Saturday, May 31, 2008
I woke up in my bunk, in the bus, in the parking lot of the Hilton in Rockwall, TX. Rockwall is close to Fort Worth. There was a movie theatre within waling distance. I saw the early Saturday matinee of "The Strangers." Man, it freaked me out. It was really tense. It wasn't over-gore-y. In the past 5 years, we've seen some of the most tense (& brilliant) horror movies of silver screen history. About 2 years ago during the "Halloween" season, A&E had a countdown of the best 50 horror movies of all time. 10+ of them were from this decade. AND that was 2 years ago.
Our show was great. We played outdoors in the downtown area of Rockwall. They blocked of two streets & we played at the crossing of those two streets. Nothing to report as far as playing. The band is in an automatic mode right now. The cool part is that we are still being very improvisational. We're not playing very scripted parts. The solos are great & the supporting rhythm section is watching like hawks.
We left the D/FW area around 11:30pm bound for the Atlanta airport. See you on the flipside!
Friday, May 30, 2008
I got up & was on the road by 10am. It was a painless trip. It's hot in Texas.
They make your checks here! A lot of check printing companies are here in New Braunfels, TX. That certainly doesn't make it any cooler here (literally).
We played Gruene Music Hall (pronounced "green"). Lots of Krauts settled here I imagine. Clay McClinton opened up (Delbert's son). We played another two & a half hour barn burner tonight. It was hot. The club was originally a chicken coup. It still doesn't have central air. They have fans though. It is the oldest 'dance hall' in Texas. They can keep their history - I just want a shower.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
The first thing I saw when I woke up was the Texas state line. Our driver, Jimmy, has been working all night to get us here. We pulled into Houston around 10am CST. When we got to the hotel, they informed us that our rooms were NOT ready - & wouldn't be until 3pm. Doug found this situation unacceptable. So, we made our way to another hotel - a better hotel. It was a little further away from tonight's gig, but I'll take it.
Michelle, on vacation here in Texas, picked me up not 20 minutes after I got in my room. She brought me to Tomball, TX. She's here for her cousin's graduation. It was nice to see everyone. We ate at Super Burger. It was pretty darn good.
The show tonight was ill attended. However, everyone I talked to from this area says that Houston doesn't have a very good music scene to start with. I remember Shawn Mullins telling me that exact thin two years ago. I guess people here just aren't interested in going out to hear live music (unless you're Justin Timberlake or something).
The show was good though. Everyone played their asses off - for two & a half hours. It's time to hit the sheets.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I took the boys to Snellville today. Michelle's parents are going to take care of them while I'm gone. I also made my rounds around Atlanta's music stores today. Nothing got me excited.
I also had an interview with Rob Evans. He's writing what we call a "one sheet" on me. I guess it will go out with the record to music writers when the time comes.
I came home & packed everything for my trip this weekend. We're doing Texas. It's usually pretty fun.
The bus picked me up at 9pm at the airport. Nothing else to report. This is completely normal behavior for this time of the year: everything is scattered & short. You just lower your shoulder & plow through the pile - not unlike a fullback.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Michelle left house around noon. The same time I had a meeting with Leslie Fram & Jay Harren. We had a great talk. I needed a little professional perspective on my career & my new record. I left Leslie's house with purpose & a newfound sense of direction.
I spent the afternoon working around the house. I got A LOT done.
It feels weird being home without Michelle. Every time I'm home - she's home. So it's just me & the schnauzers kickin' in new school. We watched the Braves game while I worked. Then we watched the end of the Lakers-Spurs contest.
I'm feelin' pretty good about the direction of my career now.
Monday, May 26, 2008
We started off at Home Depot. We bought a new grill. Michelle & I made a great Memorial Day meal. It's time to jump back on the old diet tomorrow though.
I spent a few hours making drum charts for Brian Wiltsey's new album. We were supposed to start tracking tomorrow, but Brian had to cancel for personal reasons. We'll resume on next Monday.
A&E started their 4 hour mini-series tonight. They've made an updated version of "The Andromeda Strain." The original version is dated , but still one of my favorite Sci-Fi movies. It's one of Michael Crichton's best books. I enjoyed part 1 tonight.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
I woke up with no expectations & no plans for the day. By 11m we had solid plans with Michelle's brother & his 2 kids. We had lunch at Five Guys Burgers & Fries. Then we went to Zoo Atlanta. It was insanely busy. It was still fun though.
It's been nice taking a little vacation from music for a couple of days. Even good things need a bit of reprieve from time to time.
It should also be noted that I'm really enjoying the Wii too. Even if we only have one game. I'm pretty good at Tennis & Baseball - but I suck at Bowling.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
I called Michelle at 4am to come pick me up at the airport. The bus dropped me off & I was home by 5am. I of course, was out for a few hours.
There isn't much to report about today. Michelle & I ran an errand or two. We had Eatz today for lunch.
I spent some of the day updating my new computer.
Friday, May 23, 2008
I slept in a bit. Matt left this morning. Michelle dropped me off at the airport before 1pm. We spent the whole afternoon making our way to Charlotte via Spartanburg. We showed up at the show with an hour to spare. We played Town Center in Harrisburg, NC. It was a good show. I played the Firebird III tonight. It requires more gain than the Les Paul - but it has its own thing though.
I met Tim Brown from Brown Tone Electronics. Chris & I both bought Brown Tone Hoochie Mama pedals from him. They sound great.
We have a tedious ride home. It's only 4 hours so I need to get sleep right now.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
For some reason I got up early today; around 5am. I just couldn't go back to sleep. I also didn't do much with my day. Michelle & I ran some errands. I also spent some of the day revamping my computer. I went to 1 Five O tonight. I had some good conversations about music & life in general. Matt Mangano stayed with us tonight. He didn't show up until well after 1am. I was pretty spent by the time he got here. I think I'm gonna crash.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I spent as much time as I could in the bed today - trying to conserve energy. I kinda felt like I might be coming down with something.
Michelle & I have been saving our pocket change for 2 years. We finally turned it in today. We would have had more, but I use a lot of my quarters on the road for doing laundry.
I left the house for the studio at 4pm. I picked up my Wurlitzer, then off to Eddie's. Shalom & I spent an hour & a half getting the board mix just right.
We had some bad weather here in Atlanta. I'm sure that it hurt attendance a little bit.
Evan McHugh opened the show tonight. He did great.
I played a pretty good show. I had really good night vocally. I can't wait to hear the audio results.
Monday, May 19, 2008
I've really pushed myself over the past 4 days. I also have a lot to do on Tuesday & Wednesday. I got up late today. I spent some time getting some songs together for tomorrow's show. I think it should be a good set. I haven't sung some of these songs in a year or two. Not much else to report.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
I got an hour of two of sleep on the plane home from San Fran. Michelle picked me up from the airport around 6am EST. I was pretty beat. I got around 4 hours of sleep when we got home.
We had dinner with our neighbors tonight. Then we went to see the new Narnia movie. I liked it - but not as much as the original. It was really slow to me - then again, I guess you blame CS Lewis for that.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
My 3:30am bedtime led to a 11:30am wake time. I felt pretty good after such a rush yesterday. I had lunch with Doug & shortly after we went to our afternoon gig. We played the Artichoke Festival in Castroville. It was a good show. Nothing to complain about.
Right after, Chris Hicks, BB Borden, David Muse, & I drove as fast as traffic would allow back to the San Francisco airport. We barely made our flight - but we made it. I'm gonna try & sleep in this plane.
Friday, May 16, 2008
All I can say is that it was a perfect day. I love playing The Mystic Theatre in Petaluma. We left the hotel in Modesto at noon. Out first stop was In & Out Burger. I had a pleasurable dining experience.
We then made the 2 hour journey to Petaluma. I went over with the crew & helped load in, set up, & sound check. I also met Mac from Two Rock amps there. Joe from Two Rock sent him with an amp for me to play tonight.
After sound check, the crew & I visited the sushi bar next to The Mystic. I've eaten there many times. It's some of the best sushi I've ever had - if not the best. Andy does a great job.
I also visited Tall Toad Music a couple of doors down. I enjoy music stores no matter what city I'm in.
The show was amazing. Moonalice opened up. G.E. Smith was their guitarist & singer. You might remember him from the SNL band in the late '80's - early '90's. He was really cool - a good hang.
I finally got to meet Bill & Joe from Two Rock Amps face to face tonight. They are really good guys & very good at what they do.
Joe got up & jammed with us. He seemed to enjoy it.
AFter the show, after the load out, after saying good bye to everyone, I got behind the wheel & drove the two hours to Gilroy, CA. I'm spent. Some one stick a fork in me. What a great day!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I was up early (for PST). I'm still on eastern time. I did a lot of bored activities today. I walked for at least 2 & a half hours. There was really nothing on TV today. The gig was only 5 blocks away so I helped load in & sound check. By the time I got back to my room, Jim Wagner from WCR Pickups knocked on my door. He worked on our (Chris & I's) guitars today. He put all new electronics in Chris' guitar. He hit a bit of a snag with the switch but I actually helped him trouble shoot it. He put new pots & caps in my Paul. I already had his pickups in there. Needless to say, I had a "good tone night" on stage. I am extremely impressed with his work. I plan to use his pickups for replacements from now on. The guy really knows what he's doing.
The show was great tonight. Everyone seemed to have fun.
It's beddy bye time now. I didn't get enough rest today for the amount of activity that I endured.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
We showed up at a Best Western near the Atlanta airport at 7am. We got 3 rooms for everyone to take showers. We were at the airport by 9am & everything went rather smoothly (for the Atlanta airport).
We flew US Air to Phoenix then to San Fran. I left on the last flight.
When we got to San Francisco we waited an hour for Doug & David to bring around the rental vans. Then we made our way to Modesto - in the middle of San Francisco rush hour traffic. It wasn't very fun, but that's how the cookie crumbles sometimes.
We rolled up to another Best Western (downtown Modesto) around 7pm EST. Total travel time (from Atlanta airport check in to hotel room): 13 hours. Not too shabby. I thought it was going to be worse. Lucky me.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Who is Myrtle & why did they name this beach after him/her? We didn't leave Spartanburg until 4:30pm today. We still had some time to kill when we pulled up behind the Myrtle Beach House of Blues. I've always liked the sound of this room. Most of the House of Blues are pretty much the same - more than less.
It was a hell of a night. We may have played one song too many though. That happens sometimes. The audience was fit to be tied when we started & they just got tired by the end. That'll happen when you've been drinking all day & sit through an opener & a long show.
We're off to Atlanta. I need to get all of my 5 hours of sleep. Tomorrow is a long travel day.
Monday, May 12, 2008
...nothing. We pulled into Spartanburg, SC at 1pm. I checked into my room &, honestly, I don't know where the day went. I did some clerical work (as clerical as I get). I took a walk to the CVS down the street.I also did two loads of laundry. Outside of that, I guess I just watched television & brought my vitality back up to normal levels. I've been eating a lot of foods loaded with sodium lately. I guess that I'm craving that stuff right now for some reason. I think I'll lay off for a couple of days. Fruits, here I come.
Tonight's episode of 'House, M.D.' was great. It was very different from the usual plot lines. This whole season, which for me started off at a crawl, has finally proven itself to be one hell of a ride. It's all one big picture instead of 24 separate stories that hardly intermingle. The first season had some good continuity to it, but since then it's been a lot of instant gratification as far as story lines (sans the little 5-6 episode bout with the cop last season).
Oh yeah... & possibly the funniest thing that I've seen this year:
Sunday, May 11, 2008
The bus stopped at 5am in the Mohegan Sun Casino parking lot. I got my key & stormed to my hotel room. I couldn't go back to sleep for a couple of hours. But I finally did - mainly out of boredom.
It was good day for rest. And, boy, I needed it. I went downstairs to soundcheck. It was run of the mill Mohegan Sun stuff - everything went smooth.
I went back to my room for a couple of hours & then made my way back to the stage at 6pm.
We played for a solid 2 hours. Business as usual. My fingers are getting a little bit more raw than usual. Oh woe is me.
Now the bus takes us off to Spartanburg.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
After a nap in Alyssa Cobb's place, I loaded up the rental car again & filled up the gas tank. I woke up at 4am for my 7am flight. I made it with time to spare - but in times like these it's best to be safer than sorry. I flew from Indy to Philadelphia. Then Philly to Rochester. I waited a while for my guitar again. Then I had to wait a half an hour for my ride to the hotel. I ended up getting in my Rochester hotel bed at 1pm.
We left the hotel on the bus at 5pm for the Rochester Lilac Festival. Our show had a hard curfew at 8:30pm. We played until 9pm. The event organizers were fine with the extra time. The crowd was definitely into it. Normally they threaten to cut the power... then they cut the power. Everything was groovy-doovy.
After the show we spent an hour signing autographs. I just hit the bus at 10pm... I don't have much left in the tank. I'm going to bed. Good night, Rochester.
Friday, May 9, 2008
I was up by 6am. 5 hours of sleep. I had breakfast, took a shower, & loaded up the rental car. I drove a little over an hour to the Philadelphia airport. There was a huge rain storm. I was soaked while trying to return the car to Avis. I took the rental car bus to the terminal & checked my bag with the man outside. I finally got through security & landed in a seat at my gate (an hour before boarding). Our plane was late landing due to the weather so boarding was late (as was our takeoff time). We ended up leaving a full hour later than scheduled. Other than that it was pretty uneventful.
After landing, I had to wait for my guitar for a while. I finally got it & then made my way to the next rental car place. I finally got a car & took off from Indianapolis for Columbus. I finally pulled into my destination at 4pm.
The gig tonight was so fun. It was a show called Amercian Pie. It was a musical review of pop culture & rock'n'roll from the last 50 years. I did this show 3 years ago. I had more fun this time. It was a marathon though. I was already tired & the show lasted 4 hours.
After the show, Mark Cobb & I made our way back to Indianapolis. We stayed with his sister (even if for just 3 hours). I'm about to crash (1am).
Thursday, May 8, 2008
I was up & atom by 8:45am. I have an early rise time tomorrow so I thought that I'd give myself an advantage to getting up. I had breakfast with Jimmy, our bus driver. I then spent most of the day resting, learning the American Pie setlist, & plotting tomorrow's trip. It seems like it's gonna be a doozie.
Our friend, Mike Madden, took me to Allentown so I could rent a car. I have to drive myself to the Philly airport tomorrow morning.
We've played the Sellersville Theatre before. I've played it at least on two other occasions. The crowd is always great & the room sounds fabulous. However, I had no idea what was in store for me.
I can definitively say that I played me best live show ever tonight. I say that without hyperbole. NO mistakes. I was going out on limps, trying things - & pulling them off. There was an exciting vibe on that stage tonight. We supposedly rolled tape on that on tonight... even if it was just a two track room mix. I was proud to be on that stage tonight.
I must slumber... for tomorrow is a true test of manhood.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
We pulled into the hotel around 2:30am. I was asleep. However, I did get up to connect with the internet & get in my room. After 15+ minutes of internet work, I found myself wide awake - at 3am. I actually tried to go to sleep. But to no avail. I tossed & turned for 3 hours until, magically, the soothing sounds of Mike & Mike on ESPN2 knocked me out cold.
I was out until 11am. I spent the next 2 hours getting ready, eating, & boarding our vessel again. We played Tom's Cove at 2:30pm to an amped up crowd. I would've never thought that a Wednesday (middle of the day show) would have so much electricity. These folks wanted music.
We played pretty well. Doug had the best 'singing' show that I've heard in a long time. Everyone seemed to have a real good time.
We were outta there by 5:30pm & on to the next town. It took us 6 hours to get to Quakertown, PA from Chincoteague. We've stayed at this Holiday Inn Express before. Familiarity breeds comfort.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Nothing much to report. The bus picked me up around 1pm for the start of this 'tour.' We drove to Spartanburg. Then to Chincoteague. I played some catch up on sleep & prepared for the insanity. I didn't listen to any music. My ears are pretty burnt.
Monday, May 5, 2008
I was up before the sun today. I showered, ate, & took off to the studio. I fixed mixes & made some stem mixes all before 9am. I backed up the record & drove to Glenn Schick Mastering. Glenn is very good at what he does. He made the record sound better than I could've possibly imagined. I am so very happy. I sit here writing this blog entry listening to the album. I'm so proud I can't stand it! These moments don't come around often.
For those of you who have helped me to this point: I thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm so happy. The weight has been removed from my shoulders.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
I got off of the bus at 7am at the airport. I kinda got a good nights rest. I spent the morning with Michelle. We went grocery shopping. She slept while I watch the Hawks get humiliated on national TV. Of course, they were just lucky to not only be in game 7 with the "best team in the league," but also to just be in the playoffs.
I left the house around 5pm for my gig with Aslyn. We played in Smyrna. It was pretty cool. Just me & her.
I ran home after that was over & dropped off my guitar. I then sprinted to Smith's Olde Bar to play for the 500 Songs for Kids charity. My song was "Tomorrow" from the musical 'Annie.' I had a blast.
I'm very, very tired & I have a lot I can do before I get real rest. I just need to go to sleep right now. Good night.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
I got up early. I met the bus at the airport at 9am. It took us the better part of the day to get to Smithfield, NC. Smithfield is 30+ miles away from Raleigh. We played the Ham & Yam Festival. It may sound annoying but it was a great gig. The sound was great, the playing was great, & the crowd was great. We stayed late & signed autographs for an extra hour.
We have an 8 hour ride home. I might actually get a full night's sleep.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Do to the 'way things are,' I had to turn in my mixes today to the mastering engineer. I still have a couple of changes to make... but he just wanted a preview to listen to in his own time.
Michelle & I ran some errands during the middle of the day. I met Nick Noespodziani at the studio to review for the American Pie gig next week.
Michelle & I went to see 'Iron Man' tonight. I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. The comedy was stellar. I really liked RObert Downey as Tony Stark. He nailed it. But then again, what do you expect?
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Michelle & I went to Snellville today. We spent most of the day preparing the house for sale. Even with a full day of work - there's still quite a bit to be done. And I won't be around in the next few months to contribute. Oh well. We listened to the album in the car on the way to Snellville. It's starting to sound like a record. Maybe an hour of work left to be done... but when can I do it?