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.
We had a really good time at the Monday parades and got up at 5a.m. to roll out early (don't ask). Right as we were rolling up on the bridge we saw Zulu rolling from the Convention Center parking lot, pretty cool.
The ride home consisted of me being pissed about having to drive first, even though I didn't have to be back, rain, hail and a lot of singing ridiculous songs.
I won't say it was easier travelling with 3 people instead of two, but it did lead to a couple of hilarious situations. I doubt we'll do it again for a bit, but who knows.
Well, we've been having a good time. Brock and I and "the Worlds Worst Merch Girl" (WWMG from hear on out) headed out and did the whole deal.
We went down to lovely Springfield, MO hung out with a lot of our friends and saw the timeless Jonathon Richman. What an awesome show. When the show is so good Lou Whitney's standing on a table, you know it's good.
The next night we played with the NightHawks, always good to see those fellows. Also, all the other folks that make up the whole Outland, DugOut scene. It was especially cool to run into our buddy Doug from the Ben Miller Band and various other projects, nobody is quite like that guy. We'll get to see them again at Shakori Hills and just thinking about it makes me happy.
WWMG misplaced the merch $, but I found it, still haven't told her where.
The next day we took off for Memphis. We had never been to, or played the P&H Cafe before, it turned out to be cool. The other band didn't show, but we got a really nice reaction. We played a pretty long set, talked to some people and sold some stuff, then headed out for NOLA that night. I think we may have spent almost as much money playing video mini golf as we made, but man that machine is addictive (thanks Matt Woods).
The drive was fine I did a few hours, Brock did a few hours and I drove the last hour and a half. Maybe my favorite drive in the world, rolling into NOLA with OZ blaring the Brass Band Half Hour. We hit NOLA about 7:30 a.m. and started to drinking.
To Be Continued...
We've had a good winter so far, had some fun playing with the cast of characters for the Bocomo Ramble on New Years Eve and playing Steve Earle songs at Mojos. I guess all we have to do is tell people we're not playing our own songs and hundreds of people show up.
We just got back from a weekend spent in Springfield, with our buddy Matt Netzer, it's always a good time. We also played a really long show for a 417 magazine event called, "Whiskey Fest". 1000's of bottles of whiskey sitting around to be tasted for free. Suprisingly, it was a fairly low key event. We only saw a few stumblers and nobody puked in the ballroom, as far as I could tell. It seems like a dangerous idea to give people tons of free whiskey, but the fairly high ticket price and a classy atmosphere seemed to keep most people under control.
I can't say I was too unhappy to see 2012 go away. It was a tough year on a personal level, but hell, maybe they all are.
We did put the new recording for sale online recently. It only has 9 songs in the online version, for reasons you'll have to ask us about in person, but it's still a good thing to have, I think.
Anyway, we're heading out to do a few shows the week before Mardi Gras in February and we'll be doing another "big long run" in April. Summer should bring some new recordings. The details on that stuff will be here, or on the Facebook page Brock runs, or both.
Will Walker is an awesome fellow, who loves a good party.
His new place, Lil Indies, is right next door to Wills Pub, where
we played last time in Orlando.
It was the grand opening event, but that didn't stop Will from
taking us from down the street and getting us giant glasses
of whiskey, which I guess pass for shots.
We played 2 sets, one was pretty organized and business like.
The second was an explosion of whatever the hell we wanted
to do. It was really fun. Also, there was a live band karaoke
of Fugazi's 13 Songs at Wills, so cool.
We met a nice metal bass player named Melanie, so I got to
talk about metal some, but, I think I just yammered about
Iron Maiden for a long while.
Anyway, pretty cool night.
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.
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.
We woke up early, to get the rental car and be out of town by 9a.m., only to get a ridiculous run-around from our rental car company. I have always had good dealings with the company, but have now lost my fan-boy status. I'm not going to get all Kevin Smith about it, but I think we were visually profiled.
After switching companies and being immediately upgraged to a small AWD SUV, we finally hit the road for Nashville around noon (I know, right?).
Let me just say, this trip was a pain in the ass, travel-wise. It seemed that every set of directions we got were in some way faulty.
We hit a tremendous traffic jam in downtown Nashville, then got lost for a while and were about an hour late to the club.
Anyone who knows me, knows I hate being late for shows. HATE. Combine that, with a nasty cold (my second of the winter) and my mood was a bit volatile.
Luckily, everyone at Dan McGuinness was very nice, special thanks go out to Doc, who runs Doc's Music Night there, just a truly nice man. Also, smoking inside is still the coolest (don't smoke kids).
The bluegrass band that played before us was particularly apt and played many of the classic bluegrass songs I love. What a bunch of great players ( I know, big shock in Nashville). The mandolin player, Scott, playing a fine Randy Wood f-5, pinned my ears back.The banjo player was equal, if not better, unfortunaltely his name is lost to my booze-soaked brain. It could be age too, I guess. Also, there was a Ron Block sighting.
Our set went very well, we sold some stuff, hung out for a couple of hours and buckled in for the drive to Bradenton.