Hi there, far and wide folks! Good morning, from the Lexington Best Western breakfast buffet room, which is bustling with little kids, waffle irons, and the sweetest accents you’ve ever heard. And all the non-recyclable table wear one could imagine. I go as far as to scrape the extra butter out of its little cup and add it to our traveling recycling pile to do my part. It is early on our day off, but internet is scarce, and I have 7 hours to sleep on the way to Chicago.
Two days into this tour, as you can imagine, is already so much fun – dream realizing, life altering awesomeness. Complete with long road hours, digestive troubles, achy bodies, snoring comrades, elusive plungers, lying GPS’s, fighting stage crews, and endless road food!! Out here in the East, with the temp between 90 and 100 degrees, 60% humidity, constant loading and unloading of awkwardly shaped objects in and out of buildings and cars, long standing hours and sweltering stage lights, we are definitely getting our initiation into the world or professional touring. It feels a little like a good hazing. We have our first welcomed day off, our last show being a week from today and 2,000 miles away.
This tour is different for Coyote Grace for more reasons than one. We have Amy Eriksen, one of my (Joe’s) longest and best friends and guardian angels with us tour managing, which is making a world of difference. Riding to the venue yesterday, I realized that I was only thinking about music – what a concept! We are endlessly grateful for her coordination and coercion skills, travel smarts, CD slinging, driving shifts, errand runs, and general love and willingness. After all, I have her to thank for many things – introduction to the Indigo Girls, first concerts, my first recording experience – not to mention keeping me from getting kicked out of high school, encouraging me in so many ways, and bolstering my self-esteem until I could finally generate some for myself. Sorry to gush, but it is a perfect circle that she is here, and we couldn’t be happier or more grateful.
We also have with us, a now official member of Coyote Grace, the everything man Michael Connolly, who is blazing through bow hairs, keeping the books (uh..mazing), fiddling, picking, and squeeze-boxing his way down the road with us, and we are as well so happy to have him. The four of us are a hilarious hayride full of belly laughs, hearty jokes, deep and introspective conversation, which are all I could ever want in a crew, along with our combined skills and labor, of course. It’s been 5-ish years of Ingrid and I rowing the boat our damn selves, getting by with a (lot) of help from our friends, and it is sure nice to be able to take a load off.
The first two shows have been awesome, wonderful folks in Richmond and Lexington, and we had a blast. We are so grateful for the warm reception! There will be more pictures and stories to come, all of our folks are with us in our hearts, grateful to be on this spinning rock at the same time☺
Love Love Love, J, I, M, & A
Howdy from the old cowboy country!
We are currently enjoying a day off in Santa Fe, sunny yet butt cold here. We are midway through our Southwest tour, we plan to come here to get some winter sunshine, but we always seem to forget that it will be snowy for the mountainous portions of the trip. We had a great show in Tucson, great to be reunited with Courtney Robbins and check out her awesome new band Seashell Radio. They will have an album coming out soon, a great collaboration of songwriters playing very eclectic tunes, complete with Courtney getting to rock the telecaster like god intended.
We split some great shows in Phoenix with Amber Darland, great to see her and back up her tunes. We also played in some new territory - The Chocolatree Eatery in Sedona AZ. Great folks, great food, great atmosphere! Be sure to check it out if ever in the area! Next on the list in Taos NM, Albuquerquie, Flagstaff, then back to So Cal for some livelier temperatures and familiar faces!
Other great news on the CG front, Buck Naked is out and about, and will soon be up on CDBaby by mid-march! Pre-sales should be arriving today. It's looking good, we're very happy with our new bundle of joy. For clarification's sake (there has been some confusion) - the soprano voice on the last tune is not Ingrid... I'll just leave it at that. Also, we are honored to be opening for the Indigo Girls for five dates on the west coast!!! We are beside ourselves, as you can imagine. Check the site for exact dates and locations. There are other things brewing, but we will tell ya when we get fer sure confirmation.
We are hoping to get to the Northwest, Midwest, and of course Cali all this spring, so keep yer eyes peeled! I hope this finds everyone well and happy, and we'll see you down the road!
Jiggity Jogg.. and just like that, we are back home in not-so-sunny California. It rained most of the night last night and into the afternoon. I went to bed at 11 and woke up at noon. I must have needed it. So where were we..
Last we spoke we were still heading east. We left Chicago, split a few shows with our drummer Katherine Monnig, had a bitchin show in Cbus with the Rosie Burgess Trio and guest appearance by Joe's little bro who laid down some awesome lead lines for us. On to Pittsburgh, a great show sweetened by the stylings of Nicole Steele on the djembe. Heading northeast, we start to feel the fall, brilliant leaves on a few select early bloomers. Boston is just as treacherous as ever with their lack of signage and street grids (cows don't walk in straight lines, silly suburbian!) but we had a great show with Chris Pureka and Brooke Brown Sarancino at the Lizard Lounge. The appreciation for folk/acoustic music over there never ceases to amaze and empower me. We played in Vermont for the first time, postcard views everywhere. Had to stop at the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory, free samples and everything! And at that point, we begin to head west again.
Nothing like heading west. That means you're heading home. A great return show in Chicago with the rhythmically boggling Congress of Starlings. There was a very heartfelt show/memorial in Des Moines at the Ritual Cafe, one of the leaders of the community there fell upon tough times and checked out early. Jeff is greatly missed, and his presence affected more lives than he knew. He continues to inspire and change the world with his memory. Here's to all the folks there fighting the good fight!! Lots of Graceful Coyote love to you all. A long stretch across the Plains to the Front Range, the moisture disappears from the air, and the mountains rise in front of us. We rock out in Denver and Fort Collins, so awesome to reconnect with our Folks Fest and Song School buddies. We shared the Ft Collins show with Jill Brzezicki, rocked out late at night in her cabin in the woods. I feel as though that music community I have been looking for is developing before me. Off to Park City UT where our show was canceled without a heads up, but luckily an old high school friend on Ing's had a health spa up the street and offered her space! So we had an awesome guerrilla show in the spa, slept on massage tables that night, woke up and got rubbed! Then we jumped on 80 and blazed 11 hours home. A little snow, endless Nevada, and clean sheets at the parent's house. This is my job? I must be dreaming.
Not quite done yet, however, we stay in the Central Valley for a few extra days and play a fun hometown show in Sacto with old high school musician friend of Joe's, Boy Loin out of Oakland. If any of you have been to a show that my Mom was attending, you can imagine the energy. I never get heckled so much. Lots of fun, up to Chico for another show with Boy Lion, not to forget Chico State and Sac State. Then- an awesome house concert is Oakland at the Back Porch Concert Series. THEN- we finally get to go home.
Now it is raining again, we are back home on our computers getting ready to do it all again. We have the winter fairly free, save a trans conference in AZ for Joe, Trans Day of Remembrance in Omaha and possibly Iowa, and a week trip to LA. And lots of busy work in between. The "Buck Naked" EP will be out by January, our next big tour will be to the Southwest in Feb, and the big wheel keeps on turning. It's a life, I tell ya. Lots of love to you all, it is an endless joy to play music for you and have that energy exchange; a good show is definitely a joint effort between the audience and the performer. Neither party is more important than the other. It is an age-old line of work I suppose, and I am beyond grateful that I can contribute to the self and community healing that takes place in the presence of music. Happy winter everyone, we look forward to seeing you again down the road.
Coming to you with a mid-tour report, we are eating breakfast in Cincinnati at the moment, sitting don to catch you all up. A beautiful ride north along the west coast, late night jams with our newly found pitstop and ever gathering crew in Eugene OR. Rockin show in Portland, just keeps getting roudyer! Seatown during Gender Odyssey weekend seems to be becoming a regular thing. The whole west coast is our home turf these days, so awesome to roll around in the old stomping grounds, so awesome to have a good mirror of how far we've come. Two amazing sold out shows in Seattle, with local poets warming up the stage - Elaina Ellis, Patch Avery, Marita Isabel, Jessica McPherson - look out for these wordy Northwesterners!
Across the great state of Warshington, quick stop to see some fam in Spokane, up highway 2 along the northern border...way gorgeous. Not quite enough daylight to get up to Glacier Ntnl Park, but that northern Montana territory is worth checking out. See Joe's Facebook for the usual slew of random objects and vistas. We stopped and had lunch at the geographical center of North America, in Rugby North Dakota (although you cannot find the center of something that does not have solid edges), saw some rainbows, lightning, the usual business out on the plains.
To the upper Midwest we go, bitchin show in the twin cities, one of our favorite stops. The people make the music, you know. It's a joint effort, art is a reciprocal process. We toured the Duluth Pack factory with our buddy, nothing like leather, canvass, and grommets to liven up the day! In Milwaukee we get to see a kite festival... who knew there was such a world for avid kiters! Complete with dancing kites and dancing children. So awesome to see all our folks, great meals, wonderful hospitality. It is a true joy to have such community around the country. Ing and I are fighting off colds tooth and nail at this point (and still are) but hey, that's touring. We get to do our laundry at that point, never so grateful..
Down to Chitown, get to hook up with our homeys Simon and Madsen of Actor Slash Model, and see a sneak peak of their flick "Riot Acts", a documentary about trans folks in the performance world, which features yours truly!! They have been working on this film as long as we have been on the road, and it is a truly inspiring indie project that will be out soon. Check the youtube for the kickass trailer that has some pretty awesome music on it by..someone really cool. A late night jam with Madsen and co, who doesn't like to hear accordion and banjo outside their window at 2am? Chicago show was packed to the gills, we split the show with Rosie Burgess ad her band from down under, and a surprise appearance by Lynnee Breedlove!! She gave me a pisser:) I almost asked her to sign it, but that would be pretty weird. What great energy in that room. Off to Indy, then Cinci, and here we are in the car heading to Columbus. This blog is being birthed in pieces, if you couldn't tell. Not sure where it will actually be sent from, I'll let you know.
That's is for now folks, new updates about the shows in the east, we are splitting two with the awesome singer songwriter Chris Pureka, other shows and back through Chicago, the plains, and back to the Rockies... It's a living!
Split some bitchin' shows with the Rosie Burgess Trio from down unda'! We are so happy to have met up with them and look forward to splitting some shows down in their corner of the globe:) Sent from the One World Cafe in Baltimore:)
Just wanted to give a howl to let everyone know we will be roaming around again, a nice big northern loop - up to Seattle, across to Minnesota (taking the tiny roads up by the border:), through the Midwest, a little East Coast in there, and back across the middle. Check the website or the myspace for show details, there's plenty of shows to go around.
Hope to see you there!! Spread the word any way you can, if you are so inclined:) We so so appreciate it.
Did you happen to see our Guy Named Joe video on the LOGO Click List? Keep voting, we wanna be on TV!! You already got us up into the top 10, way to go!
***EAR TO THE GROUND TOUR 2009***
WED, SEPT. 2 - Cozmic Pizza - EUGENE, OR THUR, SEPT. 3 - Alberta Street Pub - PORTLAND, OR FRI, SEPT. 4 - Empty Sea Studios - SEATTLE, WA SAT, SEPT. 5 - Empty Sea Studios - SEATTLE, WA
WED, SEPT. 9 - Beaner's Central - DULUTH, MN THUR, SEPT. 10 - Ginkgo Coffee - ST. PAUL, MN FRI, SEPT. 11 - Hotch a do's - MILWAUKEE, WI SAT, SEPT. 12 - Paradigm Coffeehouse - SHEBOYGAN, WI
TUES, SEPT. 15 - Homolatte @ Big Chicks - CHICAGO, IL WED, SEPT. 16 - Lazy Daze Coffeehouse - INDIANAPOLIS, IN THUR, SEPT. 17 - The Comet - CINCINNATI, OH FRI, SEPT. 18 - Havana - COLUMBUS, OH SAT, SEPT. 19 - Club Cafe - PITTSBURGH, PA
SUN, SEPT. 20 - Phase 1 - WASHINGTON, DC TUES, SEPT. 22 - Lizard Lounge - CAMBRIDGE, MA WED, SEPT. 23 - Langdon Street Cafe - MONTPELIER, VT THUR, SEPT. 24 - Jason's Upstairs Bar - HUDSON, NY FRI, SEPT. 25 - Clarion University - OIL CITY, PA
SUN, SEPT. 27 - House Concert - ANN ARBOR, MI MON, SEPT. 28 - Red Line Tap - CHICAGO, IL TUES, SEPT. 29 - The Mill - IOWA CITY, IA WED, SEPT. 30 - Ritual Cafe - DES MOINES, IA THUR, OCT. 1 - Swallow Hill Cafe - DENVER, CO FRI, OCT. 2 - The Tap Room @ Catalyst - FORT COLLINS, CO SAT, OCT. 3 - The Listening Room - PARK CITY, UT
THUR, OCT. 8 - Marilyn's on K - SACRAMENTO, CA FRI, OCT. 9 - Cafe Coda - CHICO, CA SUN, OCT. 11 - Back Porch Concerts - OAKLAND, CA
Coyote Grace hearts Colorado. And all the strange and beautiful miles in between. Driving those Rockies is one of my favorite drives. We had a rockin time, we plow through endless mountains, slat flats, and earth guts, play a show is Fort Collins, then the lady flies out to Ohio for her 10 year high school reunion (thank dog we dont breed!) leaving Joe all by his lonesome for the weekend...! Many a mile, many a view, many a rusty metal thing photographed. Ing returns, and we head off to Song School and the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest. And let me tell you what.... No, Melissa Ferrick didnt ask us to tour with her again, but we met so many awesome folks, reconnected with so many awesome folks, played mad music till all hours of the morning. With me on banjo and Ing on bass, we sandwiched many an awesome songwriter and were able to throw down and shine in different ways. Not that we didnt do our share of swapping our own tunes (summertime furrowed a few confused brows, hehe!) in circles and elsewhere. We had a beautiful camping spot by the river, with our homie Amber Darland out of Bellingham WA, you may have caught her opening for us. It was overall wonderful community, wonderful music, and although we were hustling the business cards and working hard, it felt like vacation. Funny that we do the same thing on vacation that we do for work.. but it makes sense to me. The Folks Fest was equally cool, even though our song saturation point was reaching critical.
Back to Cali for another too short break, and in less than a week we will head north with show on the way up, and then east to hit our favorite Midwestern spots and the East Coast as well. In just a short five weeks we will be home... Other highlights - we bought a tiny video camera thing, and as soon as we figure out how to use it, we will be posting all sorts of hilarious road adventures, so stay tuned on the youtube. Also, we have now reached gay stardom... our kickass music video to "A Guy Named Joe" produced by Josh Klipp is up on the LOGO Click List!!!! Go vote for us so we can get the video up on the LOGO channel! We barely get to watch TV, but we would if we were on it!
I hope this finds everyone well, I hope everyone is getting in all their veggie burger flipping for the summer, still keeping the tan, swimming in the pool. Check out our new tour schedule, I bet we'll be coming to you soon!
Greetings, folk fans and festival goers!!
Coyote Grace just got back from the muddy land of tents and tarps, bare feet and BO all across the looong state of New York. We being on a red-eye from San Fran, a night on a big plane, the morning on a tiny propeller plane, plopped down in Erie PA, and the mayhem begins...
Another rad year at Brushwood, a beautiful piece of land right over the western border of New York. Highlights include many a midnight ring around the big fire, a fair amount of rain and soggy tents, lots of flowing pants, crazy hair, and sleep deprived sun burnt happy people all reveling in their yearly unconventional church service. Lots of friends and family, time for reconnection and introspection, and time to let loose and party! We had a rockin time.
Mid-week 2, we go back to the tiny Erie airport and rent an equally tiny car and begin our journey, a lovely 7 hour drive. We stay in a hotel Mid-York, where we were profiled in the most hilarious way - The timid woman behind the counter seems like she is having a hard time giving us a non-smoking room, like she doesnt believe us... she asks me a few times if i am "sure" we want a non-smoking room (i am the man, after all). We reassure her that a non-smoking room is just fine, only to be put in a smoking room... Wanna smoke a fatty with us?! As we're loading in instruments and colorful clothing, she asks "do you have a dog?" No, we dont have a dog. I love throwing off people's stereotypes!
We get all the way to Catham, a tiny town south of Albany, and pull into the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival where we will play in the Emerging Artist Showcase. They picked 25 out of 500, not bad! We met and reconnected with many comtemporaries, namely Raina Rose, John Elliott, Driftwood Fire, Pesky J Nixon, Aiden James, Amy Speace, Trina Hamlin and many more. We were also trapped backstage for a few hours durring a deluge that took over the camp like the nothing, and we hung with Ellis Paul, Dan Navarro, Janice Ian, and other random folkstars. :) Then over to another rainy tent for an out-of-this-world performance by the kickass fiddler Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul - rocked our wet hippie hearts. Picture Ing and I dancing in the mud along with other poncho wearing music lovers. We also had backstage passes, so we were able to see the most amazing shows - Karen Savoca, Susan Werner, Pamela Means, and the amazing Girlyman! We had great chats with them, nice to meet up with fellow gender warriors. There were many midnight song circles that Ing and I trudged up in the mud for, great to share and hear songs with real song nerds (it's nice to not be the only ones!) So we had a seriously amazing time, we thought of all the little roads that have brought us to this point, and all the folks who continued and continue to come to Coyote Grace shows, even when we arent spectacular - the love and the path have been amazing. It was a moment to smile on the past and breathe in the present, future be dammed. We made it this far and we're still having fun. It's all we could ask. Thank you all for getting us here:)
We have a short week off, then we are off to Colorado to the Rocky Mountain Song School and Folks Fest, the famous place where Joe met and wooed Mellissa Ferrick. Looking forward to more song swaps and beautiful camping (in the car this time. i'm not a princess, i just like living in my van. so there) and a great lineup of inspiring artists that remind me of what I do it all for. You need that sometimes. After that we are scheduled for a big ass loop of the US, starting northward towards Seattle. Keep yer eyes open, we will be coming to ya, wherever you are!
Hope all is well and the summer is filling everyone with more and more reasons to be alive.
Greetings folk fans,
We are wrapping up another fun-filled mini-tour, spreading Pride all over the Midwest! We kicked off with Pittsburgh Pride, where we got to see some of our best buddy contemporaries, Eric Himan and the Adams and Andy Moore. A highlight was seeing Jennifer Holliday wailing away on the main stage, one of Ingrid's long time idols and crooner of the family play "Dreamgirls". Way cool. So fun to see the mix of Steelers jerseys and rainbow boas in the streets. Off to the Wisteria Solstice Festival for a great show, late nights around the bonfire and a rainy night in the tent. We also hit up Columbus and Cleveland Pride, got to hang with other awesome folks, our bud Melissa Ferrick, Josh Klipp out of San Fran, and many other up-and-comers as well as riding-highers. Also had a rockin good time down in Cinci with drummer Katherine Monnig who also came along to spice up our Pride sets. Ing got some good time with the family out there as we criss crossed the ol' home state multiple times. Our microscopic rental car accomodated the bass and all our vagabond accoutremonts after some significant tetrising (I love my duties!), and got us here to there no problem. A big thanks to Larry, our Midwest upright bass supply, for letting us borrow his bass for a good 9 days. The bass happened to be the one sitting in the back of the band room at Ingrid's high school, fully restored and getting some hot play:) The humidity almost did us in, but eased off a bit up in Cleveland when we played right by Lake Erie. Not too bad!
We are hanging in the Cbus airport as we speak, ready to be home for a minute before we fly off to yet another fest, tis the season! Hope you're all having fun in the sun, pick some flowers, roll in the hay, and go jump in a lake!!
See ya round the bend, J&I
it is grey and still in eugene oregon, i wake up in a room full of stringed instruments and a chatty cat. coffee is brewing... maybe i am in heaven. i had a breauiful day yesterday, bumming around the corvallis/eugene area, a spot i have passed many times on my jogs from seattle to sacramento and back. i took a road along the willamette river, played banjo to a circling group of vultures, the wind breaking the sun and making the trees shimmy. i also spent the last two days scoping out what interesting things have turned up in the local trade-up music shops. nothing makes me happier than a gear upgrade! i have to say, the next time you see coyote grace, they will be playing awesome (if quirky) new instruments!
it has been busy since the new CD came out, last time we talked i think we had just been through the southwest. since then, i made a solo appearance at the Transgender Leadership Summit this year in san diego. the northern california boys had a kickass showing! community is really an amazing thing. on the way home a friend and i got lost in the deserts to the east of the sierras, spring flowers in the desert, colourful rocks whispering... climb me! and we obeyed.
coming home we kicked right into CD release party gear, all of our homies that came out to play on the CD also flew out for a weekend of shows... from tucson, seattle, and cincinnatti. the amazing thing was that we had never all played together. so it was an experiment, and it was so worth it! everyone knew their parts, played well, it was just awesome. check out the photos posted.
from there we flew out to one of our favorite areas to visit, the beautiful minnesota! hung out in the twin cities area for some awesome shows, jumped on board last minute to play for a chest surgery benefit, caught some amazing work by a local theater company as well. up to duluth for more music and old friends.
home for a day, and then we are in the car heading to the great northwest, which is where you find us now. had a great time seeing folks and making music in portland, a really awesome town. i got to hit the slopes for the only time this year!!! hell yeah. up to the old homestead in seattle, its always funny to go back to a place you spent significant time in, it can be some intense self reflection. we had great shows, the highlight being our fiddling picking squeeze box squeezing buddy Michael Connolly's brand spanking new acoustic venue at Empty Sea Studios in the Phinny Ridge neighborhood. what a treat to play with such georgeous sound in an awesome intentful listening environment. every songwriter's dream. keep your eye out for new shows at the venue, as well as for the return of coyote grace in the fall. lots of fun in bellingham, out on the peninsula, an amazingly beautiful day up there. a great show in eugene and lots of jam time with our music crew here. a show tonight with katz and katastrophy, itll be a tranny hootenany!! then we're on our way home. i am so grateful for this life of music and traveling, i know nothing is permanent, so the best way to honor it, i suppose, is to enjoy the shit out of it, even if that means you might miss it a little more when its gone. i will probably think it will have been worth the heartache by then:)
the summer hold lots of fun stuff, we will be out in the midwest for some pride gigs, out to the hippy festivals, and then the music festivals! on the radar but not yet secured... an artist in residency for mr coyote at the Goldwell Museum out near death valley, and... a possible trip to Copenhagen for Pride!!! dont hold your breath... the passport offices still have my gender in their hands. we'll see. it may not be this year, but the US borders are not long for coyote grace. stay tuned, we'll keep you posted!
love you all, j&i
Happy Sunday Folks,
Coyote Grace just finished three kickass CD Release shows around Northern California, and I'm here to report that it was a great success! It was such an honor to have everyone who played on the album with us for these shows! If only we could do ten more. Soon, maybe. "Ear to the Ground" has started off with a bang. Recorded in Cotati at Prairie Sun Studios, it was a great undertaking, and now we celebrate... By sitting down at our computers and figuring out how to get it out to yall! On the roster we have our third muskateer Courtney Robbins from Tucson on guitar and vocals; Michael Connolly from Seattle on fiddle, mando, keys of all sorts, and concertina; and our newest, Katherine Monnig on drums all the way from Cincinnati. They all flew out to for the shows, and we had an awesome time! You never saw such a handsom gender bent band. So many ties, so many dimples... Along with us we had Amber Darland, who is a new buddy of ours out of Bellingham WA, who we will certainly be seeing more of. Check her out, she is well worth a listen.
So now we rest momentarily, Ing and I will soon be off to Minnesota for a few shows, then it is back up to our old stomping grounds around the Puget Sound. We will have Michael with us for a few, as well as playing the very first show at his new acousitc venue in Phinney Ridge, tickets are on sale. The summer brings much more wanderings, bouncing from here to there, Prides, and many more surprises I'm sure.
Stay tuned, the band in full force will be out and about this year, one way or another, in one manifestation or another. We are so grateful for all the folks who have helped make this possible, there have been so many, hopefully we will make our way around to ya for a big thank you hug.
Spring flowers in yer face! Coyote Joe