments are a commodity that is in short supply for the musician-father-with a full time job. Add to this a love affair with fly fishing, and you can pretty much plan on everything taking longer than you’d like.
We had a blast performing at this summer’s Pickin’ Party at Cornielia Fort. Here are some great photos, courtesy of Mickey Bernal. I guess “accordion face” is a real thing…
L-R: Brett Resnick, Nick Beaudoing, Alec Newnam, Nate Felty and Billy Contreras
In the meantime, we’ve booked some shows at one of Nashville’s top music venues, the American Legion Post 82. In some cities, the Legion is where country bands are sent to pasture — a quasi-retirement where weekend gigs mean a quick payday while you drink free Michelob and play country standards to a family crowd munching on steak dinners (nothing wrong with this btw). Not so in East Nashville. Honky-Tonk Tuesday is your foremost destination for top country bands playing originals and standards for a dance crowd that routinely packs the floor.
More gigs are on the way. Until then, I’ll be giving a legal lecture on Copyright Registration on August 27th for the CDBaby DIY Conference in Nashville. Copyright law may be dreary, but breaking it down for DIY musicians is always a pleasure.
There will be fishing too. Many more like this one. Many, many more.
On Saturday, June 24th, we’ll be opening for Dustbowl Revival at Nashville’s Conernelia Fort Pickin Party. It takes place at the abandoned airport at Shelby Park in East Nashville. It’s a wonderful use of a deserted space, in this case, a small-engine airport rendered inactive after 2010’s flood.
Abandoned or no, this is easily the most fun you’ll ever have at any airport. See you there!
If things are looking a little bit slicker these days, it’s because I’ve updated the website with a new layout, new content, and a more streamlined interface. It’s a work in progress. I mean, I’m well acquainted with dreary tasks but website design was always a dreary bridge too far. But now I’m too frugal to hire someone to do it for me.
Folk Alliance was a blast. Many thanks to all who attended our showcases.
In addition to some shows in Nashville, we’re booking some choices dates for the summer and fall. In the meantime, I’m also working on a fly fishing blog. Don’t laugh. I’d rather write about fly fishing in those spare moments when I’m not in or on the water. And I recently discovered an entire cottage industry of people who do it for a living. My master plan is to merge our touring circuit for the band with options for fishing.
Runner of the Woods will be making their Folk Alliance debut in February, 2017! We’re thrilled to be playing the Access Film and TV showcase on Thursday, February 16th and the Sweet Beaver Showcase on Saturday, February 18th. The latter showcase has an excellent — and I mean fantastic — lineup and we’re honored to take part. Details here.
See you in one month, Kansas City! I can’t wait to try your BBQ and see how it competes to Texas!