Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Westward Ho!

Back on the road tomorrow. . . check out the tour page for details! 

Thursday, 29 May 2014


6 months. My bad. In the time since my last update here, Jess and I finished up our latest tour in Europe and the UK, flew back to the States, moved to Florida for a spell, performed some home renovations, nearly froze our a%$'s off in North Dakota, had BBQ in Kansas City, and are now getting ready to head out on a 3 week tour up the East coast of the US.

I will also mention that while in the Netherlands we turned our Fiat Panda back in to Hertz to avoid parking in Amsterdam(which is nearly impossible) and when we went to get it back they had rented it to someone else. So they gave us a BMW 325i instead. Then when we arrived back in the UK for the last run of shows, Hertz turned our Vauxhall Corsa into an Audi A4. These two events, as you may understand, have had a profound effect on my affection for our 1991 Toyota Previa since arriving back in the States.

 This next run of shows should be great for a few reasons.

1) There are some great venues lined up including the Fiddle & Bow Society with my friend Peyton Tochterman, the Rockwood Music Hall with the fabulous Kelley McRae and Matt Castelein, Burlap & Bean with the Alfred James Band and Boston's Club Passim.
2) I have a handful of new songs to work out that will be appearing on the record which will be recorded in August/September....more details to come soon!
3) For the first time in my life, I have a tan. You heard it right folks, thanks to sunny Florida this nearly opaque North Dakota boy finally found some skin tone. So, if for no other reason, you should try to make one of these shows while the stage lights don't reflect off  my chin causing the audience minor eye damage.

And last, but certainly not least, I'm wildly excited to be spending time back in Wisconsin this summer. There will surely be some time spent on the boat as well as some time on the stage. June 25th will find me at the Sh**ty Barn in Spring Green with the stupendous Peter Mulvey. August 23rd will be a Josh Harty Band show at the Orton Park Festival in Madison's Orton Park. Other Wisconsin shows can be found right here at www.joshharty.com

Alright, back to work. See ya'll soon!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

If not keeping up this blog were a sport, I'd win. I'd be like Tiger Woods. Clearly. In my defense I will say that we've been busy. Well, not exactly at the moment but very recently. In the last 2 months we've been to Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, England, Scotland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and currently France. To be more exact we're holed up in a rented apartment in Hagunau which is a small-ish town just north of Strasbourg. It's the most settled down we've been in a long time. It's nice. We can plan multiple meals and go to the market with that in mind. We can not watch a movie because we know we can watch in tomorrow if we like. If one chose to, one could walk around the place in ones boxers....if that happened to be ones thing.

 Good lord, there is so much to talk about but the post can only be so long. Let's talk about the recording in Brno. After some difficulty with a sound check one night a random stranger came up to help with the mix. In broken English he said he was a professional. His name was George, and he for sure knew what he was talking about. He said he could only stay a short bit but ended up staying for the whole show. Oh, did I mention the gig was at a place called 7 Cockroaches? Or, that's what it translated to. George stayed all night and asked me to come by his place in the morning to record some songs. I agreed even though I had no idea what I was getting into. What I was getting into was an amazing studio and a session with who I can only assume is one of the best sound engineers in Europe. Even though I had a terrible cold at the time the session turned out beautifully and I'll direct you towards that soon. Hell, maybe now.(For a few days only there are 3 songs on Reverb Nation from the Brno Session) 

Brno, CZ

recording at George's studio

Oh, the shows in Austria with Chuck Lemonds were brilliant. Chuck also has a new record out called "The Rivers Call" and it would behoove you to check it out. With any luck I'll be able to report back before to long to talk about more shows with Chuck and a couple mystery guests. Stay tuned.

performing with Chuck Lemonds

the view from Am Berner (a fantastic venue surrounded by vineyards)

 England once again was amazing. The Square & Compass, Maverick Festival and Israel Nash Gripka, Colin and the crew at Grateful Fred's, and of course Scotland!...just too many tales to tell. We'll cover them in the coming posts but for now I hope these photos will do. There was an all too short trip to Ireland for a return to Ballymore Acoutic at Mick Murphy's. Damn I love that place. A humongous thanks to Roy Thompson!

another great night at the Square & Compass, Dorset

ahh Scotland. . . so much spectacular scenery!

 Let's skip ahead to Chagny, France. I will try to thank Fabrice enough but it just won't be possible. A million thanks to him. He took a huge risk, having really no idea who I was and having virtually no history in France, to promote the show at the Theatre de Copiaus and well, I think it turned out fabulously. He convinced me to not use the PA that night. He said "people have been singing in this theatre for 150 years without a microphone. Why start now?" He was totally right. An amazing night. A sold out show, 4 encores! Pretty much a huge success. He also had another traveler staying with him at the time. Janosh....great fellow. He's in Italy now working on a farm. Hope to see him soon. Thanks again Fabrice!
during the last encore in Chagny
 I'm going to cap it at that for now. I promise, I'll cover the bases and give you a total recall of all pertinent events. Likely more than you're really interested in but I'm going to do it. Oh good God, did I mention how much cheese, procuitto, butter, salami, bacon, and more cheese I've had in the last week. Oh France, how I love thee....but I can only take so much. Alright, be good and God speed. Over and out.

 Joshua J. Harty

BTW- Check out ALL the photos from the past couple months on Flickr!

Monday, 11 November 2013

New Podcast Episode!

Well, apologies for not writing on the blog more. It's been a very busy month of driving up and down the entire length of the UK (twice, actually)! I promise to share some stories a bit later, but for now please enjoy this episode we recorded in Liverpool with our good friends Peter & Gabi of The Good Intentions. And check out more at www.TheGoodIntentions.co.uk! *PS- sorry for the less-than-stellar sound quality. . .recording in a living room is not the same as recording in a van

Monday, 16 September 2013

Jurastrasse and raining.

Good god, the rain just doesn't stop for some damn reason. I mean really, I brought a sweet new velour sport coat that I can't wear if this keeps up.

Alright, at the time of writing I'm listening to this Dire Straits show live from Basel in '92. Check it out.

Just having an afternoon off and getting ready to hop an overnight train to Graz, Austria.

The tour so far has been great with 8 shows in 7 days. Started here in Basel and included Bern, Zurich, St Gallen and a few other great stops. Roger Waters found it necessary to book a gig the same night as mine at Bar Rossi in Zurich...I'm sure he won't do that again. I can only assume my show cost him at least 20 tickets. Tony owns the Bar Rossi though he doesn't manage it. We caught him on a strange night where he was there tending bar. Tony is Italian and he whipped up some pasta before the show. It was the best tomato cream sauce I've ever had, hands down. Tony then stood by the stage for most of the set and then personally carried a tip hat around. Tony is awesome.
Basel. . . our home-away-from-home this week

In Balgach we were introduced to a traditional Swiss game consisting of a big log, a hammer, and some nails. Hammerschlagen. This game is much like your typical Wisconsin yard game as it's best played along with a few beers. You set your 3 1/2 inch nail and then take turns with the narrow edge of a hammer, with one swing each round. The first person with the nail driven all the way in wins. Sounds easy right? Try it.
tough critics. . . in St. Gallen

Rico in St. Gallen sporting his homemade "Josh Harty" t-shirt (check out Rico's awesome handmade bags at hungric.ch!)

In St. Gallen I saw the most amazing hamburgers I've ever witnessed. Double and triple decker locally sourced meaty madness with lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon and of course real Swiss cheese. And let me tell you, the finished product on a plate at the table...looks exactly like the menu. All this for a mere 32 Swiss Francs. That's $34.52. Fries are and extra 9 Francs. Want a Coke? That'll be 7 Francs.
Later on in St. Gallen at the big annual market I saw more cheese, cured meat, wine and beer vendors all giving out samples that I could have ever imagined. Not just your typical fare but really, really great stuff. Prosciutto, ham, Brie....oh my. I asked a vendor for a beer sample and he gave me a half pint. I asked for one cheese sample and the guy gave me ALL the cheese samples. Then there was the hot Brie wheel where the woman literally poured the cheese onto a slice of bread. wow.
And, oh yeah, the show was great.

Well, this one may have been a bit more of a food blog but I couldn't help it. Oh wait, also the tunnels in this country are amazing. They're everywhere. It's like an entire country's worth of Big Dig. Amazing really.

Alright, night train to Graz. Be good. Take care.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

In the beginning...There was a plane ride.

At moment I’m watching  How to Train Your Dragon, Breakfast At Tiffanys, Good Will Hunting and Star Trek all at the same time. There’s flight attendant bringing around water and another bringing around wine. I chose one of them. There’s a nearby line at the bathroom and the AC is on just a bit too much. It’s 10:30pm in my head and 4:30am where I’m about to end up.  It Delta flight 38 at 42,000 feet and I’ve 3 hours and 52 minutes until London.
                                              Stock Google photo for added perspective

I’m pretty sure I was a bit of a wreck the last few days…at least in my head. I felt I had too many loose ends to tie up, too many car reservations to make and the PIN number for my new bank card hadn’t come. Not to mention we’re on our way to Europe for 3 ½ months. Then in one fail swoop I figured out that the PIN number for the new card was the same as the old card and well hell, we’ve been on the road in the States for 9 months. Cake walk right! Did I mention that we’re sitting right by the bathroom and the line just never really goes away. Neither does the airplane bathroom fresh smell or the constant  swoosh just before the door lock slides to let you know the toilet is vacant again.
Oh that Audrey!
We’ll take a bus ride across London in a few hours and then there will undoubtedly be a controversy at the Easy Jet counter involving my guitar. It will likely involve numbers of bags and 20 kilograms will also come up. I fear it will be expensive and a primary reason why I’ll not visit that counter ever again.
                                            We’ll wish for the best.
In any case, we’ll then make our way to Basel, Switzerland to meet Kristina our Swiss agent. We’ll have a drink maybe, get the keys to her place and go there. Then, we will take a nap. 

Fast forward 31 hours. 

Holy hell that trip took damn near forever. I’ve now been up for 31 hours having spent just over 10 hours on an airplane, 8 hours in 3 various airports and about 3 hours in a car….most of which was spent driving aimlessly in circles looking for parking in Basel. 
                                                  You get the idea...

The first flight was fine as mentioned in the prior episode. Customs in London was a bit eerie because they expected me to be working there as the agent knew I’d done for the last couple of years. I assured him I’d be back in a few weeks and he smiled and said “see you then.”  Jess thought she’d get some snacks for the plane and picked up baby carrots and some H.M.D. To those of you who don’t know that would be Hummus of Mass Destruction. Who knew 5 ounces of unopened hummus was as dangerous to bring through security as a pipe bomb. Needless to say we lost the hummus.
Easy Jet was easy. They totally gave me one bag for free and let me walk my guitar up to the plane. They even carried it off themselves with someone’s own two hands. Then they let us walk out of the airplane and down the steps onto the runway just like the Beatles. Go Easy Jet!
Just like last year we ended up with a bigger diesel car due to a mix up. This year it’s a Peugot Megane 1.5 DCI. It has a Bluetooth Radio and navigation built in to the dash. Navigation was an extra charge on the first/wrong car. It reminded me of when Jess booked the hotel in Ireland on Hotels.com in front of the hotel, using their WiFi for less than they had quoted us at the desk.
Just now there was a German couple arguing on the street. I think a good heated argument, one which I'm not directly involved with, in a language I don’t understand is like a killer guitar solo. ….who needs to listen to the words.
Jess just made dinner. You know what’s awesome. Curry. It may be time for a nap soon.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Tuesday September 2nd. 6:01pm EST

in Brooklyn with Nathan. . . seems like an eternity ago

These days the miles seem to fly by as fast as the time and it's a chore sometimes to keep up. Your mind gets a bit crazy at times.

We just pulled into Atlanta and crossed the 26,000 domestic mile mark on the way(the last UK/Europe trip was an additional 7,000 miles). 10 1/2 months, 38 states, 6 countries, two traffic tickets, and and Lord knows how many bags of dry roasted peanuts. The food co-op in Boise is still awesome but the salt bar at the co-op in Mt. Vernon, Washington is amazing. I mean really, 20 different salts to choose from. The breakfast bar at the co-op in Putney, Vermont will always hold a close place to my heart but JD McCliment might be part of that scenario. JD is an incredible individual. The bookstore in Bushwick with the wine/beer bar and Tom Bianchi's open mic every Monday at the Lizard Lounge in Boston are both giants in their own right. Laurence Scudder, Jon Wigg, Trevor Krieger, Ariel Luckman....how can that many amazing fiddle players exist? Hummus, I love you. The taco truck in Storm Lake, Iowa is fabulous. Maybe not as great as the taco truck in Bushwick where the lady working hated me for not being able to read the menu but still pretty fantastic. Oh wait, that taco truck in Eugene, Oregon where we had a killer meal for $4! That may have been so great partly because we were flat broke but I think it was still pretty good. I can only assume that cop in Avondale Estates, Georgia is still an unhappy schmuck. Pueblo, Colorado is dismal. Poor Old Shine, you guys are great. That new Jason Isbell record is &*#%ing unreal. Really.

Arkansas and Pope made for one of the best weekends I can recall in recent memory.


with Ben Bedford in St. Louis
When we left Atlanta back in February Dan gave me a Dire Straits tape because we had a cassette player in the Previa and I'll be damned if I don't still listen to it at least 3 times a week. Sometimes more. A lot more. In fact, as I'm writing this I have a Mark Knopfler mix going on Youtube. Perhaps to enhance your reading pleasure you should do the same. When the solo at the end of Telegraph Road comes...turn it up.

 We've been all over the U.S. in the last 6 months and it's been great. Daunting at times and often a bit overwhelming but overall, it's been a great trip. Recently we were in Fayetteville, Arkansas for the Roots Festival. Oh, it was also 98 degrees with about 80% humidity. The first night at the Greenhouse Grill I met John Fullbright and his manager Greg who are both wonderful guys. The next day just before my set at the Walton Arts Center I met Jerry Douglas in the hallway! Luckily I had my Kenny Rogers t-shirt on so the ice breaking part went super well. Chris Plowman (and his lady Jennie. . .and their cat, Olive) met us for the festival and after we finished our shows we headed to his moms house out in the Ozarks for some down time. We had a few fires, built some saw horses, glazed the windows and I even got to climb a ladder about 30 feet in the air and sweep the chimney. Did I mention heights without any kind of guard rail scare the hell out of me?

 We also met Pope. Not the Pope.....Pope. Pope is the executive and founder of Windemere which is the homestead Chris's mom, Tina, lives on. Windemere doesn't allow bad shit. Bad vibes, toxins, GMO's, pesticides, TV, drugs or alcohol. We did get a waiver for the latter as it was an event with Chris coming home and his sister making a surprise visit. Pope even had a beer. Pope is an old soul, wise in the ways of wisdom, knowledge, and also in people. He taught me a lot in a really short time.
Jess & Jennie swimmin' in a river in Arkansas

 I need to be in Switzerland in a few days and I have a months worth of work to do before so I'd best get my nose on the grindstone. Be nice, practice being better, listen to more Mark Knopfler and take care


p.s. Omaha....you're growing on me. The last time I was in Omaha I was with Hayward Williams on a 3 band bill. David Rawlings and Gillian Welch were playing two blocks down so we all decided we'd each play two 30 minute sets as to each have an hour to go the David & Gillian show. There were 4 people at our show and one of them came to the stage during my set, took the microphone and started singing Toby Keith in the middle of one of my songs. This time was better.

p.p.s We went to Yellowstone National Park. Holy shit that was awesome.
Check out all the photos from the past year on Flickr!