Reflections on a European Tour, 2016.

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Reflections on a European Tour, 2016.

Carrie and I had the tour on our calendar for a long time but refused to talk about it. In all honestly, we didn't know how to talk about it. Touring for the two of us is easy. We know what to expect, how to pack, where we are going, which airport line we should be standing in, etc. But this particular tour was different. Our son Cruz had turned one just a couple of weeks before we filled an obscenely large red suitcase full of too many of his clothes, toys, and bottles, and then placed him along with his Grandmother on a plane that would carry us all to London. We had no idea how Cruz would navigate such a long flight, but our anxieties were somewhat eased as he fell asleep at an undisclosed location over the Atlantic. The plane landed, and we were all jet-lagged, but we had made it. With each passing day, both Cruz and Katy (his Grandmother) grew to be the perfect traveling roommates and companions complete with their own set of inevitable inside jokes. From London to Wales to Scotland, Katy's self-titled "Granny-Nanny" effort allowed Carrie and I the physical and mental space to perform concerts in rooms full of beautiful British souls. Somewhere along the way, Cruz even learned how to say "dog!" with the perfect English accent (a pronunciation he has held onto upon our return). With our traveling chops honed, and after three weeks in the U.K., we were poised to board another plane for the second leg of our tour in Italy. While speaking with the promoter of our concert in Edinburgh the night before our flight, we mused at the differences between Brits and Italians. "The British love their dogs," he said, "and the Italians, their children."

In a strange and beautifully inefficient way, touring with a family in Italy makes perfect sense. It's difficult to say where the music ends and family begins as everything runs together in the most chaotic and harmonious run-on sentence you can imagine. There is no time to consider this, however, as you load up the car and drive up the mountain and navigate the one-lane winding road and enter the restaurant where there is a fire in the fireplace and there sits the wine on a table filled without about 20 other smiling faces and you only know about half of them and that's okay and the language barrier is there and after the second glass of wine it really doesn't seem to matter (breathe, eat, drink, smile, repeat.) After all, the bagna cauda is divine, and the pasta transcendent. So take an espresso, head back down the mountain, and play a concert in an ancient stone building repurposed as a museum. All of it as a family.

I am grateful for this artists' life. I am more grateful for my Mother in Law.

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Church Bells Video

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Church Bells Video

Hello Friends,

Before leaving for a run of shows on the west coast I quickly shot some footage for a new video. "Church Bells" is a track from my album Velvet After Feel. Inspired by my dear Italian friends who live next to a Catholic church in their quaint village, "Church Bells" attempts to both redeem the incessant ringing they have grown to loathe, and at the same time find beauty in the mundane everydayness we all experience. Cameos by Carrie Rodriguez and Cruz Calvin. Check it out. Share it. Tell me what you think!

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Tiny Desk Concert

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Tiny Desk Concert

Hey Y'all,
Here it is - our Tiny Desk Concert! That's me on the right sporting a French-Texan look of sorts (according to the sound engineer). In any case, a big thank you to NPR and the Tiny Desk folks for having us. It's a wonder how a small desk in an office can become a venue known around the world. Honored to have played a part!

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Mountain Stage

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Mountain Stage

I've been lucky enough to perform on Mountain Stage with Carrie Rodriguez three times in my life. Last night's performance was a real treat and arguably my favorite. The bill included songwriting veterans Hayes Carl and Darrell Scott, the talented up and coming Parker Millsap, as well as Austin friends Brennen Leigh and Noel Mckay. Carrie and I kicked the evening off featuring songs from her new release Lola, two of which we performed with the talented house band. Thanks West Virginia for the hospitality and the sold out show! Thank you Grandma for taking care of Cruz!

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National Sawdust: Brooklyn

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National Sawdust: Brooklyn

What a night at National Sawdust in Brooklyn! It was an honor to play in this acoustically neutral space with a gorgeous space age aesthetic right in the heart of Williamsburg. You could literally hear a pin drop. A big thank you to the National Sawdust staff as well as the fans who made the night so special.

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On the Road with Cruz

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On the Road with Cruz

No, this is not a political piece. I'll be happy when all of the hullabaloo is behind us. Cruz is my son, and he joined Carrie and I on the road for our tour thru the Midwest over the past couple of weeks. All three of us were a little nervous as Cruz is only 5 months old and this was to be his first tour, but he along with his Granny-Nanny (a term Carrie's Mother coined) were the perfect traveling companions. I'm already looking forward to the next leg of touring which takes us to the Northeast. Cruz will be selling merch...

 

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New Dates on the Way!

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New Dates on the Way!

Carrie Rodriguez and I are looking forward to the upcoming February release of her new album. Dates here at home as well as abroad are coming in quickly and will be posted shortly. Stay tuned!

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A Season of Creation

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A Season of Creation

After finishing an amazing tour of the Southeast and Midwest this spring, I've been home working non-stop on Carrie Rodriguez' next endeavor called the Sacred Heart Project. In her words it is "a bilingual labor of love." Designing the website, creating the videos, managing the fundraising campaign, and writing/demoing the new music has been a much enjoyed season of creation. Speaking of creating, during a recent performance at the Cactus Cafe here in Austin, TX, Carrie and I were elated to announce to the world that we are expecting our first baby due at the end of September! I'm going to be a Dad and couldn't be more excited! My fingers are definitely crossed hoping for those curls. Be well friends...
 

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Ameri-Chicana

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Ameri-Chicana

It's been raining here in Lexington, KY ever since we arrived, but I guess it could be worse. Last week they received 17" of snow and the remnants of it are still steaming and melting away.  I want to thank WUKY for having Carrie Rodriguez and I on the station today, and for spinning a track off of 'Velvet After Feel.' I've really enjoyed playing these new songs that Carrie and I have been working up - especially the tunes in Spanish.  This morning at A Cup of Common Wealth coffee shop when asked the inevitable "What kind of music do y'all play?" we answered with "Indie-Folk-Mexicana?" And then upon further questioning replied, "you know, like Ameri-Chicana."

It's a rich life... keep it smooth folks.

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