NomadDan News From the Front...

And the winner is...! Got a rapid test in Longmont, CO on Tuesday, and an RT-PCR test on Omaha on Wednesday, all negative.

The RT-PCR is a newer test, processed in-house not sent to a lab, that still gives a PCR (aka "more reliable") result in about four hours, as opposed to 2-3 days. I got the results in less than an hour as I was passing through.

So all will proceed as planned, with two Minnesota weekends coming right up ... Bemidji this Friday at Cindy Davis's family homestead, a joint birthday party at Mic Tienken's in St Louis Park on Saturday, and Bobbi Jacobsen's ALS benefit on Sunday. Then, The Youngers in Oronoco next Friday (Sept 17), newbie Jana Bjorklund on Saturday 9/18 and The Lampert-Gunderson do in Maplewood Sunday. 

Then I drive to the San Francisco Bay area for the last two shows of this run, at MAry AHern's in Sunnyvale 9/24then home for a mere week, and back out to the east coast.

Sleep is for babies.




Intelligence is... 

...the ability to adjust. With the Covid Delta variant sweeping through, and the vaccinated at risk of infection and illness (though, apparently, without grave consequence), I am either the canary in a coal mine, a guinea pig or a sitting duck.

I learned that a fully vaccinated attendee at my Friday HC in Arvada CO got a positive test result the day after the show (from an earlier PCR test). And, wüncha knowit, I shook the gentleman's hand. Three seconds of contact, and ten seconds of unmasked conversation, and now all bets are off. I canceled my indoor Berthoud HC, but thankfully had scheduled a ticketed live stream for that night.

Twenty gracious DanFammers showed up and helped save the day. I upgraded the audio to bring it to CoronaZone quality, and carried on in a mostly-requests show. Host Terry Georgia's next door neighbors, The Hales, who were originally coming in person, joined the stream in what can only be described as the best seat in the house. To wit...

Today's show in Monument CO will go on as planned, with significant upticks to masking, distancing, Dan-itizing and use of plastic. After today, my next shows are next weekend in Minnesota. There is time to get properly tested and assure the health of everyone I might come in contact with.

So far I feel fine, but then, after two days, that would be normal. We'll see what happens by Wednesday. Fingers crossed. And heavily sanitized. 

Hasta La Vista baby... 

Did 650 miles from Steamboat Springs CO to La Vista NE today, 12 hours top to toe. Going over the mountains from Steamboat to Laramie WY was bloody gorgeous, and then drove through Wyoming for the first time. Big ass whiteout torrential rainstorm in Ogallala NE, though I guess it's "wetout" when it's rain and not snow. Drove 20 mph with my flashers on and could not see more than 15 feet in front of me. Lasted about five miles, which seemed an eternity. Listened to a JFK assassination book on Audible, "Not in Your Lifetime", which was pretty good at keeping me awake. I first read it in 1980 as "Conspiracy" and it has been updated more than once, and released under a new title. Riveting, really, but then I appear to like rabbit holes. Heading to Chicago tomorrow for a Covid test (for a second big Disney session in LA next week) and then, Saturday, the tour actually starts in E. Lansing MI!

Full Steamboat Ahead... 

I am in my second day of a four-day drive to E. Lansing. I left LA late Tuesday, about 12 hours later than I wanted, because my Monday prep day got consumed by a major session for a major film. I got as far as Vegas and parked myself in a Walmart parking lot near the airport. Yesterday I hoped to get to Arvada CO, but weather and road conditions got in the way.

Interstate 70 was closed in two places, at Exit 87 outside Rifle, and between Exit 116 and 137 at Glenwood Springs. And there was no parallel side route to get me where I needed to go. The detour sent me over 100 miles north, to Steamboat Springs, where I grabbed a hotel.  As effective and cost-free as Walmart lots are, I needed a shower and a desk space to get a little work done.

The result is, I'm bypassing Denver altogether, and will route over I-80, through Laramie and Cheyenne WY for the very first time.  Destination, Des Moines, hopefully. If I deadhead. It's 12 hours, so we shall see.

In the meantime, enjoy this pic from the San Rafael Reef, while I was still in Utah yesterday.

Drive, he said... 

I go back out tomorrow, with a four day drive to E. Lansing Michigan for the Pumpstock Roots Festival, first of 20-some shows over a five week period, through Sept 26, including opening and closing drives.

It's a couple thousand miles to E. Lansing, with three or four days to do it in. I'll try to check in from the drive, maybe channel Cash or Willie or Waylon and do a stream lip syncing "Six Days On the Road" while driving. Or "On the Road Again". "I've Been Everywhere." "Movin' On." "Traveling Prayer." Who knows?

Would have been leavingtown  B&E tomorrow (Tuesday) but I got last minute work for today, eight hours at Fox on a major motion picture, can't tell you anything about it yet, airtight NDA in effect. But it will be epic, I can tell you that much.

In the meantime, I'll do my best to check in.

Back on the boards... 

The last two nights, I did shows in Southern California. On Saturday, a full concert with Steve Postell on hand, and Sunday night, a three-song segment at Library Girl, a poetry-spoken word-music series run by my friend Susan Hayden.

They were my first brace of shows in Southern California since summer of 2019, about two years. It was as wonderful and fulfilling as I hoped it would be. I hope thinkgs remain open. We are in a bit of a soup right now, aren't we?

For the record... 

At present, I am making my new album with Jim Scott, who produced the first 3-1/2 L&N albums -- Walking on a Wire in 1990, Broken Moon in 1993, the new tracks on the Walking on a Wire re-release in 1994, and Pendulum in 1995, then he mixed the fourth album, Scratch at the Door, in 1998 and produced L&N's eighth and final studio album, Learning to Fall in 2008. 

It took a long time after Eric Lowen's retirement and passing to get into the headspace of recording a record of my own. How would it sound? How much would it owe to the L&N legacy? Would I go a new direction? How would it compare? Would it measure up? Would it be perceived as "incomplete"? And would it compete in the folk radio environment I has lived in since 2000? Especially since L&N were not exactly folk radio mainstays.

Sp I gravitated toward safe ground for my first solo album Shed My Skin, produced and recorded by Steve Postell, and released in 2018. His skill and our friendship meant that the scary parts of the process were easier, as I got familiar with what I wanted to say on record, for the first time without Eric Lowen by my side. It took a long time to complete, cuz I was freaked, money was tight, and both our schedules were insane. I toured constantly, got sick twice, got injured once, ran out of money a couple of times, and would find myself dropping the ball for months at a time. So it wound up taking longer to complete than Boston's second album (but not as long as Willis Alan Ramsey's second, which is 48 years and counting).

But the record we recorded was wonderful, and it helped me define myself as a solo artist, not as half of a former whole, and I still love listening to it. But at my age (look it up) I decided for my next record to come back home for a new old experience. So I reached back to Jim as a sort of homecoming. Steve is all over the new one, he's my bro. And I am getting to work with an amazing cast of players, some of whom are brand new to me. It's a real joy, and I can't wait to share the results with you.

I'll be talking about it more in the coming days. Maybe sharing pics or samples or "I-dunno-what". This blogging thing is new to me. Prattling on about nonsense is not. Your mileage may vary.

Home at last... 

The NomadDan Tour's first leg took me through 66 days 27 states, 41 separate performances and 13,500 miles on Vanessa LeVan. Was I tired. Oh, God yes.

And worth it. To be allowed to do what I do is a blessing. That's a remarkable point of view after 31 years on the road, but it gives my life shape, purpose, connection, and a never-ending ever-changing cast of characters (some bigger characters than others) to interact with.

Over the course of the year, make that "years", I will be notating more and more of it here. As Facebook becomes a haven for nasty politics, cat videos and Zuckerberg's profit jones, I will bring this chat inside, so we can connect and talk about what matters to us.

I suppose my initial commentary will be outward. I hope you decide to help bring it inward.