I wish everyone a happy new year, happier than the last two anyway. Ihope you're staying well and enjoying music from wherever it's coming. My most sincere thanks to you all for signing up for my corner of all this.
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What is this recording about? Darol Anger, Joe Walsh, Courtney Hartman, Lukas Pool, and Sharon Gilchrist joined forces for a relaxed picking session in which humor, imagination and spirited musical conversation percolate. It's an almost-live recording of a band, playing stuff you'd want to hear around the weekend breakfast table, late at night, or
What is this recording about? Darol Anger, Joe Walsh, Courtney Hartman, Lukas Pool, and Sharon Gilchrist joined forces for a relaxed picking session in which humor, imagination and spirited musical conversation percolate. It's an almost-live recording of a band, playing stuff you'd want to hear around the weekend breakfast table, late at night, or on a pleasant drive. The thing about the American string music world is that most fans also play music themselves. The "audience" is not much different from the "pros". Each sector drives the other. So this recording is for everybody. This band is not one you're likely to hear out on the fester or club circuit. It's a rare and special convening of mutual admirers who happen to enjoy each others' musical conversation. A multi-generational summit meeting of like-minded musical groovers. A fortuitous conclave in the Boston String Music Enclave. So we rounded up some of Darol & Joe's orphan originals, a couple of ragin' Fiddle Tunes Of The Moment, and a trio of Requia for folks we loved. We spent all of 2 & a half days tracking these ten tunes; the general feeling is sparky, informal, and kind of emotional sometimes. We didn't try to fix every note, either. …And where will you find that pesky groove? Even the FBI will tell you: look in the E–AND-A section of your local bar.
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|— —||Darol Anger & the California Bluegrass reunion at Freshgrass Festival! Freshgrass, North Adams, MA||Freshgrass, North Adams, MA|
|Darol Anger & CA BG Reunion at Sellersville Theatre Historic Sellersville Theatre, Sellersville, PA 18960||Historic Sellersville Theatre, Sellersville, PA 18960|
|CA BG Reunion The Southern Music Hall, Charlottesville, VA 22902||The Southern Music Hall, Charlottesville, VA 22902|
|— —||CA BG Reunion at IBMA IBMA Bluegrass Convention||IBMA Bluegrass Convention|
|CABGR at 3 SISTERS FESTIVAL 3 SISTERS FESTIVAL, Chattanooga||3 SISTERS FESTIVAL, Chattanooga|
|Darol Anger with string orchestra, Muscle Shoals Rattlesnake Cave, Muscle Shoals, Alabama||Rattlesnake Cave, Muscle Shoals, Alabama|
May 13, 2022
May 1, 2022
The seasons keep a-coming. Thinking I'd be ready for whatever comes up, I find myself continually surprised by such change in the world around me. Spring in Tennessee is shocking and sudden. I find myself in a place with barky broadleaf giants and veritable mobs of flowers exploding all over. Mowing the backyard is a sculpture project, at this point there are 3 levels of trim, plus the vast canopy. I let the tall wildflowers make their own beds and mow around them. Looks like someone's brilliant landscaping job, but it's the flowers & grass telling me what to do.
Meanwhile, I hear from friends that Spring is now getting rolling in the Northeast and will be in full rage when I get up there with my band Mr Sun in mid-May. And I hope I see some of you folks. We have a very tight schedule but we are going just about everywhere in New England. If you live up there, please check out the tour dates.
The new recording has finally made it to the warehouses and we'll be hoping to distribute some to various music lovers on this journey. The official release date is May 13, but you can pre-order the CD now, here.
We're delighted to have vinyl discs for this release also, and those will be available July 20, here.
We're thrilled to be playing out again and are completely digging each others' playing. I think you'll be surprised at how much we've grown , especially for older guys. Letting the music lead you seems to take a lifetime to develop. The band's in a sweet special place and the experience is quite emotional, actually. I almost forgot how beautiful four string instruments can sound together, even after 45 years of returning to this same darn format.
It's surprising, but now it's really about the people, not the ideas... especially when we remember to depend on each other. Including the intrepid listeners. We depend on you, too.
Adding to the magic, we thought up some silly fun additional merchandise besides the recordings to bring with us. You might dig it. See us in Manhattan, Boston, Saratoga Springs, Northampton or Rockport, MA or Portland, Maine.
Single "Breaker's Bakedown" release on Bluegrass Today
Colorado with Mr Sun coming up... and a flutter of little recording projects coming in as Spring hits in Tennessee. I'm putting a nice halo of fiddling on an extraordinary spoken-word project with author Joe McHugh, decorating over a beautiful fiddling story read by the phenomenal voice of Joe Newberry. The Online Fiddle school at Artistworks.com continues to burgeon, with new lessons and ideas in the works: I'll be breaking down all the "Baker Plays Monroe" fiddle tunes over the course of the next year, at the rate of one a month. That's a good goal. Some shows in the fall for the California Bluegrass Reunion are coming together, which should be a fun ride: Freshgrass, IBMA, and the 3 Sisters Festival will be highlights there. AND! Mr Sun's recording extrovert will be finally released in May, but pre-orders can be made now through Compass records, as we turn our sun-baked minds to the next recording project: a top-secret blockbuster idea whose time has come! Details soon-ish.
Wow, a New Year and so much has already happened. Painful goodbyes to many folks, banjo players especially. We had a great little west coast blur with the California Bluegrass Reunion project, led by the redoubtable Bill Evans. I've shored up my Artistworks Fiddle School with a large infusion of lessons and interviews, taking advantage of the insane concentration of talent that is here in Nashville. I'm getting ready to work on a new recording project of duets with fiddlers who I worked with when they were youthful.
We're ramping up the year 2022 with my incredible band Mr Sun. We hae a new recording coming out May 1st, on Compass Records. Since we're all so shy, we're calling the recording "Extrovert". It's the first LP release that I'll have done since 1989.
The band just had a wonderful time at the Wintergrass festival and then barnstormed down the West Coast, spreading light and quite a few notes of note. It was wonderful to see old friends and connect in a room big enough to do it in. Still being careful, masking and such. But this band is so alive, emotional, and tells a great, coherent story in each song. I'm really happy about that.
We're going to Colorado in April... Check the "Shows" section for all the details.
Now living in Nashville, Tennessee; barely believing it. But OK. Every day is now an Extra Bonus Life Mile day...
I'm still doing a lot of fun Artistworks Fiddle School stuff and looking at a whole new landscape out the window.
Whole new internal landscape too, even though I keep having the same old Disastrous Sound Check dreams.
I get to visit with some excellent young musicians friends.
I even have some shows with Mr Sun lined up for this fall!
... And I bought my first actual purchased lawn mower.