Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back home... like that!


Today started out in distress. Our bus broke down 30 miles from home. Luckily, the bus company that owns this bus was bringing us another one & met us in Acworth to make the swap. It only put us out an hour - even with the swapping of goods from one bus to another.
I got home, showered, & then had lunch with Michelle. Then it was the Falcons turn to garner my attention. They beat Carolina in a solid fashion. I like this team. I'm thinking a repeat of last year's 11-5 record. Our schedule is a toughie this year. I love the new digs though; a mix between the red from the 80's & the old school-new school black scheme.
My brother stayed at the house tonight. Michelle's going to take him to the airport in the morning.
I rolled out of Atlanta with Coy Bowles around 10:30pm en route to Athens, GA. We start fall tour rehearsals there tomorrow. I have a lot of modifications to be made to my gear between now & Wednesday. I also need a good night's sleep tonight. See you tomorrow.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Indianapolis, IN


Today was crazy. Not only did I wake up in the belly of Lucas Oil Field, but my eyes were open wide on many different matters. I got to meet Mac McAnally. I got to play with Miranda Lambert, Montgomery Gentry, Sugarland, & Kenny Chesney. Not only that, but we got to sit in with Kenny Chesney. I played guitar & sang back up vocals. What a blast! Kenny's a good dude. I hope we get to do more shows with him next year.
The Dawgs won a tight one again. I'll take the 'W.' USC got beat. Saw that. Hung out with my friend & Sugarland keyboardist Brandon Bush.
It was just a buzzy kind of day. I'm tired.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Montgomery, AL


Where do I start? We were supposed to load in in Montgomery at noon. Since we have a brand new bus (maiden voyage actually), it had some kinks that were not worked out before they gave it to us. We showed up to the gig around 6pm (an hour & a half to put everything together. That's not much time with our skeleton crew & all the gear that we have. Our expanded crew starts on Sunday. Sheesh.
The gig was great though. We played the Riverwalk Ampitheatre to close out the Bassmasters Classic. The stage kinda smelled like fish.
Anyway, I got my shower (finally) & we're heading back north to meet up with Sugarland & Kenny Chesney. I would say it's gonna be nice to see the guys in Sugarland but I saw them last week at home. Oh well.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bloomington, IL


It was a good day. We were the first of three acts tonight at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. It's an easy gig, but you don't get much time to play & you have to be on & off very quickly.
We got our new bus last night. It's pretty pimped out. We have a PA in the front & back lounge... with electric guitar inputs connected to POD's. We also have two LCD HD flat screens that pop out of the bays so we can tailgate. We watched the Georgia Tech/Miami contest, outside, tonight. This fall will be pretty comfortable.
We're in one bus this weekend... but next week starts the three bus tour. I'm ready.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Leavin'


We had our garage door looked at this morning. It did that thing that 'it doesn't act up when the repairman is there' then doesn't operate at all after he leaves. Oh well.
Michelle & I picked up her car from the mechanic. It wasn't too bad.
I left this evening to meet the bus. We left, late, for Bloomington, IL. Not much to report. I'm really glad to be back on the road. I do well out here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Improvise.


Our original intention was to drive to Snellville & clean out my old studio (which has recently become a storage facility). Then, the rain came. Then, we found out that the only key was not going to be in Snellville. So, we went performed an about face, 5 miles into our trip.
So what did we do... we improvised. We took Pete, the youngest Schnauzer to the groomer. We had brunch at The Flying Biscuit. We went home to get both cars. I followed her to the mechanic. We dropped her car off & hoped for the best. Then we went to my current studio (which, oddly enough, is also part storage facility). I grabbed a guitar that I've been meaning to trade & we went to music store to do so.
We actually took a nap today. I felt 4 years old again. Then we had our date night. We went to Agavé. Some one gave us a gift certificate. What a time we had. The burrito & stew is the shit!
I packer for the weekend & restrung my doubleneck steel guitar. What a day!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Done.


Michelle & I began the day with a run around Grant Park. After lunch at Jimmy John's, I went to COS Mastering to pick up my reference CD with some changes that Larry made. I'm really happy with it. Can't wait to put it out.
I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning my studio. I haven't done any of that for a while.
The ending to the Patriots/Bills gam on Monday Night Football was amazing. Check out the highlights on Sportscenter. I'm so glad football is back. Now, if we could just get the MLB playoffs rolling & the NBA started back up.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

ATL Sweep


All of my teams won this weekend. Tucker Tigers, South Gwinnett Comets, Georgia Bulldogs, Atlanta Braves (actually swept the Cardinals), & the Atlanta Falcons all were victorious. Hell, even Georgia Tech won on Thursday. The Falcons played well & capitalized on the Dolphins many turnovers. The defense looked really good & that was supposed to be the weak point of the team. The supposed strong point (the rushing game) was way off though. I guess there's no surprising teams with that this year. They see us coming.
Michelle & I went running... then I watched the 1pm game after a shower. I did a few things around the house. We didn't eat much today. Actually, we had juice for most of the day; juicing fruits & veggies before they go bad.
The season finalés for both 'True Blood' & 'Hung' were on HBO tonight. Both were pretty disappointing. There were great moments with both series but neither fulfilled.
I've been randomly listening to my new album. Only a few changes need to be made for it to be done. I'm really excited. Can't wait for you to hear it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Ugliest "W" Ever


Errands, errands, errands. MIchelle & I spent the day doing little errands. I restrung my new Strat. We went to the hardware store. We went to Target. She took a nap. I listened to the new record.
Then it was time for Lynn Oliver's birthday party. Lynn is ZBB's manager. We met a bunch of folks at the Cypress Grill Pint & Plate in midtown for the Georgia/South Carolina game. Lynn is from South Carolina (& went to SC). So, naturally, we were enemies tonight.
It was a sloppy game. We looked like a #21 team. I guess that I've been spoiled over the past 8-9 years. Sure, we had a year where Joe Tereshinski was our quarterback. But, for those few games with Jow T., we had 4 years of David Green, a year with Shockley, & 2 & 1/2 years of Stafford. Joe Cox seems physically unable to be the presence that we need.
Lots of fumbles, pic-6, dropped passes, bad passes, & not enough Richard Samuel. South Carolina had 80+ plays on offense to our 50+. Weak. We were lucky to win this one. Next week will be even harder. Arkansas has been gunning for us since spring practice.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Overload!


This was a day of days. I started off sprinting to Jonesboro, GA (hour round trip) to drop off my '55 Martin D28 to guitar guru Donald Dunleavy. He's gonna put some juju on it. By the time I got home it was time to leave again. Michelle & I had a full day ahead of us. We saw two new documentaries: 'The September Issue' & 'It Might Get Loud.' Both were very good. My friend Brian Wiltsey joined us for the latter. Somewhere between the two movies I picked up my new-old guitar. After shuffling some gear around, I afforded a 1961 Fender Stratocaster (thanks Sam, Jeff, & Jared). I'm not much of a Strat guy, but this is one hell of a guitar.
After the second movie, Michelle & I had dinner with a friend that we hadn't seen in quite a while. Michelle commented that it was cold outside the last time that we saw each other.
We then came home & let the boys out & fed them. Then it was off to the Son Volt concert at The Variety Playhouse. The sound was terrible. The new line up of Son Volt was ill-fitting as well. Disappointing.
After all of that, I picked up the unapproved master of my new album. I'll have the next few days to listen & make notes if need be. It's kinda like Christmas Eve... I want to listen to it now, but my ears are fried. I'll just have to wait 'til Christmas morning.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Another Day, Another Collar


I got in über-late last night. That equals late wake up. So... Michelle & I had lunch together. Then I went to Zac's to pick up his computer & Levi Lowrey's hard drive. Then I showed up just in time for a tiny session for Levi's album at my studio. Sally Jaye flew into town to sing on Levi's album. She was done in 30 minutes. It was perfect for the song.
Then I sat in on 45+ minutes of Larry Anthony mastering the new album. He doesn't need me there so I didn't feel guilty slipping out.
I dropped Zac's computer off at Atlanta Pro Audio, had dinner, then showed up at Guitar Center by 6:30pm. I judged the Atlanta finals for Guitar Center's King of the Blues competition. It was quick & painless.
Michelle & I spent the rest of the evening together. Not many Thursdays at home left for the year.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Births


Michelle & I went running. After that, I sprinted to Atlanta Pro Audio to pickup some things for Zac's new Pro Tools HD rig. I then made my way to the 800 East studio complex. Today was day one of mastering my new record with Larry Anthony at COS Mastering. As the process goes on, I get more & more excited. I feel like I've finally made a statement with this album.
Michelle & I had dinner at Lenox as I picked up the final ingredient for Zac's computer at the Apple Store.
On to Zac's for a meeting with the band regarding the upcoming tour. I got there an hour early to work on his HD rig. As I pulled up, Zac greeted me & told me 'it was time.' Zac's wife was finally ready to give birth to #3. The band moved the meeting to the patio of Dixie Tavern (appropriately enough). Georgia Brown was born sometime before midnight. A big congrats to the Brown family.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Decatur, GA


I left the house around 11:30am for my TRA (The Recording Academy) board meeting. TRA is still known as NARAS, but national has decided to shift the focus of the title of the organization. This is my third year sitting on the board - & this may have been the best meeting that I've ever attended. A lot of great things going on & coming up. One thing that I'm particularly excited about is Grammy365: it's a private social network for members in the vein of facebook. It will allow all members of TRA to network very, very easily.
Anyway, after Michelle & I walked the boys, I loaded the car & went to Eddie's Attic for the umpteenth time. Levi Lowrey was brilliant. He was perfect for opening up the show.
The last time that I played my music was sometime last year. Most of these songs I've never played live. The reason that I mention this is because I was really nervous that I was going to forget the words. I have a terrible habit of doing that. Anyway, I did for get half way through one song. Outside of that, I really, really had fun playing tonight. It makes me want to keep booking shows. It reminds me why I even write songs.
'Thank you' to everyone who enjoyed the evening with me.

Monday, September 7, 2009

In Preparation...


Today did NOT feel like a holiday. It just felt like Monday. After Michelle & I ran, I went to the studio to grab some instruments. I spent most of the day scheming for tomorrow's show. Not much else. Michelle made zucchini bread &, what I'd like to call, "fridge velcro" pot pie: basically, she cooked a bunch of veggie in a pot pie before they went bad. It was awesome. I haven't had zucchini bread in years. I think my Dad used to make it when I was kid.
I watched Stephen King's "The Mist" tonight. Wow. I was impressed. The special effects were kinda lame but the story was fantastic... like most of his movies. I suggest it.
Ready for tomorrow. Everything's restrung & packed in the basement. See you there.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

& Then There Were Only Three...


The Dawgs aren't going to look good this year. The Braves are right behind them. As of last week, they had a chance to at least make the playoffs. After 5 losses in a row, not much to look forward to. At least we can hope for the Falcons, the Hawks, & (god forbid) the Jackets.
Michelle & I attended today's snoozer between Atlanta & Cincinnati. When you let a team hang around for 12 innings & can't score more than 2 runs, you're not going to win many games.
Need rest.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

& Away We Go...


So... yeah... Georgia had flashes of brilliance today. Richard Samuel, the O Line, the D Line, & the play calling was great. The execution was kinda weak. We really coulda benefitted from Stafford & Moreno staying for one more year. Jow Cox looked okay... for an ACC QB. We gonna need more than that to beat Florida. I wouldn't be surprised if we were slightly above Vandy & Kentucky at the end of the year. If he doesn't show much more promise, Joe Cox might be the next Joe Tereshinski III. He was removed from his starting job a few years ago to start the ball rolling on a freshman named Matthew Stafford.
Anyway, I recovered from last night's gig fantastically by staying in the bed ALL DAY but an hour to walk the dogs & go downstairs to eat. Atlanta is no place to drive this weekend. Braves, Bama & VT at the Dome, Black Gay Pride Celebration, DragonCon, & NASCAR race weekend. Sheesh! I'll just stay home.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Duluth, GA


The day started out with a normal gape through my regimen. I rolled out around 10-somethin.' I carried a car full of gear to Duluth to load in at Wild Bill's. It's the renovated Service Merchandise that my family used to shop at off of Pleasant Hill Road. Another 'full circle' commonality that I have with WB's is that it's where I played my first Zac Brown Band show not even a year ago. So much has happened since then. We are much more on the radar of the biz.
Today was rough though. Slow setup. Integrating new personnel. Not only that, but we had to integrate Shawn Mullins & Aslyn for two songs each. It all ended fine though.
I was less nervous than I was on January 2nd. I'd never played with any of these guys then. No rehearsals, nothing. Just get up there & hang on... and I hung on. Tonight was a breeze. About 50% of the songs were ZBB staples. The rest of the time was filled with our guests: Shawn, Aslyn, Sonia Leigh, Levi Lowrey, & Nic Cowan. I love playing. I love taking time off from playing. It's like being well rested & fed before going on a run; it actually feels good to push your body.
Anyway, I returned home with no gear in my car. It all went on the trailer for our gigs in a couple of weeks. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tiny Stuff


I rolled into the studio today with a mission: to find a certain song among 8 hard drives & mix it in a timely fashion. I was done in 4 hours. It's a live version of "Where the Boat Leaves From" from our May 25th Chastain show for a GAC Special.
Michelle & I ran around Grant Park after I got home. We spent the afternoon & evening together. Then, around 9:30pm, I headed over to Zac's house to hash out some of these new records for his label. Lots of work still to be done.
Good news: we'll be mastering my new record soon. The plan is in the works!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

& That's How the Day Flies By...


Shortly after waking up, I worked out... too hard. My blood sugar bottomed out & I never really recovered all day.
Michelle & I celebrated with her inlaws for their anniversary. I think they've been married for like 900 years or something.
Anyway, nothing else to mention. Michelle & I broiled fish tonight. It was our first attempt at fish. I dug it... she didn't. We did have ice cream from Morelli's for desert. I also restrung one of my lap steels & we watched the new Warehouse 13.
See... told you that it's boring.