You have been doing some touring. How's that all working out?
Since coming here, I have been mostly playing with my friend Jenny Scheinman. I've been playing a little local hole-in-the-wall kind of shows with her and working on collaborative material.
Are you in New York now?
Yeah, I've been in Brooklyn since early in the year. I haven't been playing all that much, but what I been doing is mostly with her. So like the country or folkier-leaning songs-- "I'll Trade You Money For Wine," and "Coastal Girls," "Moses on the Mountain" has been going over real well.
That's a great tune.
Thank you.
It's your brother on the fiddle, right?
No, that's Anne Harris on the fiddle. My brother [Jubal] plays on some of the string section stuff.
How's it all working out in terms of sales or whatever? Is it doing what you wanted it to do?
I think generally I've been pretty pleased with it. You know it's weird because there wasn't a lot of hoopla around its birth or release. And uh, you know like normally there would be a publicist working on it. At the same time there has been some decent press like the New York Times and Newsweek and places like the New Yorker. As usual, that hasn't had any discernable relationship to sales. And neither have the live shows done to promote it. The sales kind of limp along, but they limp along on a daily basis. Like every day, between two and six sales. This has been going on for months. If this goes on for another four or five months, I will have turned a profit and will consider it a great success. Because it wasn't a very cheap project to do just because there was so much of it. And anyway if I actually make 1,000 to 2,000 sales, then I might continue doing this. Although a record release on an outside label just gets a little more attention and respect. Even now that people are starting to understand more that that stuff is just largely meaningless, you know, the label it comes out on, and the labels are kind of going away… I think that still carries a little bit more respect for some reason.
Do you think this would have been different if you had done a standard size album?
I have no idea. It's such a small group of people that I play to. For it to do better, you know, four thousand [sold] instead of two thousand? I don't know.
Do you think you'll be pulling songs from this for future releases?
If I put out more CDs, and I think I probably will, I don't think I will overlook this group of 50 entirely. I don't want to jinx it by talking about it all that much, but I am working on this Flannery O'Connor related project that might either be a play or a CD, I'm not sure right now. Maybe some time next year or the year following. It's kind of a long-term deal. Some of the songs on 50-Vc Doberman were efforts top start making something for the Flannery O'Connor thing. "Schoolteacher Was One of Those."
Is it based on her stories?
It is music to relate to her stories. Music that draws inspiration from the stories. So if that [project] happens, I will probably scavenge from that stuff. Because I kind of started with those songs.
Anything else you'd like to say about the project?
I should say that the guy who recorded it all was Jay O'Rourke. He gets antsy when I don't mention his name in relation to it. He did all the songs except for "Mama's Pearl." He did 'em all out of his house, you know. I think that's a nice interesting point of the package that it was done in a garage with three mics, an 8-track mixer, and Pro Tools. There's some stuff on there you can hardly believe was done that way. So he did a great job.