After our late night in Nashville we crashed at our pal Nick Lucassian's, slept in the next day and ordered pizza. I asked for deep dish, and the pizza guy told me they don't have that in Nashville.
He did want to clarify that he was from Chicago and he understood my request. That's great, but it didn't make my pizza any thicker. We said thanks and goodbye to Nick and Shades pointed Jerry Sprinter towards Birmingham, Alabama.
We rolled into the venue feeling about half past dead. We left our buddy Nick's only to play a venue called The Nick in Birmingham, Alabama. We played with Thomas Wynn and The Believers, a rootsish band that reminded me of Little Feat, CCR, and Delaney & Bonney. It's a club gig on an off night with the D and these are cool because we can stretch out a bit and kinda play some softer stuff, weirder blues and maybe a cover tune or two.
It's funny when you're in this part of the world and they tell me I talk funny. Seriously? We're in 'Bama, Dude. It's a helpful reminder the world doesn't revolve around me. Anyway, tonight we cover The Band's "Caledonia Mission" and it cooks. Shit, our whole set cooked.
Too bad there were maybe twelve people there (including a guy named Jimmy Trunks and another named Jeff Becker). I should add that Becker's favorite things in life were: life, people, the ocean, redheads and sex. I can't make this stuff up. As for Trunks, he wasn't allowed in the bar so he sat on the porch with us and handed the bartender his credit card to buy us drinks. Yeah, this guy wasn't allowed in this place but they rang his card up. It was hilarious and so was he.
Back to the gig: The Believers were great. Apparently they cover "Caledonia Mission" too. Weird. So that turned into acoustics on the porch outside the venue 'til four a.m. singing and playing about twenty songs from the first three Band records.
When you can connect with people with different accents than you in another land through music--there is nothing better. It made me feel like there are others out there like me. People who still sing, pick, and play for the sheer joy of it. I left that porch feeling strong, proud, and content.
You know that scene in Festival Express where Rick Danko, Janis Joplin, and Jerry Garcia are strumming and singing into each other's eyes? That was my Sunday night at The Nick.
On Monday we played the Tabernacle in Atlanta. It's a 100 year old former Baptist church and it's beautiful. We linked up with Big Andy from the early Sights Magic Stick days and he is running a successful record store.
Great to see Andy--he gave this band some early breaks back in '98-'99. We also hung with Bryan Malone of the 45s, another Sights cronie.
Our set was great (so the guys say) but I felt off. Maybe I sang too much Band the night before, I don't know. I couldn't find my groove, maybe I should ask Stella how she got it back. Afterward Bryan invited us to a funky longtime Atlanta establishment and so we invited the D again. This time we were there when the D showed up and we got some good hang time in. A frequent question that comes my way is, "So, do you get to hang with those guys?" Yes--and in some historical, beautiful places in America.
All the best,
Current tour morale: tired, but ready to bring New York to its knees
Photos by Shades