This tour felt by far, the most successful of all the tours I have done. It’s gratifying that with each tour I plan and execute, I learn another pile of lessons and can apply them to the next tour. After the first few, they just seem to smooth out a little bit. The shows are more fun, in bigger venues, with bigger audiences.
From the time I decided to do the new album and use Kickstarter as a vehicle to fund it, I have been heads down in the hustle. September was crowdfunding month. October was recording month. November and December were tour planning months. January and February were music video-making, California-touring, album finishing months. March and April were SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS I HAVE A NEW ALBUM COMING months. And as my good friend Jo Kroger put it as we prepared for our show in Cincinnati together, May served a little like a “victory lap” for the album. Like, hey. It’s out there! Let’s get together at (insert venue/city here) and celebrate the new music, hoorah!
It started with a big old bang in New York City at Rockwood Music Hall. This place is sort of my sanctuary in New York: it has nice people, beautiful music, and yummy beer. You can get good, new music every hour there, if you have all night. It was an honor to kick off the tour there, in their big room called Stage 2. Over 100 tickets sold, it was a really thrilling show. I had a full band helping me recreate the album’s sound that included piano, electric guitar, cello, and percussion. Kat Quinn and Jo Kroger joined and sang the parts they contributed to the record, and Spin came to life in an incredible way. Here is a video of one of the songs from that night, thanks to Gordon Nash:
The tour consisted of a lot of shows with a “hometown” feel. I played in Orlando on Mother’s Day. It was a room full of family and friends who felt like family. In Cleveland, folks came out even though it was Game 1 of the Eastern Conference NBA finals for the Cavs. As a kid raised by two die hard Clevelanders, I know that is big love. I met cousins, sisters, friends of people I know, who got e-mails and invites from their friends telling them to check out the show when I came through their city. That means so much. To all who shared the tour info with their friends in other cities, and to those friends and family who came out to the show, thank you so much.
There were new friends and new show experiences as well. If you are looking for a sweet, off-the-beaten-path place in Florida to vacation, I would HIGHly recommend High Springs. It is too cute, first of all. It’s a little town outside Gainesville in the central part of Florida. It’s close to a bunch of water springs where you can kayak and canoe. The town features a main street with cute shops and dining and culture. The show was at the High Springs Playhouse, which houses theater productions most of the time. Once a month, they host a show called Hearken Night of Music as a way to bring in new original music to High Springs. A local fellow named HR Gertner opened up the night. He had a compelling set of southern songs with the right amount of sass. Very Johnny Cash with a small dose of like…Taylor Swift in there or something. It was a memorable stop and I look forward to going back to High Springs again soon. A local B&B also very kindly sponsored my stay and had me in the most gorgeous room. If you go through High Springs for a vacation, definitely make the Grady House part of your stay. The food was delicious, and they had unlimited coffee and chocolate chip cookies waiting for you. Also, the room was decorated in pink and florals, so like. I think it was heaven. That’s definitely what my heaven looks like, anyway.
Every tour provides a chance to collaborate and be inspired by talented artists along the way. Jesse Montoya, Mere Woodard, HR Gertner and Nick Roberts in Florida. Mary Jennings, Jeremy Nash, Josh Dent and the Firebreath Records community in Nashville (check out the video of the show below). Christopher Black, Evan Storey, and Jo Kroger in Ohio. Lewis Knudsen, Holiday Mountain and Anna Soltys in Illinois. And then of course Bex Gaunt and her whole crew in Minnesota was the cherry on top of a successful tour.
Overall, I am crazy grateful. Tour is a special thing - it’s amazing to be able to connect with people in real quality time that I would otherwise not get to see, and that I get to call it my work is really something I don’t take for granted. Thank you to everyone who came or sent friends to the shows, who bought t-shirts and tote bags, and who have been rockin’ out to Spin and sharing it with your buddies. I am so thankful for you and your support. You have my heart, truly truly.
I’ve been getting a lot of “So, what’s next?” I really only have half an answer to that question right now. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and crying out to the universe to get the full answer. I guess that’s life, isn’t it? Here’s what I’ve got so far: In 2015, I have been on about 20 different plane rides. I have mostly stayed put in New York for the summer. NYC, in all its gritty glory, is the place I have found the most inspiration. I think it’s something about how it bumps me around. So I’ve been letting it bump me around this summer, soaking in some sunshine and some art and as a result, I have begun to write for the next album. YAY! I’m not done with Spin by any means, though. I have plans for a couple more music videos (subscribe to the YouTube page so you’ll see ‘em first). I’ll bring the album to Europe with a fall tour in Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. Then MORE touring. So much touring. :) Shoot me an e-mail and tell me where you are, and I will go there! Then next is another album. But in the midst of all this, I think I’m just going to stay open to opportunities because that mentality has led to the most rewarding adventures. How does that sound? :)
Thanks for reading and of course, for listening!