3/12 Hudson NY show at Club Helsinki

The Tarbox Ramblers will play Club Helsinki in Hudson NY on Saturday, March 12. Very excited to get out there — our dates at the old Club Helsinki, in Great Barrington MA, were easily some of the greatest and most fun shows we ever played. I can’t wait to visit Marc and Deborah’s new house of music and see a bunch of our old Western MA and eastern NY friends. You can get tickets HERE.

RIP Ornette Coleman

I love Ornette Coleman’s music, and his death a few days ago hit me hard. I first heard him when I was fifteen; his music has been a touchstone ever since. His endlessly inventive and beautiful songs changed my life.

Ornette Coleman


I chastise myself for not being more unreasonable

I just completed a slew of shows that took me through NY State, Western MA, Vermont and Rhode Island. I made lots of new friends and heard some great musicians, some for the first time. Many thanks to Rob Flax for his fine violin playing and excellent conversation on some long trips; to Jim Whitford and Rob Lynch for their wit and cameraderie, and for being such a great rhythm section; and to my pals Robert Fisher and Donald Saaf for putting together memorable nights. Robert is the idea man behind the great Willard Grant Conspiracy, while Donald writes folk music for a country that never existed, and plays it beautifully with his Bluebird Orchestra. Check their music out people!

I also had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Melissa Sheehan, of Saxtons River VT. What a brilliant songwriter and singer she is. There’s something bare and vulnerable about her music that strikes me as courageous. She told me that she’s become a farmer and doesn’t perform as much as she once did, but if you get the chance to hear her, do it!

Things are slowing a bit for me with the coming of summer, but I’m working on new songs. To my surprise I’ve found myself in editing mode, revisiting old songs that never seemed quite complete and, where I can, adding what seemed to be missing. Where it’s worked it’s been a relief. I hate leaving things incomplete, but songs arrive in their own time.

Here are a few of the things that have gotten me through the last few months:

—— My daughter asking me if unicorns are made out of corn.

—— Preparation For The Next Life, by Atticus Lish. A brutal novel that gives human suffering its noble due. It’s a ground’s-eye view of city life; trash, and trashiness, play a major role. It reminded me of the way things would sometimes look and feel during the strange, endless hours of my time as a cab driver.

—— Elder Greene Blues, by Charlie Patton. A song that stretches across time in black and white technicolor, so vividly and with such vitality that, in the end, it tells you a lot about how to live.

—— The poems of Frank Stanford. A poet of the American south who died young. Just getting into his work, liking what I’ve read so far.

—— The Poems of Francois Villon, translated by Galway Kinnell. Profane, profound, funny and desperate work that inspired me like nothing else I read or heard this spring.

That’s all for now. Call me if you’re thinking about hosting a house concert!


April Residency in Cambridge

Alrighty then… I’ll be playing a set every at The Cantab Lounge, in Central Square Cambridge, every Monday in April. I’ll play from 9.30-10.15 PM.

I’ll be joined on April 6 by string bassist Johnny Sciascia and, on April 13, by violinist Daniel Kellar. Other friends will join me later in the month. These shows will be a chance to bust out a handful of new songs and play them in different contexts. Looking forward…

Loft Show, House Show

Hey! I just booked aa 4/17 Baltimore house concert and a 4/24 loft show in Brattleboro VT. Both are open to the public.

E-mail me at info[AT]tarboxramblers[DOT]com for info about the Baltimore house concert. Links to info about the VT date are on the “Shows” page. These are gonna be some fun nights!

Saturday Show in Keene NH!

HuskiesOn Saturday, November 22 I’ll play at the Sumner Knight Chapel, in Keene NH, as part of the Keene Music Festival. This will be an acoustic, unamplified show in a beautiful intimate space. I’ll use the occasion to unveil a few new songs. My old friend Donald Saaf, and his Bluebird Orchestra, will also appear. Music starts at 7 PM. Venue address, for GPS, is 0 Chapel Drive, Keene NH. Hope to see pals from the great north!