Time keeps on slippin, keeps on slippin into the future. Keep a metronome close by to compare tempos committed to memory. Find the pulse of the moment from the gut down; the arms and feet will follow. It’s not keeping time, it’s creating time. Intuitive selection resides in the center of the body. Avoid all surfaces, frames and external foundations. Blur the focus (lines and colors), with a steady aim towards the middle.
May 5th – Skylar Gudasz w/Ryley Walker @Kings, Raleigh, NC
May 7th – Sahaja Spirit: Stacey L. Kirby’s Feminine Spectrum exhibit @VAE, Raleigh, NC
May 10th – Sarah Louise (record release) @Nightlight, Chapel Hill, NC
May 11th – Mandolin Orange @Artisphere, Greenville, SC
May 19th – Mandolin Orange @Bluegrass in the Bottoms, Kansas City, MO
May 20th – Mandolin Orange @The Great Pinewood Bluegrass Festival, Lincoln, NE
May 25th – Mandolin Orange @Delfest, Cumberland, MD
May 27th – Mandolin Orange @U.S. National Whitewater Center, Charlotte, NC
Chisel: Sometimes one needs to mimic to locate the starting point. Then you’re turning over rocks, clearing the brush, chipping away; hours, days, weeks, months at a time in one direction. The initial sparkle that lead you here is now fading, yet the new findings from your excavation keep you tumbling forward. Pack your soft sneakers, for there are many large, aged prints that already eclipse this path.
April 5th – Solo Performance (electro-acoustic percussion); Turkish Gold Standard Residency @The Station, Carrboro, NC
April 7th – Skylar Gudasz @Burke Street Fest, Winston-Salem, NC
April 11th – Sahaja Spirit @North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC — (Guided practice w/ accompaniment at Anila Quayyum Agha’s Intersections installation.)
April 16th – Califone @Exo, Tucson, AZ
April 17th Califone w/The War on Drugs @Rialto Theater, Tucson, AZ
April 18th Califone w/The War on Drugs @The VanBuren, Phoenix, AZ
April 27th Mandolin Orange @Merlefest, Wilkesboro, NC
April 29th Mandolin Orange @Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, Wilmington, NC
Some time at home, a lull in the traveling activities, can give a renewed sense of purpose and perspective on all fronts. The opportunity to expand one’s relationships to people, places and roles brings new meaning to the whole. A few highly meaningful dates below that represent all of the above…
March 1st – James Gilmore’s Free Improvised Music @The Pinhook, Durham, NC
March 10th – Sahaja Saturday @Sahaja SPACE, Durham, NC
March 15th – Sahaja SOUNDS feat: Vattel Cherry, Andrea E. Woods Valdés (movement, music, projections) & Alisha Nissenfeld (gong bath) @Sahaja SPACE, Durham, NC
March 17th – Trippers & Askers record release party @The Cave, Chapel Hill, NC
Sounds and the organization thereof you thought you left behind come back into focus, this time with a new found clarity; so much so, it feels like a new moment, a brand new birthing of a baby bunting. Begs the question: does it ever do us any good to obsess over the things that enamor us? …esp since we eventually end up ‘discarding’ them, only to have them repeatedly blindside us throughout the duration of a lifetime? The antithesis might be to ‘play it cool’ when you find something you like. I’m leaning towards calling bullshit on that approach, tho there’s probably a healthy balance to be found between the two.
February 3rd – DJ set, Ken Vandermark’s Marker @Neptunes; Raleigh, NC
February 10th – Sahaja Spirit @Sahaja SPACE; Durham, NC
February 11th – Emergent Improvisation informal showing @Sahaja SPACE; Durham, NC
February 21st – Al Riggs-Edency @The Cave; Chapel Hill, NC
February 22nd – Sahaja SOUNDS presents: Bowles/Westerlund Percussion Duo + Josh Kimbrough @Sahaja SPACE; Durham, NC
January 7th – Resonancy (duo w/ Nathan Bowles) @Neptunes; Raleigh, NC
Well, there’s time to reflect a bit. With a minimal performance schedule, the fresh recording ideas and epiphanies continue to flow. Looking forward to all the good that is in store for us in 2018, and bracing for certain adversity. Aiming for progress through peace, gratitude and compassion… as a goal for personal improvement, as well as a hope for humankind. Here’s to looking back on 2017! A few year-end-list-type-things…
Below are the people whom I’ve chosen to surround myself with in a professional/ creative capacity this year… or rather, I guess we’ve chosen each other. Very grateful for these new and continued relationships and opportunities to create, integrate and search for the very reason to do this thing in the first place. The more I do this, the more it becomes clear that the main reason is so we can all be together! I guess this sentiment just makes too much sense to not be taken for granted on a daily basis!
Carson Efird, Eugene Chadbourne, Molly Chadbourne, Elisabeth Chadbourne, Jenny Chadbourne, David Menestres, Carrie Shull, David Doyle, Jim McHugh, Laurent Estoppey, James Gilmore, Justin Vernon, Trever Hagen, Zach Hanson, Chris Messina, Mac McCaughan, Jenn Wasner, William Tyler, Ken Vandermark, Brad Cook, Russell Lacy, Jeanne Jolly, Chris Boerner, Jeff Crawford, James Wallace, Casey Toll, Roger Gupton, Andrew Munger, Paul Rogers, Chris Sharp, Matt Douglas, Jon Ashley, Amelia Meath, Nick Sanborn, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Ryan Gustafsson, Nick Sanborn, Molly Sarle, Matthew Peterson, Matt McElroy, Zach Hegg, Yan Westerlund, Robert Pence, Mike Isenberg, Christopher Thurston, Danny Grewen, Steve Cowles, Andrew Marlin, Emily Frantz, Clint Mullican, Josh Oliver, Saman Khoujinian, Alan Morgan, Brandon Day, Jimmy Rhine, Tim Iseler, Vattel Cherry, Joseph O’Connell, Matthew O’Connell, Phil Cook, Matt McCaughan, The Blue Eyed Bettys, John Darnielle, Tift Merritt, Sam Beam, Gary Louris, Keil Jansen, Catherine Edgerton, Alex Bingham, Kym Register, Al Riggs, Christie Smith, JT Bates, Jeremy Ylvisaker, Mike Lewis, Jenny Lewis, Megan McCormick, Ryan Olson, Sam Amidon (alomst), CJ Camerieri, Ben Ivascu, Jeremy Black, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Mike McKee Patrick Phelan, Charles Cleaver, Adam Morford, Meg Duffy, Skylar Gudasz, Brad Brandhorst, Mark Simonsen, Josh Moore, Darin Gray, Kate Rhudy, Rayna Gellert, Brittany Haas, Bobby Britt, Rachel Baiman, Miles Seaton, Katie Johnson, Julee Snyder.
Ten records that were in heavy rotation throughout 2017:
Henri Texier – Amir
Alice Coltrane – Radha-Krsna Nama Sankirtana
Don Cherry – Tibet
Eric Dolphy – Last Date
Sam Amidon – The Following Mountain
Mandolin Orange – Blindfaller
Larry Goldings – Music from the Front Room
Ahmad Jamal – At the Pershing: But Not for Me
Jeremy Udden – Plainville
Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate
Twenty records that hit me or resurfaced at different times during 2017:
The Necks – Unfold
Jackie McLean – Antiquity
Harris Eisenstadt – Recent Developments
Instant Composers Pool – Self Titled
John Carter/Bobby Bradford – Self Determination Music
The Wild Reeds – The World We Built
Big Thief – Capacity
Sylvan Esso – What Now
Grateful Dead – Cornell 5/8/77
The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding
Daniel Romano – Modern Pressure
William Tyler – Modern Country
Joe Henry – Invisible Hour
Rayna Gellert – Workin’s Too Hard
Eli Keszler – Last Signs of Speed
Bill Evans Trio – Portrait in Jazz
The Weather Station – Self Titled
Kate Rhudy – Rock N’ Roll Aint for Me
Jim Campilongo – Dream Dictionary
Rachel Baiman – Shame
Another year coming to a close. The van ignitions power down, the road cases return to the rack, and the reels and hard drives fire up. The machines with magnets get ready to cord so we can permanently revisit our artistic expressions as recordings. Some special events coming up, most notably the official opening celebration of Sahaja S P A C E, featuring a practice accompanied by Westerlund, Wallace & Toll. Come witness the merging of two very important, yet (until now) separate entities of my world for the past while! Also, Grrrrandma returns for an informal holiday visit, and Mando opens for two sets of brothers on NYE.
December 10 – Sahaja Spirit: Winter Prana Vinyasa Seasonal Sadhana @Sahaja S P A C E; Durham, NC
December 21 – Sahaja Spirit + Westerlund, Wallace & Toll: Sahaja S P A C E Opening Celebration @Sahaja S P A C E; Durham, NC
December 28 – Grandma Sparrow: Canine Heart Sounds Residency @The Cave; Chapel Hill, NC
December 31 – Mandolin Orange w/The Avett Brothers + The Felice Brothers @PNC Arena; Raleigh, NC
Notes: Finally, a (very) brief return to Los Angeles, exactly 2 years since moving back east. Plot visits to Revival, Morfbeats, Istanbul. Bring your passport and a coat for Canada. Bring shorts for Arizona. This trip will be colder and warmer than you think. Dive deeper into the supportive role; coaxing more space and subtleties from familiar patterns. Cutting loose on two sets of standards for your 37th birthday. Sentimental Thanksgiving rituals.
November 2nd – Mandolin Orange @Ogden Theater; Denver, CO
November 3rd – Mandolin Orange @The Armory; Fort Collins, CO
November 4th – Mandolin Orange @Metro Music Hall; Salt Lake City, UT
November 5th – Mandolin Orange @The Olympic; Boise, ID
November 7th – Mandolin Orange @Revolution Hall; Portland, OR
November 8th – Mandolin Orange @Biltmore Cabaret; Vancouver, BC
November 9th – Mandolin Orange @WIld Buffalo; Bellingham, WA
November 10th – Mandolin Orange @Neptune Theater; Seattle, WA
November 11th – Mandolin Orange @Rogue Theater; Grants Pass, OR
November 12th – Mandolin Orange @Historic Redwood Barn; Sonoma, CA
November 14th – Mandolin Orange @Rio Theater; Santa Cruz, CA
November 15th – Mandolin Orange @Teragram Ballroom; Los Angeles, CA
November 16th – Mandolin Orange @Crescent Ballroom; Phoenix, AZ
November 18th – Mandolin Orange @Tower Theater; Oklahoma City, OK
November 19th – Mandolin Orange @Antone’s; Austin, TX
November 25th – Sahaja Spirit @Sahaja Space; Durham, NC
November 27th – Westerlund, Wallace & Toll @Pinhook; Durham, NC
Wake up, run, cereal, van, stop for lunch, van, gas station, van, load-in, set up, tune drums, brief jazz jam, if there’s time, take a walk while room is pink-noised, soundcheck, dinner, call my loved one, play show, drink a beer, tear down, load-out, van, hotel. Repeat!!!
October 3rd – Mandolin Orange @Beachland Ballroom; Cleveland, OH
October 4th – Mandolin Orange @Horseshoe Tavern; Toronto, ON
October 5th – Mandolin Orange @The Haunt; Ithaca, NY
October 6th – Mandolin Orange @Royale; Boston, MA
October 7th – Mandolin Orange @Gateway City Arts; Holyoke, MA
October 8th – Mandolin Orange @Club Metronome; Burlington, VT
October 11th – Mandolin Orange @Union Transfer; Philadelphia, PA
October 12th – Mandolin Orange @Neighborhood Theater; Charlotte, NC
October 13th – Mandolin Orange @40 Watt; Athens, GA
October 14th – Mandolin Orange @Orange Peel; Asheville, NC
October 20th – Shahaja Spirit @Yogablyss; Wake Forest, NC
October 22nd – Emergent Improvisation Workshop @Living Arts Collective; Durham, NC
October 23rd – Westerlund, Wallace & Toll @Neptunes; Raleigh, NC
Folk/rock guy plays jazz again, with other folk/rock guys, only this time without the university program self-loathing baggage. Just be like Shenandoah and create beautiful layers without even trying…
September 7th – Skylar Gudasz @Hopscotch Music Festival; Raleigh, NC
September 8th – Molly Sarle @The National; Richmond, VA
September 9th – Molly Sarle @Black Cat; Washington DC
September 11th – Molly Sarle @Music Hall of Williamsburg; Brooklyn, NY
September 14th – Westerlund, Wallace & Toll @The Station; Carrboro, NC
September 15th – Sahaja Spirit @Yoga Garden; Pittsboro, NC
September 17th – Mandolin Orange @Bristol Rhythm & Roots; Bristol, VA
September 19th – Mandolin Orange @The HiFi; Indianapolis, IN
September 2oth – Mandolin Orange @Thalia Hall; Chicago, IL
September 21st – Mandolin Orange @Boats & Bluegrass Festival; Winona, MN
September 22nd – Mandolin Orange @Fine line; Minneapolis, MN
September 23rd – Mandolin Orange @Englert Theater; Iowa City, IA
September 24th – Mandolin Orange @MidPoint Music Festival; Cincinnati, OH
September 26th – Mandolin Orange @Rex Theater; Pittsburgh, PA
September 27th – Mandolin Orange @9:30 Club; Washington, DC
September 28th – Mandolin Orange @Jefferson Theater; Charlottesville, VA
September 29th – Mandolin Orange @Mercy Lounge; Nashville, TN
September 30th – Mandolin Orange @Sugarlands Mountain Fest, Gatlinburg, TN
…and just like that, the dog days are upon us. I closed down the weekend last Sunday night vaping in a friend’s gazebo, taking in the fresh Rhode Island air and the sound of commercials being blasted from his neighbor’s radio; a grumpy couple in their mid-sixties; accompanied by intermittent shrieks and way-too-loud-to-be-real sneezing. Since the birth of his 10-month son, my friend’s dog has been acting up and digging her way under the fence, only to bathe in said neighbor’s ‘vernal pool’ (better characterized as a ‘scum pond’), beneath the shade of the christmas-lit palm trees growing from beneath their backyard, ship-sized deck….
Despite an already bullshit political climate that seems to swell with the Southeastern heat index, we have a few ceremonial events to look forward to…
August 3-4 William Tyler @Pickathon; Happy Valley, OR
August 5-6 Mandolin Orange @Pickathon; Happy Valley, OR
August 11 – Mandolin Orange @Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival; Alta, WY
August 12-13 Mandolin Orange @Edmonton Folk Festival; Edmonton, Canada
August 19th – Mandolin Orange @Rocky Mountain Folks Festival; Lyons, CO
Whenever we were assembling something from a box with instructions, like furniture, storage shelving, outdoor climbing apparatuses, etc.; Dad always used to whisper to himself, “now we’re cookin’ with axle grease.” This statement comes to mind this month…
July 6th – Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary, w/Bloodworth @Kings; Raleigh, NC.
July 7th – Skylar Gudasz @Durham Central Park; Durham, NC.
July 9th – Sahaja Spirit Prana Vinyasa Yoga Class @The Shed; Durham, NC.
July 11th – Emergent Improvisation Workshop @Living Arts Collective; Durham, NC.
July 13th – William Tyler @Constellation; Chicago, IL.
July 14th – William Tyler @Pitchfork Festival; Chicago, IL.
July 15th – Mandolin Orange @Forecastle Festival; Louisville, KY.
July 16th – Mandolin Orange @Green River Festival; Greenfield, MA.
July 18th – Emergent Improvisation Workshop @Living Arts Collective; Durham, NC.
July 20th – Dale Bread Duo @Larry’s Coffee; Raleigh, NC.
July 22nd – Mandolin Orange @NC Museum of Art; Raleigh, NC.
July 23rd – Sahaja Spirit Prana Vinyasa Yoga Class @Yoga Blyss; Wake Forest, NC.
July 25th – Emergent Improvisation Workshop @Living Arts Collective; Durham, NC.
July 29th – Mandolin Orange @Newport Folk Fest; Newport, RI.
Summer is already racing by! Very grateful to be making a variety of music in a variety of ways, with great people, and in some pretty great places.
A few shows backing William Tyler overseas:
June 2nd – Primavera Sound; Barcelona, ES
June 4th -Omeara; London, UK
June 5th – Forbidden Fruit Festival; Dublin, IR
June 11th – drumming for Mandolin Orange at Bonnaroo; Manchester, TN
June 16th & 17th- Joining many friends in multiple variations at the Eaux Claires Festival as an Artist in Residence.
Sahaja Spirit will hold a few Prana Vinyasa Flow classes w/live accompaniment in the Midwest:
June 18th – Yoga Tribe; Rochester, MN
June 20th – The Yoga Sangha; Madison, WI
June 21st – YogaOne Studio; Milwaukee, WI
June 25th – Yogaview; Chicago, IL
More dusting cobwebs off musical projects this month, as well as new supporting-role adventures.
May 6th, Megafaun family reunion with special guests for a big ACLU benefit concert at Ponysaurus Brewing Co.
May 7th, Joe O’Connell and I unleash another iteration of our community band for Sunday Sounds. This time we’ll be showcasing songs by Matthew O’Connell and Carson Efird, in addition to our own.
Also, I’m hopping into the drum chair with new friends, Mandolin Orange, for a few exciting shows in NC, VA and CO throughout the month:
May 13th – NC Brewers and Music Festival; Huntersville, NC
May 21st – Red Rocks Ampitheater; Morrison, CO (w/Elephant Revival)
May 27th – Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival; Martinsville, VA
This month is proving to be an exciting one for ideas and projects I’ve had on the back burner for multiple years now. Spring cleaning!
April 5th, I’ll be opening for legendary composer and past Megafaun collaborator, Arnold Dreyblatt, with a solo percussion set, which will consist of live interpretations of selections from Mojave Interlude, collaged with other ideas and field recordings I’ve collected over the years.
April 25th Joe O’Connell (Elephant Micah) and I will play a collaborative set of new songs we have been writing separately over the past few years. This will be the first public performance of these, and the first non-sparrow songs I’ve written since the Megafaun days…eek! Opening for In Via (of Dark Dark Dark).
Also some continuations of recent work:
April 9th, at 4pm, Carson and I return to The Shed for a Prana Vinyasa + Improvised Music class, in celebration of Hanuman. All proceeds go to Girls Rock NC. A studio recording of this practice is available here.
April 12th, I return to Neptunes to take part in James Gilmore’s free improvisation series, Bag of Tricks. w/James Gilmore and Vattel Cherry.
April 29th, I’ll be drumming with Molly Sarle (Mountain Man), opening for Dead Tongues and Loamlands at Cat’s Cradle.
More back-pocket projects to be revealed in May. Will post those soon! Thank you for reading!
March 7th, I’ll join some phenomenal artists in celebrating David Bowie’s Heroes record. Our first attempt was sabotaged by a water crisis. So very glad we get a second chance to share this unique music and spirited ad hoc.