I know I'm about to strain your credulity, but this here's a rare breed of Hobo Travelogue: the short and on-time kind. Is that even a species of Hobo Travelogue, dear readers? I'm talking some serious cryptozoology here.
There's a pressing reason for this missive going out today, and that's the exciting news that Further Down the Line is about to be released into the wild! It's ten new songs, recorded over four lovely days on Mayne Island, British Columbia, and wrapped up in a 132-page book that offers a look back, in words and pictures, on my last decade of rambling. It's the most ambitious thing I've ever done. And as always, it's taken longer than I thought it would. It's right down to the wire, in fact: the last I heard from UPS, the CDs were due to be delivered on Friday, the DAY OF the release.
I'm not gonna lie to you, friends, I've been stressing the eff out this past month. We've been playing a string of lovely small-town theatre shows all around Alberta, and in the off hours I've been trying to accomplish a zillion other things, including late-night correspondence with the manufacturer in Taiwan. Our visas for Australia are likewise still up in the air, and I've been having recurring nightmares about something going wrong with either of these most ambitious things I've ever attempted. But I'm finding the gym works a lot better than booze for letting go of stress. And I'm stubbornly clinging to my belief in magic.
Shoring up our belief against the disappointments and indignities of any chosen life path is a lot of what the essay in the album's about. And I feel like the whole thing's gotten even more timely over the past few months. Just as Trump charged out the gate to begin his spree of cuts and cronyism, millions of women around the world gathered to tell a story of resistance and hope. There's a quote from Woody Guthrie that I included in the book, and it's speaking to me now:
"The note of hope is the only note that can help us or save us from falling to the bottom of the heap of evolution, because, largely, about all a human being is, anyway, is just a hoping machine."
So keep hoping and dreaming and fighting, friends! And if you're anywhere near Edmonton, please come join us on Friday to celebrate the release of these words, pictures, notes, and hopes into the world. The Second Chances and I will be joined by our pals Dana Wylie, Matt Blackie, Jacquie B, Jesse Dee, Joe Nolan, and Sophie Heppell, on the big lovely proscenium stage of the Shell Theatre in Fort Saskatchewan. We've chartered a school bus to take the folks from Edmonton and back, with a stop by Have Mercy on Whyte at 5:45 and The Needle on Jasper at 6:15. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wanna get on the bus! Showtime's 7:30pm, and tickets are $18 in advance right here.
If you're in Calgary or Lethbridge, we'll be there February 3rd and 4th. If you're in Australia, we'll be seeing you soon. And if you're elsewhere, send $25 (or $30 if you're overseas) to email@example.com and I'll hook you up!
More than ever, friends, I'm unspeakably grateful for your support. Stay strong, see you down the line,