::: UPCOMING SHOWS ::: See Tour Dates
>BLOG by Dave
our window size...(beyond this who knows)
'12 / '13... So what
do The Littlest Birds do in the winter?
The two images above show the "cob" structures that we've been building
on a piece of property down in Baja, Mexico. You can click on the
images and a bigger one will be displayed. "Cob" for us in this
location is a mix of 3 parts soil (mostly clay), 4 parts river sand
(not beach sand), 2 parts fresh water plus a splash of Tecate
:-), and an indeterminate amount of straw. We mix it with our
feet in a big tarp, pulling the corners in to turn it over and mix
everything evenly. When we're done it's a long loaf of dense mud that
will support your weight. We then begin pulling off chunks and building
walls, counters, ovens, and benches out of it. Rocks, glass bottles,
windows and doors can all be built into the cob using a variety of
techniques. While we read up on the topic online, studied a book or
two, and talked with people about it, we mostly have taught ourselves
through experience what works best for us and for the climate and soil
where the property is located.
Sharon designed the shower, pictured at left, and I designed the main
camp area, pictured at right. We both enjoy the building projects and
learning more and more about how to build better looking more efficient
structures. I go there to surf primarily, while
Sharon practices Yoga, studies the local botany, and we both are
working to improve our spanish language skills, while heading out on
hiking adventures with local guides or trips to remote parts of the
peninsula. We both enjoy the quietude and space to write new
Southwest Tour 2012...
Tonight we'll be in Las Cruces, New Mexico opening for Bri
Bagwell a country music singer/songwriter. The show is at Hurricane
We're down to our last couple of shows for
Southwest Tour. It's great to be back in one of our favorite places in
the Gila Wilderness of southern New Mexico - the Buckhorn Saloon. Last
night was another fun night at the bar, and it's a welcome relief to be
up in elevation and out of the repressive heat of Phoenix.
Tomorrow we'll be headed back up to Santa Fe to perform at the Second
Street Brewery at the Railyard. So, hope to see some familiar faces at
what will be our fifth show in Santa Fe.
There's a big moon in the night sky, and great sunny weather overhead.
Well, what a weekend. From Tubac to Prescott to
Flagstaff. We now have Monday off before a Tuesday show at Carly's
Bistro in Phoenix.
We're still sort of reeling from the magic of last night at the
Highlands Center in Prescott. Over 100 people showed up and listened and loved
the music and it sounded so
in the natural amphitheater. Performing in a wide variety of
always changing venues, good sound is a rarity and when it happens, boy
does it just make our night. Our voices could soar, our
instruments could be mellow and soft and then roar with brilliance -
there was so much dynamic room.
To have most of the crowd singing along with Oh Susanna and This Land
is Your Land --- Wow. Thank You. Great crowd. Really. You deserve a pat
on the back for being so cool.
And we sold out of our Debut album (for the time being, it is now
backordered and we will be getting more.) It was really something.
Us littlest of birds just arriving and playing our little songs and to
feel such support in such a beautiful place. What an honor.
In our daze today we drove up to Flagstaff and performed for the second
time at Flag Brew. A great crowd showed up for the music and the paper
ran a wonderful little spotlight on our show. Quite different from the
previous night's beautifully quiet open sound space, but still so warm
and friendly with familiar faces from last year at the bar and so many
people coming and going. And good beer too! Really good beer. We
finished up our visit with a trip to The Wine Loft for a glass of wine
and to buy a couple of bottles for the coming days.
One more week on the road. Driving south to Phoenix to play Carly's
Bistro and then Piños Altos to play The Buckhorn Saloon, and
head east to Las Cruces to be part of a show at Hurricane Alley before
finishing in Santa Fe at Second Street Brewery at the Railyard
The music never gets old. And the road can be pretty fun too most of
Tonight: The Highlands Center for Natural History, 7pm, Prescott,
Arizona, with Soul Creek opening... but first, last night...
We woke up on the roadside outside Socorro,
Mexico wet with the morning dew and not nearly enough sleep in our
eyes. A 6 hour drive followed as we continued south and west to Tubac,
Fortunately we arrived with enough time to check in early to the
wonderful hotel room provided by the venue and get a two hour nap in.
Feeling rested we headed over the Tubac Plaza and found the stage, and
met with the folks behind Global
the non-profit sponsoring the show. We were treated to an incredible
home grown, home cooked meal that quite literally brought us back to
life after so many sleepy hours on the road. It was great to
to know some of the people better, and learn more about what they're
doing in Tubac, including Avalon Gardens, a 165 acre organic
farm that offers a CSA.
When it finally came to showtime we performed at our highest level,
aided by the great sound provided by Global Change, and the loving,
peaceful crowd, with folks dancing at the edges and singing along to
some of our more familiar traditional songs. There are quite literally
"vibes" in this world, and as musicians we are probably more sensitive
to them than non-musicians, and lets just say the "vibe" was so
wonderful and supportive that our music flowed out in a corresponding
fashion. One of our finest performances.
Thank you to
all the beautiful, kind people of Tubac, Arizona. You're in our hearts.
Tonight: The Cowgirl BBQ, 8 - 11+pm, Santa Fe, New Mexico... but first,
Salida, is a wonderful mountain town in southern
Colorado.This was a wonderful time, with a good crowd on the outside
deck of The River's Edge (old Salida Cafe), along the banks of the
roiling Arkansas River. The venue has recently expanded the outdoor
seating, and the venue is great for outdoor summer concerts.
We had a great drive south, along the empty highway under grey clouds
and some rain. Lightning bolts, thunder. The Sangre de Cristos to our
left along with the Great Sand Dunes National Monument.
beautiful drive. Which set us up nicely for our arrival in the great
city of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
We found a music shop and I dreamed a bit about a new electric guitar,
playing a Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 for a little while. It was nice, we
burned some time there and headed over to the Cowgirl BBQ or Cowgirl
Hall of Fame, or just the Cowgirl, however you want to call it.
It's summer and so we got to play outside which was a real treat. It
allowed a small dance floor, better sound and the great vibe of people
kicking back, enjoying their food and your music.
A wonderful night, we got our own sound set really nice, as we're used
to it, and the crowd responded immediately. We sold out the first ten
of each of our CDs by the end of the night, and had to grab more. We
had dancers. We had really appreciative folks offering places to stay
and play in other cities around the country. Truly a wonderful evening.
Now we're hammering down the pavement, it's 1:18am, and we're listening
to a live Yonder Mountain String Band show trying to keep our vision
straight and the road in line. See you further on.........
Tonight: The River's Edge, 7pm, Salida, Colorado... but first...last
Telluride, Colorado. Even the name draws a certain amount
of mystique from nearly anyone living in the West. It's the "getaway
for the rich and famous", or the home of incredible music festivals, or
one of the better ski resorts in the West, or the dirtbag spiritual
center for ski bums nationwide, or or or... The great thing is that no
matter what stereotype or box you want to put the town into, the local
folks are unpretentious, happy, good natured people, and the only box
that really makes any sense is the canyon in which the town sits.
I spent my first winter ski bumming in Telluride back in '98-'99,
learning to "free my heel" (telemark ski) and "free my mind" at the
same time. I worked and skied every day, it was an exhausting winter
but revelatory at the same time. It's awesome to come back well over a
decade later and still see the same places. The town really hasn't
Back in '98 I lived in a house just a half block up from KOTO,
the local radio station which "Since
1975, KOTO has provided the Telluride region with high-quality,
commercial-free, non-underwritten community radio. Listener-supported
KOTO's radio mission is to entertain, educate, and inform while
reflecting the needs, desires, and diversity of our community."
And a few times I walked in to browse
their immense music selection. So this year it was a special treat for
me to walk through that door with cello in hand to play a couple of
songs live on the air with Sharon. It brought back memories of first
arriving in the town, looking up at the first snow upon the peaks and
thinking that all I was here to do was ski. At the time I had my cello
but rarely if ever played it and only classical music.
So we performed our two songs on air, which for anyone that might've
been listening or streaming it, you would've caught the first really
performance of Storms, a new song by Sharon as well as one of our
favorite songs that we recently got to perform for Gary Snyder himself,
We then played a show at a great venue right on main street, The
Steaming Bean Coffee Shop. You can't go wrong with a coffeeshop that
serves food, and has a full bar. Not to mention a great
sound, and a supportive crowd, all on our first musical visit to town.
It was a fun night, and we're already looking forward to coming back.
This morning we woke groggy to rainy skies, and hit the road to Salida,
another awesome historic town in the mountains of Southern Colorado,
where I write this now. We'll be at The River's Edge this evening at
7pm. The River's Edge is a newly renovated version of the old
Salida Cafe that has a history of great live music. It's so nice to be
here again, our third time, and especially nice to visit with our
Well, we made it across the long desert to Durango,
Colorado just in time for our first show at our usual place The
Ore House Restaurant.
The steaks at this place are Unreal and we get to just
acoustic in the small bar space which is always a fun, and very "real"
way to start off a tour. Our friend Kyle jammed with us on
for the second set, per usual, and later, after we finished up, we all
headed out to the street corner with some more musician friends and
entertained some random late night Monday partiers with a full string
band of sounds and voices. "The Halfway There Band" was the
of the night.
Durango has such a great feel to it. The train roaring through town,
the still warm August nights, the quaint historic downtown laden with
classic saloons and great breweries, and the good people. Good
mountains. A river running through it.
Feels great to be in the San Juans in the summertime. Now it's on to
We'll be on KOTO
at 3pm PST for their "Access" program and later at The
You can feel the heat coming through the
Normally on our tours it's been the other way around. Ice and snow,
frost and Fall colors. But here we go, off into the desert in August.
As you might suspect we've rented a car with a working Air Conditioner
for this one. Neither the old Honda nor my old Landcruiser were up to
this task, and we'd prefer to make our shows not stand on the side of
the road overheated and broken down.
Beautiful moonsoonal afternoon rains have been washing the dust off our
particular piece of the dry western landscape lately and the garden is
in bloom, the corn have tassels.
When the road sign reads only "Deep Springs" and "Death Valley" you
know you must be heading into a true desert.
Catch you on the other side I hope, in Durango, Colorado, Monday night
at the Ore House.
-------------------------------previous blog entries.
Days, 53 performances, and 15,000 miles...Dec. 18, 2011 Just typing that
subject line sort of makes me hesitate. What can I possibly
write about THAT.
We just finished
performance with a great show at the Flagstaff
Brewery, and Sharon's
driving through the dark Arizona night towards her sisters place at
Lake Mead. We've come full circle. It feels good
it. To've made and performed all of our gigs on time, and in
style. There were days we were tired, or a little sick of one
another, or just plain sick, but in the end, the music made us smile
There were so many great people along the way. You put us up
it was cold, and wet, you opened your hearts and homes to us vagabond
troubadours traveling by Honda across this big old land called America.
If fact a few of you even fixed our Honda to keep us
rolling...new brakes, new muffler / exhaust and tire, new radiator, and
new top radiator hose... And to all those wonderful promoters and
bookers out there that may've felt they were taking a chance on this
lil' duo from California, we thank you for the opportunity to play on
your stages, and we'll be in touch for our next time through.
We met a lot of great musicians along the way, and I'll be putting
together a little retrospective of the CDs we've gathered and traded
while on the road. We'd love to turn you on to some our
music out there.
All in all it was a long, long time to be on the road. But
life itself - just when it feels incredibly long, it's suddenly over
and you're wondering where all that time went. What were all
those 15,000 miles... the Owens Valley, the Rocky Mountains, the
cornfields of the Midwest, the granite mountains of New England and the
granite coast of Maine, Niagara Falls and rural New York, the "almost
heaven" West Virginia, the Blue
Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and east Tennessee, the ancient
Congaree swamp of South Carolina, the hills and battlefields of north
Georgia, the Mississippi River and New Orleans - Lake Ponchatrain 30
miles across!!! - the rolling grasses and lone windmills and snowstorm!
of Southwest Texas, the Rio Grande, the deserts of the Southwest, the
Gila Wilderness and it's wild undammed river and ancient cave
dwellings, the sacred Baboquivari Wilderness of southern
the thickening snowfall of Flagstaff drinking beer on a Sunday
It's a gleam in our eye, this crazy thing we're doing. Thank
you all for making it possible.
-Dave and Sharon
The Southwest...Dec. 9, 2011 What
is it about giant open skies, long horizons of cactus, craggy mountain
ranges and sagebrush...what is it about natural hot springs tucked next
to rivers, dried red chiles hanging from eves, and cold dry air that
just burns your nose but smells and feels so good... unlike many others
around the country, "Land of Enchantment" seems a perfectly fitting
license plate statement for the state of New Mexico...
We had a great time in Austin, Texas en route, and then as a cold
winter storm swept across the Southwest we dipped south, and then
further south, and found ourselves on the border of Mexico, within a
stone's throw of the Rio Grande and a little hot springs development
and campground called Chinati. Great folks run
the place, and some other cool people from the nearby
in Alpine TX were camping there doing some archeology field work.
In the middle of the night snowflakes were drifting out of a
black sky - snowflakes
along the border country - while inside our adobe abode,
we were warm and cozy and high from the lithium laden hot spring water
that just feels So Good.
The landscape here felt like Baja, Mexico and will certainly
receive another more extensive visit sometime in the future, including
a trip south into Big Bend Nat'l Park which we just didn't have time
The next day, we packed up and hit the road north into New Mexico
passing through Marfa, TX
and some remarkable desert scenery before hitting the flat
edge-of-the-earth landscape that is Roswell, NM where we spent a cold
night on the ground in our tent at the Bottomless Lakes State Park.
Interesting place that we would've explored more had it not
completely frigid. We drove on to Taos, New Mexico and found
ourselves crawling down a snowy small dirt road to the Rio Grande river
and slipping into another beautiful hot spring right on waters
edge...same river, yet not the border anymore, and cutting through such
a different landscape. That night we played at the Adobe Bar
the historic Taos Inn. Not our most energetic performance
(Sharon's still getting over a cold and lots of coughing) but we made
great friends with some local musicians that are just awesome people,
their band Tina and Her Pony (Tina Collins
and Quetzal Jordan) is amazing.. listening
beautiful harmonies, lyrics, instrumentation (Quetzal plays cello which
therefore makes her incredible)... Check 'em out... yet another awesome
connection on this wild road and crazy life that is touring.
We've met so many great musicians, there is such a wonderful
bursting at the seams free and independent underbelly of music and
culture and good livin' out there in America...
We also met up with an old friend of mine from the Eastern Sierra the
next day and checked out the Earthship Center
which for those that aren't familiar with the term "earthship" is a
style of building that uses earthfilled worn out tires, adobe cob,
bottles, cans, recycled materials, solar and wind technology, and water
catchment to create entirely off the grid sustainable structures that
are particularly at home in the desert environments of the southwest
but which are applicable anywhere. Taos is the home of the
design, and it was awesome to talk with folks there, look at the wild
buildings, see tomatoes in the front greenhouse with subfreezing
temperatures outside and snow on the ground, no heating required.
We then headed down to Santa Fe to perform at one of our favorite
venues in entire country, The Cowgirl BBQ.
It's a casual setting (they move aside tables and you just
against the back wall), but the people are so friendly, the food and
beer is good, and you just feel the good energy immediately when you
walk in. This was our second time there, so some faces were
familiar, Stephanie and Steve. And as always with good energy
comes good music and we played at our best all night, entertaining the
crowd completely and pulling in several people that hadn't planned to
spend any time there (just picking up food to go, or a quick
drink)...and the energy just snowballs on itself and you feel like
you're almost floating and glowing by the end of it all.
Now we're spending the day wandering downtown Santa Fe, taking care of
tasks at the library and getting ready for this evening at Second Street brewery, at their Railyard
location. This will be our first time there,
looking forward to sampling good local brew...from there it's on to the
in Pinos Altos, NM outside Silver City on Saturday night, then a couple
days of exploring the Gila Wilderness...then Tucson, Arizona (Plush
12/13, La Cocina 12/14) then Prescott, Az (Raven, 12/17), and
Flagstaff, Az (Brewing Co., 12/18)... and then we're HOME... Oh My God
it's been such a long time!!!!!!!!!!
along the way. ---dave.
Mississippi, Louisiana, and now Texas...Dec. 2, 2011 Well, here we are, two months
It's December now, and rain is falling in Austin, Texas...
about half way back across the country with just a couple of weeks
worth of shows left in the Southwest before we're home.
We recently traveled through Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, not
performing, just traveling. We camped at the Little River
in northern Alabama, stopped at the Civil Rights Center in Birmingham,
and then cut west over into Mississippi where we found ourselves on the
Natchez Trace Parkway for an afternoon of beautiful driving and
wandering among swamps of bald cypress. We finished our
south with a full day in New Orleans, riding the street cars and
walking Bourbon Street and Frenchman with cocktails in
hand, seeking out some good
jazz at the Spotted Cat on Frenchman,
and some fun
cajun music at Bayou Bar on Bourbon St. What a crazy
place New Orleans is... to see the Mississippi River, ride across it
and notice the levees, and the fact that the town is literally below
river height in many places... to hear a funky marching band parading
down the streets in the middle of the afternoon in the French
Quarter... to wander under huge limbs of ancient Live Oaks in
Park and to think this place is IT - this is where the Big Muddy River
comes pouring out into the Gulf, this wild old city literally built on
the Mississippi Delta, "shining like a national guitar"(to
echo Paul Simon..)
On the way east we crossed
the Mississippi River at sunset / dusk - a
silver shimmering wide blue swath... and now we've crossed back, near
it's mouth, headed west in the middle of the afternoon, tugs pushing
barges, tankers rolling up past downtown New Orleans, blues and jazz
echoing off the windy waters...
We've crossed back and are now in Austin, Texas...of course not without
another little scare with the car... as we stopped in Beaumont, Texas
yesterday to grab a road map, we started the car back up only to make
it 100 yards before we blew a top radiator hose...Fortunately Buster's
Autmotive was 3 miles away and we dumped fluid in and limped over
there, and he quicky ordered up a new hose, popped it in, and said
"Don't Worry About It, Merry Christmas" and we were on our way...
further evidence that there are good people everywhere.
We'll be at Flipnotics Coffeespace tonight, and we'll be at a local
urban farm (5 acres right in East Austin) on Saturday, and then by
Sunday evening or Monday we'll be heading west, across the Vast Expanse
of West Texas with our sights set on Taos, New Mexico where we'll
arrive on Wednesday, December 7th to play at the Adobe Bar...and begin
our last round of shows around the Desert Southwest....
along the way. ---dave
& Atlanta...Nov.24, 2011
THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! Hope you've all had a wonderful day
family and friends. In lieu of our own families today we've
friends and their families in Athens, Georgia, as well as friends of
Dave's mother in Atlanta to spend time with. And it's just a great time
to express how thankful we are to everyone who has helped us along the
way - both last year on our western tour, and this year out east.
Our friends and family are what make our lives possible.
left Motel 6 and Super 8 and all those other lesser flea bit motels
cursing! We've haven't spent a dime on them thanks to you,
for that we are so very grateful.
Our time in Georgia is almost up. We'll be staying up in
northeast Georgia tomorrow night to perform for some friends of ours
before heading down and west to New Orleans. The next several
days are essentially gig-free and we'll just be traveling and busking
where we can.
We've been here a
week! what?! It started last Friday at Terrapin
playing for a few hundred folks at the brewery, meeting up with our
friends in Athens and essentially being handed the key to their house
to house-sit while they took the kids and visited grandparents for a
few days. We went out on the town and met up with friends of
friends of sharon's after sushi, who were at the brewery earlier, who
we then saw at Flicker again, and who we then
had dinner with at The Grit the following night.
We contra danced Saturday night and
met several more people some of whom we saw the following night at Farm 255
where we performed with the BorderHop Five,
all of whom were great people, and excellent musicians, an honor to
share the stage with them. And the restaurant - Farm 255 -
great food (i'm sure sharon will write about it in Bird Food at some
point) and a great atmosphere and a pretty good crowd for a Sunday
Night. We actually got asked to perform the next night at the
two doors down called Flicker (and even closer to the 40 Watt,
legendary club where R.E.M.
got started). Great to see the sort of dingy external
of the 40 Watt and the dim marquee in the humid Sunday night air - and
to think about and feel for a moment the exact place
where one of the best rock bands ever had first begun performing.
That night we also got invited for lunch the following day at
BorderHop's banjo players house, where several friends of their showed
up and we all jammed a bit, ate a classic southern lunch of collard
greens, black eyed peas, and cornbread with homemade "relish" and spicy
vinegar sauce and just enjoyed the day outside on the porch playing
music and talking music, and watching the kids run around the yard.
We then had to make the trek to Atlanta to play on WRFG (Radio
downtown in the Little Five Points area, so we had a great dinner with
college friends of my mother's (who'd also come to see us play at the
brewery) and then managed to find the station which is in an old school
building called "The Bunkhouse" and met J.R. who runs a wednesday night
program. Classic station, unique DJ, played for an hour (7
songs), and got it all recorded as we broadcast live, with people
calling in with recipes for Thanksgiving, and to say that they were
enjoying the music etc... Really fun. We drove away from that
session buzzing as we always do after playing well and having a fun
experience, only to have our hearts stopped short by a driver running a
red light and very very nearly causing us to T-bone into them and be
rear ended at the same time....our first truly close call of the trip.
We stopped and walked it off and drove the rest of the way
to Athens for the night.
So, needless to say, we are especially thankful for our lives this
Thanksgiving, and for all of our friends old and new. Without
you, none of this would be possible.
Thank You - see you
along the way. ---dave
the Preservation Pub...Nov.17, 2011
Whoa, it's been awhile since the
last update...time flies...
Anyways, sitting here in a booth seat at the well known Preservation
Pub, upstairs in the "Speakeasy" where we'll be playing later
We've had a great week since I last wrote, playing in Boone,
then three different shows in Asheville, North Carolina. In
last week I got a year older, technically speaking, spending my
birthday atop the Blue Ridge Mountains near Balsam Knob, on a cold
windy night playing my guitar for Sharon around a campfire in the
shelter of thick woods.
We had a great first night in Asheville at the French
playing for the long line of people waiting, and followed that
the next day with a fun night at a neighborhood bar called the Root Bar
in east Asheville - probably the most classic neighborhood / dive bar
we've played on the whole trip. When you drive by you hardly
notice it - the blinds are drawn, the sign is not on the building but
out by the street, and there's absolutely nothing to attract you to
it...but once inside we ran into a great mix of people there, from
a local excellent clawhammer banjo player, to an older fellow that
introduced us to a new CD called Goat
Rodeo Session or something,
(Yo-yo ma, chris thile, edgar meyer, stuart duncan...) to some younger
L.A., to a local fiddler, to a couple of ladies visiting from Florida,
to a drunk couple that ended up having the cops called on them - though
not packed, it was a fun night.
We then had the weekend
off and started my birthday off with the most amazing fried chicken and
biscuits EVER at Tupelo Honey in Asheville before waddling off
toward Brevard and our campsite and hike around Balsam Knob.
Beautiful expansive views of the Blue Ridge Mountains
us as we hiked in the howling cold wind atop these grassy knobs.
Such different ecology, such old mountains, yet beautiful and
refreshing as all mountains will always be for me. I almost
always look to the nearest mountain on the skyline when it comes around
to my birthday, no matter where we might be. Last year we
wandered amidst the huge waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge of
Oregon while on tour.
up in the morning we headed back into town and I dropped off my
bow at David Sivalia's shop to get rehaired. With the high
humidity out east compared to our desert home, I'd been playing
essentially on the wood with no tension for most of the trip and the
hair was getting thin. Now it's taut and warm sounding and
perfect. It's always great to talk and meet with an
instrument maker, talk music and instruments, and we saw him the next
evening when we played the Songwriters in
the Round series at Jack of the Wood in downtown
was a fun set of all original material, very well recieved, and they
even carry two great IPAs on tap which pleased Sharon immensely
and Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale).
It always feels
good to play well, but is especially satisfying when it's your first
appearence at a high profile venue like Jack of the Wood.
Sharon encouraged me to get out my guitar, which hasn't
happened much on this trip, so I finished the night with a solo
performance of my tune Autumn
off my album Empire Grade.
night before our Jack of the Wood show we spent another night
camped out (two in a row) in our tent, in the Cataloochee Valley
Great Smokey Mountains National Park. We couldn't help but
hum the songs of our friend Scott Roberts and Sweetwater
String Band... songs like Francis Lee "out in the hills of East
Tennessee lie the bones of ol Francis Lee, she's in the ground, some
say she's still around..."
We played some music and recorded a digi cam video of Sharon's Elk
River Blues in an old barn leftover from the days when Cataloochee
Valley was settled.
From there we went up to Lexington, Kentucky, and performed on-air at a
great college radio station, WRFL 88.1
- on Jackson Cofer's Wednesday evening radio program.
station has been broadcasting continuously since 1988 with live DJs (no
automation) 24/7/365...A pretty incredible accomplishment.
should tune in - and if you don't like what you hear, just check back a
little while later and it'll probably be different, unlike Clear
Channel stations or Satelite stations that are all badly predictable.
That night we played at Al's Bar,
a neighborhood bar that's under new ownership and hosting a steady
stream of live music. We shared the show with a great local
act Englishmanthat kindly
shared their hospitality in lending us a place to
for the night. Their self-titled album is awesome, we love it
highly recommend it. Al's Bar supports local food producers,
had a nice bourbon selection. We sampled Blantons
The following morning we headed back here to Knoxville after
brunch with an old friend of Sharon's at a great restaurant called Stella's.
Now we just have a few shows and a house party (YEAH!) left in the
south before we start heading westward again... We have one
left. Austin, Texas, we are coming. Desert
along the way. --- dave.
Hospitality...Nov. 9, 2011 I write this while laying
down to sleep in
the "next door" space of the Acoustic Coffeehouse in Johnson City,
Tennessee. The locals are rocking out next door and it's
2 am. We finished close to midnight, and it seems that was
just the beginning of the festivities... Welcome to yet another edition
of Southern Hospitality. We began in Southport, NC with a
concert series, moved through South Carolina (playing at a coffeeshop
for our food and fix) and arrived in Knoxville for a couple of days
that involved a wonderful 25 minutes on the Blue Plate Special stage on WDVX...We
had a great night at Boyd's Jig and Reel later on and
woke up early to record live on the internet show 11 O' Clock Rocks on Knoxivi.com
before finishing with some fun busking for the Farmer's Market.
Really a great couple days in Knoxville with great
and crowd response. So wonderful.
route, we spent a day wandering amidst the old growth Bald Cypress of
Congaree Swamp National Park, the largest remnant of old growth swamp
forest in South Carolina. A beautiful park, hidden amongst
cottonfields and clearcuts...with great elevated boardwalks winding
through a large chunk of forest with side trails branching off.
Many times during the year the boardwalk is nearly submerged
underwater when the swamp floods. This is why these old trees
were spared from the loggers axe... though some of them were felled
before the area was protected as a National Park. And there
even the remnants of a moonshine Still left in the forest.
Tonight we reach the half way point in our tour... We will be getting
closer to home with fewer shows from here on... Today we also passed
under the 1000 mark in national ranking on Reverb Nation for Folk and
continue to rise quickly... Spread our music (via the social networks
on the left here) and help us add to this momentum. We
sets with a great musician James
Scott this evening too... beautiful fingerstyle guitar
great moment in the last few days was the night we arrived in
Knoxville, tired from a long drive, but in time for the local Contra
Dance....where we ran into a fellow touring musician and his friend and
there we were at the end of the dance with them scrawling venue names
and suggestions onto a paper plate with a giant marker. Now
have this paper plate with all the best places to play in Chattanooga,
TN. For next time of course as it's too close to call right
but it was so classic of all the random encounters you have on the
And right now is
another classic moment... electric guitar, drums and loud vocals reach
through the wall separating us, locals rocking out at their favorite
pub at 2 in the morning...I'm asleep on the stage of this "next
door"additional performance space, Sharon on a couch,
rain falling outside... it's cheap beer Wednesdays... $3 pints / $8
pitchers ... people love it.
eyes are tired.
The last picture suggests perhaps the best merchandise scheme ever...
Littlest Birds signature ATVs. Now that's one way to pay the
bills eh? See you along
Month Anniversary... November Begins...Nov. 4, 2011 A
sign just passed by on the highway too suddenly to be prepared with the
camera, the sign read: "Welcome to North Carolina." Pine
seem to have returned after briefly disappearing while zooming through
Pennsylvania and West Virginia. There are still leaves on the
trees, the sky is clouded and the the road is drying from overnight
rain. We are hammering along one of the longest single drives
the trip from Thomas, West Virginia to Southport, North Carolina - we
woke up at 5 a.m. and hit the road a half hour later, this
second only to our day traveling from Des Moines, Iowa to Ann Arbor,
Michigan, which also involved a podcast recording session in Chicago,
and ended with a baseball sized hole in the muffler.
been "on the road" a month now.
wrapped up our two+ weeks in New England, dodged a Nor'easter, and seen
my brother's newborn baby boy Henry while performing two nights at Merge in Buffalo,
New York. We saw Niagara Falls, and tasted authentic chicken
wings at the birthplace of it all.
It feels like good timing to be driving south, leaving 2+ feet of snow
on the ground in New Hampshire for the rainy puddles and leafy trees of
North Carolina. Even Buffalo had lawns of bright green.
We finished our time in New England with four great shows in a row - Claire's
in Hardwick, VT, then Radio Bean and The
in Burlington, VT, on Halloween weekend, and a house concert at Don's
House in Sullivan, NH. We were pleasantly surprised to see a
great spotlight for our Vermont shows in The Seven Days
Last night we performed for about 20 folks at The
a funky place in the middle of the mountains of West Virginia with a
great stage, and top notch sound. Considering the time of
(past Fall leaf season here), the local population of less than 500,
and a $7 dollar door charge, this crowd was considered a great success.
We had a place to stay included at the built in Fiddler's
Hostel, and I couldn't help but imagine what fun it would be to travel
with a pack of your own 15-20 dedicated partiers and sort of take over
the place for a night. It was the perfect spot to break up
hours and 760 miles of road (google says) between Buffalo, New York and
Southport North Carolina. West Virginia is mountainous,
strikingly beautiful - especially as the sunrise lit the sky pink and
we looked out on a valley lying along the border with Virginia.
There was a scant bit of snow up along the highest peaks.
We'll be mostly in North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and
these next few weeks, finishing with a house party on the border of
Alabama and Georgia before heading back West-ward after Thanksgiving...
Tonight we're performing for Cape Fear Concerts - sharing a monthly
series that's included Red Molly, and has The Honeydewdrops coming up -
down in Southport, North Carolina at Playhouse
It's a fundraiser for the local food pantry as well, and that
feels good this time of year as the holidays approach and the cold
comes in. After that we'll be stopping in Charleston, South
Carolina for a day at Cafe Kronic, and then heading to
Knoxville, Tennessee to play on the legendary live radio program The Blue Plate Special on WDVX
before an evening gig at Boyd's Jig and Reel. We'll stop in
Johnson City at the Acoustic Coffeehouse after
that an then arrive in the Boone / Asheville area for about a week with
several gigs perhaps highlighted by a slot in the Songwriters in the
Round Series at Jack of The Wood in Asheville, NC.
lots of shows coming up, hope the car hangs together for it all... We
had some movement with the temp gauge yesterday but it appears ok
today. Fingers crossed.
See you along
the way. (Honda mechanics consider yourselves on "standby")
in New England...snowfall...Oct. 27, 2011 A short followup post to
share the joy of
heading up Mt. Jefferson in the Presidential Range of New Hampshire's
White Mountains. It was a glorious day - rime ice covering
summit, along with some snow, not a breath of wind, and remarkably
clear skies. We hiked The Caps Ridge "trail" which is more of
marked scramble than a trail, with some fun moments of climbing up old
appalachian granite... With so many miles of sitting in a car
driving it is wonderful to get these moments of physcial exertion up a
steep mountainside. Cold air, birds on a limb, expansive
and not a single other person around. As much as we love
new people everyday on this Tour, we also really LOVE meeting
absolutely No One on this trail.
It was too cold to stay on the summit for long,
and we hurried down
through the thick Fir forest back to the car, just making it in time to
get to Colby Sawyer College for a pre-concert dinner with friend and
who was putting us up and hosting the Global Cafe Concert Series at
Colby Sawyer. She's also learing the banjo so I woke up this
morning to her banjo lesson from Sharon. The Global Cafe
was fantastic, Pamela had baked a fresh loaf of bread that had filled
the halls with a wonderful aroma, and students came pouring in first
for food and then stayed for music, matched by members of the community
as well as college staff. The room filled to capacity and
chairs were needed. We performed a really fun set of our
originals and traditionals, talking about the history and roots of the
Banjo as well as the mechanics and inspirations of songwriting.
It's interesting to me how well we seem to do with these sort
performances...we played better than any noisy show we've ever played,
and we almost seem to inspire ourselves to play better by taking the
time to describe why and how we wrote or picked the piece of music
we're about to perform.
I had hoped to record and webcast the performance but didn't have time
to decipher software issues I was having (i've got it figured out now),
so I'm sorry to've sent emails to some of you and then not providing a
webcast. But we'll do one soon I'm sure.
Today, as I write, snowflakes mix with rain, the colorful trees are
fading browner and browner with each passing day, and this particular
little coffeeshop (Rosey's in Hanover) offers a nice place to sit and
caffienate. I didn't sleep well last night, and then woke up
early to the news that I'm an uncle, and that sort of excitement ruined
any more chance of zzz's this morning. Look out world,
Henry Ericsson Huebner has arrived! We'll see him soon in
Buffalo when we play two shows at Merge and stay with my brother
and his wife.
along the way. --- dave.
the Atlantic Ocean...Oct. 25, 2011 Riding in the car, as sunset
clouds - surreal yellows and light pinks, one blast slipping past and
burning up a hillside of yellow leaves - and lo and behold there's a
dusting of snow on the nearby mountaintop. We're in the
White Mountains of New Hampshire having just driven across Maine from a
small spot on the Downeast coastline called Addison. We have one more
week in the North, playing shows Colby
Sawyer College in New London, NH and two shows in Burlington
VT and then Buffalo, NY
before heading rapidly south to Thomas, West Virginia to stop in at the
Purple Fiddle Nov. 3rd en route to
our next round of shows in North Carolina,
Tennessee and Kentucky.
The hum of the road broken by a sweet Phish jam
on the iPod from their
Live Bait collection = mike's song > contact > weekapaug
from 1995 or something, and by numerous small towns along route 2 which
gets progressively more mountainous as we go. The dusting of
is on a peak in the Presidentials of the White Mountains, peaks rising
some 4000 feet from the road. We're headed to the Billings
owned and run by Dartmouth.
(Unload car, open cold beer, start fire in cabin...) We look at maps
and plan a hike up Jefferson for tomorrow, we find ice cream in the
freezer, and stumble through the dark woods to the creek for water.
A very nice cabin.
The last week has been a busy
one, as all of these weeks will be. We finally reached the
Atlantic Ocean and spent a day
camped out and hiking around Acadia National Park on the coast of
Maine. We scrambled up the near vertical "trail" from Bubble
to the summit of Mt. Cadillac (a modest gain of 1000+ feet)
in fact was not a trail at all but mearly a marked cross country route
up the side of the mountain...so this being a coastal mountain in the
northeast, it involved tight woods, steep wet glacial polished (yes
glaciers shaped this coastal landscape) granite slabs and lots of
boulders - the benefit, as always with a little difficulty = zero
people. We found another trail down, that wrapped around and
actually had some stone steps and such built in, and there were some
beaver ponds built right up next to the wooden walkways through the
forest down in the valley. Colorful leaves still clung to
the trees in the sheltered spots.
Our last little hike had been up Mt. Gile
outside Hanover NH, a
mile round trip or something... but beautiful light and colorful trees
made it quite nice up at the tall fire lookout on top, (where the first
image in this entry was taken) and the little cabin
near the summit with its excellent graffiti artwork was an awesome
hangout for lunch.
As for our recent shows...The
Bee's Knees in Morrisville VT was great, awesome
food, perfect vibe
for our music, nice crowd. We drove sleepily thru the night
for a couple of hours to reach the Norwich Inn where we spent a couple
of nights while playing in Hanover. Molly's
Bar was an awesome jam with Nathan, the same fiddler we
jammed with at
Moosilauke, and the highlight was Reuben's Train - that was AMAZING! -
the follwing night was for a packed restaurant at the Canoe
Club as it was Dartmouth's Homecoming. We checked
bonfire later and drank our fair share of Smuttynose
IPA on tap.
Pumpkin Festival was a new experience for us.
Cameras rolling, lights on, right before the big Count of how
many pumpkins there were - and we made the most of our literally 15
minutes of fame...playing for 1000s of people...
The following morning we drove to Portland, Maine to play a very quiet,
meditational set at Dobra Tea. What an
island of calm.
An incredible place to step out of the hustle and bustle and
into the quiet. After that it was off to Acadia and then
Addison to visit Sharon's uncle Dan and wife Donna at their seaside
piece of heaven in Addison, Maine.... (pictured at left)
Oh the hum of the road... the feel of the wheel... the rhythm of the
yellow line.... finds us sitting in a new place, yet another dark
night, but on our own time, against the flank of the Presidentials of
New Hampshire's White Mountains... the crackling fire... the
cold beer. See
you along the way. --- dave.
England...Oct. 19, 2011
I sit here with a cup of
coffee at Moosilauke Ravine Lodge looking
out at the few remaining
treetops exploding with color amidst the barren branches and
spruce tops. We hiked Mt. Moosilauke yesterday and then had a
wildly good time playing music for a full lodge of folks. We
some friends of Sharon's (Nathan and Rory) jam with us on
and banjo, as well as a random "The other Rory" sit in on "the
bones" (old time percussion).
The night included a good round of musical
dancing and an excellent meal.
This place reminds me so much of Rock
Creek Lodge, where I first
arrived in the Eastern Sierra some 15 years ago. A party in
kitchen, good family style dining, young people running the show, all
in a wild setting in the mountains, the differences being this lodge is
giant, with huge old growth beams spanning the ceiling, with three
floors, and the mountains are the southwestern White Mountains of New
Hampshire. Mountains so completely different yet just as
completely beautiful as the Sierra Nevada. Near the summit of
Moosilauke you walk out of a forest of stunted spruce and into an
alpine zone where the ground is completely covered with a mat of alpine
cranberry, and all around you the view is of mountains and valleys -
small towns, church steeples and rivers in the valleys - and thick
forested, rounded old mountains.
We've been here nearly a week now, performing
school show for 200 kids in Tamworth, New Hampshire was a first for us.
The church that night, with folks coming out despite the
rain, was wonderful - a beautiful place for a concert. The Arts Council of Tamworth
has a good thing going. And meeting Juno and Chris and their family,
going for a walk up the nearby fire lookout, was so great. Such good conversation and
views of the surrounding peaks were stunning, including Mt. Chocorua.
The following day in Milford we played for a full room at the
Library to kick off their 2011-2012 Acoustic Cafe concert series, and
had a wonderful audience. On Sunday we were at The
in Montpelier, where we finally
met in person Paul
Cataldo, who setup sound for us, and who is actually
a touring singer/songwriter himself and had performed in Mammoth, CA
this summer at our favorite little coffeeshop The Stellar Brew.
It's a crazy small world. On Monday we met up with Nick
in Burlington VT, jammed a few songs at his house over tea and cake,
headed over to UVM campus and played three songs with him for his class
to kick off his lecture. After that we found our way over to
the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge and have REALLY enjoyed a couple nights in
the same place, a
good hike during the day, great food and time to kick it on the deck
staring up at the mountains and the clouds. We have to leave
head on to The Bee's Knees in Morrisville tonight followed by two shows
in Hanover (Molly's thursday, Canoe Club Friday) and the Keene Pumpkin
Festival on Saturday. We'll be up there singing This Little
It's been rainy, but not too bad the past few days, and the car is
running smooth (despite accidentally leaving the oil cap off last time
we added a half quart and having it spray all over the place -
fortunately we found the oil cap.) See you along the way. --- dave.
Mid-West and Entering New England... Oct. 13, 2011
now my eyes are embraced by both the aching color change of the Eastern
forest in the middle of New York State, and a light aching in my brain
likely the result of some 2,000 miles of driving in 5 days.
little sleep, lots of caffeine, and the numbing white noise of tires,
axles, engine roaring down the highway. We've replaced the
muffler on the car, and a tire which had tread that was separating and
ready to explode - both in Ann Arbor, Michigan - because as we drove
from Chicago (where we recorded a Podcast for Chicago
- great folks and a good diversion from the road) the usual white noise
turned into this ear ringing bass rumble that became quite literally
deafening. It took a full half hour of silence once we got
the car in Ann Arbor to regain a sense of normality. Turns
there was a softball sized hole in the bottom of the muffler.
Common issue - and now Cochecita
sports a custom muffler and twin tailpipes.
All we need now are flames.
The rain has begun falling again as it seems we've followed, in all its
forms, the storm that coated both the Sierra Nevada and The Rockies in
feet of snow a week ago. And, speaking of a week ago, let's
were in Denver oh so many miles ago, we played a show at The
Cafe for a small but appreciative crowd, and then spent the
with friends who were getting married. Sharon officiated and
was quite a time. Late nights of conversation on the back
drinking wine. From there we headed north to the great
of the Arby's
the I-80 Jct. in Cheyenne, Wyoming. There we met up for lunch
with Sharon's parents, and had a most satisfying meal of meat
sandwiches laden with the famous Arby's sauce - you may notice a hint
of sarcasm here - as the Arby's sauce is Sharon's comfort food and I
poke some fun at it from time to time. After loading up with
enough Arby's to warrant raising cattle ourselves, we headed out into
the grasslands of Western Nebraska en route to North Platte where
Sharon's brother Robert lives. Also a musician, he had
for a casual dinner and jam at a friends house outside of town.
As we're driving out there the sunset started to turn on big
and my shutter finger started trembling, soon I was about to reach out
the window with the camera when we actually turned off onto the
driveway of the ranch that seemed so perfectly pictured in the sunset.
Within this postcard scene we'd find ourselves eating a great
meal and meeting folks that had actually originally come from
California, spent time working at Mammoth Lakes Pack Station in the
early 1980s even, and were now a cattle ranching family of
musicians "living in an ocean of grass" as they put it. A
fantastic night of sharing tunes, and talking music ensued.
next day we left North Platte headed for Des Moines, Iowa.
our limited perspective of going 75 mph on I-80 (to avoid being
literally runover by semi-trucks) this drive can be summarized by two
words: corn, flat. Though within that context are multitudes
beautiful pastoral farming scenes, and the great Missouri River which
we passed at dusk above its confluence with the Platte River.
Really, at this point in the story, all one needs to
emphasize is I-80.
And the words
of Townes Van Zandt - "out on that highway listen to them big trucks
WHINE" - and you appreciate that line so
as a white Freightliner downshifts to pass, and that high pitched whine
creeps past your drivers side window, and you're already pushing your
little car as fast as it can go - and you continue to do so for
basically three days straight. North Platte,
Nebraska to Des
Moines, Iowa (Thank You
Bill for your Iowa hospitality).
Des Moines to Ann Arbor, Michigan (Podcast stop in
Ann Arbor to Buffalo, New York. This last stretch
driven mostly at night because we spent the entire afternoon in Ann
Arbor waiting for the muffler and new tire, but it was great to see an
old backpacking / ski touring friend and his wife there. I
from Ann Arbor to Buffalo and felt like a zombie. Perfectly
but emotionless. Just watching the miles tick off the
Toll roads, construction zones, and the endless unfurling of
East along the banks of Lake Erie. You know you've traveled
distance when you see an exit sign marked "Canada".
But so far so good.
We made our radio spot on time this morning in Fredonia, New York -
pre-recording a live broadcast for the "General Eclectic" program
hosted by Tom Bingham on WCVF 88.9 to Air on Friday October 21st a
little after 10 am. EST. (listen live online at http://www.live365.com/profiles/wcvfhigh
or find the podcast later that day at the General
Eclectic website )
And now we head off into the colorful (rainy) rainbow that is New
Hampshire and Vermont in the Fall. See you
along the way. -- dave
Oct. 6, 2011 Clouds
fill the sky and it's raining. It's been raining for a few
now as we've traveled across Arizona, Utah, and into Colorado.
The folks in Durango said it hadn't rained there in some
puddles filled the road, and sheets of rain streaked the windshield.
The Fall colors were certainly enhanced by the rain - the
made darker, the branches made darker in great contrast to the leaves
washed clean of dust and sparkling in the subdued silver light.
And we all crowded into the warm, intimate atmosphere of The
House steakhouse and bar for a fun acoustic performance where
joined by our friend Kyle on guitar for several tunes. Great
But I'm getting ahead of myself, the trip truly began along a random
road in the southern Owens Valley of California aptly named Sage Flat.
A fellow there by the name of Nathan hosted a great party for
friends and called it the Sage Flat Music Festival. Complete with
a Festivarian guidebook, stage, food, drinks, and late night camping.
We shared the stage with friends and family of his, young
playing a couple of tunes on viola, or a "family band" playing a short
set of bluegrass inspired music, complete with accordion, as well as a
well known American singer-songwriter Mary McCaslin from Santa Cruz.
All in all just a wonderful day with big clouds passing by
overhead, wind gusts occasionally howling down the canyon, but the sun
shining through on it all. We were so graciously accepted
the fold of people, connecting and conversing with so many great folks,
it felt sort of magical, surreal, not just a performance but more than
that, and we headed off into the scorched desert of Death Valley the
next day just shaking our heads and wondering aloud what it would be
like if there were more opportunities like that along our way - if
perhaps music does have the power to connect and unify people in ways
that nothing else can...
as we attempted to climb steep hot grades in our little ol' 1990 Honda
Civic Real-Time 4WD wagon, the temperature gauge pegged itself to the
top, and we thought perhaps there wouldn't be a trip afterall, or at
least not in this car. But we cooled it off, ran the heater
the following grades and made it safely into Nevada where we visited
Sharon's sister and husband, and their newborn baby boy. Not
surprisingly we made our first trip to a mechanic the following day to
have the brakes checked, (and we'll be following up on that soon in
Denver), got new front pads and got on our way into the amazing desert
country of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, camping for a night in
the Escalante National Monument en route to Durango, Colorado.
Now we find ourselves sitting at a table with our friend in Salida,
Colorado, after a fun but quiet show last night, looking forward to
tonights show at the Mercury Cafe in Denver, and our
wedding this weekend. Then we'll be crossing into lands
to me - the Great Midwest - and crossing in fact the entire country
to land in New York briefly for a radio spot on the General Electric
program on WCVF in Fredonia to be broadcast Friday morning, and then
finally setting up shop in New Hampshire and Vermont for the remainder
of October. See
you along the way. --- dave.
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