Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Nashville, TN

I finally stopped for a few days once reaching Myrtle Beach, SC. I got the much needed sleep. I relaxed. I ate. Things got back to normal. I spent Christmas morning there but Stephanie & I drove back to Atlanta on Christmas day. We had dinner at my Mom's. It was a pretty good Christmas. VERY different, but good nonetheless. After a couple more days of R&R & running errands, I met the bus last night at the warehouse. We left Atlanta around 11pm bound for Nashville.
Like a normal tour day, I rolled out of my bunk this morning & walked into the venue trying to familiarize myself with the surroundings. After a shower & some breakfast, Coy & I made a trip to Gruhn's Guitars. I traded a guitar for a Calton case & an amplifier. Soon after that we had a couple of hours of interviews with USAToday & Associated Press. Then, we had to do some assorted soundchecks. I was using a new guitar rig on stage & a new guitar for that matter. I spent a little more time on stage than anyone else this afternoon.
Then we had the Eat & Greet. It was a run of the mill E&G. No problems. Shortly after that the band made its way backstage to find the '72 Cadillac El Dorado waiting for Zac courtesy of one Mr. Alan Jackson. It was pretty awesome. Alan ended up singing our duet with us tonight on stage. It was a great night for music in Nashville. Jerry Douglas sat in with us. I love it when he plays with us.
All in all... a great night back from break. Can't wait for New Year's Eve.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Myrtle Beach, SC (vacation)

Although it's listed as vacation, I didn't get much sleep last night. Out by 2:30am - up by 9am. Riding by 10am. My girlfriend, Stephanie, & I headed to see her family. Not much to report. We got there by 4:30pm. Went to see her brother play basketball. Had BUffalo Wild Wings; end of story. I WILL get to sleep in though. Since my schedule has been so crazy for the past few weeks... tomorrow will be my time to buy presents. Kicking Christmas into overdrive tomorrow. 0-60!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chattanooga, TN

After a full night of sleep, we left the hotel for our last show of the run. We left the hotel at our noon check out & had 6 hours to get to Chattanooga. The was no reason to book a hotel in Chattanooga so we had a great deal of free time on our hands. 6 hours to drive 2 hours worth of driving. We hit up a couple of music stores along the was. We also had lunch at Mellow Mushroom. We were just a tad early.
Load in, sound check, & dinner all went by very quickly. We didn't know what to expect regarding attendance. This close to Christmas & such below average weather can only mean bad numbers. Tonight was one of the best attended shows of the whole tour. They were a really good crowd too. Good show. Levi's wife brought his kids to the show from Atlanta. So he rode home with them.
We sold merch, signed some stuff, packed up, loaded out, & I was on the road by 11:00pm. It was a breeze driving that 2 & a half hour drive home. I was in my own bed by 2am. Good tour. Need more rest. I'll get that tomorrow night.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Knoxville, TN (sorta)

I was at the Urgent Care facility in downtown Roanoke, VA by 9am. It took them 2 hours to see me. The final diagnosis was that I am, literally, exhausted. My body was shutting down & unable to get well. The doctor wanted me to stay in bed with no travel (assuming that I'm from Roanoke). But I'm not.
I met Levi at the venue to reload our gear into the truck. We left the gear at the venue over night. Levi went out with Wyatt Durrette to 'hang out' & 'have some drinks.' Little did I know that Levi would return after 6am. Needless to say, Levi was very hungover at lunch today. We discussed the situation & he begged me to let him lay back down. I became apparent that tonight's show in Knoxville was not going to happen. And so it didn't.
Levi crashed again. I filled my prescriptions & grabbed a few winks before we hit the highway. We left Roanoke at 5:30pm. Putting me in the hotel by 11pm - with gas, food, & bathroom stops.
I've done more than the doctor wanted me to do. But driving to Atlanta from Roanoke was NOT an option. Our current plan is to crash here in Knoxville... leave for Chattanooga around noon. Play our show in Chattanooga, then drive home. Doable.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Roanoke, VA

We knew we had a long drive. On paper, it looks to be 6 hours+ (with restroom breaks). We ate before we left Wilmington. I must say we were pretty defeated after last night. Luck would have it, 20 miles from Roanoke, I get speeding ticket #2 in one month. I don't know what's been happening. I haven't been a speeder in years. 2 tickets in 4 weeks. I'm pretty disappointed in myself & feel pretty stupid.
However, if last night deflated our spirits, tonight filled us up again. A full room will do that. Everyone seems to be into it & listening. The Kirk Ave Music Hall is a must for a listening room tour (I'm speaking to you, singer-songwriters). THey really have it going on.
Tonight was good but I still feel like shit. Got a reference for a doctor tomorrow morning. Need to know what's wrong with me. Hopefully, not much... outside of the obvious.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wilmington, NC

Unsatisfying. This morning was fine. We left town around 1pm, but not after a full stop at IHOP. Well needed. The trip to Wilmington was easy. Our hotel is nice. The only thing to complain about is the show. It was rather uninspired. We played to 10, count 'em, 10 customers. It was a bit degrading. I guess it's a gift. It will keep me extremely grounded & make me realize, even more, how lucky I am to be a musician in my position. LOOONG drive tomorrow (6 hours) & I'm still not well. Need MORE sleep.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Raleigh, NC

We got out of the hotel as soon as we could this morning. I didn't sleep well. The solid part of my sleep was between 1:30am & 5am. The rest of the time was on the "wake up every hour" rig. I'm definitely sick. I have no other symptoms other than my fever. I guess my body's trying to get rid of something. Ibuprofen, water, & as much rest as this schedule will allow should take care of it.
Our drive was rather pleasant. Glad we didn't have any suspect weather to drive through. We had lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings in Greensboro on the way to Raleigh. It was welcomed.
Upon entering Raleigh, I noticed a tiny guitar shop on the left side of the street. I pointed it out to Levi & he pulled over. We had a few hours to kill... so why not. As we made our way from the parking lot behind the building to the front door I commented that "there was no way this shop is going to have anything good." Well, I was wrong. Damn near everything in there was good... they didn't have much, but everything was good. It's called Guru Guitars.
Anyway, our load-in was painless. As was soundcheck. We checked in the hotel & by the time it was time to leave for the gig, I was mayor of feverville... achy ass feverville. However, it was musically the best show of the tour so far. I thought I was going to have trouble singing but I didn't. Had my best night so far. Also, the opener was BJ Barham. He's the lead singer of the band American Aquarium. He was AWESOME. He's working on his solo album & it should be out in a few months. I'm definitely getting one.
I am back in the hotel room & both of us are toast. I'm a little more burnt on both sides though. Half way done - 4 of 8 finished. This is a great tour/lineup.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Charlotte, NC

Now that's what I'm talking about. Today was much better. The drive was an hour & a half. This hotel kinda blows, but other than that - today was great.
I've played The Evening Muse many times. It's like the Eddie's Attic of Charlotte. I always have a good night here. I will say that I'm still operating at 60%. Just warn down I guess. I'll get a good night's sleep again tonight - hoping that the rest & Vitamin C will catch up with me.
Tonight WAS great. We had a great crowd & everyone was "with us." NoDa is a wonderful place & I suggest Budreuax's the next time you want cajun in Charlotte.
Semi-treacherous drive tomorrow. I hope we can make it safely all the way to Raleigh. Nighty - night.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Columbia, SC

I'm going to have to keep this brief. I am really, really tired & I need to crash.
Levi & I left Charleston at 1pm. We had Home Team BBQ for lunch. Thanks, Reid. It was unbelievable. Maybe the best I've ever had.
The trip was uneventful (just like I like it). The show was good. Every one was very attentive tonight. The top end of my voice was a little tired tonight. I hope a good night's sleep will fix that. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Charleston, SC

I picked Levi up around 10:30am at his house this morning. Our drive was supposed to be uneventful. It proved to be otherwise. A little past Greenville, my 'check engine' light illuminated in my Dodge 1500. Soooo, we pulled over at the nearest Dodge dealership (in Clinton, SC) for a little service. It was a minor problem, so they sent us on our way. We were a mere 30 minutes late to our load in. Levi & I played The Pour House in Charleston, SC. Attendance was a little low due to the unseasonably cold weather here in the southeast. The Charleston folks are a bit more tender than others. However, our set was great. If anything, tonight was a great rehearsal for a larger audience. I'd say that every one who came enjoyed the show, even though the energy was a little lacking. I thank everyone who came & hope that they made it home okay.
We're really psyched about this tour & are ready for tomorrow... after a full night's sleep.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Home (day 2)

Well, all I did today is run errands: breakfast, bank, pharmacy, post office, luthier, Zac's, lunch, warehouse/headquarters, guitar shoppe #1, show shop, & guitar shoppe #2. After coming home, I packed clothes, merch, & gear. I also did some logistical prep for the Clay vs. Levi tour (CVL - & that abbreviation is not for Cape Vogel airport in Papua New Guinea). Not much else to report. I'm gonna need my rest for tomorrow. The drives are relatively short until the last day. But tomorrow is the roughest drive.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Oliver & I made it to the Newburgh Airport by 2am. We checked in our hotel & 3 hours later, we were returning the rental car. The flight was early but it got me home. Zac's guitar tech/brother-in-law, Mikey Mason, picked me up from the airport & took me to the ZBB warehouse. My truck has been spending a lot of time there lately.
After I got home I spent a couple of hours going through mail, emptying the dehumidifier in the back studio, laundry, shower, lunch... I was clean, fed, & in the bed by the time the Falcons scored their first touchdown. I didn't make it through the rest of the game though. I had to force myself to get out of bed at 6:30pm. I had to get a ton of paperwork together for tomorrow's errand-a-thon. I ONLY have tomorrow. Levi & I leave for Charleston on Tuesday morning. I'm going back to sleep now. Good night.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Woodstock, NY

Well... bitter sweet. We had a great drive from York, PA to Saugerties, NY. We visited at Chris Wood's house for an hour two. Then we made our way to Woodstock & Levon Helm's house/barn/studio/venue. Unfortunately, Levon had fallen a bit ill recently. He was very anemic upon an emergency doctor visit. They hospitalized him & he wasn't able to attend his Ramble. There was some magic missing... but a good night was still had by all. I'm going to do everything in my power to get ZBB to do a Ramble.
Oliver & I still have an hour drive to Newburgh, NY. Our plane home to Atlanta is at 7am... so I've written off sleep for tonight. You just got to accept it some times. Hope everyone had a good night out there in internet land.

Friday, December 10, 2010

York, PA

Today was nice. We slept in. Pennsylvania is not very beautiful this time of year on the route we took. I'd imagine that it's gorgeous in the summer. We traveled from Pittsburgh to York. We made great time.
Tonight was the best night yet. I hate to see this tour go. But, I'm glad for tomorrow's show & the fact that I get to go home for two full nights. The comforts of home, or even a bus, would be welcomed right now.
Not much to say because I'm tired & I need all of the rest I can get. Tomorrow starts earlier than I'd like. Good night.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pittsburgh, PA

One could say that we slept in. Others could say that we got the right amount of sleep. I was just glad to wake up this morning. We headed out of Toronto, ON around 10:30am. It was a pleasant ride to the Canadian/U.S. Border. We also had absolutely NO problem getting back into the country. Also, our trip to Pittsburgh was uneventful (just like I like it).
If I feel that I was just in Pittsburgh, it's because I was this past Saturday with ZBB. This was a totally different capacity. This was a make-up gig for The Wood Brothers. They had to cancel it earlier this year. They room held 150 people & they turned away 50 folks at the door. They should play the 400+ seater next time they come around. The room was so small that we didn't even mic the drums. That being the case, we also didn't drag in the in-ear rig that we'd been using. We used stage monitors tonight. I thought it sounded great & cohesive. It was just a great night. Very few bad nights with this show.
Still... I need more consistent sleep. Leaving at 11am bound for York, PA in the morning. Out!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Toronto, ON

Great day. Early on hardly any sleep, but good. We had to visit the FedEx facility & pick up our merch that wasn't properly delivered to last night's venue. Got to see a good deal of Canada from the highway though. We drove from Montréal to Toronto. Definitely different vibes between these two cities. Montréal seems a bit more formal & Toronto a bit more loose. I enjoyed both.
It's been weird being disconnected (phone wise) from the US. Of course, I have internet access in hotel rooms but I'm so accustomed to my smart phone. It's amazing how dependent I am on it. Maybe I should take that as a sign to pull away from it a bit.
Anyway, the gig at The Mod Club Theatre was great. Even on limited rest, the show went fabulously. I really like playing with The Woods & hope that they'll have me whenever it makes sense. I consider my opening set a bonus & The Woods set the real meat of this tour for me.
Back to the homeland tomorrow. Kinda glad. Canada is cool & all but I would like the comforts of home. I also might be a little too loopy to continue this blog properly. Good night.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Montréal, QB

We left Chester, VT this morning around 10am. We had a great drive up to the border. Then it started to snow. It took us about half an hour to get through the Canadian border. I guess we looked rather suspicious. We also got stuck behind tandem snow plows (one in the left lane, one in the right) for 30 minutes. It reduced our speed from 100 kMh to 40kMh. Soooo... we were a bit late. The set up & soundcheck was timely & good. Dinner was great. My set was solid. I feel really good about playing again (my own stuff). Can't wait for the Levi tour.
Tonight's turn out was about 60 folks. That's about what we expected. Heavy snow kept a great deal of people away I'd imagine. Our trip to the hotel was eventful. I'm glad that we have two experienced "snow" drivers in the fold. Chris Wood lives in upstate NY & drives through a good bit of snow in the winter. Our ace in the hole is Christian Dugas. He lives in Winnipeg. They have A LOT of snow where he's from.
My first touring snafu just happened downstairs in the lobby of the hotel. I booked my room at one of the OTHER locations for Hotel Dauphin here in Montréal. It was a $90 mistake. I guess I'll keep a closer eye on it in the future. Pretty embarrassing though.
LOOOONG day tomorrow. & an early one. It's 1am now. 6am wakeup call & a full day of driving, then a show, then a long, early drive the following day. This tour is NOT for the meek.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Chester, VT (a.k.a., Day Off)

I drove today. We left Durham, NH (a.k.a., UNH) around 12:30pm bound for Chester, VT (via Concord, NH). We had to ship some merch to Pittsburgh & visit the bank to deposit some $. It was a nice relaxing drive through the snow today.
When we got to Chester our new friend Stephen was here to greet us. I'm still unclear on how we know Stephen. I just know that we are staying in this 130 year old house because of him. This place is pretty rad. Stephen also owns a business called He had 15-20 guitars waiting to hang out with us during our stay. I, of course, bought one: a 1940 Bronson's Radio King square neck acoustic. It's all mahogany, in great condition, you play it on your lap, it sounds great, & he gave me a SMOKING deal on it. He'll be shipping it to Atlanta for me.
Tomorrow brings the unknown of Canada. This will be my first trip to Montreal. Apparently, they got quite a bit of snow today & that trend should continue over the next 3 days. Still, looking forward to new experiences.
Until tomorrow. Must rest up. Over & out.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Newmarket, NH

5 hours to sleep. Today started with a flight from Pittsburgh to Philly. Then a flight from Philly to Manchester, NH. I was doing alright until we loaded in. Then I started to falter. My set was good. I gave it ever last bit of energy I had. Then came The Wood Brotehrs' set. They did well. I played & sang well too, but I was SOOOO tired. It's one of those situations where I played great but looked like I was asleep on stage. In my state you can have one or the other - not both.
I survived. We played the Stone Church in Newmarket, NH. I played there once with Shawn in 2006. It closed down - then reopened under new management. It's a bit different now. Oh well. Day off tomorrow. A full night's sleep tonight. Bring it on.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pittsburgh, PA

It's much too early to feel winded. If this was a marathon, I'd be at mile 3. This morning was great. I had a nice big breakfast & an easy trek to the Portland Airport. The only part of the day that sucked was the almost 4 hour lay over at LaGuardia. The airport was fine but the waiting sucked. I landed at the Pittsburgh airport a little after 3pm & the drive was short to the gig. Once I got there, I didn't have much to do until showtime. I rested in my OWN bunk. It's my home away from home... & since I'm away from home - it was very much like home.
We had a tiny meet & greet around 7:45pm & then had a short vocal warm up. The show kicked off at 9:15pm. It was so refreshing & slightly challenging. We were playing a show put on by the local country radio station to thank the troops. It was all acoustic. I played my Martin all night except for one song - in which I played mandolin. Hop switched between electric bass & upright bass. Zac, of course, played his Taylor classical. That was it: a broken down, acoustic, mini-Zac Brown Band. I had a blast trying to cover no just my parts, but Coy's & Jimmy's. Also, I had to sing Jimmy's part all night so my head was on swivel. Very refreshing to play shows like that from time to time.
I'm back at the Pitt airport about to crash & have another day of travel & playing tomorrow. I love my job.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Portland, ME

Today was easy peasy japaneesey. We left the hotel at noon. Hit up a Legal Seafood before we even got to Boston. For those of you who don't know about Legal Seafood - it's a chain seafood joint in the northeast that kicks ass. It was a little expensive for lunch but it was worth it. A 3 hour ride awaited us. No problems on the road. I even caught a 15 minute nap in the back seat of the van. I listened to Doyle Bramhall II's Smokestack album called "Welcome." If you are a guitarist - you need this record. I bought it new almost 10 years ago & it NEVER gets old.
Since we are very east & very north in Portland, it was rather dark when we loaded in at 4:30pm. The venue was awesome. Port City Music Hall is now one of my favorite listening rooms in the country. This is picture of it> It was a quick set up. Christian Dugas (The Wood Brothers' drummer) & I went to a music store to get some supplies. He bought a drum head & I was in search of tubes for Oliver's back-up amp (which I am playing lap steel through).
Soundcheck was short & sweet. The show was sold out. I was very happy with my set. The Woods kicked ass tonight. I had a blast with my second night on lap steel. Everything is gelling very well.
I am currently in my hotel room at the Portland airport... I need to grab a couple winks before my flight in the morning. More details to come from my December Adventure.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fall River, MA

Most of the United States has no idea where Fall River, MA is. Well... look at the map. It's not terribly far from Boston.
Today started out leisurely. I returned the rental car. We had lunch at Panera & shipped some CD's to Canada at FedEx. Then we drove 3 hours to Fall River from Hartford, CT. The venue tonight was The Narrows Center for the Arts. Really cool room. A converted early century warehouse or factory. Old wood floors. Decent sound system. It was a good night for everybody. I played lap steel on a few songs with The Woods. I also played some new tunes live that I've never played before. THey will be included on the next record for sure.
I like it up here. It's a tad cold (colder weather to come in the next few months). I need to pace myself with better rest. I have a long row to hoe. Pretty easy day tomorrow though... not much sleep for tomorrow night though. Preparation.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Norfolk, CT

Where do I start? The beginning, I guess. After a 1:30am bedtime I was up at 4:30am for shower & a quick trip to the Nashville airport. My 6am flight took off just fine. I landed in Detroit with an hour to spare before my flight to Newburgh, NY. If you've kept up with the news you'd know that the northeast was hit pretty hard with some bad weather. I was supposed to land in Newburgh at noon. We got there but never landed. We actually attempted to land, but 100 feet off of the ground the wind scared the pilot & he pulled up. We ended up being rerouted to Wilkes Barre airport. The Wood Brothers were waiting at Newburgh to pick me up. They grounded our plane in Wilkes Barre & decided to put us all on a bus to Newburgh. Since I had another 2 hours to go after I got to Newburgh, I told the Wood Brothers to go on without me. I rented a car in Wilkes Barre & drove 4 hours straight to Norfolk. I got there an hour before doors. I didn't get much of a soundcheck but that doesn't bother me too much.
I played my then chilled in the dressing room during the Woods' set. I think I'll play with them tomorrow night but tonight I was just toast. At least I got here.
PS. We just heard that we're nominated for 4 Grammys this year. Stoked. Tired but stoked.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Franklin, TN (CMT Artist of the Year taping)

I woke up in my bunk. Wyatt & I found our way into the venue (which happens to be the same place that we recorded the Crossroads with Jimmy Buffett). Anyway, we had an early morning rehearsal & worked in our special guest, Amos Lee, into the arrangement of "Colder Weather." Jimmy, our fiddle player, didn't make this trip. His wife is due any minute now. But we made due without him.
Coy & I went to the hotel & showered (separately). Then it was back to work - hurry up & wait. Our call time was 2:30pm. By 5pm they were running so far behind on camera blocking that we didn't even get a chance to play our soundcheck. Oh well - we're professionals.
The evening was fantastic. 2 hours of dinner. The actual taping went on an hour & a half longer than expected but everyone in the room was 'with the program.' A my table was Chris Fryar (our drummer), Iron Chef Cat Cora, & Kid Rock. Bobby (Kid) & I talked all night about music & life. It was a blast. Especially once he & his date were at the bottom of a Jim Beam bottle. He is such a rock star. He lit up his cigar & a rep from Carrie Underwood asked him to put it out because she was about to sing on stage. He didn't.
It was a wonderful night. It will air Friday night.
I didn't go to Jason Aldean's after party. I have a 6:15am flight tomorrow morning. That means a 4:30am wake up call.

Monday, November 29, 2010

En Route

I ran a ton of errands around town today, preparing for the long set of trips I'm about to take. It's hard to keep everything organized in my head. I have to write things down. My yellow legal pad is my best friend right now.
I'm sitting in my bunk on the way to Nashville right now. Ready for a crazy day tomorrow - CMT Artist of the Year taping. I'll try to give some good details.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Slightly Post Thanksgiving

Well, I guess I'll just recap the whole month. Since I last wrote we did the CMA's. We got to play "As She's Walking Away" with Alan Jackson. We won Best New Artist (chuckle). We went home for a day then flew to Napa, CA for a AAA/Hot AC radio conference. It wasn't bad. I had a couple more days at home (in which I caught something - the doctor thought it was a virus at this point in the month). We then made our way on the bus to Miami. We played a concert for NASCAR & did some interviews for them. When I got home & the steroids were gone, I went back to the doctor. He then gave me an antibiotic. That worked great. Almost done with the round. Apparently it was a sinus infection that spun out of control.
While I was home after that I did some home improvement & made some demos of my new songs. I went out of town for a few days for Thanksgiving. I also attempted to run a 5K on Thanksgiving day. Because I wasn't totally well I had to walk after mile one. I got a really bad nose bleed during the race. It was pretty embarrassing.
The holiday was great. Tons of food. Tons of football... maybe the best week of football I've ever watched. Great games... for 5 days in a row (if you count Monday night). My Bulldogs, Falcons, & Hawks all won (multiple times in reference to the Hawks).
I have a lot coming up. My goal is to get back to blogging everyday because everyday will be different. Well - we'll see.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Kansas City, MO (pre-show)

I spent most of last week recording Coy & in the continuation of maintaining my house. We left on Wednesday night. Thursday brought Indianapolis. Friday was St. Louis & Saturday was Wichita. The crowds have been great & the shows have been wonderful. It's been Casey Driessen opening up for Oliver Wood. Again, I've had the privilege to play with Oliver during his set. Also, out on tour with us this week has been Jerry Douglas. He is the greatest resonator/Dobro player to ever live. He's also really cool. I've really enjoyed not only the time on stage with Jerry but the conversations that we've had. He's played with EVERYBODY! I hope to be in his league some day.
This week has been the debut of our new cook trailer & expansion of the food team. Before the new trailer, Chef Rusty was only responsible for Eat & Greet food. Now, along with his larger team, he cooks breakfast, lunch, & dinner for backstage catering as well. This is a huge deal. Every meal backstage will be better food & actually cheaper than some of the big corporate craft service firms that cater most of these venues backstage. It's a plus for our comfort, health, & our budget.
The CMA's are coming up fast. Can't wait. This year has been heavy for me. I'll be glad to see the end of it. Ready to play KC tonight.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Coy Bowles (Studio Madness)

Since I last blogged I have been hard at work on my house. Still juicing. Still working out. I did take delivery of a new washer/dryer. I had a couple nights in the studio last week for Coy's album. I also went to Nashville this past weekend. I traded for my ultimate road pedal steel. Since I only use one neck on the steel (the E9 neck) I got a Sho-Bud LDG - which is just that: a single neck on a double frame. It's pretty awesome.
While in Nashville I also played at 3rd & Lindsley. I opened up for Shawn Mullins. They simulcast the concert on Lightning 100, Nashville's AAA radio station. It was a great night.
I drove home on Monday & squeezed in some work on the house along with a trip to the grocery store. Today, after my juicing & workout, I had a chimney sweep not only clean my fireplace but remove & dispose of the wood burning stove insert that was in it. I'm almost ready for a fire. All I need is cold weather (81º today), wood, & a screen to place in front of it. Most of that will come in due time. I also was one the radio tonight. I co-hosted "Dave After Tomorrow" on DaveFM here in Atlanta. Our subject was Murder Ballads. It was a really fun show & Margot has invited me back any time I want. After the radio show I had a crazy session for Coy Bowles. I recorded a 12 piece horn section. It was trying but we all got through it with smiles on our faces. I'm about to drop. Ready for sleep & another tightly packed day of activities tomorrow.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I've spent some days in the studio: 4 scattered over the past two weeks. I cut a Christmas tune for Brian Wiltsey. I also cut a tune for the band Echo's End. I also mixed both tunes. However, the past 2 weeks have been riddled by errands - trying to finally get the tiny things in my life in order. I am reclaiming my old studio - which lies in the building behind my house. It's been used for storage over the past 4 years. It HASN'T been taken care of. Many creatures hath taken residence there. I am currently trying to have them vacate. I bought a new dehumidifier & set it to KILL! My friend Kevin & I will dispose of the mold ridden couches tomorrow. This is all very exciting to me. I will stage my drums in there along with all of my guitar maintenance tools - like it was when I had my studio back there. It's just going to take a little time to gentrify.
This weekend was full of ZBB fun. We had a CD Release/Open House party last night for industry folks & our business partners. It was a wonderful night. Chef Rusty christened the new kitchen at the warehouse/headquarters/leather shop/machine shop/t-shirt shop/bus & cook trailer storage site... referred in our circles as the warehouse. & what a warehouse it is. We had about 150 folks for dinner & the party.
Today was slightly different. The 5 members of the band shot their scenes for the new video (due out next year). We did that at the warehouse then made our way to Zac's house for a party for the crew/family. Rusty, again, cooked up a storm & fun was had by all.
I've been juicing everyday... &, until today (day off), working out everyday. I feel SOOOO much better than I did a couple of weeks ago. I can't preach enough about it. Juicing is actually really cool. It curbs my appetite & flushes my body with vitamins & minerals found only in raw vegetables & fruits. It tastes like shit but it's totally worth it.
Anyway, I'll try to keep my 'at home' updates at tad more frequent. Reclaiming this house has been a full time job unto itself.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


This past week has been great. I just haven't had time to catch up. Last Sunday we played our last show of the tour in Irvine, CA. It was a great show ending a great tour. THen, Monday, we played Leno. Tuesday we taped Ellen. Wednesday we taped AOL Sessions. We flew home Wednesday night & I was in my own bed by 2am.
I spent Thursday & Friday playing catch up at home: bills, errands, etc. Saturday I played with Coy Bowles & The Fellowship at Northside Tavern in downtown Atlanta. It was a great time. Would love to do it again if time allows.
I chilled out today. Going to work in the studio starting Monday. Ready to get EVERYTHING off of the back burner & cooked, served, & enjoyed. Sorry, I think I took the metaphor too far.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Phoenix, AZ

Today started off just riding along. Normally, we'll get to the venue around 6-7am. THe drive last night was so far that we got to Phoenix around 3pm. Thank you, booking agent!
Since ou schedule was so cramped & it was 106º outside, we had a truncated workout. It was at least in the shade... still hot.
The Eat & Greet food was the best that Rusty has ever cooked in my opinion. He only had a few hours to prepare (instead of all day). It's funny how you can tell how good an artist is when they are under pressure.
The show tonight was equally as good. We finally found the groove over the past few shows... & like the last tour with The Wood Brothers & Casey Driessen, we got the right flow by the last show - which is tomorrow.
Tomorrow is much closer than last night's drive. Ready to crash. Take 'er easy.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fresno, CA

I thought about this today. We NEVER leave the venue during the day. We have no reason to. We're well provided for. It's actually kinda nice... but it would also be nice to explore some of these places. When I was touring with Marshall Tucker I would normally be stranded at the hotel all day. I guess I could've explored with a cab but, at the time, I didn't have that kind of extra money. Oh well... this is just the way it is - for now.
Don't get me wrong - I had a VERY productive day. Wyatt & I are one line from finishing a song together. We started this song in L.A. 6 months ago. We both had to step away from it to let it slow bake. It's really great. I can't wait until it's done. I had phone interviews (AKA phoners) starting at noon. Around 1:15pm we started working out... in the midday sun, 100º Fresno heat, & I was worn from the workout beating I took yesterday. It was REALLY hard to come correct this afternoon with all of that against me.
I laid down for an hour until Eat & Greet. It was your normal fare today regarding those festivities.
The show tonight went well. We played another college basketball arena. This time the home of the Fresno State Bulldogs. Only two more with this line up. We had a LONG trip tonight. 10+ hours to Phoenix. Not looking forward to it. Looking forward to Phoenix though. Bring on the desert.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Reno, NV

After Red Rocks we stayed two days in downtown Denver with off days. I relaxed & worked out. I got pretty torn up on Monday night. We watched Monday Night Football. I had 10 shots of Jåger (in 5 hours). I was out by midnight. Tuesday was a workout & nice dinner to celebrate the new album release. This new album is huge for me... although I've been in successful albums in the past, I was intimately involved in this one - & we're anticipating some decent success. Yesterday was spent in Salt Lake City with yet another day off. I worked out, did laundry, & did some budgetary stuff on the computer.
Today was a normal kinda gig day. However, Jimmy & I tried to kill ourselves running 'stadium steps' at the arena here at University of Nevada. That was the first 45 minutes of the workout... then another 45 minutes of lifting weights & doing abs. It was as hard as I've EVER worked out. It's been a while since I've been sore... I know what awaits me upon waking tomorrow. HURT!
I did lay down & take a nap today. I also wrote a new song today (about 85% of it). It all matters how I want to arrange it. I may need a couple different variations of my 'B' section - so I may not be done. Then again, I may be done.
The show was great tonight. I hope every one had a good time. I know that I did. I'm done-tater. Now on to Fresno.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Morrison, CO (Fucking Red Rocks!)

THis is the pinnacle. I guess the equivalent to playing the Hollywood Bowl. Red Rocks is legendary, beautiful, breathtaking, sonorous, & the crowd is cool. It's been a goal for everyone in the band to play here. We finally did it. It was almost like we belong here.
I had a great day taking in the scenery, watching football, eating great food, & relaxing. The Eat & Greet was fantastic. Chef Rusty really showed off tonight. The pinnacle, obviously, was the show. Our set was 2 hours & 45 minutes... & an awesome show it was. Great setlist... great playing... great guests... great crowd. The drawback is that I'm tired. I feel like I've been beat with a sack of oranges. This dry weather is getting to me as well. I feel 2 quarts low. No matter how much water & Gatorade I drink, I can't seem to stabilize. Oh well. I'll figure it out... & I'm out!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Albuquerque, NM

I just don't know how to stop sometimes. I was up at 7:30am (mainly due to our driver's weaving). I started watching ESPN around 8:30am & then watched the Georgia game at 10am MST. Boy did they stink it up. Not quite sure if we'll even win enough ball games to play in a bowl game. After the game, Wyatt, Jimmy, & I worked out. We worked out in the dry, hot, sun... not to mention the altitude. It was very, very hard to continue. All day I've been "2 quarts low." I haven't been this dehydrated in a while.
Tonight was very much like last night. The show was good. I was tired. I don't think that it showed on stage... but I was definitely fighting it. Ready to crash but I don't want to do it too early so I don't get up at sunrise again. I am rather loopy though.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lubbock, TX

Today was heavy & fun. I rode with Zac to Midland, TX. We visited & performed a school there. It was a special needs school with 37 kids. They won the Campbell's Labels for Education contest. It was very touching. The director showed us around the school. THe kids sang "Chicken Fried" to us. It was hard not to cry. I was really proud for them. We played 3 songs for them & answered their questions. It really touched me today.
Two hours later we showed up in Lubbock with an hour to spare before Eat & Greet. I took a shower & watched an episode of South Park. Eat & Greet was great. It's nice to have it indoors - especially after the past few months of heat. No matter how good the food is, it's hard to eat when it's 90º+.
Tonight's show was good. Almost an exact repeat of last night. We didn't have much time to address a new set list tonight... so I guess we jumped back into the same bathwater from last night. I've been playing through my wide panel tweed Deluxe. It's a little dark, but I love the vibe. Diggin' it fo' sho!'
Anyway, it's been a heavy day. Ready for a normal road day tomorrow. Workout, rest, etc.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oklahoma City, OK

Crap. I'm straight up tired. We left Atlanta last night at 8:30pm. We were slated to get to the venue at 11am today. One of our buses broke down 3 hours away from the venue. We spent about 3 hours hanging on the side of the road waiting on the repair guys. So we we landed in Oklahoma City around 2pm. Just enough time to do sound check, shower, then eat & greet. We played the Zoo Ampitheatre tonight. We played here last year - but I've played here many times before.
This was our first show with these openers: Oliver Wood with a band & Robert Randolph & the Family Band. It was WAYYY different. I'm sure that once I get used to the new pace - I'll love it. Normally, I start playing within the first hour. This new show starts us around 9pm - 2 hours after the first note. It's just different.
I'm riding on Zac's bus tonight. Ready to roll & very interested.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sonia Leigh (day 380+...)

I'll only mention the fact that 9 years ago today we were all confused & scared shitless. A lot has happened in the past 9 years. Hell, a lot has happened in the last 9 months.
I met Matt Mangano & John Hopkins at the studio today. We worked in two control rooms on tightening up Sonia Leigh's upcoming debut album. Oliver Wood showed up at 2pm & played guitar on 3 tunes. Love that guy!
John left around that time to attend Georgia Brown's 1st birthday party. Happy Birthday, Georgia!
After Oliver left, Matt & I retreated to The Albert in Inman Park for BBQ sandwiches. Good call.
I played an electric guitar track & a Wurlitzer track this evening. The rest of the night was spent listening & game planning for tomorrow. It's crunch time on this record as John Kelton will start mixing it on Monday in Nashville. Ready for this thing to be done since we started it on August 1st, 2009. Sheesh!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Can't a man just have some time off? I had no internet access during the boat. I had tons to write about... but now that I have access I have nothing to write about.
To sum up, the cruise was great. There's been much debate if we should do it again. I say "yes." I had s much fun. Granted, I wasn't one of the folks up to sunrise every morning. That's just not how I roll. However, the time that I did have on the boat was amazing. I played with a lot of different bands & folks. I also got to play my own set on the boat. My Dad was also in tow for the cruise. He seemed to have a great time as well. Just like his son, he doesn't allow himself to relax enough. I think both of us got to chill out enough.
I'm relishing my last few days off before this next run. I actually will be finalizing Sonia, Nic, & Levi's albums before mix with Matt Mangano at my studio this weekend. Lots of work & lots of rest. A weird combination. Ready though. I want to purge those records. They're done & they're great.
Expect an update this weekend.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Leaving for Tampa

This time off has been refreshing. My Braves are doing well. Even though they're not expected to be great, my Dawgs start their season on Saturday. Ready for this boat. Lots of playing to be done. Lots of events. We're leaving Atlanta at midnight tonight for Tampa. Ready for the boat!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Winder, GA

I ran some errands today. Put some paid bills in the mail. Had my oil changed in the truck. The swelling has subsided from the yellow jacket sting (mainly due to the steroid shot the doctor gave me yesterday). All in all - a good day.
It was a rather long 45 minute drive to Winder this afternoon. Wasn't sure what to expect out of this gig. Levi booked it. We didn't even really talk about how we wanted this one to go. ALl we said was "let's swap back & forth on songs." So that's what we did. I must say it went great. I can't wait to do it again & again. Levi & I have a really good chemistry on stage. The banter in between was almost as good as the playing. Each of us extended sections in our songs (on the fly) so the other could pick (or bow) a little. It's a great, improvisational vibe. Can't wait to do it again. Love that kid!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Days at Home

I went to the doctor the other day for an 'annual' checkup. Everything seems to be fine they say. The blood test results will be back in a week. If they call, it's bad news. I've always had trouble with my cholesterol. It was very manageable when I took Lipitor. I took myself off of Lipitor a few months ago. It was due to the combination of my new lifestyle (working out & eating better) & cost. I'm eager to see if I need to get back on it. I hope not.
They took blood at the bend of my right arm. They were a little careless with the needle so I bruised a bit & it's tender. Also, they gave me a tetanus & diphtheria shot in the muscle in my right shoulder. I am very, very tender & sore there - but that's normal. To add to all of this, I got stung by a yellow jacket in my back yard today. It hit me on my left side of my chest. Sheesh! A brother needs a break from all of these pricks; natural & man made. I did go to work on that Jackets' nest with some bug spray. They shouldn't be bothering anyone anytime soon. It makes me hate Georgia Tech even more now.
I also made a trip to the ZBB warehouse today to pick up some gear. I'll be cleaning & modifying for both the boat & the September tour dates.
I attended a Gwinnett Braves game tonight with some friends. It was a blast. Minor league baseball is totally worth every penny. Troy Glaus fielded like shit at 3rd base but hit a home run that pushed the Braves ahead. They beat the Charlotte Knights tonight. Too bad the Atlanta Braves couldn't capitalize on another Phillies loss.
Oh well. Lots of things to do around the house tomorrow. Hope I don't get stung.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I wrote a really good blog... this blogging website decided to delete it just now. Fuck it! Sorry.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cuyahoga Falls, OH (Cleveland)

Today was pretty hot. Not as hot as Chicago (& I'm sure not as hot as Atlanta right now). It was still really hot to work out in the direct sunlight again for an hour & a half. I had a bit of a disadvantage today. When I woke my phone said 11am. So I took my time for the 1pm work out. Little did I know that my phone had not switched from Central to Eastern time. I had 5 minutes to get from "hangin' out in my bunk" mode to "full on workin' out" mode. It's a lot harder than it seems.
My Braves keep winning. They are definitely going for it this year. Win it for Bobby & Chipper. They look REALLY good.
Anyway, tonight's show was par with excellence. I'm going to miss this tour. It was SOOOO short. Really only two weekends. But I am glad that it actually happened. We're all getting terribly exited for the boat. I am really freakin' tired. See you in Charlotte for the last night of the tour. BOO!

Chicago, IL

Today started off fairly normal. It did get rather hot during the workout this afternoon. There were times that I would assess "why is this so hard?" My answer would be "because the sun is ruthlessly beating down on me." We persevered though.
After a shower, there was little time to relax before Eat & Greet this afternoon. It was a typical E&G. Black eyed peas were the honor student of the courses. Rusty rocked it pretty good.
The show tonight was great. We played to 8,500+. That's all the place would hold. It's a bit of change from the 14,000+ that we had been playing for every night. Still, the energy remained. Chicago is a good town for music (like Detroit last night).
The set was rockin.' Maybe the best playing of the whole tour. Everyone has definitely settled into their roles on each song - no matter how new.
Lou Malnati's deep dish was the after show food tonight. I LOVE deep dish pizza. It's rather hard to beat. This is how you negate a perfectly good workout.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Detroit, MI

D-Town fo' life!
Detroit is ALWAYS a good time. Upon getting up this morning I had the new album waiting for me on my desktop. It took most of the night to download a CD quality record on our shitty bus 3G router. I showered then listened. Shortly after the album was finished we took a 15 passenger van to Chrysler. The took us around their test track in a few souped up Dodge products. The best was riding in their Viper ACR with their best driver at the wheel. "Scared" does NOT cover the range of emotions that I was feeling. I lived though.
We had a great show in D-Town tonight. We played DTE Energy Center - formerly Pine Knob. I've been playing there since I was 21. Love it. Of course, Kid Rock joined us on stage tonight. We did a pretty good version of Marshall Tucker Band's classic "Can't You See," a song that I am intimately familiar with. The crowd was fantastic. Detroit has ALWAYS been a great town for music.
Anyway, I'm out.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hartford, CT

Ahhh... the capital of Connecticut. Judging by the past few days, today was on par for a show on this tour. Jimmy held court today & a bunch of us sweat. Stations again today. I did all 4 rounds. Eat & Greet was good. The rain came in & made the lawn a little more interesting than before. We were nice & dry on stage though.
Casey & The Wood Brothers tore it up good tonight. Our set was pretty good too. During "Sic 'Em on a Chicken" I tripped & fell. I was mere feet from falling clear off of the stage. I was lucky that I landed on my side & NOT my mandolin.
Anyway, I'm sure I'll hurt somewhere tomorrow. When I lay down at night, playing with this band feels more like football than music. Jimmy's got those old muscles feeling sore again & now I'll have some bruises to go with it tomorrow I'm sure. The only real disappointment was when we played the Hartford Whalers' "Brass Bonanza" for walk on music & it seemed that no one recognized it. Where's your sense of history, Hartford? I ask you.
All is well. Sleep early tonight. Sleep late tomorrow. Ain't doin' a DAMN thing tomorrow. WERD!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mansfield, MA

Mansfield is not very far from Boston. I'm sure, had the day contained more hours, that I would've loved to hit the city up. But it does not. I worked out with Jimmy, showered, tweaked my gear, had a LONG soundcheck, then grabbed about 30 minutes worth of a nap. Then, I was awakened by a text telling us that it was 5 minutes til Eat & Greet. That's how my days have been going. It doesn't sound like a lot (especially when you wake up at 9am) - but it is.
The show tonight was good. We've been changing the set list around from night tonight. Tonight's set had some bad "flow" choices (i.e., 3 slow songs together, etc.). It was still a great show though.
Signing was quick & the party began backstage... upon where my tired ass retired to my bunk. I'm out!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Camden, NJ

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I haven't blogged. It's been brutal. The schedule has been frantic but the shows have the been the best ever. We played Raleigh on Wednesday, Virginia Beach on Thursday, & Philly tonight. Tonight's show was the biggest crowd that we've ever headlined for: 16,000+. We're so lucky.
Also, the new show is unbelievable. The Wood Brothers & Casey Driessen are a perfect fit for us & our crowd. Kudos also to the lighting & video guys.
I'm beat. Working out, phone interviews, in-person interviews, & the high stress level of a new, complex show has taken it's toll. But I feel good. I'll try to everyone up to date as much as possible. Less interviews - more blog.
PS. Finally heard all of the final mixes for our new record. LOVE IT!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tracking Zac Brown Band (last day - I hope!)

I was out by 11pm last night. Then up by 8:30am. Some would consider that a full night's sleep. Considering my hectic week, I consider it sub par at best. I'll take it though.
I was in the studio by 9:30am. The Nashville guys showed at 10am. I can't divulge too much info, but we are doing well. We should be finished tracking the regular songs on the record by the end of the night. Zac is hard at work in there right now playing electric guitar. Still a few hours of work left & tomorrow is drawing nigh already. I fear that there is a slight chance that I'll see the sun before I crash. Not much to do tomorrow if that's the case... so it will be worth it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wayyy Back Home

So yeah... you would assume that I haven't blogged because I have been lazy. Not the case. My real reason is two fold: A. I haven't had ANY internet access my entire trip to the San Francisco area & B. almost all of the details regarding my trip are Top Secret. Here's the best recap that I can do.
The band & Zac's dad, Jim Brown, flew to the San Francisco airport on Wednesday afternoon. We were picked up by a 15 passenger van & relocated to the redwood forrest. All I can say is that we spent the better part of 3+ days at The Bohemian Grove. We are not allowed to discuss any details - especially in a forum such as this. It was unlike anything that I've ever done & can't wait to do it next year.
Anyway, yesterday afternoon we were whisked back to San Francisco to play an afternoon country festival at Fort Mason (just outside of the city). It was par for a ZBB festival show... however, it WAS a fly date & we had to use rental gear. ALl of the technical issues that we encountered were because of that. Good set though.
Immediately following the show we took three 15 passenger vans to Napa & had dinner to celebrate Zac's 32nd birthday. It was really cool even though we didn't have a bite until 10:30pm. I was toast when I returned to the San Fran hotel around 3am. I was even more toasty upon waking this morning to leave for the airport.
We flew home today with no problems. I'm ready to crash again. Studio tomorrow morning to finish this ZBB record. Will report.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Back Home

... & not a moment too soon.
I gave Kevin Coughlin a ride from the bus to his house this morning. I haven't written about him yet. Kevin & I went to high school together. We've been friends for a very long time. He is now working with the band in the crew. His roll is more of guitar tech for Coy, Hop, & me. It seems to be working out very well. Soooo... I dropped him off this morning & made my way back to my house. I laid really low this morning. Around noon I turned on the shower & thought to myself... I stink already. Why not work out, then shower.
It had to be 2,500ºF at the peak of the day. I moved my bench outside & lifted this afternoon. It was an easy sweat & felt good to workout outside. I breezed through it though. It was also the 1st time that I've worked out at home. Can't wait to do it again.
I ran a ton of errands around town this afternoon too. FYI: if you ever want to feel good about yourself go to WalMart & just look around. There's probably some one there way worse off than you.
After doing a couple hours of computer work this afternoon I had dinner with my Mom. (I also did some laundry there too). Haven't found the time to buy a washer/dryer for the house yet. Anyway, I'm feelin' pretty good. Hope you're doing well. See you tomorrow.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Louisville, KY

Today was a good day. I woke up in the parking lot of Churchill Downs. My abs aren't worth shit today thanks to Jimmy De Martini & a medicine ball. We got to shower in the jockey's locker room. The shower heads were at the perfect height to rinse my beard - & I'm already a fairly short fellow.
Anyway, we played the first ever Hullabalou Festival held here at the same site as the Kentucky Derby. I caught Taj Mahal & The Black Crowes today before I had to go to the meet & greet. It was as hot as the dickens today. The sun was mighty & showed me no mercy. I should probably burn the shirt that I played the show in. Fun but not fun.
Going home for a couple days of recoup before we launch ourselves out to San Fran. Peace out!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Kingsport, TN

My Dad is from this leg of the woods. Erwin, just south of Johnson City. Look on the picture.
What a day. I got up at 8am. I finished a song & wrote another. You have to take advantage of days like this. When the muse comes calling you have to drop everything if you are able. This morning I was able. I also worked out today. & we had a meeting regarding the order of the songs on the new record. We have so many good songs that it's hard to order this one. Usually, if you have weaker songs, you want to hide them or surround them by better ones. This album simply doesn't have any sub par songs. It's an extremely hard job. We actually didn't finish because we didn't have enough time.
Eat & greet was good. It's the last one of this style. We'll be changing the format very soon. This was the last Southern Ground show. Sonia Leigh was out playing her own show tonight so it was not even a normal Southern Ground show.
The crowd & the show was great. In the 30 years that they've had this event, this was the first time that they've ever sold it out. & it sold out in a short amount of time too. 12,000+. Sheesh!
On to Louisville. Ready for a short break.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Washington, D.C. (DMB)

Today was a barrage of emotions. The first thing we did as we stepped of of the bus was visit Walter Reed Medical Hospital. For those of you who don't know what that is - it's where all of the wounded soldiers go when they return stateside to receive care. Most of the guys that we visited today were in high spirits. Some of the amputees were excited about getting back in to limited action when they were able. It's truly awe inspiring to actually see their dedication to our country. I hope we lifted some spirits while we were there.
After that, it was a normal 'opening for DMB in a stadium' type of day. It was easily our best opening set though. Everyone on stage was in a good headspace & we had 0 technical incidences. Can't say too much about it. It was just good.
On a personal note, I got to see my friend Taylor tonight. It's always good to see him when I come up here. He & his wife are good people. On to Tennessee!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Danville, VA

I went home on Monday night. I was in my own bed by 4am. The band hitched a ride on Zac's private jet flight back home. Tuesday & Wednesday was filled with cleaning & chores & getting my mind straight. I got a haircut too. It was definitely worth going home for a multitude of reasons.
We flew back 'to the road' this morning. It was business as usual for the ZBB camp out here on the road. It was also hot as the dickens here in Danville. It was a smaller venue compared to most of the recent ones. Folks were crammed into the lawn of this 5300 capacity shed. It was a good show, though I felt the heat & humidity reign in my normal stage motion. Only one more Southern Ground show left (& also two DMB shows left - all this weekend). It feels weird to have the 'getting out of school' feeling in late July.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Gilford, NH (day two)

I was up at a reasonable hour this morning. I can't say that for the rest of the bunch. Rumor has it that the last one went down around 5am. I took it easy today. I still have a very late night ahead of me.
The promoter took a couple van loads of folks to the lake for a little boating. The weather was dodgy & I had work to do, so I didn't go.
The show tonight was one of the best in recent memory - topping last night's effort. Only 2 more Southern Ground shows left.
The show is over & the band is leaving soon for home - hopping on to Zac's charter for Atlanta. I'm assuming I'll be in my own bed by 4am. Sorry so short - gotta go.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Gilford, NH (day one)

Slept like a baby last night - which was out of my control. I was so tired that, once I fell asleep, I didn't wake until we stopped moving here in Gilford. This is my 3rd or 4th time here at this venue: Meadowbrook Pavilion. The actual venue itself is a normal shed: amphitheatre seating underneath a roof & then lawn eating behind that. But, the backstage area is pretty accommodating & set up for fun. There is a basketball goal. Catering is set up really nice outside. Tons of room for buses backstage. Also, it being summer in New Hampshire, the weather is perfect.
It was, however, a pinch hot to work out in the sun at noon. Again, we kill ourselves. Today - more stations. Eric, Jake, & Wyatt played through but Jimmy & I were the only ones to do 4 full rounds of 13 stations (one minute a piece). Normally, there would be a tad of physical comedy inserted here. Let me describe it for you. I would position my hand with the fingers almost closed, then lightly breathe on my fingernails, followed my rubbing them on my check in an up & down motion. It's so awkward to describe the mannerisms that dignify my awesomeness.
Anyway, it was a full blown Southern Ground show tonight. To me, it was one of the best. Zac wasn't feeling well, but once the show started I couldn't even tell. We knocked it out of the park. There's only a handful of these shows left. I must admit, I'm so glad to have ben a part of it, but it's been almost a year since we started this tour - I can't wait to change it up. The jazz musician in me just wants Zac to call the songs on stage & play a completely different set every night. But, I understand the value of true entertainment for our audience. We should have a nice, clean show for them. & we did... in October. Since then the rookies have changed a song or two here & there, we've added Joey+Rory to the fold, & we've even started playing new material from he upcoming album. Truth is - I just want to get to the August. I'll play these last Southern Ground shows like they were the last ones of my life, but I'm ready to start anew.