A personal note
It's the beginning of October, and admittedly, it's been awhile since you've heard from us. We've been busy writing and working on new music in the studio but also taking this time to focus on family and well-being. When we release another record next year, we want to be rested and ready to hit the road with gusto. Thanks for your patience as we hunker down for a little bit!
Honestly, the last couple of months have been emotional ones, and it felt hard for me to write a typical newsletter. As some of you know, my dad was in the hospital for most of the summer. He has a rare form of leukemia, and his weakened immune system led to a cascade of health problems. He's home now and doing much better, but I've certainly had to reckon with his mortality in a more acute way.
But there were also joyful tears this summer. One of those standout moments came when we played the first dance for our friends' wedding. It's one of the most powerful musical experiences, to be the soundtrack to such pure happiness. And maybe because it was a wedding of two gay friends, it felt particularly sweet to feel like the world is getting a little more just and fair, amidst all the ugliness and backsliding we see on the news. One of the grooms, Pete Buttigieg, is an old friend from the U.S. Senate Youth Program we both did in high school, and now he's the much-acclaimed mayor of South Bend, IN. We even made a little cameo in the The New York Times coverage of the celebration! For those of you interested in a young political rising star, pre-order Pete's new memoir here.
Another emotional highpoint came when we shared some shows with Brooklyn-based Mexican folk band Radio Jarocho. We had the honor of playing with one of the seminal figures of the son jarocho movement -- Zenen Zeferino -- who has been collaborating with Radio Jarocho. Zenen brought me to tears when he said on stage how gratifying it was to see me playing jarana and drawing inspiration from his family's music, imagining what his great-grandparents in rural Veracruz, Mexico, would've thought if they could see how far their music has traveled. I often feel a bit nervous about how traditional musicians will interpret what we're doing with these songs, and so it was especially meaningful to hear Zenen's reflections.
Radio Jarocho and Zenen have a great new album out.