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some questions answered…

folks from england always ask if we are ever going to come over and i guess the answer is, i don’t know.

we are coming out with a new record in january called “making it.” we’ll be playing here and there in the states to promote it and who knows maybe someone will want us to come over to england to play.
i love england and scotland. never been to ireland but i know i’d dig it.
the shows Heidi and i did opening for Arthur Lee and Love (our dear friends Baby Lemonade) in the UK were…almost impossible to describe. We figured we were in an impossible position opening for God but they were the best duo shows Heidi and I ever played. Going down as well as we did in places like Manchester and Liverpool especially, I have to say, for an admitted anglophile such as myself, it was the highlight of my life at the time.

England taught America important lessons about itself.
I owe it to the Stones for introducing me to Robert Johnson and
Muddy Waters. Black people in my world were trying to distance
themselves from all that greatness. The French taught us that our pulp fiction and b-movies were actually art but the brits gave us our music back to us – at least to those of us who wanted it.

Making It will feature songs from the live song-cycle we did at St Anns Warehouse last year called (guess) Making It. It’ll also feature some tunes that weren’t in the Making It show.

Somebody asked about the song “Speed.” It’ll be on that record.

Heidi and I are playing a show at Joe’s Pub on October 4th. I think we’re the first band to play the re-opening of the Pub with its new design. We’re doing it just us and Spurney, our guitar/keys cousin from PS, and it’s kind of a unplugged sort of show (is it lame to use the term unplugged still?). You know, its that “intimate” “an evening with” kinda deal…we’ll tell cute stories behind the songs and I’ll see how pissed I can make Heidi by making references to our break-up and post-break-up drama that was happening throughout all three runs of the play (Berkeley Rep, the Public and Broadway). So come on out to that show if you feel like it and you live in new york or if yer the kind of person who flies into new york for shows.

i’m teaching at the university of wisconsin in madison this Fall. It’s basically the class I always wanted to take. More about that when class gets going.

hope all is well with everyone.
be goodish,


  1. Brandon Telg wrote:

    Any chance that class will be offered somewhere like iTunes U or something where those of us who don’t live in WI can “take” that class?

    Friday, August 12, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Permalink
  2. stew wrote:

    you know this is a really great question. I will look into it. my first guess would be that the school would say no. that said, maybe i’d say no as well since this is only my 3rd time around teaching and I’ve been gradually trying to develop a curriculum (and an approach) that I can take with me to whatever school is crazy enough to have me. But I’m still learning my ropes, as it were.

    I’m basically trying to replicate in the form of a class what its like to meet that crazy friend who turns you onto everything: weird lit, music, film, philosophy, etc…but he’s not an academic so there’s no codification going on except from that person’s own deeply personal, idiosyncratic aesthetic perspective. So Billie Holiday gets talked about in the same conversation as Godard and James Joyce. And so while there might not be any “official” connections between these 3 artists, the fun is to actually look for connections and make them! So the commonality of all art-making is one thing I’m interested in exploring. The class is hopefully going to be like a collage. And it might be complete chaos! We’ll see.

    If yer interested I’d be happy to send you any materials from the class. I’m pretty sure every session will be videotaped.

    I’m such a tech-idiot I don’t even know where you will read this email I’m writing: will it go to your inbox or will it come to you as link or what?

    thanks for asking a great question,

    Saturday, August 13, 2011 at 2:21 am | Permalink
  3. Rob wrote:

    Stew…I live in Madison, but I’m long past being a student. Any plans you’ll be playing some shows around town during your stay?

    Friday, August 19, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Permalink
  4. Andy wrote:

    Hey Stew,

    Just wanted to put in a quick note to say that I stumbled across TNP’s music a few years ago, and have subsequently picked up everything you’ve put out that’s readily available. You’ve become my favorite songwriter and your music is inspritional and thought-provoking in equal measure.

    So, keep up the good work, and man, I’d take that class in a second if it was physically possible.

    Take care!

    Friday, September 16, 2011 at 7:42 am | Permalink
  5. max wrote:

    hi stew my name is max and I’m coming to tell you about my grade 6 project on louis armstrong i came to ask you how life is being a singer/song writer and african american and how life is being a world changer for all african americans.How is life treating you when you play in front of crowds of people looking at you with curious faces. Me being sort of a singer I love louis and all his music and i think that just like louis armstrong you might know a thing or two.hope you can answer my question for my project but besides that take care Stew.


    Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

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