'Twas great to see old and new friends on my East Coast tour last week! Now in August I'm excited to be zipping across the Midwest for a weekend of shows with fiddle/mandolin phenom Jake Armerding! Check us out on FRIDAY, AUGUST 8 in Madison, WI; SATURDAY, AUGUST 9 in Peoria, IL; and SUNDAY, AUGUST 10 in Cedar Rapids, IA in a special performance with Trish Bruxvoort Colligan!
So that you can more conveniently find out when I'll be playing in your neighborhood, I'm trying a new online platform for my tour dates. Check out my bandsintown.com page...there you can click the "Track This Artist" box for updates when I'm in your area, share specific shows across social media, RSVP, buy tickets, and more.
Some fun behind-the-scenes photos (including this one of my harmonium load-in!) are featured in a recent article in the Wisconsin State Journal. Back in June during Walter Salas-Humara's Midwest tour, our Madison show was covered by a reporter who was profiling the awesome venue Kiki's House of Righteous Music.
In other press-related news: Jake Armerding and I were interviewed by the Peoria News Bulletin in advance of this Saturday's show...read the interview here!
On Sunday, August 3rd, WUSB radio in Long Island, NY, broadcasted an hour-long special interview with singer/songwriter Brent Bourgeois in support of his new album Don't Look Back. I was very happy to contribute to the interview myself...I spoke with the host about Brent's guest vocal appearance on my forthcoming LOOK UP album. This streaming-audio link can be opened in iTunes...listen around 28:00 for my comments, and then hear an exclusive preview of my yet-to-be-released song "Northbound Traffic" featuring Brent's harmonies.
I'm very excited to be traversing the continent in the coming months! Visit my DATES page for specific info...
LISTEN FOR ME ON NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO THIS MONTH
Last Fall I had the amazing opportunity to perform live on NPR's Mountain Stage radio show. Joining me were the brilliant Jake Armerding on fiddle/mandolin and Matt Patrick on electric guitar. Performing on the same show were favorites of mine songwriter Jill Sobule and Midwestern rock legends the BoDeans, complete with Kenny Aronoff on drums. Incredible!
This month, in the week after July 18th, NPR will be re-broadcasting the episode! Check your local Public Radio listings, and tune in to hear me sing the folk song "Stagger Lee" with fellow Finnish-American Minnesotan guitarist Erik Koskinen, Kurt from the BoDeans, and Kenny playing drums...a highlight of my career!
INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING NEWS Songwriter and publisher Robin Mann has provided liturgical resources to Lutheran congregations in Australia for decades. I'm very pleased to announce that Robin's latest published compilation ALL TOGETHER ALL RIGHT features three of my songs: the atmospheric "Calm The Storm," the trucker-Gospel "No One Does The Things My Lord Can Do," and the audience fave "Hey Hey Samuel." It's so cool to think of people on the other side of the globe singing my songs! Visit Robin's webpage and check out his resources for church musicians.
I'm super psyched to be the guest keyboardist for Walter Salas-Humara on his solo Midwest tour this week. Walter is one of my all-time favorite songwriters (you may know him from his band The Silos), and he's also the producer of my 2004 album Public Library.
We've had some shows already, and have a few more to go:
TUES, JUNE 3: Aster Cafe, Minneapolis
FRI, JUNE 6: Schuba's, Chicago, IL, with Jon Langford
The Lutheran camps in South Dakota have produced an album of songs they sing at campfires...and they've included a couple tunes that I wrote! Thanks, Dakotans! Check out their Songs We Love album at Bandcamp.
STUDIO ADVENTURES: I'm very pleased to have contributed accordion, harmonica, Wurlitzer electric piano, and pre-production consulting for the brand new album WILD ACRE by Trish Bruxvoort-Colligan. Preview Trish's beautiful new songs here:
The crowdfunding campaign for my new album LOOK UP has passed the 100% milestone!
Thanks so much to all of you who have pledged so far...my album will now be funded!
This is not the end, however! Pledges will still be received until early May, so you still have time to pre-order the album...you'll receive the download (and even the CD if you'd like!) next month, and your Summer 2014 road-trip soundtrack will be ready to rock. CLICK HERE to visit my PledgeMusic site, read about my album, watch the invitation video, and check out the options for pledging.
If you don't pre-order now, you'll have to wait until the public release of the album, which might not happen until August or LATER! Here's another great reason to pre-order the album now, before May:
PledgeMusic allows a portion of the proceeds of my crowdfunding campaign to go to a charity. I'm very pleased to be partnering with ELCA World Hunger for my LOOK UP album! Ten percent of all pledges from now on will go to this very worthwhile cause.
There are some very cool items still remaining for pledgers! For example, you may pledge $200 and receive my new album LOOK UP on CD, plus 20 more CDs spanning my entire career...the 20-CD completist brick! Surf over to my PledgeMusic site, check out the remaining exclusives, support indie music, and fight hunger.
These past few months have found me spending a lot of time in the studio! In addition to recording my new album, I've had the pleasure of playing sessions for other artists. Recently I played accordion for the new album by East Coast folk songwriter Robbie Schafer...and his album Ruby has now been released! Check it out on iTunes and listen for me playing on the lovely song "Hole In The Sky."
WINTERTIME MEDIA COVERAGE: I got interviewed in the Living Lutheran blog regarding my music and my support of the ELCA's World Hunger program. Also, I appeared as a guest on the Things That Matter podcast where I talked about this collaboration.
Big big big big news! I'm recording a new album entitled LOOK UP, and I'm using PledgeMusic.com as a platform for funding the project. CLICK HERE to visit my Pledge site!
Over the past year I've had a crowdfunding conversion experience. I've shared these thoughts on my BLOG.
Just announced! On SATURDAY, DECEMBER 28th, 2013 I'll be the opening act for THE BoDEANS here in Burnsville, MN! I'm super excited to play a show with one of my most formative bands, especially since the glorious Kenny Aronoff will be playing drums with them! I'd love to see you at the show…tickets are $40 and $45 reserved seating. Show information HERE.
I've been doing a ton of studio sessions this Fall, and it's been a great pleasure. There will be super-cool guest appearances unveiled in the new year, and here are some just-released projects that you can sample immediately! I played piano and vintage Stringvox keyboard on the Storm Home compilation of liturgical music, and I sang on Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan's new collection of Psalm settings.
(Hey, BTW, if you're working on a recording, you could possibly hire me to sing/play on your project! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your idea…)
Ten years ago I was wrapping up the tracking for what would become the Public Library album, produced by the brilliant Walter Salas Humara and featuring The Silos. In celebration of that musically momentous occasion, I'm releasing a deluxe digital edition of the album, available at my BandCamp page. In addition the original album's 11 songs, you'll receive 6 bonus tracks including the acoustic demo of "Librarian," an alternate take of "Second Language," and the shelved first version of "Smart Girls" (recorded in a key too low for me to sing)! Check out the audio streaming below...
Autumn, my favorite season! I've got some very unusual and cool musical appearances coming up:
On THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17th I've been invited to play my tune "Norman Borlaug Polka" at the World Food Prize Laureate Ceremony, held at the State Capitol Building in Des Moines, IA! I've recorded a brand new Acoustic Trio version of the tune....check it out, and download it for $1.
Those of you in Iowa can tune in live at 7PM and watch the ceremony live on Iowa Public Television!
Then, during the week following October 25th I'll be appearing on the National Public Radio program Mountain Stage! Click here to check your local NPR station for the show's airdate and time, and listen in! It was a thrill to share the bill with amazing artists like Jill Sobule and the BoDeans. Here's a video preview of "Libarian" from that episode of Mountain Stage, recorded live during the show's taping a few weeks ago: