New songs are being written, travel is being planned, and I almost died! Ok well not quite but I was at the ER with a gnarly health scare last night. Nothing like the old mortality panic to get the creative juices flowing! At the moment there are about six song drafts rolling around, shows booked for Mar and May, and a songwriting / recording session for Rhubarb Whiskey in Feb. Woo what a year! Hopefully y'all will come out for a show soon - see the show pages for details.
This past holiday weekend under a pile of cough drops and chicken noodle soup I heard the bing quack squawk of my phone overlord. Who knew it could be good news?! Bandmate Ed was letting me know that we (Feral) just got a killer review from the UK site AmericanRootsUK.com. Well hot damn. Not much made me feel good in my full on crudded state of sick over the weekend - but that sure as hell did! Comparing us to old school 1920's americana, praising the live sound of the recording and the hauntingly dark integrity of the music... amongst many many other praises - it was a home run of a review and just absolutely awesome. To read the whole thing click here: http://www.americanrootsuk.com/feral---aromatic-bitters.html and to hear the album go to http://musiciansareferal.bandcamp.com
In other news - tickets are officially on sale here [http://www.ticketfly.com/event/996985-alone-together-kim-lembo-san-francisco/] for the Secret Emchy Society private parlor show at the Lost Church in SF with Kim Lembo. I will have stickers, albums, and temporary tattoos on hand for your merch needs. Plan so far is to showcase a bunch of Secret Emchy Society, Rhubarb Whiskey, Oakland Wine Drinkers Union, and Feral tunes for your listening pleasure. Consider it a grab bag of the favorite songs I've been honored to help write in the various bands.
Things are heating up around these parts. Got an intimate art reception show in Berkeley on Nov 12 (details pending) and a solo showcase with Kim Lembo at our private parlor show at the Lost Church on Dec 17 called Alone Together (for the holidays) hope to see you there!
The time is nigh - we are about to release the debut FERAL album AROMATIC BITTERS.
So Mr. Bass Player extraordinaire Ed came over last night and we used a complicated mix of a few different mediums to record the very last music part onto the very last Feral song for the upcoming album. The song was a latecomer to the game but as soon as it was brought to the table... all three of us just knew we had to figure out how to get it in there. All of our recording sessions were done. So to the home studio we went. Much like the first time I recorded with Ed and Feral was born in my basement - fitting that we started our songwriting process that way and the last bit of the album is finished that way. Same location. Same gear. Full circle.
We're one or two emails away from the bulk of the album being at the final mix stage and just starting to get the drafts in from producer #2 - the amazing Nic (more on him later). It is so exciting. Today I got the email with the first pass at the first song by him. You never know what direction something is going in until you hear it and hot damn. I felt like things just clicked into place.
Band approved the artwork about a week ago. Things are rolling rolling rolling.
The next few days are a whirlwind of excitement for ye olde Emchy! First on Friday I'll be performing for Daphne Gottlieb's book release party - then on Sunday I'll be in my favorite Sonoma wine shop with Feral woo-ing y'all with heartbreakers and foot-stompers. Hope to see you there!
June has arrived and the Bay Area is full of rainbow flags and tourists. It's fun to see the city through their eyes. I'm spending most of this month writing new songs and working on recording the new Feral album. We'll start ramping up for more shows in late June / July and expect to see me and the band up in Canada again for this year's FarmFest on the beautiful island of Victoria. Good times. See you soon!
This weekend is going to be AMAZING - Come on out and have some fun with Feral or Vagabondage!
Saturday March 7
Catch Feral at The Double Standard Bar, 2424 Telegraph: "Crows at the Double Standard: The return of the Crows open mic with features in the round Amy Berkowitz; Vernon Keeve III; Jessica Dawson & Brian Dawson and musical guest Feral.
Doors at 6:30; Shows at 7:30. No cover but donation requested.
Sunday March 8
Blue Victrola Tea Presents: PANIC and GIVE UP
- March of the March Hare -
Sunday, March 8th
Konservatory / 7PM / 21+ /$8 presale or $12 @ the door
March 8th's event is Wonderland themed (yes, as in Alice), and is called March of the March Hare. And yes, OF COURSE there will be a costume contest (though a costume is not required) and the prizes will be delightful and perhaps a little bit mad. Mad as in crazy, not as in angry. The prizes will not bite you. Well at least it will only bite you out of craziness and not angryness. That's all I can really guarantee.
As always, tea cocktails, tea and other beverages can be purchased at the bar.
I know this site is normally all music all of the time, but I gotta get a bit real. Over the holidays I lost my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. The last two months of 2014 saw me and my partner lose four close family members, and the last two immediate family members were within six days of each other. In the last four years we've also lost her father, one of my most formative elders, and my grandmother - all of whom I was very very close with. So it's been a rough road in these parts. What keeps me going and keeps me sane is the music.
As you can tell from the shows page - I've had a new musical project named Feral for about the last year. What began as me doing a side solo EP grew into forming a whole new band with some of my collaborators. We're in the final stages now of mixing our album and can't wait to share it with you. It's full of the rawness, pain, and heartbreak of losing people, but also the joy of finding connection. Which is the story of the band too. We're all kinda broken from loss of people - whether it be romantic, friend, or family. And we put that energy into music that helped us survive the losses. Sometimes through rants, sometimes with humor, but always with heart on our sleeve rawness and guts out on the stage for you. It's some of the most honest music I've been a part of writing and a super inspiring 'everyone into the boat' sort of songwriting process. Even the songs that came to practice fully formed from one of our brains took on a new and improved life of their own when exposed to our process. And it's work I'm just so proud of.
Also Vagabondage is still trucking along and getting ready for our next EP release party on Feb 27. We've been playing less in the past year while we finished recording and mixing Slow Room Bar, plus our lead singer John has been acting in a bunch of shows around San Francisco, getting nominated for fancy awards, and blowing all of our socks off (yes - we go see his shows as a band. yes - we are those rowdy people that probably annoyed you). While we released our EP online in the fall - we're just now about to have the big, in person, buy a copy of the record party at the Stork Club. We even got buttons made for it! These songs I think are some of the best we've ever written. Primarily inspired by events that happened on our tour to the Pacific Northwest a few years ago... we've been woodshedding these on stages and at practice for a while and... it's just... pretty emotional and exciting for me to see them in real and actual physical CD format and ready for the world.
So - that's what it is. Music is trucking along as my lifeline to sanity. I hope you enjoy these little tunes I make. They're the beauty I have to offer the world.
where the rust belt meets the wild west