I wrote this over the course of last week while traveling to and fro, and I send it to you now.
I recently returned home to my current landing in Brooklyn NY, after a month or so of shows heading north from Miami to Toronto, Boston and back. I played so many places I’d never been to before, like a house concert in Panama City, FL, a festival in Miami Beach, a songwriting masterclass in Winston-Salem NC, multiple bars and venues in Georgia, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, New York, Ontario, and Massachusetts. It was the longest stretch of time and largest amount of shows I had ever performed under my own name, and a dream that I’d had for a long time. For a number of them I was joined by two other artists Becca Stevens and Maz, and even did a string of dates with a full band.
After two and a half weeks back on solid ground, I am now writing you from a speed train, racing through the countryside in France. I’ve been here for the last ten days, performing as a vocalist for pianist/composer Eric Legnini and his band. This country always makes me swoon with its idyllic views, food, wine and quality of life, and the view from my window has made finishing my taxes next to impossible. Being flown to Europe specifically to do whatever it is that I do - that feeling will never get old. It makes me feel incredibly lucky. We’ve done three shows in France and one in Cully, Switzerland. The band is made up of fabulous musicians and kindred spirits with the best senses of humour. I didn’t know them before I arrived, and now they are like family.
In one day, I’ll return to Brooklyn for an epic twelve hours to pack my things, sleep, then hop back on a Los Angeles-bound plane to begin rehearsals for David Crosby’s upcoming US Tour. We’ll start shows April 18th and go straight till June 1st. The musical set list comprises of nearly 40 songs taken from his brand new album “Skytrails” as well as favourites from the CSN, CSNY and CPR (Crosby, Pevar, Raymond) catalogue.
So, as you can imagine, my life has pretty much been reduced to what fits in my suitcase. I have found new joy in travel products, small things, and what we call ‘the perfect pack’. In a lot of ways it is truly a dream come true, and at the same time the challenges of life on the road are becoming more apparent, or the picture has rounded out somewhat (a good thing!). Sometimes I feel ready for it all, other times apprehensive, however, the ball keeps rolling whether I give it a spin myself or someone else does, and I’m very, very grateful to be working as I do.
In June and July I have the pleasure of backing up the shining Becca Stevens in both the US and Europe, followed by some more writing, recording and touring with David Crosby and the Lighthouse band (Becca, Michael League and myself). Hopefully there will be another short tour of my own music in there, too...
So, that will be me for the year. I wanted to write because it hit me how much of a turning point this feels. Spending a year on the road has been a goal and dream of mine for so long. Now that it's happening I want to acknowledge and share it with the people who have supported me along the way. And there is always plenty more to do and get better of course, but this is a kind of milestone for me.
With that my dear friends, I invite you to come out to any of these shows, or for that matter to shows of any artist you follow or love. I can tell you first-hand from myself, and surely from the artists I’ve mentioned, we live in this seemingly chaotic way because we want to be with audiences new and old. There is a hope that each night when we arrive, we’ll put the pieces together and apply every tool we know to make for a meaningful night for you and for us, too. We want to connect with you, and if we don’t we’ll pore over the details to find what went wrong and how we can improve. Even when it goes well, we’ll talk it down and aim to do that much and more for the next night. Those special moments are magic in ways that only music can give. That's the kind of musical oxygen I live for, and I know you do, too.
Thank you for all of your support that you’ve given me. For coming to shows, buying albums, keeping in touch, and encouraging me. Thank you for being an active member of musical life.
I've shared some photos and upcoming tour dates below. For more regular updates, you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or my website.
All my very best, and thanks,
ft. James Raymond, Mai Agan, Jeff Pevar, Steve DiStanislao & Michelle Willis
Tickets Available at www.davidcrosby.com
APR 18 : The Grove of Anaheim || Anaheim CA
APR 19 : The Wiltern || Los Angeles CA
APR 21 : Fantasy Springs Casino || Indio CA
APR 23 : Humphreys || San Diego CA
APR 25 : Vina Robles Amphitheatre || Paso Robles CA
APR 26 : Golden State Theatre || Monterey CA
APR 28 : Uptown Theatre || Napa CA
APR 29 : The Silver Legacy || Reno CA
APR 30 : Great American Music Hall || San Francisco CA
MAY 2 : Aladdin Theatre || Portland OR
MAY 3 : Neptune Theatre || Seattle WA
MAY 5 : The State Room || Salt Lake City UT
MAY 7 : Boulder Theatre || Boulder CO
MAY 10 : Granada Theatre || Dallas TX
MAY 11 : Germantown Performing Arts Centre || Germantown TN
MAY 13 : Charleston Music Hall || Charleston SC
MAY 15 : Rams Head On Stage || Annapolis MD
MAY 16 : Bergen Performing Arts Centre || Englewood NJ
MAY 18 : Westbury Theatre || Westbury NY
MAY 19 : The Academy of Music || Northampton MA
MAY 21 : The Flying Monkey Performance Centre || Plymouth NH
MAY 23 : Flynn Centre for the Performing Arts || Burlington VT
MAY 24 : Cary Hall || Lexington MA
MAY 26 : Criterion Theatre || Bar Harbour ME
MAY 29 : Garde Arts Center || New London CT