The New Year is always a time for looking back and looking forward, and I do as much of that as anyone. Looking back, 2014 was a year of major transitions for me. Upon realizing that I’ve done over 200 shows in the last two years, I had to admit that what I’m doing isn’t a hobby. It’s a job. And if it’s going to be a job, I need to give it the time to do it well. So I’ve scaled back my day gig to make room for it. I’m still riding an office chair three days a week, and devoting the rest of my days to the business of booking, writing, and practicing this music that I love so much. And I offer my endless thanks to everyone who’s with me on this crazy ride, whether they be fellow musicians, dancers, booking contacts, DJs, or listeners. We’re all working together to make people’s lives just a little bit richer through music, and I’m honored to have a hand in it.
Looking forward, 2015 already promises some good things. A few highlights:
For the dancers out there, I’ve got a number of dance calling gigs coming up in the next few months:
1/10 – Floyd Contra Dance, Floyd, VA (with band Wheelhouse)
2/7 – Blacksburg Square Dance, Blacksburg, VA (with band Billy Couteau)
2/21 – Old School Farm Dance, Nashville, TN
4/16 – Louisville Square Dance, Louisville, KY (with band The Monks)
4/18 – Old School Farm Dance, Nashville, TN
Also, keep an eye out for an as-yet-unannounced old time square dance at the Floyd Country Store in February.
For the swing and blues dancers, Old Man Kelly and The Streetsweepers will be at Bent Mountain Bistro in Bent Mountain, VA on 1/16.
I’ve also got the usual full plate of solo shows and cameo gigs with some other great bands and musicians; see below for the full schedule.
Finally, I’ve been putting together the songs for my second full-length Old Man Kelly album. Recording will start in the next couple of months, and I’m hoping to have the album out this fall. Keep your ear to the ground for details!
Thanks as always, and hope 2015 is full of hijinks and shenanigans. Get off my lawn! Come out to a show!
Fri 1/9/2015: Due South BBQ (with Bob Chew)
Sat 1/10/2015: Floyd Contra Dance (Dance Calling), Floyd, VA
Thu 1/15/2015: Due South BBQ (with Bob Chew), Christiansburg, VA
Thu 1/15/2015: Blacksburg Old-Time Jam (with the Hoyt Street Hotshots), Blacksburg, VA
Fri 1/16/2015: Bent Mountain Bistro (with Old Man Kelly and the Streetsweepers), Bent Mountain, VA
Sat 1/17/2015: Our Daily Bread, Blacksburg, VA
Sat 1/17/2015: Gillie’s, Blacksburg, VA
Sat 1/24/2015: The Cellar (with Welcome to Hoonah), Blacksburg, VA
Thu 2/5/2015: The Cellar, Blacksburg, VA (The Dirty Hairies)
Sat 2/7/2015: Blacksburg Square Dance (Dance Calling), Blacksburg, VA
Fri 2/13/2015: Private Event (with The Streetsweepers), Blacksburg, VA
Thu 2/19/2015: Due South BBQ (with Bob Chew)
Fri 2/20/2015: The Office, Chattanooga, TN
Sat 2/21/2015: Old School Farm Dance (Dance Calling), Nashville, TN
I’ve got a pile of gear waiting to be loaded into the car and I’m getting ready to head north. Looking forward to seeing a
bunch of friends old and new while I’m out on the road this fall! If you’re wondering where to get your dose of shenanigans,
here’s the low-down:
- 10/3, Fri, 7pm – Little Grill Collective, Harrisonburg, VA
- 10/5, Sun, 8pm – Electric Maid, Washington, DC
- 10/8, Wed, 7pm – House Concert, 33 West Main St., Canton, NY 10/10, Fri, 7:30pm – Bee’s Knees, Morrisville, VT
- 10/11, Sat, 7:30pm – Square Dance, American Legion, Montpelier, VT (with Kick ‘em Jenny)
- 10/12, Sun, 6pm – Skinny Pancake, Montpelier, VT
- 10/16, Thu, 6:30pm – Due South BBQ, Christiansburg, VA (with Bob Chew)
- 10/17, Fri, 7pm – Sapphire Ballroom, Christiansburg, VA (with The Streetsweepers)
- 10/18, Sat, 5pm – Glade Road Farm Harvest Ball, Blacksburg, VA (with Farm Use Only)
- 10/19, Sun, 1pm – Sinkland Farm Pumpkin Fest, Riner, VA
- 10/28, Tue, 9pm – Town Pump Tavern, Black Mountain, NC
- 11/8, Sat, 8pm – NC Squares Dance, Chicken Bridge Roadhouse,Chapel Hill, NC (with The Terrell’s Mountain Buddies)
- 11/14, Fri, 6:30pm – Due South BBQ, Christiansburg, VA (with Bob Chew)
- 11/16, Sun, 7pm – Palisades Restaurant, Eggleston, VA
- 11/20, Thu, 6:30pm – Due South BBQ, Christiansburg, VA (with Bob Chew)
- 11/23, Sun, 11am – Inn at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
- 11/28, Fri, TBD – Inn at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Whew! Off my lawn! Out to a show! Yeah!
They say idle hands are the devil’s playthings, so I suppose the devil has been keeping himself occupied elsewhere, because my hands have been working furiously. In between playing tenor banjo with The Fat Tuesdays Band, slinging guitar with The Streetsweepers, bringing the Old Man Kelly one-man-band show on the road, and calling square and contra dances, I’ve still managed to harvest the garden, can peaches, take sixty pounds of honey off my beehives, and even squeeze in some river trips and a beach outing this summer. Let it be said that I’ve tried not to waste a day. And I’m getting ready to hit it even harder this fall. Some of the highlights:
This Friday, I’ll be calling square dances at the Rockbridge festival in Buena Vista, VA, to the sweet sounds of band Sugar Pie. This is one of my favorite dances of the year, and I’m honored and humbled to be calling for it. Some of my square dance calling heroes have held that microphone over the years, so I’m super excited to have it handed to me for a night.
Speaking of square dances, I’ll be calling September 18 at Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg, WV, to the rocking tunes of the Little Stony Nighthawks. “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice. Lots of practice.”
In early October, the Old Man Kelly show hits the road, with stops in Harrisonburg VA, Takoma Park MD, Canton NY, and couple of stops in Vermont. Square dances, house concerts, and one-man-band mayhem! See the schedule below for details.
On October 17, I’ll head back home to play a swing dance at Sapphire Ballroom in Christiansburg with The Streetsweepers. When we played this dance last year, over 100 dancers packed into the room, and the dancing was nothing short of magical. We can’t wait to do it again!
The next night, October 18, I’ll be calling squares again at the annual Glade Road Growing Harvest Ball. If you think that a dinner and dance at a brilliantly working organic farm sounds like a good idea, you’re absolutely right. Nobody parties like Glade Road farmers.
Other dates are on the schedule below – check ‘em out. And get off my lawn. And come out to a show!
- 9/5, Fri – Rockbridge Festival Square Dance, Buena Vista, VA (dance calling with band Sugar Pie)
- 9/6, Sat – Mountainview Park, Roanoke, VA (with the Fat Tuesdays band)
- 9/12, Fri – Due South BBQ, Christiansburg, VA (with Bob Chew)
- 9/13, Sat – Our Daily Bread, Blacksburg, VA
- 9/18, Thu – Carnegie Hall Square Dance, Lewisburg, WV (dance calling with band Little Stony Nighthawks)
- 10/3, Fri – Little Grill Collective, Harrisonburg, VA
- 10/5, Sun – Electric Maid, Takoma Park, MD
- 10/8, Wed – House Concert, Canton, NY
- 10/10, Fri – The Bee’s Knees, Morrisville, VT
- 10/11, Sat – American Legion Square Dance, Montpelier, VT (dance calling with band Kick ‘Em Jenny)
- 10/12, Sun – The Skinny Pancake, Montpelier, VT
- 10/16, Thu – Due South BBQ, Christiansburg, VA (with Bob Chew)
- 10/17, Fri – Sapphire Ballroom, Christiansburg, VA (with The Streetsweepers)
- 10/18, Sat – Glade Road Growing Harvest Ball, Blacksburg, VA (dance calling with band Farm Use Only)
- 10/19, Sun – Sinkland Farms Pumpkin Festival, Riner, VA
- 10/28, Tue – Town Pump Tavern, Black Mountain, NC
Summertime is funnertime here in the mountains of Virginia, the garden is already a jungle, and my gig schedule is ramping up accordingly. Here are a few of the highlights:
This Saturday, June 7, I’ll be calling the River City Barn Dance at Hardywood Brewery in Richmond, with tunes provided by my old friends from The Beer Ticks. (These ticks don’t suck!) On either side of that, I’ll be providing accompaniment for Alison Self — Friday night at the Hippodrome Theater in Richmond, and Sunday night at Marty’s Grill in Mechanicsville. It will be a delicious square dance sandwich between two slices of classic country bread. If you’re near RVA, come out and say hello.
On Wednesday, June 11, Old Man Kelly and the Streetsweepers will be bringing our unique blend of country swing dance music to Mingle At the Market in Blacksburg. Local beer, local produce, and live dance music at an outdoor venue with an early enough start time to bring the family. If you stay home for this one, you’re crazy. Or boring. Don’t be crazy or boring.
Sunday, June 15, I’ll be doing a solo set at the annual Father’s Day brunch put on by the Palisades Restaurant at the old schoolhouse in Eggleston, VA. This was an amazing event last year, featuring a former White House chef, an alien visitation, and a whole day worth of bands in one of the prettiest parts of the state. I’m very much looking forward to doing it again this year!
Speaking of the Palisades Restaurant, on Friday, June 27, I’m thrilled to announce a reunion show of The Don’t Tell Darlings. This will be a one-night-stand, featuring the full four-piece band that captured the hearts of central Virginia a few years ago. A couple of albums, a few marriages, and one and a half babies later, we’re getting back together for one night only. If you miss this one, maybe we’ll see you again in three or four years. Maybe.
And that’s just the highlights. My full schedule for the next two months is below. You know the rules: Get off my lawn. Come out to a show. And thanks for supporting non-corporate, home-grown music!
- 6/06 Fri, 7pm: Hippodrome Theater, Richmond, VA (with Alison Self)
- 6/07 Sat, 4pm: River City Barn Dance, Hardywood Brewery, Richmond, VA (Square Dance)
- 6/08 Sun, 6pm: Marty’s Grill, Mechanicsville, VA (with Alison Self)
- 6/11 Wed, 5pm: Mingle at the Market, Blacksburg, VA (Old Man Kelly and the Streetsweepers)
- 6/13 Fri, 6pm: Due South BBQ, Christiansburg, VA (with Bob Chew)
- 6/15 Sun, 11am: Palisades Father’s Day Brunch, Eggleston, VA (Old Man Kelly)
- 6/19 Thu, 6pm: Due South BBQ, Christiansburg, VA (with Bob Chew)
- 6/21 Sat, 9am: Blacksburg Farmer’s Market, Blacksburg, VA (Old Man Kelly)
- 6/21 Sat, 7pm: Private Event, Mountain Lake, VA (Square Dance)
- 6/27 Fri, 6pm: Palisades Restaurant, Eggleston, VA (with The Don’t Tell Darlings)
- 6/28 Sat, 12pm: Private Event, Blacksburg, VA (with The Don’t Tell Darlings)
- 7/04 Fri, 1pm: Independence Day Parade, Newport, VA (Old Man Kelly)
- 7/11 Fri, 6pm: Due South BBQ, Christiansburg, VA (with Bob Chew)
- 7/16 Wed, 7pm: Market Square Jam, Blacksburg, VA (with The Hoyt Street Hotshots)
- 7/17 Thu, 7pm: Jake’s Place, Smith Mountain Lake, VA (with The Fat Tuesdays Band)
- 7/26 Sat, 7pm: Roanoke Contra Dance, Kirk Ave YMCA, Roanoke, VA (Contra Dance)
I’m sorry to say that due to the snow removal situation, the Streetsweepers show in Radford is cancelled for tonight. We’ll reschedule for some time in the coming months!