Artwork by the late Michael Di Salvo III on display at the Scratcher.

99 Cent Dreaming In Expensive Town USA

Artwork by the late Michael Di Salvo III on display at the Scratcher.

Rockaway Park, NY – February 6th, 2024

The price of parking in Paris. The Grammys. The Superbowl. Citizen Trump. Collective punishment. Soldiers on TikTok. The mother of gunman. The mayor talking tough. Dehumanization.  Generational distraction. On and on it goes.

I blog more on tour than at home. I suppose this is because when I’m on the road new to me things are happening and I am more often alone. Still, I play all the time here. Writing things down helps me notice the inspiring details of the day to day ( between prolonged bouts of existential terror.)

I played in Jersey City for the first time in at least 7 years on Saturday night. I used to play a lot at a bar called Lucky 7. It was owned by two larger than life Hungarian brothers. One of whom offered to lend me his car the first time I met him. He did go on to lend us his apartment when myself and the band were passing through Budapest in 2010.


Jason Myles Goss called me a few months back and invited me to do a double bill with him at the Fox and Crow. I was concerned that there might be nobody there but I always enjoy Jason’s company and his godawful jokes. His songs are very, very good too. Feeling a bit environmentally guilty about the amount of flying and driving I’ve been doing lately, I took public transport from Rockaway Beach, Queens  to Jersey City. The digital mapping overlords told me to take the Shuttle train, to the A train to Port Authority where I switched to the NJ transit 123 bus ( having missed the 119). I took a jam packed 123 bus 14 stops. A large warm man fell asleep on my shoulder for 13 of those stops. The digital overlords said I could do all this and arrive and 6.30pm. Disconcertingly I arrived at exactly 6.30pm.

The gig was lovely, like, really lovely. Lovelier than I had allowed myself hope it would be. Christine Santelli, a songwriter I’ve known from the Path Cafe days was working the door. This was a surprise to me and it was very good to catch up with her. The venue is small, classy back room of slightly less small equally classy bar. Jason booked this gig, so I of course offered to go first. Neither of us was sure how many people we had coming so we were both pleasantly surprise to see the room fill up.


Button by Violet Skipp

As I often do of late, I invited the crowd to sing along a few times. There was an older a man, late seventies, who’s voice really blew me away. Thanks to all who came along.

On Sunday I played a charity event at the Swift Hibernian in the afternoon and the Scratcher in evening. The Scatcher was also with JMG. I really love playing this room. On arrival the bar tender, Natalie, showed me a message from the mother of the late Michael Di Salvo III. Michael was musician and artist and friend I made through previous nights at the Scratcher. He appears in scene filmed at the Scratcher, alongside myself and Mulcahy in Colin Broderick’s film, Emerald City. I haven’t done much acting but Colin asked me to play the part of a singer in the corner of a bar and I like to think I nailed it. Michael died in November of  2022. His mother Carolyn had sent a message to Natalie asking her to say hello and saying how much Michael had liked my songs. I was very moved to hear from her and dedicated the gig to Michael.


I told a lot of stories and sang fewer songs than usual. Jason Bedell came up from Florida just for this gig. I don’t have as many fans as my famous friends but I do have some really good ones. Skip Violet, also from Florida, brought me some hand made badges ( Americans call them buttons or pins?) I love the Scratcher. Thanks Pete Olshansky for making it happen and for being Pete Olshansky.


Official bootleg from the Scratcher gig coming soon to my Patreon page.

Gigs this month in NYC, NY State, and Vermont.


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