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MA, NJ, NC, NJ (again), MA (again), and the New CD is Almost Here...

Hi VanceFans -

Fall is coming and so am I. Lookit where I’ll be:

9/12 - Arlington MA THIS THURSDAY - Menotomy Grill, I love this little local gig. It’s 1.7 miles from my house, with a band, it’s free, the food is great, and you get to hear me butcher pop tunes from the 70’s, some of mine, some jazz standards, etc. Their wings are great!!

9/14 - Jersey City, NJ,
Hudson West Folk Festival

9/20 - Greensboro, NC,
Been playing for these wonderful folks off and on for years!

9/26 - South Orange, NJ South Orange Performing Arts Center -
My own show!!

**9/27 - Northampton, MA The Iron Horse **
My first official album release show (WEST)!! Tix early as this being one of my homeshows, it will probably sell out!! I THINK I’LL HAVE THE NEW CD HERE!!!

NEWS: New CD, Good Good Man, is in the pipeline. They’ll deliver 1000 copies to my house around Sept 25th. I need to clean the damned basement. Here’s how you can get one:
Buy it from CD Baby - It’ll be there in a few weeks
Buy it from me at a show
Buy it from me directly - via PayPal to
Buy it from me directly via check for anything between $10 - $20 to Vancefunder P.O. Box 17 Arlington, MA 02476
**If your name is on the CD, or if you’re a friend, family member, promoter, cash strapped, or anyone else that thinks they should just have one, send me your address again and I’ll just send one to you. Seriously, just ask for one and I’ll send it.**
Anyone that is in group #4 above can get a free download when they are ready too. Just let me know.
Coaching of songwriting, performance, voice, private parties, aviation book disposal services available upon request.


Look, nobody is making money on CDs anymore. Yet I believe people should have music to take home, tangibly if possible. At any show I play, when I can, I offer my CDs for whatever people want to pay. It’s a sales model I stole from women’s supergroup Red Molly. I joke to the audience “don’t be a dick and leave $5 in the box and take 5 CDs...” And you know, most times, when I tally up later, the people that left $4- $7 dollars for a CD and the ones that leave $20 leave me with an average take of about $10 per CD. That’s not bad for a music dissemination item that many say is going by way of the 8-track.

Yes, Wayne, if you’re out there, I recall riding around in your Buick listening to Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re An American Band” over and over on your 8-track. You were proudly dictatorial of that 1.2” by 6” slot and you’d play nothing else. All them wires hanging out from the jerry-rigged installation that anyone sitting next to you had to be careful not to jostle. Last I heard about you, you were pitching your local Congressperson for the right to hunt squirrels in your own yard or something like that. I guess even Euell Gibbons and Ted Kaczynski and Rachel Carson and many others in-between had soundtracks of their own. But I surely digress.

I get a quiet kick out of the face of some volunteers at folk shows that blanch when I say, “let them pay what they want”. A few weeks back at a show I said “pay what you want” and the sales volunteer just paused, froze and said. “So….fifteen dollars?” They cocked their head like the little RCA dog. Or, to use a more science-fictiony metaphor - remember Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing the robotic head of a woman to sneak through Customs and Immigration on Mars? Only one response could come out of that head. “Two weeks”. “Fifteen dollars”.

So I’m playing at the lovely little Pawtucket Arts Festival on Saturday. While the warm and dulcet Grvcelyn was doing her set to this somewhat older typically folkie crowd, the CD sales volunteer, Diane, asks the question. I answered. She said “OK” and nothing more.

I played and sang. So you have to picture the green at Slater’s Mill, a bit of a baby amphitheater, more like a bowl. At one side is a river or causeway. On the other side is a rise to the street and the bus station. On that rise’s retaining wall were 3 or 4 Black and maybe Latino men, sort of half listening, half waiting for the bus, chatting quietly, some smoking. After most of the folk music that was seen there, I was surely a curiosity. So I did that Vance thing and I drew in those of them that would let me, offering from the stage to play a tune for them. One shrugged yes. The others said nothing. I proceeded to lay out one of my better versions of Unfamiliar Moon, and the two that were sitting on the retaining wall stood, two that were smoking put their cigs in their mouth to free their hands, and all four clapped.

I finished my set and headed to the CD table to chat with a few folks before the clear-voiced Kim Moberg started to sing. I looked up the rise and one guy was left, and he just nodded to me, so I dug into the box under the table and went partway up the hill to meet him halfway. I had pulled out “Nearness Of You”, the jazz CD and I stretched out my hand.
“You have a CD player, Sir?”

“Pffft” he says. “I’m over 60, so what do you think?”. We both laugh.

“What kind of music do you usually like?”

He says “Oh, jazz”.

“It’s not often that I have Black folks listening to my music, so this is on the house”

“I’m James. You had one today.”

Is that racist? That I’d single James out for a donation? I dunno. Maybe I’m just sharing a patch of my 30 acres and lending my mule. When I got back to the CD table, Diane gave me the rundown. “You sold pretty well! Most people gave about 10 dollars, I think 2 gave 20, one gave 3, and one older lady said she had no money, so I hope you don’t mind - I just gave her one.

“That’s just fine, Diane. That’s how this works. That’s just fine.”