Monday, June 29, 2009

Prior Lake, MN

This was an exciting day. It wasn't exciting because each of us had our own hotel room... or the quality of the venue was fantastic... or because GAC interviewed each of us on camera for a special about the band... or that we're going home tonight. It was exciting because we're headlining this 2,500+ theatre. It's completely symbolic. We played here opening for Little Big Town on March 21st... a Saturday night. It didn't even sell out then. Fast forward to today. We're the only name on the bill. It's sold out... in advance. It's also a Monday; historically the hardest day to put on a show. Granted, it is the summer time. But I feel like this is symbolic of our growth... & even bigger things on the horizon.
The interview was cool though. I put my wild card stamp on it. I showed up in a bath robe & sunglasses, shaking a wine glass full of ginger ale.
Looking forward to going home though. They cancelled next week's run to Canada so I've got a week off at home.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Norfolk, NE

This week we've played Manhattan (KS), Peru (IL), & Norfolk (NE). I'm calling this weekend "The Cities That Sound Like Other Places" Tour. Today we had a "Big & Rich time." We opened for them here in the middle of corn country. What a crazy show they put on. Something was in bloom that my sinuses didn't agree with. It continued throughout the day & peaked around showtime. I ended up taking a Zyrtec after the show & that dried me out so much that I got an amazing headache. It was truly amazing.
I'm really enjoying myself right now. We're kinda on top of the world... Michelle & I are doing great... I've started my new album. We're headed for time off at home (= studio work, but at least I'll be at home). Things are looking up!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Peru, IL

I guess Peru is about an hour from Chicago. This was definitely NOT a Chicago crowd. If it is, they're all Cubs fans!
We had a long soundcheck today. If not for that, we would've played Little BIg Town in basketball. We opened up for them tonight. I think that as far as bands go, we're better friends with them than any other band. They're great people & put on a great show.
We were supposed to play around 7:30pm tonight. A giant storm system moved in around 7pm. So we held... & hung out in the bus until the storm passed. We ended up starting our set around 10pm+. The crowd had been drinking all day so they were pretty wound up & hammered by the time we went on. Most of them stayed to the end of the whole show. Crazy folks. They were drenched to the bone from standing out in the rain all night.
Also, our current single "Whatever It Is" finished out this week at #1 on the Mediabase chart. Now that, in no way, guarantees us a #1 for the week, but it sure doesn't hurt.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Manhattan, KS

When most of us woke up today, we were in 'our spot' for the day. We played a 3 song set for some radio listeners under a tent around lunch time. Then, we played a full set on the main stage around 2:45pm. Then, we tore down all of our gear from there, loaded it back in the trailer & moved it to another stage for our nighttime performance. Our sound guy, Eric (a.k.a Dirty Squirrel), had to get an IV for exhaustion. I knew it was going to be hot... but not that hot! Even our satellite on top of the bus gave out. It shuts down when it reaches 122ºF. We also didn't get showers today. It's kinda stinky on the bus.
During our mainstage performance, James Otto & Dierks Bentley were in attendance on the side of the stage. The performances were fantastic. As a matter of fact, I will no longer tell you how good our performances are... I will comment if they weren't good. It's easier on me.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gettin' Out

Okay. So while I was home I recorded a good 1/4 of my new record. Matt Mangano on bass & Mark Cobb on drums. We cut 7 songs - all acoustic guitars, bass, & drums were keepers. I have another 4 to cut & some overdubs to do on most of the tunes, but this thing is officially underway.
We left home this afternoon, bound for Mahattan, KS - not only is it the location of Kansas State University, but it also serves as the site for Country Stampede. Lots of big name country bands are scheduled to perform. This weekend should be kinda crazy.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Grand Rapids, MI

I got in late last night. My flight was delayed 3 hours due to rain & lightning in MIchigan. There was some serious turbulence too. However, I made it safe & sound. I wasn't with the boys the past few days due to a family matter. They we're coming from Telluride, CO yesterday... but never made it. Had they stuck with commercial travel they would've never made it in time to play the gig today. Luckily, we know people; Kenny Chesney sent his private jet to pick them up & fly them from Denver to Grand Rapids this morning. What a great guy!
Since United Airlines was in possession of their luggage, we had to stop by a department store & buy clothes for everyone. We eventually settled on matching, black Dickies work clothes - not unlike a mechanic's uniform. We rocked that in the heat today. Even though there was two other acts after us, they shut the show down for the day. Due to the abundance of rain over the past 4 days in Michigan, the damn busted open in Lansing & the river flooded & filled the parking lot with 3+ feet of water. We were lucky to get out of there unscathed.
Looking forward to Fathers' Day tomorrow. We have some fun family stuff looming. I could use some sleep...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In Between

Almost a full two weeks since I wrote last. A lot has happened since. Let's stay positive & not ficus on my inadequate blogging & recap... shall we?
We played a great gig in Greensboro, NC. During that day we had a radio visit, soundchecked, did on online chat with our fans, & played a stellar show (in my humble opinion). The next day was in Reinholds, PA which was an old style country show (part concert, part city/farm fest). Again, a good show... & we signed autographs for almost 2 hours after the show. Then there was The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA. I've played there with a few artists... most memorably Shawn Mullins & Sugarland. It was, again, another great show.
Then I got a few days at home with Michelle & logged a few hours in the studio. Gareth Asher is releasing his album 3 songs at a time. I'm really excited to see how his new business plan will work. I mixed his first three tunes during that week.
Then the amazing stuff began: Thursday was Bonneroo. That was awesome. We closed down one of the big tents on the first night. Then there was CMAfest in Nashville. We signed autographs for a few hours & played for 70,000 folks at LP Field (where the Tennessee Titans play). Then we played for WXTU's 25th anniversary in Camden, NJ alongside Phil Vasser & Big & Rich. We also played the CMT Award Pre-Party the night before the award show.
The news: last night we won a CMT award for Breakthrough Video. I was sure that we were gonna get trumped but we won! It was really exciting.
The rest of the band went on to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, but I had a death in the family & will be attending the funeral tomorrow morning. I do what I can.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Columbia, SC

Michelle & I caught Casey Driessen at Eddie's again last night. He was fantastic. It was an early one this morning. I slept the whole way to Columbia this morning.
We played Ft. Jackson for the "graduates." They treated us really great & were a wonderful audience. We'll be in Greensboro, NC before the bars close. On it!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Maxin' & Relaxin'

Just chillin' here waiting for the HVAC guy to fix my shit so it's not so hot at the house.
Just got my new F9 mandolin fro Gibson in the mail this morning. I'm glad I can retire my 80 year old mando. She was not liking the road anymore.
I've been mixing Gareth Asher's new album in my "spare" time. I've been spending most of my home time with my wife. She just got back from a road trip & vacation to Jackson Hole, WY. We've both been very road weary for the past few days.
I have to visit our guitar tech/monitor engineer's house in a little bit to change out an amp or two. We have a lot of fly dates coming up so I have to modify my gear situation slightly.
Not much to do but drop that shoulder & push forward. Leaving tomorrow morning.