Postcards from the Swamp: A portable chair. Do you have one?


Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 8.12.20 PMI just got this one. Ideal for rocking lake-side. But you’ll also need some cigars and seltzer to rock it out swamp-side this October. Next month, I’m reprising the six song series Postcards from the Swamp at Doodad Farm. The band will feature Ben Singer and the fine fellows from Wurlitzer Prize. The evening also features special guests The Mighty Gospel Inspirations, all the way from Durham, NC.

If you’re not the outdoor type, I’ve got some indoor things happening, too. Hope to see you there.

9.10—bring a chair and take a stand
Laurelyn Dossett hosts an evening of songs focused on issues of social justice for this s Songs of Hope & Justice: A Fabric of Freedom Concert.  I’m joining up with some of North Carolina’s preeminent singer/songwriters: Bhi Bhiman, Laurelyn Dossett, Alice Gerrard, Rhiannon Giddens, Django Haskins & emcee Preston Lane. Presented by 17 Days.

Plan to bring: A lawn chair
7 pm, Thursday, September 10
The Railyard in Greensboro, NC

9.16—stay standing
I am stoked to announce a new collaboration with songwriter and DJ Anna Luisa Daigneault, aka Quilla. We’ll debut a few new tunes at the DiMuziou Bros. show at the Blind Tiger.

Plan to bring: Your groove
9 pm, Wednesday, September 16
The Blind Tiger in Greensboro, NC

9.22—a seat in the kitchen
Back with the Wurlitzer Prize trio in the best-tasting musical venue in Greensboro: Lucky 32.

Plan to bring: Your appetite
6 to 9 pm, Tuesday, September 22
Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen in Greensboro, NC

9.26—you’ll need more than a camping chair
The ramble continues. Possum Jenkins debuted the festival last year in the GPS-navigator-challenged mountains outside Boone, NC. This year, the festival deck is certainly stacked to be better than the first Ramble.

Plan to bring: Camping and cold weather gear
All day, Saturday, September 26
Family and fool-friendly

Showmanship for Magicians


One of the most discouraging thoughts is that nothing is original anymore. With so much creativity happening online in multi-media ways, you could practically google your idea, song, or concept, and find that someone else did it first.

So this passage in Steve Martin’s new book, “Born Standing Up,” has me believing in original thought again.

Martin bought a copy of this book, “Showmanship for Magicians,” by Dariel Fitzkee. In the forward, Fitzkee writes that the “handbook is meant to turn amateurs into professionals.”

Each show should have music, rhythm, comedy, sex appeal, personality, and an element of selling yourself. Each one is vitally necessary, Fitzkee writes.

In particular, one line in the book made a young Martin cut all ties to the high expectations of history’s greatest vaudevillians, comics, and magicians.

“Magic is old fashioned,” Martin writes, about what he read in Fitzkee’s book. “All entertainment is or about to become old-fashioned. There is room for a young performer to do something new.”