Richard Shindell


Greetings from a Starbucks in Paducah, KY. My view at this moment encompasses the logos of Drury Inn, Panera, Home Depot, Holiday Inn Express, Arby's, and BP. Just across the main drag is the ramp up to the highway, aka The Great Onward. At the table next to me is a fashionably attired young man engrossed in the Old Testament. We both contain multitudes, but not enough coffee. He's got his exegesis, I've got mine: tomorrow I'll climb that ramp and begin deciphering the traffic patterns between here and Chicago.
I'm at the beginning of a long tour: Paducah, Chicago, St. Paul, St. Cloud, Fort Atkinson WI, Cedar Rapids, Lawrence KS, Boulder, Berkeley, LA, San Diego, Moab. Then after a short break, I'll head over to Holland and the UK.
My main purpose here is to let you know that this will be my last tour for an indeterminate length of time. Aside from a few East Coast dates in March 2020 (long in the works and already contracted), I won't be doing any shows for a while. I'll be working on other projects.
I love the work of touring - the long drives, either in silence, mumbling ideas into a voice-recorder, or listening to an audiobook (right now it's Leaves of Grass); arriving at the venue, greeting the hosts and the sound person, the load-in, setting up my gear (a kind of primordial nesting) and soundcheck; then the show itself, sussing out the vibe in the room, connecting, cracking the code, and always aiming to get the song exactly right (never happens, thank God); then, meeting so many lovely people at the end of the night. When the last person is gone, I coil all the cables, put the instruments back in their cases, and climb back up onto The Great Onward. I love everything about this. I'm a lucky, lucky man to have such a job.
Stepping away will be hard. I'll miss you, dear listener. You have no idea how much. And I have no idea what will happen. No idea what I'm doing. But I'm also very excited about exploring other ways of writing, recording, living a creative life, being a person.
Which is all to say... if you've been thinking of coming to a show, now would be the time.
With love, gratitude, and optimism,

updated: 10 months ago