We lost money on a tour last week. I’ve never done that.

We had a great time. We saw fans and friends. We worked hard and put on great shows.

There’s an old joke in the music business. Q: “What would you do if you won the lottery?” A: “I’d tour until the money ran out!”

Funny not funny. I don’t plan on losing money again any time soon. I just canceled a bunch of dates in May for the same reason. My mission is to keep playing music for you for the rest of my life, and that means Daddy has to bring money home. On Monday, I reviewed all of our touring plans and it’s all looking good. I don’t plan on canceling any more shows.

When I’m flying, I get out the inflight magazine and do the crossword. I don’t know actors or athletes at all, so I usually get stuck on them. If a clue is keeping me from moving on, I look around to see if anyone is watching me before I turn the page back and look at the answer really quick. I try to block the rest with my hand.

As if anyone on the plane cares. It’s true that turning to page 87 is a failure. Failure means you’re trying to do something really hard. Failure means you learned something: the athlete who wrote a history of African-American athletes is Arthur Ashe. Not only did I learn that fact, I was reminded why sports are important.

So. Pretty good failure, all around. Thanks to Fargo, Winnipeg, and Minneapolis for your hospitality. We’re coming back smarter.

Tonight, we’re at the Kraken with special guest Greg Klyma:

Every Wednesday at The Kraken!

May 11 Sat
Tobias Music
Downers Grove, IL

May 24 Fri
Morristown Unitarian Fellowship
Morristown, NJ

May 26 Sun
Jammin’ at Hippie Jacks
Crawford, TN

Jun 13 Thurs
Muddy Creek Music Hall
Winston-Salem, NC

June 29 Sat
Songs From the Wood
Deep Gap, NC

Jul 11 Thurs
The Park Center
Hayward, WI

July 12 Fri
Rhythm of the River Music Festival
Jackson, MN

July 27 Sat
Blue Note Bar and Grill
Durham, NC
w/ Jon Dee Graham!

Aug 3 Saturday
Saturdays in Saxapahaw
Saxapahaw, NC

Aug 10 Sat
Oak Grove Folk Music Festival
Staunton VA

*****************

Flight to Minneapolis

The crossword whispers from between the pages of the inflight magazine,
a prefix meaning “wine,” beehive contents, and the tongue of the mind.
I skip the ones about popular culture, maybe because I’m the kind of guy
who does crosswords for fun on a two-hour flight, the brutish sort

like Catherine who married Henry VIII. My time draws nigh, imposed, as a tax.
‘Answers on page 87’ levies temptation, part of SOS in popular usage,
my empty coffee cup jammed in the seat pocket, a reference from Moby-Dick
and a four letter word for a phrase on a yard-sale tag, as is forty-two across.

I always have a pen and I always want to prove something. As a result,
I’m unable to sit still in the light of the postcard screen, in brief (two words),
seat back up, tray table securely fastened, seat belt fastened,
fascinated, 38 down, down into Minneapolis, home of the king’s heir?

What is there to do at a window seat? Learn a language? Read the pages
of field and stream, the shapes water makes like the nerves in my leg
going numb, the simple geometry of crosswords and western cities,
keeping the monkey mind from puzzling where it is in the wild blue _ _ _ _ _ _

walking to church.jpg

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