If you believe the Internet, 2016 was the worst year in the history of years. All of the bad things happened and everybody died. I don’t really see it that way. Definitely some bad things happened, and definitely some people died. In 2017, some other things will happen – some good, some bad – and some other people will die. Some of those people will have been famous, and most of them won’t have been. I hope that we remember 2017 as the year that we fought for the things that were important and loved the people who are with us.
In 2016, we released the second Old Man Kelly album, Off My Lawn. I was and continue to be thrilled with what we were able to produce – independently, with no budget except what we scraped together at gigs. And there were a lot of gigs. I grabbed the mic at about 90 different events this year, and tried to get something out there into the world. Swing dances, square dances, breweries, restaurants, and bar gigs where I sat alone in the corner wailing the blues with nobody listening but me. The Streetsweepers and I did our own recording, mixing, mastering, CD design and layout, web site design, and poster design. I had friends sit at my kitchen table with me, stuffing CDs into envelopes to mail to over 400 radio stations around the country. Some of them played it – thank you DJs! I learned to navigate online sales, Facebook advertising, Twitter promotions, fractional penny streaming revenues, all while answering e-mails, making phone calls, self-managing booking and PR. I’ve hustled hard. A lot of it has been rewarding. Some of it hasn’t. I’d be lying to say that I wouldn’t like to give some of it away to somebody else, and spend more time making music and less time answering e-mail. But I really can’t complain – I’ve had opportunities most people never get, and I’m working every day to make them count. Thanks to you all for being a big part of that.
The 2017 calendar is shaping up. I’ve got some cool local stuff coming up in January, then I’ll be on vacation visiting family for most of February, then doing a bit of touring in March in the Northeast US, including a reunion show with The Don’t Tell Darlings. Dates and locations are below. If you haven’t already, get Off My Lawn! And I’ll see you on the road somewhere.
Wed 1/11/2017: WUVT 90.7 FM, Blacksburg, VA
Fri 1/13/2017: Third Street Coffeehouse, Roanoke, VA
Sat 1/14/2017: Parkway Brewery, Salem, VA
Sat 1/21/2017: Our Daily Bread, Salem, VA
Fri 2/3/2017: Pete Dye River Course, Radford, VA
Sat 2/4/2017: Blacksburg Square Dance, Blacksburg, VA (Dance calling)
Thu 2/9/2017: Parkway Brewery, Salem, VA
Fri 3/3/2017: Parkway Brewery, Salem, VA
Sat 3/11/2017: Potsdam Museum, Potsdam, NY (The Don’t Tell Darlings)
Tue 3/14/2017: Radio Bean, Burlington, VT
Fri 3/17/2017: House Concert, Easthampton, MA
Sun 3/19/2017: House Concert, Canterbury, CT
Mon 3/20/2017: House Concert, Grafton, NY
Fri 4/7/2017: White Barrel Winery, Christiansburg, VA
Fri 5/26/2017: White Barrel Winery, Christiansburg, VA
Fri 6/30/2017: White Barrel Winery, Christiansburg, VA