Vintage Snob... 

When you're such a vintage country snob that the Columbia University Sunday morning vintage country radio show isn't vintage enough and you gotta reach into the old man's collection to take matters into your own hands...

Happy Anniversary! 

My dad was playing a gig and some mutual friends set up a blind date. The deal was, the singer who came up to request a certain song would be the one he was supposed to ask out. So he’s waiting on this song all night.  But the singer (my mom) chickens out and sends her friend up to request the song. On a break, my dad, kind of underwhelmed, says to the guys in the band, “Yeah, she’s all right, but her FRIEND – what’s SHE all about? What’s goin’ on there?”

They finally got it all straightened out and ended up getting married, a whole lot of April 14ths ago.

Long Range Dinner Plans... 

You wake up to an email from the venue in Copenhagen inquiring as to your dietary preference for the after-show dinner, a month before the gig. And then people still ask you, "Hey JT, how come you don't play NYC that much?"

They asked me if I was vegetarian. I wrote back: "Actual footage of me eating"...

Live by the fireplace in NYC... 

Yes, the new album has been done for over two months now. No, it's not out yet, due to very exciting (not) behind-the-scenes administrative and marketing music business-y stuff. For a musician, I can only describe this kind of waiting as watching paint dry (that's already dry) while wishing you could gnaw off your leg to get out of a bear trap. 

Come help me distract myself and blow off steam this Sunday with friends and bourbon by the fireplace again, outside at LIC Bar in NYC as I put down the spreadsheets and marketing plans and - egad - pick up an instrument and play actual music to actual people. Which is sort of what it was all supposed to be about in the first place, right? Imagine that...

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The travails of booking tour dates... 

Those "Facebook memories" things are often unsettling (or sometimes downright creepy), but this one was kind of funny:

***

Jefferson Thomas

March 24, 2015 · New York · 

Booked three tour dates today: a radio-sponsored show in northern California, a festival in New Hampshire, and a club in Copenhagen. That has to be the worst job of routing EVER. Maybe it's time I hired somebody who knows what in hell they're doing.

Not the least bit Irish, but St. Patrick's Day is always very special to me... 

I'm not the least bit Irish, but St. Patrick's Day for me is always a special memory of my first-ever paying gig.  My dad was the guitarist in the backing band of an Irish singer who would come over from Belfast several times a year and play the US. They always did big business in the Catskills (a couple of hours north of NYC), and there was an enormous Irish festival there every year for St. Patrick's Day.

One day, my dad gets off the phone and says they're doing that festival again, and the guy needs a bass player for this gig on short notice.  I was eleven.  I had taken up bass two years earlier, and had just recently gotten my first-ever instrument, an old Hofner-copy Beatle-esque bass, with action so high you could win an archery contest with it (it still adorns my wall at home)...

...so I was suddenly pressed into duty.  One of my friends called as were were leaving, wanting me to meet the gang and play football.  "Tell him I gotta play a job" I said matter-of-factly, savoring the words.

There was no rehearsal.  My dad explained to me during the long drive to the festival that "It's pretty much all three-chord stuff, kinda simple and a lot of fun, but it moves pretty fast.  Just follow me and listen to the singer; you'll be fine."  I got there and met the other guys in the band, who had flown in from Ireland. I could barely understand any of them.  I remember my dad being really proud and thrilled that I was joining him.  We played about an hour, then took a break and I sat with the guys, having my first corned-beef and cabbage, and my first beer ("Don't tell your mother" my Dad whispered, conspiringly).  Then we played another two sets, I got paid a couple hundred bucks and just smiled the whole way home.

It marked the beginning of the end of whatever football career I may have been destined for. 

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