The Musical History Tour will take place all over the US, Canada and Europe in the autumn of 2018 and spring of 2019 — with your help! Contact me anytime to book a date and share this message with potential organizers…
WHY A MUSICAL HISTORY TOUR?
It seems to me that in order to understand the world we live in now, we have to know how we got here. In order to have any idea of where we’re going, we need to know where we’ve been. We need to know our own history — the history of the social movements, uprisings, invasions, coups, economic bubbles, stock market crashes and other events that have shaped our societies and created the world we live in today. The more we know about key events of the past — often events that the powers-that-be would prefer we forgot about completely — the more the world around us becomes a comprehensible place, existing not just in the three dimensions of the physical world, but in the dimension of time as well.
There are many ways to learn history — ways that can be a lot of fun, as well as educational. I have a Musical History section of my website dedicated to using songs as well as prose to introduce people to important events in world history. With the Musical History Tour, I’ll be taking that act on the road. Concerts (we can still call them concerts even if I’m talking more than usual in between the songs) will be appropriate for any adult or teen audience, and will seek to use historical anecdotes as a means of addressing the present moment.
- Refugees: Throughout Europe and North America, they’re calling it a “refugee crisis.” Did you know that in 1492 the Muslim-led Ottoman Empire sent its entire fleet to go rescue as many as 800,000 Spanish Jews and resettle them in Muslim lands, where they lived in peace and prosperity for hundreds of years? (“1492“) Did you know that most people in the US as well as Australia are descended from European refugees? (“Before Their Ship Arrived“) Did you know that the US didn’t lift its quota on Jewish and other eastern European refugees until 1944 — five years into World War II and the Nazi Holocaust? (“Send Them Back“)
- Child Migrants: The children and adults at the Mexican border are also refugees. Did you know that the United States government sponsored a military coup in Honduras in 2009 that has caused the country to become one of the most violent places on Earth? Did you know that the US also violently overthrew the democratically-elected governments of Iran in 1953 and Guatemala in 1954? (“US Embassy“)
- Immigration: Many politicians and media pundits talk about “illegal immigrants.” Did you know that before 1964, Mexicans were free to cross the US border anytime? (“No One Is Illegal,” “Guanajuato“)
- Trade Wars: Between Trump’s US and the rest of the world, the trade war is on. The original trade war — the Opium War that began in 1839 — involved troops from Britain, France, Russia and the US, and involved the deaths of tens of thousands of Chinese people, ultimately forcing China to “open its economy” — to an addictive drug being forced down the throat of the nation via naval bombardment and fire. (“Trade War“)
- Lots more examples…
I’m booking now for the autumn of 2018 and spring of 2019. If you have some flexibility in terms of the date, I’m available to do a concert anywhere in the continental United States and most anywhere in Canada or Europe if you’re involved with an organization such as a union, school or arts center that is in a position to commit to a date with plenty of advance time and can guarantee me a minimum of $500 (much of which will be spent on transportation in many cases, but that’s OK). Just email me at email@example.com or text me at +15038631177 (I’m on WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal).
For concerts in the US I’m also trying something new, a crowdsourced sort of effort where I make a plan to play in a given state once I’ve sold 50 tickets in that state. So if you’re not part of an organization that can put together an event and you don’t have a lot of extra money, you can still help make this tour happen by buying one or more tickets on my US Tour 2019 page.*
THE TOUR SO FAR:
Saturday, July 28th, 6 pm
IWW Summer Labor Concert
Wednesday, August 22nd
National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) conference
55 Hedge Road
Jacksons Point, Ontario L0E 1L0
Thursday, August 23rd
TraXide — with the Union Thugs!
Concordia University — details TBC
Saturday, September 29th, 7 pm
Grassroots Oasis — Facebook Event
San Diego, California
Thursday, October 4th
Hove Folk Club
Saturday, October 13th
Otley Labour Rooms
Friday, November 9th
Hayti Heritage Center
Durham, North Carolina
*As states turn red (when I sell 50+ tickets in a given state), I will also be making plans to include those states in the tour with at least one gig of some kind in each state. States so far on that list include Washington, Arizona, Massachusetts, Kentucky, and Tennessee.