July Shows | Music Halls and Backyard Shows

Summer is my favorite month. July especially for its impromptu front porch choirs and illegal fireworks—“the most loosely enforced law in the country,” said my friend Ed, as we watched folks with bags full of sparklers and screamers light up a backyard party last night. This month also kicks off a special “In The Round” series that brings the Triangle…



“Do you know why you can’t swim here?” he asked.

He stood in front of his car, like it was a workbench. The 90’s gray Wagoneer pointed to the lake, and he pulled a few things from a gym duffle bag: goggles, a snorkel, and some flippers.

“I’m not sure. I think it’s the city’s drinking water,” I said, pausing from pumping up my SUP with a bicycle-like pump. I was on pump number 323 of 350. I count it out. Keeps it interesting.

“What are you training for?” I asked.

The Navy. He needed a 2 mile swim and the monotony of doing laps at Gold’s was killing him.

“What are you training for?” he asked, nodding towards the board.

“I don’t know. Life?”

I wished him well and paddled out, wondering if I’d paddle over him at some point, a little more curious about what goes on under the water, and hoped he wasn’t scared of snakes.


Random Road


There’s a little stretch of random road
That looks a lot like “no place like home.”

Carpenter’s pencil.


Pencil sessions

They don’t fit so well behind the ear, but lay flat in your back pocket.

WFDD Triad Arts 88.5

I can’t get that Nanci Griffith song out of my head. The one with the line, “Cause when you can’t find a friend, you still got the radio.” A great tune to hum on this dreary rainy day, listening to a story on WFDD Triad Arts about Postcards. Talking about it last week with the station’s assistant producer Bethany Chafin…

Won’t Back Down/Stay With Me

For all the grief Sam Smith’s been given over the song, and Petty’s grace about the damn thing, I think in the end, the two tunes go pretty well together. Alex McKinney and I take a spin on the song one Sunday night in late February at Beer Co. in downtown Greensboro. The evening with music is hosted by Alan Peterson, and with all the music, the potluck, and the company, it’s a great balm for the Sunday blues.


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