I am in the backseat of Jerry Sprinter and it feels like a good time to write. I have no clue what state I am in, as I heard Shades and Skip up front talking about how we just passed through three states or something. I'm guessing we're out of Virginia and somewhere in Maryland, but I can't be so sure. It does look like Civil War country, though. We're headed to the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.
The second leg of the tour officially kicked off with a club gig in Cincinnati. We played at a newer place in the downtown area called MOTR with DAAP Girls. They were cool: rock 'n roll, a bit of slide guitar, it felt like home. There were other of home in an ex-Sights drummer--Keith Fox.
We crashed at his place ("Lil' Buddy" got his own place!) and it was good to see him. An honest and good guy, always. But the highlight of our set was Johnny Walker blowing harp on "Sticks and Stones." Johnny "Soledad Brother" was always a mentor and older brother to me.
The guys in the Greenhornes and Soledad Brothers were my idols when I was seventeen. It was good to reconnect with Johnny and hear that cackle of a laugh he's got.
The next night we picked up the first gig of the second leg with Tenacious D at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Y'know, just the place Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Kitty Wells, etc. made famous. It felt good to see the D and their crew... and to tap the catering.
A funny thing about the Ryman's layout: our backstage room was on the opposite side of the stage where the showers were. It felt funny to walk across the stage looking like a scrub while the D was sound checking, but hey, if that's how the Ryman wants to play it I'll comply.
Our set went well, and afterward I ran into Brendan Benson. I'd never talked to the guy much, but we had a good conversation. After the gig we met with another ex-Sight, Bobby Emmett, and my good friends Nick Lucassian and Scott Gibson. We told the D we should party in East Nashville 'cos that's where we were staying. Well, we got sidetracked.
The Bobman took us to Robert's Western World on Broadway (the main party drag in Nash) and we hung with the Bobman and Nick for a few hours. Eventually my old friend Theresa Kereakes met up with us too and a lot of good fun was had.
We finally get to East Nash only to see the D leaving the bar I'd suggested we meet up at. Whoops. We still go inside and have a nightcapper. The "Star Spangled Banner" came over the speakers and it felt like a good time to raise a chair.
That chair lift was vaguely successful but it firmly succeeded in getting me kicked out. Whoops.
Anyway, we finish the night at Nick's with the Bobman and had a great night. It's good to know I can reconnect with ex-Sights and all is good. The Bobman is doing well and getting good session work and I wish him the best. And Nick, well I've always loved his songwriting and vocal chops so I know he'll be fine too.
All the best,
Current tour morale: still tired but a wiser man
Photos by Shades
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