Monday, April 30, 2007

Weissenborn (copy)


I bought a mahogany Weissenborn copy by Gold Tone today. It's a pretty hip instrument.
Michelle & I enjoyed our last simultaneous day off. We visited the zoo. However, the school field trips were so crazy that we didn't stay. (We've got a yearly pass, so no harm done). Oh well.

Hot Fuzz


I got home early this morning. 3am to be precise. I finally woke up by 10am. Michelle & I went to the Inman Park Festival today. It was sooo crowded. We also saw the movie "Hot Fuzz." It was pretty good. I am trying to go to sleep & failing miserably... I am tired though.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Valdosta, GA


Ah yes, Wild Adventures. They built quite a performance shed at the south Georgia theme park. I finally caught a full Outlaws set. They're pretty good. Our set was kind of strange. We never really caught a good groove. We would've benefited a real sound check today.
I watched the NFL draft today. It's normally the Saturday near my birthday... this year it was a week later. I've remember 2001, where I watched the draft in a hangover stooper. That was the year that the Falcons drafted Michael Vick #1. Financially it was a good move. As far as winning, he's been a bust... especially in the last two years.
It was a "defensive end" draft (5 in the first round, 24 overall, 2 from UGA). I can't believe that Brady Quinn slipped to #23. Everyone thought he would go in the top 5. It goes to show that "everyone" doesn't know shit.

Greenville, SC


Night one of the 2007 Volunteer Jam: The Outlaws, The Marshall Tucker Band, & The Charlie Daniels Band. It was a "home town" show for MTB tonight at the Bi-Lo Center. It was great to see some of the faces that I haven't seen in a long time backstage. The highlight of our set was original drummer Paul Riddle getting up & playing "This Ol' Cowboy" with us. No one on this planet plays that groove quite like he does. It's such an interesting beat.
Charlie's set was amazing. Pat McDonald's drum solo was inspiring. It makes you want to practice. He invited a ton of us up for "The South's Gonna Do It Again." It was a reallly good night.
I still don't feel 100% though. I need some more sleep.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Train


I rolled out of bed & made my way to The Westin dowtown. I had a soundcheck with Train at 4pm. I'm filling in for Brandon Bush by playing piano on an acoustic version of 'Drops of Jupiter.' You may have heard that song.
Anyway, the event tonight was crazy. Leslie Fram & Ryan Cameron hosted the NARAS Heros Honors. The late Mike Clark, Trisha Yearwood, Organized Noise Productions, & Ludacris were the recipients.
I saw Garth Brooks up close. It was weird. He's above the threshold of celebrity awe for me. McCartney, Nicholson, Jordan, & Pacino are other names that I would lose my shit over if they were in the same room. It was just strange.
Pat & Jimmy from Train are pretty nice guys. It was just an overwhelming event.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

CUT


I spent all day in the bed. I left the house at 4 to go get my hair cut. Alli Causey cut my hair in half. It is above my shoulders now. I guess that you could say that I look respectable. I need more rest.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Damn IT!


Everytime I deprive myself of good sleep over a week I get sick. There's no way around it.
I had a session booked for all day for a group that Shawn is producing. I had to leave around noon to drive to Snellville to see my doctor. He basically told me to get as much sleep as possible & take as much Vitamin C as possible over the next 3 days. I'll probably watch as much TV as possible as well.

Day Off?


I really didn't have much to do today. I had lunch with Michelle & my Mom. I visited Craig Eck at his work. After dinner, I attended the mastering of Gareth Asher's album. Alex Lowe did a great job mastering it.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Birthdays Everywhere


Happy Birthday to Kip Conner & my Mom. One of them is 33. We had lunch with my Mom... & didn't do much after that. Michelle gets frustrated with these type of days, but I love 'em.

Jeff's Last Stance


Last night was wonderful. I thank all that participated, attended, & worked last night. All performaces were as good or better than I hoped for.
Today was slow. I was slow. Thank God I didn't have a head ache. I was pretty much held down by SLOW.
Michelle & I had Savage Pizza & we loaded up the Jeep with all the equipment from Eddie's. Shortly after we got home, I packed the Jeep back up with different equipment & made my way to Duluth.
I played with Shawn tonight at Tavern on the Bridge. The gig had all of the makings of a disaster. However, it went great. Matthew Kahler opened up. I don't get to see him enough. Happy Birthday to Kip Conner.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Berfday


I drank a lot of tequila. The show was kick ass. Better details sober chicken sleep...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gatlinburg, TN


There was a morning bus call in Spartanburg. I just hit the bunk after breakfast & slept until Gatlinburg (4 hour drive in a tour bus). It was a little rainy when we got here. I spent most of the day listening to The Beatles' White Album, for obvious reasons. Dinner was provided by The Hard Rock Cafe acroos the street. We played outside for Gatlinburg's Ribfest. It was a great turn out & a great show. I must say that it was a rather loud show. I know that's a little redundant when talking about The Marshall Tucker Band, but it was true. I'm so excited... I hope I get some sleep tonight.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Spartanburg?


We were suppposed to play in Myrtle Beach, SC tonight... due to some contractual "problems." Oh well... I get a per diem instead of a showpay. However, I get some well needed laundry time.
Some one broke a switch off of my pedal steel in NC on Saturday. It's the 3-way switch that selects between the two necks on the steel guitar. I found a replacement switch (the exact same model & make) at an electronics store on Asheville Highway.
I hope that I can get some rest. Heron Circle in Spartanburg has many temptations; outside of food, there's not a lot to do though.

Atlantic City, NJ


So the first 100 days are over. Give or take a few. What have you done differently this year that you didn't do last year? Did you stick to your New Years' Resolution? My Dad has. I have. This blog is part of my resolution.
Things are coming together for the Birthday Explosion. T-Minus 4 days & counting.
We had a pretty good performance tonight. The crowd was weird. We played for DARE of NJ. It was basically a room full of cops who would've rather talked than listen or pay attention. On gigs like that you just play as good as you can & get your check. We're leaving for Spartanburg in a few minutes. Our gig for tomorrow night has been cancelled... the promoter screwed up & advertized... even though it was supposed to be a private event. Well, back on the bus!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This hotel room is sucking my life away...


I woke up in New Jersey. Things COULD be better. We left NC in the middle of the night & here we are: Atlantic City, NJ. We checked in before noon. I had the worst buffett that I've ever had... & it was $17+tip. After a few phone calls, I watched TV. That's all you can do here. Thank God for my Baby Taylor. I had dinner at Hooters. It was actually better than the buffett. After being extremely bored all night, I walked downstairs & asked the lady at the desk "which is the fastest way to walk to The Harrah's casino." She told me that it was NOT safe at night outside. That totally deflated me & I went upstairs to write this blog & go to sleep.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Stand


We had today off in Jacksonville, NC. I am a sucker for Stephen King made for TV movies... no matter how bad they are. "The Stand" was on The SciFi Network today. Five hours of KING & commercials. I'm going to turn in early and get ready for the upcoming week. Let's do this, SON!

Cape Carteret, NC


I woke up at 8am in Jacksonville, NC. The area surrounding the hotel has visited Bosnian level of tragedy. Frankly, it isn't much to look at. I accomplished almost nothing today. I did some writing. Not much... some. We left for the gig at 10pm. The gig was hot, smoky, & loud. Usually, when I sing "Ramblin'" I still have something left in the tank by the end of the song. It wasn't the case tonight. I was glad the night was over. I'm so tired that I'm not going to take a shower tonight. Pants off... in the bed.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Columbia, SC


After a great night last night, we took our time driving to Columbia. The truck & the bus split up. The bus went to the Atlanta airport & the truck went to Columbia. We picked up Stuart Swanlund at the airport. The gig tonight was a little strange. We played a fundraiser for a sorority at The Columbia Zoo. During "Can't You See" the stage filled up with girls in 'formal dresses.' It filled up so much that I had to get on the drum riser to make eye contact with everyone to keep it together. Somehow, we got out of it. I wish I had a picture... it was pretty crazy.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Macon, GA


It was a relatively early day... considering the bedtime. We made our way to Macon in a timely fashion. Still no Stuart tonight. Macon has a nasty habit for not giving you an inch. They really want to see something. You can't just show up & phone it in. We brought it tonight. Bats were flying into holes.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Athens, GA


I spent the morning waiting for my case to be made. Georgia Case Company makes good stuff... they retrofitted a road case for my Sho-Bud Super Pro pedal steel. Then I met the truck, along with some others, at the Atlanta airport. He took us to Athens. Kip Connor, Craig Eck, & the Victorio Brothers were some of my guests tonight. It was a great show. Drunk southern kids are great music fans when they have respect for what they're hearing. It would've been impossible be unknown & acoustic up there tonight. They loved it. Stuart Swanlund didn't make it out of Chicago today. So it was up to me & Chris Hicks to hold the fort down up there on stage. Craig & I had a midnight snack & I sent him home around 3:30am.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Studio Stuff


After yesterday's scare, we spent the day rebuliding said song. It was mainly Hammond & acoustics & such. I really like the direction that Shawn's new album is heading. Shawn took a meeting with the Lovell Sisters. I think that he's going to produce their next album - we'll see.

Mully


It started out as a routine day in the studio. After a few hours, Kip & I realized that we were missing a lot of files from just one song. Peter Stroud saved our ass. He came in & played guitar parts on that tune. It was good because Shawn changed the key & the direction of the tune. It was rather hectic all day, though.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter/Passover


I need to fill out my change of address for The Easter Bunny. He didn't show this year. Michelle & I went to her parents' house for lunch. Not much to report.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

A Big Fan


After an early flight & an easy re-entry, I took a nap. Michelle & I hit up Midtown Arts Cinema. Robby Rod & Quint Tar made a great "themed" movie. I liked the whole thing. It was right up my alley. Tarantino could poop in a sand bucket & I would probably like it. Time to sleepy.

Pitman, NJ


For once, we had a flight with an agreeable time. I stood in security for almost a hour. I guess that's spring break for ya. Oh yeah... & Easter/Passover weekend.
It was a great travel day. We flew to & stayed in Philly, where I had a customary cheesesteak. It was a short rise to Pitman. Apparently, Doug hasn't had much sleep since "the bus debacle." He also was suffering from a pollen induced sinus infection. Needless to say, he had a bad "singing" night. We were kinda lucky that the audience didn't turn on us. The band tried to salvage the night. I was kinda glad to get off of the stage. I lived to play another day.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Making the Rounds


After 15+ years with one company, my Dad is taking a new job with another company. He seems to be really excited. I get my work ethic from my Dad. He loves his work... as do I.
I spent the day running errands & making the rounds. I had lunch with my Mom & dinner with my Dad. Everything weems to be on the up & up. I have to get to bed early.

Rig It Up!


Damn it! I called the guy who was supposed to send me my phone. He was supposed to send it on Monday. Apparently he'll get around to it tomorrow. I've been a captive in my own house for 2 days for no reason.
Anyway, I've beeen working on my guitar rig. It's coming together nicely. All I have to do is finish wiring it up. It should resemble Peter Stroud's rig in the picture.I ran some errands today & things are good in the Cook household. Charlie & Pete are holding the fort down quite nicely. I watched Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" today. It was great. It was everything that I imagined. She did a great job with historical acccuracy & character development. You actually identify with Antoinette... which before the movie would be percieved as impossible. It should also be known that I watched 2005's "Dukes of Hazzard." It was not-so-good.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Nada Es Bueno


Late wake up... nothing to do but wait. I'm a prisoner in my own house. I'm waiting for some one to deliver my phone. It didn't come today.
I watched many a movie today. Finally, at 'end of business,' I made my way to Gwinnett County. I picked up a few things at The Shack. I visited Kip Connor... picked up my gear that I left with him in Brighton. I also bought a 12 spack rolling rack road case. I will put together a switcher system for a touring rig. I've had most of the gear for years... I've just never finished of the project. I'm using Voodoo Lab's GCX Audio Switcher... Fulltone '69 & Octavfuzz, Ross Compressor, & Line 6 Echo Pro (rack mounted). I'll be able to channell switch, active the boost & tremolo on the 65 Amps London... all from the Ground Control Pro controller.
Whoa... sorry for geeking out there. It's a habbit.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Happy Belated April Fools!


... and gues who the fool is?!
The above illustration is of the place that I hung out today... the travel level of hell. Since the few days have been so bad... I keep telling myself that "at least I can sleep in my own bed on Monday night."
I woke up just west of Meridian, MS at 9am. Our bus driver, Matthew, has done a tremendous job considering the quality of the vehicle. We stopped for breakfast... then the mayhem started. We would spend the next 7 hours getting only 112 miles. We would've done better on bicycles. Finally, the bus gave up in Oxford, AL, just off of I-20.
Eventually, 5 hours later, the equipment truck caught up with us & picked some of us up and made it's way back east. I was on track to be home before 2pm... but ended up being home at 11:30pm. I'll take it but I don't like it.
Fix that thing before we go out next week, please.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Austin, TX


I got to the airport late (car service's fault). When I went to the self-service kiosk, my reservation wouldn't pop up; so I had to wait in the Delta line. The customer service rep informed me that not only Delta doesn't have a 7:30am flight but that they don't fly to Chicago from Detroit. She was kind enough to check the other airlines and let me know that American Airlines ran the flight that I was looking for. The reason that I knew that I was on Flight #2265 is because it's next to the word DELTA on my travel itenerary from Shawn's management. At this point my biggest problem was that American Airlines is in a separate terminal in the Detroit Metro airport. I made my way (by bus) to the correct terminal. Ofcourse, when I got there & inserted my credit card intot he kiosk, my reservation didn't come up. (I found out later that it was because my reservation was made for "Douglas Clay Cook" instead of "Clay Cook" as indicated on my credit card). After waiting in line for an hour, I finally reached the counter after my plane had taken off. The nice lady took pity on me & booked me on the 11am to Dallas & the 3pm to Austin.
Long story - long, I made it to the venue with one hour before showtime.
We played two sets tonight (at a reasonable volume). Nothing to report on that front. I took a shower & will be asleep before a soul even reads this.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Brighton, MI


Call it an easy Mullins Day. Our bus call was 11:30am. We stayed next ddor to the radio station that we visited at noon. After that, Kip & I had Taco Bell for lunch. We did have a mishap in navigation though. Somehow we were forced to navigate downtown Ann Arbor to get to Brighton. Locals would consider that kinda stupid.
Anyway, we played a great gig at a great venue. It was a performing arts center. I got to play a 12 foot Steinway. The night was trouble free. We ended the set with an impromtu version of "Georgia on My Mind." I have an early morning tomorrow... must go to sleep.