Calaveras

 

Happy New Year!

This is of course the time of year when people take stock--families write long holiday letters to their friends reporting on everyone's accomplishments (and usually leaving out their arrests, drug rehab stints and psychotic episodes), companies write up their annual reports emphasizing their improvements (minimizing their layoffs, scandals and government investigations), and performers seem compelled to sum up the prior year's feats (rarely describing the nights when there were more people onstage than off, or when laryngitis turned them into a mime troupe). So it is with awareness of the genre's suspect past that I write about Calaveras in the year 2009. For those opposed to shameless bragging, be assured that for this boy from a small mostly Catholic central valley town, bragging is always accompanied by shame--I force myself to do it for the fans. I hope both of you appreciate it. It turns out that when business is slow, people with jobs and bands have a lot more time to unleash their musical passions. So, while in many ways 2009 was a deep ditch out of which we are only starting to crawl, it was a great year for Calaveras. We had our first nationally promoted CD release--Green Girl, which made it onto dozens of radio stations' playlists, received great reviews and got us on some important radars. We had some "next level" shows--the Florence Oregon Winter Folk Festival, where we shared the stage with Barry Maguire and Tom Paxton, a premiere showcase at the FARWest Folk Alliance Conference, and a sold-out, standing O Fiddling Cricket show at Mission Coffee in Santa Clara, among many others. We were selected out of over 500 submitting acts to appear at the main-stage Emerging Artist showcase at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in upstate New York, and played in a beautiful church in Connecticut and a dumpy music joint in the lower East Side on a sweltering summer night in NYC--all bucket list experiences. We also got a long way toward putting together an album featuring Vickie's voice, mostly our songs, and some great jazz players. We kept writing new material that, at least while it's new, we are certain is our best. And our song Ready to Fly landed on a compilation album with Livingston Taylor, Carly Simon, Natalie Merchant and a host of other performers. So we thank you all sincerely for your support in 2009, and look forward to an even better 2010. It's starting off with a bang (see the calendar page). Greg, Vickie and Dave

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