I feel like I haven’t touched the ground since hitting the road a week ago Friday–Mr. Robert Earl Keen was right, re: “the road goes on forever,” though I’d argue at this point that it really just goes round-and-round, a circle that closes back in on itself at the intersection of Where-ya-goin and Where-ya-been, instead of some kind of dreamy infinite line, though it is true that one does encounter beautiful new things along the way. (Yes, friends, it occurs to me as I write this that I am indeed describing two versions of infinity.) And the second half of that phrase, “and the party never ends” is to my mind very wishful thinking on this beautiful morning in my hotel room in Hanover, VA; the party does certainly end, earlier than one could ever imagine twenty years ago, whether you’re looking at the clock or the calendar. I feel damned lucky to be able to do what I do, even with a knee that’s hurting like it shouldn’t (due to my return to running, argh), and the miles on the body, soul, and van on this trip alone going up into the low 4-digits. The shows have been great fun–Todd Snider‘s crowds are receptive, and always quiet/polite (though I have a bit of illumination for those few front-row conversationalists: we can hear you quite clearly, even in the middle of a song). But all the people I’ve met in these towns are definitely folks I can get along with well. Touring solo is a bit of a grind–because yes, you are indeed: solo! Driver, tour manager, roadie, guitar tech, merch salesman, and oh yeah–a performer on the bill! I load all the gear into the hotel after the show, so that I (theoretically) sleep better without worrying about the van or its contents disappearing in the night. It is at these times I am very grateful for elevators and luggage carts. But: the positive affirmation I’ve received along the way has been overwhelming, and I’m grateful to all who’ve come out to the shows and listened to us play, and especially to Todd and his team for having me on these shows.
I’ve been trying to change the set a little from night to night; in the last couple I’ve closed with “24 Diamonds,” an older song I wrote as an elegy for my friend Joel Rundell, that I used to play live all the time, but had set aside for a while. That’s one that my right hand is still re-learning, apparently–but hey, there’s nothing like standing up in front of 300+ people and going for it, ha ha. Maybe tonight I’ll get it right like it used to be, not so long ago. Or better . . . .
Tonight Todd and I are playing Norfolk, VA–check the tour cal for details–show starts a little earlier, 7:30pm; on Thursday we’re in Charlotte, NC. Then . . . I turn right around and head back north, playing two trio shows (with Ron Eoff and Marco Giovino) Saturday and Sunday: Saturday in Rochester, NY at the Rochester International Jazz Festival, and Sunday returning to the wonderful Nelson Odeon, in/near Cazenovia, NY. Then, we turn back around, and go home. For a little while.
Happy birthday to my mom and her twin sister, my aunt Sandra! They are celebrating together with their sister, my aunt Barbara, and this makes me happy.