The 13th Annual Toy Drive!!
A Tribute to Willie Nelson!!!
For the last 12 years I have been proud to curate and host the annual Toy Drive to benefit Harbor House in my home of Appleton, WI.
It has been more than a decade of punk shows, folk shows, rock and roll shows, and tribute shows featuring dozens of artists in 5 locations over the years. All with a ton of help from my saintly wife.
Even at the height of COVID the Toy Drive found a life online and raised nearly $6,000 with videos submitted by musicians from all over the world.
To date we have raised over $42,500 dollars and collected more than 3,000 toys without ever taking a cent from the cause to pay an artist or a venue. 100% of the money we raise goes directly to Harbor House so that when people give, they know what they’re giving to.
This year we are at Gibson Community Music Hall with a tribute to the great Willie Nelson featuring performances by Matt Blake, Victor James, Zach Pietrini, Justin Regner, and myself. We'll have raffles from local businesses, an art auction from the wonderful Chad Brady, and who knows what else. I have learned to expect to be surprised. Just make sure to bring some cash for raffles and for the donation at the door. I do know that we are definitely giving away a turntable and speakers courtesy of my friends at Eroding Winds and tattoos from my friends at Silver Tuna and lots, lots more.
One of the big differences the last couple of years is what we hope to collect. The primary goal of the event is to help Harbor House and the people utilizing their services, so as those needs change our goals change with them.
This year we're hoping to help keep Harbor House stocked with necessities, as well as provide a little holiday cheer for some teens and adults. To that end you can find a current list of needs below and do your shopping accordingly.
This event means a great deal to me and I’m proud of not only what it has done, but how we’ve done it. It exists because people care as much as they do. I’m eternally grateful to every artist, every business, every venue, my wife for all of her help, and everyone who has ever lent a hand to help the cause. And it’s fun too, I can promise you that.
I look forward to seeing you on December 9 at Gibson Community Music Hall (who have graciously donated their space again this year) to have some fun and do some good. Tell a friend, check the list, do some shopping, and know that you’re part of something big and important.
visit www.harborhousewi.org to learn more about the important work they do.
Christopher Gold is a Kentucky-born songwriter living in Wisconsin. Together with his band The New Old Things he has written and recorded folk songs, country songs, rock & roll songs, and everything in between citing a love for songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, John Prine, and anybody else whose work begins with paper and pen. He travels primarily as a solo act, carrying on the folk tradition of performances that blend music, storytelling, and humor.
I hate bios. I’m told that they are important, but I hate them. It’s always some horrible piece of fluff written by the very person it is about, but written in third person to try to fool the reader into thinking that anyone other than the subject themselves thinks they are “taking the scene by storm” or some such nonsense. But my main problem with a bio, on a personal level, is that it doesn’t talk about what you’re doing; it talks about what you’ve done. And what I’ve done is never as interesting to me as what I’m doing or what I’m getting ready to do.
What I’m typically getting ready to do is play a show or make a record. And that sounds way more exciting to me than the fact that I’ve put out a bunch of other records and played a bunch of other shows. A lot of the things that I’ve done were exciting at the time, and they are memories that I cherish, but they’re not things that I hope define me. If I’m anything beyond a husband and a father, I’d like to think that I’m a songwriter. And I write a lot of them. I once heard somebody say that you can’t call yourself something unless you do it regularly and often, so I’m a songwriter.
These last few years I’ve been averaging a record about every 9 months. The last time somebody told me that was really something, I reminded them that my lovely wife made our beautiful boy in 9 months, so 10 songs shouldn’t really be all that impressive. But I hope people like them.
That said, if you must know a little history, I was born in Owensboro, Kentucky. I moved a lot as a kid, but spent a big chunk of time in Wyoming before settling in Wisconsin. It’s cold here in a way that I’ve never gotten used to, but I live in a town with good schools, great friends, and an excellent record store. I played in garage bands and punk bands and metal bands and I love all of those things still, but folk/country/bluegrass has always dominated the largest part of my musical heart. It's one of many things that I'm happy to share with my dad. I recorded my first solo record in my basement. In the spirit of progress I recorded the second one in my bedroom. The third one was done in the back room of a recording studio, and by the fourth I had moved to an actual studio. I do my stuff live over the course of a day or two the way Dylan and Petty did. Everybody did it that way. And I like it. I think we get something special when we all play together. And by “we” I mean whichever group of people is playing with me under the name The New Old Things.
I play a lot of shows and I feel very fortunate to have played some of those shows with some truly wonderful musicians and people. I’ve gotten to share stages with Rodney Crowell, Justin Townes Earle, Chuck Ragan, William Elliott Whitmore, Austin Lucas, Charlie Parr, Mandolin Orange, Jamestown Revival, and a whole bunch of others. I got to travel back home to Owensboro to play ROMP Fest with people like John Prine, Punch Brothers, Del McCoury, Sam Bush, and a long list of talented folks. I even won the Wisconsin Area Music Industry award for singer/songwriter of the year. Awards for art are weird, and sometimes even calling what I do “art” is weird, but it was flattering and nice.
But still, for me it is always going to be about songs. There are old ones, there are these ones, and there will be new ones. And I would love to come play them for you sometime.
From the album "You Are a Ghost" available 5/17/16
From the album "You Are a Ghost" available 5/17/16
Roll On with Oliver
Download this song at https://christophergold.bandcamp.com/track/roll-on-feat-oliver-gold
"Winter Wind" the first single from the new album "Whichever Way Home" out on May 13.
"Roll On" the second single from the new album "Whichever Way Home" out on May 13.
Girls in their Dresses
"Girls in their Dresses" the third single from the new album "Whichever Way Home" out on May 13.