by Paul Doffing and Jen Tillman
Well, friends, the time has come to share the news:
In June we’re going to kick off a multi-year, international music tour by bicycle. As many of you know, we met one day in Montana while each bicycling across the country with a friend (shout out to Shaughn Dugan and Greg Tambornino!) in the summer of 2012. Once we’d met, it was very natural for us to continue down the road together, through another 3,000 miles of cycling that summer, through a winter in Minneapolis, and through 2 years of grad school for Jen and a second album and two more bicycle/music tours for Paul. Now we’ve got our hearts set on returning to the open road.
This winter Paul received a grant from the Iowa Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts to record his third studio album, Songs from the (quaking) Heart, and to bring sustainability focused performance events to 9 non-traditional spaces throughout Iowa by bicycle. These nine events will take place June 5-26 as we roll our way through central and eastern Iowa. After this string of performances, we will head north, through the driftless area of Wisconsin, and up the Mississippi to the Twin Cities. We’ll arrive in Minneapolis for an album release show on July 3, 2015.
From there we will continue northbound to Duluth, MN and then eastward along the southern shore of Lake Superior, across northern Wisconsin and into Michigan’s upper peninsula. Here we’ll stop for a show at a lovely looking apiary and meadery called Algomah Acres. Then we’ll take a 2 week break as Paul’s rock project, Men on Horseback, will swoop us up via automobile and tour the midwest in support of their debut album. Info at: www.menonhorseback.com
(Above: Crossing into California, 2012)
Back on the bikes on August 11, we’ll play a few more shows in the U.P. before heading south, crossing into mainland Michigan and following U.S. Bike Route 35 down Lake Michigan’s eastern shoreline. We’ll arrive in Chicago around the 10th of September. From there, we head southwest to the MIssissippi, follow it down to Memphis, TN, make a left turn and head across TN to Asheville, NC where we’ll spend the winter months working on a small farm and planning the route for 2016.
Winter 2015: Live and work on a small, sustainably-focused farm in the Carolinas
Spring 2016: Once the ground thaws, head north to the NY area, playing shows along the way
Summer 2016: Head to Europe! We'll take the Freedom From Fuel Tour internationally for the first time.
Beyond 2016: Take the Freedom From Fuel Tour to South America, Asia, and beyond!
Though we're using our savings and the revenue from the shows we play along the route to fund the tour, we've launched a kickstarter campaign to help support the trip. The money we raise will go towards: airfare, international postage to ship bicycles and gear, health insurance, lots of food, and bicycle repairs/parts as we make the trip. Support if you can, and don't forget to share the campaign!