It’s our 8th year doing the Harmonica Hoedown in Chicago, a tribute to our beloved instrument. This year features special guest, the incredible Peter Madcat Ruth. As always, harmonica pioneer Joe Filisko, the realest of the real dealers on blues, Cajun and many other styles, is part of it.
Graham Nelson and I will co-host, perform some duets and for my own set I’m focusing on accompanying singer-songwriters I love working with – more on that later!
It all goes down at Martyrs’ in Chicago, 7pm on Tues. 3/13. See you there!
Turnspit is my new favorite rock band. They’re a high-energy, tight ensemble that can turn on a dime, sing meaningful lyrics, and even have the good taste to add harmonica on a tune when it calls for it! I’m on their new single “Lamplighters.”
Sound designer and composer Joe Cerqua did a brilliant job of writing music with layers of harmonica (surprisingly, he’s NOT a harp player!) It’s the second Steinbeck theatrical piece I’ve contributed music to. The show runs starting 1/19 at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.
A new solo ep-length collection of 6 original pieces. All were recorded on various diatonic harmonicas/bass harmonica.
Thanks to all who attended the August residency at the Hideout. As H/O owner/manager Tim Tutten and I were talking about before the first performance, the series is to allow Hideout regulars (such as myself) who might have played the club before as a sideman but want to try out some news ideas. And, there were many ideas…solo looping on original pieces, new arrangements of pieces by great artists I admire, performances with projected images, plus working with dynamic duet partners like Yuri Lane (the Human Beatbox), the wonderful, soulful Weldon Anderson whose support and friendship helped me shape each evening. Not to mention old friends like Joe Filisko, Graham Nelson and the BlackWilloughbys. Thanks to all who accompanied on stage and in the audience!
Thanks to the Chicago Reader for this nice bit of ink!
A collection of recordings from the last 2-3 years: at the Grand Ole Opry with Whisperin’ Bill Anderson, Americana group the BlackWilloughbys, along with some solo pieces.
Composer Ricky Ian Gordon‘s score of the opera version of the Steinbeck classic “The Grapes of Wrath” includes harmonica and bass harmonica. I’ll be performing in February/March at Northwestern University. Find out more here.
I had the pleasure of first meeting Whisperin’ Bill Anderson in 2003 when I road-tripped down to Nashville to see the Grand Ole Opry with my friend and radio news mentor Dick Sutliff. Bill not only is one of the finest songwriters in country or any popular musical genre, he’s a great guy who really cares about his fans.
I was honored he asked me to sit in at the Opry. I was an experience that’s hard to describe without sounding like I’m resorting to a cliche: a true piece of Americana…a tremendous honor…the Mother church of Country Music…humbling…thrilling. The thing about something as institutional and legendary about the Opry is that it’s so institutional and legendary that it’s the reason we have cliches! To sum it up, it was all that and more (see what I mean about cliches?)
I first saw Dave Alvin perform in the mid-90s and found deep inspiration in his writing and playing. At least once a year I would see him perform live and the inspiration would be rejuvenated. When I got the call to play this particular gig I was surprised and thrilled. It was a real honor to be on stage with him and the wonderful Christy McWilson for City Winery Chicago’s musical opening night, not to mention being there with the incredible Robbie Fulks and Rob Gjersoe. The Chicago Tribune published a review of the show.