Monday, June 28, 2010

Chicken... head... off


Today started with "not enough sleep." For some reason my mind was burning up 5th gear last night. My body was exhausted but my brain was ready for anything. I laid in the bed for 3+ hours & watched TV until 1:30am. So when 9:30am rolled around & I heard my sister slam the door on her way out, I was up... but not happy.
I left the house a little after 10am & made it to the warehouse at 11am. I picked up a couple of guitars & a 8 space rack to finish my new guitar road rig. I then went to the studio. Keith Stegall & John Kelton sent me a mix of "Who Knows?" from the new record. All it lacks is my guitar solo. So I set up for that & knocked it out in 5 takes. I should've gotten it in one. I've been playin' that damn thing for a year & a half. Once I found the pace of the build it was easy. Normally the pace follows me... but since the length was already dictated - I had to follow. I sent it to them by 2pm.
I then went to Boutique Guitar Exchange for some mando picks. The crew lost my last three. It took me over a year to lose my previous three. The crew lost these in 3 weeks. So I got more. I normally wouldn't make a big deal out of it - the they're $5 each. It's not even about the $5 - it's just that $5 is a lot for a pick. BUT I like them.
Then it was off to Arden's Garden to get 2 gallons of their juice detox formula. I will rock that starting Wednesday. I need to shake the baby some how.
Anyway, I was back in Snellville by 4pm. I cleaned, fixed, & put stuff away at the house for 4 hours. I made a list for WalMart & Home Depot... went there & got what I needed. Then, I came back & put away all that stuff - or repaired what needed to be repaired. 10:30pm - I'm tired. Ready to crash. Hopefully not another late night.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Constant Motion


I was up & showered & out the door with Mom by 10am. We had breakfast at Waffle House. It's been a minute for me. I LUV me some Waffle House... especially in infrequent & small doses.
We went to my house & she help me put together my bed frame & make my bed & such. I took her home & then returned to my house to empty boxes for the next few hours.
Coy called around 3:30pm & told me he needed some of his tunes on a drive so Matt & Levi could play on them while he's in Nashville this week. Soooo... I drove to Atlanta & did that for him. I also found the time to drop in on IKEA & pick up a couple of tiny things.
I finally returned to my house around 9pm & worked for another hour until I heard my bed calling me. It's time. I'm out.
PS> IKEA is pretty bad ass. Sure some of there stuff is cheap... but you gotta give it up.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Coy Bowles in the studio

After a late night & a long day yesterday, I got up at 9am this morning. I met Donald Dunlavey in Atlanta & picked up my mandolin. He put a new pickup on it for me. My pickup took a shit at the last gig. This new pickup should be a good change for everybody... especially Eric, our front of house guy.
Coy & I worked until 8:00pm, upon where I drove back to Snellville & emptied boxes for a couple of hours. Since my air conditioning is broken & won't be fixed until Wednesday, I was soaking wet upon leaving around 10:45pm. I made a lot of headway though. Putting together the bed tomorrow.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Move (day two)


I was up at 9am. I did two phone interviews before I left the house. I was already behind schedule when I did. I ran a ton of errands in Snellville & somehow made it to Michelle's house by noon. There, we waited & waited & worked & waited & waited. Finally the movers showed up around 5:30pm. Long story short... my day ended around 10:30pm. I'm so tired I can't see straight. More madness tomorrow... of a different kind. I'll be in the studio with Coy tomorrow. Sorry I don't have more details... I don't want to give them & I'm so tired that I couldn't give them even if I wanted to.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Move (day one)


Yesterday didn't even deserve a blog. We stayed the whole day in Indianapolis, IN while the bus drivers slept. Lynn, Chef Rusty, Massif, Merch Josh, & I went to see "Get Him to the Greek" at the closest movieplex. It was pretty good. It was very streaky though. The good parts were really good & the bad parts were really bad - not by design. It spoofed the music business quite a bit... those parts were funny, but sad because they were sooooo close to the truth.
We rolled out of Indy by 8:30pm bound for the ATL.
I woke up in my bunk around 4:30am to find Levi & Lynn still drinkin' & laughin.' I just decided to get up at that point... we were only an our & a half away from the bus drop.
I got to Michelle's around 7:30am. Let out the dogs. Took a shower. Grabbed a cat nap. Michelle & I spent the day getting my stuff ready for the move. We made a run to Snellville to drop off boxes & pick up furniture. We also made a run to IKEA for both of us. Then, I put her new bookshelf together. We ate dinner, packed my truck again, & I was off for the evening.
These events may not seem like a lot... but they took all day. I'm finally chillin' & about to crash. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Osh Kosh, WI


Country USA! Randy Houser opened tonight. Headlining these country festivals is all about "hurry up & wait." You'd be surprised how much these types of days can wear on you. It was a 2 hour "best of what we got" show. They were a great crowd for a Tuesday night. We went from 10pm-midnight.
Everyone is broken on the road. We're ALL ready to go home & recharge. Some are flying... some of us are riding home on the buses - those riding are spending the day in Indianapolis while the bus drivers sleep. See you then...

Monday, June 21, 2010

DAYYYY OFFFFF!

We kept our hotel rooms here in Prior Lake, MN. I left only to eat. I needed it. 4 shows in a row are hard on me right now. Since I haven't been working out my endurance is rather low. One show tomorrow then a day trip home from Osh Kosh, WI.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Prior Lake, MN


Take three! This is the third time that we played Mystic Lake Casino since I've been in the band. The first time was March of '09 opening for Little Big Town. We also played a year ago as a headliner. I like this place. They've always been very accommodating.
It was a Southern Ground show tonight. It being Fathers' Day & a Sunday really showed on the crowd. They we're not giving back what we were giving them in regards to energy. That can make a show less fun sometimes. It's also a 'dry' casino. Lack of alcohol is also a momentum killer sometimes.
We endured though. By the end they were on their feet. Not much else to report. Tomorrow is a full day off. Really looking forward to that.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Walker, MN


Loooong day today. We got there around 8am. Loaded in. We were totally done with the stage by 10:30am. & then the waiting began. Yesterday & today I had the perfect opportunity to work out. 50% laziness, 40% not wanting to be sore for this run, & 10% waiting until the right time to start deterred me heavily. I do, however, have a plan for reentry into the work of athletics.
We took a picture for protectourcoastline.org. We covered our hands in Hershey's chocolate syrup for the pic. It looked like oil. Cool pic.
The Eat & Greet was fun. A little weird because normal festival patrons could see us. The backstage was only separated by a chain link fence. So, people lined up along the outside of that fence & took pictures not 10 feet away from the Eat & Greet. A little awkward.
The artists for today's festival lineup were Chuck Wicks, Colt Ford, Sammy Kershaw, Kellie Pickler, & us. I felt like it took forever for it to be our turn to play. 11pm couldn't have come any sooner. The RAWK was experienced. Paul made an unorthodox set list for tonight. A true breath of fresh air. We opened with "Devil"... "Free" was 3rd, "Who Knows?" was just before "Chicken Fried" at the end & "Highway 20 Ride" was closer to the end too. Those tunes are usually in the exact opposite of those locations. Great changes.
Not a bad day at all. On to Prior Lake.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Somerset, WI (where?)


The never ending festival day. Not much to do back stage. I could've worked out with Jimmy & the crew. Just decided not to. I restrung ALL of my instruments - all before noon. Bands all day on the stage. I took a nap (a couple of times). I'm diggin' on Sci-Fi Channel's version of Dune. It's a mini-series so it's kinda long. Just straight diggin' on it.
Hopkins sang his part on the Joey+Rory tune that I sung on a couple of days ago. I sent it to Keith Stegall this afternoon.
We also celebrated Paul & Jeffrey's birthdays at dinner. Rusty & Josh made lasagna (& we had some birthday cake).
Since I had so much rest, I was a little spark plug on stage tonight. I've had my in ear monitors up too loud the past few nights. I need to quit that shit. It's easier to hear everything & rock - but not for 4 hours. I need to watch it. That's how you lose your hearing.
Anyway, ready to continue the Dune. I also have Children of Dune waiting on me when this is done. Über-dork, I know!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Burlington, IA


I woke up around the time that we got here. For some reason, I have been busy all damn day. Not a terrible problem to have. I've been on the phone, I've been checking instruments, soundcheck, a ton of miscellaneous stuff too. Amassing information for most of the day. It seems that most of the day was used doing multiple tiny things at the same it. Multi-tasking. I broke away for a bit to grab a shower at our hotel.
I got that version of "Free" back from the mastering guys. Love it. Really happy. I hope you hear it on the radio soon. Kyle Landas from Under One Moon Custom Leather came over early to give Zac a strap that he had made for him. It was truly a work of art.
The "Eat & Greet" was a ton of fun today. Don't know why. The vibe was just great.
The show was ON FIRE tonight. Finally a night that wasn't 90º+ in the evening. It was humid, but in the low 80's high 70's. It's so much easier to rock at a reasonable temperature. I can safely say that tonight was the best "Who Knows?" solo that I've ever done. It was one complete, long thought. I was just loving playing tonight. Didn't matter what song. Just loving it.
We're leaving soon, so... 6+ hour drive. Bring it on!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Just Another Wednesday


I got no sleep last night. I rolled to the studio around 9:30am. On the way, I picked up my dry cleaning for the road. Sometimes you gotta be starched & pressed - know what I'm saying?
Anyway, I mixed the shit out of the song I had been working on. It's an acoustic version of our current single, "Free." We're trying to work that tune on AAA & Hot AC radio. Most of those types of stations have a Sunday morning acoustic only type of show. Sooo... this makes it easier to get picked up on those stations to have alternate acoustic versions for those particular shows. I turned it in around noon for mastering. Should be done by tomorrow. Really proud of it.
I ran a couple of errands & sang on a Joey+Rory tune in my spare time. Around 3:30pm I rolled over to Eric's house & picked him up for our 5pm bus leave time. We're on our way Iowa so we'll be riding for a minute. Wyatt & I had a #1 party. Every time he has a #1 song (in this case, Highway 20 Ride), he & I enjoy a #1 Value Meal at McDonald's. Yes, that's a Big Mac. We've been overdue because that tune went #1 a while ago.
Our trip so far has been uneventful... like I like it. Lots of conversations... listening to music... watching the Braves... watching Strikeforce on Showtime. We just picked up Mangano & Joey+Rory in Nashvillle. Time to crash. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Proactive!

It's absolutely absurd that it's already the 15th. I don't know how these things happen.
Anyway, I was up early. I made it into the studio by 5 after 10 this morning. I downloaded a Pro Tools session & audio files. I shuffled things around in the session - mainly muting things I didn't want. I set up for upright bass. John Hopkins was set for destruction. He knocked out his bass take in one try. Impressive says I. I then played a harmonium track & sang a back ground vocal.
I then made my way out of the building & to Lenox Mall. The Apple Store was calling my name - my computer is semi-broke. They couldn't see me there - I didn't have an appointment. So they sent me to Perimeter Mall, upon where I waited for 3 hours for my appointment time. Upon inspection, they ordered a part & told me to bring it back next week. Can do.
Michelle & I met up tonight to discuss some details for the future... & eat dinner. Then back to the studio. I played a resonator part on this song that I'm workin' on. It's going to sound great. Sending a mix for approval as I write. Once it's approved, then it's off to mastering.
Hot diggity dog.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Gwinnett Braves


I rolled off of the bus around 8am in northeast Atlanta. I then drove through Atlanta traffic to Zac's place, very south of Atlanta. I drove there to grab some audio files from a hard drive... a hard drive, in hind sight, that was not in his possession. I left empty handed & made my way back to northeast Atlanta. The whole excursion cost me 4 hours (& I'm sure a few $$$ in gas).
I also ran some errands around Snellville & had lunch. I sat down to watch "Shutter Island" on DVD with Mom & my brother, Josh. He's in town for vacation. Why he picked this hot summer - I don't know. I ended up falling asleep; compiling my Z's.
We left the house around 6pm for Coolray Stadium - home of the Gwinnett Braves (the Atlanta Braves AAA team). I've never been to a G Braves game. This is their second year here since the move from Richmond, NC.
The heat was bearable after the 3rd inning. We sat in the second row behind home, slightly off to the left. Great seats! Every time the count was full (3 balls, 2 strikes) my Mom would say "full house." Josh & I didn't have the heart to correct her. Plus, it was rather entertaining.
Anyway, the Braves won. Fun was had by all. I will go again. Totally worth it.
A full day of work for tomorrow. Complete report to come.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Manchester, TN (a.k.a., Bonnaroo)


We played it last year. We played on Thursday night in a tiny tent at midnight last year. This year we played on the final night on the big stage just before the headliner: Dave Matthews Band. That is a testament of how this past year has gone for us.
I woke around 7:45am. I got some decent sleep last night so it was natural to get up that early. I walked the grounds - soaking it all in - knowing good & well that it was going to be hot & crowded today. There was a LOT of trash on the ground. In spots it resembled a landfill. They had teams starting at 8:30am cleaning all of the trash this morning.
I visited the T-Shirt stand & picked up a few things. I still wear the Wilco shirt from last year's Bonnaroo.
We had press stuff to do from 1pm-2:30pm. Then, Jimmy, Chris, & I made our way to a hotel & each took a shower. It was refreshing (for all of 20 minutes, until I walked back outside). It was another hot one today. It's very draining to be in the heat, day in-day out.
Our seat was great. I had a ton of fun. This was one of the first shows where everyone in the crowd 'was with me' on my "Who Knows?" solo. I could feel the energy of the crowd as we continued through that tune. It's WAYYYY different than predominantly country crowds.
That's all I got. I'm honestly bushed. Time to crash & go home.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Nashville, TN (CMA Fest)

As the heat started up today I wondered if I'd ever be cool again while outside. There was a great deal of "hurry up & wait" sprinkled throughout the day. We had soundcheck at 1:30pm. We ended up playing LP Field again this year. For those of you who don't know, LP Field is where the Tennessee Titans play football (I'd say upwards of 50-60,000 people were there tonight). We played third from last. It was a great slot.
Around 5pm we had our "Zamily Reunion." The Zamily is our fan club. We filled a club in the middle of the day with some of our fan club members, fed them, BMI presented us with some awards, & we played a short, impromptu set for them. It was a great afternoon. I think we're going to do that every year.
Tonight's BIG shor was a little different. We started around 9:30pm. Besides "Toes," we played everything everyone was NOT expecting us to play. I got to step out on "Who Knows?" tonight in front of X amount people. It was a really cool feeling to play a long guitar solo for a stadium full of people. We also played an almost unknown song with Joey+Rory: "This Song's For You." The crowd seemed to dig it too. We capped it off with the long version of "Free."
What a day. Tomorrow should be even more exciting. There is a rumor floating around about some one sitting in with us at Bonneroo. If it happens, I'll be able to die after the set. Of course, I'll keep you informed.

Birmingham, AL


What a day. I was up around 8am. Believe me, I was one of the only ones. Most everyone rocked it hard last night in Memphis. It was a nice morning though. It also was on it's way to being super hot... which it achieved.
We had a photoshoot from 11:30m-3pm. It was mainly for American Songwriter magazine, but I'm sure we'll use some of the shots for new promo pics. It wasn't that the shoot was demanding, it just took away from our normal scheduled easy day. Therefore, tonight's show in the humidity & the heat, minus an easy day, equalled my current state of soreness, dehydration, & exhaustion. Guess I'm just getting older. I really have to pace myself. Tonight's show was dubbed "The P90X" show by Jimmy. It was a success, but it took its toll for sure. I've played here many times with Marshall Tucker: Verizon Wireless Music Center. It was good to play here again. This is actually where John Mayer recorded his first live DVD/CD.
Two HUMONGOUS shows next for us: CMA Fest & Bonneroo. Stoked for both. Stay the course. A thousand points of life. Focus, Daniel-son.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Memphis, TN


For some strange reason I was up at 7am. I was in the front seat as the bus pulled into the venue. Mud Island has been here forever & it's an original. They sunk a giant freighter in the middle of the Mississippi River & sediment built up around it. So they built an island on that. & built a venue on that. It was kinda tiny. The crowd was great. We held the show for over an hour waiting on the lightning & the rain to let up. Supposedly there was another system moving in a little over an hour after this one passed. So we were prepared to play an hour set & 'get out of Dodge.' Fortunately, the system went north of us all together. We played a good 2 hour+ set. Since Zac was winging the setlist after 45 minutes, we played some cool, unusual stuff. My favorite audible of the night was "Lonesome"... a Shawn Mullins song. I started on pedal steel but moved over to Hammond organ shortly before the first chorus. Lotsa fun.
Anyway, it could've been MUCH worse tonight. 3 more shows... so I'd better pace myself.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Nashville, TN (CMT Awards)


After a 3:30am sleep start time, I was wide awake shortly after 7am. It was a good thing. I felt a hangover coming on. I grabbed my Advil & a bottle of water & went to work. Around 9am I made my way a block to the McDonald's & loaded up on the Deluxe Big Breakfast. I've heard that it famously helps with hangovers. By noon I was as right as rain.
It was a lot of hurry up & wait today... like normal if you're performing on these award shows. It was a good day though. We had no problems whatsoever. The show went great. We're kind of used to NOT winning at this point. It makes sense. We don't have a great online presence so we always lose the fan voted stuff. We also lack a great Nashville industry presence so we usually lose the industry voted stuff. Those awards are very political & we have very few lobbyists in our court here in Nashvegas.
Our performance was pleasing though. We also enjoyed NOT going down the red carpet this year. It's just not us & we're at a point in our career where we don't have to do everything everyone asks of us.
It was great to see John Mayer. We have a lot of similarities in our lives right now. I think that both of us are moving in a direction that each of us wants to go in. Other than that... the lack of sleep has finally caught up with me. I am bushed. See you tomorrow in Memphis.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Nashville, TN (CMT Awards Rehearsal)


Let us recap Sunday a tad, shall we? Got home. Did laundry. Went to see Levi Lowrey & Sonia Leigh at Park Tavern that night. Sat in with Sonia on Hammond for a few tunes. Saw a friend I haven't seen in years. It was a good night.
Monday was chalked up to errands. Lots to take care of with only one day to do it in. I did manage to pick up Eric (our front of house mixer) in time to catch the bus at 11pm.
I woke up in my bunk in the parking lot of the Bridgestone Arena here in Nashville. It was completely uneventful today. We played our tune 4 times... they did camera blocking... then we were done.
Zac & I went to Gruhn's Guitars - upon where he bought a FANTASTIC sounding acoustic guitar. Not sure of the manufacturer - it was a custom jobber built for George Gruhn himself. Soooo, Zac left with that.
I took a nap today. I'm either reverting back to 4 years old or getting closer to 64. Don't know which is more appropriate.
Hung out with Mayer tonight. He's playing with Keith Urban tomorrow at the awards. His plane landed at 10pm CST. Maybe that nap WAS useful. I had the most wonderful time with him ever... almost as good as 'lo-fi masters' at Eddie's.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Charleston, SC


An utter ass whooping today & tonight. It was a million degrees all day & a zillion percent humidity. My numbers might be slightly off... but just slightly. Half way through the set I started feeling really, really funny... & not in a good way. I'll chalk that up to dehydration. I should probably burn my clothes. I made it through though. The show was great. It was a perfect length & the audience was with us the whole way. It's been a while since I've been this tired though. Thank you, Charleston.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Simpsonville, SC


"Who knows what the thunder & lightning will bring?" - Coy Bowles
So... Simpsonville - suburb of Greenville/Spartanburg, SC. My Mom's side of the family's stomping grounds. I am very familiar with this part of the world.
Since we had an extremely late leave time from Enterprise, AL last night (5am EST), we were über-late to SC today. Normally, we load in at 8am or 9am. We landed here today around 1pm. Chef Rusty barely pulled off the Eat & Greet today. I restrung both necks on my pedal steel, restrung my mandolin, & soundcheck/rehearsed with Sonia & Nic. I filled in on bass tonight for the honeymooning Matt Mangano. It was a lot of fun playing bass. I got a lot of shedding done last week for Matt's wedding so I had my chops nice & sharp for tonight.
About 2 hours into the show, there was a ton of lightning. The promoters told us to tell the crowd to all go back to their cars. A solid hour & a half later we resumed the show. More than 3/4 of the crowd stayed & we had a great time. While it was strange to play half a set, take a 90 minute break, then play another hour... it was a great way to save the night. Refunds & make up dates are costly & hellish to try to pull off.
Well, I've been sneezing all day. Must've been allergic to something blooming here. Took a Benedryl... probably going to pass out shortly. Onto Charleston, SC...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Enterprise, AL - aka BamaJam - aka The Longest Day Ever


I got up at 7:30am. Rolled out of my bunk ready for anything. I helped the crew set the stage this morning. It was a small stage (for our show specs). Not much room to run around once everything was set. I started a song today. I also planned a few things - made a few phone calls too. Everyone had terrible cel service today. I did a lot of thinking today too. Jake Bartol & I went to take advantage of our vacant crew dressing rooms. I came back, had dinner, & then went to sleep. I got a coupe hours & still had 2 hours til showtime when I woke. Meet & greet - warm ups - the stage was running late so we went on 30 minutes late as well.
Good show, Great crowd. Humid. Bugs. Smiles. Volume. The new Taylor electrics were awesome. Stayed in tune remarkably well no matter how hard I hit them.
Need more sleep. 8 hours til Simpsonville.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Things to Do


I got up early. Did some paper work. UPS brought me two new Taylor electrics to try out on the road. I am thoroughly impressed. The other electric models never jived with me. These (the same model with pickup & switching variations) are right up my ally. Solidbody Custom - Koa version. I have the humbucker version (coil tapped) & a version with 3 mini humbuckers with a 5 way switch. I must say, after a couple of hours playing them, they are ready for the road. That's the real test... if they hold up during a ZBB show.
Anyway, I left the house for the Fulton County Tax Commissioner's Office. I bought the tag & registration for my new truck... my new RAM truck. I also ran some other errands. Today also had a few phone interviews (aka Phoners - not to be confused with boners). I also went to see Ryan Newell today. I acquired his Bradshaw Switching Rig. I'm going to use it for the road. It's really neat. I'll put some stuff on the website when I'm done modifying it to my specs.
Not much to report outside of that. I met the bus around 10:30pm. We're on our way to pick Zac up en route to Alabama. See you there... maybe.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fayetteville, AR (a.k.a., Back to Work)


Since my last post I've really done nothing of career interest. I did attend Matt & Emily Mangano's wedding in San Luis Obispo, CA. A good time was had by most. I'm really happy for them.
Today I left the house around 9am. I visited two different banks this morning for different reasons. Then it was ALL the way across town to Peachtree City, GA. We took one of Wal-Mart's private jets to Fayetteville, AR... & landed there around 1:30pm CST. It was a normal show day. We set up & line checked. We played the arena that's normally used for University of Arkansas sports events. It was a giant corporate gig for the biggest corporate retail chain in the world. We opened for Tim McGraw. We didn't get to meet him though. We were in the air by the time his set started. I am in the bed already. We woke up in our own beds, had a full day at the office, & will sleep in our bed too. It's like I have a normal job or something. Anyway... getting my house in order, so to speak. Sorry I can't talk about it... it's just personal. See you tomorrow.