End of Summer: Kids on the Road, A New Record and the Electoral Spectacle

Mercy! We're back in Atlanta. To quote a popular American idiom, what a long, strange trip it's been. We put both kids and all our instruments in the trusty White Buffalo (our Toyota Previa, who's 25 this year) and rolled out across the Deep South, hunkered down in the swamps of Louisiana for a few days and worked on some songs, then continued on to Austin, San Francisco, Portland and beyond. We saved a lot of money and enjoyed Earth time by camping often. We picked a seriously hot summer to get our tour on. In order to stave off the heat, we took advantage of swimming holes, the Pacific, lakes, rivers, creeks and the odd public pool for afternoon cool downs. Lucien loves water, and at a year and a half, he walks, runs and climbs toward it tirelessly. We made a point of blessing and praying for water (one of Earth's finest treasures) all the way. We've now played several sets with Lucien strapped to one of our backs. Lucky kids - they just think everyone plays music!

2016 - election year from hell. We had lunch in Baton Rouge one hot afternoon - soon to be awash in blood and floodwater; watched the flags go to half-mast all over the Southwest in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting; pressed on through the sweltering San Joaquin, where Trump signs stood out like middle fingers from the odd drought-parched farm; Latino migrant workers picking tomatoes in the crawling heat; Iowa covered in GMO corn and soy. Oil rigs on land and sea, highways crowded with trucks and SUV's that seem to get bigger and bigger - we're all blazing through the oil as if we didn't feel the heat, taste the dust... A little anecdotal, non-empirical fact: in a broad survey of big cities, small towns and middle of nowhere's in 20 states, we saw far and away more bumper stickers and yard signs for Bernie than any other candidate. Conversations with strangers were confounding, illuminating, uplifting. The whole story of it was very real and clear from the road: climate change, social inequality, immigration questions, the food system. We're ready to tell those and other stories in new songs.

We met up with Peter Case in San Francisco. We've been talking for a few months about recording our next record with him, and we're happy to report he's all in. We're making plans for a Kickstarter to fund the recording, and it looks like December in L.A. This will be a wildest-dreams scenario. Drew's been a fan of Peter's music since he was 15, and as songwriters, we admire his ability to shape songs that are timeless yet contemporary and well-dressed in the vintage clothes of old, weird american roots music. Case is a three time grammy-nominated musician and we're ready for this dream record to be a reality.

We had to spend some extra time in Portland, healing Bri's eye injury - a scratched cornea incurred in the middle of a show while switching instruments. It was nice to be back in the cool Northwest, among family and friends, eating lots of berries. Aurora is now 7 and spent three weeks at the wonderful Willowbrook arts camp. We also made a video for one of our songs with our good friend, photographer and videographer George Pacheco. We decided Sleeping Alone was the song to work with. Go check it out. Here's a link: https://youtu.be/zgIbwk7lPgs

We're happy to be moving on to the next phase of our music-making. Hoping to cool the planet off a little by not driving so much. We'll play minimal gigs out of town over the next year. Atlanta feels like home, so we'll be immersing ourselves in her rich music scene and the growing community of homeschoolers, Unitarians, neighbors, fans and activists we've found ourselves in the midst of.

Take care and keep in touch,

Bri & Drew

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