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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 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 (Max Garcia Conover’s album release)
9/13 FITZWILLIAM, NH – Fitzwilliam Inn, 7pm
9/17 CAMBRIDGE, MA – Signet Society of Harvard University, 8pm (with Max Garcia Conover)
9/18 BROOKLYN, NY – Pete’s Candy Store, 9pm
9/19 MANHATTAN, NY – Pianos, 7pm
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 – Gallery Six, time TBA
10/20 PORTSMOUTH, NH – The Red Door, 9pm
10/24 WILTON, NH – Riverview Mill, time TBA
10/30 MORRISVILLE, VT – The Bee’s Knees, 7:30pm

Those sets in Maine and New York (September 12th, 18th, and 19th) 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,

2014 Summer Tour Dates

Here are this summer’s tour dates! I’ve just flushed my car’s transmission, cleaned its fuel injection system, replaced four tires, a rear wiper, and several spark plugs, and changed the oil, and now I need to go on tour just to make back the mountain of money I just spent trying to prevent this thing from breaking down somewhere in Idaho.

I’m really excited for this tour — it’ll be bringing me to lots of favorite, familiar spots, but also to others that are a little farther afield… like this or this.

6/6: MONTPELIER, VT – Gallery Six, 4:00pm
6/7: STOCKHOLM, ME – Eureka Hall, 6:30pm
6/8: MONTREAL, QC – [house concert]
6/11: CHICAGO, IL – [house concert]
6/12: MADISON, WI – Crescendo(TICKETS HERE)
6/13-6/15: a few long-awaited shows with Saint Anyway
6/16: MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Acadia, 8:00pm
6/17: ABERDEEN, SD – The Red Rooster (with 90-Mile Portage, an ongoing collaboration between me and singer/songwriter Jamie Kallestad), 6:30pm
6/19: BOULDER, CO – Trident Booksellers and Cafe (with 90MP), 7:00pm
6/20: DENVER, CO – Park House (with 90MP), 8:00pm
6/21: ALAMOSA, CO – Milagros (with 90MP), 3:00pm
6/21: CREEDE, CO – Tommyknockers (with 90MP), 9:00pm
6/23: TAOS, NM – Historic Taos Inn, 4:00pm
6/24: FLAGSTAFF, AZ – Firecreek Coffee, 8:00pm
6/26: LOS ANGELES, CA – Room 5, 7:00pm (TICKETS HERE)
7/1: SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Hotel Utah, 8:00pm (TICKETS HERE)
7/2: EUGENE, OR – sam bond’s garage, 9:00pm
7/3: OLYMPIA, WA – [house concert]
7/5: BOISE, ID – EDGE Brewing Co., 8:30pm
7/6: OGDEN, UT – Grounds for Coffee, 4:00pm
7/8: MOOSE, WY – [house concert]
7/10: BUTTE, MT – Venus Rising, 6:30pm
7/11: BISMARCK, ND – Laughing Sun, 8:00pm
7/12: SUPERIOR, WI – The Red Mug, with Saint Anyway, 8:00pm
7/12: DULUTH, MN – The Rex, with Dedric Clark & the Social Animals, 8:00pm
7/13: DULUTH, MN – Amazing Grace, 7:00pm
7/16: TREMPEALEAU, WI – The Historic Trempealeau Hotel, 7:00pm
Late July-early Aug – Artist Residency, Isle Royale National Park
8/12: CHICAGO, IL – [house concert]
8/13: LEXINGTON, KY – Wines on Vine, 8:00pm
8/14: NASHVILLE, TN – [house concert]
8/16: HUNTINGTON, WV – The Black Sheep, 8:00pm

More shows to come. See you out there!