Day 8: Notsuoh
Texas is hot, really hot. I’m having a hard time convincing myself that it’s almost October as sweat builds a quick layer on my skin, just 5 minutes after jumping out of the shower.
Last night was my first time in Houston, and quite honestly the heat has my brain fried, so I don’t feel I can give a proper review of the city. The ride in was just as hot, the sun beating through the windshield, slow roasting us with its radiant energy. Nate got a freeze pop at the gas station just outside of the city, and the thing was literally melting faster than he could eat it.
The club we played at was a converted clothing store, and when the shop owners left they left behind a collection of random wares that the club owners turned in to decor. It almost felt like someone had gone into a Goodwill, bought the most random items, then nailed them to the wall or hung them from the ceiling. Macklemore would be proud.
The club didn’t have a sound guy, so I got to log in some time behind the board, which was pretty cool. After the show we decided to get a hotel to beat the heat. A.C. Is a beautiful thing!
Day 7: The Den @ The Howling Wolf
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is an eclectic city for sure. The vibe of the city changes drastically within a city block, from the urban bustle of Canal St., to the touristy madness of Bourbon St., to the classic plant covered balconies of the rest of the French Quarter, and so on. I spent the afternoon walking around doing street promo with Mochello, pounding the pavement in search of new friends in an unfamiliar city. We stopped for a slice of pizza at one of the Bourbon St corner shops and I made the mistake of making friends with the lone on site employee. After the slice I thought it would be a good idea to get a frozen drink for the walk…. A drink that’s only alcohol happens to be 190 proof grain alcohol… So, with the ‘Hey, I like y’all’ long pour, I think I wound up with the equivalent of an 8 shot daiquiri… The sweetness of the frozen mix did well to mask how strong the drink actually was, and couple that with the stifling heat and humidity of the gulf coast, and you have a recipe for disaster for most people. Luckily I’m a trained professional.
I tend to be a fairly reserved person, and although I have a background in public speaking I am usually one of the quiet ones in the group. But pour some liquid inhibition killer on me and I become the Tony Robbins of street promo. After a few hours spreading the good word to all the uninformed people of the French Quarter, we set off to find a salon so Mochello could get his Mohawk dyed. Being a Monday, we were fortunate to find a place that was open. While he was taking care of his business, I took the opportunity to revel in the air conditioning, and the two of us soon became friends with all the employees and patrons in the shop.
Once he was done, Mochello and I headed to meet up with the rest of the guys who had spent the afternoon doing office work. We all headed to the club and loaded in. The people of New Orleans are no strangers to music. We had a decent crowd and the other bands on the bill were some fun stuff too.
By the time we left the club it was pretty late, and while we had planned on getting a hotel along the way to avoid the unbearably hot temps, it just didn’t make since to spend the money on a few hours sleep. So we toughed out the heat, woke up and headed on our way for 3 days in the Lone Star State….
Days 5&6: CPRfest
As we drove down the highway through Alabama there was quite a bit of concern that CPRfest might be canceled/postponed due to heavy rain and electrical storms. Torrential rain battered our bus as we trucked along the interstate. Luckily though, along the coast the weather held, and the show went on.
The first thing we did when we reached the area was to drop off the gear at the CPRfest after party club that we were playing. While the guys sound checked, I took the bus over to our Mississippi mechanic friend Mike, for a check up and to have a few minor issues looked at. It turned out that we had a potentially serious issue brewing with our steering column, but Mike tore it down and fixed the issue, with an unparalleled speed and precision.
Mike’s shop is actually a high end restoration business, and attached to the shop is a museum of sorts, with about 35 different restored vehicles, of various makes and models, dating back to 1930. My favorite was either the Chevelle SS or the ‘72 Stingray… One day I’ll have my own classic muscle car… One day…
The guys met me at the shop after sound check, and once Mike had the bus back together we headed down to CPRfest. The radio station hooked us up with all access passes, so we hung backstage and side stage for a bit, and spent some time in the media pit in front of the stage.
The official after party that we played was at a sports bar a few miles from the festival. The crowd that came down was great, they were all really into the music. The radio station that was hosting the event, WCPR, was promoting the show on air all day, so we had a good mix of bar regulars, festival goers, radio people, and other artists that performed at the festival that day.
After the show, we decided to spend our day off in Biloxi. We stayed at our friend Scott Fox of WCPR’s house and had a classic All-American Sunday… BBQ and football, followed by a trip to the Casino, which was offering a free buffet for signing up with their member services…. After that, it was back to our temporary abode for a good nights sleep before heading to The Big Easy….
It’s Sunday…. And a day off… And the Patriots are playing…. Yesterday’s blog coming after the game!
Day 4: Rock Bottom-
Alabama! Home of the worlds first electric trolley system, first lunar rocket, first 911 call, and the birthplace of the Confederacy.
This was our second stop in Alabama, the first time being a year and a half ago at The Nick in Birmingham. Nate always feels that Alabama is an underrated state, and is constantly mentioning how much he likes driving through the south. (Personally, I’m a fan of the Alabama Slammer… So there’s my vote too!)
Root’s awesome uncle got us a hotel room in Montgomery, so we were rolling true rock star status yesterday. And, it was my favorite hotel chain, the Drury Inn. (If someone has pull with Chuck Drury, you need to persuade him to sponsor our tours! I’ll love you forever if you do!)
The customer service is always spot on, and the complimentary hot meals hit so many right spots! Last night they had pasta and meatballs with broccoli soup for us. And the breakfasts aren’t just a continental-bowl-of-cereal-and-a-piece-of-fruit deal. Sausage, biscuits, eggs, waffles, bagels….. Needless to say I was full this morning! On the road a free hot meal is one of the best things around. We do our best to try to eat semi-healthy, but the ease and convenience of fast food sometimes trumps that.
The show last night was another one with Taproot and Righteous Vendetta. We made some fans who were even tweeting at us through the set. After a solid show, and a super comfy hotel sleep, (and a bangin free breakfast!) we’re now on our way to Biloxi, MS to play the official WCPR after party for CPRfest!