It's here! What a journey this album has been. Thank you to my IndieGoGo backers who made it all possible. Thank you to Ben, Tony, Jenn, and Malia for making the album better. Thanks to the rest of you for listening to me ramble on about Norway for the past two years. After living this adventure for three months and then mulling it for many more, I'm really happy with how this thing turned out. I think it is a good record of what happened. Give Songs From The North Country a listen and let me know what you think.
If you’ve ever lived on a busy street, in the winter, you may have experienced what this song is about. Rush hour headlights slicing through the blinds, scanning the room and disappearing suddenly. Feels like a search party or a lighthouse just showed up on your doorstep. Thank you to Ben Cosgrove for providing the beautiful accordion accompaniment here.
Here's a little preview of Songs From The North Country. I'm really happy with how the album is coming together. Tony Petersen played electric guitar(s) on "Black Friday" and Jenn Fagre played violin/viola on "Letters From America."
I'll be taking these songs around the midwest and northeast in the coming months, playing some of my favorite cozy venues and a string of house concerts. Hope to see you!
12/22/17: St. Paul, MN - The Underground Cafe, 5pm
12/23/17: Duluth, MN - Amazing Grace Cafe, 6pm
2/24/17: Cambridge, MA - Gallery 263, 7PM
If you are interested in hosting a house concert, I'll bring my Norway songs and stories to your living room. Email me.
I've been working on the new album for two months now, kinda racing to get everything done by Christmastime. I think it will happen.
In addition to recording music, I’ve also been organizing a booklet that will include song lyrics and stories from my time in Norway. I’m still messing around with the layout. The cover will look like one of these drafts…
Fortunately, my home studio comes with an in-house design team. Artwork by Malia Chan. Here’s an excerpt from one of the Norway stories:
Most days, I work in the forest at three to four hours at a go. Usually with Erik. In the morning, we bundle around the hearth, shoulder our axes, and commute four minutes up a seventy degree grade. Above Nordre Oppland, twin splitting stations flank a massive woodstack, and the view is unbeatable. All the way to Lillehammer, white parceled farmland unrolls with a detailed stitching of roads and fences. On clear mornings, the sun rises big and red across the valley, about thirty minutes into our effort. The slanting light inflames the countryside. More than once I think to myself that Pieter Bruegel the Elder should eat his heart out. Haha, very clever Jamie. But yes, if you want to comprehend the view from my splitting station, spend some time with Hunters in the Snow.
Geez this Norway project is big, and it has taken over my 2017. (I’m lucky for that.) When I laid it all out in my mind - two EPs, the crowdfunding video, the full length album, the lyric book, and all the custom songs - I wasn’t sure if I would actually get it all done. But now I’m close! Thank you for your support and thanks for tuning in. More coming soon.
This October, I'll be heading to the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I'll spend two weeks there serving as artist-in-residence for the park. People who know me well have probably heard my stump speech about this place already. What's not to love about the UP? Sandy unbroken Superior lakeshore? Woods? Plenty of 1950s vintage motels and weird diners? I'm grateful to the Friends-Of-The-Porkies selection committe for asking me to write songs about one of my favorite corners of the United States. Stay tuned!
In the fall of 2015 I felt compelled to find the small town of Kallestad on the west coast of Norway. I spent three months over there, working on farms and writing new music. This escape was necessary and lightening. I met some incredible people. I think that the songs I wrote in Norway are some of my best and now I want to tell this story. You can buy my EP In The Belly Of The Feast and back this new project right here.
Perks for backers include: A new EP recorded live in Kallestad, string-bound lyric books, custom songs, and house concerts, and...postcards.