Summer always goes by so quickly. Before you know it, the Halloween decorations are showing up in the stores and the smell of cider is in the air. Here at Troubadour Blues, we’ve got some exciting distribution news to announce in the not too distant future. Meanwhile, a few more screenings on the schedule and some spiffy new flyers to show off.
On Thursday, Oct. 18, we’ll be showing the film at 7 p.m. at the DV-8 Espresso Bar and Gallery, 208 Pennsylvania Ave. in downtown Greensburg, PA.
It’s a warm and cozy space that’s run by a couple of artists, and is a gathering place for the city’s small but lively arts community. There will be live music provided by experimental/folk/rock band Habatat, along with some of the best coffee, tea and pastries you can get. The film will repeat Saturday afternoon (10/20) for those who can’t make it Thursday evening.
PACA is a new performing arts space being created in downtown Erie by old friend Mark Tanenbaum, the founder of an improv comedy troupe and longtime veteran of the local arts scene. I have many fond memories of this space in various former incarnations — we recorded the Zipper City Blues Band album here many years ago, with the late Keith Veshecco behind the board; Rick Boler’s play Spooks had an extended run here when it was a theater; the noted Midwestern songwriter Greg Brown and many others played concerts here. Mark is trying to make the space self-supporting, by subdividing it into a smaller theater, greenroom, rehearsal space, and smaller rooms for dance and music classes.
On Friday, Oct. 26, we’ll be screening Troubadour Blues for Erie friends who haven’t had a chance to see the film. Our musical partners will be Acoustic Grammar, a collective of five young women singer-songwriters with a hip and energetic approach to acoustic music. They’re living proof that folk music isn’t just for aging Baby Boomers like me; instead, it’s an ongoing tradition that is refreshed and enlivened by new generations. 7 p.m. showtime, $7.00 at the door (but we’ll gladly take more — proceeds benefit the ongoing renovation of the space).
On Thursday, Nov. 8, Peter Case comes to the Kent Stage in Kent, Ohio — a stronghold for folk music, home of the Folk Alley Internet radio network and the oldest folk festival on a college campus in the U.S.A. — with a special preview version of Troubadour Blues as the show opener.
We presented a show in San Francisco in this unique format during my screening tour last June, and got a terrific response from a packed house at one of K.C. Turner’s house concerts. People seem to respond to seeing Peter both on screen and live on stage; it’s like a movie character coming to life. We hope to be able to do more of these shows over the winter.
Further on up the road, we’ve just confirmed a screening Wednesday, December 5, at Ashland Coffee and Tea in Ashland, VA, right outside Richmond. This will be a half-hour preview screening of the film followed by a rare solo performance by Richmond’s Charles “King” Arthur.
Ashland is like a second home for this film; it’s where I first heard Mark Erelli sing his then-new song “Troubadour Blues” for Chris Smither; it’s where a lot of performance sequences were shot (including Smither’s breathtaking “No Love Today”); it’s a favorite of many performers featured in the film. Still working on the musical guest.
It’s hard to draw a crowd for a niche film during the holidays, so I’ll probably take a break after Thanksgiving until January 2013, and then try to get to a few parts of the country that I haven’t been able to visit yet. Watch here or the Facebook page for updates.