Fri 10/2/2009 1:58 PM
Notes from the road...
Wow. How quickly the time passes. We're home now. As in, two weeks home. My last dispatch found us en route to Green Bay and so much has happened since then. Our stay in Green bay was nice although the weather was warmer than I had hoped for. I packed a pretty heavy sweatshirt fully expecting for temperatures to drop - especially at night - but no luck. It was warm and humid. Kind of felt like we were in north Texas. The Oneida Casino was fun and everybody there took great care of us. The rooms were nice and we had our run of the place, but I never quite could figure out the hooks above my bed... Our second night there we met some new pals who drove down from the U.P. of Michigan to see us which really made us feel good. (Yeah, me too... as if I knew what U.P. meant. It's "Upper Peninsula.) A few drinks and a few hours later (and lots o' laughs - always lots o' laughs) and we sent them on their merry way all the while doing our best (worst) Wisconsin dialects back and forth to each other. On the last night of our stay, I ventured out onto the casino floor and along with Dennis and Susan, sort of created the "Amatuer Hour" BlackJack table. By the time all was said and done, I walked with $50.00 in winnings. Not bad for a rookie.
From Green bay we headed down to Chicago where we played The Abbey which was a fun room too. We didn't stay long though because our drive the next day was going to be a long one. We hit the road after that show and stayed somewhere between Chicago and Kansas City. Our next night at Knucklehead's in Kansas City was awesome! We had a great crowd and hung around afterwards cutting up with the bar owner and the other few folks and employees lingering about. One of the perks of this venue? Washer and dryer backstage, baby! By the time we rolled into Kansas City, it was about time for all of us to get our skivvies washed. The best part is that the makeshift laundromat is setup directly behind the stage. After our last tune, I headed out the backstage door and threw my wet clothes into the dryer and could still look out and see the crowd. Then ran back out to play one or two more songs. Hysterical. Hopefully we'll be back up there again soon. Knucklehead's is a good time.
One of our last shows scheduled for the end of the tour was in Dallas. They cancelled due to some sort of plumbing issues throughout the building and we headed over to McKinney instead where we stayed an extra night and found ourselves over at Hank's all night long to catch most of the Reckless Kelly show going on and we enjoyed the majority of the nighttime hours hanging out with Jay Nash, Reckless's drummer. Super cool cat and a fine drummer. After staying up so late, we looked forward to no more hours travelling down the road in the van and had all day Saturday to relax before our set at Hank's that night. Our set at Hank's was an absolute blast (as always) and it's always good to see our friends up that way. Matt Hillyer from 1100 Springs stopped in and jumped up to play a couple of songs with us and Dennis and I hung out talking with him for a good part of the night after our show on Saturday. I acquired a windfall of "Tweaker" energy drinks from my new pal "Rockman" and was informed (after the fact) that I could probably just drink half of one because even though they are the same size as the 5 Hour Energy drinks I consume so many of, they've got twice the kick. Thanks. I'll remember that the next time I want a boost before a show. We had a bus call at 8:00 the next morning and after laying awake all night, I finally packed my things and headed down to the van at 5:00 to just try and get a little rest there - that way I wouldn't have to wake up and go to the van. I am NOT a morning person. I'd be perfectly happy if the world didn't start til noon everyday. (But nobody asked me.) Everybody else that piled into the van that morning thought for sure I was playing "possum", (and I don't even think I look anything like George Jones... Oooooh, that was bad, I know!) but I put earplugs in and fell asleep and was not easily going to be woken up after just a few short hours of rest. All that Sunday I felt like doo-doo. I blame Rockman's Tweakers. We made our way back down I-35 and played in Kyle that evening and finally made it home. The trip was fun but I was ready to be home and see my family and share my cheese curds with them (they squeak in your teeth when they're fresh!)
The better part of a week off and we found ourselves at the Broken Spoke in Austin among almost 500 people. (Yeah! 500!!!) It was an incredibly fun night and so nice to be back home in Texas! Denny Mathis joined us up there and it seems everytime he plays with us, he just sort of elevates us all to another caliber of musicianship. (The dude's a bad-@$$, plain and simple.) So here I am on a Friday afternoon with another week gone by and getting ready for a Floore's Country Store appearance in Helotes this evening. I sure love that place. The people are cool, they take great care of us, the venue is comfortable, and best of all? It's close to home. Well, that's about all for now. Be safe out there and we'll talk again soon.