Our first day on the road has been a blast. The drive to Cleveland was an experience. We left my house in Maryland at midnight and pulled into Cleveland after 7am. The drive was pretty easy, despite the rain and the loosy-goosey shocks. Our first stop on this month was at Wilbert’s in Cleveland. Wilbert’s is across the street from the Cleveland Indian’s baseball stadium, and it was game night. So the streets were packed with baseball fans. But we converted a few of them into blues fans … cause we were all pretty on point. So far, so good!
We hit the road tomorrow evening for a month of music and friendship. Packing for a month is tricky. Especially when you have to think about what to wear both during the day, and at the gig in the evening. How many shoes do you bring? Will you bring less shoes than Charles the bass player? Do you really need that extra XLR cable?
Thankfully, we’re not leaving the comforts of major cities in the United States. So we’ll never be too far from a music store or a Kohl’s. But you never know. I might need that second pair of nail clippers.
I’m pretty excited about this adventure. I sure hope I can get some sleep tonight. It will be the last night in my comfy bed with my amazing wife for a month, so I better get some rest.
I’ll try my best to post photos and updates here. But I’ll most likely be active on Facebook. If you’d like to follow along on this journey across America, visit my Facebook page. Whenever possible, we’ll post to Facebook live on Jose’s Facebook page.
So my run of playing is upon us. I took roughly a decade off from being in front of an audience. About a year before my first child was born I began to change my focus and drive from music to fatherhood. Being a father is the most rewarding gift a man can receive, and I wanted to give it my all. As they grow older, however, they need me less, and it’s time to start the process of letting them go. Just writing that sentence is tough, but to quote the nearly re-released Lion King, “it’s the circle of life.” So back into music I go.
I haven’t been on a stage with a large crowd for a very long time. There’s a wonderful rush when the people listening are returning as much love as we hope to give. This Saturday’s ArtScape show will bring that all back for me. It’s gonna be a blast.
We’re on at 6:00 on the main stage. The song list is so freakin’ fun. Every tune is a feel good hit of funk, soul and a little reggae. Don’t miss it!
I don’t even know where to begin with this one. Mary Prankster was the coolest chick in the world back when I was playing music full time. Her band was killer. Her tunes were well-crafted, hysterical and so fun. In the summer of 2018 I found myself in the studio with Mary and the Bellevederes. She asked the Belles to come in and lay down a soulful track. The session was powerful and I felt a real kinship with Mary. So much so that she asked me to return to lay down a few more tracks on her upcoming album.
Playing at the Birchmere is something I didn’t think was in the cards for me. As an audience member I’ve seen Doc Watson, Phoebe Snow, Ralph Stanley, Raul Midon, and the Soggy Mountain Boys; among others. It’s a legendary venue that doesn’t book local or regional acts generally. In the few weeks before our show you can catch Paula Poundstone, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, John Hiatt, Chris Botti, and the Seldom Scene there. Yea - the club has that caliber of talent every night. What a treat to play on the same stage as these greats!
I can’t wait to hear Mary’s new album. She’s been busy mixing for months. I think you’re gonna love it.
In keeping with the “Summer of Bronson” vibe, I’m playing with a great funk band called Rev. Smackmaster and the Congregation of Funk at ArtScape in Baltimore on the main stage at 6pm on July 20th. We’re opening for the James Brown Dance Party which is a highly successful funk band that tours all over. For more info about the band: http://www.smackmasterfunk.com/. For more info about ArtScape: http://www.artscape.org/performing-arts/performance-arts-detail/27
July 20th is going to be such a cool day. My old friend Scotty P is on the main stage at 1:30. And the funky Fred Thomas is playing with the James Brown Dance Party. It’ll be a fun day in the sun.
I’m so happy to announce that I’ll be on the road with the Jose Ramirez Band for a month beginning in mid-August. Jose is an up-and-coming blues guitarist from Costa Rica. He’s put together a heavy-hitting band of seasoned road warriors and is letting me catch a ride. Check back for more info. I’ll try to post pics as the tour progresses. For more info: https://www.joseramirezblues.com/