More than a year, really. The last gig I played was in February of 2020. That’s also the last time I was on an airplane before April. There are lots of ‘marking time’ moments right now. I’m sure you have your own.
Here are some more of mine:
I released a new record in May of last year. Strange to do that in the pandemic, but it’s not like I have some big business machine here that needs things a certain way. So what the hell- out the record goes into the world. We did a livestream release show from my back patio. Not what I had originally planned, but lots of fun. So much fun that we ended up doing a few more of those over the summer. Playing with John and Derek is always awesome, and one of the hardest parts of the last six months or so was not getting to play with them on the regular.
On April 9th, 2020, it was the week after John Prine’s death. It’s really hard to wrap my head around the fact that a whole year has gone by, but I guess it has. I wrote this song that week as a way to try and process a bit I suppose. The things that have happened over the past year are pretty tough to process, so I’m not sure how successful it was, but it sure felt good to write something at the time.
Prine was such a part of the American musical landscape for so long that his death felt huge at the time. He was profoundly influential on many of the people who influence me, and very much a part of the music scene that I follow.
So it was a long winter, and I can’t say it was a whole lot of fun. It does seem like in some ways the worst of the pandemic is past, but I’ll be honest- it doesn’t feel as over as some folks want to make it out to be. And on a global scale it’s still a tragedy of mammoth proportions. As I write this in May, India is getting clobbered. This thing is not over. Yes, here we are. In Colorado the governor is lifting many restrictions, if you’re vaccinated, the science clearly says you are in good shape, and the weather and the longer days certainly help.
I personally have found the past year exhausting for many reasons. While we were all in lockdown and social distancing people would say to me (very brightly) ‘are you writing tons of songs?!’ as if the only thing I needed to be more productive was some time. The answer is no. I’m just as susceptible to apocalyptic anxiety and depression as anyone else, and the year has been really hard in some personal ways on top of the pandemic. So no, it hasn’t really been a super productive time artistically.
That said, I did write a few songs. I have a new single recorded, and plans to do a few more in the next few months. I don’t think I’m making a record- I think I’m just gonna record some songs and put them out one at a time for a bit. Stay tuned for more on that in the next month or so.
People keep asking me ‘are you playing, when are you playing?’ As I’m just emerging from my cave, it will take a little time to get the machine up and running, but all the guys int he band are vaccinated now and we’ll start rehearsing soon (I hope). Look for some Colorado Front Range Dates by the end of the summer. Beyond that, who knows.