Tucson Americana singer-songwriter Eb Eberlein is hitting the road in July for his first-ever bona fide tour.
He’ll load his guitar and equipment and clothes into his small travel trailer and follow a route he’s drawn connecting cities and towns he’s playing from Phoenix to Utah, with stops in Prescott and Flagstaff and small towns in Colorado and Utah.
“My goal was no more than four hours between gigs,” said Eberlein. “I’m doing it in a line.”
The tour comes months after the release of Eberlein’s double CD “Solitude” and “Community.” The project was inspired in part by his newfound single life after his wife of 20-plus years divorced him about two years ago. Not long afterward, he moved into a cabin near Young, about an hour’s drive north of Roosevelt Lake. Every few weeks he would make the nearly four-hour drive from the pines to Tucson to see his kids and grandkids.
His life in the cabin, where he is the unofficial caretaker of the neighboring Unitarian Universalist Church camp, inspired “Solitude.” The disc opens with “When the Wind Blows,” a song Eberlein penned in a nook in the Grand Canyon, and winds its way through the reflective, more contemplative moments in his life, from recalling his abusive childhood (“The Belt”) to meditating with his faithful pooch (“Om With Auggie”).
“Community” celebrates life among his family and friends, opening with the life-reaffirming “I’m a Tucsonan,” an upbeat response to the Gabby Giffords shooting. The album includes “For the River,” a song born back in 1976 during one of the New York native and former Forest Service tech’s early Grand Canyon explorations and completed nearly 30 years later; and “Back to New Orleans,” an ode to the hurricane-ravaged city where he and his ex-wife adopted two of their children.
“It comes from my view of the world and wanting to stay positive,” said Eberlein, 65, who also taught public school in Tucson for a couple decades and operated a Grand Canyon trails guide service for 10 years.
This weekend, Eberlein is back in Tucson for several shows — call them dress rehearsals for the big July tour — starting with an appearance alongside Slim Edelman with Mike and Randy’s 420 Show at the Hut, 305 N. Fourth Ave., at 4:20 p.m. Saturday, June 16. On Sunday, June 17, he’s doing double-duty at Monterey Court, 505 W. Miracle Mile. He’s joining Nancy Elliott & Friends for the Sunday brunch show beginning at 10 a.m. then returns at 6 p.m. for a fundraising show with Jacques Taylor & the Real Deal featuring Meka Love, Al Perry and Felicia Chew.
“I just love performing,” said Eberlein, who hosts a weekly hiking show on KXCI.