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An Album, A Giveaway, A Playlist, A Canal, Panama 

Hello there, Redheads! It seems we've been so busy playing music that we haven't had much time to write about playing music, but here she is again, the Redleg blog, with some exciting updates. 

First, a recap: since we last wrote, we've logged hundreds of miles, returning to the Raleigh/Durham triangle and to Virginia, playing our first ever show in Winston-Salem, and getting to know Greenville, SC a little better with multiple shows down there. Locally, we've been welcoming Spring to the mountains with a number of outdoor shows on some beautiful tree-lined stages. 

The most beautiful of stages, at Sierra Nevada Brewing in Fletcher, NC

The biggest news of the season, as you hopefully already know, has been the release of our new album, My Old Heart. We recorded it back in October of 2015 at Dirt Floor Studios in Haddam, Connecticut, with Eric Lichter and his team contributing their talents in both production and musicianship, adding pedal steel, piano, organ, drums, and backing vocals to our ten original songs. Philadelphia-based artist Meg Lemieur complimented the tunes with an exquisite visual design, that we're proud to also feature on our new t-shirts. If you haven't heard the record yet, you can always buy a CD at one of our shows, find it under the Music tab of our site, or get it through Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, iTunes, or Bandcamp

Speaking of CDs and shirts, we're excited to be bringing to you all our first ever social media giveaway contest. Trek over to our Facebook page for the details, but basically, those of you that share our album with your friends on Facebook between now and May 20th will be entered into a drawing to win a complete Redleg Husky merch package – a shirt, CD copies of both of our albums, a drink koozie, and two stickers. We'll post a video on the 20th with the results, and contact the winner to get them their sweet swag! 

Swag that could be yours, for free!

Back in the music department, we had the idea to share with our Redleg family more of the music that we're listening to and that inspires us, since we're all constantly discovering music we haven't heard before and sharing it with each other on the long drives between shows. So, we've decided to take turns making regular playlists to share here and via Facebook, with the inaugural edition coming courtesy of your favorite bass player and blog author. Here it is, One Playlist Under a Groove, a mix of funk, soul, and rock and roll sure to awaken your inner rhythm section: 

With all that in print, there's nothing left to do but update you on our upcoming shows. We've got another Virginia run this weekend, some great Western North Carolina dates, and then a return to Kentucky and Ohio, plus an appearance at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Arts Festival, where the headliner is none other than one of our all-time musical heroes, David Grisman. Check out the full calendar under our Shows tab, and we'll see y'all out there!

5/11 – One World Brewing, Asheville, NC 8pm 
5/12 – Blue Mountain Pizza, Weaverville, NC 7pm 
5/13 – Dogtown Roadhouse, Floyd, VA 8pm 
5/14 – World of Beer, Charlottesville, VA 8pm 
5/15 – Blue Mountain Brewing, Afton, VA 2:30pm 
5/15 – Twin Oaks Community, Louisa, VA 8pm

5/18 – The Joint Next Door, Fairview, NC 7pm 
5/19 – Oskar Blues Brewing, Brevard, NC 6pm 
5/20 – Moe's BBQ, Woodfin, NC 6pm 

5/27 – Tipping Point Tavern, Waynesville, NC 9pm 
5/28 – Fonta Flora Brewing, Morganton, NC 3pm 
5/28 – Mad Anthony's, Waynesville, NC 8pm 
5/29 – Garden Jubilee, Hendersonville, NC 12:30pm 
5/29 – Dark City Deli, Black Mountain, NC 4pm 

6/1 - Red Barn Radio, Lexington, KY 8pm 
6/2 – Al's Bar, Lexington, KY 10pm 
6/3 – The Crow's Nest, Cincinnati, OH 9:30pm 
6/4 – Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA 12pm 
6/4 – Marietta Brewing, Marietta, OH 10pm 
6/5 – Bold Rock Cider, Mills River, NC 4pm 

6/8 – One World Brewing, Asheville, NC 8pm 
6/9 – Table Restaurant, Boone, NC 6pm 
6/10 – Sycamore Brewing, Charlotte, NC 5:30pm 
6/11 – Backyard Bar, Black Mountain, NC 9:30pm

Don't Give the Bass Player Waffles! 

If only there was enough space on the Internet to fit all of the stories that our weekends on the road conceive. Unfortunately, limits exist to what we can offer you fair readers, so we must simply thank Virginia for her hospitality, forgive her those March snows, and move on to announcements and pronouncements for the fine days that we hope you all will share with us in the weeks to come. 

First and foremost, we want to extend an invitation to all of you to our official album release show, which will take place on April 13th at One World Brewing, in the heart of Asheville. Our dear friend Carly Taich will be kicking the night off with a set of original folk-pop, so this is guaranteed to be a night you do not want to miss. Our t-shirts, featuring Meg Lemieur's amazing album art, will be available for the first time as well. 

For all you Virginia Redheads, our VA album release show is scheduled for April 23rd at Garden Grove Brewing in Richmond. That show will cap off a full day of River City festivities, including our performance at the Third Annual Bluegrass and Brews Festival. Near the start of that fest, yours truly, Son the Bassman, will meet a watery fate with a turn at the dunk tank, giving all you Richmonders a chance to dunk me for a good cause, the Highland Support Project

Richmond is also where My Old Heart made its radio debut a couple of weeks ago, with the lead track, 'Katie,' being played on the Lost Music Saloon on WRIR 97.3 FM. That's been just the beginning, with our autobiographical 'Broken Down, Busted Flat' showing up on the Americana Music Show alongside some of our favorite songwriters' new records. Another airing is scheduled for March 29th, on WTJU Charlottesville's Eclectic Woman program, with more NC radio play to be announced soon. 

Besides all that, we've got some exciting pre-release shows to mention, including our set at UNCA's Echofest and our online show through Concert Window, which will be available for live streaming on April 10th. 

Keep up with our Instagram feed for the latest and greatest in Husky news, come out on April 13th, and check us out even sooner, all around NC: 

3/24 – Lookout Brewing, Black Mountain, NC 6:30pm 
3/25 – Straightaway Cafe, Black Mountain, NC 6pm 
3/26 – UNCA Echofest, Asheville, NC 3:45pm 
3/26 – Barley's Taproom, Spindale, NC 8pm 

3/30 – Foothills Brewing, Winston-Salem, NC 8pm 
3/31 – Ruckus Pizza, Raleigh, NC 8:30pm 
4/1 – Mystery Brewing, Hillsborough, NC 8:30pm 
4/2 – Quest Brewing, Greenville, SC 6pm 
4/3 – Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards, Hendersonville, NC 2:30pm 

4/8 – The Velo Fellow, Greenville, SC 9:30pm 
4/9 – Fonta Flora Brewing, Morganton, NC 3pm 
4/10 – Concert Window Show Live Stream 3:30pm 
4/10 – Blue Mountain Pizza, Weaverville, NC 7pm 

4/13 – Album Release at One World, Asheville, NC 8pm 
4/15 – Sycamore Brewing, Charlotte, NC 6pm 
4/16 – The Hotel Tavern, West Jefferson, NC 6pm

My Old Heart Beats for Florida 

Well, we must admit, we loved strollin' down the avenue that's known as A1A, nibblin' on sponge cake (and key lime pie), and, more generally, just about every moment of our first venture into Florida. We were met with the warmest of welcomes from some great venues, bands, and Couchsurfing hosts, and we could not be more grateful. 

Our first weekend in the sunshine was highlighted by shows with some new friends – The Applebutter Express outside of Orlando, and Paleface and Gravel Kings in Stuart. In between those two, we played a Sunday afternoon slot as part of a benefit for local musician Jerry Tillman, who is battling cancer. The event was a beautiful gathering of the music community in Stuart within the sweet jungle confines of the Terra Fermata tiki bar. It was both a really touching example of a town coming together to support one of its own, and just a really fun show, with a full day of bands headlined by The Nouveaux Honkies, an awesome country group that we loved watching after our own set was over. 

The view from the stage at Terra Fermata's Jerry Tillman benefit

That first weekend was followed by a couple of days off, which we filled with all of the things you would expect – mini golf, time on the beach, more tiki bars, an airboat ride in the Everglades, and lots of drives with Jimmy Buffett's 'Boats' cassette tape in the deck. For the record, Misa won at the golf, I won at the beach, and the gators nearly ate us all, so chalk up that win to them. 

Having explored some of the East Coast, we headed West, and started the second (red)leg of the tour with a show at New World Brewing in historic Ybor City. From there, we doubled back and returned to the center of the state for a show in the town of Sebring, where we enjoyed sets from several local acts, including The Andeeks Roadshow and The Infamous Scotty Crow, with the former getting us really excited to play by preceding our set with some Tillers covers on banjo, plus beautifully Fahey-esque guitar playing and songwriting.

The weekend continued with an all-time-highlight of a show with Derek Forrester and Jeff Brawer at The Hub in Tampa, a place that allowed us to really let loose, crank our volume, and blast a short but powerful set of songs at an audience that came there ready to get down. One of the peaks that night was one of the songs we've been most excited by over the last weeks – our bluesy rendition, led by Misa's freight train vocals, of the Lucinda Williams song 'Changed the Locks.' 

​ Timmy Buffett bringing some twang to the boardwalk at Clearwater Beach

The tour finished up in one of the most scenic beach towns I've ever seen, Anna Maria Island, with a mellow Sunday evening show that was the perfect coda to the longest tour we've yet done as a trio. Again, we want to express our gratitude to everyone who helped make it happen, including our friends in Circus Mutt and Blackfire. Please check out these great bands, everyone, and the others in this post. 

Now, we're back in NC, and are beyond excited to share that our CDs and t-shirts are here! We've sent out pre-orders, and can announce now that our Asheville release show for My Old Heart is scheduled for Wednesday, April 13th, at One World Brewing. Plan to be there with us to take the first opportunity to pick up your copy of the album! If you want to catch us before then, we have a full slate of great shows coming up, including a weekend of St. Patrick's Day merriment with all of our Virginia friends: 

3/3 - French Broad Brewing, Asheville, NC 6pm
3/4 - The Dugout, Hendersonville, NC 9pm
3/5 - Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock, NC 6pm
3/9 - One World Brewing, Asheville, NC 8pm

3/17 - Three Notch'd Brewing, Harrisonburg, VA 8:30pm
3/18 - Soaring Ridge Brewing, Roanoke, VA 6pm 
3/19 - Queen City Brewing, Staunton, VA 8pm 
3/20 - Starr Hill Brewing, Crozet, VA 3:30pm 

3/24 – Lookout Brewing, Black Mountain, NC 6:30pm 
3/25 – Straightaway Cafe, Black Mountain, NC 6pm 
3/26 – UNCA Echofest, Asheville, NC 3:45pm 
3/26 – Barley's Taproom, Spindale, NC 8pm 

3/30 – Foothills Brewing, Winston-Salem, NC 8pm 
3/31 – Ruckus Pizza, Raleigh, NC 8:30pm 
4/1 – Mystery Brewing, Hillsborough, NC 8:30pm 
4/2 – Quest Brewing, Greenville, SC 3pm 
4/3 – Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards, Hendersonville, NC 2:30pm

Misa at the Helm (A Hobbit's Tale) 

Hey everybody! I thought I’d let Son have some time off from updating the blog and share what’s going on down here in the Husky world from my perspective (4’ 10” from the ground). It’s hard to believe we are already into the second month of 2016! With the recent snowstorm here on the east coast, we unfortunately had some January shows cancelled but made the best of our time off. Tim explored the quiet streets of Asheville while Son and I remained snowed in for the duration of the weekend - he experimented with his birthday gift, a MIDI keyboard, while I made my way through Season Three of the X-Files. The truth is out there! 
  

Tim, wandering Asheville's snowy streets (photo by Laura Connor)

Luckily for us (especially cold-blooded Son), the cold spell seems to have passed and spring’s weather seems to be making its way here. It felt great to be back on the road this past weekend, all crammed into Tim’s Honda CR-V just like our cross-country touring days of yore. We brought the ruckus at Ruckus Pizza in Raleigh Thursday night, playing our favorites and eating slices twice the size of my head. Friday brought us to Liberty Brewing in High Point, a new town for us, and Saturday at the 2nd Wind in Carrboro absolutely filled our Husky hearts with joy. Old friends aplenty came and we made lots of new ones with the banjo’s siren song. We can say unabashedly that a great time was had by all! The next day I let the music help fight back my cold (I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell) while Tim and Son enjoyed some delicious brews at Fullsteam Brewery in Durham. We played to a serried crowd enlivened by the warm breeze outside – a wonderful ending to the weekend. 
  

All of this gear (plus 3 people) fits into 1 car

This Triangle run also marked the debut of my new mandolin, handcrafted with love by my uncle Paul. It started out as a crazy idea we had over a year ago, and I never imagined it actually coming to life in such a harmonious way. I’ve always been interested in lutherie but I was slightly intimidated by the actual construction process. Enthusiasm won over, however, and my dad, my uncle, and I jumped into the project head-first, using two pieces of spruce from some old shelves for the back and front and a perfectly curved branch of mountain laurel from my parent’s neighborhood for the neck and headstock. We planed the wood until it was thin enough for Paul to begin construction, and after months of gradual progress, he brought it over in December, all strung up and ready to play. Come see our newest member at an upcoming show! 
  

We've received our education in mandolin creation, me and Paul

In equally exciting news, My Old Heart is in the most final of final stages! Both art and audio have been uploaded, so now we hold our breath, press send, and wait for the coveted packages to appear on our doorstep. We’ll have more updates for you on that front very soon! 2016 has been off to a great start for us, and we have only more good things to look forward to in the coming months.  If you’re in Asheville next week, come join us at One World Brewing – we are stoked to announce we will now be playing there on the second Wednesday of every month!

The front cover of My Old Heart, designed by the wonderful Meg Lemieur

2/3 - Foggy Mountain Brew Pub, Asheville, NC 
2/4 - Oskar Blues Brewery, Brevard, NC
2/5 - Lost Province Brewing Co., Boone, NC
2/6 - The Hotel Tavern, West Jefferson, NC
2/7 - Blue Mountain Pizza, Weaverville, NC
2/10 - One World Brewing, Asheville, NC
2/11 - Yee-Haw Brewing, Johnson City, TN
2/19 - Holy City Brewing, Charleston, SC
2/20 - Hourglass Brewing, Longwood, FL, w/ Applebutter Express
2/21 - Terra Fermata, Stuart, FL
2/24 - New World Brewing, Tampa, FL
2/25 - Sheila's, Sebring, FL, w/ Santo Feo, The Andeeks Roadshow, and Scotty Crow
2/26 - Barley Mow Brewing, Largo, FL
2/27 - The Hub, Tampa, FL, w/ Derek Forrester and Jeff Brawer
2/28 - Harry's, Anna Maria, FL
 

Virginia is for Huskies 

Well, the last road weekend of 2015 has just receded into the rear view, and what a weekend it was. We trekked on up to the Commonwealth of Virginia in the midst of a December heatwave, and found the warmth in the air reciprocated by the many good people who came out to enjoy their nights with us. 

The trip began with a beautiful drive up 26 and 81, through the leafless mountains of Tennessee and southwest Virginia, bringing us, eventually, to Charlottesville, where we had not stopped since the summer. We were there to make our debut at World of Beer, a barroom with an absolutely astounding selection of craft brews, as well as an excellent stage and even better sound guy who turned out to be a veteran of the Dave Matthews team. To top it all off, we had a great audience of old friends in attendance, who were the last ingredient needed to create a pretty perfect night. 

Photo cred goes to Misa on what will surely be one of the most iconic pictures ever taken of Tim

After the last song was played and the last friend hugged in Charlottesville, we got right back on the road and headed east to my former home, Richmond. Saturday was spent ambling about the sunny streets of the capital, with a stop at Deep Groove Records, home of the finest dollar bin anywhere. I stocked up on Ray Charles and Stephen Stills, while Misa picked up some Emmylou and Sleater Kinney. 

The night kicked off with our return to Triple Crossing Brewing Co., which again was an intimate and highly enjoyable event in front of many friends and family. Our waking hours were far from over, though, as Tim and I continued on to my home away from home, Cary Street Cafe, to enjoy two of the city's finest country and bluegrass bands, Red Light Rodeo and The Hotseats. It turned out to be as fun a night of music watching as either of us have had in a while, and one of the longest too, as we returned to the house just after sunrise. The day continued with some great hours spent playing our songs at Saude Creek Vineyards, and then the well worn return drive to Asheville town. 

I had the pleasure of joining Richmond's finest for a spirited rendition of 'Will the Circle Be Unbroken'

So it is, with that trip made and this week almost over as well, that our 2015 schedule is coming to a close. By Tim's calculation, we will have played 172 shows as a band once this weekend is over, which means 172 times that we have had the chance to do what we love – share the celebration of life through music with so many of you, all over the country. 172 times that, we hope, at least one person seeing us perform has been able to forget about their cares and join us in genuinely enjoying themselves in that moment. So, thank you all for being a part of it this year and giving us the chance to do what we do. We hope to see you often in the new year. 

Speaking of new year, we've got a whole lot of exciting shows on the books for the coming months, including our first ever foray into Florida, in February. The calendar is now updated with those dates, plus our nineteen January shows. Check 'em out and come on out, and, til then, happy holidays!

Sunrise over Richmond and the James River