Here's a little Lamplighter video for you, courtesy of Zachariah Redbeard.
Click to stream “Ruby, My Dear” by Thelonious Monk
Rain Dogs at Oberon
with Babes in Boinkland
On May 8th and 9th, Peter Mulvey and the Crumbling Beauties will perform the classic Tom Waits record Rain Dogs in its entirety. Babes in Boinkland, an award-winning neo-Burlesque dance troupe, will perform dances choreographed for the occasion. The Crumbling Beauties are: Peter Mulvey (vocals, guitar), David Goodrich (guitar), Paul Kochanski (upright bass), Jason Smith (drums, percussion), Matt Lorenz (bones, chains, tin-can fiddle, sousaphonics, vocals), and Barry Rothman (phonographs, strobes, sonic muddling, and Play-Skool Karaoke machine provision). And yes, the photo at left is an homage to the cover of Small Change, not Rain Dogs. We know. Links to the Facebook event page are below. Please feel free to join, share, forward, and invite your friends.
Click here for May 8th Facebook event link.
Click here for May 9th Facebook event link.
Just Before the War Video
Jeff Nuttle made this video recording of Peter's new song, “Just Before the War”, outside of the Night Cat in Easton, MD. Peter had just finished the third leg of a tour by bicycle and train, and the song had found its way into the set each night. Audience reaction has been strong, so we've made this available. Click on the still at left or the link above to view it on YouTube.
Lamplighter Sessions at the Cafe Carpe
November 29th through December 16th
The Cafe Carpe has been my musical home turf for twenty years. It's more than just that , though. It's a touchstone, the kind of place I always assumed that someone would have the heart and soul to create. When I was twenty-three and took my big leap into the wide world (really just heading East to Boston) I figured that there must be places like the Carpe everywhere.
There are not. Oh, there are a few here and there, but places so devoted to music, to easy to be in, so stubbornly quirky, so oblivious to the smoothed out, strip-malled, trendified belch of 20th and 21st Centry glibness... there's just not too many of those.
This is why I'm so happy, each year, to close down the touring year with a series of evenings at the Carpe, a ten-or-is-it-twelve-year tradition now of playing in-the-round with some of the musical cohorts, new and old, that I've collided with in my travels around the world. There will be old pals, (Paul Cebar, David Goodrich, our trusty proprietor Billy C) new faces, (Count This Penny, Claudia Schmidt) even someone who is famous in Spain (Dayna Kurtz). And, of course, Redbird will be convening, like herded cats, to amuse themselves, and possibly even audiences. There is jambalaya and pizza to be eaten, beer to be enjoyed, and above all there will be time to gather in the back room, warm inside with the cold night and the dark river somewhere out the back windows, and to lean in to the center of the room, as the musicians lean in themselves, to the center of the circle, where the music is.
2nd Annual Lamplighter Sessions
Club Passim, Cambridge, MA
October 31, through November 5 (6 shows/6 nights)
Over the past twenty years, Peter has made the Cambridge/Somerville music scene his second home, and collaboration with its musical citizenry his artistic wellspring. The second annual Lamplighter Sessions will put that collaboration on display for six days, starting Halloween and running through November 5th at the venerable Club Passim in Harvard Square, featuring a broad array of ensemble, band, and in-the-round formats. On each of the six nightly sessions, Peter will be joined by a rotating mix of - in all - 18 fellow songwriters, musicians, comrades and friends.
LAMPLIGHTER SESSIONS :: NIGHTLY SCHEDULE
Wednesday, October 31: Co-Conspirators
In-the-round with Jennifer Kimball, Tim Gearan, Paul Cebar, Peter Mulvey.
Jennifer Kimball continues to deepen her haunting, strange, yet familiar sound. The omnipresent Tim Gearan is one of the leading lights of the local scene, a prolific writer, performer and a barbaric yawp of a bluesman. And, not to be missed, the mighty Paul Cebar, a Milwaukeean who has toured the world, a bandleader, sage and musicologist, a purveyor of rhythm and blues of the highest order, has been enlisted to make an ultra-rare solo appearance. Both Paul and Tim have been frequent co-writers with Peter, and Jennifer has graced many of his records with her harmonies.
Thursday, November 1:
Society for the Interpretation of the Great American Songbook
With singers Dennis Brennan, Anita Suhanin, Peter Mulvey plus an ensemble featuring Mike Dinnallo (guitar), Jef Charland (upright bass), Joey Barbato (accordion).
Passim will be transformed into a cabaret. Low light, a spotlight on a microphone, and three devotees of the American Songbook singing the standards they hold holy. The undying, electrifying dedication of that heavy of heavies Dennis Brennan, and the effortless, hushed grace of Anita Suhanin (this generation's Jeri Southern) will leave the audience transported.
Friday, November 2: The Crumbling Beauties
With David Goodrich (guitar), Paul Kochanski (upright bass), Jason Smith (drums), Barry Rothman (phonograph), Matt Lorenz (handmade & found instruments)
The Crumbling Beauties originally formed as a side project, performing the entirety of Tom Waits' 1985 classic album Rain Dogs live in clubs and festivals. With this Passim sextet, there was too much chemistry to be limited to even such a towering task as Rain Dogs. So Mulvey conspired with the Beauties as the backing band for his standards record. Since then, he's been on a writing jag, and the Beauties have turned out to the be the perfect lens through which to shine the new songs. Radio Swan, an improvisational trio of Goodrich, Rothman, and Lorenz, will open, playing the soundtracks to silent films that have never been made.
Saturday, November 3: Perfect Strangers
In-the-round with Pamela Means, Ross Bellenoit, Laura Cortese, Peter Mulvey.
Each of these artists has played impromptu with Mulvey, in places as far-flung as Galway, Philadelphia, and Alaska. Also, they have never met each other, so expect the unexpected. Pamela and Peter go back to their early 20's on the Milwaukee scene. Fiddler Laura Cortese has become a fixture on the local folk scene over the past several years, and Ross Bellenoit has produced and written and played with nearly every musician in Philadelphia.
Sunday, November 4: Meet Your Maker
Luthier showcase, & in-the-round with David Goodrich, Sarah Borges, Jabe Beyer.
For the past year, members of the New England Luthiers (http://newenglandluthiers.org) have been participating in a "collaborative guitar build" focused around the quintessential fingerstyle guitar - the Martin OM. Using the basic specs of the instrument as the starting point, more than a dozen unique, high-performance creations have been produced. During this project the builders freely shared techniques, insight and advice, and collaborated with local musicians to help shape and refine their own vision.
This concert is the culmination and celebration of that project. Mulvey and Goodrich will open the show with a duo instrumental set, and then Borges, Beyer, Goodrich and Mulvey will pass around these exquisite creations and play them, for the enjoyment of themselves, the makers, and the audience. Expect a great deal of falling in love. Formerly a stalwart of the Boston scene, Jabe Beyer is now making his mark in Nashville. Sarah Borges brings the belt with her gritty voice. And after twenty years of collaboration, David Goodrich is woven into most every corner of Mulvey's sound.
Monday, November 5: The Indescribables
In-the round with poet Lisa Olstein, Rose Polenzani, the Suitcase Junket, Peter Mulvey.
Rose Polenzani, whose songs are always shot through with keening, heart-wrenching melody and vivid, starling images, will bring her singular vision to the circle. Matt Lorenz (performing as the jaw-dropping, throat-singing, slide-guitar playing, one-man band The Suitcase Junket) will play his invented instruments while singing in several voices at once. Reading from her award-winning volumes, Copper Canyon Press poet Lisa Olstein (winner the Pushcart Prize) will draw the audience into the fibrous dreamscape of her poetry. We have saved the most luminous evening for last.
Sixth Annual Bicycle Tour
Since 2007, Peter has devoted a few weeks in September to biking to work. Ranging from small tours in his native Wisconsin through 2009's Long Haul tour which involved bicycling all the way to Massachussetts, these tours have evolved into a fixture in his calendar. This year, with his new folding recumbent bicycle (made by HP Velotechnik in Germany) there will be three distinct tours, in the Midwest, the Northeast, and the Mid-Atlantic.
“Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart.”- Iris Murdoch
See the Tour page for show details.
THE GOOD STUFF
and accompanying EP CHASER
Tuesday the 27th of March marks the official street date for THE GOOD STUFF and its little sibling, the 6-song EP CHASER. The former is a collection of standards, if we lived in a strange country where Duke Ellington, Tom Waits, Jolie Holland, and Melvern Taylor were all considered writers of standards. The latter is a more traditional collection of swing tunes and ballads, though there's a curve or two thrown in as well. You can order both records (and Peter's extensive back catalogue) from either the Mighty Albert Store or the Signature Sounds store. We'll continue to stream a new song every day or so, here and on the Home page as well. Peter will also have them on tour from here on out, pretty much until mid-century. Here's his tune for today:
Wednesday, 28 March. Thank you all for listening to all the tunes we streamed. Here's one I'm happy to leave up for a while: Thelonious Monk's cubist gem, “Ruby, My Dear”. Goody walked me through learning this: the melody I get, but the harmony is still beyond the reach of my ears. Still, I treasure our quiet, loving sketch of this tune.
Two Thousand and Twelve Begins
REDBIRD AT MEMORIAL HALL
Yet another year begins with the continuation of the deeply occasional Redbird World Tour. This loose collective of four colleagues (Kris Delmhorst, David Goodrich, Jeffrey Foucault, and Peter Mulvey) will once again convene at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. If you don't live near this thriving metropolis, you will always have a chance to see them at the end of 2012 in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot...
End of October 2011
CLUB PASSIM RESIDENCY
Peter is settling into the venerable Club Passim for the final four nights of October 2011, for a series of swaps with artists of all stripe.
• Friday the 28th will feature Mulvey trading tunes and banter with pop chanteuse Carsie Blanton, long-time collaborator David Goodrich (no doubt featuring tunes from their new Nine Days Wonder instrumental CD), and Melvern Taylor, described as "The Sam Shepard of the Ukulele."
• Saturday the 29th will be an evening with The Invisible Fiancees (formerly the Blind Jackdaws, formerly the One-Armed Dwarves, formerly the Skinny Millionaires), a band that conscripted Mulvey to sing the Tom Waits record "Rain Dogs" in bars around the Northeast. For the first set, they'll provide a new take on a collection of Peter's orignals, and for the second set, they'll bring the Waits classic to life. This should be a raucous night, difficult to remember. Costumes tolerated.
• Sunday the 30th will be an in-the-round with the indescribable Suitcase Junket (one of the many Invisible Fiancees) and avant-cellist Lindsay Mac. Expect to find yourself in terra incognita.
• Monday the 31st will be a swap with local hero (and legend in Peter's own mind) Tim Gearan, the funky mandolinist Sean Staples, and, up from NYC, Margaret Glaspy. They won't even need to dress like the Wizard of Oz characters they so obviously resemble.
21 September 2001
NEW ACOUSTIC DUO CD
Peter Mulvey and David Goodrich are pleased to announce the release of their first ever instrumental duets record. NINE DAYS WONDER (released on Signature Sounds) captures a moment in the decades-long musical dialogue between these two artists. Over the years, their relationship as co-writers, accompanists, and performers has centered on presence, spontaneity, and good humor, and all those are on ample display here. Eight original tunes, two traditional bits of Americana, two Hoagy Carmichael classics, and a Tom Waits tune. Available now through the discography page.
1 September, 2011
Tri-State Bicycle Tour
For the fifth year running, Peter and Brianna Lane will be traveling from town to town entirely by bicycle, playing shows in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. There's no support vehicle, just the riders and their cycles and whatever gear they can carry. The route takes them down to the Chicago area, through Rockford, Madison, over to LaCrosse, and up the Mississippi to the Twin Cities. The tour is sponsored this year by Artisinal Imports, Banjo Brothers panniers, with thanks as ever to the good people at Wheel and Sprocket, Calhoun Cycle, and TerraTrike. Here's hoping the rain holds off.
22 April, 2011
East Coast Tour with Po' Girl
From April 29th to May 10th, Peter will be traveling in the company of Po Girl, a trans-Canadian band of accordion-squeezing, clarinet-wielding, banjo-flailing miscreants. After meeting in Oregon last September, there was mutual agreement that some kind of epic adventure needed arranging, and this tour is the first leg. Their respective sets will blend into each other as the tour goes on, until each is fully conscripted into the other’s camp. As they say, come to the party.
15 January, 2011
Mighty Albert Songwriting Workshop
Nestled in the hills of western Massachusetts, The Mighty Albert is where small groups of people can gather to study, think, practice, and create in a fun and intimate setting. And from March 11-13, 2011, Peter will host a guitar & songwriting workshop at The Mighty Albert. The weekend will be an opportunity to spend time with Peter, his songs, and his guitar. Peter will begin the weekend by examining a handful of his own songs; playing and then deconstructing them to illustrate the moving parts, pistons, gears and mice on little wheels. Then, for the bulk of the workshop, the focus will be on the participants’ own songs (including that disassembling process – so be ready!). From there, Peter will cover various techniques: alternate tunings as inspiration, single string theory for intuitive play, use of the back of the notebook as the back of the mind, etc. All the techniques are brought back inevitably to each student’s own composing process.
Accomodations are at gorgeous New England inns with specially prepared meals included. For more information or to register, visit www.mightyalbert.com
12 December, 2010
New Redbird Record Available
Redbird is both the name of the album and the loose affiliation of three acclaimed American songwriters- Kris Delmhorst, Jeffrey Foucault and Peter Mulvey.
Since the release of their 2003 album, Redbird’s enormously popular annual 4 night stands at Café Carpe in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin have been a highly anticipated event for fans. Redbird Live At The Café Carpe is culled from their stellar December 2008 and 2009 concerts. David Goodrich, the fourth member of the trio is once again a vital part of this new record, contributing his song‚ ‘‘Snowed In.“ The fourteen track CD includes four originals along with covers of artists as diverse as Rickie Lee Jones, Mississippi John Hurt, Neil Young, Merle Haggard, and Greg Brown. Redbird Live is everything a live album should be- the performers‘ collaborative spark and energy are exquisitely captured, and the material is completely inspired by three songwriters whose musical relationship has only deepened over time and is now on full joyful display.