Upcoming Shows

Dear Friend, Fans, Fam,

Here are some things I have been thinking about lately.

  1. I have been reading a book called Reading Lolita in Tehran. I also recently read Watership Down for the first time. I continue to try to read Infinite Jest and get distracted. Think of me what you will.
  2. There is a new coffee shop RIGHT ON MY CORNER and it’s a good thing I can’t drink coffee because the cafe is adorable and chill and they are really nice and I would spend all my money there. (err…. here. I’m writing this update from the cafe. I got a cheese pie.)
  3. I am ridiculously excited to be playing a bunch of shows for you, soon. It all starts at a pair of House Concerts in Michigan and Indiana, which you can probably get an invite to if you contact me. I’m happy to pass on your info to the hosts and see what kind of space they have.

August 12 in Pinckney, MI (near Ann Arbor) and August 13 in Lawrenceburg, IN (across from Perfect North Slopes, not far from Cincinnati).

THEN August 14th I’ll skip back to NYC where it will be my honor and pleasure to play my 3rd Big City Folk Fest at the LIC Bar. Their back yard is like a Beer Garden in the summer and it great and beautiful and you should come (it’s going on the night before, too, so if you’re not in Indiana with me, check it out!).

And finally August 18th I’ll be playing Sidewalk Cafe’s Anti-Folk Fest on the Lower East Side right before David Warpaint, who I adore.

All of these dates are on my shows page. But you know what dates are not? FALL AND WINTER TOUR!

That’s right. Coming soon to a town near you! Hopefully! (Unless you don’t live in the midwest or South… in which case – 2017!)

We’ll be announcing tour dates soon, so stay tuned, but in the mean time, if you know of a spot between NYC and KC that you just LOVE or if you’d like to host a house concert in early October, please reach out to killinfinitybooking@gmail.com or facebook.com/jokroger. Same for if you are between NYC and the Florida for early December! I promise to get you all the tour dates as soon as the final few are locked in.

I truly can’t wait to get back on the road and spend time with so many familiar and new faces. See you SOON.

RELEASE DAY

Dearest Friends, Fans, Family,

I once had a mentor lean over to a friend of mine and whisper that I needed to save a little for me. They were talking about a performance where I was a particularly sobbing wrecked mess of a person and he was right. I wear my heart on my sleeve in such a way that even if I think I’ve covered it up with six different sweaters I don’t realize that it is still outlined and light-up and ridiculously evident beneath every layer. (It’s definitely a fashion problem) So sometimes I pull back a little. Throw a guard up the best I can. Let you guys draw your own conclusions without my in-your-face stories.

But today…

Today I want you to know where this album comes from, and where I am going.

Because today we made it. Today, The Simplest goes from my hands to yours for good.

Many of you know it’s been a rough couple years, but even in talking about that I’ve been a little vague. Almost a year ago now, we lost my father to Colon Cancer. The same dad you’ve heard me say a million times used to play on the edge of my bed many nights in lieu of story-time.

As I said in January, I haven’t really wanted to play or write much. I heard an interview with Ingrid Michaelson on Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist podcast where they both talk about losing a parent and wanting to turn that grief into motivation to move forward and make art that would make their parents proud. It was really inspirational.

It wasn’t me.

I’ve tried. Believe me I’ve tried. But mostly I’d just end up listless and finally had to admit that I wasn’t going to force my way through this depression no matter how many new projects I dreamed up to push myself to the other side. No matter how many times I forced myself to write when I didn’t feel like it, no matter how many shows I booked, I was depressed. I was grieving. I still am.

Shortly before my dad was diagnosed, Dalton and I started making this album. The closing song, Ruby Slippers, was written after a week of nights spent on the couch in Dad’s room in the ICU. Around the time he went into Hospice, we were just about finished with recording and mixing. As I thought about releasing and touring, I kept imagining getting the call – suddenly having to cancel the rest of the dates and running home. I knew it just wasn’t the right time.

My dad was a fighter when it came to staying alive. He planned (not hoped, planned) to live to 110 until his last day. He cherished the fight. I can’t tell you how many different ways he told me to get up and dust myself off as a child. “Can’t” was a four letter word. “Eat the bear” he’d say. He’d quote Yoda, “There is no ‘try’”.

So even though it is still dark and hard and hazy, I keep trucking, hearing his voice (like so many dads and moms) reminding me that “This, too, shall pass.” And I know it will. Not missing him. That probably won’t ever pass. Neither will wishing he was around for this holiday or that event or just to hear his voice. But the haze. The tar pits. The listlessness. That will pass.

That’s the promise I was banking on when I picked this album back up and decided it was time to give it birth into the world. As I’ve been working with Jenni, Caitlin, Phil, and Dalton, for the show tonight, I can honestly say I’ve started to feel the spark again. I cannot wait to share it with you. I cannot wait to share this album with you, courtesy of the guy who always told me to get back out there.

Thank you for listening, for supporting, for loving music. I hope you like this little album. It already likes you.

New Album Streaming on Songwriting Mag

Friends, Fans, Family,

I cannot believe it is here. I mean, it’s not here, because technically we release this coming Friday, March 26th, but as of now, Songwriting Mag is streaming the new album in its entirety on their website, which you can listen to HERE:

EXCLUSIVE! ‘The Simplest EP’ by Jo Kroger

Thank you to Songwriting Mag UK, and thank you to every one of you who has listened to the new songs pre-released. I cannot wait for this Friday. Come down to Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3 to celebrate with myself, Caitlin Mahoney, Jenni Lind of Maude Gun, Phil Harris (of SO many different bands) and Dalton Deschain of Dalton Deschain and the Traveling Show.

Upcoming Single Release!

Dearest ALL-

I gotta tell you about a thing.

This single release has to be one of the finished products I’m the most proud of so far. Most of this song and its arrangement were born on a hyper-focused and emotionally raw day in the winter. I began writing early in the morning in my “office” (a corner of my old living room), then migrated to my friends Brielle and Jake’s house, two people to whom I owe an unpayable debt of gratitude for music inspiration and support.

While Brielle scared her cats with the vacuum and did some writing herself, I plugged away on a borrowed guitar and my iPad in their bedroom. I finished the night in Jake’s former studio near the Ice Rink in Long Island City, locked away obsessively writing the bridge and adding the siren-like violin sample until the latest hours of the night that turn early again. It was the kind of writing you hope every song will be born out of (and usually isn’t) with heightened emotions, laser focus, and sonic inspiration beating against your brain to get out.

It was the first song that Dalton Deschain, who produced this album, ever heard me play, and he heard my play it the first time I took it out in public. I think it’s fitting that now, on our first album together, it’s the song that embodies the height of our collaboration to me. Every time I heard another edit, another mix, I was more and more amazed at what he was able to do with my migratory composition.

I am incredibly grateful to GroundSounds for premiering it. I hope you like it.

NYC based folk-rock songstress Jo Kroger premieres “Telephone Call”

(ps – if you want lyrics, feel free to visit the bandcamp page when the album goes live!)

Good news, everyone! (Is anyone else a Futurama fan?)(unashamed), Today the track “Simplest” from the upcoming EP has been released! You can check it out at the soundcloud link above.

Also, we have a new website coming your way – designed by the fabulous, amazing Caitlin Cook. Keep an eye out!

I want to reach out and give every single one of you a hug. This past year was rough, to say the very least, but the support from friends, fans, and family has been incredible, and I’m brimming over with thanks. As health declined and turned into loss, I really never wanted to pick up my guitar again. I wanted to hide in a hole and not come out. Some days I felt like not-eating, somedays I felt crying, and most days I wanted silence. It stills blindsides me, but all of the warm faces at shows in the Midwest, the NorthEast, living rooms, listening rooms, loud bars, and quiet coffee shops kept me going. I’m looking forward to releasing this EP I’ve been working on for you for almost three years now, and hope to see you at a show this spring. Keep an eye out here or on Facebook for upcoming show dates and releases, and I’ll see you SOON.

So much love,
Jo

Oh you guys. I have neglected you.

It was a crazy summer. I moved apartments. I traveled a little. I hung in the studio a lot. I saw old friends. The world went nuts.

I have a lot to tell you. Soon. But for now, let me tell you that I’ll be playing October 7th at Pete’s Candy Store at 8pm.

And there is New Music coming out this fall! Are you excited?! You should be. It’s good.

All my LOVE

Mid-Holiday Season Update in Two Movements OR An Exercise in Parentheticals

 Hey Everybody! I started an update and it looked like this….

“Hello from snowy Ohio! I’m sitting in a Starbucks, watching the snow fall in a stripmall. Earlier today I was at Sidewinder Coffee in Northside (http://sidewindercoffee.com/new/) which would be a much cooler place to update from. They are an independent shop with locally roasted coffees and a pet rabbit in their back garden. It’s down the street from Shake it Records (http://www.shakeitrecords.com), which is the best place. And Melt (http://www.meltcincy.com/main/), which is the OTHER best place. I met up with my friend Sarah, who is one of my lifelong heroes, and she made me laugh and put up with my griping about things that have been miffing me for one reason or another lately.

But I’m not updating from there. I’m updating from a Starbucks. (None of these establishments sponsor me.)(But they all should.)(Hi! I’m an independent artist who sometimes gets hungry and/or wants a record and stops in Cincinnati and loves your establishments. Wanna give me a sandwich or sell my albums?)(I’m adding Sitwell’s, which is in Clifton, not in Northside, to that list)(Cause they’re great)(http://sitwellscoffeehouse.com/) (I’m not linking Starbucks because I’m pretty sure there is one in your living room.)

ANYWAY. A while back I was invited to play a songwriters’ series in Woodbury, CT, and agreed. It sounded pretty cool, from the in-the-round format, and the guy I knew who was involved with it. I went up there this past Saturday. I could not have anticipated how fun and warm and wonderful it was going to be. Not to mention how INSANELY CUTE the town of Woodbury is. Adorable. And it snowed and everything. ”

Wasn’t that a nice start to an update? But then so much stuff happened and I got distracted. I’ll have to tell you about it here:

So now I’m back home. Before that night in Starbucks, I had an amazing night playing in Columbus, OH at a little place called Wild Goose Creative, where my former bandmate Johnny Barton had set up a show so we could be reunited and have the best time. And we did. Have the best time.

His new band, Obstinate Orange, is great for dancing to… and people DANCED. Thanks Columbus, and friends from all around there for hanging out. Especially thanks to the opening band, who played their first EVER set that night. They were a group of local teenagers, and we went to town on a pre-show game of Boggle. Keep playing, Saints and Strangers, both music and Boggle. (Hey Boggle, wanna get in on this sponsorship thing?)

After that night in a Starbucks (after which I visited my brother and his dog totally ate my dinner. Jerk.)(The dog, not my brother)(although my brothers also used to steal my dinner)(but not in a mean way, they were just brothers)(disclaimer:my brothers and my brother’s dogs are great) and after Thanksgiving, and after an amazing MidWest Release Party for Troubled Night, I finally hopped on a Greyhound back in Columbus.

At my layover in Cleveland, a guy got real excited to see my guitar case, and struck up a conversation that started about guitars and ended up being about how he’d been on the road laying tile for a month and a half. He and the crew had just been paid the night before we met and had gone out partying, but their hotel room had been broken into and all their cash stolen.

I kept waiting to see if he was going to ask for money (sorry, nice tile-laying-guy, I’m a cynic) but he just continued to tell me a story that sounded like a real life version of “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”. I even mentioned that and he laughed and said yeah and tried to remember John Candy’s name.  “Yeah! That guy was in Uncle Buck! Remember Uncle Buck?” he asked and laughed.

So I hope he got home safe. And that his guitars weren’t stolen like he thought they’d be (I guess I’m not the only cynic, huh.).

I arrived back in New York at 9 the next morning and left again Friday to play in Alexandria, VA. Which is a story of its own. Suffice it to say it was an amazing weekend which I will update you about after I’ve started some laundry. I mean, this has been a pretty long update.

I hope everyone is cozy. I am amazed by this wonderful sparkly world we live in, even when it’s drab and grey and cold and wet like today. Here’s to you. And blankets. And Emma, wherever she may be.

xo

News and Nose

Heyhey – don’t forget get to check out the shows page! New shows are being added every week!

Also. You guys… THIS:

“Jo Kroger possesses a subtler brand of charisma not nlike a singer-songwriter such as Beth Orton or even Joni Mitchell. There’s a vulnerability in the performance that exposes the strength of Kroger’s truth, a quiet confidence that acts as a magnet drawing you in for a closer listen. The best performers don’t have to shout or scream to get their message across; it’s the words left unsung and the spaces between that say the most. With Troubled Night, Jo Kroger leaves the door wide open and invites us to walk through it, sit down and stay for a spell.”

Holy Shit. I opened up my inbox this week to THAT. It’s an excerpt from the first review of “Troubled Night.” You can read that whole review here: http://www.indie-music.com/ee/index.php/blog/comments/review_jo_kroger_troubled_night

Thanks to everyone at indie-music.com, especially Heidi Drockelman for your kind words and open ears!

THE VERY SAME DAY…. ANOTHER review appeared in my inbox:

“Kroger has created a perfect listening album that can be duplicated easily in any type of atmosphere, from a tiny coffee shop to even large venues. Any fans of well-written, passionate folk songs should do themselves a favor and giveTroubled Night a listen.”

Kerriann Curtis and Wordkrapht? You’re making me blush.
Here’s THAT review: http://wordkrapht.com/main/2013/11/11/jo-kroger-troubled-night/

You can follow those publications on twitter at @WORDKRAPHT and @indie_musiccom

About two weeks ago I got the stomach flu, and this week I’m battling respiratory DEATH, but I’ll tell you, nothing soothes my stuffy nose quite like good reviews.

Back to the tea………….. 🙂

Post Marathon Monday

This weekend was the ING New York Marathon and the whole city was abuzz (and the traffic was a-stop) on Sunday, including the show that night! Congratulations to the four runners we saw at LIC Bar post-race. Caitlin Mahoney, Warren Malone, and I had a blast celebrating with you.

Even when we’re not booking as a collective, Caitlin and I often end up on the same bill together like last night, and I couldn’t be happier about it. We have too much fun. In fact, I don’t think I’ve made an official announcement that Caitlin and I will be touring together late January, early February in Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, and England. We’re settling dates now, so if you want us to come to your town, and have a place we can play and stay, please contact us!

Thanks!

Happy Halloween!

Hey! You want to know what’s been going on? Let me tell you. We’ve been working on Visby Stone in the Studio, and finished retracking acoustic guitars this week. Dalton also added the lead as well as some other colors I can’t wait to share with you. If you haven’t heard this song, there’s a rough demo at https://soundcloud.com/jpeggysue/visby-stone . It’s been one of my favorites to play live this year. Check it out!

The Bangs Collective can be seen several times this coming autumn and have a big holiday show planned for you. Keep your eyes peeled so we can eat cookies and wear sweaters together!

Also, not long ago I appeared on a demo from Dalton Deschain’s upcoming EP, The Collateral Vignettes and will be appearing on the finished product. If you like your songs a little more rock and duet than my usual fare, check out the demo of this song about a girl with the most earnest of intentions who falls for the worst guy possible: https://soundcloud.com/daltondeschain/catherines-mistake-demo

I also had the incredible opportunity to reunite with ArtReach, Inc., recently, and take part in a remarkable songwriting workshop with Mary McBride at the helm. ArtReach does incredible work up in Norwich, CT and across the states for Mental Health awareness, stigma busting, artistic creativity, and healing. Please check them out and consider donating if you’re looking for a place to send your holiday good will. http://artreachheals.org/

Finally Big Thanks to WCNI in New London, CT for the radio play! I think you’re great, too!

xo