It's April, and it appears the worst of this oddball Winter is behind us. My lawn is even green, and in spite of the fact that the rain making it possible also means my dog is gonna sleep wrapped around my head until it passes, and I have to strategically place a bucket or two in my basement to catch the output of some unwelcome but modest leaks, I'll take a little downpour over wind chill any day.

In addition to the change of seasons, since the last update Kenny & I have wrapped up work on The Die Youngs(Facebook) record, which will be available worldwide digitally on Tuesday, April 15th via iTunes, and most of the other usual suspects. Right NOW you can grab a physical copy directly from us HERE, or wait around for various other distributors to stock it. Currently, just Co-Op Records in Pekin, IL, and Shandi's Music & More in Canton, IL are carrying it, but will have copies available for order on street date.

HERE's a link to the first review, from across the pond. 9.5/11…not bad.

We also put in a few miles, heading north to support LA Guns in Canton, with our sub bassist Matt Andersen doing an admirable job of standing in for the absent Henry Go. Patrick & Kenny were scolded by the night clerk at our hotel for being too loud, which they found somewhat perplexing based on the fact that they'd done little more than crack a few purloined dressing room beers, and fire up the microwave. An apology was tendered by the desk in the morning, after it had been determined that our 80s-rocking headliners were still living large in the Super 8, and keeping the neighbors awake, not our crew. After pretty much driving straight from our show in Nashville the night before with Abandon Jalopy & Scalehound, I was blissfully unaware of any of the above even taking place, having slipped into some semblance of a coma the minute my head hit the pillow. I did however get a whiff of something peculiar in the hallway the next morning as we saddled up for the drive home, and it made me hungry for snack food.

Back in town, Henry rejoined us for a mammoth 2-song set at Twin Kegs 70s night, and I took a pass on my frontman gig as he & Kenny handled lead vocals on some ZZTop & Foreigner. Being just a guitar player is such an easy gig.

I wasn't home long before I had to turn around and head back up to Illinois for an acoustic show at The Red Barn and a planned studio session with ex-REO Speedwagon guitarist Gary Richrath, who was laying down guitar tracks on a tune I wrote with Tommy Edwards.  Patrick joined me for most of the night, and I tried a couple of new songs out that will most likely end up on the next release. I got paid more than him because my name would have been bigger on the marquee, had there been one.

In the morning, I headed over to Colt Capperrune's Dark River Studio, but Gary's schedule didn't line up with mine and I had to split before he got there to do his parts, so I didn't hear the rough mix 'til the next day, and from note one, it's instantly that identifiable Richrath tone and feel. It's pretty cool to hear one of your childhood guitar heroes playing over your tracks…damn cool, in fact. I'm looking forward to the finished product on this.

I was home for a couple of days, and then it was on a plane to L.A. for a little vacation, where I did a whole lot of nothing but eating too much and drinking just enough to make me question whether or not I was feeling an earthquake. I was. 5.1. Pretty wild.

I sat in with The Lonely Drunks Club band on some Tom Petty & Eric Church tunes at The Viper Room, and aside from some technical hindrances, it was cool to be back on that stage after so many years, especially since so many of the old Best Of Seven crew made it out for the show.

I spent some time in Santa Monica, watching the waves roll in, and finished the trip with some entirely unhealthy pizza from The Rainbow, so my compass is now 100% re-calibrated.

With all that said, here's what up next:

Monday, April 14th @ The Rutledge w/ Mike Tramp of White Lion. This is a stripped-down acoustic gig, just us with acoustics and percussion, but we're taking this opportunity to dust off a couple of songs that this lineup have never played.  Tramp will be doing a storytellers-style set that; from what I've seen and read, is extremely cool. Tickets are available HERE

That's it for April, because we're taking the rest of the month to bone up on a few new tunes that we'll be testing out in the live show in the coming months. We've managed to amass a pretty ridiculous mountain of material over the last year or so since '4' was released, so we aim to use you folks as our A&R department in choosing what makes the cut for #5.

May looks like this…so far:

Friday, May 2nd  @ John Brown's On The Square in Marion, IL 9PM
Saturday, May 3rd at Goodfella's in Pekin, Il 9PM(w/John Corabi. Acoustic show.)
Sunday, May 4th at The End in Nashville, TN 11:15PM IPO Fest(we'll also be backing up Joshua Ketchmark, whose set is right before ours, at 10:30)

Saturday, May 31st @ Exit/In in Nashville, TN 9PM w/Yenisley, and Nick Britt & Black Market Research

I think that about covers it. As aways , here are all the other pertinent links to peruse, if you feel so inclined:

Hearing Things blog
The Great Affairs FACEBOOK
The Great Affairs OFFICIAL