The Thaxton Speakeasy tonight 

I am playing with the great saxophonist Rob Nugent tonight in downtown STL at the Thaxton Speakeasy. 

We hit at 9:30 and play all night. Come on by for some tunes and some drinks in this art deco hideout!

Shaved Duck 

It is the 2nd Thursday of the month which means I am playing tonight at The Shaved Duck, 6:30-9:30!

Good eatin' tonight!

Robust tonight! 

I'm playing with Kristian tonight at Robust Wine Bar in Webster Groves, 7-10. 

Come on my if you in the neighborhood. It's a great place, always a fun gig. 

Good news, bad news 

The good news is the new CDs are in, and they look fantastic! 

The bad news is they have the wrong music on them. Instead of the new music, all of the Just As Good CDs have the 'State Streets' music on them. I am famously bad when it comes to attention to detail, and it would seem I uploaded the wrong music. 

Other good news, new CDs are in production and will be here in about twelve days, and which point this CD will finally be available.

Also, I am playing a few gigs this week--Thursday at Robust Wine Bar with Kristian Baarsvik, Friday at Extra Brut, and Saturday afternoon at Wine Country Gardens in Defiance!

Have a great day!

our last Bevo gig is tonight! 

Well, it has been a great run. 5 months at Das Bevo, and tonight is the last one!

We are grateful to Das Bevo for having us; to John Parker for putting it all together; and of course to everyone who came to see us play! Thank you!

We play 7:30-10:30 tonight. Also, I'll have our first three CDs with me for sale! 

Hope to see you!


Why I quit facebook. 

The day I joined facebook about ten years ago, a friend told me to be careful because it sucks people in. Prescient words, I think today, because in the years following I was absolutely sucked in. As I write this I am imagining a person out a sea being pulled into a giant whirlpool, like in that Pirates of The Caribbean movie.

Facebook is in the news now for selling our data to people who used it to hack our society. It has just fewer active members than the populations of the US, Europe, and China combined. ACTIVE users. Although we have 325 million people in the US, most are not 'active users' of our democracy. Facebook is the largest  community in the world, and it exists as a for-profit business run by one thirty-something skeezbag and his investors. 

I began to notice that the things I think about were those things which engaged me on FB--the things their algorithm determined to best keep my eyes on the screen. Facebook was very literally telling me what to think about, not because it wanted me to really think about police violence, Donald Trump, or kittens but because it is selling my attention to advertisers. 

But these are not the things that compelled me to quit. I started to notice a change in my thinking--not that my opinions were changing, but the way I think was changing. I began to formulate and frame my thoughts for Facebook. I started to compress and encapsulate every thought, dish, sunset, experience, emotion for FB. Long thoughts gave way to short thoughts. In compressing everything for FB, I compressed my own thought-processes, and I absolutely notice the data loss. Being off Facebook feels something like what astronauts must experience coming back to earth and walking around on atrophied muscles.

A couple months back I started leaving my phone at home when I would go to the laundromat or the grocery store or out with the kids. I invariably found myself looking for it, just so I could check my notifications. (That impulse to reach for my phone felt very much like a compulsion and not so much like a thought.) Also invariably, I found myself enjoying thinking again. It felt like running across an open field. Old muscles that hadn't forgotten how to work but were ignored now stretched and worked and loved the feeling of it. I'd be in a chair at the laundromat, 90's music playing, looking out the window at trash-strewn South Grand, and it felt like being in the mountains.

I told myself for years that I had to be on Facebook, because it's the best forum for musicians to reach listeners. That is the conventional wisdom, and not without reason. I know very well that Facebook very much helped me build a fan base, advertise shows, share my music & videos, and get more work. Yes--Facebook is one place where you can do all of those things, but it is not the only way those things can be done. Before Facebook, musicians still did all these things. I should know because I did all these things before Facebook. Mailing lists, flyers, eye contact and conversations, radio, tv, print media, digital media, etc. etc., and I loved doing it. So... to free my mind, improve and expand my relationships with friends, and further my career, I quit FB.

(Haha, except that i still have the Tommy Halloran's Guerrilla Swing page and rely heavily on FB messenger, so my personal account can't be deleted--only silenced. But I'm not there anymore.)

Tommy Halloran performs music anyone would appreciate... He is to jazz as Uncle Tupelo was to country-western or Steve Earle to bluegrass. He possesses the schooling (both formal and hard-knocks) as well as the "chops" of a great jazzman... The basic truths of Delta-blues, swing, Gospel, and Bohemia are deeply rooted in Tommy's songwriting psyche. Like Randy Newman or Tom Waits (who seldom appear in the same sentence), his cooking belies his ingredients. He may not be "Chasin' the Bird", but he's certainly flippin' the bird as a top-rate improviser... Tommy embodies the original spirit of jazz. His blues, his bounce, and his ballads rival great musicians from any era.  - David Seymour, (8/11/2005)

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