We headed back out to the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival again this spring.
It was good to see everybody, as usual. It was extremely wet by the second day, but a very good time again.
We played on Fri. right after the huge rain storm began, the power even went out once, somehow it gave the whole thing a more communal feel. stomping and shouting and splashing around.
That was cool for the first few hours, then it just got annoying and wet.
We also played the Kraken Bar, which we had never done before. It was a pretty cool time. They allow dogs and we like dogs. I will say their muzzles were all supiciously wet, alcoholic dogs, maybe?
We headed down to Florida, to hit the same old suspects, plus a couple of new spots. Always good to see the folks at the Ale and the Witch and the Belle Isle Yacht Pub and Will's Pub, of course.
We did Bryan Childs 9 Bullets radio show in Tampa, which he claims will soon be called the Sad Bastard Song Club. Then we drank a lot of craft beers with said Bryan Childs at a place called Southern Brewing Company, I believe. Really good beer and neither one of us likes craft beer.
This caused us to be late for our show at the 8th Avenue Pub in Safety Harbor, but I think we still pulled it off o.k., despite having to play the whole night, which means, covers(not my favorite thing) and more work. Luckily our buddy Animal jammed along with us and we made it through.
Thanks to everybody who helped on this run and everybody who didn't can piss off. Another one's coming soon.
Saturday evening, we did the C.C.U.A. Harvest Hootenanny, for the 3rd year.
I guess we got in on the ground floor, what a great, great, event.
I could go on for paragraphs and pages about how dedicated, welcoming and amazingly sincere these people are.
I guess it's just living proof of what people can accomplish, when they really want to do it and work together. It's like one of those Hollywood sports movies, but in real life and with hippies.
The Columbia Tribune said there were over 1,000 people there and if the Trib says it, I believe it, it's printed on paper.
I just knew there were a lot of people around when we played.
Sunday we did a benefit for the renewable energy ballot initiative at Mojos.
It was called Power to the People. I'm sure it was all well intentioned and
so forth and etc., but I did not dig it. I agree with most of what it was for, or we wouldn't have played it, but...
I don't like anything that is set up with the idea of conversation and debate, but ends up preaching to the choir.
Also, when you're donating your time and think it's a donations event and show up to a sign demanding either twelve or fifteen dollars to get in and get hassled to buy raffle tickets before you can load your gear in, it starts to feel like you've been taken advantage of... best I can say is, poorly executed.
Tonight I did a solo set, opening for a band from San Diego called the Silent Comedy. Really cool guys, really rockin' show.
I recommend you check them out. They've been featured on The History Channel's Hatfields and McCoys mini-series, so if they're good enough for Kevin Costner, they're good enough for you.
We leave in about 4 hours for Knoxville, we're playing with Glossary, at the Well.
It will be the next step in a really fun week. I'll write about it soon.
So, since the 15th of May, when the last update was done, that's a lot of
space to cover.
We have written new songs and recorded them and played a pretty fair amount of shows, with old friends and new.
It's interesting, in the last couple of years we have played for a 100th birthday party, until 4a.m. and at 7:30 a.m., recorded 30 some songs and played hundreds of shows all over the South and MidWest. We, however, certainly still
feel we're at the very beginning of what we're trying to do, because we are.
As October starts, we'll be heading out for shows that take us far SouthEast
and far SouthWest. We know, very firmly that we would have no chance of doing any of them without a support system of friends and family that is consistently more welcoming and enthusiastic than we could possibly deserve.
We recorded 10 songs a couple of months ago with Johnny Kenepaske at his Dead Horse Sound Company studio in Independence, MO. We did everything in probably less than 16 hours of recording and had a blast doing it.
It's kind of a big step for us, when we started doing this we didn't know if we'd ever go back in a big studio again. Johnny's place was sort of dipping our toe back into actual production, but trying to keep it pretty rough and ready at the same time.
The record shoud be available online around the 16th of October and we're all ready selling c.d.'s at the shows. They have an extra song on them that won't be available online, until someone uploads it less legitimately (not that we're against that).
We've played shows with our buddies in the area, like Scott Ford and Dave & Dyno and jammed with many talented musicians.
We did a Labor Day Ramble, inspired by Levon Helm's legendary efforts (I feel like and hope that's happening all over the world) and shared the stage with people I had wondered if I would ever get to play with (and in one case see) again.
It was a huge rousing success for all involved and I think paid off the mortgage on a local taco truck.
So, that's about where we stand, getting ready to do a couple of shows for good causes and then head out to North Carolina, for our 3rd time at Shakori Hills and first time in Greensboro. We also get to go back to Knoxville, which is awesome.
We hope to see everybody soon and I'll be updating this as we get back on the road and head for all these familiar and new places and experiences. Check the shows page, as things will be expanding rapidly.
We drove up from Florida to find finals week at MTSU, or whatever they
call it now.
So, meh. Nice place though.
We took a 2 lane highway across from one side of the state to the other.
It was kind of a long boring drive, but we saw a police monster truck.
Yes, that's right, a police monster truck. If only I had the fast twitch phone
response to get a picture.
The show was o.k., not too many folks, in a very small place.
Everybody was very nice though and we did sell a couple of things
before we headed out.
We made the drive back to Bradenton that night, as the rest of the Johnson
siblings were rolling in.
All right, we're back up and running.
We just got done doing two shows w/Adam Lee and J.P. Harris.
Always a pleasure. Both bands will pretty much country your face off.
It was a good winter, we played several shows, made our first run to
Chicago and met a lot of new folks.
In a few days we leave for a run through N.C. and points South.
We come back into Missouri to play our first Blue Note show.
So, lots of things going on.
We are going to be recording a full length, whatever you call it these days, over the summer.
For the first time we will be turning over a lot of the recording control to someone else.
I will be updating this blog throughout these events, although there will
be radio silence during the Shakori Hills Festival.
Come out and see us.
We're getting very, very good at Cadillac repair. Little stuff, nothing big.
Our winter has been slow, but semi successful.
We've played some shows, but only the ones we really wanted to
and that's very nice.
Now, though, it's time to get back to work.
We're ramping up to release a full length record at the end of
the summer and take our first steps outside the U.S.
It seems like a long time from now, but it's not.
We're heading out in April to go back to Shakori Hills in NC and through
Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama to boot. We're also taking our
first Nebraska trip. Lots of miles, lots of fun and hopefully a bunch
of new friends.
Hope to see everyone soon.
Well, we've reached the slow time of the year.
We're doing a couple of shows before Christmas, but that's
about it for the year.
Enjoy whichever thing you choose to celebrate this year.
I'm not sure what the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster's
winter festival is, but I bet it's awesome.
Hope to see all our old friends in Chicago in January.
Several new shows posted, in various parts of the country.
Many more to come.
The new record is, in fact, up at itunes, amazon, cd baby and I'm sure some others.
It's 6 songs for less than $6.
That means I'm going to start shuffling some music around on the site.
Thursday starts a pretty busy month of shows.
I'll try to write about all of them. It should get entertaining.
Assuming I get really mad somewhere in there.
I know people don't buy music anymore, but do it anyway.
We are up and running.
I won't say we're getting a lot done, but we will get done.
As this finishes several things are going to change on the site.
There will only be a couple of songs up and only to listen to,
after that it will be buy, buy, buy.
So, you'd better download what you can, while you can.
We are still looking to fill in a couple of shows, one or two in Florida
(if it's still there after this weekend) and one on the way to Shakori
Hills, so let us know if you want us to play in your living room.
I maintain that's where we sound the best anyway, in your living room.
Just not in mine, because I don't want to clean up.
Brock's slaving away on the artwork for the recording, as well as playing
Doc is making sure the proper people, animals, things and smells get barked
I refuse to do much of anything, other than play and record and mix and
master and cook lunch and do dishes, sometimes and... mostly sleep
and watch tv.
It ain't diggin' ditches son.