Breathing in I smile
Breathing out I release
April 22nd, Earth Day, 2013
From the shore of Lake Superior in Marquette, Michigan
In my experience the creative process does not usually follow a direct line. I am not ever certain what the outcome will be when I begin to write a song, when I perform, or when I start working on a new album. What I have learned from engaging in this process now for many years is that it is much more about trusting the journey than arriving at a destination.
Greyhound Bus Tour, my forthcoming album being released on May 1st on the Earthwork Music label, is all about the journey. It is a dynamic collection of songs and journal entries from my first national “tour” in 2001, when I traversed the country on Greyhound busses and shared music in parks, on street corners, subway stations, in front of the White House, in cantinas, living rooms, on the ocean shore, and wherever I had an opportunity to perform.
As I made my way around Turtle Island with my guitar, backpack, and a handful of CDs (my first album Mothers and Daughters), I began to realize that the music in me is an invitation to connect with the Great Spirit, with myself, other people, and with the earth. I started to understand this whole musical path as a Great Mystery unfolding in many beautiful ways, yet always directing me back to relationships in the present moment.
Reflective of this web of relationships, many friends have contributed their talent to this album, including Seth Bernard and May Erlewine Bernard, Rachael Davis and Dominic John Davis, Michael Shimmin, Joshua Davis, Bob Buchanan, Lesley-Anne Stone, Peace Be Free, and Will See, and engineers Ian Gorman, Glenn Brown, Shammy Dee, and Geoff Michael.
My musical sweetheart Allison Radell contributes her amazing piano and vocals to several songs on the album as well. I am very happy to also be supporting Allison as she continues work on her debut album. You can hear her works in progress on her brand new website www.allisonradell.com – check it out and let her know what you think! We will be performing a special concert on May 18th at the Ann Arbor Zen Buddhist Temple to collect donations to help fund Allison’s album.
I am very grateful to Allison and to all who have made this path possible and who continue to support my music, and I am excited to offer this new album, Greyhound Bus Tour, to you as a reflection of my love and gratitude. This is not a children’s album (yes I make “grown-ups” music too!), although it is appropriate for all ages, and I hope that it speaks to a diverse and intergenerational audience, helping us to cultivate our connections with each other and with the earth.
Pre-orders are available now through the Earthwork Music Website, and include 3 digital tracks that you can download immediately.
As with all creative projects, I cannot do it alone, and I am inviting your help in many ways. Please email me if you would like to help in one or more of the following roles:
Release Show CD Salesperson
-Volunteer to staff the merchandise table at a CD release show in Kalamazoo, Bellaire, Ann Arbor, or Detroit (concert dates listed below) and earn a free CD plus concert admission.
Social Media Warrior
-Post about an upcoming album release show on your page
-Share the tour poster on your social media pages
-Post links to the CD Baby page when album is released on May 1st
Old School Poster Team
-Print and post hard copies of posters in your workplace, on your campus, and/or in your favorite coffee shop, church, temple, food co-op, chiropractic office, or anywhere else you go!
Radio Junkie Call-a-thon
-Make a call to the following radio stations (who have the albums) and request they play a track from Greyhound Bus Tour! Make sure and thank them for supporting local independent music!
Stations in Southwest Michigan
WIDR 89.1FM Kalamazoo, 269-387-6303
WMUK 102.1FM Kalamazoo, Grassroots (Sundays at 10am), 269-387-5715
Stations in Southeast Michigan
WEMU 89.1FM Ypsilanti, Roots Music Project (Saturdays 12-2pm), 888-299-8910
WDET 101.9FM Detroit, Ann Delisi’s Essential Music (Sat. and Sun. 11am-2pm), 313-577-3415
Ann Arbor’s 107.1FM, 734-998-1071
WCBN 88.3FM Ann Arbor, 734-763-3500
Press Release Distribution
-Forward the following press release to your media contacts and friends.
For Immediate Release
May 1st, 2013, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Joe Reilly “Greyhound Bus Tour” Album Release
Singer songwriter Joe Reilly and the talented collective of Earthwork musicians take you on a journey of music and spirit in this album release concert. Breathe with them as Joe’s songs help you get rooted in all that is true and beautiful in yourself and in the world around you.
What: Joe Reilly “Greyhound Bus Tour” Album Release!
When and Where:
May 2nd, KALAMAZOO, MI
Joe Reilly Album Release with Allison Radell and special guest Elisabeth Pixley-Fink, Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, 8pm, $10/general admission, $5/student, 1249 Portage Rd., Kalamazoo, Michigan, www.thisisfire.com
May 4th, BELLAIRE (TRAVERSE CITY), MI
7th Annual ISLAND benefit at Short’s Brewing Company, 121 Bridge Street, Bellaire, 4pm to late, $10-20 sliding scale, featuring Joe Reilly CD release party! Seth Bernard and May Erlewine, Elisabeth Pixley-Fink, DJ Martoosh and more TBA, Silent Auction of handmade goods, art, local food and donations from local businesses, www.artmeetsearth.org
May 10th, ANN ARBOR, MI
Joe Reilly Greyhound Bus Tour Album Release Concert featuring Joe Reilly with Allison Radell (piano), Seth Bernard (vocals, guitars), May Erlewine (vocals), Joshua Davis (electric piano), Marion Hayden (upright bass) and Michael Shimmin (drums), Kerrytown Concert House, 8pm, 415 N. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor, $10/general admission, $5/student, www.kerrytownconcerthouse.com
May 11th, DETROIT, MI
Joe Reilly Greyhound Bus Tour Album Release Concert featuring Joe Reilly with Allison Radell (piano), Seth Bernard (vocals, guitars), May Erlewine (vocals), Joshua Davis (electric piano), Will See, and Michael Shimmin (drums), D. Blair Memorial Theatre (in the basement of the UU Church, enter through parking lot in rear), $5, 4605 Cass Ave., Detroit, Michigan (313) 556-1702
Joe Reilly is on a musical journey of faith and spirit. His songs touch deep reserves of compassion and joy within the hearts of his listeners, giving encouragement to others on the spiritual path and using music as a universal voice of communication and celebration beyond lines of race, age, ethnicity, and religion.
His new album, Greyhound Bus Tour, is the result of more than a decade of songwriting, traveling, listening, and seeking, and highlights Joe Reilly’s gift of bringing together diverse and talented artists, ideas, and musical styles into one voice. Combining elements of folk songs, hip-hop, and traditional Native American singing, Joe shares his true nature through the interconnectedness and synergy that shines through in this musical mosaic.
Greyhound Bus Tour features some of Michigan’s finest musicians including Seth Bernard (vocals and guitars) and May Erlewine (vocals and piano), Joshua Davis (electric piano), Michael Shimmin (drums and percussion), Allison Radell (piano), Dominic John Davis (acoustic and electric basses), and Rachael Davis (vocals). Also featured are two Michigan-based hip-hop MCs, Will See and Peace Be Free.
This album gets its name and title track from Joe’s very first national tour, traveled aboard Greyhound buses in the summer of 2001 from Detroit to New York to Washington DC and on to Atlanta, Texas, San Diego, San Francisco, and British Columbia and back home to Michigan. Joe carried his guitar and backpack as he traversed the country on the bus, stopping to stay with friends and share his music wherever he could, including street corners, subway stations, parks, in front of the White House, on the shores of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, in coffee shops, cantinas, and community centers, living rooms, and open mics.
This bold challenge to the universe was met with the loving support and encouragement of friends, family, and strangers, and has since grown into an evolving career that continues to take Joe around the country, sharing his music with a diversity of listeners all along the way.
Come aboard this wonderful journey. All you need is a willingness to listen with open ears, mind, and heart. Lay back and let go!
-Once you have a copy of the album, write a review on iTunes or CD Baby.
“God comes to us disguised as our life.”
Puffy snowflakes float like pieces of clouds falling lazily towards the Michigan land, reminding me that we are now in a sacred season of slowing down. Winter draws me back to an eternal flame of light deep within my spirit, and a to connection with all life on this Mother Earth, even as it seems to pause in stillness and silence.
I am reminded of the importance of stopping, resting, and allowing the Great Spirit to fill my emptiness and to work within me. Sometimes this season feels scary, barren, desolate, alone. How will the impossibility of spring ever happen again?
I recognize this feeling as yet another invitation to dive deeper, beneath the frosty layers of fearful panic, and to take refuge in the rich warmth of community and stories, the serenity of silence, and the joy of laughter and songs.
As I work towards the completion of my Greyhound Bus Tour album, and embark on my 6th annual west coast tour, I reflect on the many ways that the Great Spirit continues to mysteriously and generously unfold as my life.
I am excited to bring my girlfriend Allison Radell on tour with me, to share with her the musical performances, the travel experiences, and the wonderful communities I have encountered on the west coast. She is a gifted pianist and generous spirit and she lifts me up musically, emotionally, and spiritually. We have lots of fun and enjoy making beautiful music together.
I know that the Great Spirit is also intimately involved in the creative process that has been growing into the Greyhound Bus Tour album over the past year, with contributions made from many wonderful musicians and artists including Allison, Seth and May, Joshua Davis, Michael Shimmin, Dominic John, and Rachael Davis. It seems as though the album will be ready to release in May!
And I am reminded of the very organic nature of this creative process itself. I cannot force the seeds to grow, no matter how much I may try. I must surrender and nurture, accept and support, and embrace the very natural pace of what can sometimes feel painstakingly slow.
Great Spirit, make me like the earth, allow me to rest patiently beneath the peaceful snow, trusting that the flowers and green leaves are still possible and that they will indeed return when you are ready. Help me to dance with you through these seasons, and to notice your wonder and beauty that is all around and within me in this present moment.
Happy winter dear friends! Let us take refuge in the faith of springtime, and in the music that lives in our hearts. Please help to spread the word about our upcoming performances along the west coast, and look for our early spring return to the Great Lakes shorelines and for a late spring album release. And please continue to spread your own good news in this wintery world-news of hope, love, and happiness, news of the many ways God continues to be revealed in our wonderful and blessed lives.
“The room in your heart is infinite. There’s no limit to what can fit in it. If love is what you give love is what you get. It’s a balance between mind-body-spirit.” ~Infinite Hearts, from Planting Gardens
What if we lived in a society whose economy was based on helping one another and taking care of the earth rather that exploiting people and natural resources for maximized profits? What if our businesses were designed to support the health and well-being of everyone, of children and old people, of those with disabilities, of workers and their families, and even those who have no money? What if the “invisible hand” of the free market was motivated by love and compassion rather than greed and fear? What if we recognized the spiritual value of every being rather than their monetary worth?
We are alive in a time when our collective challenges of violence, war, discrimination, divisiveness, and a warming unstable climate require us to find sources of creative, infinite wisdom and energy within ourselves and each other, and to produce love and compassion rather than profits and accumulated material possessions.
Are these just simple idealistic dreams? Maybe, but I find myself being called to these visions for a new, compassionate and sustainable economy again and again. Amidst the frenzy of consumerism, the ongoing assault on workers’ unions, and our steady march towards the “fiscal cliff,” I find myself continually challenged to go beyond my selfish desires for material stuff and to let go, to give, and to practice generosity.
I try to anchor my musical career in this understanding, and to run my music business with the goal of watering positive seeds in myself and in others, and in the collective consciousness of our society. When I operate from this place of knowing, I find myself happy and fulfilled, and I feel aligned with a divine purpose.
Of course I need continuous reminders of this purpose, especially when decoys of money, fame, and ego-recognition distract my attention. Thankfully, there are many listeners, songs, and fellow musicians that bring me back to my true home in the here and now, to my place of knowing why I am here and how I can best serve.
I am fortunate to be part of the Earthwork Music Collective, a community of independent musicians in Michigan who use their musical talents to create positive social and environmental change and to empower youth. In support of the idea of a new, compassionate and sustainable economy, Earthwork Music is hosting a holiday music sale. Visit www.earthworkmusic.com for more sale details and feel good knowing that you are helping to directly support the work of independent artists while sharing the gift of quality music with your loved ones.
And so my wish for all of us at this year’s end, this season of longer nights, is for a fresh vision of relationship with our work and with one another. May we all recognize our greater purpose of serving love and sharing compassion in creative and joyful ways. Happy Holidays to you and to yours, to ours, and to all our relations.