A few months ago in Lexington Kentucky, spring was springing and the Wildcats were dribbling their way to the National Championship. Locked inside of a windowless building on the city’s east side though, we were oblivious. Matt and Greg and I were sleeping, cooking, and- most importantly- recording an album at 945 National Avenue. It was much like a firehouse, except without the public service or redeemable social value of any kind.
We eschewed the business-hours recording schedule that we kept on previous albums and instead worked through the night. There was always a hunk of Kroger-purchased meat in the crock pot covered in onions. We played hundreds of takes, cultivated an unexpected affinity for Gerry Rafferty, and ate meals that substantially shortened our lives. When we finally walked out the front door and our Vitamin-D deprived skin soaked in the foreign rays of sunlight, we had in our hip pockets a new full-length album.
Needless to say, we’re thrilled for you to hear it. And that should certainly happen, barring a bizarre turn of events, in the very early part of next year.
Until then, here’s some news from HQ, along with some music suggestions and upcoming tour dates. Scroll down to read…
Yours in music,
“Boys Can Never Tell” by J Roddy Walston & The Business: This is just an amazing song from the new album by these Baltimore road-warriors. When I first heard it, I think I just listened to it on repeat about a dozen times.
“Writing Down The Bones” by Natalie Goldberg: Normally I’d be reluctant to recommend an instructional book on writing. The fact is, I don’t read them often and those that I have read tend to veer into self-help and amateur psychoanalysis. This book though is regarded as a classic and I really enjoyed reading it.
“Dino” by Nick Tosches: You don’t have to know a thing about Dean Martin to appreciate this biography. As a matter of fact, you don’t even have to WANT to know a thing about him to love this book. It traces the remarkable journey from his immigrant father’s barbershop in Steubenville, Ohio to his booze and Percodan-addled revues in a Las Vegas that was itself just being born. Martin’s take on show business was crass: he thought anyone looking for beauty in acting or art in song was a hopeless chump. Whereas Sinatra would smart for weeks over a lukewarm review, ol’ Dino would just laugh all the way to the bank. Tosches’ writing is vivid enough to make even Martin’s lawsuits (and there were scores) seem riveting.
If you’ve ever clicked on our website’s “Tour” page before, you know that we do quite a bit of traveling. Many of the towns on our itinerary we’ve been playing for years and as such we’ve collected a slew of restaurant and bar recommendations from locals. Going forward in our newsletters, I’ll let you in on some of our favorite haunts across the country.
The inaugural establishment I’d recommend is in Milwaukee called Glorioso’s. This place really brings out the garlic-inhaling, olive oil-guzzling Italian in me. After all, my given surname ends in a vowel. Founded by two brothers in 1946, this place has a whole rainforest of Italian meats and cheeses. Back at the deli they’ll make you a capricola sandwich to order. But the true gem is the octopus salad they sell by the pound. We always hit Glorioso’s when we’re in town playing Shank Hall or Linneman’s, and we often even get there before soundcheck. It’s that good. Glorioso’s Offical Site
The Big Ask
We’re giving you a brief hiatus from asking you to buy anything, in anticipation of the merciless marketing onslaught we will unleash when the album is released. Enjoy this brief window of tranquility, and if you don’t already have it, grab the “In The Meantime EP for free here.
I’m honored to be a part of “Deadman’s Town: A Tribute to Born In the USA”, which will be released on September 16th. Click here to check out the track listing…there are some incredible artists involved.
The Milk Carton Kids were kind enough to invite me to be a part of their Newport Folk Festival aftershow. It was an incredible night all around, highlighted by a cover of Tom Petty’s “Time To Move On”. Someone captured a pretty good video of it… check it out here.
Texas legend Billy Joe Shaver has a new album and it’s great. Click here to check out his duet with Willie Nelson from the album.
Check out the full list of dates on the Tour page.