Twang & Bang in the West!

Once again, we are safely back home from an amazing tour! Our trip out West was one for the books. Driving back across the country from Utah to Tennessee, I had plenty of time to revisit all of the awesome scenes from the tour. We started with 2 fantastic nights in Sioux Falls, SD with our friends Lance and Sarah @Old Skoolz. That was the perfect way to start our tour! Paying a visit to our friends at Byron’s in Pomeroy is always a blast. Yellowstone Brewery in Billing is always a blessing to visit.
Two new (to us) venues followed; Sapolil Winery in Walla Walla, WA and Duff’s Garage in Portland, OR. I can’t wait to revisit both of these places! Jazzbones in Tacoma, WA. (Where half of our gear fell out of the trailer and was almost lost forever until the amazing Weber family rescued it!) and Double Mountain Brewing in Hood River, OR couldn’t have been more fun and I hope to return real soon.
The Mt. Baker Blues Festival in Bellingham, WA was next and the only thing more stunning than the view was the kindness and hospitality of our host, Mr. Lloyd Peterson. It was such a joy to get to perform at his beautiful festival.
Heading down to San Francisco, CA to play at Biscuits & Blues for our friend Steven Suen is always an honor and a privilege. It was also, sadly for me, the last night of the tour for our bassman; Mr. Doug Swanson. Staying behind to spend some well deserved time off with his beautiful family, he’ll be rejoining us next month.
Finally we made our way to Salt Lake City, UT to perform at our old friend Carl Weyandt’s new venue Bleu Bistro. If you’re ever in SLC and are hungry for great food and great music make your way to Bleu Bistro, you won’t be disappointed! Joining us for the last two dates of the tour was our new friend Jon Q, filling in for Doug on bass. It was great to get a chance to get to know and jam with this fantastic musician. For our last night on the road, we were the guests of Carl and his wife to Red Butte Garden to see Galactic and Trombone Shorty. A really nice treat for us!
The only thing left was the 24 hour drive home. As the miles roll by, I’m reminded of how beautiful our country is. The landscape changes from wide open spaces to mountains to rolling plains to those lush green Tennessee hills that I proudly call home.
I want to say thank you to my partners in crime; Tour Manager Milburn Edwards, Bassist Doug Mug Swanson, Drummer Ashley W. Smith and Bassist Jon Q. for giving their all every night.
17 days, 6,885.4 miles total. It’s what we do. #loudisgood #twangandbang


The Great White North and Winter won’t let go…

 What a wild and strange trip this tour has been! On paper, going into it, it looked like a disaster; Bass player quits after the Canadian paperwork is filed, New bass player has no passport, since it’s a 4 week tour and it’s last minute no bass players were able to help us out and so Tom and I struck out alone for Wausau, WI and all points north. Now with 2 1/2 weeks under our belts and light at the end of the tunnel starting to show, I can say that God has (once again, like always) blessed us tremendously! Starting in Minneapolis where we had our good friend Trent Boldt play bass with us, then on to Regina, SK where our new friend Jon Nichols was our bassist. In Edmonton Travis Switzer and Curtis Ebner shared the bass duties. Throw in a couple of acoustic duo dates between Tom and me and here we are in Livingston, MT, our old friend Calvin Johnson flys out to meet us and finish the tour and were almost pointed home! 

 I have to say a thing about club owners; As a professional musician for 20+ years, I’ve dealt with a lot of people, all kinds, but we are blessed by the number of club owners that we work with that are kind, helpful and considerate! If I try and name check them all I’ll miss someone and feel bad but I have to say something about an incredible act of kindness that Tom and I received a couple of days ago. We had just arrived in Livingston, MT for an acoustic show that night. We stopped for lunch and like I do sometimes, I checked us in on Facebook. At the end of our meal the waitress said “Your bill’s been taken care of.” Turns out our friend Lance at Old Skoolz in Sioux Falls, SD had seen my check in and called the restaurant and paid our tab! Lance has had us play at his place 4 or 5 times and always works hard getting the word out and helping us reach new fans in his market and we’ve always thought highly of him for that but this gesture had Tom and me stunned for the rest of the day. Thanks Lance!! Also have to shout out to Cole Murphy at The Murray Bar in Livingston, MT for helping us fill in some gaps and for being a great supporter of us. Image