Inspiration: Frank Lowe

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Sometimes I think it’s a known fact that we are not paid enough money because certain forces know that we’re gonna play this music whether we get money for it or not, you understand? And to some extent, we’re taken complete advantage of, you dig? And to another extent, it’s our gift to the world, so it don’t matter.

Frank Lowe

East River Birthday Song

Some of you have heard this number before but for those that have not, Kimberley commissioned a birthday song from Eef Barzelay for me several years back. In case you ever come across this sort of offer from an artist you like, be advised that it makes a truly wonderful gift. Enjoy.

A Note on the Recent BELLS≥ Tour

My band BELLS≥1 recently completed a week-long tour, performing seven consecutive nights, sharing the bill with Nashville’s Friendship Commanders and D.C.’s The EFFECTS. We are grateful for their fellowship, to say nothing of their extraordinary talents. Their nightly performances were each an inspiration and their company a delight.

friendshipeffectsperformers

Except for some illness in our group, it was a smooth traversal, and audiences, whatever their constituents might have numbered, were supportive and enthusiastic. We hadn’t performed at all in almost 2 years and not outside of NYC in 3, and it was a true pleasure to find such a response after such a long time away.

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The above photo was taken by Buick Audra of Friendship Commanders at St. Stephen’s in DC. We were fortunate to have Gordon Withers accompany us on cello that night. He is among the most supportive, intuitive, and collaborative musicians we know. It is our privilege each time he joins us.

Two other firsts that might be of interest: these were the first performances with our current bassist, Sean H. Doyle; and there were two new compositions in our set, “The First Ray” and “May You Bury Me.”

Those are more or less the facts of the matter. We saw many friends and family members among whom were mothers, siblings, and myriad cousins. We were fortunate enough to be joined by some of our closest and favorite music-friends and collaborators, and owe special thanks to Day of the Locust, Callowhill, and J. Robbins for help setting up the shows. Additional thanks to Drew O’Doherty, and still further thanks to old and new friends who made it out, promoters who took the time and opened their doors to us, and everyone else who bobbed, danced, watched, listened, swayed, swung, tapped, shopped, clapped, or otherwise joined in.


  1. I’ll take the liberty of speaking for us here, in the first-person plural.