How are you? Where are you? I am home in Boston for a couple days, what a novelty! Since I last wrote I’ve traveled around the world on the Bombino caravan with tours in Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and Europe. What a trip! And now, we’re kicking off a North American tour starting in Calgary this Thursday. This run is bookended by festivals in Canada and shows across the Northeast and Midwest. On July 25 we’ll make our debut at Central Park!! Read on to hear about the journey, tour dates, and upcoming Moonshine festivity.
Sojourn in the Sahel
Niamey, Niger is the sprawling desert village, home to Bombino and capital of Niger. We landed there in mid-March on the heels of a month-long tour throughout Australia and New Zealand. Niamey is unlike anywhere I’ve been. Cattle roam the sandy streets, women balance water on their heads with babies strapped on theirs backs, and people gather round making tea, selling lamb off the fire. There are children everywhere and some would chase after me pulling me into football matches. We shared a great curiosity for each other and it warmed my soul. Niger is one of the most impoverished countries in the world and this was immediately obvious, yet many of the people that I met had this luminous glow and vitality about them, it was a remarkable juxtaposition. Bombino was very proud to host us at his home and we spent a week experiencing life in this West African desert town.
Bombino’s wife, Zeinab took me to a traditional Tuareg wedding one day. Tons of Tuaregs and Hausa united in the street, painting the scene with vibrant colors from their costumes. Griot drummers summoned the spirits and men and women danced before them. Zeinab encouraged me to dance before the drummers and I channeled the juju.
There were many jams with Tuareg friends. One day, we performed a show on the desert floor to celebrate the birth of a new child in the community. We rocked the Berber rhythms with people circled tightly around, singing and dancing to the music. It was surreal! Four years ago, I watched this clip of Bombino playing in the desert and now here I was standing beside him, jamming these songs with him and his people. Hit my soul heavy. I will never forget it!
*more photos from Africa here
7.23 – Calgary, CA – Calgary Folk Festival
7.24 – Calgary, CA – Calgary Folk Festival
7.25 – New York, NY – Central Park
7.26 – Camden, NJ – Xponential Music Festival
7.28 – Northampton, MA – Iron Horse Music Hall
7.29 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
7.30 – Bridgeport, CT – Gathering of the Vibes
7.31 – Washington DC – The Hamilton
8.1 – Pittsburgh, PA – Rex Theater
8.2 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
8.4 – Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Center
8.6 – Edmonton, CA – Edmonton Folk Festival
8.7 – Edmonton, CA – Edmonton Folk Festival
THE HARVEST MOONSHINE!
Sunday, Sept. 6, 4-9pm
Earth Sky Time Farm, Manchester, VT
The Moonshine is a surreal concert and community experience that I started with my farming friends near Boston. We’re taking the Moonshine to Vermont in partnership with compadres, Max Levis and family. Come celebrate the moment with great music, local food + beer, community art, and a bountiful farm stand! The show will feature Miss Tess, the sultry Queen of "Modern Vintage" and the raucous, Surviving Kenneallys! Instruments, picnics, friends, & lovers all welcome :)
Advance tickets only $15, children under 10 are free. Folks will be traveling in for this one. Confirm your spot here and help spread the good word.
Lodging available at the Wilburton Inn, next to the farm and camping at the Battenkill Campground.
See you on the road!
p.s. have you seen Billy Wylder anywhere? I hear he's coming round this fall..