As you can see on the tour-date sidebar, I'm doing my best to keep busy this week, with shows in Nashville, Carbondale, Madison, and finally, my old stomping grounds at the Old Town School in Chicago. Playing with me is a fearsome acoustic country combo: Ron Spears on mandolin and bass, Mike Bub on banjo and bass, Shad Cobb on fiddle, and Robbie Gjersoe on dobro and guitar. Everybody sings almost as well as Hylo Brown, too! If you saw me on my brief stint last year with an almost-identical line-up (this year a jerky thing called the Newport Jazz Festival took Jenny Scheinman from me, but otherwise it's the same people), you know I'm not kidding when I say this is a show well worth kenneling the dog and driving a distance to behold. And if you didn't see it then, step up now!
We were rehearsing last night, and one more thing I'll say is, Mr. Shad Cobb can really play the fiddle.
The picture from advance sales is entirely predictable. The Sugar Maple Festival in (rather, near) Madison will be a big gay time as always; the Old Town show is a short way from full (if you are planning to come to that one please do buy in advance); and teeny tiny Carbondale, where the sun always shines and no students fail, looks decidedly on the Calista Flockhart end of the scale, spectator-wise. It's never clear to me, when I put out word that one show is going to be crowded and another sparse, which show I am more effectively promoting. Is the average reader likelier to react, "I had better go jump on that mad teeming anthill," or "Time to do my duty as a caring human and go help out that pitiful entertainer scything his path through the vile heartland on to the grey cities of the north?" As Mr. Melvin Goins says, the question baffles science. But I think if you give a moment's thought to my true pitifulness, as those closest to me have done, the answer will shortly emerge. Excelsior, Carbondale!