It has been far too long since I bothered you with a mass email. There is no time like the present. Speaking of presents, I hereby brazenly solicit your business for the upcoming holiday season. If you hate reading, are busy, or simply hate me, here is the email in bullet form:
1. New "Ha Ha to the Old Year" T-shirt
2. Black Friday Sale
3. Handmade Christmas Tree Sculptures
4. Now Booking 2014 Old Year/New Year concerts
6. Far Side Of The Sea Update
"Ha Ha To The Old Year" T-shirt
Now you can bravely express your displeasure at a crummy, old year by wearing a shirt that says so. XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL sizes available. (Adult sizes only. Many children have yet to have an adult version of a tough year, so I did not print shirts for them. My apologies to the little ones. Just tell your kids to wait their turn for what the future holds.). Click here to purchase.
Friday 11/29/13 ONLY
Black Friday Sale
Purchase BiRDS OF RELOCATiON CD at $6.00 ea. AND receive my first musical incarnation, Ridgely "The Only Thing" (1997) CD, for FREE. There are less than 100 copies of the Ridgely CD left in stock. When this album is gone, it's gone eternally. If your discography/collection lacks my earlier work, don’t miss out on this offer. Available only in my webstore. Look for the product to be added under the Store | CDs tab.
Christmas Tree Sculptures
Back by popular demand, this will be my second year to offer these fun little folk sculptures. Repurposed wood, no two exactly alike. Made in my shop by my own hands (with the help of my many mini-minions). Click here to purchase.
Old Year/New Year Concert Booking
Now booking early 2014 house/church shows. Ring in your new year, and say "Ha Ha" to an old year, by hosting a special event concert in your home, your church, or alternate venue. If desired, I will be happy to cook a pot of soup, and then sing songs for you. I also shovel snow. I also enjoy golf in the tropics, hint hint. For more info, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been doing some painting lately, and have listed several new pieces in the store. Feel free to peruse my gallery here. And check in often as I plan to paint throughout the winter.
Far Side Of The Sea
Though on hiatus this summer, my photo-essay book, Far Side of the Sea, is very much still in the works. I remain hopeful for a 2014 release. If you are curious for a sneak peek of FSoS, several excerpts were recently published in The Rabbit Room’s literary journal, The Molehill Vol. 2, alongside the likes of Walt Wangerin, Andrew Peterson, GK Chesterton, and other McWordsmiths. The Molehill Vol. 2 is available for purchase here.
As always, thank you for your continued interest and support of indie music such as mine. I literally could not do this without your support. Cheers, and have a wonderful holiday season.
As I write this, the sun is shining for the first time in days, robins are rooting about gathering nesting material, roofers are shingling a neighbor's house, and I am in the process of converting my boys' swingset into a pirate ship. These are rich, vibrant times. If you care to read, here is the latest bit of news and an update from my little rapscallion corner of the world.
Introducing The Daily Piece
Q: What is The Daily Piece?
A: I recently awoke from a dead sleep at 4am with an image in my mind of a tiny bird nest perched in the bowl of a smoking pipe attached to a slab of old board. I, too, thought it was odd – both the waking and the image – so I jotted the idea down. (Over the years I've trained myself to write down these middle-of-the-night ideas so as not to forget them. Sometimes they're good, sometimes trash. Either way, one must obey the muse.) The point, I suppose, is that these Daily Pieces are one-of-a-kind, random sculptures or quirky folk art pieces, singular creations of mine. They will be available only once, never to be duplicated again, at least not on purpose, and when they're gone, they're gone.
Q: Why? What is the point of TDP?
A: Well, why not? I enjoy having eyes and hands that work, and I aim to use them for good. If these artistic efforts helps me fend off sadness and maintain an equilibrium of mild sanity, then all the better.
Q: Are they available for sale? If so, where?
A: Yes, you silly goose, of course they are available in the webstore of my website in the wide web I am slowly spinning. As lagniappe, each piece will be inscribed to its patron-purchaser.
Q: Do you do commissioned pieces?
A: Do pigs enjoy wallowing in their own filth? (Heck yes!)
Q: As the name implies, does that mean there will be a piece every single day?
A: Maybe, maybe not, probably not. When the muse woke me at 4am, TDP was the title in my brain; one learns to go with these things. Besides, I like the name "Daily Piece," as if the word Piece were a play on the word Peace. See what I did there? This is intended to be a no-pressure exercise for me. These creative oddities might be monthly, bi-weekly, annual, perennial, or I might make only one every third gibbous moon. Either way, it is meant to be a NO STRESS creative outlet for yours truly. Hopefully, you will enjoy them too, and if they don't cause you to think, at least maybe they will cause you to smile.
Q: Will you be the only contributor?
A: If we are lucky, no. My wife, Danielle, will hopefully on occasion contribute her own brand of uniquities (e.g., painted glass vases, sewing pieces, homemade baby stuff, etc.) to The Daily Piece. If we are doubly lucky, my sons -- if they can figure out how to focus long enough -- may contribute something for sale…. you know, to contribute to their as-yet unfunded college fund.
Announcing Far Side Of The Sea: A Photographic Memory
"Hardly memorable except for being memorably forgettable, the overlooked objects of earth, with their long and determined memories, don morose decay and disintegration as artful badges of experience, failure, not least of all courage. Their spirits are willing. The world's inanimate ephemera is all-too willing to tell their stories using the voices given them, in the slow, persistent, quiet cadence of their patiently enduring spirits. With eyes to see and ears to hear, it is unwise for us to ignore their relinquished dreams and memories floating on the wide sea among the skeleton hopes, the corroded flotsam, chaos, and rabid ghosts they have seen on their long journeys."
Thus begins my book, Far Side Of The Sea: A Photographic Memoir. In it I pair photos I've taken with an essay piece I wrote from the point of view of the subject matter, giving these inanimate objects a voice with which to tell their stories. Still in early draft mode, I hope to publish the book later this year. In all likelihood, I will be publishing it in association with The Rabbit Room Press. Printing costs will be substantial, and I will more than likely embark upon a fan patronage campaign as I did with BiRDS OF RELOCATiON to help get it out into the world. Please be on the lookout for that coming announcement. Thank you in advance for your interest!
House Concerts: The Fragrance of Soup and Song
Here is a recent piece I recently wrote about my fondness for house concerts titled The Fragrance of Soup and Song. If you see I'll be in your area and would like to tag on a show, please contact us: email@example.com. If you don't see your area listed, contact us anyway, and we'll make some plans to get there as soon as possible. If you would like more information about how house shows work, we would be happy to tell you more.
Some places I'll be playing this spring/summer:
Huntersville, NC / Birmingham, AL / Oak Ridge, TN / Lawrence, KS / Topeka, KS / Liberty, MO / Wichita, KS / Franklin, IN / Ambridge, PA / Colorado / Texas / Wisconsin / Illinois / Oregon
What a year. For some of you, it has been an "old year," one you'd rather forget. Believe me when I say I empathize. If so, may 2013 be your "new year" whereupon the birds return to sing their hopeful songs over you. 2012 has been an incredibly gratifying year for me. The release of my ninth album, BiRDS OF RELOCATiON, has been heartily received, resonating with many folks, falling on seemingly fertile ground. Hopefully BiRDS has fallen so on yours. I am grateful to have seen this album come into existence. What a grace to me.
One of my new year's resolutions was to paint two canvases a month for the year. As of this writing, I have sold 35 paintings, which is absolutely amazing to me, both in that I produced more than I initially set out, and that so many folks have found something likable, perhaps beautiful in this new outlet of mine. I have, from the start, sought to bring something pretty into the world, to paint scenes I myself would like to see, to remind myself that, though so often obscured, the light has not been overcome by darkness. Nor will it ever.
I am thankful that folks like you still purchase music and art, believing wholeheartedly that if the creative labor of artists is not supported, such intensive work will wither and cannot survive. As a recipient of such affirmative grace, I thank you. Merry Christmas and a whole heart to you and yours.
EP, Danielle, Ellis & Monroe
Purchase bulk BiRDS OF RELOCATiON CDs at greatly discounted prices
Sale ends 12/18/12.
Box of 5 CDs = $30.00 ($6/ea)
Box of 10 CDs = $50.00 ($5/ea)
Also, be sure to check out my Box Set
Includes: BiRDS OF RELOCATiON, Chrome, Scarce,
Miracle of Forgetting, and The Only Thing (Ridgely)
What's Coming Up in 2013...
I've been secretly writing a book. This summer, while writing an essay piece for Art House America in which I concocted a narrative to accompany one of my hobbyist photos, it dawned on me that I was in possession of a cache of such black-and-white photos, and that perhaps those too had stories to tell. My interest was piqued to develop the concept, to amass a collection of such imaginings, and to publish them (or attempt it) as a book. Basically, the ongoing work entails me staring at one of my prints and concocting a story to accompany the photo. I realize that staring at innocuous photos sounds like a miserable way to spend a work day, but I can imagine – and have experienced - much worse. Having worked as an electrician's assistant, I can attest. The book is very tentatively titled The Far Side of the Sea: A Photo Essay. I am excited about it. Look for it in 2013!
BiRDS OF RELOCATiON & Chrome CD Release Show
That's right, since I never did an official release show for Chrome (2009), I am doing a double-CD release show featuring songs from both albums. FULL BAND show. It's gonna be fun and folk-poppy!
January 10, 2013
7:30 doors/8pm show
w/ guests Ben Shive, Stacy Lantz
NEW in the EP Store!
Handmade Folk Art Christmas Tree Sculptures.
Order by 12/14/12 for Christmas delivery.
Constructed from spared pine tongue-and-groove ceiling
Limited Edition Poster
Screen-printed by my talented friend and artist, Ben Welstead
BiRDS OF RELOCATiON T-shirt
BRAND NEW item. 100% ring spun cotton T's
BiRDS OF RELOCATiON CD + youth "Beep Beep" t-shirt.
VERY limited quantity. First come, first served.
Booking 2013 Shows
Though I can't see myself playing 2,013 shows in any single calendar year...I would, however, love to play my songs for you. I have grown to absolutely LOVE playing house shows (small, intimate, casual events literally in someone's living room). If you are interested in having me play in your town, at your church, in your home, I promise to knock the mud off my shoes, and be on my best behavior. Please contact the wonderful Laura Preston for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.