January 26, 2015

Tim’s news as of January 26, 2015

The New Year is rockin’. I already produced a new CD for my West Virginia friend Todd Burge. I love Todd and his funny/tragic songs, and had the guilty pleasure of playing some electric guitar on the project. Todd’s recording Imitation Life will come out in the spring.

On January 6th, I launched a brand new record label, the Short Order Sessions. (www.shortordersessions.com). SOS now puts out singles twice a month on iTunes, Amazon, and all your digital music outlets. The first track, Brush My Teeth In Coca-Cola describes a chemical spill in Charleston WV one year ago that contaminated the water supply of three hundred thousand residents. That inaugural SOS track benefits WV environmental group AWARE. I’m excited about the upcoming months releases and it’s keeping me busy getting the tracks ready. The next one, Ditty Boy Twang, a Michael Hurley bluegrass blues featuring Samson Grisman on bass and Nathaniel Smith on cello, comes out February 3rd,

I had a nice visit to NYC January 10-12. I played a set at the City Winery with the incredible mandolinist Andy Statman, ate at Vanessa’s Dumplings, and saw the Matisse “cut outs” exhibit. My girlfriend Jan and I also saw the Blue Man Group, but that was in our hometown of Nashville.

January 16-17, I hung with novelist Tim O’Brien. We collaborated on a show called A Tale of Two Tims, put on at the Green Door Gourmet in Nashville by a new writing collective called The Porch (www.porchtn.org). Here’s an interview we did for WSM TV - http://www.wsmv.com/category/219376/bulgers-beat. It was so cool to meet him after all these years. The Viet Nam war informs his work and also mine to an extent. I played some mandolin behind his slight of hand routine and he read from his amazing book The Things They Carried before a Q&A session about the creative process. Songwriter Korby Lenker, storyteller Minton Sparks, and her accompanist John Jackson opened the show.

I’m rehearsing with guitarist Ethan Ballinger for a few shows next month, including a performance with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra on February 14th. It’ll be a homecoming for me, and especially so since my sister Mollie and her husband Rich Moore are also performing.

Now I’m in Scotland to start the annual Transatlantic Sessions tour. We have two shows in Glasgow and then we tour in England. It’s 17 musicians including music directors Jerry Douglas and Aly Bain, with special guests Patty Griffin and Rodney Crowell this year. I’ve been doing this the past eight or ten years, and it’s really cool how the collaboration weaves together over the ten days we spend together, plus we play in beautiful concert halls.

After the last Transatlantic show in London, I fly to LA for the Grammys. Jerry Douglas, Johnny Warren, Shawn Camp, Barry Bales, Charlie Cushman and I are nominated in the Bluegrass category for the Earls of Leicester recording. Hot Rize’s Bryan Sutton will be there too, as nominee in the same category for his fine CD Into My Own.

Upcoming projects before Hot Rize starts up again in March:

I’m excited about a recording project with Bill Frisell and Dale Bruning at eTown studios next month. Bill and I both studied with Dale, who’s now 80 years old and still performing and teaching.

I’ll be producing a new CD for Juno award winning Old Man Luedecke in the cabin behind his house in Nova Scotia in early March.

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by R & T