Played Micah Taylor's CD release show tonight.

Here's a photo of me from this past Summer, singing backup vocals for the new album "Built to Suit" by Minneapolis-based songwriter Micah Taylor. Tonight was Micah's CD release show for that album, and it was a great way for him to launch this long-awaited recording!

Micah is mostly active as a behind-the-scenes musician: producer, engineer, session instrumentalist, songwriter, etc. He's backed up numerous local bands, and has filled in at shows with me a few times over the years...most recently back in the Spring he played keyboards and organ along with me at a show I did at Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

But Micah is also a performer in his own right, so it's good for him to finally have a great-sounding full-length solo record available. The songs are vaguely Southern-influenced folk and gospel tunes, but he really hit it out of the park with a few bluegrassy tracks on this new album. Tonight I played mandolin on a great song called "Levee" (also recorded by Rachel Kurtz on her newest album), and my other two faves were "Boat on Windom Road" and his closing song "The Road Home." There were a ton of other guest musicians tonight, including two of my favorite collaborators: Nate Houge (who co-wrote the song "By Grace" with me on my new "Protestant Rock Ethic" album) and Matt Patrick (a certifiable musical genius who mixed most of my forthcoming "Best of the 20th Century" album). A pleasure to play with these guys, as always. Also, for those of you who missed it, a couple years ago I did a week-long tour to South Dakota and back along with Matt, Nate, and Micah, billed as The Monsters of Folk. We even have a webpage detailing our adventures.

'Twas a pretty ideal situation for a CD release show, too. About 100 people in the audience, as we played in a cozy black-box theater space at Concordia University in St. Paul. Way to go, Micah! Congrats on the new album, and thanks for having me sing on it, AND and inviting me to play at the big launch party!


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