Playing the Four-Letter States

As usual, I’m putting the shows at the beginning of this note for those of you who aren’t so interested in the chatty, ranty, keeping in touch part.  I asked Jackie Blount if she thought sending out email like this is too old fashion.  She said that it probably is; that the way people do it these days is by creating Facebook events and calling it done.  What do you think?  Remember back when we used to send out postcards with the schedule of our gigs?  I’ll tell you something you might find hard to believe.  Way back when I was in a duo with Jim Ritchey, when we had a local show, my mother would call everybody on our Greensboro mailing list on the phone!  “Jim and BeJae are playing at Dolly’s this Saturday night; I hope we see you there.”  Like that.  It’s even hard for me to believe and I was there.  Such a long time ago.

Massage line at Maximum Ames Fest '13 - BeJae is 4th from left. Photo from Maximum Ames Music Festival Facebook page.

A very vibrant music scene has developed in Ames, IA over the past few years.  It is extraordinarily inclusive and broad, but it is mostly fueled by a few devoted, energetic, relentlessly hard-working folks who just insisted that it happen and that it flourish.  One of the results is the Maximum Ames Music Festival, a four-day event that books both national and local acts in venues all over Ames.  I am honored to be part of the festival again this year and I am deeply grateful to the people who have worked so hard to organize it and to fund it.  Amazing!  Wanna know who all is playing and when?
The Ritual Café in Des Moines is one of my favorite venues.  I got married there four years ago on Andy Fleming’s birthday in between sets at my last show before moving to Columbus.  Lots of happy and sad goin’ on that night.  I’m nothing but happy to share another show at the Ritual with one of the best songwriters on the planet, Andy Fleming.

I’m fairly new to John Moreland’s music, but I loved it from the first time I heard it.  John writes beautiful, dark songs and, man, can he turn a phrase.  I’m thrilled to get to hear John play live and grateful that I get to have Jackie Blount help me out on bass for this show.  Thanks so much to my friend, Adam Dawson, for suggesting me as opener for this house concert.  Adam does a podcast called Broken Jukebox.  He interviews roots/Americana bands and songwriters, reviews new releases and lists area appearances of acts of interest.  You can check that out at
Thanks to Rj Cowdry for inviting me to share her songwriters-in-the round show at Natalie’s in December.  Rj is an extraordinarily fine singer and player, a winner of several songwriting competitions and is really making a name for herself on the folk circuit.  I think I’ve convinced Jackie Blount to come play bass for me, even though this show is during the workweek.  The fact that the show is at Natalie’s makes the argument for a weeknight show much stronger.  The staff and owners at Natalie’s are wonderful people working hard to establish a listening venue (with great food!) in Columbus.
That’s it for now.  I gotta go figure out how to create a Facebook event.  (Jackie is usually right about things.)
Thanks for listening,