One month from today we release our album Parts & Labor at the Creative Alliance.
The songs are inspired by a handful of stories about of how our economy affects the people and places that we hold dear. Our economy was created to meet human needs, but it seems to have grown out of our control, treating many communities as little more than parts and labor for its giant engine. When they are no longer of use, the machine thunders onward and leaves them in the dust.
Our spirits ache to escape this cycle. Our lives are meant to be meaningful, beautiful, and full of love. How can we liberate more of our collective time, energy, and creativity from the rat race, and put it towards the goal of supporting everyone?
I’m no expert, but this has always been an intellectual interest of mine, studying globalization, labor, and human rights. The facts and figures and theories are important, and yet I also believe we must connect emotionally with what’s going on in the lives of the people around us. Stories are one way to do that.
I have had big fears and doubts about breaching this subject because a) it is so big that I could never really do it justice with an album b) there is always so much more that I could be doing as an activist, so there’s a good argument to be made that speaking on this topic makes me a hypocrite, and c) by and large I have been more of a benefactor than a victim of the unfairness of this system. My perspective only shows the tiniest sliver of the bigger picture. The stories that most need to be shared belong others, and yet as a songwriter I don’t want to put words into anyone's mouth. The jury is still very much out for me on what my role as a singer-songwriter coming from a position of certain privileges really should or should not be. I sincerely welcome your thoughts.
For the release show we are partnering with Kevin Griffin Moreno of Potluck Storytelling to bring the stories of Baltimoreans of many different walks of life to our show at the Creative Alliance. He’s lined up a group of wonderful, insightful storytellers—I’m so excited to hear what they have to say. I wish I could do more shows in this model, and I aspire to do more collaborations like this in the future. To be sure, there are many groups who have been helping the people most oppressed by our economy to share their own stories—for decades and counting. My hat is off to them and through this project I’ve learned a lot about how I’d like to support them in the future.
I’m asking you to hold this project in love, to have compassion for its shortcomings, to help me learn my blind spots, and to treat it as the beginning of a conversation, an invitation to consider your own piece of the bigger story.
It has been such a blessing to work with William McKindley-Ward, David McKindley-Ward, and Tom Liddle in creating this album. Deep gratitude to those who have supported the project financially and emotionally, including the Pickett Endowment. We are so fortunate to have such a caring and thoughtful friendbase.*
We’d be so pleased to see you at one of our release shows!
Friday Feb 27th – Baltimore - Creative Alliance - Get Tickets - RSVP on Facebook
Saturday Feb 28th – Washington, DC - Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown - Get tickets - RSVP on Facebook
Thursday March 5th – Brooklyn, NY – Bar Matchless
Friday March 6th – Boston, MA – Beacon Hill Friends House
Saturday, March 7th – TBA
Sunday, March 8th – Philadelphia – house show – contact us for the deets
*I loathe the word fanbase.