March 23, 2011

Heading Back to Asheville for a Bit:

Ra and I are packing up our car and heading back to Asheville for a few months.  We’ll be back in New England for the Summer.  The longer we’re married the more nomadic we’re getting.  It’s gotten to the point where we’re so restless that we can’t sit still for more than a few months.  I like it.  I’m excited to go back to Asheville for the Spring.  The flowers in Western North Carolina are incredible.  I even miss our crummy house there that we gutted and are nearly finished re-doing.  I complained about it so much while we were there too!
Here are a few of my favorite things in Asheville:

Harvest Records

This is my favorite record store in the world.  They just expanded too!  The owners Mark and Matt are as friendly and unpretentious as they come.  I have a load and a half of respect for them.

Shortstreet Cakes

We used to have a studio in the River Arts District right down the street from Jodi’s cupcakery and Strawberry Short Street is pink heaven.  Also the Ashevelvet (red velvet no gross dyes) is near perfect.

Early Girl Eatery

Oh man Biscuits and Herb Gravy.  This is my favorite comfort food in the city, one of the first places we ate when we moved to AVL and has a ridiculously good red velvet cake sometimes. (plenty of gross red dye…so good.)



May 20, 2010

New Recordings!

I’ve been aloof for a while not because I stopped loving you but because I’ve been working hard and sleeping little.  It’s been wonderful.  wifeRhonda and I have been overwhelmed in a good way between our business Figs & Ginger, traveling and making things…like songs!

I’ve got two new songs for you to hear.  I recorded them in NC with Scott Solter who’s worked with some of my favorite bands including John Vanderslice, Mountain Goats, Spoon, Superchunk and Liam Singer.  His studio is a wonderous space crammed with more analog oddities than a Decemberists show.  Many of the effects you hear on these tracks were crafted by Scott with tape and wires and knobs galore.

In these recordings I play autoharp, vibraphone, bass, Hammond chord organ, glocenspiel, guitar and floor toms/rimshots/cowbells/tambourines/a bigass marching drum/stickclicks/HUPS!  I’m aiming to make sunshiny folk pop w/ reggae and rootsmusic influenced rhythms.  Solter dubbed out bits of the songs with damaged tape distortion and stutter/fluttering echoes.  This is most noticable in the song Small Towns.  Both tracks were mastered by TW Walsh of Pedro the Lion fame.

I’m making rules and following them. I’m thinking things through. I’m proud these songs.  Please check them out at my new Bandcamp page: http://tinymtns.bandcamp.com

Also, East Coast tour dates announced soon.


September 8, 2009

Happy 20th post blog! Check out this poster my buddy Jason Rozen made! I love it.



August 28, 2009

Well, I’m a few days behind re-capping shows, but my buddy Rich Orris just posted some beautiful pictures of a tiny mtns show in, “Low, lower, Lowest Lowell,” as one of the spray painted, stenciled signs read at The Ant Cellar where Jake, Samantha and I played on Tuesday.  It’s sure to be the most punk rock show we’ll play this year.  It was wonderful.


"Support Local Music Kill a Pop Star"

Thanks to Tom Sutherton of the soon to be dead hardcore band Short Fuse Burning for booking me for more DIY shows than I can recount in Lowell.  They are always surprisingly warm and inviting with a solid core of friendly folks who love music.

tiny_mtns_ant_cellar_audienceWe played well at this show too.  Sitting in a semi-circle in a basement that was hotter than the outside it was easy to carefully connect with each other.  It’s wonderful to play music without the middle-man of a PA system.  The audience and the art seem seemless y’know?

Jake yells into his bajo during Pretzel Teeth.

Jake yells into his bajo during Pretzel Teeth.

I love the clarinet. I'm glad to have Samantha playing!

I love the clarinet. I'm glad to have Samantha playing!

I love this photo.

I heart this photo.

I’ll post some pics soon of our show last night in Charlottesville, VA at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. 1 part venue + 1 part awesome tea/tree? house that looks like an opium den = cool place and chill vibes.  Tonight we play a house show in Lynchburg, VA set up by our friends in Duck Duck Collective.  It promises to be magical!

Check out Rich’s Flickr stream: http://flickr.com/rorris.
If you’re in New England pay him money to take pics of yr band!
If yr not in New England, pay him lots of money to take pics of yr band!


August 25, 2009

Ra and I are ready to head home.  We’ve been away for about 5 weeks now either playing music shows or traveling for Figs & Ginger, our handmade jewelry line that butters our bread if you know what I mean.  It’s been wonderful to be able to spend time in New England seeing loads of good friends and playing unbelievable shows.  For a while now I’ve been a bit down in the dumps about music, but the last 4 or so shows have been so incredible that I’m completely revitalized and excited!  Our show at Mideast-Up even got mentioned in the Sunday Boston Globe, unfortunately they put the wrong date.  Those poopers.

Last night we played a show in an attic in Peabody, MA with 50 or so friends and other folks hanging out.  It also happened to be Ra’s birthday, so the vibe was lovely.  Great fun + red velvet cake…mmmm.

The night before (Sunday) found Jake, Samantha, Rhonda and I playing at Mideast-Up at near capacity.  We’re told that there were over 150 people in attendance!  That’s a lot for me.  I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t overwhelming.  The sound was rough, and we could hardly hear each other’s instruments through the monitors.  But, that stuff happens, and I feel we made the best of what we were given.

All in all we’re ready to get back home.  We’re so thrilled that we are making our living with our own hands, by making things, by playing music, by traveling – in general having fun/working hard.  It’s everything Rhonda and I hoped would happen when we got married 5 years ago.  (Our anniversary is coming up on the 28th!)  Now we’re working on bigger dreams.

My BFF Jason Rozen of Grinding Tapes Recording Company has been doing an incredible job of booking and promoting amazing shows in Boston.  It’s encouraging to see folks picking up on this.  One Boston blogger recently said, “…They curate some of the most interesting (mostly) acoustic acts around.”

Thanks so much if you came out to a show this week.  I’ve got some more coming up in VA, NC and TN.  I’d be thrilled to see you there.  The blog Cheap Thrills Boston also said some nice stuff about me recently.  I’ll paste a clip below.

tiny mtns is the new project from Elijah Wyman who must be enjoying New England as he’s spending quite a bit of time away from North Carolina. Of the four artists, his lyrics hit me most immediately. There’s strong emotions and ideas in his musical tales. I’m beginning to think there really may be something in the water or the air in that state that gave us James Taylor, Ryan Adams, and many others.

– Cheap Thrills Boston


August 1, 2009

tiny mtns CD Release Party (and 1 st show under new name) Nearly Sold Out!

Photo by Rich Orris

Photo by Rich Orris

Thanks to everyone who came out to Club Passim on Thursday night and made my EP release/Grinding Tapes Showcase incredibly warm, and fun and cozy.  The sing-alongs were fabulous.  We were 10 people away from selling out the show!  I was so heartened by the experience and am excited about my show at Middle East-Up in Cambridge, MA on Sunday Aug. 23rd at 9pm w/ Manners, The Points North,  Dreamtigers (mem. of Ambitions and tiny mtns!)  This is Dreamtiger’s first show too! Be sure not to miss them. You’ll be hearing more about them in the future, and their upcoming release will be digitally released by Grinding Tapes, so we’ll be label mates!

BUY TICKETS NOW for the Mideast-Up.  This show might sell out!!!
Oh and if you haven’t ordered my new EP yet you can here.

Here’s a few more photo’s taken by my buddy Rich Orris at Club Passim.  I’ll post a track or two from the live recording soon too!

My new and much improved autoharp makes its debut.

My new and much improved autoharp makes its debut.

Samantha Hale & Jake Woodruff make up tiny mtns' band for the coming spat of shows. We love eachother.

Samantha Hale & Jake Woodruff make up tiny mtns' band for the coming spat of shows. We love eachother.

We received some good press for the show: (more to come!)

Ryan’s Smashing Life
Cheap Thrills Boston
Enough Cowbell
All Boston Blog


July 9, 2009

I’m playing a sweet show in Asheville.  Yup, that’s where I live , and it’s at my favorite venue in the whole wide world! The Grey Eagle.

Here’s the info:

Sat. July 18th – 9pm
@ The Grey Eagle w/ Tractenburg Family

Opening for Danielson sans PA at The Greagle.

Opening for Danielson sans PA at The Greagle.

I’d love to see you at the show!

Here’s a list of reasons why I love The Grey Eagle:

1.) I’ve seen Silver Mt. Zion, John Vanderslice, Mtn. Goats, Danielson and more there.
2.) Great sound
3.) Best fried green tomatoes I’ve ever eaten!
4.) Local beer

Oh, Tractenburg Family Slideshow Players collect  slides from yard sales and such and write songs about them.  They’re also a real family.  I think their drummer is 12!  So that’s pretty cool.

Here’s a video of the last show I played at The Greagle opening for Danielson Famile (I only open for family bands now):