Greetings from Pandemic HQ as we near one year (!) since our last live show. We've all learned to cope with this situation in different ways. For those who are used to being out there playing music for real live people, or for those who just appreciate travel and seeing people and places outside their own living space, it can be a particularly hard time. The origins of the expression "stir crazy" got me thinking of an analogy that's dark but which has been helpful: "stir crazy" is from the slang word "stir" for prison, and I thought if we could think of this time as a kind of prison sentence, it might actually change our outlook. It is a kind of prison sentence, but under much nicer conditions and way better food (we hope), not to mention that we aren't separated from immediate family members, and we have the opportunity to freely stay in touch with people we care about anywhere in the world. True, we don't know exactly when we'll be up for parole, but parole is definitely on the horizon now, and that's cause for hope. People are wrongfully imprisoned all the time or are thrown in stir, in jail, in chokey, in the calaboose, etc. in some places just for speaking out about issues. This could be one of us, but instead we're just doing our best to get through a very cushy stretch of jail time, with livestream concerts and trips to Costco.
Even from the big house, we've been able to release new music, and I'm grateful for that, too. Our latest single was a song I wrote called "Quiet Click." I was particularly happy when this made it to #1 on the weekly bluegrass airplay chart published by Bluegrass Today. For one thing, it marked three straight #1 songs for the new lineup of the Night Drivers (with Marshall Wilborn and Grace van't Hof joining me and Mark Stoffel). It was also really the first single we've ever released that was more in the country ballad category than uptempo grass (what we would call a "ballad" in bluegrass music is in this case really a shuffle in country music), and I was really pleasantly surprised by the great response. a few weeks after hitting #1, the song even made a return trip to the top of the chart, so thank you to DJs and fans who have asked for the song for making this possible.
Meanwhile, on March 5th we released our brand new single, "Whither You Roam" which is an uptempo grass number, the fourth single so far from the new band. There's a link on the home page, but in case you missed it, click here to download or stream the song on the service of your choice. Without getting into a wider and thorny discussion of streaming, just know that it especially in the absence of live sales, it does help us when you stream our music, especially with paid services like Apple Music or Pandora Premium. Also, please follow us on services that have that option.
In other news, I'll be teaching two Zoom songwriting workshops on March 20th and 21st thru the folks at the Walnut Valley Festival. You can get more information and sign up here. Then on April 1st, I'll be doing a guitar workshop thru the Blueberry Bluegrass Festival Info is here. Join me if you can. Until we meet again in person,