Thursday, July 31, 2008

Travel Day

It's rare to sleep in on the road this year. We have either gone on to the next city shortly after the gig or caught the first flight out the next morning. This month is full of days off on the road. It just worked out better that way.
I got up & showered & hit the bus by 11am. We had a 6 hour drive ahead of us. If GPS or Mapquest says 6 hours you add 2 hours. A really good rule of thumb is 1 hour added for every 3 hours driven. And boy was I right today. I much rather would've driven last night. But... that full night's sleep in a comfortable bed was hard to argue with.
Not much to report. I played some of my new "Marshall Tucker" songs or the guys on the bus. Chris Hicks started my journey down the path of learning he harmonica. I think I'll be able to do this. It's the technique that gets you.
I'm currently cozy on the 7th floor of the Denver Airport Marriott. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Santa Fe, NM

Take me far away...
We woke up in Phoenix & flew to Albuquerque, NM. There, the bus picked us up. We had to wait around for 2 extra hours because our luggage didn't make it on our flight. Oh well. After that we tooled down the road to Santa Fe.
We stayed in a pretty nice place. It's called The Lodge. It's more resort than hotel. No matter. All I did was rinse off, go play a gig, & sleep.
The gig was nutso. We played 2 hours 45 minutes. Doug was in a weird mood. He was happy though. Good playing by all. I could get a tone worth a shit out of the rental silverface Deluxe Reverb. Ya use whatcha got.
I'm worn out already. At least we have tomorrow off.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

CSNY: Déja Vu

Michelle & I hit up Agnes & Muriels today for lunch. I dare you to find any place that's cooler & has such good food! I had buttermilk fried chicken, cornbread, & okra. Kick ass.
Then we went & bought a fan for one of the rooms in our house. We're trying to become less dependent on air conditioning. We put one in our living room & it's much cooler than any room on that level.
We also saw the new "Neil Young" produced movie. It was called CSNY: Déja Vu. It was an account of Neil releasing 2006's "Living with War" & CSNY touring it to much backlash in the U.S. Our president was still relatively well thought of n '06. It was a very good movie. It was one that made you think. THey made a lot of points. There was just focus on the tour - but everything to do with the war.
We went home for an hour or two & then I went to the airport at 6pm for my 8pm flight. We ended up actually taking off at 11pm. 5 hours at the Atlanta airport didn't suck but I could've spent my time a little better. Thanks a lot U.S. Airways!
In leaving so late, we missed our connection in Phoenix. So... here I am in a hotel room with 6 hours of sleep ahead of me. What a way to start a 13 day run.

Monday, July 28, 2008

And it goes a little something like this...

I got up & patched the studio up for Will Robertson who was working with Rebecca Loebe (photo to left). I was outta there by 11:30am. Then, Michelle & I had lunch with my Mom. Then, we came home & did our own thing for a few hours. Then, we participated in the taping of a new Animal Planet show. THey were shooting it about dogs that lived in our neighborhood. Then, we had dinner. Then, we went to the studio at 10pm to take some additional pictures for my upcoming media blitz regarding the new album. Then, I helped Will tear down his session. Then, we came home. Now I'm going to go to sleep. THE END (I think)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Atlanta, GA

Well rested. Well rested. I can't say enough. MIchelle & I spent the day together. I went to the studio to do a little cleaning & burn a couple of CD's. I also picked up my Martin & I was off by 6pm. I jumped on stage around 8pm. I was a good set. I felt like I won a couple of folks over who were just there to socialize. It's a hard battle - but I've fought it before.
It was a relatively good day. And with all of that rest I've worn myself out again. See you tomorrow.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Rome, GA... NOT!

I fell asleep last night in my bunk in Clear Lake, IA. I was awoken 3 hours later at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. We flew the early flight to Atlanta. I then accompanied our road manager, David, to Thrifty rental car. It was as long as we've ever had to wait on a rental. It took us an hour & a half to get the two mini vans. They also were paving I-85/75 downtown this weekend. So... we had to go around Atlanta instead of through the city to get to Rome.
Long story short - I finally got in the bed at 3pm. It rained all afternoon. I was awoken by some thunder claps on two different occasions. At 5pm I got a call from our road manager saying that the gig was rained out. No biggie.
Barry Borden & I both manned a rental van & returned them 2 hours later. I was home by 8pm. In the bed by 9pm. Let's see how long it takes to fall asleep. I would think not long.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Clear Lake, IA

We got up at 7am for our 8am bus call. I slept the entire way to Clear Lake, IA from St. Cloud, MN. Jimmy Petty is an awesome driver.
It was a very productive day. I put out a handful of fires today. Putting out fires in my line of work usually consists of credit correction, phone calls, & interviews. I also wrote 2 new songs for the upcoming Marshall Tucker Band album. I've had these ideas lying around for about a month. I took the time today to knock them out. It only took an hour & a half to complete both tunes. I'm really excited about it. They sound like old country Tucker... which is my favorite part of this band.
We played The Surf Ballroom tonight. The Georgia Satellites opened up for us tonight. They were wonderful (as usual).
We played a blazing set. However, right in the middle of "the last song," the club owner had them crank up the house lights. He wanted the show to be over. That was the wrong thing to do to Doug Gray. He got on that microphone & let them have it. We also played a 12 minute version of "Ride of Your Life." Needless to say, we'll never play The Surf Ballroom ever again. No big loss. I don't think Doug ever liked this room anyway.
I'm sitting here in the hotel hallway waiting on my laundry to dry... or is it waiting on the world to change? We'll never know.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Royalton, MN

I rolled out of my bunk around 4am on 3 hours of sleep. We took a direct Northwestern flight to MInneapolis. There we were picked up by some runners for tonight's gig. We took the 2 hour trip to St. Cloud. It's usually quicker but we rolled through MInneapolis proper at rush hour.
After we landed at our hotel, I had some breakfast & crashed in my newfound bed. I slept solid for almost 7 hours. I must've needed it. It was good.
I took a walk around town & then did a myriad of work for my upcoming release. You'd be surprised how much work it really is to do it right.
Anyway, we left the hotel around 9:30pm for Royalton, MN (which really isn't a city, but farmland). We played the first night of a 3 day festival tonight. The Kentucky Headhunters & The Georgia Satellites opened up for us tonight. The Satellites will be opening for us for the next 3 nights. It isn't the first time that they've opened for us - & it won't be the last. They're booked by the same folks who book us.
The gig was slamming. It sounded good on stage (as opposed to last night's gig). It was rental gear, but I had a good sounding Deluxe Reverb. It was teetering on the edge of breaking down, but never did.
I'm back to the room now. Time to sleep. Jimmy pickes us up in the morning & takes us to CLear Lake, IA. Yay!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cottageville, WV

Ain't no shame in this game! I went to bed around 4:30am last night. I just couldn't sleep. It happens sometimes. No worries. My 8am bus call got me in the bunk by 9am. I was up around 1:30pm - somewhere where 81 merges with 77 in Virginia.
We rolled up to the hotel in time to enjoy an hour of relaxation. Then it was off to the gig.
We played a county fair. We haven't done many of these in the last year, but trust me, we've done our share. THe folks were really, really nice. It was a completely enjoyable show - on our end too. The band played some cool stuff tonight. It's always easier when we can hear ourselves. I started with the Firebird tonight but moved to the Les Paul just to change things up. We're bringing her for the next 3 days anyway - why not?
I'm back at the hotel right now. We have enough time to take a shower & jump back on the bus. See you in Minnesota!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Special Kind of Crazy

I was out by 2am last night... & up by 9am this morning. Michelle & I went to see The Dark Knight today. I absolutely loved it. I hate to jump on the band wagon, but Heath Ledger's performance was amazing. I'd go ahead & nominate him for Best Supporting Actor. I think I'd like to see it again. It was a great movie.
Anyway, I left the airport at 8pm in a rental car with my 3 other Georgia-Marshall Tucker brethren. We headed up to Spartanburg, SC for the night. We're slated to leave there early in the morning tomorrow.
I've been obsessing madly over Purple Chick. There's this person or organization that has been remastering old Beatles recordings & other things. They sound really great. Did you know that Sgt. Peppers was originally intended to be mono. The only digital reference that we have is a crappy stereo mix - mastered crappily in 1988. These versions are much better. You have to scour the net to find them. They're kinda illegal - but so worth it. It's my new obsession. I've spent the last 36 hours of my spare time downloading them.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Day Off (part... ah, who cares)

I started the day off fairly slow. I was washed & ready to do nothing around noon. I didn't do much - it was wonderful. I made a bank deposit, set up a drum session for Will Robertson for The Brilliant Inventions. I then came home for dinner & play time with the dogs.
Michelle & I had planned to go see the Batman movie but she ended up passing out early. So I went to the studio & shut things down there. No harm, no foul. I'll see it tomorrow. It was a 'chill' day.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Decatur, GA

I was in the bed by 4:30am. However, I couldn't get to sleep until it was closer to 6am. I don't know why - I just couldn't.
I got up around 11am. I had a lot to do today & almost not enough time to do it.
I went & picked up the boys in Snellville & brought them home. They were pretty tired from played all weekend with Michelle's Mom's dog. Michelle got home around 4pm - so I spent most of my alone afternoon cleaning the house for her re-entry.
I left the house around 4:30pm for Eddie's. I played a writers in the round benefit for the John Jarrard Foundation. It was Pat Terry, Jan Smith, & Larry Jon WIlson. I suggest buying anything Larry Jon Wilson has recorded. He is a truly brilliant man. He used to buddy around with Townes Van Zandt, Mickey Newbury, & John Prine. I would think those names may be more familiar to you.
I'm pretty beat. I'll catch you on the flip side.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Miami, FL

I woke up at the front door of our hotel. I slept pretty long & hard last night. I guess I just plum wore myself out yesterday.
We had about 3 hours at the hotel. We "stayed" at the Miccosukee Casino & Resort here in the middle of the 'glades. We played their festival about 20 minutes away.
It was a hot one today. 105˚ in the swamp at 3pm is not a place you want to be if you have a choice. Especially in JUly. The only time worse than this would probably be August. The set was good though. Doug had some issues singing but the playing was great. Everybody there was really nice too. Mitch Rider & Th Detroit Wheels played before us & Kansas played after us. It was good to the Kansas boys again. I think the last time we saw them was Houston in October of last year.
We were on our way home by 6pm. I passed the ƒ out. I woke up around 9:30pm & watched Superbad on satellite. It's still a pretty funny movie. It's funny because I identify with it. At least to a point.
I should be home before the sun comes up. Let's see if I can hang until then.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hilton Head, SC

I got a decent amount of sleep last night. It seems that during the summer I'm pretty preoccupied with the concept of sleep. It's becoming increasingly important to the way I do my job.
I was up & out the door by noon. I parked at the airport & picked up a rental van from National. I then picked Barry Borden up where the bus normally picks us up. We were off to Macon, GA by 12:30pm. It's there that we picked up Chris Hicks & Marcus Henderson bound for HIlton Head. We listened to iPod, told stories, & listened to the built in Sirius radio. It was a great little trip.
We rolled right up to the hotel around 5pm. I then returned the rental to the Hilton Head airport & taxied back to the hotel. I ha about 2 hours to kill so I just laid down & watched Sportscenter.
It was a typical Marshall Tucker gig. We bussed over to the venue, played the show, & took off to the next town. It was a great show - though Doug had a rough night with certain notes. I'm beat. See you tomorrow.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Brian Wiltsey (day ten)

I got up early (10am is early when you finally crashed around 6am). I got up & took the boys to Snellville. They were happy to take the trip though. It's a long trip to & from Snellville in the middle of the day. I'd much rather make it at 3 in the morning.
Anyway, I came home & took a quick nap. Then I met Brain back at the studio. We finished all of the lead vocal tracks for the record. I also made mixes for Tim Smith. He's going to play bass on the record in his spare time. Tim is the bass player for Sheryl Crow. He's really good.
Anyway, I'm sleepy now. I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Home Alone

SO Michelle left for Daytona around the same time I left for Houston. SO - I'm home alone with the boys this week. I slept in (to the best of my abilities - when Schnauzers gotta go, Schnauzers gotta go!). I ran a ton on teeny, tiny little errands today. I also finished a mix of a track I recorded almost three years ago for an Atlanta band called Morningstate. I mixed it for posterity's sake.
Around midnight I met Brian Wiltsey at the studio. He came straight from a gig so his voice was nice & warm. We got two lead vocal tracks down solid. That's all our goal was - to get a couple down. He sings so much better at night - late night. I didn't have anything better to do.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Camp Jam - Houston

I was up by 5am. I was at the Atlanta airport by 6am. My flight left just before 8am EST. I landed in Houston two hours later. I cabbed to the Houston Camp Jam campus.
The folks were great. The instructors were great. The kids were great. It was the easiest 'Master Class' that I've ever done. This is my 4th. I was in & out.
I rolled back to Houston-Hobby & caught my flight back to ATL. I was home by 9pm. It was a long day but didn't seem like a long day. I'll take it. I don't have anything to do until noon tomorrow. Jealous?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Brian Wiltsey (day nine)

I got my act together today. I restrung a guitar or two. I sent some mail. I also finalized all of my album artwork... though I can't turn it in today.
Michelle & I went & picked up some books on living green. I think we're going to make a go of this - change our life to better ourselves, the world, & our perspective offspring.
Anyway, I met Brian Wiltsey at the studio around 4pm. We started a new song today. We got everything done except final vocals on it. His voice was pretty shot from a long weekend of gigs - so we didn't do any singing tonight. We've also decided to scrap one song, but finish it. It just won't be on the record. I played bass on that song tonight. We'll mix it & master it along with the other stuff. It just doesn't fit the record.
I need to crash. I have to be up before 5am tomorrow morning.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I slept hard, ya'll. I was in & out of the bed solid until 3pm. The artwork is done. All I have to do is turn it in.
Michelle & I saw Hellboy 2 today. I really, really liked it. It was creative in its presentation. The plot was really great too. The only thing that was kind of flat was the Hellboy fight scenes... & there were a few. Other than that: A+.
After dinner at home (turkey & dumplings), we went to the studio to record Michelle on a song. Sometimes we get a wild hair & do stuff like that. I know we're crazy & out of control, but it works for us.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A to B

Last night I hit my bunk sometime after we left Houston. It was around 6am EST. I got up around noon... we were still in Louisiana. Like I said in my previous post: during the day, guys get more restless. We stopped 3 times before the Atlanta airport - & that's while I was awake. There's no telling how many times they stopped while I was out. On the way out to Texas, we stopped exactly 0 times between Atlanta & Biloxi.
In Greenville, AL we stopped at Bates House of Turkey. I love their soup. I bought 4 different kinds of soup to take home. We watched the Ovation Network on the way home. They were showing documentaries on American musicians. We watched pieces on Thelonious Monk & Miles Davis. The Miles Davis doc was really good. There's a really cool Kurt Cobain doc starting at 8 but, unfortunately, I don't have Ovation at home. They don't even offer it on Comcast in Atlanta.
Michelle & I had Cantina La Casita for dinner. We then went to the studio - she cleaned while I listened to the new fades for my new album.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Corpus Christi, TX

I stayed up late with our bus driver, Jimmy Petty. I think it was somewhere after Buloxi, MS when I finally heard my bunk calling my name. Because of that, I got up just before we hit Corpus Christi, TX. We were in our rooms around 2pm (CST). I had until 8pm to chill & do whatever. I spent some of that time on the new album art. I'm pretty happy with where it is right now. It needs to be tightened up a bit, but I think it's in the general spot that it needs to be.
We played a private party for Freightliner tonight. They were really nice to us... however, there were some technical difficulties. The owner of the trucking company was also the owner of the stage & band equipment. His stuff was not only not very good but the people he hired to run it were clueless. Our crew, & ultimately us, made the show happen. It was pretty uncomfortable scurrying around that stage in the Texas heat while the audience became impatient.
The show was good. They timed the sets out to where 'the audience' had been there too long. They ended up leaving towards the end of our set. After they heard us play "Can't You See," they were off. I can't blame them. It was miserable outside & most of them had been there for 6+ hours.
We have a LONG trip home. Yeah, it's the same distance as it was last night but we're leaving at 2am EST instead of 9pm. That 5 hours really makes a difference because of daylight driving. People on the bus are more restless during the day. You find yourself stopping way more during daylight hours.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Scurrying Before You Leave

I slept in. I slept in. I slept in.
Then I officially started my artwork for the new album. I had a loose, personal deadline for it to be finished today. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. However, I want it to be right!
I dropped by Glenn Schick Mastering to pick up my duplication masters. They adjusted some fades compared to the other copy that I had. This is a picture of the whole crew over at GSM. Oscar is the cool one close to the ground!
Michelle & I then went to The Home Depot on Ponce. She's decided to start a vegetable garden on our back porch. Since we live in a community with a HOA, there are rules against growing them in the ground. I'm really proud of her. Our goal is to be as independent as we can be. Hopefully - self contained. As long as we have okra, squash, & broccoli - I'm fine.
I did a little paper work, worked on the artwork, & relaxed a little tonight. I then caught the bus around 9:30pm at the Atlanta airport. We're Texas bound! See you in Central time!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ben Lovett (day two)

No sleep for the wicked! I was out by 4am. I was up by 9am. For some people, 5 hours is enough sleep. When you had a long day the day before & you will have a long day following such miniscule sleep, it's kinda hard.
I met Ben back at the studio to "make noise" on his record. We started a new tune today. We did acoustic guitar, piano, 3 vocals, & pedal steel on it. I also played a couple of electric guitar tracks, 3 alto saxophone tracks, & other knick-knacky parts on his record. It's a real interesting record. I can't wait until he's done with it.
After he left, I tried to clean the studio up for about an hour. It look okay. It would've looked better if I had more time.
Nicole & Lucas MIre came by. I sat with Lucas for over an hour talking about his upcoming album. I think I'm gonna do it. You never know though.
After that, I went & played after Elli Perry at the 7:30 Club meeting at Smith's Olde Bar. The 7:30 Club is a group that meets once a month & talks about what's going on around Atlanta in the music business. It's been going on for years. Recently they've been having guest performances. Elli & I played tonight.
I'm beat. See you on the flip side.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ben Lovett (day one), Brian Wiltsey (day 8.5)

I haven't worked with Ben Lovett in years. He & I had a great summer of '01 kinda learning recording together. He was more of an engineer & artist than I was back then. I was more the musician & scientist. It was fun getting back together today. He's working on his first real solo album. He's spent the past 10 years producing & engineering other acts. It's time for him to put that microscope on himself. We spent a lot of time getting his songs ready for me. He's been working on his mobile studio & working out of Nickel & Dime studios in Avondale Estates. This album is real interesting. I just added little tidbits here & there. The most complete tracks that I played today were both Hammond tracks all the way through the songs.
After Ben left I went home for dinner & to relax a little. Around 11:30pm I showed back up to the studio to cut Brian WIltsey singing a few lead vocal tracks for his new record. I've found that Brian sings best after 8pm. He's also a night owl so staying until 3am was no problem for him. I can see how it will be a problem for me when I show back up here at 10am tomorrow morning. Sheesh!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Momma Said There'd Be Days Like This

There'd be days like this my Momma said. Errands - tidying my life - little things - window shopping. Michelle & I did all of these things today. Little Five Points is fun even when you don't spend any money. We went into our favorite shops. I suggest it sometime. It's just good to get out of the house sometimes.
I've been watching 'Heroes,' Season II in my spare time. Apparently, it's one of the shows that was severely crippled by last fall's writer's strike. They only shot 11 episodes. Most TV seasons are 24 episodes long. 11 is not a very complete number. However, I watched the first two episodes as they aired last fall & wasn't impressed. I should've continued to watch. This season is better than last season - & I thought that was amazing.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Normal Sunday

After a relatively easy weekend, I was home in my own shower by 10am. Michelle & I were off to Snellville by 11:30am. Our boys, Charlie & Pete (miniature Schnauzers), stayed with Michelle's Mom this weekend while we were out of town. We went & had lunch with her parents & brought our boys back home.
We then spent the rest of the day relaxing & taking it easy. I've been tempted to officially start my new album's artwork. I just have to wait until the mood strikes me.
"Mood is for cattle & love play." Patrick Stewart & Gurney Halleck in 1984's 'Dune'

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Portsmouth, VA

I rolled into my room at a reasonable hour: 10am. I cleaned up & decided to go on a walk. I took a LONG walk. I eventually found a shopping mall type area. I had lunch at Fuddruckers. I've eaten at Fuddruckers many times, but today they hit it out of the park. I had the best hamburger that I've ever eaten. Kudos.
On my way back I stepped into the Salvation Army. I piled the counter high with cool old t's, belts, & shirts: $12. I'm pretty proud of myself.
When I got back to the room (hours after I left) I started a new Tucker song - for the new album. I'm felling the flow right now. The bottom fell out of the clouds this afternoon. I thought I'd see flood waters at times.
It was still raining when we went on, but the crowd didn't care. It was a great set. Doug sang really well tonight. I don't know what happened. Maybe a switch flipped in his head or something.
Molly Hatchet & The Georgia Satellites opened for us. Business as usual.

Friday, July 4, 2008

North Charleston, SC

Happy 4th, ya'll! I caught the bus at 9am this morning. We drove from Atlanta to Spartanburg to Charleston. It took us around 8 hours to complete the trip. I slept for some of it. Somewhere between Spartanburg & Charleston we watched the new John Mayer live DVD. It's pretty damn good. He's certainly has a good BS meter. Congrats John!
The Drifters opened up for us tonight. They were surprisingly good. We had a good ole time tonight playing. Marcus continues to raise the bar. The Firebird & the Two Rock combo is the bomb!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Brian Wiltsey (day eight)

I was in the studio, well rested & ready to go, by 10am. I did few things before Brian showed up. Sans percussion, we're done with all of the instruments for this record. I'm sure I'll add a guitar lick here or there, but for now, we think were done.
Brian sang a couple of tunes. We're getting closer.
Upon the end of the session, Craig Eck showed up & we started the artwork for my new album. I'm really excited. It's exactly how I saw it in my brain.
I went home tonight & built a wireless system for our new sax/flute/keyboardist Marcus Henderson. I then packed my bag for the weekend.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Real Day Off

I don't get many of these. After a long night in the studio I was awoken around 10am. I showered & we were on our way to Snellville by 11am. We had lunch with Michelle's Mom. We went shopping for a couple of picture frames (exciting stuff). We also left the boys in Snellville to stay with her Mom while both of us are out of town this weekend.
We came back to Atlanta & our friend Lauren cut my hair (just a little bit).
I also started a couple new Marshall Tucker songs tonight. It's been a great week so far.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Brian Wiltsey (day seven)

Michelle & I went to see WALL-E today. It was pretty cute. He reminds me of my dog, Pete. It was actually really funny in respect to how lazy the human race could become.
I had a wonderful night tonight in the studio with Brian Wiltsey. We tied up a bunch of loose ends with his new record. He also sang lead vocals on a few tracks. His record is shaping up nicely.