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4/5 Thursday Boston City Winery and a cracked open real letter from me.

Hi All,

In 8 days I’ll be right here in Boston with James Maddock. Look, if you’re not in Boston area, tell someone who is within striking distance.:


In the meantime, here’s an outpouring of I don’t know what but for real music storytelling of frustration, reality, and gratitude.



Dear Tim,

Man. It was a bar gig. And I mean bar gig country bar gig bar gig. Where they have the same country duo playing there every Thursday or Saturday for months at a time. Great designer beer and pizza, but oh what a bar gig.
Holly, the bartender, beautiful kid, covered in tattoos right up to her neck. In a square where the place across the street had a country singer songwriter playing solo too… Kind of like a desolate (read slow) center of New Orleans looking/feel area kind of thing. The occasional train howling by. Bouncer had a half-Husky half-Pitt sweetheart named Attila.

Soundman set my sound, gave me the thumbs up, waved, and then left for the evening.

I’m in a country bar. You haven’t sent me out into the wilds like this for years.

“Good evening, Everyone…"

I did my stuff. I did Glen Campbell hits. I did Hank Snow. I did the friggin Green Green Grass of Home. Comedy. I did Hendrix.

By the time I was done the wait staff, including the dishwasher, had stopped what they were doing, they were taking video of songs, the kitchen manager that evening was doing the same and sending them off to his boss...they wrote me a generous check, more than the $ cover per head, and the manager just shook his head and said I was the best thing he’s ever seen come through there, so he put a $50 tip in the check on top of what I made on the suggestion of the main manager, to whom he had sent video of me playing to her home on her night off, as she was blown away.

I also sold $300+ worth of CDs to 40+ people - selling them pay-what-you-want-take-what-you-want style – and there was $60 in the tip jar. No, you do not get the tips you cheap-assed William Morris Agency wannabe prick bastards (sorry Nancy, not you hon...)

One patron proudly showed me her name on my jazz standards CD as a donator supporter. Thanks Caren. I’m proud too.

Two 25-year-old waiters I stood and talked to about 20 minutes about how and where they got their music. Only one was a musician. When I offered to give them CDs, they waved me off saying they had already bought them while I was getting my check at the bar. They whipped them out with pens to be signed. So I gave them the ones they didn’t have.

They want to talk immediately about having me back. Sure, I’ll go, I guess. Why not?

I’m doing the braggadocio thing here because I needed to, because even confident I go through stages where at nearly 60 years old I wonder, "what the hell…?” Today as I get ready to drive to Baton Rouge with a belly full of Mexican food I know what the hell.

I know this isn't much of a paycheck for you guys and I swear to God I wish I was pulling in more Josh Ritter - Richard Thompson - Brandi Carlisle numbers, because I know kudos don’t pay the bills. But it’s all I got this morning. I need to monetize whatever this is I have going on better than I do... maybe it’s time to think about talking to someone with a more managerial type of head suited for promoting the acoustically elderly in the early 21st-century. Managing myself is probably not the greatest use of my personal self.

But anyway, thanks guys. I’m working, and folks want me back. Less like bread cast upon the waters and more like Doritos tossed ignominiously into the tide, but yes, I’ll go back.

xo vance (aka the Blakk Lori McKenna)


I’ll be begging later this season for $$ for the new album. Lemme know if you want to be aboard. Those doing 1K and more are getting some special producer style dispensation...but when it happens I’ll accept it all from $1 and up and your name will be on the CD/LP/ThumbDrive Cover somewhere.

Yes, coaching, private parties, pet amphibian care, all can be had from me.

Thanks for continuing to make my dream as an affecting performer come true.