Start of travelAugust 15, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 26 °C
Left for the tour!
Left for the tour!
Not a ton to say about today. I slept a ton. We got in a two hour traffic jam which meant we did not get in until around midnight. That put us at about 19 hours in the van.
We’re staying at the house we’re playing at tomorrow. It is absolutely huge and in the woods. The people the next house down bought this house just to do concerts. It’s absolutely insane.
More tomorrow.Read more
We got up in the morning and had an early lunch with Lisa who booked us and owns the house. We went to some place that seemed okay. Out of my better judgement I go a buffalo chicken sap instead of pancakes. The chicken tasted like burnt/dry hamburger. We then went to her husbands incense factory which was interesting for sure.
Afterwards we at back and dealt with what looked like an oil leak from the van. We then set up early and ran through some new songs. One is a pretty upbeat floater shuffle which six months ago I wouldn’t have lasted thirty seconds playing it. The potluck was kind of eh but the desserts were good. Someone made cookies and these almond flavored pastries shaped like animals.
The gig was fun but very quiet and subdued. I never realized how hard it was to play so quiet and fast. Everyone really like us and there was I believe sixty people in all!
After we hung out and then packed up as we hit the road at seven for Ann Arbor. We found out tonight I can’t do a running high five even after like five attempts. Oh well. Ann Arbor blues festival tomorrow!Read more
We had to wake up super early for this one and leave by 7am to make it to Ann Arbor (4 hour drive). We got there and got loaded in and played a really good set.
Afterwards I got to say hello to Sam Lay again and also got to talk with Kenny Smith and Billy Flynn. It was such an honor to get to see and hear all these amazing players and also share the same stage as them. It was an amazing experience.
We’re currently on the road to Saugatuck, MI for a 9:30-1:30 show. Thankfully they have a house kit so we can get out of there fast!Read more
After Ann Arbor we got into the car and drove about 2.5 hours to get to Saugatuck, MI. On the way on a very rural road we spotted a KISS mailbox. Definitely homemade.
The gig went good. I’m at a point I can play pretty consistently but not at my best all the time. I can tell my practicing and stick exercises are paying off but I need to break through the grind of it and be able to always fully utilize it.
Some dude sat in on harmonica and played a lot of notes. Not much space. At least he sounded okay.
After the gig ended at 1:30 we went to some local hotdog stand which was overrun but people so wasted they were slowed down. My food was practically free because a drunk dude gave an insane amount of money for a small order. I got a Coney and a Chicago dog. Good, but the bread seemed to melt from the toppings.
Tonight we’re staying in Michigan Springs, Indiana I believe. Tomorrow we play Rock Island, Illinois. We get to sleep in which is awesome!Read more
I realized I didn’t really take any photos today. That’s okay as it wasn’t super eventful. We slept until checkout and then went to a place that serves pancakes only to find out they had a huge wait. Panera it is.
After we drove a few hours and stopped at a gas station where one of the workers asked if we had seen the new “QT” movie. We had no idea what he was talking about until he told us it meant Quentin Tarrantino. He also did some impersonations of the dudes from Full Metal Jacket.
The gig was in kind of a dive bar hosted by the Mississippi Valley Blues society. The people were super receptive which made it way more fun. There was a dude there filming us that looked a lot like Peter Criss.
I noticed small improvements in certain aspects of my playing tonight but found a few things I need to improve. Fast floater shuffles, snare height, and thrown height. It always feels a little off and at this point in the game I just want it to feel effortless.
Before the gig it was decided we’d drive a few hours so the next day we could get to Detroit easier. Well, some group of people wouldn’t let us leave for an hour as they needed to tell us about their Jimmy Buffett concerts. We finally left, listened to a pretty bad CD, and got some snacks at a 24-hour HyVee grocery store. Doug got a calzone and the lady went upstairs to the break room just to heat it up for him.
We’re now in Joliet and will be heading to Detroit in the morning. We will be staying there for 3 days so no travel for awhile.Read more
There wasn’t a terrible ride today and we got to sleep a decent amount. The worst part of our day was really that we had some traffic and didn’t get to the venue as early as we had hoped. I did have a pretty good burger from a place called Mooyah Burgers. It had their Mooyah sauce, lettuce, pickles, and pickled jalapeños.
The venue was super cool and had a really beautiful drum set. The snare drum was a hand hammered brass Gretsch and it sounded amazing. I’d be curious to try the 6.5 version to hear how it compares.
This place is Belgian inspired. They have Belgian foods and drinks plus they have something called Feather bowling. It’s like bocce ball but you roll discs as close to a feather as possible. The food was pretty bad. My roast tasted like it cooked for a year then they made some flavorless gravy. Plus it was very apparent there wasn’t any spices added.
The show was fun at least. Lots of Doug’s friends and family came out. His parents are very nice. RJ Spängler came out for a bit and was extremely complimenting of my shuffle.
Andrew and I are now at the hotel. Doug is back at his parents place. Tomorrow Doug is sitting in with some band and we will join. Wednesday is off. We will definitely be getting pizza and middle eastern food!Read more
So today Andrew and I were all by ourselves. We went to IHOP and I got blueberry pancakes. They were pretty bad honestly; the blueberries tasted super weird. We then hit up a ton of stores including Guitar Center. As always I got more sticks to try, and as always there was literally like one employee for the whole store.
After we went to the hotel and waited for Doug. He was an hour late getting here. Per usual. We then went to Sahara which is a middle eastern restaurant/Lebanese. Doug got tabouleh, Andrew got some salad, and I got falafel. It was all good. We even had some dip made with beef and
lamb I believe plus hommous.
The gig wasn’t really a gig. We didn’t play together, Doug was asked to sit in with some friends. Well, the place (a literal garage) somehow managed to get a dispensary license so you could smoke pot. They also made barbecue but I wasn’t hungry. Luckily there was an outside area so we all went out there even when Doug was playing. We played the last song with him. We then had to drive his old bassist Chris home and he told us a ton of insane stories. He had also drank a pint of vodka that night.
Doug dropped us off and we walked to the gas station. Tomorrow there is no gig but Doug’s old friend and bassist Bob is taking Andrew and I out for Coney dogs and pizza!Read more
Not much happened today. Just hung out in the room for a bit then Bob Connor took Andrew and I out for lunch. We shared a Detroit style pizza at the original Buddy’s location. I still say it tastes like grilled cheese with pizza sauce.
After we drove for a bit and checked out what was going on in Detroit. Lots of places being built up but lots of it still looking pretty worse for wear. We then hit up Lafayette’s Coney Dogs, which I wasn’t super impressed by. The hotdog itself was good, though. Right next door is their competitor (supposedly owned by his brother) called American, I believe. I didn’t stop in there.
At Buddy’s I saw an ad for a cheap house for rent. Doug informed me of how the areaway. Bob actually drove us over and we saw how dilapidated it was. We went back to the room and pretty much lied around the rest of the night. We were supposed to go to Doug’s parents house but we were incredibly tired. I did some stick exercises while watching YouTube.
Today we’re off to the Tip Top Deluxe in Grand Rapids.Read more
The day started meeting Bob Connor again for lunch. We went to some local Lebanese kebab place. It was good but I’m just not a huge middle eastern food
Fan for the most part. At his place he had some very cool old drum sets and a ridiculously big bar.
We said our goodbyes and made our way to Grand Rapids. We hit some traffic but got there in time to stop at the hotel. At the gig we found out there was an opening act and that meant we had to load in and wait for them to be done playing to set up. I got a burger that was supposed to have caramelized onions, blue cheese, and bacon. Well there wasn’t bacon, a ridiculous amount of blue cheese, and a small amount of onions that were still kind of chewy. The burger itself was good and came from the owner’s (I believe) farm.
It was a really good gig and we had a harmonica player sit in with us who was great. After we packed up and headed to the hotel.
Today we’re driving to Geneva, Illinois to play Fiora’s. That was the first date of our last tour but we got rained out. Hopefully this time we don’t! We will be staying at Nick Moss’ place.Read more