Franzen, TX, and eTown

I took Jonathan Franzen’s new novel “Freedom” on the plane with me to Austin last weekend. It was hard to put it down, and I just finished it in my pajamas at 11:20am.

Beware of reading it if you have pressing business to attend to. It provided a very nice vacation for my busy mind!

I love that I’m familiar with the story’s Minnesota and West Virginia locations, the clubs and the music scene tangential to the plot, the absurdity of current affairs, and the heart wrenching depiction of a contemporary family that I might have known if it weren’t fiction. I will say it tore me up just a little emotionally, but was more than worth it. While it portrays a lot of screwed up and sad parts of our world, it does so lovingly, and I’m happy to report that the author lets the reader off easily in the end. If you liked his last book, “The Corrections”, you’ll like this one too - good Holiday gift for fiction fan friends.

There’s one more live show on the datebook for this year, and it’s an eTown holiday show taping in Boulder this coming Sunday. I’ll be on with the house band, along with guests the Indigo Girls. Listen for it next month on your local NPR stations. There’s another radio show taped that will be aired in a few weeks as well – Mountain Stage – featuring Hot Rize, Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers, Peter Case, Stan Ridgway, and Joey and Rory. Check your local listings, but the Mt Stage website shows it airing the week after December 10.

This has been the busiest year ever for me. Well over 200 hundred days on the road, and lots of fun was had, but I’m ready for a rest. Thanks to Hot Rize for the fun tour we just finished, to Mark Knopfler for the fun in the spring. and to all of you fans for coming to the shows. I hope some of you are enjoying “Chicken & Egg”. I’m still learning new things about the songs and really enjoy playing them, but it’s time for a rest. Have a lovely holiday season everyone.

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by R & T