Any John Wesley Harding fans
February... the month for love. But not the month for too much JWH action. So we do what we can, give you a little bit of power, and fill you in on some upcoming events. Gotta love that, right?
iTunes has decided to do a 45 song JWH Essentials compilation - nice idea. The only thing is, there are too many songs to choose from. So we are turning to you for help. To make it easy for you, we're setting up Polls on the message board at www.johnwesleyharding.com so you can vote for your favorites in three categories. The iTunes categories are:
The Basics (greatest hits, defining and iconic songs)
The Next Best and Biggest (fan favorites, most requested at shows)
Deep Cuts (under-appreciated, unjustly ignored)
These lists were made after careful consideration and review, but if you feel your absolute favorite has been left off the list, you can make additional suggestions in posts under the poll - just be sure your song is not on another list. (We have already added a couple of songs, including Here Comes The Groom, due to popular demand!)
Try and get yourself into the mind of someone who doesn't have everything by JWH - what they should have put in front of them for the first time. The only other requirement is that your chosen song must be available on iTunes at this time: which includes most of the albums, and even EPs, but sadly omits things like If You Have Ghosts from Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye - and all the Dynablob albums which, anyway, we consider are for the cognoscenti ie. you. [Note: we have been asked to report our findings to iTunes, but have no actual control on what goes up there finally.]
So have at it, have fun and vote, vote, vote.
Two upcoming gigs, both in March:
18: White Plains NY - The Little Theater, Westchester County Center
30: Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS - The Odeon Concert Hall
This is JWH's first gigs in The Netherlands in some time. The Amsterdam gig is in a beautiful hall, and produced with Vrij Nederland, a Dutch magazine, to coincide with the publication of Misfortune. As such, there will be an interview and a reading, but, most importantly, a regular JWH gig.
In other live music news, JWH played with Colin Meloy at two of Colin's recent solo shows - at New York Town Hall (1/26), and Philadelphia's Theater of the Living Arts (1/27). Both nights they duetted Barbara Allen and Turpin Hero, two songs which feature on Meloy's new solo EP "Trad Arr Collins" which highlights the arrangements of Shirley Collins as "Trad Arr Jones" did those of Nic Jones.
JWH has unreleased songs on two new CDs, both coming coincidentally from Portland OR.
The first is: "Live Wire! Live: Volume 1" - Various Artists
The first song is a live version of Goth Girl by JWH, recorded on the show 22nd April, 2005. Other artists on the compilation include Colin Meloy, Pete Krebs and Richmond Fontaine.
The CD can be found at:
Information about the show itself:
The second is: "Mississippi Studios: Live Volume 2" - Various Artists
The second song is Female Rambling Sailor. This is mistakenly credited to JWH, but should have been credited to JWH and Kelly Hogan. (Although on the Love Hall Tryst album, the song was sung by Kelly and Nora, here the song is - uniquely - sung by JWH and Kelly.
Other artists on this compilation include Paula Frazer, Hamell On Trial, and Jon Dee Graham.
And elsewhere, there is a new compilation of the musical life and works of JWH friend and associate, Dave Rave, which comes in two volumes: Anthology Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, on Bullseye Records. It includes two of the songs from the sessions that CvS and JWH produced for Dave Rave and Lauren Agnelli, and this is their first appearance on CD. You can find them at: http://www.dave-rave.com/ and doubtless at Amazon.
The Minus Five have a wonderful new album "The Minus Five" - destined to be called The Gun Album. JWH sing on Twilight Distillery, but there are many other great reasons to buy this record. See the message board for glowing reviews.
JWH has made recording plans for later this year in Portland, OR.
Misfortune, or L'Infortunee, has become a bestseller in France, finding itself two places above Harry Potter this week. The next country of release is The Netherlands in March. The relevant covers can be found at www.wesleystace.com in the Misfortune section, under Translations.
Misfortune was nominated for The Guardian First Book Award and The Commonwealth Writer's Prize, scooping neither. The US paperback is published in April, and the reworked cover can be seen on Amazon. It has received the following generous blurbs:
"I am in complete admiration, but will I give it a quote? Over. My. Dead. Body. Misfortune is remarkable, complex, delicate, sophisticated, highly unusual and I am ashamed to have a novel published in the same year. There will be no public acknowledgement of my admiration except for this which--if anybody sees--I will deny writing. I am now going to hide my galley of Misfortune in a place that no one will ever find it."
Bret Easton Ellis, author of American Psycho, Less Than Zero
"I laughed, I cried, I swooned—I even got the hiccups, though I don't think those were caused by Misfortune. I loved this book very much. Do try it."
Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveller's Wife
"I really loved Misfortune. I read it with great excitement, astonished by its verve and sense of literary history."
Rick Moody, author of The Ice Storm
"This masterful first novel started as a sensitive little song but --lucky us, readers-- grew up to become a fully formed rumbling thunder of a symphony. Think of "Misfortune" --and enjoy every one of its pages-- as the bastard but very legitimate son (or daughter, of course) born after a freaky and very hot night of passion between Jane Austen and Thomas Pynchon."
Rodrigo Fresan, author of Kensington Gardens
As ever, a wide range of CDs, books and lithographs are available at www.johnwesleyharding.com, under the RSPCJWH.
Now, go out and kiss the nearest JWH fan and have a happy Valentine's Day.
Much love forever...
Michael Dixon Management