Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rockford, IL


Today was another easy one. We left New Berlin, WI around checkout & drove the excruciating 80 miles to Rockford. It was cake!
I spent most of the day doing experiments with my Sleep Number® bed. Those things are weird & wacky. I also listened to 3 or 4 records in their entirety. That's a fun thing to do if your really into music. Put those headphones on & get lost in the stereo spectrum.
The show tonight was sweet redemption. Uncharacteristically, we showed up at the gig 10 minutes before show time. There was more traffic in downtown Rockford than we expected. The show was true form though. Good vibes & licks from all.
I'm kinda happy to be going home. I miss my Moose!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

New Berlin, WI


We left the hotel around 10am. Two hours & one visit to Taco Bell later we landed in New Berlin, WI.
I've decided that I need to get back in shape... again. I fall off of the wagon very frequently. I was down to 185 around April. However, I checked myself this afternoon & was hovering just over 200. Eating bad (& I mean BAD) & lack of exercise are the main reasons. So today I started anew... again. I did a little cardio & had nothing bad for me (after the epiphany). Water, fruit, vegetables, & soup... outside of that, I'll do what I have to with what's available to me.
The Dawgs won today. As they should've. They are ranked #1 in the country & played Georgia Southern (a 1AA school). 45-21 is nothing to really brag about when you're supposed to be the best. I'll let them slide... especially when it ends in a W. That's all I care about this year. I don't care if they win every game by 1 point - just as long as they win.
The show today was to commemorate the 105th anniversary of Harley-Davidson. Again, the playing was good but Doug's talking in between songs was tiresome. He bored the audience countless times tonight. It's hard to hold a crowd when he can't croon like he used to & he fills the time in between songs with pointless minutia that wears the audience & the band out. I wish he would stop. People paid to hear music - not his accounts of life, philosophies, & jokes. Maybe tomorrow will be better. However, Rita Mae Brown said it best when she wrote "Insanity is when you keep doing the same things expecting different results." So maybe I should say something.

Friday, August 29, 2008

West Dundee, IL


I slept like I owed my pillow money!
The free continental breakfast eased me into the day. We traveled about an hour to the next town - Dundee, IL. Hampton Inn's are hard to beat. I dig 'em. All of the room are the same usually. However - Showtime (no HBO)> BOO!
Tonight was crazy. After a dodgy crowd last night, there were times tonight that I thought we may not leave here alive. Doug gets pretty belligerent when the crowd gets belligerent with him. It was a old, old building converted into a rock club - the Clearwater Theatre. If you ever been there, it's very much like the Georgia Theatre in downtown Athens, GA (but smaller). The crowd was just not picking up what we were putting down. It happens from time to time - just not on back to back nights.
The playing was good. I think there were some excellent moments on stage. This run we're joined by the impeccable Stuart Swanlund. It's great to see him. He's a good guy & a great player.
I'm still in love with the Esquire. I hope Michelle understands if I decide to elope with it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chicago, IL


Today was great. I landed in Alsip, IL at the Baymont Suites around 5am. Most slept in their bunks & I jumped up & slid into my room. I was up for an hour but soon found the pillow on my bed. I tell you, if I'm even the slightest bit tired & turn on the HIstory Channel - I'm out. It's just interesting enough to stay in one place, but boring enough to knock me out. It's as good as Ambien any day - without the drowsy after effects.
I can't say that I did much today. I reviewed some of the songs for next Tuesday's show at Kavarna. I listened to some of Lucas Miré's demos for his upcoming record that we're making. There was nothing to eat near the hotel. It was kind of an uneventful day, but I got a ton of rest... which was well needed.
However, tonight was a different story. We played the Beverly Arts Center; a venue usually reserved for plays & small concerts. I guess she held 400. Sure it was sold out, but the crowd was plastered by the time we hit the stage. That's okay if you're playing a bar but this was a 'sitting down' kind os theatre.
Doug did ramble between songs. It made the crowd rather restless. Also, to boot, Chris won't be on this trip. He sings about 3 songs a set on average. So, I seem to be picking up some of the slack. In the past month I've been averaging 1.5 songs a set... sometimes 1, sometimes 2.
Anyway, Doug didn't like the crowd's lack of attentiveness.
We lived to fight another day & I played the tar out of that Fender Esquire. I LOVE THAT GUITAR!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

On To The Midwest


Michelle & I had The Flying Biscuit this morning for brunch. Then we bummed around the house for a few hours. She took me to the airport where I met the bus at 3pm.
Today was pretty much a wash until I got to Spartanburg. That's where Doug handed me my 'new' 1953 Fender Esquire guitar. (Shown here is a picture of Jeff Beck's Esquire). It's pretty amazing.
An Esquire is a Telecaster with only one pickup (instead of two). It's one of those life changing instruments not unlike Shawn's ES330 & my Martin acoustic. I'm glad I worked the deal out with the guy in Spartanburg. I spent most of the evening playing it unamplified in the back lounge as we darted through the Smokey Mountains & through the first part of Kentucky.
I'm pretty beat from travel already. We're almost to Lexington (bound for Chicago). I'm out.
PS. Clinton's still got it, don't he.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Decatur, GA


I left the house early. I had to get some materials made for the show at the East Atlanta Copy Center. It took longer than expected but since I started early - I ended on time.
I then drove to Suwanee, GA to visit my step Father, Wallace Reed. I had a couple of presents for him that I've accumulated on the road. I got him something from Clear Lake, IA last month. He's a big Buddy Holly fan.
Michelle & I relaxed for an hour or to this afternoon. It was nice.
The night was great at Eddie's. It was a little under attended (but I think all of my shows are under attended). I was happy to see all of the people that actually showed up.
Emily Kate Boyd opened up with a great set. I think she's turned into a fabulous artist. I played around an hour & a quarter. Eddie's has a new piano there that should be permanent. It sounded fantastic. Shalom did a wonderful job as usual. I haven't listened to his recording yet but the live sound was fantastic. I had a really good night of singing. Thank you to everyone who was there.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Errand Burr


That's what I did most of the day. I ran errands. I do a lot of that when I get home from long trips on the road. It is well needed.
I got an A+ from my dentist. We also had dinner with our friend Emily Brown from Nashville. Those are the highlights. Film at 11.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back in the ATL


Michelle picked me up around 9am from the Atlanta airport (where the bus dripped us off). I didn't sleep well last night. But I'll live. I took a 4 hour nap this afternoon - it was well needed.
I hit WREK 91.1 (Georgia Tech radio) once again this afternoon - this time with Emily Kate Boyd. It was a great two hours of radio. There was good conversation, good songs, & great jokes. The audio will be available for streaming on their website by tomorrow morning. http://www.wrek.org/
I'm tired. I need to prepare to 'make the donuts' this week... & by donuts I mean music.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Grove City, OH


This one was quick. We landed at the hotel around noon. I did some computing, walking, eating, & showering. At 5pm we left for the gig. We played promptly at 6:30pm. We tore the roof off of that place. They gave us an hour & a half & we took it! Ohio was dealt with this afternoon.
Jo Dee Messina was the headliner. We were pulling out of there before her first song was over. We should be in Atlanta by 8:30am if my calculations are correct.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Windham, NY


After a crazy Thursday night, we left the southeast Connecticut area for the Catskill Mountains. It was a rather painless trip (especially compared to yesterday's travels).
We showed up at the hotel at 6:45pm. The bus showed up at 7:30pm & we left 15 minutes later for the gig (which was 5 minutes away).
It was a great vibe on stage. Mark Emmerich from Commander Cody's band sat in with us on electric guitar. I'm pretty beat. Time to sleep. But before that, there's a shit to be shat.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Southport, CT


Chris Hicks & I met in the lobby. We had lunch & left with some friends for Southport, CT from the Jersey shore. It was supposed to take 3 hours. It ended up taking 6 hours. Apparently, we hit 3 consecutive traffic jams on our trip. It felt like one big traffic jam.
After that we checked into our hotel in Shelton. We had about an hour to collect ourselves before the gig. It was needed.
We played a place called The Kicking Horse Grille in Southport. It was a benefit for a young lady. The community banded together to help raise money for her new prosthetics. She was a victim of crossfire when she was 5 years old in a central American country. At that point she moved to America & was raised here in Connecticut. She is now 27 years old & the doctors can safely say that she's stopped growing. That being the case, they're raising money for her 'permanent' prosthetics (that cost $70,000 total). So Chris & I played together for the benefit. It was great show & for a good cause. However, that doesn't change the fact that it's late & I want to go to bed. Peace!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Seaside Heights, NJ


I rolled out of my bunk when we pulled into the hotel parking lot. It's funny how I wake up when the bus slows its stride.
I didn't do much today. I tried to put out a couple of fires concerning some paperwork. Printing, signing, faxing... that sort of stuff.
I walked down the street for a late lunch. On my walk back, the muse hit me over the head. I started a song when I got back to the room & roughly 2 hours later (with breaks & such) the song was finished. I remember the night that I wrote "Going Through the Motions' & "Losertown." This song made me feel very much like that night. I like this tune a lot. It's definitely going on the next album but I may cut a version before the end of the year & put it up on myspace or something. I'm really happy with it.
Anyway, we played really late. We played Joey Harrison's Surf Club about a year ago & it was just like that night - except no Stuart. The set was great. Maybe a little long - but still great.
I have no idea what tomorrow holds for me so I think I need to crash.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Leaving... on a bus plane


I had Denny's (adjacent to our hotel) for breakfast. Marcus (our new woodwind player) had possession of an Isuzu Trooper & we went to a Thrift store & a western wear shop. It was funny toolin' around Spartanburg.
After my shower, I took the Trooper to Pat Ellwood's house. He's our bassist. We recorded demos of my 5 new "Marshall Tucker" songs. If everything goes according to plan, we'll be starting a new record sometime this fall.
I then did some computer work for a couple hours until the bus pulled out of Spartanburg bound for the Jersey shore.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ahh... the 'Burg


We rolled into the northwest corner of South Carolina around 11am. I resumed my normal room at the Best Western on Hwy 9. I had lunch with my cousin, Mariah. We ate at the Beacon. It's so bad for you but you HAVE to do it when you come to Spartanburg.
At some point I decided to go on a walk. I walked down Highway 9 to find Boulevard Music. I wasn't interested in any of their instruments until I started walking out the door. A Telecaster type thing caught my eye. I asked to see it & eventually play it through an amp. I ended up giving him al of the money in my pocket to hold it for me. It is a 1953 Fender Esquire... & it will be mine in no less than 2 weeks. I have a great deal of 'gear shuffling' to pull it off, but it will happen. Oh yes, it will happen!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dallas, PA


It was a little weird today. I woke up when the bus arrived at the gig site... which was also the 'lodge' that we had rooms at... which also tripled as a golf course clubhouse as well. The rooms had two beds, shag carpet, & NO TV. When you're on the road you fall into routines. It helps with the monotony & the separation from home. It just makes things easier. One of my ways to cope with a routine is the TV. No matter what I'm doing (i.e., reading, writing, or watching it) the TV's always on in the background - kind of like white noise.
Anyway, I couldn't "relax" today in the room. So I took a shower & went back to the bus. I helped the crew set up & sound check too.
All in all it was a great gig. The song choices & playing were great. The people seemed to have a good time. Now off to Spartanburg for a couple of days off (& pictures).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

On the Road Again


Michelle & I celebrated Saturday with lunch with her parents at Piccadilly Cafeteria. We also found a neat little antique store on that side of Decatur.
She accompanied me to the studio where I finished a mix that I was toying around with. I'm pretty proud of it.
She dropped me off at the Atlanta airport to meet the bus. It was Atlanta to Anderson, SC to Spartanburg, SC tonight. Then from here we'll wake up in Dallas, PA tomorrow morning. See you then.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Drunken Wii


I did a lists worth of maintenance at the studio this morning. There were just a handful of things that HAD to be done. I spent most of the afternoon relaxing & watching some tape delayed olympic coverage.
After doggie playdate, we had a few neighbors over for dinner & to play the Wii. Michelle got mad at me getting drunk without her last week - so that was a part of the evening as well. I drank a lot of Crown. Not as much as last week - but I'm not used to this. Have a good evening. I know my morning will be a little rough. I'm having a lit of trouble typing.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Das Braves


I slept in. It was worth it. Michelle & I went to an art store today. We picked up some gold paper for my 'golden ticket' contest coming up. We also went to the Atlantic Station Target. There were hundreds of Georgia Tech freshmen there sticking up for their dorms. It was pretty interesting.
We went to the Braves game tonight. If I had to bet, I'd say that there were more Cubs fans there than Braves fans. It was a good game. Cubbies won - but we got to witness Mark Kotsay 'hit for the cycle' in Turner Field. He's the first Brave to do it since 1987. That was worth the price of admission.
USA Women's Gymnastics Individual went gold & silver. Go girls!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

GPB & Tropic Thunder


I showed up at Georgia Public Broadcasting's radio department at 11am. Rickey Bevington interviewed me about my new album. It was a taped interview for air later in the week. It was a great interview. Can't wait for it to hit the air!
Michelle & I went to Agnes & Muriel's for lunch. I love that place. The cornbread is unparalleled.
We also saw "Tropic Thunder" at the Midtown Art Cinema. I was really good. I think it would've been better had I not seen "Pineapple Express" yesterday. I may have had comedy overload for this week - especially only one day apart. It was well done though. Robert Downey, Jr. was amazing. The cameos were also great.
Other than that Michelle & I stayed in & watched the Olympics. I really enjoy them this year. Thumbs up!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

NARAS, Pineapple Express, WREK


I had my NARAS board of governors meeting today. Darryl Friedman from the DC office came & spoke about the great things that we're doing with advocacy. In some ways, NARAS has done more for musicians in the last 2 years than anyone has in the previous 80 years (or since the radio was invented). The was our current system was set up, whoever wrote the song & who ever owns the copyright got ALL of the money for terrestrial radio airplay. That means that Sam Moore (from Sam & Dave) doesn't get squat. He helped make those songs famous & people are still getting paid from those songs on oldies radio. We're looking to change that. Sure, we'd cut in to radio's profits, but they make more money (in my opinion) than they should anyway. Did you know that they are one of the most profitable businesses to be in? They don't pay their talent enough & they don't put hardly any money back into the stations. Also, think about it, they hardly pay for their only 'raw material.' Could you imagine if Ford didn't pay for their steel & naugahyde (those poor little naugas). Imagine how much money they would make. What if Coke didn't pay for water, aluminum, & corn syrup? Wouldn't you think that their would make even more money? The entire way that songwriters get paid is a very libertarian kind of idea: you get paid or the quality & usable quantity of work you do. That's the only part of the business that I agree with & like (partially because it rewards me for what I've done). It's not socialism & it keeps "the man" from making all of the money from the fruits of my labor. The more I think about it, musicians should get paid for the recordings that their on, not because it will slightly cripple radio or that I think we should redistribute wealth. I think it should happen because it should've happened 80 years ago when radio hit the airwaves.
On a much lighter note, Michelle & I saw "Pineapple Express" today. It was funny in parts. That group of writer/actors seem to only have one speed & style of humor (visited on "Superbad," "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," & this movie). It's almost like a trilogy that's not connected. It was good though. I laughed out loud many times.
I played at Georgia Tech's radio station, WREK, tonight. It was pretty good. As unorganized as it is, I like college radio. We have some pretty decent stations here in Atlanta; WRAS 88.5 & WREK 91.9. There's also WRFG 89.3, which might as well be a college station.
Can you believe that I had the balls to wear a UGA shirt to Georgia Tech?
PS You can listen to the show at here for the next week.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Errands+Olympics=FUN


Michelle & I ran a TON of errands today. That was all we really did. Then I watched hours of Olympic coverage. I think once every 4 years is enough to completely peak my interest - just like the world cup. I love it!
Oh yeah, Happy Birthday, Dad!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Spokane-Seattle-Atlanta


I got 2 & a half hours of sleep last night. I left my toiletries in Idaho yesterday. I was tearing through my luggage looking for it - instead of sleeping.
We had an early one today: 5am to Seattle. We also had a 2 hour layover. At least it was in a cool airport.
The 5 hour flight to Atlanta was easy. I made the best of it. I finished the book I had with me & then started planning some the next month's events.
The Atlanta airport on Sunday afternoon, the day before school starts, is no fun. It took us over an hour to get our equipment & bags.
Michelle picked me up & we had Rice Box & I hit the bed. This won't take long. I'm gonna be out soon, yo!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sandpoint, ID


We woke up in Louisville at 3:30am for our 6am flight. We flew to Chicago & then to Spokane, WA. Then we drove almost 2 hours to Sandpoint. I crashed like a car wreck in my bed (for 4 hours). Then we suited up & went to work. Richie Furray (Poco) opened up. Pure Prairie League played too. It was a great night & line up for music. We left after our set for the Spokane airport.
I'm about to lay down at the Spokane Hilton. I'll probably get 3 hours if I'm lucky.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Louisville, KY


For some reason we come to Louisville at least twice a year. I love playing here. We played downtown for a city event called '4th Street Live.' We played for 2 hours & 20 minutes. It was a barn burner of a set. We only played one 'down' tune. We're in what athletes refer to as 'the zone.'
Not much time to sleep. Up at 4am tomorrow. Nighty night.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Huntington, WV


Yeah, ya'll - I said the West side of Virginia (insert 'gang sign' here). We jumped on the bus at 9am to travel about an hour to today's hotel. It was nice. I'm glad that we're in a humid climate. I do well in humidity. I was a little dry over the past week. What can I say - I'm from Georgia.
Anyway, I had Famous Dave's barbecue today. I highly suggest it. There are many locations nationwide.
I also started a new Tucker song or the upcoming record. This would be 4 so far (if this one gets finished - which the odds are looking good).
We took off for the gig around 7pm. It was a great night. There was a slight low frequency feedback throughout the night but the audience didn't seem to mind. I like these type of riverfront festival stages. We do a lot of them. The Firebird was reunited with the Two Rock tonight. It was beautiful. The planets were aligned again tonight. I wish you could've been there.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

*@%$?!


After the show last night we broke out the Crown Royal bottle(s) on the bus. We had such a fun night playing & had such a long trip ahead that we went all out. It's the most that I've laughed in years. It hurt to laugh. I must say that I was as fucked up as a soup sandwich. I don't plan to make a habit of it but it was fun. Never was my life in danger.
I finally woke up at lunch time & then went back to sleep after eating. I slept until 6:30pm. Then I hit it again at 11pm. We rolled into the hotel at 2am where I stumbled into the hotel room & wrote this piece of literary mastery. Enjoy!
PS. Over the past 2 weeks I've fallen in love with Fox News' show Red Eye (1am-4am EST). I highly suggest it if you're ever awake at that time.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sturgis, SD


I woke up in Gillette, WY for the first time & perhaps the last time in my life. I did my laundry at 'the city' laundry mat. I didn't do much today. I had KFC buffet with our bus driver, Jimmy. It was as bad as I suspected. You do what you can when your options are limited.
We left the hotel around 6pm for Sturgis which was over 2 hours away. We were scheduled to play outside but torrential down pours moved the party inside. It was a great show. It's the best I've ever played with Tucker. The force was strong with me tonight.
We're on our way out of town. We have a 1400+ mile trip slated for the next 24 hours. See you on the eastern side of the Mississippi.

Monday, August 4, 2008

LV to Gillette


I was up at 7:30AM PST this morning. We took the 11am flight to Denver. We made a couple stops just outside of Denver but after that it was all the way to Gillette, WY. There really wasn't anywhere to stop anyway. No show tonight. We have the night off. We're technically on our way to Sturgis, SD. This is the closest place that we could book this week. Everything close to Sturgis is sold out.
I have nothing significant to report. I watched a pretty funny, dark movie called "Daddy & Them." It helps me laugh at my own kind: southern people. Billy Bob Thornton was a riot in that movie.
At our hotel they had a jacuzzi. However, instead of chlorine they used more of a salt mixture. I got in it. The maintenance guy told me that it wouldn't dry me out. It was actually do the opposite. He was right. It was the most relaxing 5 minutes of this trip. It makes me want to buy a jacuzzi. (Did I just say that?)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Viva Las Vegas


After a successful show last night I took it easy today... well, easy for Vegas. I took Keith (FOH Engineer), Darryl (Guitar Tech), & Marcus (Sax, Flute, Keys) to see The Dark Knight. It's even better the second time around. I shit you not! If you haven't seen it - you should. It's really kinda eye opening the way the film examines human nature.
Darryl & I went on a walk today. What a bad idea. This was the only time I've ever NOT wanted the wind to blow. It was so hot that the breeze was hot. It was like standing in front of the vent when the heat is on full blast - in the summertime.
I spent all evening working on the details for various projects that I have going - even ones that don't start until spring. Preparation is key. It's the only way for me to survive with all that's on my plate.
I'm reading this Phil Ramone book. It's called "Making Records." It's really good. I suggest it. This is a pic of Phil & Paul Simon when they won a Grammy for Best Album in 1976 for "Still Crazy After All These Years."

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Henderson, NV


You might as well call this Las Vegas. Sure it's not on the strip but it's like calling Decatur - Atlanta. We had an agreeably later than usual flight out of Denver. We landed in Las Vegas Airport around 1pm. I loaded in with the boys at 3pm. Everything was hunky dory over at the gig this afternoon. Business as usual. Casinos usually have pretty decent sound facilities. Today was no exception.
We started promptly at 8:30pm tonight. I played my Gibson Melody Maker (originally my Uncle Ray's - see April 20th, 2008). It's a really bright guitar. It's magnified by the brightness of a Deluxe Reverb. However, a little tone adjustment & she does alright. I love the weight & the playablilty of the guitar though. She'll do in a gun fight.
Tonight's show was a continuation of last night "kick-assery." Everything is everything. Got a day off tomorrow. A day off in a casino. I'm sure I'll find something to do.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Denver, CO


Denver is awful dry. Dryer than I remember. I woke up this morning & felt I needed to spit up perhaps some mucous. It ended up being some blood. I guess I need to drink some more water.
Anyway, I went over to the load in with the crew today - just for a second. We took the bus over & Jimmy, our driver, took me by a book store on the way back to the hotel. I picked up the new Phil Ramone biography. I really excited to read it.
Anywho, the show was something stellar tonight. This band is a well oiled machine now. Everyone is listen & contributing. Most of it is true improvisation. I love this job.