This is my first day. And my second.
I have been trying to force ways to unpack and relax since I have moved. To try and process all that has happened in such a short amount of time. Each event filled day blurring into the next, drawing lines to other times and other places, asking me to pay attention. Believe me I do my best but each moment is becoming a wisp of fog on a late night drive through the mountains. I can drive really slow and try to appreciate each one for what it is but sometimes you have just got to get to where you’re going. That sums up this tour pretty well.
I began the tour with tragic news being delivered to me by a former tour manager. Paul Harper, my first touring bass player had passed away suddenly, and even more I realized I would be just barely out of range to make the funeral. I spent the first 2 days of the tour grieving deeply. I called his parents to express my condolences, I cried, and I hung out with my good friend, Ryan Garner to try and process some of the information. I thought I would have to wade through the tunnel of grief through the whole tour, as I have never just walked out of that process before, but upon driving to his town to deliver some flowers and a note to his family and making some plans to visit them on my way back to Portland, the grieving was set aside and I was able to move forward without that weight. Though I did spend quite a lot of the tour remembering him with good friends who knew him well. So he was not at all forgotten.
The leg of the tour where the talented Gayle Skidmore was with me was a great time. Gayle is a fantastic musician and a wonderful songwriter. I am SURE that she is on the brink of being a major force to be reckoned with and I am so proud of her. I got to know her really well on this tour and would absolutely go out on the road with her again. And we are planning on it later this year.
SxSw by all accounts was a great success as well. I so enjoyed my time with my Fresno friends. I introduced Gayle to everyone I knew and those who did not know Gayle yet accepted her with abandon. It was wonderful to see. I had to turn down a couple of shows over the weekend, due to other shows booked on the tour, but it was nice to add a couple of show, meet some incredible people, and hang out with old friends that I know and love deeply (Paul Chesterton (Old Tire Swingers), Mathr DeLeon (Fierce Creatures), Johnathan Hadden (Rademacher), I am looking at you). I also got a really fun photo shoot in. I am waiting on those photos. But here are some others:
I had to leave SxSw early for a performance with abrasiveMedia. Also known as some of my favorite people in the universe. It was a multi-genre art show and with Jason Goforth backing me up on his lap steel we played one of my favorite shows of all time, with modern dancing, aerial dance, and people making art as we sang. I have got to say… it was pretty amazing.
I then played in Nashville with my band, The Prophets. Yes, I have changed their name. It was probably my favorite full band show of all time.
I left Nashville shortly after that and began the tour home, stopping in Phoenix to discuss the concept for the upcoming Kickstarter video with my good friend Craig Garrisson. Who is also the man who designs my awesome t-shirts.
Los Angeles consisted of some business at ASCAP and some other things, among hanging out with my best friend, Whitney Williams, seeing Central Valley natives, The Stone Foxes for the first time, and trying to get a mocking bird to mimic me with Mark Luebbers. It was all pretty great.
I drove back to my birthplace of Fresno, CA for a reunion of one of my favorite bands of all time, The Soma Holidays, with whom I had the immense pleasure of playing with, and then played in Sonora, CA with Minor Birds (who are bad ass). The tour is nearly done now, with 2 shows in Portland at Vino Vixens to play on Saturday and Sunday. Then I will begin the journey of finishing the album and trying to continue to build a life in Portland. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S COMING. But I have my hunches that whatever it is… It’s going to be huge. And I am sooooo looking forward to it. What a wonderful 5 weeks it’s been. I look forward to the rest of the year.
BTW! You can hear a rough mix of the first track on I AM WARM YOUNG BLOOD here (not to mention see some more of my experience at SxSw through Ryan C. Jones’ eyes: http://www.ryancjonesphoto.com/blog/street/sxsw-2012/ Thanks Ryan!!!
AND here is a retrospective on two of my touring vehicles. I think you will enjoy them