Thursday, May 31, 2007
Upon learning about the 3 days off in Denver, Marshall Tucker's road manager, David Warren, arranged for us to see a Rockies game. We had great seats. 14 back between 3rd & home. The St. Louis Cardinals won 8-4. It was great to see a future Hall of Famer, in Albert Pujols, play. I've seen my fare share HOFamers or future HOFamers. Bonds, Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine, Ichiro, Clemens, Gwynn, Pedro Martinez, Griffey Jr., Puckett, Niekro, & Gary Carter.
It was a little chilly... but I won't officially complain. Hot dogs taste better in a ball park. I dare you to dispute me.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I got a little nap after entering my room at 7am. I showered. Then Keith Glenn (FOH for MTB) & I walked to the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver. We had lunch and saw the new "Pirates" movie. I dug it. It tied up all of the loose ends for me.
We walked to the movie in clear skies, 65 degree weather. We walked back in rainy, 45 degree weather. It had hailed pretty heavily during the movie, unbeknownst to us. Well, I beknownst now!
Dinner was sushi at Sushi Den on S. Pearl St. I suggest it mightily. I can hardly breathe due to the consumption of such goods.
I have rather enjoyed today. We left the hotel with a 1 pm late check out. I was trimming my beard & dropped my scisssors at the perfect angle to land IN my arm. It didn't hit may arm then fall to the groud. The blade stuck, at a 90 degree angle, in my arm (not unlike Excalibur). I pulled it out & realized that it left a HOLE on the top of my right forearm. I tried my best to curb the bleeding. Finally, drummer Barry Borden, helped me cork the wound & we Neosporined it & bandadged it up. It doesn't even hurt. It just looks bad.
We're on our way from Little Rock to Denver. We stopped in Tulsa & bought 6 pizzas for the band. I spent most of the 'submarie trip' listening to my iPod. Counting Crows' "Recovering the Satellites" is my favorite title of theirs. For years, I was convinced that "Hard Candy," "August & Eveything After," & "Recovering the Satellites" were all tied for first. I have finally made my mind up. Sonically, production, & songs... hands down: "Recovering the Satellites."
Anyway... just past Wichita.
Monday, May 28, 2007
It was a normal gig day today. It was nice to actually stay in Little Rock the day before the gig. The bus went to a more commercial area for lunch. We went there so everyone could have something different than the adjacent fooderies. Other than that, the 5:30pm call time was easy. It's almost like I'm on vacation.
The Georgia Satellites opened up for us. I love those guys. Rick Price is my hero. He was playing a Danelectro Longhorn bass into an Ampeg SVT wide-ass open. Our set was great. The monitors on stage sounded severely blown. Also, being a rental gig (a gig where we only bring our guitars), they didn't have a Fender Twin for my steel. I had to play a Fender Hot Rod DeVille 4x10. It sounded like David Lindley. Distorted steel guitar is cool but sometimes not appropriate.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
I woke up my little head in Little Rock, AK. Technically, were in North Little Rock. Little Rock is on the other side of the river. Our hotel backs up to the Arkansas Travelers' (Angels farm team) AA basesball field . They're in the Texas League. David Warren, our road manager, & I sat behind home plate for $8 a piece. That's value. They played the San Antonio Missions (Padres farm team). It was a lot of fun. I spent the rest of the day resting, writing, doing some 'studio' business, & listening to my iPod. Also, Benihana's sushi hit the spot tonight. All youcan eat for $17. It was a GOOD DAY!
4:30am came earlier than I thought it should. "When You're Hot, You're Hot" was my favorite tune on the trip. I listened to 4 full albums on the was back to Portland this morning. I also achieved a new level of discomfort on the 'casino van.' Needless to say, I didn't get any sleep during the trip. We had to be in Portland by 8am because 2 guys in the band had different tickets; they had to fly out at 10:30am. Our flight didn't leave until 2:45pm. We had a lot of downtime... & to be honest, there's no better airport to be stuck in than Portland. It's easily in my top 3 favorite airports.
Oh yeah... I found out earlier that I have been elected to the Board of Governors for the Atlanta Chapter of NARAS. I'm pretty proud of that! I can't wait to, um, govern?!
Also... fly Frontier Airlines as often as you can. They have DirecTV for every seat (for a measly $5). You can actually watch TV on the trip... not a pre-taped barrage of bullshit. They should've thought of this 10 years ago. We had the technology. All seats are the same (no first class, at least on the flights that I took today.
After landing in Memphis - via Denver from Portland - Jimmy (our bus driver) picked us up & whisked us away to Little Rock. I'll be in the bed by 3:30am.
Friday, May 25, 2007
After waking up by noon EST (9am PST), I had some breakfast. Thank goodness for the hotel being adjacent to the casino. I never stepped foot outside. I listened to music a lot today. Jerry Reed's "Greatest Hits" & Stone Temple Pilots "Purple" were the main selections of the day. I forgot how good "Purple" is. What a terrible mistake to forget such a good record.
Anyway, somehow, Chris Hicks 'forgot' to bring his guitar to Oregon. We had to borrow a Les Paul from some one. It worked out fine. I played my Nash Tele. I WILL NOT fly the '59 RI Les Paul. It's just NOT an option. They had me a silverface Twin with a mater volume for the steel. During the song "24 Hours at a Time" I turned up the volume & turned down the master. It was almost David Lindley. ALMOST being the operative word. I would loan my worst enemy a silverface Twin. I did with it what I could. The show was good. We did "Midnight Promises." We don't get to do that song very often. It's one of Toy Caldwell's best tunes. Off to bed now... we have to leave at 5am to make that 'awesome' trip back to Portland.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Michelle & I had breakfast together at Belly in Virginia-Highlands. Shortly after that, we went into Junkman's Daughter in Little 5 Points. It's been a while since I've been in there... it's pretty much the same. I was at the airport by 3pm for my 5pm flight. Chris Hicks, Barry Borden, & I went through Phoenix to get to Portland. When we finally landed in Portland, the 'casino van' picked us up. Apparently, it was 200+ miles to Pendleton from Portland. At the end of the day, we finally hit the bed by 3:30am PST (6:30am EST). Now that's a fly day!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I only got to North Carolina last night... around 6am. Kip woke up an hour later & drove to Homer, GA. I drove the rest of the way home. I was in the homestead by 2pm. I did a list of chores & took a shower by 3pm. I then drove to the Atlanta Guitar Center. I bought that steel last week & I realized that I didn't like it. I ended up trading it today for a better steel: a Magnum (built by Carter Steel Guitars). It cost me an additional amount of money, but it will get used. I want to put it on the road & let the Sho-Bud come home for studio & local gigs. I have a good suspicion that this one will work out famously. The rest of the day was business as usual. I didn't do anything of consequence. I'm pretty happy with that considering all of the traveling that I've been & will be doing. CSI + OnDemand = cool!
We stayed at Shawn's brother's last night. We normally don't crash on the road. It's usually either at a hotel or just in the RV. We left the D.C. area around noon. I love playing World Cafe Live. It's my favorite place by far in Philly. The restaurant upstairs is really good too. I got as much rest as I could. It was business as usual tonight. No broken strings, feeding off of each other, improv, funny banter, & good singin' & playin.' I'm about to get in the RV & drive as far as possible (on our way to Atlanta). I must admit, I'm tired. We'll see how far I get.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
The bus dropped me off at the Atlanta airport at 7am. Michelle picked me up & took me home... for a short time. I took a shower, took a 1 hour nap, & had breakfast. Then, I was back at the airport by 10:30am. I was bound for Washington-Dulles airport. The RV picked me up right on time. We went straight to The Birchmere & loaded in. I, then, took another nap after load in. The show was fantastic tonight. I really like playing with Shawn Mullins. It's even more welcomed after playing with Tucker for a while. I don't have to wear earplugs with Shawn. I really like Shawn's new stuff... especially 'Harry.' He's been working on 'Harry' for over a year. I'd say that it's finally done. It might be the best story song that he's ever written. TIme for more sleep, please.
There's not much in Ulmer. We actually stayed in some unnamed city for the day. Thank God for Sci-Fi's marathon of Heroes. I've never watched the show, but that's all I did today. It was quite good. I think that I watched 8 or 9 consecutive episodes. The show tonight was uninspired. After playing such wonderful shows with the Volunteer Jam, Lazy B's in Ulmer didn't quite stand up to the task. Basically, the venue was a tin barn with a bar in it. Sure, there was some 'mood lighting' (i.e., neon beer lights & the occasional rented lighting truss that spends most of it's time in back yard weddings). Anyway, we did the best that we could, singing while breathing the second hand Kools & Merits of the room... & that was quite thick. I think the PA was from the band that used to play in from high school.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
I awoke in a secluded hotel parking lot... in a bunk in a bus ofcourse. After my shower & lunch I got bored. I decided to head over to the gig with the crew. I spent over an hour trying to get the steel guitar tweaked out. It doesn't seem to be a very good design. I'm leaning towards getting rid of it. If it won't do what I want, it has no use for me. I gave it a chance tonight... & it let me down (again).
Michelle drove to Birmingham to 'entertain' some of her family at the show. It was a good evening & pretty good performances. Now off to a less desirable gig in Ulmer, SC. It won't be so bad if I'm prepared for it... I think.
Friday, May 18, 2007
The bus picked me up at the airport at 7am. I slept the whole way to Myrtle Beach. Which is good... because there's not much between Atlanta & Myrtle Beach. I spent a bunch of time setting up & adjusting the new steel guitar this afternoon.
I've played the Myrtle Beach House of Blues probably 10 times. I love playing this room. It sounds better than most of the other House of Blues venues.
Our set was blistering tonight. We played some 'new' songs to the Volunteer Jam tour. It's not new to us but new to our 50 minute set format that we've been playing. It worked out famously. The final jam at the end of the night was the best that it's ever been.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I traded a backseat full of guitar effects & accessories for a Remington D10 pedal steel. Apparently, Remington doesn't make pedal steels anymore... just non-pedal steels. After that, I had lunch with my Mom, Michelle, my sister, & her boyfriend, Mackie. Then, Michelle & I had a meeting with Eddie Owen. Then, I went to the studio & got Mark Cobb's snare... then returned the snare to him. Then, made dinner while "working" & modifying the "new" pedal steel. It's a great guitar. WELL MADE. I plan to use it on the road with Tucker & bring my Sho-Bud home for the studio.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
I drove around the reaches of Atlanta with nothing to do. I visited all of my favorite music stores. I bought a Gibson GA5T. It's a tiny amp that sounds great. EL84's I believe. It really sounds good for small stages & recording. I listened, for the first time, to Ry Cooder's "Bop 'Til You Drop" today. David Lindley, Ry Cooder, & Jim Kelter are more than enough reason to check it out. It's like what Jimmy Buffett should do... with tasty guitar playing. No songs about boats or food. It's a little dated sounding, but the playing & singing is grand. For me, it was kind of overwhelming. I guess I'm in a stage right now where his playing speaks to me.
I restrung a handful of guitars today. Gave some the 'lemon oil' treatment." Not really much to report.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Well, the bus rolled into the Atlanta airport at 10am. I got home, showered, & ate brunch with Michelle, her parents, her brother, & Maureen Murphy (she was in town for a wedding). The rest of the day was filled with rest, errands, & food. We had sushi for dinner. Pretty boring & unmusical day. I enjoyed it.
I woke up in said city. We stayed in the ghetto. I walked across the street to the mall... which consisted of no less than 9 show stores & 3 "suit" shops. I use the term "suit" lightly due to the type of suit... 4 buttons & up.
Anyway, I really made some progress on a new tune. Lyrically it's 95% done. It's that 5% that's ties everyhting together. It's the real chore.
Our show at The Sound Advice Ampitheatre was 'off da hook' as they would say near our hotel. Charlie Jammed longer than normal tonight. I'm really in love with the '59 RI Les Paul. I highly suggest it.
It's time to go home... (if only for a little while).
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Last night's show was rather warm to say the least. I dig the combination of the Park (Marshall) & '59 RI Les Paul. We played for 2 hours, hosed ourselves off, & headed to Tampa, FL.
In Tampa, I again 'hosed' myself off & went looking for food. All I found was a Subway. They'll do well in a pinch. I spent most of the day trying NOT to breathe the burn off from the southern Georgia fire that's going on right now. It's pretty crazy to be hundreds of miles away & have the sky full of smoke.
I worked on a new song today. I also rented "The Prestige." I really, really liked it. David Bowie had a cool cameo as Nikola Tesla.
Tonight's show was another Volunteer Jam date with The Charlie Daniels Band & The Outlaws. It was the best show so far. We really knocked it out of the park. The jam at the end of the night was the best of the run so far. I love my job.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
I ate breakfast with Doug. The sun feels very theraputic today. So, I laid out in it for 30-45 minutes next to the pool. Note to self: keep iPod out of the sun. It freaked out on me today. After I went inside, it cooled of & I reset it. I also read some articles online about the cunning use of phase in mixing audio.
I then ate lunch with David Muse. Then I unwillingly took a 3 hour nap. Before the nap, I had turned off the air conditioner in the room. When I woke up I was worn out, hot, & sweaty. I had just enough time to take a shower, write this blog, & get to the bus. I will have a report of the show in tomorrow's blog.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
I had lunch with Mom today. She gave me my Nana's ring... which I, in turn, gave to Michelle. It's been very informal; the way that we've been handling this.
I switched out the speaker in my Park amplifier. I removed the Jensen 120 watt monster & replaced it with a 150 watt Eminence Swamp Thang. It sounds ten times better. Who would've thought that a speaker would make all of the difference? I also put a Vargas decal on my Nash T52.
We had chinese delivery for dinner & I just woke up from a nap. I have to meet the bus at the airport at 1am. I'm packing while watching the Warriors & Jazz playoff game.
I spent the day on the phone & in the car. I was telling everyone I could think of that Michelle & I are getting married. I had lunch with my step-father, Wallace Reed. It was a fun day. Everyone seems to be pretty pleased with the news. I just got back from picking my brother & his wife up at the airport. They went to Orlando for their one year anniversary. Congrats to them!
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
I slept in... I totally deserved it. I spent the day doing chores & watching movies. I did a little invoicing to various parties. I ran through "You Are The Sunshine of My Life" by Stevie Wonder. I later played it at Smith's Olde Bar for Josh Rifkin's 500 Songs for Kids. After Smith's Michelle & I went to Eddie's Attic to wish Eddie a 'Happy 15th Anniversary.' I can't believe he's been open for 15 years.
Then the finale: Michelle & I are officially engaged. We've decided to do it in February of next year. It's time! Let's do this!
Monday, May 7, 2007
... I like to be here when I can.
Not much to report. I arrived home around 4pm. Michelle & I were both pretty beat. She didn't sleep much while I was gone. She had to babysit my brother & his wife for a couple of days. This weekend was a success. I have rekindled my love for my iPod. I'm diggin' on Neil Young's "Live at Massey Hall 1971," Del Amitri's "Twisted," & ZZ Top's "Rio Grande Mud."
Sunday, May 6, 2007
It was an early day in Thackerville, OK. I was on the bus by 7:30am. That's early if you found it hard to fall asleep like I did last night. I took a nice little nap & woke up in Oklahoma City. They put us up in a really nice place. I redesigned the ol' website & watched 'Blue Chips' & 'The Hunt for Red October.' I'm a real sucker for Jack Ryan movies. I think that Baldwin was a better Dr. Ryan than Harrison Ford.
Anyway, the Volunteer Jam was kickin' tonight. We played at the Oklahoma City Zoo. This ampitheatre has been here for quite a while. All 3 bands brought their A game. Charlie brought the rain as well. It was pouring during "Rocky Top." There are some bad looking weather formations about 100 miles west of here.
I had a tambourine solo during "The South's Gonna Do It Again."
And now for the long ride home...
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Elvin Bishop sittin' on a bale of hay...
It was a long trip to Oklahoma. The '59 RI passed the audition with flying colors. Our set was short but sweet. The crowd was sparse. The ticket was too high; $60 is a lot of money for a ticket in 90% of our country.
Charlie Daniels drummer, Pat McDonald (pictured), played one of the most interesting drum solos that I've ever heard. He really is gifted. Gifted in a Dave Weckl kind of way. I feel proud to call him a comrade.
I finished another song today. It should be the icing on the cake of the new album. I'll start making broad strokes on the record soon.
Friday, May 4, 2007
I woke up early. Early for nothing to do. I took two guitars & made them one. I traded my '58 RI Les Paul & my '57 Les Paul Junior for a '59 RI Les Paul. The '59 is a guitar fit for a king. There is NOTHING wrong with it. It is the finest guitar that I've ever had a chance to own. It's everything that I want in a Les Paul.
After I played it for a couple hours, Nick Niespodziani picked me up & gave me a ride to the airport. The bus was supposed to pick Chis Hicks & me up at 3pm. The showed up a little after 6pm. Oh well, what are you gonna do?
We are on our way to Oklahoma. I just finished watching the Warriors beat down the Mavericks in game 6. I almost felt sorry for the Mavs... but they were too cocky... they kinda deserve it. Sleepy time.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
After lunch, I made my way to Maconga. (That's Macon, GA to the uninformed). I played a short set with Chris Hicks. He and I feed off of each other fairly well. It was short but sweet. Got home in time for dinner, House, M.D., & the Mavs-Warriors game. I was disappointed in all three. My sandwich was okay, House was okay, & the Warriors gave it up in the last 30 seconds. I hope they can seal the deal on Thursday. Unfortunately, I'll be on a bus during that time. There's always portable XM.