I'm in the studio with ALO recording our 5th album for Brushfire Records. We've been holed-up in Allegiant Studios, in San Anselmo, where we are once again working with engineer, producer and Jedi master Dave Simon-Baker on songs contributed by all four members of the band. There is no greater joy for me than working with my bros from noon to midnight for days in a row making collaborative art with musical instruments and handmade electronic recording equipment. By the way, I've known Dave Simon-Baker for, well, a really long time now. We were college roommates long before I met the ALO guys. In fact, we once shared an apartment with Evil Farmer bassist Ari Gorman in what can only be described as a squalid, smelly pig sty of our own making. College was so great!
I also want to say thank you to all the fans and folks that came out for ALO's ninth (NINTH!) annual Tour D'Amour. You guys are what make it great. Man, our fifth album and ninth TDA- time is really marching on isn't it? What fun it's been.
Shows for the year are starting to shape up nicely. ALO returns to the High Sierra Music Festival and the 4 Peaks festival in Bend, OR among many others. I've also been having a lot of fun with my SLC band, Mokie. We've become regulars at the State Room in Salt Lake where owner Darren Picolli has really taken a liking to us. The State Room has all the makings of a great venue: excellent sound, very cool staff and talent buyers with vision. And they just opened a sister venue up in Park City-- O.P. Rockwell's. So, if you're ever in the SLC metro region look us up. Chances are we're playing at one of the many bitchin' venues in town. Really, Salt Lake has a good little scene going on right now. Come out and visit us!
Thanks to the AS Program Board and the faculty and students of UCSB for having us on campus on October 8th. ALO and Jack Johnson played an extended set at a student rally in Storke Plaza to remember the victims of the Isla Vista shootings. As graduates of UCSB we feel we owe a lot to the student culture there, and the school, so it was especially meaningful to get the opportunity to show our support for the community.
Lot's of good stuff on the horizon: ALO will be playing two nights at Soho in Santa Barbara after the Phish shows at the Santa Barbara County Bowl. Then it's off to the Hangtown Music Festival in Placerville, CA for a couple of sets, including a late night show with The Motet, which should be more-or-less tons of fun! The Motet kills it.
For you country music fans, November 25th is the release date for Brokedown in Bakersfield's first album: Brokedown in Bakersfield, Live. It's a mix of some classic California Country songs by Merle, Buck and Gram as well as a couple of originals penned by the great Tim Bluhm. We will support the release with a tour through the cities of Northern California starting in San Francisco on November 26th. See the Shows page for more details.
I'll be doing a few "dates" along the Cali coast in May with Garrin Benfield and Tom Treund. The three of us first came together last year for a songwriter's round-robin at the Brick and Mortar in San Francisco at the behest of Dave Marguiles, music impresario of the High Sierra Music Festival. Garrin is a guitarist, Tom's main ax is the upright bass and with me on drums we form a complete instrumental trio. We're doing songs from each of our songbooks as well as tunes from our common love- the Grateful Dead.
I'm really excited to play with these guys some more. Garrin is an amazing songwriter with an emotional depth unparalleled and Tom is a major force on the LA scene, collaborating with the likes of Ben Harper, Brett Dennen, Jackson Browne and Graham Parker. He's the resident troubadour of Venice Beach and just a brilliant craftsman of song. I hope you folks on the west coast can make it out to a show. Bring your ears and be prepared to hear every note, every word and every breath in between. Go to my shows page to get the dates!