Photo Credit: Todd Cooper
Bombadil, the whimsical, chamber/pop/folk North Carolina-based band, has added a slew of new dates to its 2014 U.S. itinerary. The dates support the June 21 vinyl and re-release of Tarpits and Canyonlands, a highly-praised album that carries its own sad, strange and triumphant story, and is about to get a second chance at being heard.
Bombadil’s 2014 dates are a personal celebration for the band, comprised of James Phillips (drums), Stuart Robinson (piano, ukulele) and Daniel Michalak (bass, piano, harmonica), and the re-release of Tarpits and Canyonlands is a big part of that. Expectations for Tarpits had it poised to be the band’s breakthrough album in 2009, as evidenced by the early buzz and reviews: “…one of the year’s most eclectic and ambitious albums…” “This album should have made them famous…” But just prior to the original CD release, everything fell apart. Michalak, considered Bombadil’s main driving force, was diagnosed with neural tension, an ailment that caused such debilitating pain and incapacitation, he couldn’t brush his teeth, drive a car or hold a book, much less play keyboards, bass, harmonica, guitar or ukulele. Literally on the eve of Tarpits‘ release, unable to support the album by touring, Bombadil came to a complete standstill that lasted for three years.
Michalak spent years visiting chiropractors and orthopedists, psychologists and neurologists, every kind of doctor imaginable. He ingested pain medications, nerve stabilizers, vitamins and homeopathic drugs, experimented with biofeedback, acupuncture and Rolfing. Finally, he began to see improvement. Fast-forward to 2012 – Bombadil launched a U.S. tour and has kept a manageable touring schedule since, with Michalak, who is on the road, playing shows and doing great.
“I feel great,” said Michalak. “I’ve been doing special exercises before practicing and playing, learning to play with proper technique, and it’s made a world of difference. We’re doing about four shows a week now, and I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be back on the road with the band.”
Now, seven years after its original release, Tarpits and Canyonlands is being given a second chance to live up to its expectations. Bombadil is on the road for the bulk of 2014, so they’ll be able to give this magical album the support it initially deserved, and people will have the opportunity to hear what one writer called “a breakthrough and breakaway from a band whose ideas, enthusiasm, abilities and emotions have finally found their nexus.”
Bombadil will be including a number of songs from Tarpits on its 2014 set list. With more dates to be added, the confirmed Bombadil tour itinerary is below.
17 Misty Meadows Farm, Drumstrong Rhythm & Arts Festival, Weddington, NC
28 Eddie’s Attic, Decatur, GA
29 The Nick, Birmingham, AL
30 Roasted Cafe and Lounge, Macon, GA
31 The Mothlight, Asheville, NC
6 Twin City RibFest, Winston-Salem, NC
7 O’Mannin’s Pub, Bristol, TN
8 Riverbend Festival, Riverfront, Chattanooga, TN
21 Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC
11 Krankies, Winston-Salem, NC
12 The Southern, Charlottesville, VA
13 Sixth & I, Washington, D.C.
16 Joe’s Pub, New York, NY
18 Milkboy, Philadelphia, PA
19 Brighton Music Hall, Boston, MA
22 The Brillobox, Pittsburgh, PA
24 Schuba’s, Chicago, IL
25 Headliners, Louisville, KY
16 Port City RibFest, Wilmington, NC