June was a month that kept us guessing. It seemed like nothing went according to plan. Some things worked in our favor, while others forced us to scramble for cover and make hard decisions in order to accommodate adjustments to our trajectory.
In the end, I'd like to think we chose wisely, and no feelings were hurt so badly that they couldn't be assuaged at a later, makeup engagement. I guess we'll find out soon enough.
Here's how the shuffle shook out.
Our Dothan, Alabama date was scuttled at the last minute, due to a booking gaff between our agency and the promoter, so we took the hit, and left early for Georgia anyway, In an effort to bypass some hairy Bonnaroo traffic just south of Nashville.
After crashing for the night in Newnan, GA, we headed on to The Loft in Columbus, and had a show so good that I neglected to connect the trailer properly during load-out, yet still somehow managed to navigate the 100 miles or so back to our next accommodations without the aid of running/brake lights. Apparently somebody was looking after us, as Kenny & I obliviously argued the relative value of various Spencer Proffer productions(W.A.S.P, Quiet Riot, Kick Axe) for a couple of very fatigued hours. We really need to start taping a pre and/or post-gig Podcast on this stuff…occasionally heated, always educational, and seldom settled to either party's satisfaction. I mean Kick Axe? Really?!?
We made our next stop in London, KY for their Thursday Night Live concert series. Unfortunately Mother Nature saw fit to drop a few random buckets of rain on both the heads of those assembled to witness the entertainment, and the defenseless PA system that had just been fired up for the opening act. A brief deluge later, our intrepid support Kevin Dalton & The Tuesday Blooms(Look 'em up, bluegrass aficionados…the real deal!)gamely charged through an abbreviated set, sans electricity or sound reinforcement. They absolutely saved the night, and managed to keep the crowd from abandoning ship early. Sadly for us, we didn't arrive equipped to scale down, and were armed only with implements of sonic mass destruction that required current from the local power grid. As such, we were forced to retake the stage and do our thing as best we could, with compromised equipment that included only one fully functioning monitor, conveniently located behind the drum kit. I don't know what it sounded like out front, but it sounded like a bag of feral cats being put through the rinse cycle where I was standing. Sorry, London…we tried…and we tip our hats to the staff and sound crew for indulging us to the end. Come see us just up the road in Somerset this month, where hopefully none of our gear will be waterlogged.
We reluctantly had to cancel the Friday's show in Bristol, TN, because we received a call earlier in the week letting us know that we had been added as direct support for Jack Russell's Great White in Evansville, IN the following night, and they needed us there early in the day for load-in/soundcheck. We got to drag out our full backline for these shows, which we hadn't been able to utilize for a while, and I can't tell you how much I miss that wall of Marshall's behind me, particularly when I've got a roomful of people in front of me getting off on the sound. The show was a blast. In fact, I just finished listening to a recording of it, and the mix out front was fantastic….just the right amount of boom and sizzle, and plenty of loud guitar. Amen.
From there we scattered…Patrick off to Illinois, Kenny into The Sound Emporium to cut drums for a project, Matt to man the phones at headquarters, and me to The Dominican Republic, where I got sunburnt and (I'm pretty sure) roofied by two older ladies from Boston we dubbed The Cheryls. I may or may not have been carried back to my room after sundown, but not by them.
Vacation out of the way, I'm back and in preproduction mode this week, before we start tracking drums and bass for my solo record at The Switchyard. Guitars are piled up, amplifiers have been assigned, and track sheets are being modified daily, as I begin the process of plugging into my notes the sonic specifics required for each song to realize its full potential….or at least that's what I tell myself. Really, it's just a bunch of scribbles on a legal pad that only make sense to me. I have faith though.
Once we get back to business as a unit, July should look something like this:
Friday, July 15th @ The Square Somerset, KY
Saturday, July 16th @ Cue Time Bowling Green, KY
Friday, July 22nd @ Bokeh Lounge Evansville, IN
Saturday, July 23rd @ Brewskies Seymour, IN
Friday, July 29th @ The Crowded House(acoustic show) Madisonville, KY
Saturday, July 30th @ Hightops(acoustic show) Somerset, KY
(More details on our calendar HERE)
….and even though it's in August, I just couldn't wrap this thing up without mentioning our return to the FINALLY reopened John Brown's On The Square in Marion, IL on Friday August 5th. The fire is in the rearview, so it's time to make some new memories up in that joint. Meet us there.
Be good to each other,
The Great Affairs