Thursday, 6 December 2012

Sunny with a chance of Snopocalypse

In Utrecht, Holland and it is supposed to snow...a lot. Well, not a lot in Wisconsin or North Dakota terms but in Dutch terms the apocalypse is nigh. 6-10 inches of the fluffy, white, end of transportation as we know it, reason to get to the grocery and stock up on everything ...snow. Holland does have it's hands full holding back the sea so I'm certainly not going to give the Dutch government any grief, whatsoever, with their handling of the uncommon inundation of snow. I will say, however, that this little snow storm could very well put a little crimp in my style/schedule over the next few days. 

We have a show tomorrow night at the University in Eindhoven, which is just a quick 45 minute train ride to the south...usually. If the weather comes as it may, it could cause a bit of trouble. Much like I don't like to take my imaginary Porsche out in the imaginary snow, the Dutch train authority doesn't much like to take it's very real trains out in the very real snow. This could make for a very long walk with a guitar in tow, or an uncomfortable and tense wee waiting period waiting for the trains to run...if they run. Or, it may be just a pleasant little dusting over night and all will be honey and ginger come morning. All Christmas like!

Speaking of trains, we took the Eurostar from London through France and Belgium yesterday, and after 7 hours on the rail.....Voila! Utrecht. Though before that was a show in Birmingham with Amit Dattani at the 6/8 Cafe. Amit's a super nice fella and a killer guitar player whom you should check out. You may also try to catch his show and look forward to the story about the cake. This show came about through Couch Surfing and an invitation from our friend Vangelis- it was pretty awesome. If you're planning a bit of travel and are looking for a cooler way to find your way around an unknown

We then went back to Leicester to hook up with our great friend Mick Smith. We rehearsed a few songs and headed down to John Montauge's club for a great night of music. (By the way, John's club would be in the Top 5 folk clubs in England). There were at least a dozen players, Mick's bluegrass band, Phantom Horse, John Montauge, Bob Cheevers, and the duo known as Mick Smith & Josh Harty. Turns out it was Mick's birthday=awesome night. 
The following night I played a set at the Acoustic Knights Club in Sutton Cheney. A great little place out in the English countryside and would certainly be on the list of places to visit when you come to the UK. 
the band joined in for a couple songs at the Acoustic Knights club
Alright,  here come the clouds. I'm going to do my best Captain Dan....

Monday, 3 December 2012

Last Night. Talking 'bout Last Night.

Before we begin, may I suggest we all put a Traveling Wilburys record on and raise the volume to a reasonable level? Cool, thanks.

We're on a train to Birmingham. It was a late night. I, I did loose my patience with the guy at the ticket counter. I think I may be taking a moment to reflect.

The tour, thus far, has been great. We've met an amazing number of people, played some of the best places I could imagine, and reconnected with some wonderful friends. Two nights ago I ate a chip butty. Imagine two slices of white wonder bread surrounding chips(fries), relish, white cheddar, ketchup, and a bit of mayo. Can you imagine the shear bliss of eating such a thing? Just this morning I had a bacon sandwich....yes, a bacon sandwich complete with a touch of brown sauce. Three nights ago we cooked, and indulged in fish pie. Yesterday, while ordering a drink at the Master Builders Pub in Bucklers Hard(yes, the town is called Bucklers Hard) I noticed a look of "what the hell" on Jess's face only to look up and see the owner of the Square and Compass, Charlie, standing in front of me. We spent 4 nights staying with Suzy in West Sussex where I pretended to be 19 again in the company of Will and Alex. We traveled and dined in the New Forest In Suzie's VDub. Last night I had a real American Hot Dog....from a can. Oh, did I mention that all of these previously mentioned happenings took place in the presence of a fire?
the best "tour bus" in the world. . . Suzy's VDub
hot dogs and bonfires in Dorset

 Now, we're on a train traveling across the English countryside, the sky is amazing and we're continually passing by such an incredible amount of history in the form of castles, bridges, farms and country I struggle to define it properly with words. I am also reminded that we've visited more of England than a majority of the people on this train. Then as I think of how tired I am, how weary I can't help but feel at the moment I think I understand why the most folks here take the time to not constantly move around. To keep calm and carry on. I'm a bit jealous.

Tonight, in just a few hours, the cycle continues. I think I understand what Paul Simon was talking about. In fact, I think I might play that song tonight. Though I am tired, I'm honored to have a job which allows be enjoy being tired. I'm also grateful to have and a partner/co-worker/companion/.....

Alright, it's just about time to mind the gap. Turn it up when it gets to track #4.


Thursday, 22 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's definitely not the same spending an American holiday in Ireland, but I can't complain. We're in Monaghan tonight, near the border with Northern Ireland, at a very cool pub called McKenna's. The last few days have been full of spectacular scenery, unusual weather and some of the nicest people in the world. Jess was so inspired, that she wrote about it on her blog, Wanderlost.  I thought it was pretty awesome, so I'm re-posting it. Enjoy!

Giving Thanks
Thanksgiving 2012. . . sitting in a pub in Monaghan, Ireland.  Josh and I just had a Thanksgiving "feast" of cheap, mediocre Chinese food in the empty restaurant next door. I couldn't be more thankful.
We're already nearly 6 weeks into our 9 week European tour, which is just the beginning of a year-long mega tour. I have been meaning to write for all of this time, but just haven't found the time/ energy/ inspiration/ wi-fi connection. Until now.
We've been having a fantastic time- after a month in England we're now into our second week in Ireland. Throughout our travels and Josh's gigs we've met dozens of truly wonderful people. No one in either of these countries has made us feel like an outsider. However, it can be really exhausting, mentally and physically, traveling nearly every day, sleeping in other peoples' houses (sometimes strangers) or dusty hotel rooms. And since Josh has a show almost every night, the late-night pub culture is especially tiring. I certainly can't complain, though, because I don't have to entertain people night after night like he does (I also don't do any of the driving. . .).
I had been feeling really fatigued the last week or so, like all of this traveling and socializing and late-night partying was starting to catch up to me all at once. But yesterday, in the remote west coast town of Clifden, was a turning point. Two extraordinary events caused me to reflect on why I chose to go along with this year of touring (besides doing it for Josh's career), and why I am so grateful to be where I am.
After checking in to the Abbeyglen hotel, a converted castle-come-hotel that we got a really, really good off-season deal on, Josh and I went into the lobby for tea and a warm fire. Within a few minutes of sitting down, we were joined by a much older gentleman who was having tea and asked if he could join us. His name is Tom Conelly and he has lived in Clifden his whole life, though he's traveled all over the world. He told us that for 5 or 6 decades he has helped tourists who come to Ireland find their Irish ancestors and sometimes living relatives. Five years ago, he and his wife took a trip to Wisconsin where Tom's aunt had immigrated a century ago. They were greeted by something like 150 distant relatives, who all wanted to meet their Irish family. This was the last big trip Tom took. His wife died a couple years later, and since then he says he can't bring himself to leave Clifden. He tried to describe why traveling by himself just isn't possible. . . the most touching thing he said was that if he went somewhere and his collar was messed up, there would be no one there to fix it. I think traveling was probably something that he and his wife had always enjoyed doing together, and it just seemed wrong and pointless for him to travel without her. This made me tear up, of course, and also reminded me of how lucky I am to get to travel all over the world with Josh. We've had so many adventures over the years that now on the rare occasion that I go on a trip without him, it feels terribly wrong. This is why, when months ago he brought up the idea of giving up our apartment and touring for a year, I didn't hesitate. Home isn't necessarily where you keep your things, after all.
So after this interesting tea-time conversation, we said our goodbyes to Tom, who had just remembered that he was supposed to be at a funeral. Besides, we had to get to dinner and then to Josh's gig at the Boathouse Club. This unique venue was kind of out of the way- down a tiny country road (which we drove in complete darkness), on the water. However, there was a good crowd of about 25-30 people who were really excited for the first ever music performance at the Boathouse. About 10 minutes into the show, a sudden lightning storm started up. It was a beautiful, dramatic backdrop to Josh's performance, and probably rivaled him for people's attention. Then Josh took a set brake, during which there was a loud crack and all the lights went out! Luckily, there were already candles on most of the tables, and the room was so small that Josh didn't really need a PA system. So we  decided that the show would go on. . . unplugged. Peter, the bartender, and Simon, the manager, hurriedly put out more candles and everyone huddled around the small fireplace in the corner of the pub. The show was already going well, but this new intimate setting made it great. Suddenly, there was a real sense of community- all of us coming together, against the elements, for the love of music. This is the second reason I am on this journey with Josh. Despite the fact that there have been days where I just want to put on pj's, crawl into my own bed and not talk to anyone, there are also days like this where unexpected things happen and I end up in a beautiful place with wonderful people and a real sense of belonging, thousands of miles from home.


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

8 Days a Week

Monday, November 19th 2013, 6:51p.m Garrykennedy, Portroe  Nenagh, Co. Tipperary Ireland

Today was the first day off in 8 days and I've welcomed it with open arms. What did we do on a day off you ask? Well I'm glad to tell you.....we did this.
                                the new Irish tour vessel...

And it was cool enough to warrant more pictures.
                                the co-pilot

How did we do this you ask? Well, I've spent the last few days playing shows with Ted O'Connor whom I met last year at Larkins and we were able to put a few dates together for the tour this year. And, it just so happens that Ted is a pilot and also happens to own a Bell 407(a 7 passenger commercial helicopter). I'm thinking this will be transport for the next tour here in Ireland.

So this last run started in Dublin where I was able to finally get the guitar sorted out with the help of an emergency shipment of Waverly machine heads(tuners) from the States via some top level management from Josh Harty Inc. We then headed out with the whole company team via Qashqai to Ballymore Eustace for an evening of music at Mick Murphy's Stage Inn. Thanks Roy Thompson for a great night! Thanks to the Ballymore Inn for the chowder.

We then headed south to County Wexford, Wexford Town and the Sky & the Ground for the Candlelight Sessions. From the moment I walked into the place I knew it was going to be fantastic. The place looked amazing, the staff was amazing, and Ha Ha Tonka had been there the previous week. I also grasped the opportunity to teach them the gospel according to the Weary Traveler Freehouse.

We then drove from the southeast of Ireland to the more northwest of Ireland and found ourselves in Galway for a house concert with our great friend Brid. Next day we motored to Camus which is in Connemara and also one of the coolest landscapes I've ever seen. Bogs, rock, and peat moss....gorgeous.  Connemara is perhaps the most Irish speaking regions in Ireland and you know it as soon as you get there. The cadence of the language is incredibly smooth and hovers beautifully in a room. The show was followed by a traditional Irish session and it turned out nearly everyone who came to the show was a musician. Awesome. 

This brings us to Tipperary, the McGraths(our incredible hosts who are amazing and welcome us kindly via Mr. Tim Quigley), more wonderful shows, Ted O'Connor and the helicopter, chopper, or Huey....whichever you prefer. 

Until then......

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Cathedrals, Craigs, and Castles....Oh My.

 Wow. Scotland. Forgive my language, but…damn. Scotland. We’ll back up a bit though to Liverpool.
In the last episode of "Wiskota Comes To The UK" we left you at Peter and Gabi's just before the show. Well, that was an incredible evening of music with the Good Intentions whom you can check out by clicking here. No wait, here. The next day we went to the Liverpool Cathedral-The total external length of the building, including the Lady Chapel, is 189 metres (620 ft) making it the second longest cathedral in the world; its internal length is 146 metres (479 ft). In terms of overall volume, Liverpool Cathedral ranks as the fifth-largest cathedral in the world[1] and contests the title of largest Anglican church building alongside the incomplete Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City.[2] With a height of 100.8 metres (331 ft) it is also one of the world's tallest non-spired church buildings and the third-tallest structure in the city of Liverpool  Where would we be without Wikepedia?!  We also went to the Philaharmonic which is a great pub in Liverpool that boasts marble facilities. Pretty awesome.
even from afar, it barely fits in the viewfinder. . .

October 28th found us at the Greystones in Sheffield with the lovely Daughter of Frank (and man can she sing) and Socrates Johnson. Nice show and thanks to Craig and Wagon Wheel Media for bringing us back again. Oh, and should you find yourself in Sheffield be prepared for an plethora of Chinese restaurants and trams.

York is a great city it was nice to be there in a working capacity this time. We got to the Fulford Arms a bit early and planned to go somewhere to eat before the show....before we knew that they cooked up some of the best locally sourced home cooked food you can find in Yorkshire. We also had the privilege of meeting/hearing Dave Keegan who was also playing that night. Do yourself a favor and look him up. Or heck,  just click here and take a listen.
the best pub food ever at the Fulford Arms
after-show jam with Dave & friends

Last year the Barrels Ale House in Berwick-upon-Tweed  led me to playing a 1936 Gibson Advanced Jumbo which had just been played Mark Knopfler. And I am pleased to announce that the same thing happened again this year. We had a great show and afterwards went over to Dave's house and the whole thing played out pretty much the same as the last time....the pool room, music, guitars, Laphroaig and good times.
back at Dave's in Berwick

Ashington Folk Club in Ashington was super great and we can't wait to go back.

This brings us to Arbroath Scotland, Hospitalfield(it's pretty much a big deal) and Andy Spiller. Three parts of awesome to create one big awesome. Andy sorted the show and also opened the night with a killer set. There was a great crowd, the sound was awesome(thanks Andy & Gary), and it ended as the best show on the tour thus far.

Last night at Douglas Robertson's was also fantastic even though it was the second time in nearly 12 years that I didn't play my guitar. The first time was at the Shitty Barn a few years back when I met Brian and played one of his Yarhara guitars because it was awesome. This time didn't work out quite the same. First off, I'd replaced the machine heads on my guitar just before I left for the UK and was talked out of getting the expensive ones. That won't happen again. Just before the show I was changing strings and one of the machine heads imploded turning my guitar in a 5 string. Luckily, Douglas made a phone call and twenty minutes later a friend of his showed up with a Huss and Dalton guitar.  Great guitar but there was a bit of trouble in the first set getting the guitar to work with the sound system. Once that issue was sorted out the show was awesome.
sunset hike up the craigs in Edinburgh

 We're staying in Edinburgh for an extra night so I can visit the guitar doctor in the morning and hanging out at Douglas's house.  I think he's cooking.

take care, talk soon.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Highway Liverpool Revisited

Welcome to Melbreck Road in South Liverpool. It's Friday morning at Peter and Gabi's house, there's a train occasionally rolling through not far away, and I'm going to pause to go put some coffee on. Be right back.

If I remember correctly I left last time just a bit late to get to the Amberley Folk Club in Sussex. Well, the show was great and I was joined for a few tunes by Sussex fiddle guru Jonny Wigg. It's quite likely Jonny and I will be playing some tunes together again soon and I'm pretty....amped(as the kids say) about the idea. Sussex was also a reunion for us with Suzie who is a great friend we met last year who also has an awesome VW van.

October 18, Brighton, awesome. We had a show at a venue called the Basement which is aptly named as it is in the basement of a building next to some amazing graffiti of James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and Joe Cocker. I opened up for Sam Baker and Carrie Elkin and had a brilliant time. Not going to lie, I'm totally OK with the opener playing an encore.

Song From The Shed. So what would you say if I told you I played in a garden shed along side garden tools in a guy's back yard? Then what would you say if I told you Alabama 3, Fairport Convention, Deer Tick, Richard Shindell, and Charlie Parr(just to name a few) had also done the same thing? Songs From The Shed is what happens when a few friends are out at the pub talking music and one friend says to another friend jokingly, "hey, you should record a guitar player friend of mine in your shed." The friend takes him seriously and does it, has a few more people play in the shed, then a local journalist writes about it, the BBC does a feature on it, then the New York Times writes about it and the next thing you know....whoa.....1.3 million views on Youtube.  You need to check this out.
not bad for a garden shed

Would you like to know what happens when you have a night off and find a random pub/B & B with a live band in the back room? Otis Mack and the Tubby Bluesters happens. I suggest preparing yourself however you need and watching some of these videos. The recording of Hush is epic. Just stroll through the website and enjoy.

Typically to get from Bath to north London you'd spend maybe an hour and 15 minutes. Unless of course your electronic navigation lady sends you through central London at 3 in the afternoon. This little maneuver then allows you to spend 2 hours to go 8 miles.  My patience lets just say was tested and I'm sure many of the CCTV cameras in London caught images of my reaction to this little detour. It was all worth it, however, to see one of the coolest people in all of London, Barry Marshall-Everitt at the House of Mercy.
  "the Snake Pit"

Last thing: BBC Merceyside in Liverpool!!!!! This station is the biggest of the BBC radio stations as you may know a few bands have come out of Liverpool. Here is a link where you can listen to the interview with Freddie Connor (it's only up for one week though!).
 where the magic happens. . . 

 Alright. Tonight with the Good Intentions in Liverpool!
take care

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

UK. Week #1.

Hello Folks,
Welcome to Arundel, West Sussex, United Kingdom where it's currently 61 degrees with a 17mph SW wind and 78% humidity....all in all, not too shabby. Arundel is located in the South of England 49 miles southwest of London and just 18 miles to the west of Brighton. Arundel is home to Arundel Castle which is which is the Seat of the Dukes of Norfolk. I digress.....
 We arrived in the UK 7 days ago on a pretty uneventful Delta flight #38 with only a two day touch of jet lag. After the usual 2 1/2 hour Tube ride we were in Walthamstow at our good friends Alex and Vanessa's who have now begun to refer the October as Josh and Jess season

The first show of the tour was in Camden at the Green Note, a great acoustic spot right in the heart of the borough. The Green Note was recommended to us by our good fried Rod Picott whom we met in Sheffield last year. The show went great and it was also an opening slot for Eric Taylor! You may recognize his name as being the fellow who penned a tune called If I Had A Boat for Lyle Lovett and well as countless others for several other musicians.

Next came a day off in London, a fair amount of walking(a lot), the British Museum, double decker buses, and the new rental car. We did turn the car back in though as it really wasn't economical at all...and it was orange!
                  I couldn't get my guitar in the "boot" of the Mclaren

Day 3 we picked up the next rental car. We had reserved a Vauxhall, which is much like the Panda we had last year. Refer to previous posts for photos and further information. Dollar Thrifty had mistakenly given our car to someone else so we were forced to take an upgrade at no extra charge. Ladies and Gentlemen, the 2012 tour machine....The Silver Bullet.  This thing has leather interior, something like a 29 speaker stereo, 6 speed transmission, and a big ol diesel engine that still manages about 55 MPG...and it's hard to drive slow. Apparently this is what all the starving musicians are driving these days.
     The Silver Bullet

We then flew the Silver Bullet to Worth Matravers in Dorset for another visit to the Square and Compass, exactly 363 days after our first. The Square and Compass is one of the best places on the planet complete with lodging, housemade cider (3 varieties), endless miles of hiking, and a fossil museum...and it's a great place to play. And we were able to hook up with David, Nicola, Bev, and Beck! Again, refer to previous tour posts for more information. Thanks so much to Kevin, Jean, Charlie and Kath for a wonderful time!
    Best audience ever!
    They weren't bad either.

Oh goodness, I forgot the Railway Hotel and Freehouse! So the night before the Square and Compass it was cold and rainy so we decided an inn above a pub with a fireplace was what we needed. We decided for no particular reason to pull off the motorway at Ringwood and pulled up to the very first of such looking places we came across. The bartender/innkeeper showed us one of two rooms upstairs which we took and then proceeded downstairs for a bite. We started chatting with Tricia and Keith, the proprietors,  and a  few others. Eventually, the music subject came up and the next thing I knew the guitar was out for an impromptu show. This led to our only night off this week (Friday) getting booked. So we'll be returning to Ringwood in a couple days. Not that I'm complaining. . .
                                                   Didn't have time to fix my hair.

That brings us to last night and the Amberley Folk Club but that's going to have to be included in the next post.....I'm late.
take care and thanks for checking in the tour!


Monday, 8 October 2012

So yea, this week happened....

Well hello everyone,
It's Monday, October 8th, approximately 1:54pm with 26 hours and 6 minutes until departure to London Heathrow via Hartsfield Jackson (ATL). Typically getting ready to head out on tour isn't a big deal at all, unless you're getting ready to be out for a little over 9 weeks....and then another 9 months. Biggest issue today is packing the smallest piece of luggage and to put a strap on the guitar case as to accommodate carrying a cup of coffee in the airport and through the Tube in London on Wednesday. For those of you having to face such stuggles I suggest looking into for a fashionable fix to some of lifes little curve balls.

On the easier side of things we received some great news today in the form of an invitation to perform on BBC Radio Merseyside in Liverpool October 25th!! We've also nearly confirmed a new show on the Cumbria Coast which will be either November 4th or November 7th so I'll keep you updated as any news comes in. There is also some exciting news coming in from Ireland which I'll have to hold onto for just a bit but.....stayed tuned.

Another reminder that the best way to keep up with the tour is, of course, these wee little emails, the blog at, and the best of them all is the Josh Harty Road Club. Just click on Membership at and all the details will be at your fingertips.

In other news I spent a reasonable amount of time this past week working on the Previa (extreme tour vessel) and with a little less work than I had anticipated she's up and ready to go. We have two months to decide on a name with which to christen her so suggestions are welcome.

 after. . .

In other, other news prior to reviving the Previa Blake Thomas and I ....after years of threatening, recorded a duo record in an undisclosed attic in the Minneapolis greater metropolitan area. 7 hours, 10 songs, some first take keepers and bam...done.  I will also mention that engineering the record was none other than Mr. Jeremiah Nelson.

Oh wait, then we went to South Dakota and my sister and Dave had themselves a wedding....
I'm tired.
That's all for now. I'll keep in touch and you do the same....find me on the Facebook.
take care

Friday, 7 September 2012

Join the Club

Hey everyone,
I'm thinking about how fast the summer has flown by now that we're less than a month from leaving for the UK tour. As many of you know we've started the Josh Harty Road Club where you can join the tour for the UK/European leg as well as the following year in the States. Just head to the Membership Page and check out the subscription levels and all the benefits that go along with them.
Also, if you're planning on coming to the Farewell for Awhile Show at the High Noon Saloon in Madison, WI next Wednesday, September 12 you should know that membership has its perks....FREE TICKETS at level two in the Road Club.

Alright, there you have it for now and I'll check back in with you soon.
take care

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Homeless. . . by choice.

It's official. We have recently moved out of our apartment and will be hitting the road in a few short weeks!  In October and November we’ll be heading to Europe for our second overseas tour. Check out the tour schedule on the website and please relay the info to all your European friends/family/ancestors. When we return from Europe in December we’ll move into a refurbished Previa van and start our year-long tour of the US.
Starting in the Southeast, we are planning to spend approximately 2 months in and around several major cities, including Atlanta, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Austin and Seattle. The idea is to get to know the music scene in each region of the country, while playing at as many venues as possible and meeting as many musicians and music-lovers as we can.
Here’s where you come in. We hope to see all of your smiling faces on this trip, but before we even set out we must plan financially and logistically. How can you get involved? Well I’m glad you asked. Here are a few options:
1.     Donate.  Any amount is helpful. Just click the paypal "donate" button

2.     Stay in touch.  During our travels, we’ll be keeping extensive blog postings, videos, photo journals, etc. Some of it will be available to everyone via Facebook and the website ( But if you want the real behind-the-scenes look at life on the road (if you’ve ever wanted to be a roadie for your favorite band and have all the best stories to tell friends at the next cookout) consider membership in the new “Josh Harty Sub-Continental Road Club” at one of these levels:
a.     $15/month (or save 10% & get 6 months for $81):
-Free hand printed poster when you sign up(while supplies last)
-Weekly email with videos, photos and updates
-Access to our Podcast featuring stories from the road, live songs
            and more!
b.     $20/month (or save 15% & get 6 months for $102):
-EVERYTHING from the previous level plus
-Monthly digital mixed tapes featuring music from our friends and    favorites
-2 free tickets to any show around the country
c.      $25/month (or save 20% & get 6 months for $120):
-EVERYTHING from the previous 2 levels plus
-Free t-shirt when you sign up
-Bi-weekly postcards from the road
d.     Name Your Own Price:
-We’re open to suggestions!
 (check out the Membership page to sign up!)
3.     Host a house concert. In the last year, these have become our favorite types of show to play because they’re intimate, always fun and we get to meet new people. So if you have at least 15-20 friends who like music, and a space big enough to accommodate them, we can put on a great show and make you the coolest kid on the block! Not sure you’re house concert material? Trust me, it’s easier than you think. Basically a pot-luck party with music. If you’re curious, here’s a great resource on house concert basics:
4.     Host a couple of professional road-weary travelers. That’s us! We’ll be looking for places to stay all over the country.  So if you have an extra bed, couch, beach house, loft apartment in Manhattan. . . we’d love to stay for as long as you’ll have us. And in exchange we’ll cook for you!
Hope to see you on the road!
take care,

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Careful...we've been thinking, again.

Welcome back to Madison for a Friday night with no show or rehearsal and not too much planned. That would be not too much planned in the short term...very short term. I say this because we spent a great deal of time this week planning out the next 12-14 months. It looks as though this may be one of the last times until my late thirties that I'll have the opportunity to sit and wonder "what will I be doing tonight". In fact, in no way should I be sitting here wondering what I'll be doing tonight. On page 2, paragraph 3, line 6 of our manifesto to conquer the hearts and ears of music fans across the globe it states exactly what I should be doing on the evening of June 22, 2012. However, in the line 5 of said page it also states that I should write a blog entry and update the website and like Meatloaf so wisely once said..."Two Out of Three Ain't Bad".

This will be where I let you all in on a few parts of the scheme, or plan, as it will now be referred. As many of you know we've been traveling a great deal the last couple years. We've been across the USA countless times... mostly in the winter time with blizzards and sub zero temperatures, or the summer time with monsoon like rains, raging flash floods, and tornado warnings. We've had shows in almost all of the continental United States with the exception of a few of the southwestern ones. We've been to England, Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands, and even to our "just a little northern neighbor" Canada. We've grown to dislike the company of semi trucks on small mountain pass roads and found that the TSA can never quite be satisfied with only ruining your day a little bit. We've learned how a grumpy New Jersey traffic cop doesn't care that you're not from Newark and didn't know to not take a right turn on a green light from Main St. onto Broad St. but did care to issue a $106 citation for performing the maneuver. Also, we've grown to know that it's best to carry a cooler and to pack a weeks worth of lunch and not indulge in the fine truck stop deli delight also known as a microwave burrito. So with all of this knowledge and an acute ability to way the pros and cons of the decision at hand, we've decided to move out of the Chandelier Shack (our apt.). In just a few short months,  this show is going full time. October we'll leave for a two month follow up tour of the previously wild and successful "Josh Harty Storms the UK and the Subcontinent Tour". The last tour was absolutely great and this time amidst the assistance of an already groomed relationship with the English Breakfast and a firm grip on roundabouts the Wisco invasion is heading back to the British Isles, the Netherlands, and wait.....drumrollllllllll.....Spain.  After this excursion we'll then embark on a 12 month residency tour of the USA. What this means is that we'll move into a chosen city/region and plant roots, make friends, get established, and play as many shows to as many people as humanly possible for 2 months and then move on to the next destination. We'll begin in and around Atlanta, GA in late December and then head to New York City and New England. After that, Austin, Los Angeles, Portland, Vancouver, and as many other points we haven't yet thought possible. For this, we whole heartedly welcome any and all suggestions anyone has as to where you think we should go. We'll likely already have gone crazy so feel free to leave that suggestion out.

Now I don't want to spoil the excitement or not leave you wanting more so I'll leave further details for later. I would also say that this whole thing past, present, and future is owed to everyone that loves music and supports those playing music, and for your previous and continued support I am immeasurably grateful.

take care,

Sunday, 10 June 2012

So here's the tour recap according to what we remember on location, in Snohomish, WA. We're currently making a breakfast which consists of potatoes, brussel sprouts, and bacon trying to prepare for the inevitable drive to Boise, ID. We'll start with May 25th in Fargo, ND at Ecce Yoga and Art.
Ecce is a wonderful yoga studio and art gallery in downtown Fargo just steps away from my old apartment. Downtown is also much cleaner than it was when I lived there and hosts a much nicer, and wider, variety of activities than it once did. As it wouldn't be a Fargo show without Brooks West, he joined me for the show and we had a great time. I'll post a few photos from the show as soon as I get them.
This tour marked the first time in about 5 years I'd gone on tour without my manager, the first in 12 that I'd taken a road trip with my dad, and the first in 18 years that I'd had a music adventure with my dad.  Our first stop was was Lemon, SD...not for a show but to check out the petrified wood museum...pretty awesome. We continued to Billings, MT where I hooked up with Parker Brown, Trevor Krieger, and Clay Green for a show at the Yellowstone Valley Brewery. As you may know, these are also the guys I recorded "Nowhere" with a couple years ago. As always it was great to play at the YSVB and great to make music with great guys. The next night we moved on to Missoula, though this time, just me, Trevor, and Parker. Here's a video of rehearsal at Trevor's house...note the random Dylan and Olivia appearances.

Missoula at the Top Hat was fantastic. Trevor and Parker were on the show and I'd be lying if I were to say it wasn't pretty awesome. After the show we had tacos from a taco truck around the corner, punched Trevors car until the headlight started working, and went back to the cabin we were staying at on Bonners Avenue.
The following night, ironically, was in Bonner's Ferry, ID at the Pearl Theatre. Up until 2 years ago it was still a church.
Spokane was my first rooftop show and a benefit for KYRS. Great show and one of the best polenta dishes I've ever had.
Let's see.....a few days off and then Portland at the Alberta Street Pub. I've often wondered what happens to the show bills that are put up in the men's room and left for two years. Now I know. Note my hit song.

We'll finish the trip in the morning. We've moved on since the beginning of the blog post and are in a motel room in Baker City, OR having some avocado and some trail mix.
Talk to you soon

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Moonshine & Thunderstorms

Went "down south" this weekend to a part of the country I really hadn't spent much time in- Oklahoma and Missouri. Turns out, we had pretty bad timing. During the entire drive from St. Louis to Tulsa it rained so much I could barely see the road ahead. Then when we finally arrived in Tulsa, the sky was an eerie yellow color and we were told that we were under tornado warnings for the next two days. Of course, this is tornado alley. . .
After a house concert in Tulsa, we headed back through Missouri and had the privilege to play at a wonderful place- the Copper Run Moonshine Distillery. Well, they don't just make moonshine. . . they also make their own rum, vodka and aged whiskey. Delicious. Their Sunday afternoon shows are apparently very popular, being one of the only bars in the area open on Sunday (Bible Belt). The unrelenting rain made a nice backdrop to the music, and the bbq ribs being smoked outside filled the whole place with delicious scents. Luckily, after the show the rain finally ceased and our gracious host, Jim, made a bonfire. We enjoyed some of their fine cocktails (my favorites were the fresh mint mojito and the moonshine margarita) before turning in.
Of course, the next morning as we prepared to drive home to Wisconsin, the sun finally came out.

 getting a tour of the distillery

Friday, 30 March 2012

Northeast Re-cap

Well, another tour has come and gone. Sorry for the lack of posts lately, it always slips my mind when I'm on the road. . .
We spent the last 2 weeks in the Northeast part of the country- mostly Massachusetts and New York. Starting off the tour was a show at the Nelson Odeon just outside of Syracuse.  I had the luck to play there last fall with Peter Mulvey and was very excited to headline a show there this time. The Odeon was created from a refurbished old country grange hall. It's got more character and charm than just about any venue in the country, and the owners, Jeff and Linda are incredibly hospitable!

Next we cruised through Massachusetts, stopping for a night in Northampton, and settled in Boston. Unfortunately, a show fell through in Connecticut at the last minute, but fortunately we had some extra time in Boston. The weather was fantastic so we spent a lot of time walking around the city, and even got some beach time on Cape Cod!
Boston Common
Cape Cod
Our final stop was NYC.. . the big apple. . . the city that never sleeps. . .well, you know.
We spent 5 nights with friends in Brooklyn. . . Bushwick to be exact. It's an "up and coming" neighborhood. I ended up playing 3 shows in the city, including a very fun house concert and a last minute gig in Prospect Heights with my old friend, Jon Ladeau. On the last night, we met up with Katie Powderly from Madison and played a gig at the Living Room in Manhattan.

All-in-all it was a great tour and I got to catch up with a lot of old friends. My only regret is that we stopped for lunch in Newark on our way out of NYC . . . got pulled over and issued 3 tickets by a very grumpy, uncompromising cop! Oh well, something had to go wrong.

take care,