It may seem that I’ve kept a low profile in 2016, but it’s been a very rewarding year, musically.
The Solid Citizens have kept to ourselves a bit this year. We played a handful of gigs, including an appearance at the Winston-Salem anti-HB2 event this past summer. We’re not a political outfit, and we all keep our own counsel on such matters, but this was something we felt comfortable contributing to and proud to do so. We also made a very successful appearance at the N.C. State Fair, which was great fun. We’ve also finished tracking the first half of the final EP of our 4-EP series, “The June Parade.” We’re auditioning material now for the rest of the EP. You can hear the new material and let us know how you feel about it at the Garage on January 13!
2016 saw the release of an EP by my side-project, Hatchets (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/hatchets), as well as a very fun video featuring my gal, Sophie (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNv7Ih_lK64), directed by Jack Pennington.
It was a hugely successful year for the Vagabond Saints’ Society. We began the year with the difficult and heart-breaking decision to help throw a wake for the passing of David Bowie, which proved to be a very cathartic night for the community. Spring brought a very challenging project - Radiohead - but we worked very hard, with special guest Patrick Ferguson, and we felt that we did the material proud. We spent the summer blissfully channelling the Talking Heads (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=971s7L16Gs0). That should have been enough, right? But the biggest project of the year was yet to come. Our Thanksgiving recreation of The Band’s “The Last Waltz” was the biggest project we’ve yet to take on, and it was a huge night - we sold out SECCA a week before the show, including a full Thanksgiving banquet dinner. ("https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmarywawa%2Fvideos%2Fvb.1060271917%2F10209082467713085%2F%3Ftype%3D3&show_text=0&width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe>)
Alas, 2016 saw the dissolution of two of my bands - Mediocre Bad Guys, and Doug Davis & the Mystery Dates. Both bands are still on great terms, personally, and it’s certainly possible that either one might make an appearance or two in the future. Les Slate and I are continuing to work on material in the studio, and I do hope to start recording some of the material I was working on for the Mystery Dates soon.
I did lots of fun sideman work over the year, including more dates with Chris Stamey (including an appearance with Peter Holsapple), as well as a number of shows with Clay Howard & the Silver Alerts, Rubberband, The Mulligans, The Finns, Patrick Ferguson (and Vel Indica), Jim Moody, Chris Nelson & the Alternate Roots, and Joey Mac & Herbie Burns. As always, there were lots of solo/duo/trio gigs with the usual suspects: Jerry Chapman, Dana Bearror, Neal Goode, as well as some of the not-as-usual suspects: Steve Williard, Clay Howard, Kent Dunn, Jack Gorham, Lionel Sanders, and Matthew Barker. Some Mr. Microphone, MBG, and we even managed an Absolute 80’s gig to help close out the old Ziggy’s (RIP). Then, there was the time that I wholly unexpectedly got the chance to play “No New Tale to Tell” with Love and Rocket’s David J. Oh, and I even rocked the Wake Forest Library with lots of songs about books.
Flytrap has been very busy this year, as well, with new releases from Alexa Benoit, James Vincent Carroll, Lions & Liars, as well as other work with Sam Foster, Lee Gellie, Jack Gorham, Tommy Jones, Will Jones, Doug Shaffer, Peter Spivak, Kevin Watkins, and even some songwriting with Patrick Rock. New projects are already in the works with Adam Bennett, Jerry Chapman, Chris Nelson, and Mitchell Snow, so it’s going to be a fun winter! As always, Anand and I have had lots of film and TV work out in the world this year, including new placements with the Voice, Dance Moms, Real Housewives of, well, everywhere and Fireball Liquor, as well as tons of other TV shows we’ve never actually watched.
2017 is going to be a big year for music for me, and I can’t wait to get it started. Let’s do this!