New Year’s Eve. You likely have plans. Perhaps we’ll see you in Houston at the Last Concert Cafe with Moses Guest and the Hightailers? Before you go, be sure to check your local PBS station and record in whatever manner you may the Austin City Limits’ Hall of Fame show, airing that evening. Marcia Ball, Ray Charles, and Los Lobos were inducted this year! The musical guests will blow your mind. I am super grateful to Marcia Ball for asking me to join her amazing menagerie of musicians. Here’s a clip of Ruthie Foster, Shelley King, and me, with the badass house band backing up Gary Clark, Jr. (from Rolling Stone) https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/gary-clark-jr-night-time-is-the-right-time-acl-770296/
The new John Mayall album drops this February! Pre Order “Nobody Told Me” now and instantly get the song “Distant Lonesome Train” co-written by Joe Bonamassa, who also plays guitar on two songs. Other special guests include Little Stevie Van Zandt, Todd Rundgren, RUSH’s Alex Lifeson, Larry McCray, and yours truly. (That’s me attempting to channel my inner Cindy Cashdollar on “Distant Lonesome Train”) Fun record! I look forward to playing these songs live soon!
PRE ORDER LINK: smarturl.it/6du2y0
I had such a lovely time on our short November So Cal run with John, Greg Rzab, and Jay Davenport! We’re hitting the road in earnest late February through April with 40+ shows in Europe. You can find those dates and more info at www.johnmayall.com
I post this with much gratitude for music lovers, and others who put up with the musician in your life, thank you! These past few months have found me jumping out of my comfort zone and keeping my nose in books of my own charts for all the fun, challenging, new music I’ve been pouring in my ears and letting permeate my fingers. I’ve been plucking away on my Mom’s Martin around the house and have even been busting out the BluesHawk in front of actual people and letting the Tele have a break. (Whoa. That’s serious!) Sometimes, when we might otherwise be petrified with fear, it is good to close your eyes and dive blindly into the ether. (Thank goodness I’m a musician and not your doctor, yes?)
Big thanks to the folks I admire and who push me. This of course includes A Whitney Brown, “my” band; Kevin Lance, often Greg Rzab and occasionally Bobby Perkins, Shelley King (when I can grab her!) and our road manager Shelley Cox; John Mayall, Jay Davenport, Marcia Ball, all my sisters in Sis Deville, Dave Alvin and everyone On Roots On the Rails, all of our friends who put on Conrad DeMuelenaere’s Beyond the Flags Concert in Ardooie, Jan the Lazyman, Shandon Sahm, and all that were in Amsterdam for the Doug Sahm Birthday Hoot, Jeff Botta and everyone who participated in this year’s The Last Waltz reenactment, Paul Minor and everyone at the Doug Sahm Thanksgiving Jam – heralding the end of Threadgill’s WHQ with music, Matt Hubbard and everyone at Fai Jow’s memorial concert. (Special thanks to Todd Wolfson on stolen -with love- spoons from Ming’s) I feel lucky to have played with you this, and every year. Immeasurable thanks to Black Fret for awarding us a grant last year. It really kept us afloat during uncertain financial times. (You can join Black Fret and dig their mission here: www.blackfret.org) None of this would be possible without our friends and agents at the aptly named Intrepid Artists, so hey: thank y’all!
I am honored to serve on the board, and be one of the founders of HOME, an Austin 501(c)3 charity that has been assisting with housing needs for our 55+ musicians. We started in 2012 when we realized it would take a village to make sure we could keep Austin legend, Miss Lavelle White, in her apartment. After initially making sure her needs were met, we have been assisting with grants to others in similar predicaments. We currently assist over a dozen musicians. We are driven to help keep our elders housed, often in Austin, whose musical landscape they helped create. We offer help with rent, utilities, and referrals. With the costs of living going up and treasured venues closing, the need for services like ours are on the rise. If you’d like to volunteer, donate, or just learn more about us, please visit www.homeaustin.org
Thank y’all for making these past few months so groovy! So many fine memories to keep me warm during the darkest days of the year. Happy Solstice and may the holiday(s) you celebrate fill you with great joy. I leave you with my song for the season, “Room at the Inn”. Dedicated to the families in Tornillo and those who hold their fate in their hands, and hopefully in their hearts https://youtu.be/SVK8qhI9W18