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Happy fall, everybody. This is my favorite season, and I’m thrilled to be able to spend so much of it in northern New England this year. I’ll be headquartered in Vermont for much of the late fall, but there are also several shows around the northeast scheduled between now and December, which I’ll encourage you all to attend:

10/3 CAMBRIDGE, MA: Cambridge Queens Head, 5:30pm
10/10 CAMBRIDGE, MA: Toad, 10pm (with 90-Mile Portage)
10/16 STOCKHOLM, ME: Eureka Hall, 7pm
10/17 BURLINGTON, VT: Radio Bean, 8pm
10/18 MONTPELIER, VT: Montpelier Arts Festival, time TBA
10/20 PORTSMOUTH, NH: The Red Door, 9pm
10/24 MILFORD, NH: Clarks, 7pm
10/25 PLAINFIELD, VT: WGDR Studios, time TBA
10/30 MORRISVILLE, VT: The Bee’s Knees, 7:30pm
11/16 MONTPELIER, VT: The Skinny Pancake, 6pm (with 90-Mile Portage)
11/22 FITZWILLIAM, NH: Fitzwilliam Inn, 7pm
12/6 PORTLAND, ME: Blue, 6pm
12/7 CAMBRIDGE, MA: Lilypad, 8pm
12/8 BROOKLYN, NY: Pete’s Candy Store, 10pm
12/13 MANCHESTER, MA: Manchester by the Book, 7pm

A few of those will be really fun – I’m especially excited to return to Blue and Lilypad in December. Watch this space for additions to that list, and for announcements concerning a big pile of shows coming this January in the south, the Rockies, the southwest, and the west coast. And in other news, Field Studies is now up on Pandora, for those of you who are into that sort of thing.

Hope you’re all well. Enjoy the weather. Talk soon.

Ellery now available

The production and instrumentation by Ben Cosgrove is electric, tautly spare, and multilayered, built on top of Conover’s fingerstyle acoustic. It’s hard not to recall the work that Joe Boyd did with Nick Drake, alongside string arranger Richard Kirby… Cosgrove lets Conover pull back the reins and recall the feeling of a wide open dome of sky, of driving in the American West.”
– Sam Pfeifle, The Portland Phoenix

This year I produced and arranged an album for singer-songwriter Max GarcĂ­a Conover, and after several months of work we officially released Ellery in Portland last night. It’s now out there for your delectation, on iTunes, Max’s site, and all the other other places where music can be acquired.

We did several performances together around Portland last week in the lead up to last night’s event, and this week I’m playing four more shows with Max and his wife Sophie to promote the release in the northeast before they head out on a big national tour in a hilarious vehicle. Hope to catch you at one of these:

9/15 PORTSMOUTH, NH – The Red Door, 8pm
9/17 CAMBRIDGE, MA – The Signet Society (46 Dunster St), 8pm
9/18 BROOKLYN, NY – Pete’s Candy Store, 9pm
9/19 MANHATTAN, NY – Pianos, 7pm

Hope you enjoy it. This record was a thrill to work on, and Max and I are both very proud of how it turned out.

Return from America

I’ve just returned from three months of touring, which again I used as a thinly-veiled excuse for poking around in parts of the country that I’ve come to love or that I’ve always wanted to explore. In between performances, I got to canoe across an international border in northern Minnesota, climb the highest peak in California, hike across Isle Royale, explore Maine’s wonderful and mysterious Aroostook County, travel along a significant piece of the Natchez Trace, watch fireworks over Puget Sound, help package blocks of cheddar at a cheese plant in Idaho, and watch in gratitude and amazement as a technological wizard named Uncle Albert repaired my keyboard amp in Indianapolis. Amazingly, after I made that joke about breaking down in Idaho on this site’s previous post, I ended up breaking down exactly in the middle of Idaho. The experience may have been logistically inconvenient and financially miserable, but at least it was thrillingly coincidental. I got to perform in two national parks, in 27 states and on a moving boat. As usual, through all of it I had a blast, thanks to the generosity of dozens of people — many of them complete strangers — who came to shows and sometimes went far out of their way to make my travels a bit more pleasant and a lot more memorable. Meeting people like all of you is one of the very best parts of being a musician.

Although I’ll be relatively stationary for the next month or so, there is a lot in the pipeline: I made a lot of live recordings during the summer tour which I hope to sift through and release sometime in the future, and I also wrote a pile of new music during my residency on Isle Royale which I’ll be recording in the coming months. This fall will be largely devoted to writing and recording this and other new material, but there’s also a handful of northeastern shows on the horizon, including some at a few of my favorite venues:

8/29 CAMBRIDGE, MA – Toad, 10pm (with 90-Mile Portage)
9/6 PORTLAND, ME – [house concert]
9/6 NEW HAVEN, CT – Cafe Nine, 9pm (with Max Garcia Conover & Matt Wheeler)
9/11 SALEM, MA – Gulu-Gulu Cafe, 8pm
9/12 PORTLAND, ME – Mayo Street Arts, 7:30pm (with Max Garcia Conover – album release)
9/13 FITZWILLIAM, NH – Fitzwilliam Inn, 7pm
9/15 PORTSMOUTH, NH – The Red Door, 9pm (with Max Garcia Conover)
9/17 CAMBRIDGE, MA – Signet Society of Harvard University, 8pm (with Max Garcia Conover)
9/18 BROOKLYN, NY – Pete’s Candy Store, 9pm (with Max Garcia Conover)
9/19 MANHATTAN, NY – Pianos, 7pm (with Max Garcia Conover)
9/20 EAST CHATHAM, NY – New Concord Society Hall, 5pm (with 90-Mile Portage)
9/21 PITTSFIELD, MA – Marketplace Cafe, 12:30pm (with 90-Mile Portage)

A few of those sets are co-bills with the great Max Garcia Conover, whose new album Ellery is being released at the Portland show. I produced and arranged the new record, and Max and I are both very excited for you to hear it. Ellery was mastered by Jeff Lipton (Josh Ritter, Bon Iver, Wilco), and having recently heard the final cuts, I can say with confidence that I think we’ve all made a great-sounding thing. You can preorder the record on iTunes here.

Also, a music blog recently published a really nice review of Field Studies, which you can read at the following link:

ResidentMediaPundit: Ben Cosgrove Shines Again on Field Studies

Hope to see you soon,