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All Things van Gogh

Full Band ToadThe van Gogh Brothers ride again in April at Vincent’s Worcester and Cafe Betterley in Central Massachusetts, on the 21st and 22nd, respectively. We can’t wait to return to the namesake home of the van Gogh Brothers, even though Paul and I didn’t make the connection between “Vincent” and “van Gogh” until we’d already played at Vincent’s for TEN YEARS. This faux pas gave new meaning to the phrase, “Too dumb to quit,” but all’s well that ends well, and here we go again, just in time for some spring fever on the Aries/Taurus cusp. We will set the nights on fire on the 21st and 22nd.

In the midst of a whirlwind year of homesteading, travel, weddings and an explosion of work here in LA, I rededicated myself to the real and raw sound of the van Gogh Brothers, circa “Wild Way.” Last summer I started writing into our classic sound again and after a few months of rust-shaking, the songs started to come. We put the stake in the ground of a yet-to-be named new project with the swaggering, “I Been Wronged,” recorded in February at the fabulous Woodshed Recording studio here in Malibu and at our home-away-from-home, Woolly Mammoth in Waltham, MA. We’ve got 2-3 more on deck for late March/early April and we’re looking forward to playing these songs live when we see our East Coast friends in April, and to releasing a new collection in 2017 on the 10th anniversary of our “Wild Way” album.

Music is a constant part of life for a musician, but the greatest joy comes when the energy we live with is shared with other players. When the connection is made, it’s a “one plus one = three” dynamic, and as you add musicians to the formula, it’s geometric. Great bands have that chemistry- it’s like lightning in a bottle. Paul and I have held that bottle for 22 years now, and with Clayton and Steve for 15. That’s a long time for a band, and enough time to prove out the alchemy. When Paul and I played an impromptu song at my daughter’s wedding last fall, her guests remarked that the two of us sounded like a whole band- and there was the 1 + 1 = 3 again- the lightening was there when we opened the bottle, even just the 2 of us. As I move through the enormous talent here in the wonderful artistic community of LA, I am increasingly impressed by, and grateful for, the world-class level of our little band from Boston- our capture of the musical flag, and the die-hard spirit of our band through thick and thin, personal challenges and thousands of miles. A street fighting  story out of Boston if there ever was one- of fate, love, true grit and commitment to the muse despite the odds and regardless of the level of commercial success. We are now flag-bearers of the Americana sound with a very few other survivors at the top of the game- known to those in the know, respected by our peers and loved by our fans. This is our life and our legacy and I am good with that.

The van Gogh legacy also lives on in LA as a result of our early live work here with Bryson Jones’ Sin City Allstars, now legendary, and our continued contributions to spin-off projects like Voices of van Gogh, Scarlet Rivera’s solo work and the Next Great American Song project with John Durrill- all informed by our spirit, sounds and imprimatur.

I hope the van Gogh Brothers can return to LA later this summer, but in the meantime, we will rock our corner of the East Coast this spring. I’m super excited to return to my old friends and old haunts. To recharge with the energy that drove me throughout my life and the places, people and things that make Boston Boston. I love that dirty water, and one of my 2017 resolutions is to find a way to spend more time on the East Coast again.

God bless you all and we look forward to seeing our East Coast friends very soon now!

Love,

JC