I usually spend a lot of time with my lyrics before I sing them at an audience or a microphone. I wrote the lyrics to "Charming River Towns" in about two minutes as a kind of exercise to get away from that whole bag, and many nice people have told me that it is their favorite track from River Songs. Go figure, right? Well give it a listen. The whole EP is for sale here.
And it turns out they do celebrate Halloween in Norway. More so with every passing year, which has made some people grumpy. So in honor of a controversial holiday, I made this spooky movie poster for to post on Facebook. Don't let the photograph fool you though, "Charming River Towns" does not take place in Reykjavik, Iceland. It does take place somewhere between Cairo and Galena, Illinois.
Two tracks from the new EP. If you like 'em, get the whole thing! The MP3 download is just $5, and you can get it right here in house.
River Songs is an acoustic album that I recorded in a cabin near the headwaters of the Mississippi River. The music was inspired by three cross-country road trips down and up Highway 61, tracing the Big River from Minnesota to New Orleans and back. The lyrics were written in highway rest areas, motel rooms, and state parks along my route with one exception.
Many years ago and long before I made these marathon river drives, I wrote the song “Paper Town” about Cloquet, Minnesota, the town I grew up in and (by the end of high school) wanted very badly to leave. Now I swear I’ve left that place dozens of times and it keeps happening. That cycle is probably what this EP is about, among other concerns, but the action takes place mostly along the banks of the Mississippi River. So it’s called River Songs.
I set a goal of making a different kind of album this go round. River Songs is short (5 songs), simple (mostly just me singing with an acoustic guitar), and was entirely recorded/mixed/packaged in the month of September. The music was inspired by my recent cross-country drive(s) down and up the Mississippi River and recorded near the source.
I hope you like the new music! I'm really happy with the way this one sounds/looks/feels. It was too easy. Very necessary. River Songs will be available at my EP release shows this weekend and available online starting Saturday.
Hey folks and friends. I'm lucky enough to get a lil' taste of summer and (hopefully) fall in the Great North Woods this month. Current plans: swim in lakes, record an EP about my summer drive up the Mississippi River, drink plenty of Bell's 2H, and play these shows...
A hearty thank you to family, friends, and former strangers who gave me shelter as I hawked Hungry Heartland across the Midwest and Northeast last month. My shows in Montpelier, Portland, Cambridge, and New York City were among the best I have played on my own. I sha'n't be gone long!
Here is a glimpse of what went down...
Thank you Ben Cosgrove for composing a haunting and beautiful string arrangement for "Emily." Thank you Jenn Fagre for performing all of it!
About HH: For many years, I've been accruing songs that couldn't necessarily move a bar full of people to dance but that I always thought were "pretty good." By some coincidence or not, these quieter and under-performed songs were written largely in and about the lower upper Midwest...even though I spent about 50% of my nights in Massachusetts during the time they came into my life. I've finally recorded this set, and am pleasantly surprised by how cohesive the thing seems to be. I hope you like the songs.
I'm emerging from my winter cave and some live situations are on the horizon once again. The first one is this Thursday night at Gulu-Gulu Café in Salem, MA at 9PM. The rest are listed on my shows page. I hope to see you out and around!
I'm back in the North Country for Christmas and am playing a show with my fellow Saints at Amazing Grace Bakery and Cafe in Duluth, MN. If your holiday home happens to be the same as mine, come out to my favorite café-type establishment tomorrow night, Christmas Eve-Eve. They now serve beer and wine! SA will start stomping-grass at approximately 7 PM...
Toad is my favorite tiny bar in Cambridge. This will also be 90MP's last show together for some months - stop in and say hi!