Well, hello there.
How the heck are ya? It’s been a nice summer for me. I didn’t perform very much. I took the time to rest up, do some work on my book and prepare myself mentally, physically and attitudinally for what looks to be a very exciting fall and winter performance schedule. I will be returning to many of my favorite venues and I will be p erforming in some places for the first time. Here are my public shows through October. The full schedule is at the end of this newsletter.
Saturday September 18th The Light house Café at the Calvary Episcopal Church on Cherry St in Danvers Mass. 978-774-8171 This is a new place for me. I very seldom get to play on the North Shore. So if you live between Lynn and Portsmouth, here’s one in your wheelhouse. (That’s a forced baseball reference that has been included here despite all good judgement to the contrary because the Red Sox are driving me crazy by once again pretending to be a world series caliber team at the end of the season. Oh heartbreak, Red Sox be thy name.) Friday September 24rd The Turning Point Club 85 North Main St. in White River Junction Vermont 603 491 4278 For some reason, Vermont has never been a place where I have found many opportunities to perform. However I was part of a very successful show at the Turning Point last year. I met some great people and I am excited about returning. Saturday October 9th Club Passim 47 Palmer St in Harvard Square Cambridge Mass. Sandy Hammond will be opening this show 617 492 7679. Well, what can you say about Club Passim? It is simply the most prestigious acoustic music venue in the east. Every folk singer in the world dreams about playing there. I look forward to it all year. It only seats 120 people. The audience feel like they are on the stage. The performers feel like they are in the audience. Don’t wait till the last minute. Reserve your tickets now. Saturday October 16th The Bull Run Restaurant on Route 2A in Shirley Mass. This is an annual show in a great venue with my pals The Loomers. 978 425 4311. The Bull Run is located at the crossroads of Nowhere and Nothing in Shirley (Yes, I said Shirley) Mass. I have been playing this venue for m any years. This is one of those very rare places where you can have dinner and drinks and still see a show in a concert atmosphere. It’s a fantastic night out. This will be my only show with The Loomers before the snow flies. These performances when my son, the Loomers and myself are all available are getting much more difficult to put together because of the busy lives of everyone involved. They are very special to me. Hope you can make it.
Let’s Talk About Michigan
My son and I are thrilled that we will be performing for the very first time at The Ark in Ann Arbor in December. If you live in Michigan you know what a big deal this is. We are determined to show the powers that be that we have the kind of fans that will pack the place. Please help get the word out by forwarding this info to anyone you know who might like to attend. Saturday December 4th The Ark 316 South Main St in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan
Mustard’s Retreat will be opening this show. 734 763 8587 or Ticketmaster at 248 645 6666. There is lots of info about things like limited reserve seating at the website http://www.theark.org.
The Live in Michigan CD
This CD, recorded at the Lafayette Grande ballroom in Pontiac Michigan before a fantastic audience, has become a fan favorite. There are several stories mixed in with the songs. It really captures the excitement of the live show. Several people have purchased copies for their uninitiated friends to show them what they can expect if they come out to one of my concerts. All my recordings are available on line at CD Freedom
Many thanks to all the folks who have hired me to perform at private functions this year. I ha d a lot of fun and met some great people. Private shows are an important part of my career. They help make it possible for me to say no to all those gigs where the stage is beneath the TV in the corner of the bar, the hockey game is on above the head of the sad performer and the drunk guy is extremely vocal with his disappointment over the fact that I can’t play the Jim Croce song that was on the radio back when he was captain of the high school football team. If you are planning a gathering of friends, family or business associates, check out the private performance page on my website. Maybe we can work something out.
I was fortunate enough to have put on concerts for several groups in the past year who were raising money and awareness for different causes. I have several more benefit concerts planned for the next few months. If you are interested in putting together a show to raise money and awareness for your special cause, check out the fundraiser page at http://www.donwhite.net and maybe we can make it work.
I am very excited to be performing at the South Florida folk festival in Fort Lauderdale in January and to be returning to Tampa and Homestead Florida in March.
I will be making a rare appearance in Illinois to do a fundraiser in December.
I got quite a bit of work done on my collection of short stories this summer, but I would say it was still a year away from completion.
I really enjoyed taking it relatively easy this summer, but I am anxious to get back at it.
Hope you’re well see you soon.
The Endurance Award
In appreciation of the fact that you are among the estimated eight percent of people who actually read through to the end of my newsletters, I have included an excerpt from my book-in-perpetual-progress here to show my appreciation.
The Church gradually filled up with my parents’ friends and their extended families. It was a rare opportunity for me to see them all in one place. Soon, under the watchful eye of the big guy with the beard, (a giant painting of god on the ceiling) I began to think about this tribe of mine.
All the elders were born during or just after the great depression. The elder men all had the experience of World War Two and the Korean Conflict in common.
They were all Caucasian, mostly Irish with the occasional Italian and Polish family sprinkled in. And, of cou rse, they were all Catholic.
Most of these people grew up dirt poor. I mean great depression, pre-food stamps, empty belly in the classroom poor.
It defined them as much as anything else.
As I was watching them all gather in the church, I began to feel like time had placed a gray film over my eyes to insure that the black and white truths of my youth remained back in 1975 where they belonged.
The eyes I was viewing them with today were not oblivious to the things I saw as a teenager. This was still, to be brutally honest, essentially a collection of intolerant, hypocritical, white alcoholics and their offspring. But these annoying new eyes of mine would not let me see a single person in the room without acknowledging and deeply appreciating at least one of their extraordinary character traits.
It was infuriating.
When I looked at the priest that I knew was having an affair with a married woman, I could also see all the incredible w ork that he did for the homeless.
When I looked at the violent alcoholic who beat his wife, I also saw the war hero who saved the life of three men in Korea.
When I looked at the guy that I had heard make racist remarks all my life, I also saw a guy who always gave ten percent of his income to Catholic Charities, some significant percentage of which, went directly to people of color.
None of these positive attributes were redeeming. They didn’t do anything to alter the other character traits. It just seemed as if they had all decided that they were tired of being overshadowed by the obvious and were demanding to be acknowledged individually.
Copyright 2004 Don White
Don White’s updated Performance Schedule is available at his web site
Don's June Newsletter
Important Time change for show with Jimmy Tingle
I will be performing this Saturday night June 5th with my good pal Jimmy Tingle. Originally, this was going to be a 10:00 show. It has been changed to 8:00. Please help get this info out to anyone who you think is planning to attend. I’m really hoping to avoid that awkward moment when people arrive for the show when it’s ending. Here’s the correct info.
1 617 591 1616
Jimmy Tingle is, in my humble opinion, one of the most brilliant humorists of all time. I have been a big fan of his work since I first met him at Catch a Rising Star in Cambridge in the late 80s. This is going to be a wonderful night. Take a minute and check out his website. He is doing some amazing things at his theatre in Somerville that you, being the cutting edge person that you are, really need to be tuned into.
Don and Lawren to Play The Ark in Ann Arbor
Since the autumn of 2000 my son and I have traveled twice a year to Michigan to perform. We have met the most wonderful people and had more amazing experiences that we could have ever imagined. I even recorded my last CD there. Anyway, The Ark is the most prestigious venue in Michigan. The list of famous names that have played this room will make your head spin. I think it would be fair to say that in years gone by the club has been a bit reluctant to consider me for a performance there. However, due to the buzz created by all the success we have had in the area, they have agreed to give us a shot. Here’s the info.
Saturday, December 4th The Ark 316 South Main St in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan. Mustard’s Retreat will be opening this show. 734 763 8587 or Ticketmaster at 248 645 6666. There is lots of info about things like limited reserve seating at the website www.theark.org
Boys and girls of the mid-west, I expect this to be one of the most magical nights of my career. Sure hope to see you there.
Speaking of that Live in Michigan CD
I must tell you that this recording has quickly become a fan favorite. Sales are very brisk indeed. The story from this CD about my daughter’s unslamable accordion door has become the most requested piece at my concerts. The song “Be 16 with me” has become a radio favorite around the country. Many thanks to everyone who requests my music on their local stations. It’s such a simple thing and it helps me in ways too numerous to mention.
All my recordings and my DVD are available at www.cdfreedom.com or by phone at 800 937 3397
Private shows this Summer
Summer is traditionally a slow time for me. Most of the Church basement coffee houses don’t do shows in the warm weather and I guess it’s no secret that a lot of the folk festivals have been remarkably consistent in their lack of enthusiasm regarding my services.
Summer is, however, an excellent time to hire me for a private show. Every year my son and I perform for people who are gathering with, friends, family or business associates in every situation imaginable. (and some that are unimaginable) So, give us a call if you’re looking to make your summer gathering a bit more interesting. All the information you need is on the website www.donwhite.net. Last summer I was able to co ordinate 3 private shows in one weekend in Michigan. Anything is possible. Call my agent at 617 539 3182 or email him at email@example.com
The Fundraising Train chugs on
Have you noticed that my schedule has a lot more fundraisers in it? That’s because while I am waiting three or four years for prestigious venues to decide that I am worth hiring, I need something to do. One of my favorite ways of manufacturing opportunities to perform is to get together with regular non-music-biz people like you and figure out some way of raising money and awareness for the cause you hold dear. This is something that is proving to be tremendously successful. I performed for 4 fundraisers in April and half of my shows this month are supporting worthy causes. Think about it. What group or cause do you want to help? Read the Fundraiser page at www.donwhite.net and then let’s talk. Call my agent at 617 539 3182 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks and hope to see you soon
I want to leave you today with an email I got from my friend Katie in Michigan. It made me laugh so hard I couldn’t catch my breath. I hope it’s a great summer for you.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I keep forgetting to ask you this when I have you on the phone.
Maybe it's better this way, anyway, because this question speaks to
your very character and I don't want you to feel awkward, or that I am
attacking or interrogating you...
WHY must you saw an angel in pieces? That's just sick.
Don's April Newsletter
This Saturday night is the annual Dead Presidents show in Quincy. (The Stone Temple Coffeehouse at The United First Parish Church 1306 Hancock St Quincy Mass.) What exactly is this Dead Presidents show, you might ask? Well, I'll tell you. In the basement of this church are the tombs of John Adams, John Quincy Adams and their wives. No. I'm not kidding. So it has become a tradition for us to walk all willing members of the audience down into the spooky basement for a little American history lesson during the intermission. I don't know how to explain it but believe me when I tell you that this is always an event that lends itself to interesting humor. Don't miss it.
Michigan in the Spring.
Go Tigers ( Oh my God, what's got into your baseball team?)
My son and I are very excited about returning to Michigan for two shows at The Greenwood Coffee House in Ann Arbor on Friday May 14th and Saturday May 15th. We are also thrilled to be doing a show way up north in Elk Rapids. (You know a town is out there when they feel the need to use the word "Elk" in their name.)
Anyway, we can't wait to see all our friends in the mid west again. Please help get the word out for us. If you know anyone that you think would like the show, email them the info. If you have a friend who is being driven into madness from raising teenagers, go kidnap them and bring them to the show. I promise that I will take extra special care of them and give them a great night out. The Don White show has been known to cause the parents of teenagers to cut their prozac dosage in half.
A Florida Thank You
My shows in Florida last month were absolutely fantastic. Many thanks to everyone in Tampa and Homestead for making me feel so welcome. And thanks to both audiences for singing happy birthday to me. Awesome!
A Great Schedule
Please take a minute and check out my performance schedule. I will be playing several wonderful venues in the next few months. Hope one is near you.
The Fundraising Conspiracy
Four of my five shows in April are fundraisers. Is the city or state cutting your school program? Let's do a show. We'll call it "Surviving the teen years with humor. A special evening with Don White"
Do you have a worthy cause for which you want to raise money and awareness?
Take a look at the fundraiser page on my website www.donwhite.net and if you want to learn more about how to put something together, give us a call 617 539 3182 or email@example.com. We've had good success with our fundraisers. We look forward to hearing from you.
We have a lot of good dates in the summer months that we hope to fill with private shows.
Are you gathering someplace special with friends and family this summer? Why not give some thought to bringing in some unique entertainment? Last August I was able to put three private shows together in one weekend in Michigan. Anything is possible. Check out the Private performances page and let's talk.
A Short Excerpt.
Here are a few paragraphs from a story I'm working on. Thank you so much for the tremendous support and I hope to see you soon.
I sat in the chair with the phone in my hand and stared at the wall. Paul had hung up. I was dazed. It was too much to process right away. I could hear laughter rising up from the living room. My son and daughter were down there with their mom.
She has a great laugh, my wife. Its these short, high pitch, staccato half-yelps. It always sounds beautiful to me but there is a particularly magnificent texture to it when she is laughing with her children. Its a much warmer, fuller sound. It says, "This is the happiest I can ever be" to me. When I hear it, I get younger. If I could hear my wife laugh with her children every day, I'd never grow old.
The telephone in my hand suddenly began to yak. It was that dreadful "I'm off the hook and I demand to be hung up immediately" sound. It dragged me out of my reverent analysis of the sounds of laughter. I obediently did as my telephone commanded and then I went to bed.
©2004 Don White
Always call the venue before the show. Things can change. If you can't get through to them, call my agent at 617 539 3182 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . He is also the man to contact if you are considering hiring me for a private performance. The performance schedule is always updated on my web site www.donwhite.net . All my recordings are available at www.cdfreedom.com 1 800 937 3397.
Don's Not Quite Spring Yet Newsletter
Many thanks to all the good folks who have come out to the shows and helped get 2004 off to a great start. Several of my 04 concerts have been sold out. ( We're not talking Britney numbers here folks. To quote Garrison Keillor, " You can always sell out if you play small enough places.") But in my world a sold out show is a big deal. I remember the CD release party for the Two Vagabonds in Disguise recording at the Old Vienna Kaffeehaus in Westboro, Mass. It was the winter of 1992. There was a big snowstorm. I slid off the road twice on my way to the show and slid into the side of the building while attempting to park. I was expecting to be told that the show was cancelled. Instead they said that it was sold out. I couldn't get my mouth to form the words. "Souullddded auowtttt?" It was like trying to speak a foreign language. It felt like a dream. It stills feels that way when it happens now. Thank you.
Florida Next Weekend.
This Florida thing is getting to be very exciting. Friday March 5th 9:00 am. A live radio interview on WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa Florida. The program is called On The Air Live with Bill Dudley. It goes from 9 am till 10 am. If you have any friends that can't understand why they should spend Friday night seeing some folksinger in a Unitarian Church, ask them to tune in and maybe I can persuade them into attending the show that night.
Keep an eye out for an interview with me by Michelle Miller in the Saint Pete Times this week.
Friday March 5th The UU Dome Concert Series at the Unitarian Universalist Church 11400 Morris Bridge Rd Tampa Florida. I had a great time here last year. This is an important show for me. If you know anyone who winters near Tampa, please let them know about this show. 1 813 988 8188. This is going to be a lot of fun.
Saturday March 6th The Main Street Café 128 North Krome Ave in Homestead Florida. This is my birthday. I'll be 47 years old. If you live in or are visiting South Florida, come celebrate with me in this fabulous venue. We had a big crowd last year so be sure to call ahead for tickets 305 245 7575.
Right after my Florida show will be my annual performances at the Green Rooster in Worcester Mass and the Festival of Funny Songwriters at the Somerville Theatre.
The entire Spring performance schedule is at the end of this newsletter.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the show in Marlboro with Arlo Guthrie. It was a magical night. I saw a lot of old friends and got to meet a lot of new ones. The show was a benefit for Greater Marlboro Programs Inc.
Speaking of benefits, I will be putting on several concerts this spring to help raise money and awareness for different worthy causes. If you are interested in learning more about what it takes to put on a concert to benefit your special cause, take a look at the fundraiser page on my website http://www.donwhite.net
Private Shows This Summer
I know it is still winter but we are already booking private shows for the summer season. What special event are you planning for your friends, family or business associates? The Don White show has a long history of making these events even more special and bringing much praise and glory to the host or hostess. Booking@donwhite.net or 617 539 3182
On line Sales
Let's face it, if you don't live in New England, Michigan or Florida, chances are that you will not be catching one of my live concerts any time soon. It's not that I don't want to play for both of my fans in North Dakota, the half dozen in Maryland, fifteen in Pennsylvania, twenty-six in Wisconsin and twenty-seven in Illinois. The problem is that all my performances have to clear Mrs. White's "try not to be a complete idiot" rule, which states that she doesn't care where I go but that I damn well better not come home broke.
There is always the possibility that we could manifest some creative combination of public and private performances in your community that might pass the don't come home broke rule but until that glorious day comes you can purchase all my CDs and my DVD at http://www.cdfreedom.com . Check 'em out. You can order by phone or by mail if you don't like ordering on line.
My son and I will be returning to The Greenwood Coffeehouse in Ann Arbor for two shows on May 14th and 15th. We will be making our travel arrangements in the next week or so. If you live in Michigan and are interested in hiring us for a private show on Sunday May 16th, please contact my agent at email@example.com or 1 617 539 3182. If things work out we will arrange to stay until Monday.
A while back I did a fundraiser for a group of people who were trying to buy a house that could be made into a housing co-op for people who have struggled with overwhelming emotional experiences. They recently bought a big house in Whitman Mass and are currently making their vision a reality. They call it Zuzu's Place referencing a lyric from my song Angel in Pieces. These people are deeply committed to making the world better for those among us with mental and emotional health challenges. If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about this extraordinary group of people and their work please check them out at
Yes, I am still working on my collection of short stories. I know that it's taking forever but I am having so much fun exploring different ideas in prose that I am just not interested in rushing the process. I am however, probably just a few stories away from completion.
Here's an excerpt.
"If you know that your time in your body is almost over, you really must dance. You must dance with the ones you love. It is quintessentially the best thing that humans do with their bodies. Lions and tigers seem to have the gift of grace in every movement. Every thing they do has a touch of ballet. Humans, conversely, often seem gangly and awkward, as if our 'erectness' was an intentional assault on grace itself. I know that my dog is always concerned that the wind might blow me over. He knows that it is extremely dangerous up there and he is constantly at odds with Darwin over the implied infallibility of natural selection. Their heated debates on this subject are legendary in the canine/science community. However, when my dog gains the upper hand in the argument, Darwin simply begins to dance. He's quite a good dancer, Darwin. He moves around the room with exquisite elegance and all his detractors are silenced.
At a wedding reception, the father of the bride walks across the empty dance floor. He is tall. He's had a few drinks. The events of the day have accentuated his natural physical awkwardness. His approach is tipsy and teetering. The bride is feeling like she is standing beneath an avalanche of every emotion she has ever known. He takes her by the hand and they begin to dance. At the very instant of their first movement together, they become butterflies and everyone in the room is witness to the metamorphosis. These two people are no longer, gangly, tipsy, awkward, nervous or overwhelmed. They are a thing of immense beauty 'eye candy' one unified, perfectly choreographed, visual delight that exists for this moment, one inch off the dance floor and puts to shame the natural grace and beauty of the wind in the willows.
If you were somehow able to remain conscious of the world around you after you have left your body, I strongly suspect that you would ache to dance slowly with the ones you love."
©2003 Don White
Don's New Ice Age Newsletter
Happy New Year.
Many thanks to everyone who came out to the live performances in 2003 and helped make this my best year ever for concert attendance. Thanks to everyone who hired me for a private performances or fundraiser. And thanks to everyone who purchased my CDs and DVD on line at www.cdfreedom.com . I am so grateful. I hope this year brings much health and happiness to you.
Remember that there are simply not enough Don White fans in the world so all of you have to stay healthy.
How do you like the new ice age we're having? Our tribe here in Lynn has seen a dramatic reduction in the population of Woolly Mammoths. (Or is it Mammoth Woolies?) No matter it's colder than a Titches wit. (And we all know what a cold wit those Titches have.) Cabin fever is spreading over the countryside. Fortunately the next few weekends feature some concerts that are guaranteed to put the hot air back in your conversation.
This Saturday Jan 17th my son and I will be making our annual winter trip to The Vanilla Bean in Pomfret CT. This is the perfect cabin fever reliever because the food is home made and fabulous and the performance space is perfect. It's only 30 minutes from Worcester and Rhode Island. The concert will be filmed for use in a documentary about the Venue.
Jan 24th we will be back at the Appalachian benefit Coffeehouse in Natick. The original date of Dec 6th was snowed out. This is the new date. Please spread the word to anyone you know in metro west that you think might want to attend.
Jan 31st is the annual invasion of sleepy Londonderry New Hampshire by The Loomers and I and all our crazy north of the border fans. This show always sells out so call ahead. (Info for all the shows is in the performance schedule at the end of this newsletter.)
In February The Loomers and I will be doing our annual Lynn Show and I'll be opening for Arlo Guthrie in Marlboro Mass.
So don't let those cabin walls close in on ya. Venture out and have some fun.
Did Someone Say Florida?
Yes, I will be spending the weekend of March 5,6,7,in the sunshine state. I'm returning to Tampa on the 5th and back to Homestead on my birthday March 6th. Thanks to everyone who has helped me build up a following down there. The Florida thing has moved steadily forward in the past few years. I only get down once a year so please help spread the word to anyone near Tampa or Miami.
Hey Florida, how 'bout a private show on Sunday.
I'm looking to work on the East Coast of the state on Sunday March 7th. It would probably have to be private so it wouldn't draw people away from the Homestead show. If you're interested in learning more about how easy it is to put together a private show, give my agent a call at 617 539 3182 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe it'll work out that I can entertain your family and friends while I'm down there.
I want to send out great big hugs to all my friends who turned out to the two shows in Ann Arbor last month. My son and I had the most wonderful time. Our Michigan weekends are the highlight of our year. Also, special thanks to everyone at the private show in Oxford. It was the perfect way to top off an amazing weekend. We're already looking forward to coming back in May.
And, just so you know, Sunday of that weekend is open if anyone wants to bring us in for something private. (Something musical, that is.)
If you are planning to attend an upcoming show and you have a song you'd like to hear, go to the message board at www.donwhite.net and let me know what it is. I can't promise that I'll perform it because some material is unsuitable for some audiences. But if I know ahead of time I can brush up on your request and have it ready if the situation feels right.
The new fundraiser program has produced some very successful events in the past few months. If you are interested in learning more about how to raise money for your worthy cause check out the fundraiser page at my web site.
Planning a gathering of friends or business associates? What to hire some entertainment that will make you look like the most brilliant party planner in the world? Let's talk. email@example.com or 617 539 3182
A few thoughts
Everything I was sure about in my twenties, I am mystified by in my forties. It's as if time has painted a gray film over my eyes to make sure that the black and white truths of my youth remain back in 1975 where they belong. This is why old people annoy young people. Old eyes see a complex world in which up may not always be up. It drives young people crazy.
One of the few things that has somehow escaped the clarity modifying effects of my world-weary eye is compassion. I am as enchanted by compassion today as I have ever been. In fact, all the many challenges that I have weathered as an adult seem only to have magnified my appreciation for the magnificence of this quality.
Just before Christmas my wife bumped into an old woman that she knew at the grocery store. This woman has no automobile. My wife loaded her groceries into our car, drove her home, carried the groceries into her house and came home. It was a small thing. But to me it was pure. For twenty-five years I have been married to a woman whose heart walks down the street in front of her and leads her directly into situations that require compassion. She doesn't think about it. She doesn't want anything for doing it. She just does it.
She told me that she felt like these opportunities to help were gifts to her.
When she says things like that to me I can't help but think that she is the most beautiful person who ever lived.
Compassion is a ship designed for stormy seas and a long marriage sees many storms.
Wishing you all the best in the year ahead.
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