I'm bringing my next record, You Can't Outrun The Radio, to Quebec and Ontario this week, a CD that won't actually be released until the fall. Why? Click this link to Corin Raymond's sneak preview of the record, and then come back and read.
You Can't Outrun The Radio was born one night on the sidewalk outside The Green Room in Montreal. That was the first time I sang with Alexa Dirks and Andrina Turenne, the ladies you hear singing now. If you're listening, I don't have to explain how special they are. These tracks were cut live off the floor. They sang into one microphone about two feet from my face, just like on that sidewalk in Montreal.
I was touring with Corin Raymond. We opened for Graham Playford and his great band. Chris Bartos, who produced the Law and the Lonesome, showed up out of nowhere and joined the jam. At about 2am, the bartender said, "Please don't stop singing, but you have to come inside." He locked the door. Corin and I left the bar at 5am, me with a handful of songs in my mind that I knew I'd record with them someday- I just had to write the rest of the album. It took two years to put the session together. Alexa and Andrina are in a group called Chic Gamine. You may have heard them on A Prairie Home Companion or seen them in New Orleans at Jazz Fest or read about them in Huffington Post this morning. So yeah. They were kind of busy.
I went to Winnipeg in February 2011 to get these ladies in the studio and record this album. Jaxon Haldane, the engineer, was still scrambling at the last minute to assemble a band to back us up. What nobody could have predicted was the star power that walked into that little cottage in Gimli, Manitoba. Grant Siemens on electric guitar. Joanna Miller on drums. Rej Ricard on bass. If you know these names, your mouth is a little open right now.
I couldn't have made this record as good as it is. Two days in the studio with these people made me a better musician. It's still one of my favorite records. I don't mean of the records I've made; I mean it's one of my favorite records ever. I hear the same from the other musicians- that they've kept this magic little recording on hand ever since we made it. There's a bar in Winnipeg where people think the album is already out. They've been listening to the the cue mixes from the session for three years.
In many ways these provinces where I'm touring for the next two weeks- and the people in them- are responsible for three of the best records I've ever made, including this one. I've sold out more shows and sold more records in Ontario and Quebec than anywhere I tour. You Can't Outrun The Radio is slated for a fall release. I won't be back to this part of Canada until next year. That's too long to make y'all wait when I have them in my hand. The sales from this small tour will help my team get this album out in a few months- to fans and also to radio, press, and other industry gatekeepers who turn the world on to great music every day.
11 shows in 16 days, starting Saturday night in the city where it started. I'm bringing my band, The Pickup Cowboys, who will melt your face and bring a final end to this interminable winter. Don't wait to reserve or buy tickets. Some shows are sold out already. We try to sell them all out.
Saturday March 29, 9pm Petit Campus Montreal, QC http://shows.cafecampus.com/en/events/les-concerts-wintergreen-sam-baker-jonathan-byrd/ We were the opener, but Sam Baker canceled. We are now headlining this show! My friend and amazing song poet from Whitehorse, Kim Beggs will open.
Sunday March 30, 4:20pm Blacksheep Inn Wakefield, QC www.theblacksheepinn.com/ with the fantastic Catherine MacLellan
Thursday April 3, 8pm The Bleeding Carrot Owen Sound, ON www.facebook.com/TheBleedingCarrot with the indefatigable Corin Raymond
Friday, April 4 Kilgannon Concerts Hamilton, ON ***SOLD OUT***
Saturday, April 5 O'Hara Concert Toronto, ON ***SOLD OUT***
Sunday April 6, 7pm Full Circle Theatre 26 Craig Street Perth, Ontario I believe this will sell out. Buy your tickets here now: http://www.Ticketsplease.ca/Shakey.html
Wednesday April 9, 8:30pm Moonshine Café Oakville, ON www.themoonshinecafe.com/
Thursday, April 10, 9pm Hugh's Room Toronto, ON http://hughsroom.com/ Corin Raymond opens. This show will sell out. Guaranteed. We've already sold 100 seats. Get your tickets.
Friday April 11, 8pm Magnolia Cafe Guelph, ON www.magnoliacatering.ca/
Saturday April 12, 8pm Old Town Hall Waterford, ON www.facebook.com/pages/Old-Town-Hall-Waterford-Ontario-Canada/174012213216 I believe this show will sell out too.
Sunday April 13, 7pm McKiernon House Concert Grand Valley, ON for info and reservations, email email@example.com
Thanks for listening. Share the music. Bring a friend. Drink a beer. Your fan, JByrd