Here’s a taste of it, from NPR’s All Songs Considered. (We’re in good company, with Solange and Gillian Welch!)
Baby States is a trio I share with my very good friends Jeremy Gustin and Benjamin Lazar Davis. These guys are among the finest musicians I know.
It’s been a while now, since we commenced a collective obsession with old Appalachian fiddle tunes and murder ballads. It was more than a couple years ago that we began the process of re-imagining that material for our very non-traditional ensemble (at its core: drums/electric guitar/baritone saxophone). We recorded an album’s worth of that music maybe two or three years back, with Cedar Apffel.
Sideman obligations (all of us have been so busy, for which we are thankful!) kept delaying the release of that album. But, now, we’re finally letting it go into the world.
The Bluegrass Situation is posting a stream of the album right now!
We celebrate this release with a couple of shows: beginning at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA tomorrow night. Then we head to The Hoot, at Ashokan Reservoir in Olivebridge, NY for the weekend. And then we play a hometown show at the Manhattan Inn this Monday night, in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood.
In other, equally exciting news, I will be working with Pokey Lafarge & associates this October to record a new album. The songs, even in nascent (baby?) form, are good!
And, finally, I just spent a wonderful weekend with Mr. Andrew Dimola, of Montague, MA. In between hikes and creek swims, we began the process of editing and mixing and overdubbing-upon an collaborative album-in-the-works that features Trevor Dunn on bass and Jason Nazary on the drum set. It’s some tweaked-out music! Don’t know the music of Andrew Dimola? You should.
Eric Rosenbaum & I made something new. Head here: https://scratch.mit.edu/
Also I have news:
Kristin Andreassen is visiting the Northeast. Me & Jefferson Hamer & Steph Coleman accompany her on some shows this weekend, including a house concert in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook this coming Friday.
Cuddle Magic will be playing shows in the Northeast this March. Our NYC show will be with the Kneebody/Deadelus colalboration (“Kneedelus“) at Le Poison Rouge on Mar. 13 — don’t wait to long to get tickets! More shows are up at www.cuddle-magic.com, and more will be added!
Everyone should enjoy the experience of improvising with a computer.
Here’s a song, written last year, recently recorded. Benjamin Lazar Davis can be heard on the bass and Dave Flaherty on the drums.
You’ll hear this song played live, plus a new one about the little town of Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, if you come to the Silent Barn (603 Bushwick Ave, Brooklyn) at around 9pm this coming Monday, June 22.
You’ll hear lots of other songs played live, including a couple that I wrote, if you are able to catch Cuddle Magic in DC, Brooklyn, or Philadelphia, later next week, opening for our friends Rubblebucket.
Details for those shows, as per usual, may be found at www.cuddle-magic.com
I’m excited to announce that I will be playing the middle set for Dennis Brennan’s residency this coming Wednesday, May 13, at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA.
What does that mean?
It means that between two sets of immediately-felt rock and roll from that almost-famed, left-handed-guitar-strumming, musical Godfather of Massachusetts (and his always engaged associates — most likely Duke Levine! and Kevin Barry! and Billy Beard! and Richard Gates!) …
I will provide intermission entertainment – singing labyrinth rhyming couplets (and quatrains) about online dating and the Third Reich and fine haircuts and love-never-gained-in-the-first-place, as I contrapuntally accompany myself on the distorted nylon string guitar gifted to me by my wonderful mother (happy Mother’s day to her!)
(Scroll down for a sample song.)
And, before I make the trip to Boston, I will be spending three days (wonderful days!) out of the range of the internet, deep in the wilds of Maine, hard at work on the next Dietrich Strauss record along with Mr. Zachariah Hickman, Mr. Sam Kassirer, and Herr Strauss, himself.
I almost forgot about it …
But I’m up there, sharing sounds with the world.
And, I just added this song the other day:
I hope you will listen and comment and share, as is the custom on that online audio distribution platform!
Much thanks to Converse Rubber Tracks for providing time & space & gear & assistance that helped me to get this little bit of work done.
Nashville, a city of vocational 9-5 musicians with yards and kids and dogs and wood-paneled home studios and hot tubs in the backyard, holds a special place in my heart. And though my affection was tested severely on a trip there this past week (because the 5 Spot had apparently suspended their Wednesday-night old-time session two years ago — and where else can one go to drink cheap beer and play tunes with Buddy Spicher?) I do still love that city.
And so I thank Kristin Andreassen, who brought me and Jefferson Hamer and Rosie Newton on a trip around the not-too-South East to play a slew of radio (or internet-radio, or whatever) dates. And I thank the folks at Music City Roots, who had these very nice words to say about me and my unusual-for-Music-City choice of instruments.
Kristin’s album is coming out on Feb. 17. We will playing some shows to celebrate that occasion at the beginning of March. I’ll be at the one in NYC and the one in Boston.
And, also at the beginning of March, I’ll be playing three big and glorious shows with Cuddle Magic, at which we’ll be joining Lady Lamb The Beekeeper as she celebrates, in turn, the release of her new album.
Please come to any and all of these shows!