New Website and Other Announcements
Happy holidays, everyone --
To address some obvious news, you'll have noticed that my website, bencosgrove.com, has been totally redesigned. I'll miss the old one, but hopefully this new site will crash less frequently than its predecessor did, and won't infuriate people who try to read it on their phones.
On the subject of major repairs, my entire keybed was also finally replaced yesterday after years of mounting decrepitude, so the action on my keyboard now all feels like that of a brand new instrument. It was a totally necessary fix but will also be an unbelievably strange thing for me to adjust to.
When I haven't been driving around for performances, I've been working a lot lately on my projects for the New England Trail, the hiking trail through western Massachusetts and Connecticut for which I'm serving as the artist-in-residence all year. One unexpected result of this residency is that I've spent more time hiking in Connecticut than I ever thought I would at any point in my life. Here's a recent interview I did with CT Woodlands magazine, and here's a video the trail made to promote my residency.
Finally, it's December, which means that there are a couple new Midwinter songs out there for your enjoyment. (For those new to this project: I have a collection of winter-themed songs that lives online and grows by a little bit every year.) The whole thing has now swollen to include 26 songs, so you'd better start listening now if you want to hear the whole collection before January. If you're still looking for last-minute gifts, by the way, Salt fits nicely in a stocking and was recently declared one of the year's best albums by Red Line Roots. Order one here (from the new site!).
Oh, and shows: I'll be doing a few things in Maine at the end of the year, and then heading to the south and midwest for a little bit. Watch this page for announcements about where I'll be and when.
That's all the important stuff from me, but a few of my friends have lately been up to some cool stuff that I feel I should rave about. I was happy to play a handful of keyboard-related instruments on a lovely new album released yesterday by my old buddy and frequent collaborator Jamie Kallestad that addresses the time he spent weathering a quarter-life crisis in Norway a couple years ago. Another good friend of mine just published this stunning and upsetting photo essay about the wildfires that raged through Glacier National Park this summer. Speaking of Montana, my friends at the Montana Gallery in Billings have made a new instructional DVD that features a bunch of my music and will also teach you a thing or two about plein-air painting. And finally, I've been deeply enjoying this video series documenting the adventures of my heroic pals in the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra as they toured the east coast with the Ballroom Thieves last year.
2017 has certainly been a weird year by any measure, but I owe all of you a great debt of gratitude for making it such a personally and professionally fulfilling one. Thanks for sharing my album, for coming to a show, for writing about my work, for inviting me to sleep on your couches, and for reminding me every day that fundamentally, people are pretty great. That last one is important these days, and I feel really lucky to have a job to presents me with such frequent evidence of it.
Good luck in the snow, enjoy the holidays, and I hope to see every one of you in the new year (if not before). Thanks again, everybody.