That's a Wrap!

- That’s a Wrap
- Ears and Eyes: What I'm listening to and reading
     -The Freesong Suite, On Tyranny, and more
- Upcoming Gigs & appearances
     full calendar:
That’s a Wrap!

Wasn’t that a year?  I hope the holiday season brings you good company and music.  I’m grateful for all the people  - yourself included, dear reader - who’ve stayed interested in my music, and in what I have to say.   Like many of us, I’ve struggled to keep my perspective, with the large and troubling trends we all see in the world.  In the face of that, music - and everything joyous and creative - may be even more important than ever.  In the coming months, I’ll try to regain my voice and revive my monthly newsletter, and keep making a positive contribution.

The year-long final tour of performances by Brother Sun, culminating in our week of sold-out farewell shows in November, was a gratifying reminder of how music lives at the heart of so many folks’ lives (as it does for me, too!).  With Greg Greenway and Joe Jencks, I’m glad to have been part of something that people supported so passionately, and glad to have created it with such fine musicians and human beings.  Earlier this year, I also released my first solo album in 8 years, a collection of songs by Phil Ochs, which was well received.  

Next year begins with a series of duo shows with the marvelous Reggie Harris, in NJ, NYC, CT, and PA - please see the tour schedule below.  In February I’ll do some solo shows in CT and VA, and a few duo shows in NY with my friend Deborah Latz, who’s a phenomenal vocalist from the jazz world.   I’ll also be doing some teaching - in June, at a songwriting camp in Maine with Abbie Gardner, and in July, at the Ashokan Guitar Camp in Olivebridge, NY. Please contact me if you’d like to be part of either of those camps.  

But these are only the public part of what I’ll be doing.  In a welcome change of pace from 200+ days a year of travel with Brother Sun, I’ve deliberately scaled back my touring plans to leave more room for self-care, family and friends, reading and writing, and musical growth.  

A big part of this next period is research and development.  As Heraclitus once said, “It is in changing that we find purpose.”  I’m re-learning how to practice guitar, and taking some lessons with musicians, mostly great improvisers, whose work has moved me.  I’m investing more time and energy in vocal improv and body percussion, digging into world musics, jazz, and free improvisation, and exploring their connections with the folk and blues music that remains the foundation for what I do.  Why?  Because the joy is in becoming better, taking bigger musical risks, and having more informed choices at my fingertips.  Who knows where it’s going?  I don’t.  But I’m excited about it, and I think it will take me to new places, musically and geographically, some of which are going to be wonderful.  And you, reading this, I invite you to come with me on a ride that might occasionally be bumpy, but - I hope - never dull.  Wishing you and yours all the very best over the holidays and in the new year.  See you in the months ahead!
Order the latest Pat Wictor CD, “This Is Absolutely Real:  Visions and Versions of Phil Ochs”
Heraclitus quotes
Ashokan Guitar Camp

Ears and Eyes:  What I’m Listening to and Reading:
    Ladysmith Black Mambazo, “Raise Your Sprit Higher”
    Fay Victor Ensemble, “The Freesong Suite”
    Octavia Butler, “Parable of the Sower”
    Timothy Snyder, “On Tyranny:  Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century”
    Eugenio Montejo, “The Trees:  Selected Poems, 1967-2004”