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White Mountains, the Midwest, and Tennessee

I’m thrilled and honored to have been chosen as this year’s Artist-in-Residence at White Mountain National Forest, one of the most interesting and dynamic landscapes in the country and an area that has always been rather close to my heart. I’ll be in and out of New Hampshire all this month and then based up there pretty solidly for a while in the early fall after I get back from the Midwest. Their site has a few words about what I’ll be up to while I’m there.

Speaking of that, I’ve got a few exciting new dates coming up this August (details here):

8/2 WESTPORT, MA – Deedee Shattuck Gallery, 5pm
8/11 SOUTH HAVEN, MI – Foundry Hall, 7pm
8/13 BEMIDJI, MN – Brigid’s (with Dedric Clark & the Social Animals), time TBA
8/14 CARLTON, MN – Black Bear Casino (with Dedric Clark & the Social Animals), time TBA
8/15 DULUTH, MN – The Red Herring Lounge, 10pm
8/16 ST. PAUL, MN – The Black Dog, 7pm
8/19 TREMPEALEAU, WI – Trempealeau Hotel, 7pm
8/27 JOHNSON CITY, TN – Acoustic Coffeehouse, 10pm
8/28 CHATTANOOGA, TN – Bessie Smith Cultural Center, time TBA

And I’m pleased to report that there’s some new music coming soon. Prepare for an announcement in the coming weeks…

Talk to you then. Be well in the meantime,
Ben

Oregon

Recently, I was interested to learn that the first European person to use the word “Oregon” in reference to the chunk of territory in the northwestern United States was a guy called Robert Rogers from Methuen, Massachusetts, the town where I also grew up. He spelled it sort of bizarrely (it was 1765), and he was trying to convince the king of England to give him money so that he could mount an expedition out that way in search of a Northwest Passage.

The history of the Oregon country since then has been pretty much one big stream of easterners wandering out here by way of covered wagon, train, and airstream trailer, in search of more space, milder temperatures, an insane amount of rain, or just a place that looks like this. Right now I’m temporarily one of them: I’m living out here for a few months on an artist residency through the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, a really great institution founded in 1970 and dedicated to promoting cross-pollination between art and environmental science. I’ll be here until May, hopefully getting some recording done and some essays finished up before I go back out on the road this summer.

As a result, my performance calendar has cooled off a bit until my residency out here ends in early May. I’m happy to report, however, that you’re all formally invited to virtually visit me here on the Oregon coast on March 18th at 8pm EDT (5pm Pacific), when I’ll be broadcasting a live concert over the internet via Concert Window. I did one of these last year and it was lots of fun. You can pay what you want and watch from wherever you happen to be. You can sign up here anytime between now and March 18th.

Here’s a video from a recent show in Nashville. It was unbelievably cold out and the heat in the venue had stopped working earlier in the day, but the good people at Little Lights still managed to make it into one of the warmest nights of my whole tour this winter:

I hope you’re all well.
B