Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Still a couple days left, but might as well do a 2010 year in review now before I forget and post it in February.

Holy crap what a roller-coaster this year has been. So much good, so much bad, so much change. Haven't done a tally of how many shows I've played but it was a lot. Kept myself in business for yet another year by playing the electric bass guitar, that's gotta count for something. 4 albums were released this year that I played on: Eric Tessmer Band 'Green Diamond', my solo album 'Ocean of Stars', The Mother Truckers 'Van Tour', and The Figurados 'Lesson Two.' Went through sea changes of highs and lows dealing with my divorce and various life shit. Wrote and recorded a solid solo album against insurmountable odds, now to actually do something with it. Played onstage with at least 6 different bands. Went to Europe for the first time! Saw a good chunk of America as well, most of which I've seen before but was nice to go back. Got my mug in Guitar Player Magazine again (Nov 2010 w/Dweezil Zappa on cover), and a lot of people I've never met heard my basslines on Sirius satellite radio. Put together a solo band (Ocean of Stars) in 3 weeks flat and played a show. Went from broke, to well off, to broke again in a matter of weeks. Such is life. But at least I could afford a new bass and paid some bills before the money grew legs and ran off. Had the lowest of lows when I was arrested for a DWI last month, when all I wanted to do was get home to my sick/dying girlfriend but spent the night in jail instead. Better the cops found me than an ambulance. However she is on the mend, and I am getting myself out of a situation I got myself into, and learned a good life lesson in the process. Continue to find out who my true friends are, and I have an overabundance of really really GOOD PEOPLE in my life. No wonder I refer to my friends as "family" as well, as family are people who look out for each other. And my blood family continues to be amazing and supportive as well. Not sure where I'd be without them. All in all, it's been an amazing year to say the least. Made some great music with some amazing players, and the bar keeps going up. Awesome.

I have no more shows this year. ETB returns January 1st. Last night did a fill-in slot with Michael McDaniel, Dave Shearer and Brannan Lane to fill in ETB's empty Monday slot. Was alright, realized onstage "Wow, I'm not all that into Blues..." heh!!! Good jams with good people tho, itching to finally get a permanent replacement drummer for ETB so we can go back to mainly originals instead of whatever covers we can pull off. And next year will be busy as hell for ETB if all goes according to plan. And I believe it will.

Adios 2010. It's been quite a ride, and a large part of me is glad you are over.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

So last week Monday a homeless guy was giving Michael (ETB) shit while standing outside Friends.

And not like regular crazy bum gibberish, but real cruisin-for-a-bruisin shit. Started off with the usual request for a cig/change. Michael and I were in the middle of a business talk and the guy was kinda obnoxious, Michael politely told him no and went back to our discussion. Guy then starts complimenting (I think) Michael on his clothes, and starts getting more animated. Michael tells the guy he and I are having an important conversation and we'd like a little privacy.

Homeless Guy didn't like that at all. Starts telling Michael shit like "I see you down here all the time, I see you carrying gear. But you don't PLAY man, you just carry gear!" Wow. This to one of the finest musicians I have ever met. But Homeless Guy doesn't stop there, he then takes it to the proverbial elementary school bike rack: "I can play any instrument you can play, only BETTER!" He was pretty much shouting at this point, and had been completely ignoring me the entire time and focusing solely on Michael. SO Michael says, "OK, go get your saxophone. I will play you under the table." And he meant it too, and sure as shit would have. Homeless guy gets defensive and flustered, but counters with "Well I don't blow, cause blowing is for FAGGOTS!" And repeated his statement at top volume to drive his point home.

Wow. Just, wow. At this point I adjusted my body language from casual observer to you-better-start-walking, and Micahel tells the guy to just go the fuck away. Which he did, taking his time to hassle everyone between Friends and the corner of 6th and Brazos. At which point Eric comes out and we fill him in, adrenaline flowing but also laughing at the utter nerve of the guy. Sure enough he starts working his way back to Friends, hassling a pack of Segways in the process. But when he looks down towards Friends, he now sees THREE guys eyeing him down. He never came back and we played a fun show!

Just WTF? Not that I condone or would beat the living shit out of a homeless guy, but this dude was something else. Consequently he did turn up at Friends again earlier this week. I was out front smoking a cig. Homeless Guy comes up to me smiling and says "My brother!". I stared at him and said "You are not my brother." He buggered off saying something about me looking like Jesus, which I did not take offense to, heh.
Well dammit, time sure flies. Will give a brief recap of past few weeks, may break up to keep post length short.

Busy busy busy. Tonight meeting up with Eric Tessmer and Mariah Merch Girl for a mail-stuffing party (double-checked spelling on that one, heh) to prep mail-outs for festivals. Should be fun, and hopefully very constructive. ETB not playing the next few Wednesdays at Maggie Mae's, things are slowing down for the Holidays and we could use a break. (Tho my bank account takes issue with this development, but I'll be looking for session work to supplement income).

Have been talking to friends about more Ocean of Stars dates in the near future, as I just realized with utter shock that the one OoS set I did was 6 months ago. Where the hell has time gone?!? Oh yeah, busy summer. But things are slowing down and it is obvious time will not wait around for me, so putting the feelers out now for bookings and a line up. Adrian Conner (Hell's Belles/Adrian and the Sickness) has agreed but will be taking time off from playing most of Jan/Feb. Brandon Burke (JAckson Taylor Band/Son of Fire) is still down to drum, as is AJ Manciabelli (Thunderosa/Adrian and the Sickness). Might be good to have 2 drummers in loop for scheduling purposes. Will talk to Heather Webb (Adrian and the Sickness/Bug Girl) about bass but have also talked to Amber (Amber Lucille Band, ex-Southern Gun Culture) and Tank (Ironclad/MOD) about playing bass. Michael McDaniel (ETB sax/keys) is down as well.

Tomorrow I will be interviewing Adrian and Heather for The Austin 420 Magazine, which will be a feature piece when the mag debuts it's online incarnation on Jan 1st 2011. Haven't done anything like this since the Rank and Revue days (2004-2005), very stoked.

Also speaking of Adrian and Heather, last night checked out Thunderosa and Adrian and the Sickness at Headhunter's. Had a night off, friends are playing one of my favorite bars, parking will be a breeze. Win/win/win. Very fun night with great sets by both bands. Good times with good friends. Starting to feel my age tho, was actually more tired going to a show than I was playing a show. Weird.

Monday ETB at Friends was decent for a slow monday. Not a huge crowd but those there were really digging it. Had Bryan Austin fill in on drums again as our friend Doug Martin had cancel due to a last minute engagement. The crowd didn't mind and Doug was able to come by and hang out later so was great to still see him. Not a bad night at all, glad the Mondays are still fun on a slower night tho still consistently pretty good crowd-wise as far as Mondays go. This was also ETB's last Monday of the year. To fill in the final two Mondays Michael is putting together a bands with slightly diff lineups both nights. I am playing bass on the 27th. Sweet!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Note to self: eat more. Or eat period.

When I get stressed food is the first thing to go. I feel hungry and worn out but eating is a chore. Even when I can feel my body devour itself from within. Weighed in at 152 when I usually run 160. About to add another notch to my belt.

Saturday ETB at Friends was really good. We had Bryan Austin filling in on drums again an we really clicked. Fun show, great crowd, and was able to find parking right on the block. Barricades be damned! Walking up to Friends could hear a sax player wailing with the band. "Ah, sounds like Michael is here!" Heh. Always awesome getting to watch him jam with other bands. Afterwards had time to hit Emo's for Unsane and Michael Crawford's photo exhibit. Will def pick his brain about logistics for such an endeavor.

Friday is Corpus sucked ass, for me at least. ETB had a thin crowd and a prepared but still fill in drummer (Brannan Lane). My parents were there as well as a buddy I haven't seen in 10 years. Too bad they couldn't have seen the Sat Friends show, heh. We played a good set but I was still bummed at another mediocre homecoming. But the "Play some blues!" guy was there, the Blues Eagle as we came to call him. (He walked in, I said "the Eagle has landed!"). Eric called an audible and opened with the walkaround "I wonder why" instead of "Ledbetter Heights." And something unexpected happened... Blues Eagle got up and danced with his lady, and did so for next song. She even bought a cd. Well shit, if you can't beat em, win them over.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Waiting to go on at Dr. Rockits in Corpus Christi TX, ETB tonight then tomorrow in Austin. I hope the "play some blues!" Guy comes out tonight, he will be in for a surprise.

Back in my home town, moved away from hear almost 11 years ago. Def a good life decision as I moved to Austin to.get into music. Here I am now, in the current issue of Guitar Player Magazine, and playing across the street from the bus station, heh. If my friends could see me now!!! There will be an old high school buddy coming out tonight thanks to Facebook. This will be my first real linkup with some of my old friends whom I haven't really seen since then due to a falling out with my roomate at the ti me .

This past week and a half have been hell, will get into that later. Not in the mood now.

Got in touch with the prospective line up for Ocean of Stars to start coordinating schedules to prep for the Dec 21 show. Only to then hear from Adrian Conner that the venue changed booking agents and the date is cancelled. Well shit.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pic from ETB show last night, taken on my Droid using the Retro Camera app. Awesome. Will explain.

First things first.

Just thought I'd mention that Richard Lamm has left the Eric Tessmer Band. We all wish him well, and his reasons for leaving are his own and I will not post them here. All I will say is that ETB practiced Wednesday afternoon, dialing in song tempos on a metronome. Then went to load in for the set at Maggie's that night. Richard quit then, and left the band at the venue with no drummer, a show in a few hours, and three more in as many days. No need to post how I feel about that. But it is what it is.

So last 2 nights ETB has been playing Drummer Roullette, as we've had 2 drummers in as many gigs. Not sure who we have for tonight and tomorrow. But it's actually been really cool. Both are drummers we've never played full or even partial shows with, but have all run into on 6th Street.

Wednesday we had Brannan Lane, an old friend of Michael's. He did great! We just rolled with it, mainly covers with a few originals and LOTS of jamming. Which has felt good. Mindless repetition offers a certain degree of comfort, but putting yourself on the line shows what you're really made of. It's been fun being able to try things with basslines and not worry about messing it up... who cares, we're up here with a drummer we've never played with before! Lots of crowd walks as well, and the drinking rule has been set aside for now, heh.

Last night at Friends we had a young guy named Derek. Totally different style and again we just rolled with it. Had a pretty good crowd too, and again they loved it.
Good times and a good night.

Which leads me to the bloody guitar pic. We were on crowd walk #2, I believe. Eric out playing when his signal starts to cut out. He looks back at me, I give him an "I didn't touch anything!" look. He came back to the stage, Fonzie'd his delay pedal with the side of his fist and went back into the crowd. I went to the bar to get a drink from him (he pours shots while playing, and you'd already know that if you've ever seen us \m/,) and noticed the blood on his guitar. I ran back to the stage to grab my phone, heh! Had to stop playing to take some pics, but Michael can do basslines with his left hand, heh! Teamwork!

Later on I was out front smoking a cig during another crowdwalk and noticed a guy pulling a van up 6th Street via meathooks in his forearms. I still had my phone on me and of course got pics. As much as I gripe about 6th Street, you never know what you're going to see on any given night.

ETB tonight at BD Riley's. Drummer roullete night 3!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I can't believe I haven't posted about my new bass yet. Damn. Will get to that.

Busy week coming up, ETB @ Friends tonight with gigs Wed-Sat. Looks like I have an Ocean of Stars date in December coming up as well, awesome awesome awesome.

So last week Tuesday I get an escrow check in the mail in both mine and my ex-wife's name. Asked her about it, since house has sold and proceeds divided accordingly. She replied "We split that." Awesome. Celebrated Samhain (my first!) with my roommates and their friend that night. I tell ya, Pagans know how to party. Very cool ceremony.

Wednesday morning was at Austin Vintage Guitars as they opened to try out the 2000 USA Fender P-bass I had spied there a few weeks ago. Picked it up and it SANG, and kept it in the back of my mind as I need the house money to be my nest egg rather than blow it all. It was still there. It still sang. Tried to talk them down to $750 ($850 price tag + case) but it was a consignment item and they had to contact the seller. He agreed to $800. Sold.

Had three days to try it out, but was so confident I was not going to be returning it I got it home and immediately drilled holes in it to attach a pickup cover. Tried it out at ETB practice that afternoon, prepping for Michael's CD release show on Friday. Brought it in with price tag still attached and Richard said "It's Minnie Pearl!!!" And thusly so was my new bass dubbed. Minnie Pearl!

After practice called every music store in a reasonable distance and tracked down a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder pickup for it. I had only owned this bass for a few hours and had already drilled into it and rewired it. The next day I began swapping pickguards on my basses for the most aesthetically pleasing matches. That is how I roll! Gig that night at Maggies went well, planned to swap basses all night between Minnie and Cate Blanchett for comparison, but stuck with Minnie damn near all night. There was no adjustment needed in my playing to accommodate the new bass. I just played her and didn't have to think about it. Awesome!

Friday night was Michael McDaniel's cd release party at Friends, with ETB as the backup band. He was very worried at how empty it was before we went on, but I assured him "The night is still YOUNG". Was only 7:30pm! And yes, it filled out. Great show and fun crowd, wish we played every Friday instead of every Monday, but at least on Mondays you can find a place to park and not deal with barricades and APD. Trade off, I guess.

Saturday ETB played Hanover's in Pflugerville. Haven't been there since the Ironclad days, 06-07. Chris the soundman remembered me, heh. I rolled in with Michael in tow and find the place filled with Bikers. AWESOME! Banditos and Leathernecks, several other clubs. Turns out it was a birthday party for the Marine Corps and most/all the bikers were ex-Marines or at least ex-Military. Very cool crowd and a really cool ceremony. Love stumbling across things like this just going to work. They had a cake ceremony where the oldest Marine got the first piece of cake, took a bite, then passed it to the youngest Marine, symbolizing the passing of wisdom and knowledge from the oldest to the youngest. Very cool. Respect.

Show went really good tho Texas was getting killed by Kansas State. 2 hour set with breaks for raffle drawings. Eric bought a raffle ticket for a Smith and Wesson pistol. He didn't win, heh. Good times.

And lastly, had a brunch here at the House of DDT yesterday afternoon. Good friends and family in attendance, good food being prepared and served, good dogs all hanging out and getting along, more or less. Adrian and Heather (Adrian and the Sickness) stopped by, good to see them. Mentioned they had a Cock N Balls (Adrian/Heather + Bug Girl) gig for Tues Dec 21, and it would also be Adrian's birthday party. They needed another band and asked if I knew anyone. I suggested Ocean of Stars \m/, They immediately said yes! Awesome! Adrian is available, Heather will be busy and travelling. Michael is available for sax. Asked Richard from ETB to drum, he is questionable. But Brandon Burke (Jackson Taylor Band, Son of Fire) has agreed. Just need a bass player. Asked Tim from Ironclad and he is checking his schedule. Awesome! A good gathering of good people, glad I could finally make one (usually travelling).

After the brunch went with T to Opal Devine's for Tim's birthday shindig. A fitting end to an already awesome day. Lotta good people I haven't seen in awhile, Javi (original Ironclad drummer) and his girl Joann, Eric McKinney (Wonderland Studio) and Miriam, Jonas from The Dealers and his lady. Good to have a few more beers and catch up with everyone. Tim was into his umpteenth birthday Jager bomb and was feeling pretty good by the time we left, but said he'd check his schedule re: the Ocean of Stars show.

So I have another show and will have 2 new musicians to bring up to speed. But at least I have 6 weeks instead of 3 and two of the players already know the songs, more or less heh. Thinking of adding "Lost Angel" from the OoS disc to bring set up to 7 songs. But will have to do some sit-down jams with all involved and can probably only swing one full band rehearsal with everyone's schedules. But it will be for fun, on a fun night, playing music with friends for friends. Don't get to do that very often anymore, much less play guitar as well. ROCK!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Posting from my phone from Friends bar about to go on, Eric Tessmer Band Monday nights. Have I mentioned how much I love my new phone?

Rewired my guitar pedal board to now be my bass pedal board. Trying George L patch cables again, they do improve yr tne but I have too high a failure rate with em. Also put my diy Big Muff Pi clone on so I can tweak my Bass Drive to sound more like it. That and my bass wah works again, weird.

Saturday ETB in San Angelo was fun. Halloween weekend, I dressed as Sermon on te Mount era Jesus and Mariah was a St. Pauli girl. Good times. Sets went good with a costume contest during break. I came in 4th, heh. Drove back that night as there was some issue with the hotel they usually go thru.

The New Jersey run was gruleing but good, mission accomplished. Made a lot of good contacts and John the host treated us like royalty. Good guy. Set was a blast, the crowd walk blew some minds, heh. Amp was acting up but got thru the show. End of set ripped my strings off as Eric did the same. Guess the Daddarios are more stout than the DRs I was using. Had to lay my bass down and step on it to break the low e string. Rock n roll. Turns out I popped a screw out from the pickup cover and lost it for good. Oops.

Staying at Eric's parents's place in Richland Center, WI was great as well. His parents are awesome. But since days off are never really days off, we pulled up (parents not home yet) and unloaded into the garage. 10 minutes after driving up he had the chassis pulled from his Super Reverb and was already rewiring shit. I took the opportunity to put on new strings and find some wood glue to refill the stripped screwhole from the other night. Practiced the next morning for a bit and tuned up some vocal parts. I even came up with a bassline that turned into a songs idea.

Trouser Mouse in Kansas City was really good. Really good crowd for a Wednesday, and we did a live recording which we'll see how came out. I know I dropped a few clams... afterwards got blasted at the bar, which seems par for the course for me in KC. That's what happens when you don't eat before a show...

Went to Headhunters Friday night, my friend Heather Webb was playing bass for Bug Girl from Australia, whom she'd been tour managing for 7 weeks in the States. She called that morning asking for a guitar amp for the show, I happily loaned mine. Great show, good times with good people. Don't get to spend time on Red River as often as I'd like.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Still in the van.

Just crossed into Virginia. Beautiful country out here, rolling green hills decked in fall colors. Don't get to see much of that in Texas. Gorgeous sunrise in the Tennessee hills. Took graveyard drive shift, my first experince with both driving Boss Hoss and 5 Hour Energy. The latter actually worked. The former was harrowing for the first 20 minutes. Boss Hoss pulls to the right and is already swimmy from the weight of gear and the meatbags that play it.

Can't put my damn phone down. Both a blessing and a curse. Can update this blog on the road, but farting around on this thing is causing me to miss a lot of great scenery...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Posting from Boss Hoss via my phone en route to Eric Tessmer Band gig in New Jersey.

Damn I love this phone!

Last night did some pre-show upkeep to my rig. Replaced both preamp tubes and put the 10" speaker back in m cab which Eric reglued the dust cap back on. Sounded pretty damn good, new tubes breathed some new life into my rig. Decent crowd at Maggie Mae's, felt we played really well. Turned amp back up after turning it down to tame my stage volume but realized it could come up while walking the crowd.

Also: last night voicemail from Josh saying that Little Steven picked "Alien Girl" to be his Coolest Song in the World for week of Halloween. Awesome! Second Truckers song from new album and 3rd tune overall he's picked. Think he likes us! Also check the latest Guitar Player Magazine (Dec 2010) for a quick Q&A with Josh Zee.

Talking to two speaker cab builders about custom 2x15 cabs. Very reasonable prices as well. Awesome. Looking forward to some gear upgrades.

ETB Monday night at Friends was a mixed bag. Dead when we started and packed an hour later. But I was making a lot of bonehead mistakes, then realized I was driving my amp way harder than I've ever done, hence the new tubes. Thank God, can't afford to blow an amp right now.

So yeah, in the van on a very long trip. Playing a private in Scotch Plans NJ for a catering company who's clients are music festivals. Yes, this could be huge. Spending some off time in Wisconsin with a few gigs trip back.

While posting this we almost died at least once. Fuckin drivers.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My first blog post from the new phone, but will get to that.

Last few weeks since last post have been a roller coaster. Spent four days thinking long and hard about a life choice that I don't want to get into right now but will at a later time. Then drinking wine like a hobo every night so I can sleep. But it is all good and will all be good. You will see (er, READ).

The house sold on Oct 7th. That is huge. Feels like now my ex wife and I can finally move on. Took part in the signing over the phone while loading in for an ETB show in Athens Ga. Threw my od house key into the Mississippi River on.the way back. Picked up my check on Monday only to realize all the banks were closed for Columbus Day. Well shit!

Bought a new phone yesterday, a Samsung 4G Epic. Needed an uprade as a business tool since I travel so much. It is utterly mindblowing what these things can do now. Now my phone is a computer more than anything, just WOW.

In the middle of a busy week. ETB already played Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. Tonight it's the Mother Truckers @ Antones, Friday TMT at Sam's Burger Joint in San Antonio and Sat at Dallas House of Blues. Sunday ETB @
Jonestown. Busy busy busy.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Woke up yesterday feeling like something was about to happen, more a sense of foreboding than of excitement.

Turns out my gut was right. May be facing some tough career decisions, and whether those decisions will be made by me or by others remains to be seen. It's all good and will be all good. Just being in limbo the next few days will be tough. It's not the *not knowing* part of it, it's the fact that I can't really act right now.

Nothing I can do except sit tight, see what happens, and decide on the next course of action from there.

Friday at Maggie Mae's with ETB was pretty goddam epic! Our first Friday downstairs, played after the mighty Allen Haynes who already had a great crowd for an early set.

Lot going on that weekend: UT game, Pecan Street Festival, etc. Place was packed and STAYED packed all night. Awesome! Got up and played for almost 4 hours straight, no break. Didn't want to lose any of the energy or any of the crowd. Played til close and felt understandably spent. Great effing night tho! Made a very nice chunk of change that night between the guarantee, tips and the cut of bar sales.

ETB Saturday in San Angelo at the Steel Penny was a bit of a mixed bag. Hot as all hell when we first got into the van in Jonestown, then drove thru a cool front and the fact that Boss Hoss has a rather questionable A/C system became moot. Stopped at Cooper's BBQ in Llano again, glad we did cause it was great. Wasn't pouring down rain when we loaded in like last time, that was nice. Hotels provided by venue so we had a place to chill after soundcheck and didn't have to drive 3.5 hours home in the middle of the night.

Sets were good, crowd was decent. Eric and I went offstage for the crowdwalk, and didn't even make it to the bar before shots started appearing. Was on my second beer by then, but after 4 shots of Jager and whiskey (wasn't going to be rude and turn them down, heh!) went back onstage drunk. Another shot of Kamikaze something or other waiting for me as well. Then more shots. Just, wow. I remember having fun but really having to focus (if that was physically possible, think I pulled it off). Forgot we went to eat after the show til I saw Richard's Whataburger bag next morning. Only feeling of a hangover after such rampant (and mixed) alcohol consumption was a bit of a headache. Not sure if I should be worried or proud... Made a good chunk of change on this one too.

Good feeling to work 2 days and make rent.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tuesday with Adrian and the Vaccines at Headhunters for the HAAM benefit was a BLAST but will get to that.

Europe (well, Denmark and Germany) was AMAZING. Talk about an expanded world view. Everyone who is able needs to travel abroad, especially us isolated Americans. And yes, we DO have an accent. If you can tell where someone is from by the way they speak, that is an accent. Shows were awesome, venues were great, the promoters and everyone involved were all good people. Bent (our tour manager) was great as well.

Got back in Monday night. Woke up early Tuesday morning and dove immediately into TCB. Paying bills, depositing my hard earned money, running errands, getting caught back up on life. Did not even have time to take a nap before heading to Headhunters with my roommates to play with Adrian and the Vaccines.

The show: Yeah, we practiced 2 weeks ago. Yeah, I was late getting there and had to load in, park my van, then immediately set up and play. Yeah I was playing my beater bass which feels like a toy. But it was still AWESOME tho I was admittedly struggling with the bass and backing vox parts (not used to playing so FAST heh!) Had lots of overwhelmingly positive feedback. Best comment was from Leon of Trash Rockets: "I loved your OH SHIT fills!!! You know, when ya know you got a change coming up and have to somehow segue into it... you did great!" Saw lots of old and new friends and was a great night of music all around. Thank you Kristin Crowfire from Sabbath Crow for orchestrating such a great shindig.

Picked up my bass at the airport yesterday, was a low key reunion betwixt myself and my beloved Cate Blanchett. Strung her back up and was like YES, THIS BASS IS AMAZING AND I AM GLAD TO HAVE HER BACK. Got to play her with Eric Tessmer Band at Maggie Mae's to get reacquainted.

ETB sounded good, sure didn't feel like I haven't even touched any of that music in 2 weeks. Show was still a bit of a kick in the teeth. Now there is NO soundguy at Maggie's until they hire a new one, and I didn't know what til end of 1st set. Levels were set, then we were on our own. Add to that the distraction of spilling a cup of ice water all over my Phase 90 right before we started. People filing in during first few songs, had a good crowd. But for all we know we could have sounded terrible. And no one present seemed to know how to get the ETB logo to go full screen, so there was the annoying toolbar and border and didn't look as cool. Well shit. Hit the wall second set and had to get a slice of pizza from across the street.

Today spent FINALLY cleaning and organizing my room, as well as finally unpacking. Been so busy in TCB mode that my room has been a disaster area for most of the summer, traveling with just enough time to come home and repack before heading out again. But by tonight I should finally have my bed back...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Greetings from Copenhagen DK!

Haven't had enough consistent internet access to keep up on this blog. The trip has been amazing so far, the show in Hannover was awesome, and we now start the 6-date run in Denmark tonight in Copenhagen.

On a sad note, my bass disappeared after the Houston flight to London-Heathrow. It is insured, but godfuckindammit this fucking sucks. That bass (Cate Blanchett) was one of a kind and I could tell you when/where every nick, ding and scrape came from. She was a special instrument that will be sorely missed. Already filing claim thru my insurance (music pro) and have to wait 21 days to take up with British Airways.

Have been walking like crazy last several days. All over Copenhagen, then all over Hamburg Germany, then all over Copenhagen again last night. Europe is amazing. I want to live here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Doing the mad dash to get ready and packed for the flight to Europe.

Still have to drive in the traffic and rain to sign some paperwork for the house. Dammit. And turns out the 2 wall plug adapters my parents got me for my birthday only allow you to plug your electrical devices INTO the wall but don';t convert the actual power. Thanks Mom and Dad, I love you guys... but FUCK!

To everyone else, see you in Europe or see you in Heck!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Adrian and the Sickness full band rehearsal went awesome!

Felt good, pretty tight considering the lack of time to prep. Fun as hell to jam with Adrian and Furley. Attempted a lot of the backing vocals and they sounded pretty good. Can't wait til the 21st!

Had a good weekend in Corpus with family and friends. Glad I took time to do that before heading to Europe.

Speaking of which, today is the mad dash to TCB before I play with ETB tonight at Friends. Running errands, packing, doing what I need to do around the house and around town. Sucks that it is a holiday so will have to hit the bank tomorrow before heading to the airport. Hope Academy or some equivalent clothing/etc store will be open, need socks and boxers. Yeah, livin the dream \m/,

Guess I should start researching Germany and Denmark online today if I have time.

Either way, not sure what my internet access will be like next 2 weeks so not sure how much updating I will get to do.

See you across the pond!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The sit-down jam with Adrian Conner went great yesterday, going over the Adrian and the Sickness music for the Sept 21 HAAM benefit.

Full band rehearsal tonight with Ric Furley on drums, can't wait! This is gonna be awesome. Been a fan of AatS since Adrian and Velvet Brick shared a bill in Dallas prolly 5 years ago. Was walking to grab my beer off a nearby table when something went barreling past me. It was Adrian, running full speed around the bar while soloing. She then slid on her knees (and falling over sideways) into Jason and D2 (VB guitarists). Without missing a note she got back up and ran full speed back to the stage. It is still one of the coolest things I've ever seen \m/,

So yes, very exited about the rehearsal tonight and gig in a few weeks!

And finally getting excited about Europe next week, have barely had time to think about it. But been calling my credit card, bank and phone company, giving a travel heads up and seeing if my phone will even work across the pond (it wont). Trying to TCB as much as I can now, going down to Corupus Christi this weekend to see my family.

Last night ETB @ Maggie Mae's was a mixed bag. Crowd was horrible most of the night tho it did pack out for a bit, then mainly stragglers rest of the night. Good for them sticking around, I thought we played awesome!!! heh. Wish we would have had tape running for most of second set. Tho I was dead tired by then, some of the tunes like "Green Diamond II" and "Little Wing" just felt great, and "Voodoo Child" blew the doors off. Good times.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day off, but a busy day nonetheless.

Last night ETB @ Friends was pretty dead. Thin crowd that built a little bit halfway thru and on, felt like we played well tho. Closed with a 3rd quick set of "Green Diamond II" and "Voodoo Child" and brought the fuckin house down. Man, those tunes felt good. Ah well, is what it is.

Been talking to Adrian Conner on email/text about doing some practice this week for the Adrian and the Sickness set on Sept 21 @ Headhunters for the HAAM benefit. Got 3 more tracks emailed, will be hitting the music hard next few days as this will be the only time I'll have before Europe w/Truckers. REALLY FUCKING STOKED. Nowadays I have so few opportunities to either play my own music or play for fun, and things like this are def worth the wait.

Speaking of HAAM, had a discounted eye/contact lens exam thru HAAM and picked up my prescriptions for Singulair (asthma) and Pro-Air rescue inhalers. 3 month supply for $3 each. Wow. The fact that the Adrian show is a HAAM benefit makes it even more worthwhile.

And speaking of bass strings, been using the D'addarios from the Truckers endorsement deal. So far so good. Seem to have a little more "grip" than the DR's I was using, which is good for finger picking but a little hard for sliding notes. Low E string is having sustain issues, but also just re-adjusted the truss rod for the heavier guage and maybe needs time to set. Had that problem before and turns out was just that particular string, changed them out and problem solved. Weird.

Saw yesterday a guy on Craigslist selling an Isovent cab like mine for a very very reasonable price. Will def try it out before I leave and grab it if my finances will allow. Probably cheaper to get another one than to re-speaker the one I have... Then I can sell that 4x10 I've been using and use the money to either fix the old Isovent or get a 2x15. Gear Gear Gear.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Yesterday was a roller coaster, what a ride.

Awoke in a foul mood after The Mother Truckers show Saturday, was one of those gigs where anything that could have gone wrong did. What should have been a heroes' homecoming was instead not so much, heh. Did our best to rally and think we did pretty good overall, but man. That was kinda painful, heh! Happens to the best of us.

So was in a dark mood really internalizing alot of shit when get word from my ex-wife that the buyer accepted the counter-offer on our house. WOO-HOO!!! Not a done deal yet, need to sign papers today and closing date set for Oct 7. But feels like the end is in sight, we can close this chapter of our lives and finally start a new one. Feels like I've been in limbo for almost a year, staying afloat but just barely. Can't afford to make necessary gear repairs because I need to eat as well.

Speaking of which, up since 9am and haven't eaten yet. About to head out to sign papers and maybe do some work on the house. And of course I feel pressed for time so am thinking of blowing off lunch now in addition to breakfast.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Almost threw up onstage last night but will get to that.

The Mother Truckers West Coast tour was GREAT!!! So many good shows, so many good people I saw or met along the way. Will try to start my recap today (maybe), never had consistent enough internet access on my laptop (or the TIME) to write it blow by blow so I'll have to go by my journals, pictures and what few intact memories I still have, heh.

Got back Sunday night. Being on tour is akin to time traveling. Like if astronauts flew around at the speed of light, time on Earth would have passed much more quickly than it would for those in the ship. Time passes different on the road, so many distractions: long drives, shows, loadins/loadouts, soundchecks, hotels, being in a different city or state every day. Sensory overload. Doesn't seem like you're gone that long, then BAM you come home and almost an entire month has passed. The angle of the sun is noticeably different, the yard is a jungle, the plants that are still alive are almost unrecognizeable. Crazy.

So got back into town and had to play the next night with ETB @ Friends. Good to be back. Only felt like I'd missed a weekend of playing with them rather than almost a month. Fell right back into place, tho did drop a few clams here and there, heh. Had a decent crowd after a slow start. Thought we were done after the second set, looking forward to going home as I was exhausted. Eric:"The club wants us to play a few more." Me: "Is that going to be reflected in our payout end-of-night? If not, I am going home." Eric: "Yes." Me: "Okay..." Played a few more and was pretty much on auto-pilot. So tired.

Photo courtesy Triniti Young

Tuesday went out to Valhalla (former Room 710) with Triniti Young, Tank from Ironclad/MOD/Mastery and his girl Lexi. Good times, and lots of good people out for a change. Last time I was there it was inexplicably all plaid shorts and Polo shirts. WTF?!? This time Jason (ex-710 soundman, Pong, etc) was working the door, Gian Ortiz (Amplified Heat), JT Drunk (Dixie Witch) and many other friends/family walking by or stopping in. Glad Red River hasn't completely gone away... yet, at least.

Myeself, Gian and Tank. Photo courtesy Triniti Young

So last night my near-vomiting incident:

ETB at Maggie Mae's. Arrive to set up around 8pm, rest of band onstage, sound guy not there yet. Set up, and turns out we will now be starting at 9:30 instead of 9 on Wednesdays. No big deal, wish I would have known that so I could have gotten there at 8:30, heh. Not sure when the soundguy showed up but he finally did. Start set at new later time, sounding good. Feeling strong.

Now there is this big industrial fan pointed at the stage so we don't sweat like women of ill-repute in a house of worship. Genius idea, especially since Maggie's is half-open air. Yeah, HOT. So playing and smoking a cig during "Green Diamond II", hair blowing around like Medusa. Find a point during the song to drop my ash, take another drag and feel a hair in my mouth. Can't tell which corner of my mouth it came in from, but I could feel it between my back molars (both pairs) and draped across the back of my tongue. Oh shit. Let's just say I have a finely tuned gag reflex. Turn towards my amp and paw at my face trying to find the hair, meanwhile I can still feel it grinding in my teeth and on my tongue. Start dry heaving, and finally spit a mouthful of saliva which thank the Gods of Rock contained the hair. Was able to continue the set without having covered my amp (or myself) in used Dos Equis.

So beginning second set, we start playing and realize the PA is not on. Nor is the soundguy present. Michael was able to run off stage and get most of the levels up before end of tune, but no monitors til the end of the set. Which is when that jackass of a soundman finally decided to return to his fucking post, for the last 2 songs. "Where the hell was he 45 minutes ago?!?" I asked all of my bandmates. So he did manage to finally get the monitors up, but then was doing all this horrible delay shit on Eric's voice and on Richard's rimshots on "Green Diamond II". What the fucking FUCK?!? Gestured to him to cut that shit out, which he did.

In 10 years of playing music in this city this new guy has been the worst soundman I've ever come across. Good thing he promptly disappeared after the show, as he would have gotten an earful from me at the least. Evidently Eric and the band have had to complain to him and about him 2 other times while I was gone. And that was maybe three shows total. So yeah. Still fuming about it. And I'm not being on a rockstar entitlement trip. If I disappeared for most of the second set, would I still get paid in full? Fuck no, yet I'm sure he did.

Bah. Mother Truckers tour recap coming soon.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Danny G - Ocean of Stars review!

Danny G - Ocean Of Stars
Reviewed By Andy "Dinger" Beresky (www.RiffRock.com)
Available Now
Self Released

So Stonerrock.com regular Danny G, (not to be confused with Kenny G) has taken up the challenge.

In response to the 2010 RPM Challenge, Danny has written, performed, and recorded an entire album's worth of material in a mere 28 days.

Is it the 2010 equivalent to Brant Byork's timeless Jalamanta? No, it's not. But it's certainly worth a listen, and perhaps a slab of your hard earned cash, because it's a very honest, expressive, and sincere album that has a lot to say considering that it's entirely instrumental. Danny performed all of the bass, drums, and guitar -- and while the guitar and bass are obviously his forte, he holds his own quite well on the kit, staying in the pocket and never overplaying. The basslines are deft and free flowing, but it's the guitar work that really brings this collection of basement jams to life. There's a fine sprinkling of clean and fuzzed out tones, a good balance of rhythm and lead guitar, and tasteful usage of effects plundered from the vintage vaults. The production is excellent for a home recording, and the performances, though rushed and hasty at times, have an admirable immediacy to their deliveries. It's not as single-minded as Karma To Burn in its instrumentalism, but there are definitely enough meaty riffs to sink your teeth into, and at 36 minutes, it doesn't overstay its welcome. Some of the effects and Southern inspired sections remind of middle era Alabama Thunderpussy, and that's never a bad thing.

If you're seriously into the whole "stoner rock" thing, then do yourself a favour and pick this up. It can easily follow up Jalamanta in a listening session, bong in hand, on a lazy Saturday afternoon. It's got that same mellow intensity, even if it's distinctively from Texas rather than Sky Valley.

Monday, August 9, 2010

1 Year Anniversary!

And I fuckin missed it yesterday...

On the road with The Mother Truckers right now, in Mill Valley CA on a day off. Will begin tour recap when I have wireless insternet for my laptop, will try to have pics ready to post as well. Shows in ABQ and PHX were great, been seeing some good friends I haven't seen in awhile, took a solo nature hike yesterday afternoon and it was amazing. Tour picks up in Santa Cruz I believe on Wednesday, will be home by Aug 22.

In the meantime, thank you all who've read this blog. It's been quite a ride for me this past year, and the ride ain't done yet. In fact it just sped up a notch. A Europe tour with the Truckers, a possible King's X tour, and a Truckers fall tour possibly following that. There will be much more to come, I hope y'all stick around to see what happens!

Thank you all,
Danny G

Monday, August 2, 2010

Doing the pre-tour shuffle all day today.

Getting my affairs in order, paying bills, stocking up on pet supplies, doing laundry, packing, etc etc etc. Woke around 5am with my brain doing backflips, thinking of things I needed to do and some other things on my mind. Was able to get back to sleep and slept hard, but been moving moving moving since getting back up.

Looking forward to this run of dates, will see some friends in the SW on the way out and California has always been kind to The Mother Truckers. Which is great as Josh and Teal are from the Bay Area, heh. Meeting at their place tomorrow 11am to ship out in the White Whale. Be back around Aug 22nd.

Rock on!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tis the season for dive-bombing crickets.

Guess all the summer rain has made the annual cricket population explosion kick in early this year. Been at least one flying around the stage at damn near every show for the past few weeks. Hell, when ETB played Sam's Burger Joint one stowed away in the front of my bass rack. Discovered it the next day when we did a private party for the company that made our stickers.

And Friday at Threadgill's was no exception cricket-wise. The Mother Truckers played the outside stage with the excellent Deadman opening. It was hands down the most amazing show I've played all year. Capacity crowd, 300+ people. All the usual cast of characters, friends and family as well. Was still sweltering at load-in time (8-ish), and the temp didn't drop much by the time we went on.

Over comped dinner talked business with Josh & Teal and Mark & Sarah Gonzales of M&S Artist Management, who are now our new management. I feel good about it, Mark and Sarah have been good friends to the band and been working their asses off. Now they will be devoting their full attention. Good to have people on our side, rather than a manager who every time we call to make a request or a suggestion are greeted with the reply "Well, what you need to understand..."

Deadman brought it and played a great set, very Drive-By Truckers with bluegrass and gospel-inspired harmonies. Teal got up to join in for a song and that really got the crowd going, and sounded amazing. Really good bunch of guys, the B3 and Leslie that Matt the keys player lugs around is always worth the trouble. Such an amazing-sounding combination of gear.

Deaman mobile pic courtesy Triniti Young

Place was packed and jumping by the time the Truckers took the stage, and it had not cooled off a single degree. 3 songs in and I was feeling a little dizzy and my pearlsnap so soaked in sweat I might as well have grabbed one out of the washing machine during the rinse cycle. But show must go on, did my best to pace myself for slower songs. Was having enough trouble trying to keep my bass dry, heh.

Josh and Teal seemed unaffected by the heat, jumping around and doing their thing. Had Matt from Deadman get up and play some keys on "Break Up Sex" and "Keep It Simple", the former sounded awesome and the latter literally brought the house down. Can only imagine what passers-by thought of the huge arena-rock roar that went up from the humble Threadgill's amphitheater. Fucking awesome!

Photos courtesy of Kristy Duff Wallace

For the grand finale we had most of Deadman get up to join us in "The Chain" by Fleetwood Mac followed by "Everyday People" by Sly & the Family Stone. No preparation or rehearsal, had discussed with the Deadman guys the week before and never heard back really. Talked to them before their set and they were all for it so we made some rudimentary mental notes and just went for it onstage. And it was awesome! Good times with great people in front of a great crowd. I love my job! And the crowd was not done with us yet, chants of "Oi! Oi! Oi!" went up so we had no choice but to rip their heads off with our countrified version of "TNT" by AC/DC, with Matt getting up to lay some B3 solos. Awesome!

Pics courtesy of JB the Superfan

Good times with great people!

We leave Tuesday for the West Coast, really looking forward to heading back to California. Not only had a great send-off show, but also the great news that Little Steven's Underground Garage has picked "Summer of Love" off the new disc for the Coolest Song in the World for week of Aug 6th! Not only that but Sirius Radio picked 4 songs total to add to their playlists. Bring it on!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Whoops, life and this blog got away from me.

Played thru the set today in prep for The Mother Truckers tomorrow @ Threadgill's World HQ. Have one of those little bass Pocket Rockit's, very handy little device. Made the set into a playlist on iTunes, put that onto my iPod and can play along to it. The guitar ones are kinda meh. But I highly recommend the bass ones as a warmup and learning tool. Just don't put the battery in wrong, that will destroy them...

Last night ETB played our Wednesday Maggie's slot. Parked out front, loaded in my bass, got my gear onstage and ready to go, ran upstairs to catch my friend Amber Lucille drumming for an all-girl cover band The Guilty Pleasures, back downstairs for another beer, lit a smoke and stood by the door with Michael who says, "Are you gonna park?" OOOPS!!! Goldie Hawn still out front with hazards blinking. Boy that would have sucked. Woulda walked out at the end of the night and wonder "Where the hell did I park" and wandered aimlessly before realizing I got towed for being a dumbass. *whew*

Show went really good. Didn't realize until few songs in that this is my last gig w/ETB til this time next month. They are doing BD Riley's on Saturday and Friends on Monday with Spanky on bass, who's filling in for me on their tour and needs the prep time. The money from those gigs would have been nice but I totally understand. And will be nice to have a Saturday off as well. Will probably stop by BD's and say Hi to everyone.

Tuesday caught Adrian and the Sickness and Blue Bonnets at Continental Club. And actually went on the CORRECT day this time, heh. Showed up last week Tuesday w/o checking the schedule online and OOPS. Wrong night. So went in and grabbed a beer anyway. But what a fun night.

Bluebonnets (feat. Kathy Valentine of The Go-Gos) played a long set of girl-fueled rock n roll. As they went on the energy level of the drummer was really getting my attention. Just kept building and building such that I often found myself watching the sweaty older guy rather than the three lovely ladies up front! In conversation with some girl out back afterwards she informed me that is Clem Burke, who drummed for The Ramones and Blondie back in the day. Holy shit! Didn't know who he was, but could tell he was somebody by his playing.

Adrian and co of course tore the roof off the place. They have AJ from Thunderosa et al. filling in on drums, and he is a bad motherfucker and fits right in. Killer set despite the late timeslot. Got lots of pics which I will post when I get around to it. Adrian is always inspired and inspiring, the kind player that always makes me go home and step up my own game. Heather is a more solid bassist every time I see her, and she's already solid. Lots of old friends from Adrian's crowd in attendance, good to see them. As well as Clara working the back bar! She got up to go-go dance briefly during Bluebonnets' set and let me borrow her camera to get some pics of Adrian \m/, Good times, and a great night of great bands.

Monday at Friends w/ETB wasn't too shabby as well. Richard was misfiring on a few things, but so was I last Friday so no big deal. Happens to the best of us. Fun night that I don't recall much of at this point.

Last Saturday in College Station I will probably write a separate report on.

5 days left before I leave for the West Coast with The Mother Truckers. Trying to get my affairs (and bills) in order before heading out. Will post full day-by-day reports of that tour as well so this blog isnt the same boring old shit ;)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

About to refresh some Mother Truckers tunes for a radio appearance on KUT-FM today at 2pm. Then meeting up with ETB at Michael's place to head out for gig in College Station.

Wed at Antone's w/ETB was a bit of a bust. Crowd a bit thin and continued to thin, and Eric was playing with a concussion that he was about to seek medical attention for. Cut our set short tho we were playing pretty good. Tessmer spent most of Thursday in the ER getting checked out. He's fine now, after paying $500 to be sent home with Tylenol...

Woke in a deep funk Thurs AM, bummed about the show and life kind of weighing on me right now. As a result barely ate at all that day. Stress makes me not want to eat, even if I feel hungry. Eating is a chore rather than a means of refueling. Believe I felt more like mowing the lawn in the Texas summer heat than preparing a meal. Weird. Plus, out running errands stopped for a Chipotle burrito but the line was out the fuckin door so blew it off. That didn't help. Felt fine by yesterday morning, thank God. Hate feeling that way.

BD Riley's last night with ETB was good but not great, not the riot those shows usually are. I was def misfiring first several songs, missing really easy shit I shouldn't be missing. That fucking stage, man. I have to set up my bass amp in usual position, but to fit onstage have to stand in front of Eric's amp and be on the opposite side of Richard's drums, which can be a little discombobulating. But finally locked in and stayed locked, other than having to take a piss 30 minutes in to a 90+ minute set with no break... But ran for the bathroom during Richard's 2nd drum solo so was all good.

Also yesterday morning JRAB texted asking my availability for a King's X tour opening for Accept from about Sept 20 to Oct 13-ish. Totally doable, but the Truckers will be returning from Europe on or about that date. May have to make arrangements to miss first show or 2 and meet them along the way. Then Truckers still have a tentative tour for Oct-Nov, so could very well be gone from first part of September until more or less mid-November. Bring it the fuck ON.

That, and got a call from Jason from Velvet Brick the other day, says there's a student using the studio he works at and looking for a band or 2 to record, free studio time! So small chance I might be in studio next week re-recording some of the Red River Day Care songs, 2-3 of them. Have Brandon Burke (Son of Fire/Jackson Taylor Band drummer) on standby in case my drum skills are lacking, so that is cool. But if that will happen will have to happen next week, and I am already playing Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat, then leaving early in week after for the Truckers West Coast tour.

Feels good to be busy, and better too much on my plate than too little.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sun July 18, 2010 -- The Mother Truckers @ The Scout Bar, San Antonio TX

Woke feeling tired like usual, but finally in a good way. Catching second wind from so many shows and my body now responding in kind. Neck not sore from so much headbanging, not feeling malnourished like I usually do (thank you Tony!). Opted to continue chilling rather than swim, but hung poolside for a long time. The plan was to start the 5-hour drive to San Antonio mid-afternoon and get in later to load in, as we had no hotel to kill time in and would be heading straight back to Austin after the show. Saying our goodbyes to Tony we presented him with the framed blowup of a jam room pic we took the previous afternoon which we all signed. He was so touched it was awesome, and it was literally the LEAST we could do to return the kindness and hospitality he had so graciously and selflessly shown us. A real class act, that Tony.

The new pack with Josh's infamous green "shit bag" in the foreground, immortalized in the chorus of "Van Tour"

Saying our goodbyes with Tony

Did I mention his house was featured in the movie "Borat"? Served as the backdrop of a garage sale scene. Look familiar?

Drive uneventful until the clouds started to build and we started hitting patches of storms and heavy rain south of Waco. Continued on and off until San Antonio. Weird to drive straight through Austin and *not* stop. Arrived at the venue in time to load before first band started. 3 band bill, but with a fourth added last minute. So original opener had to tear down for the new opening band, which bought us some time to get everything onstage and out of the way. Had a green room, but no rider. Ah well, least we had our own room to chill. Really nice newer place in a newer part of town. Big stage with high ceiling, drumriser and great sound/lighting. But we had to set up merch in this weird side disco room with blaring crap music and crazy lights, which no one was hanging out in.

Missed first band in order to use my $10 buyout for dinner. Went to the Mulligan’s next door rather than the wing place. Had an Italian Panini sandwich that was quite good. Caught some of second band but mainly alternated between catching up with some good friends of the band who came down from Austin and laying low backstage. Third band I was pretty musically impressed by, real dark/weird alt-country kinda thing. Josh: “They’re the kind of band that just says ‘Fuck you, we’re going to play the music that WE want to play and there’s nothing you can do about it.” And they did it well. Thriftstore Cowboys I believe was the name, out of Lubbock.

And again, a decent crowd all night. Not huge but since we’d never been there before were thankful to have ANYONE in the crowd, let alone one really into us. 4/4 on venues we can build from, and a quick easy circuit. Something we’d benefit from doing every other month or so. Set went very well, best feeling show of the tour at least for me. We had fun, crowd had fun. Our loyal diehards of course requested an encore so we gave ‘em TNT. Good times! Said our goodbyes to our friends/fans, hung a bit with second band behind the venue.

Then we piled aboard the White Whale and headed north to our own beds. All in all, this was a really good string of dates.

Sat July 17, 2010 -- The Mother Truckers @ The Boiler Room, Denton TX

Slept well but woke tired. Been a long week and a half. Dreamt there was some kind of pool/lagoon/backwater area behind my parents’ house. Saw some good sized sunfish swimming among the shallow water liles. Went inside for my fishing pole, would like to catch a few for a fish dinner and thinking “Why don’t I do this all the time?” Came back and the water was rising, some kind of flood or storm surge. Water rose to the side of the house. When a wave hit the window I insisted that we all MOVE NOW. Parents and sister had been in living room, unconcerned until now. Was then going through a neighbor hood, looking for my fishing pole or looking for something. Found our garage but couldn’t find pole. Felt as if I was missing something or time was running out.

Spent a leisurely day swimming and reading in Tony’s living room. Read “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” which was on the nightstand of whatever one of Tony’s son’s room I was staying in. All the while Pete the Beat playing and singing beautiful acoustic guitar songs in the other room. Had to stop reading several times and listen. Quite a talent, that Pete. I had no idea!

Jet contrails over Dallas TX

Josh and Tony catching some AIR

Had a jam with Tony in the electric jam room, played some cover songs he wanted to do. He was so excited and just eating it all up, totally made his weekend if not his year! Great fun. Took some group jam pics, which would come in handy very soon. Spent rest of day resting, jamming and reading. Kind of like being on vacation.

Another longish drive to the Aardvark in Denton with Tony at the helm. Have always heard that Denton is like a distant suburb of Austin, same cool laid back vibe. Nice little town square with big clock tower, some kind of hippie drum circle going on in front. Dismayed to see the stairs leading down into the front entrance… but they had a ramp off to the side. Yes! Smallish but long room, decent lights and PA, another low ceiling and no smoking ban.

Got our gear stowed side-stage right before the Jungle Rockers took the stage. I’ve seen their name all over Austin and they play shows with Amplified Heat, but have never actually seen them play. And I watched a lot of their set, if that says anything. Cool 50’s gearhead/surf music. Cool sound and good singer. Had a cat playing morracas and tambourine, wondered what that was about but he had some real skills with them and was a big part of the sound.

Next band The Heelers were good but didn’t really grab me. Probably cause at this point an impromptu Foozball tournament had begun between Tony and his friends and Josh and myself. Playing Tony solo he was kind enough to give me some good tutorials on proper technique, as I had no understanding of the game whatsoever, heh! Very helpful and informative.

Yet another not-great-but-really decent crowd. The people that were there dug the shit out of it and will bring their friends next time. Better set as well, no problems with quirky stage lighting, tho stage itself very bass-heavy and had to keep rolling back lows. Also that 4x10 I’m currently using just sounds so flat. Good show all around, and Tony’s first time seeing us! Ended a bit anti-climactically with “Can’t Sleep in Tucson” but that’s all we had time for. Talked to a lot of nice people afterwards, one fan took me to the bar for a drink. Asked for a Jim Beam on the rocks, and bartender poured 2. So I asked for a bigger glass and combined them into a double! Loaded out and headed back to Tony’s. Fun night. Stayed up a bit reading.

Fri July 16, 2010 -- The Mother Truckers @ The Aardvark, Ft. Worth TX

Drive to DFW was uneventful save for the length (5+ hours). Josh had first shift, tried to remember what city had a Lightnin Hopkins statue, which would have been awesome to pull over and check out, but alas we were skunked. One thing I liked about travelling with the Truckers, they take time to do cool shit rather than just get where we’re going.

No Lightnin Hopkins statue, but did drive by a huge one of Sam Houston

Our accommodations for the weekend were being provided by a friend of Josh and Teal’s named Tony, who has a nice house in DFW with a pool, rooms/beds for everyone, and a jam room. Sweet! It is the kindness and hospitality of people like him that make it possible to do this for a living, that someone we barely know believes in what we do enough to open their own homes to us. A real class act, that Tony.

I piloted the White Whale to his place early in the evening, enough time for him to give us the grand tour, take a quick swim if we so desired, have some dinner and rest/clean up before heading to venue. And his house was awesome, nice 2-story place, nice pool, and TWO jam rooms: one in living room with a baby grand piano, nice DW drumset, stand-up bass and an acoustic guitar. Second jam room had PA, electronic drumset, bass and guitar combo rigs. Awesome! He is a highly skilled player himself and encouraging his sons to get into music as well.

Pete the Beat immediately set himself up at the baby grand, and demonstrated his surprisingly awesome piano skills and singing voice. I was pleasantly blown away, had no idea! Many small jams commenced, Tony playing piano and singing, Pete and Josh alternating on drums, Josh trying his hand at the stand up bass. Tony ordered us all a fine dinner from a place called Woodlands. Not cheap and all compliments of our gracious host. Took a nap as opposed to taking a swim. Still tired in a bad way, as I’d already been playing shows w/Tessmer the entire week before this run.

Pete the Beat tickling the ivories

Our good friends Mark and Sarah Gonzales were in town for the shows and to see family, rode with us to venue. Tony sat this one out, will see us in Denton next night. Drive to venue was about 45 minutes, of course got turned around. Josh is good with maps but bad with technology, Teal is better with technology but bad with maps, Pete the Beat’s eyes are going and I had only one good eye due to a wonky contact lens, heh! But we made it just fine. The Aardvark in a hip little part of Ft. Worth near a university. Recognized Fuzzy’s Tacos next door, had lunch with the Ryan Bales Band there once. Crazy recognizing places I’d forgotten about and/or didn’t know where they were to begin with.

Venue pretty cool, nice stage and lighting despite low ceiling. Opening band was good, forget their name (sorry guys!) but they were really nice in conversation at end of the night. Parked the White Whale in the alley next door and stacked gear by the load-in door rather than throwing everything inside while the other band was onstage (bad form). Staff nice, soundguy nice as well. Had a small greenroom for us with full rider for once, yay! However just a toilet in one nook with no door and I currently needed a more secluded facility, as felt like I had a balloon animal steadily inflating in my colon. Thank God there was a single-seater with a locking door, and woe to the unfortunate soul who had to use it after me…


Met Justin whom I kinda know online and from almost getting Ironclad on the Dallas Doom Daze festival, which we had to back out of last minute. Very nice guy, type of person I’d hang out with at shows if we lived in same town.

Justin from the band Kin of Ettins

Had some fans in attendance for this one too, awesome! A better set than previous night, but not without its idiosyncracies. By a quirk of the stage lighting I was having a real hard time seeing my fret markers and landing my fingers in the right spots. Not end of the world, just had to pay more attention to what I was doing rather than just rockin without lookin. But Josh mentioned he was having same problem, so glad I wasn’t the only one. Crowd not huge, but again totally involved. All these people will be back next time and with all their friends. An end-of-set bass toss was requested by a girl in the crowd, which I had to decline as ceiling was too damn low, even if I kneeled down…

Drive back to Tony’s a blast. Pete the Beat in rare form, and trading some of the most horrible, dastardliest, most wrong yet so funny jokes whole way back. Things that are hilarious yet to terrible to put onto the written page… We will def add some of these gems to our between-song repertoire, so be forewarned! Our plans for a rip-roaring end-of-night pool party wound up just being me, Josh and Pete the Beat helping ourselves to the venue-provided chips & salsa, beer, and veggie tray by the pool. Rock n’ Roll, baby.

Thur July 15, 2010 -- The Mother Truckers @ Continental Club in Houston

Our first road trip in a year and a half, morale is high and we are all really excited. Shipped out from Josh and Teal’s about 5pm. Drive uneventful other than how green the country still is due to all unseasonal rain. Fell asleep and pretty much woke up in Houston. Got turned around a bit finding hotel ($250 rooms at a swank Hilton, $55 via Priceline.com!), directions to venue plugged into Teal’s iPhone. Driving around I was like “Hey, isn’t the Continental Club around here?” Yes it was, and nowhere near our hotel. Oops.

Found it fine after that, a case of Teal driving, Josh with face to iPhone, and me pointing going “There it is”, heh. Very nice place in swanker part of NE Houston. No free internet, wet bar with snacks and the outrageous pricelist, and no room for our own food in the fridge. Nice. Grabbed a chicken salad sandwich from a place called Kenny & Ziggy’s or some shit. Good but overpriced (my sandwich was cheapest thing on menu). Ate in room with Pete the Beat as the place kinda weirded me out. Black Sabbath bio on TV.

Houston TX

Arrived at venue to load in, Beatles tribute band playing and the place packed. Was hoping they were the opener, but it was a Happy Hour show and cover wasn’t being charged yet. Sure enough a lion’s share of the place cleared out but many stayed. Met some TMT fans who’d never seen us before, already had TMT shirts, and wanted pics of the band. Awesome! They were really nice. Our friend Big Tom had come out for the show and a Roller Derby the next day, good to have some familiar faces so far from home.

Show was good but not great, first road show since Dec 2008 and def felt some cobwebs. Been playing Eric Tessmer’s music much more often so had to think a bit, heh. Crowd wasn’t huge, but very receptive. Will def bring all their friends next time so that’s good. Had a set-break shot with Josh and Pete the Beat, def hit him a little harder that us, heh. He apologized for being a little off for second set, but if he was I didn’t really notice. Fun first show, hung for a bit talking to friends and fans but then loaded and headed out. The owner gave us a microphone that Honky had left at venue for us to return to Continental Club in Austin if we could. And of course we will.

Chilled rest of night drinking lukewarm Natty Lights with Pete the Beat and watched an awesome show on TV about solid geologic proof that the Earth already had a solid crust and oceans as early as 4.28 billion years ago. Shows like that make me second-guess my decision to not own a TV. Dreamt I was running master control for 2 TV stations at once, and of course things started going horribly awry. Commercials weren’t rolling, VTR’s weren’t routed, programs not entered into automatic system. Not even sure how to use the switcher boards. God I am so glad I don’t do that for a living any more, as I had several days like that when I did.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My first full day off in 2 weeks.

Not sure why I woke up before 9am, but tryin to use this time to my advantage before an afternoon nap attack hits. Feel tired in the physical sense but in a good way, as opposed to how I'd been feeling last week. Second wind kicking in and this constant gigging will have me in shape for the Truckers' West Coast run next month. Doing laundry (out of clothes) and will try to post full recap with pics of the Mother Truckers weekend tour, which was a success.

Last night at Friends w/ETB was really good, crowds really picking up. I felt a little misfire-y but the band as a whole felt great. Fun show and fun crowd. Almost got started off on a weird note, a certain nameless individual who we are trying to sever ties with due to recent behavior showed up. Our cold shoulder got questioning looks. Hopefully word has spread throughout door personnel that we would rather not have said individual let in to any further shows there. The price of "fame", ha!

Still not liking the Fender 4x10 I've been using, would prefer to sell for a 2x15. Just doesn't have the oopmh that my Isovent did when still functional. Notes around A are also blaringly loud, that's weird. Will sure as shit use my SVT and the house 2x15 at Antone's tomorrow night with ETB. That rig sounds like God.

Will try to catch Adrian and the Sickness with Bluebonnets (Kathy Valentine from Go-go's new band) tonight at the Continental Club.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hitting the road today with The Mother Truckers! Our first road trip since Dec 2008.

Will def take a shower before climbing aboard The White Whale, feels like I am coated in a thick laquer of filth. Summer in Texas, more humid that usual due to all the rain. Blarg. At least their was a big fan pointed at the stage at Maggie's last night. Will post full recaps of the Truckers' misadventures here of course!

ETB Monday at Friends was a little slow, not bad but not great either. Was still cooking dinner when I looked at the clock: 8:30. SHIT, I should be there, like NOW. Oops... Got there in time to throw my gear onstage, park, and grab a beer before hitting the stage. Felt dead on my feet from the previous 6 shows in 5 days, but plowed ahead anyway. Played pretty good and had as much fun as my body would allow, heh. Was informed by Tessmer earlier that day that the 'free' party we played for the company that made our stickers paid $750. Nice! We need to do 'free' shows more often...

Tuesday my first day off in a week. Felt like I'd been hit by a truck. Was up north for the evening when got a text from Tank (MOD/Ironclad/Mastery bassist) saying "I am stealing a beer and there is nothing you can do about it!" Nice! Turns out he'd finished 5 bass tracks for the Mastery album that day and was hanging at Deanna's as the guit player Markus was in town, resulting in a houseguest reunion party (Markus and Mike stayed with us for about 6 weeks writing/laying initial tracks). DAMN! Wish I could have been there but like I said, only day off before another 6 shows in 6 days. I will be in shape as a mofo for the Truckers upcoming West Coast tour, that's for damn sure.

Last night ETB @ Maggie's turned out pretty good. Doing every Wednesday now. Even with 2 long naps earlier that day, was so tired I mainly looked at the floor near Eric's pedalboard or directly AT Eric's pedalboard. Jesus Christ I am starting to feel old. Even with that big ass fan blowing (a wind-blowing aparatus, not an ETB fan.... just clarifying) was still hot as hell on that stage. Good show tho, did a lot of improv jams during and between songs. Good crowd, lotsa ladies dancing and having fun near the end (alcohol kicking in, heh).

All in all good times. Tho this morning still feel shredded. And my week has just begun...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sat July 10 -- ETB in San Antonio

Woke early for a busy day, not even sure what time we were supposed to leave. Someone tapped on the door at 9:30, I figured it was Tessmer so did my high-pitched/heavily-accented "HOUSEKEEPING" to which a female voice replied, "I'm sorry ma'am, are you checking out today?" To which I replied in my deepest baritone "YES." Heh!

But we were leaving before 11am to make it to San Antonio by 2pm. We had an instore at the Best Buy on 410 in north San Antonio and a photo shoot with Ash Newell who is a very bigtime rock photographer. Met up with him and our new publicist Suzanne Peneley (works with Motorhead, among many many others) in the parking lot and checked out the store. Weird having a music section in Best Buy, of all places. But they did have some good axes for good prices. Still weird tho.

Basically grabbed amps and gear off the walls to use, which was cool. Richard used one of their electronic drumkits, Michael found a nice electric piano to use, I grabbed a Fender bass combo off the wall and Eric found a re-issue Fender Twin in the corner. Sweet! Played at low volumes and still had a good time, Michael playing his saxophone sans mic/PA which sounded amazing. Did a CD signing afterwards, and signed one CD. Ah well, heh!

Then followed Suzanne in her car to a nearby park for the photoshoot. Ash had a gorgeous spot picked out next to a modest sized creek. Tho was 15 degrees cooler in the shade was still hot as a mofo. Ash had us laughing our asses off with all his crazy dirty limericks and jokes/stories. What a character. Did group shots, then solo shots of Eric. Awesome watching a pro like that work, being a half-assed photographer myself. Then Ash asked if Eric had anymore jeans to wear tonight. "Yeah, why?" "We'd like you to wade into the water." And so there Eric balls deep in a creek with turtles swimming around. Then Ash wants him to hold his '59 Strat with him while in the water. The comic mask of concern that darkened his face was priceless. He managed to not drop his priceless guitar but did joke that "It's wood, it'll float!"

It was over before we all succombed to heat stroke, said our goodbyes and headed to Sam's Burger Joint. Parked out back and entered the load-in door, and was pleasantly blown away by the remodeling they had done. The dark, low-ceilinged punk bar off to the right had been replaced by a super nice and more upscale high-ceilinged bar, and the bathrooms had been totally redone. Awesome! Good for them, good to see a good venue stepping it up to become and even better venue. Have played there a half dozen times with 3-4 diff bands, my first time with ETB. And I think only NOW do I know where it actually is.

Bit of confusion during load-in, not sure if we were doing full soundcheck and whether or not opening drummer using Richard's drums. So we were loading, opening band were loading, and the opening drummer is setting up Richard's drums while he was in the bathroom. Would have been a little flustered at their over-eagerness to get onstage, but they were all really nice cats. Eric and I asked soundman for final say, and he wanted us to run a song. So opening band had to move some amps (again), we played half a tune and called it good. Went to the restaurant next door to finally eat. Which was good, we were all dizzy from a long day, a long night, and an already long day, in addition to standing out in the sun for 2 hours. Ate 2/3 of my bacon cheddar burger and immediately felt like a bloated corpse. But worth it, the food at Sam's is amazing!

Caught some Zzzz's in various booths and couches around venue. Not much, but enough to have gotten a second wind in time to play. Mariah, Triniti and myself went to the van around 9:45, then over to Valero for cigarettes. Walking back text from Tessmer saying we're about to go on. Oops. But no big deal, plenty of time to set up (most everything already set up!), and what was already a good crowd had gotten even better!

Good show, always nice to play on a bigger stage than we are used to, with better lights/sound than we are used to. Walking the crowd, Suzanne's husband John followed us around a few feet away to provide security. Would have been nice to have him at the last Corpus gig we did, sure I mentioned the Meth Lady in previous blog posts... Had our usual shot at the bar, which the empty glasses then miraculously refilled themselves, setting the tone for the rest of the night. I'd been doing all the driving (my van) and was planning on taking it easy just cause I was so exhausted.

But the party usually cranks itself up several notches after set break, and we regaled them with tales of the old man from Corpus Christi. Then the shots started to appear onstage, not even sure what they were but I had at least 3-4 of them. And was DONE. KAPUT. FINISHED. Layed down in a booth while Triniti swung the van around. Came back in and said, "I need to show you something..." Oh shit. She took me outside and showed me the duct-tape covered window. The tape was ripped aside and the blind pushed up. Lots of personal bags in van, no gear, and not much in arms' reach so thought we were in the clear. Have not had the cash to fix the window since I am recently divorced and low on funds at the moment, but never a security issue cause I rarely travel with anything of value in the van, the window is nowhere near any of the locks, and most gear that IS in the van won't fit thru that little fuckin window anyway. So for me it's been only an incovenience cause I can't take the van into a carwash with that damn tape on the window.

But searching the van Michael noticed his bag was gone. Which had his money, cellphone and apartment key inside (remember the PA locked in Michael's apartment? yeah). In addition to all his clothes and toiletries. Well shit shit shit. Was bound to happen sooner or later and could have been so much worse, but still. Immediately texted an update to my FaceBook page: "If you are a thieving crackhead piece of shit, do yourself and the rest of humanity a favor and KILL YOURSELF."

Total buzzkill for what was up until then a really good weekend. Bah. Triniti drove the van with myself and Michael back, while Eric, Richard and Mariah rode back with friends. Which was good, we had no room for Richard whatsoever. Pulled into Michael's apartment complex and he had to just ride to Jonestown with Eric and Richard and stay with them. But they got the key and PA situation sorted out.

Calling his cellphone company, Michael was informed that a call was made from his phone around 10pm the previous night. Which means whoever did it watched Mariah, Triniti and I leave the van, then make his move, then used Michael's phone to call either a friend or dealer. Hopefully that is an important clue, be nice to get that shit back tho not holding my breath. Fuck thieves, man.

Fri July 9, 2010 -- ETB in Corpus Christi

Getting all the animals to the Ark was a lesson in logisitics. Have room in Goldie Hawn for 4 comfortably plus 1 more if need be. Knew we would have meself, Eric, Michael and Trinti Young in tow to sell merch. Turns out Mariah the merch girl was coming as well, and Richard had his own ride to Corpus. Tessmer and Mariah 2 hours late cause Eric had to wrangle a PA for the Sunday private party. No big deal.

Drive uneventful save for brief periods of heavy rain. Duct tape covering the small broken side window held fast. Roll into Dr. Rockits Blues Bar and load onto the stage, leaving Richards drums off to the side as he hadnt arrived yet. Checked into provided rooms at Bayfront Hotel (2 of them, we were in taller one closest to venue). Instead of napping which I'd like to have done, went to dinner with my family. Back at hotel in time to head to venue.

Waiting waiting waiting, not much of a soundcheck. Not as big a crowd as last time either, but fuck it. Got 3 songs in when an older gentleman started giving us shit on the way to the bathroom: "THIS IS A BLUES CLUB! PLAY SOME BLUES!!!" We looked at each other an laughed, not thinking he was serious. But he was, and continued on giving us shit walking back to his table. We were still looking at each other in disbelief, but Richard's GF stood up and schooled the curmudgeon, that was funny. Never mind the fact that we had just played "Down" by Freddie King, "Who knew a thing or two about the blues" as Eric informed the rest of the audience. Then we went into "Right Place at the Wrong Time", another heavy blues song and the guy got up and left.

Which was good, because after that we quickly turned the crowd against him and getting them to admit the nerve of the guy. I said, "We don't go to the bus station across the street and slap the dick out of his mouth when HE is trying to work!" Which was greeted with cheers, even from my own mother, ha! I went on: "Yeah, I guess he had to go and put on a wig and dress and hang out on Leopard Street!" Which the audience just about fell over, and turned to explain to my bandmates that if you are from here that is HILARIOUS. (Leopard Street, at least when I lived in CC, was where all the prostitutes were at, or so I heard).

So yeah. After that it was a fucking party, and everything after that was BLUES. "This one's called 'Green Diamond Blues.' This one's called 'Taildragger Bluess', this one's called 'Lonesome Trainwhistle Blues Blues'." Ad infinitum. "Blues" was the new "Meow", another retarded inside joke that makes sense only to us. Jazz Hands was now called Blues Hands. Thanks you old fuck, you made our night! During set break went to apologize to my mother for my language in regards to the old man, and she told me he deserved it. HA! Awesome.

End of the night drank many drinks with the staff and some stragglers, lots of familiar faces and friends. Had 3+ shots of something called a "Starfucker." Outside Triniti and Eric burned the setlist to release the negative energy from that old coot, and because they are pyromaniacs. Shortly after an off-duty sound man came out and accused us of stealing 2 mic stands and a mic. One boom stand wound up with ours (we bring our own), but the drum mic/stand was on a shelf next to the stage. Bah.

Not done yet, some of us wandered across the street to the other Bayfront Hotel and crashed their pool (it was unlocked, whereas ours was closed for the evening). Lasted about 15 minutes before we were kicked out, heh. Eric didn't where shoes and somehow left sopping wet footprints all the way from the pool, thru the parking lot, across the street and thru our hotel lobby. We were all drunkenly impressed with that, heh.
Oh man what a weekend. Will break it down by show cause so much to tell.

Thursday at Friends was really good. Rained on/off throughout the day but let up in time for load in. Had my bass leaning against my amp, left to smoke a cig. Came back and bass resting on amp not in the way I originally set it, and knew "It must have fallen..." Sure enough, low E tuning key now bent kinda cock-eyed. But on a positive note, it is the tuning key that's been problematic anyway. Hopefully now I won't have to periodically hammer it back into place with a shoe or roll of duct tape.

Set went great, very fun show. Had a good crowd going until the skies opened up mid-set. Which helped our crowd even more, as most human beings out on the down don't want to get drenched and seek dry places that don't charge cover. After the deluge had passed tho, a lot of people made a break for their cars. But lots of diehards stayed all night. Good for them.

Since it was a Thursday the cops had 6th Street blocked off, even tho by end of the night most people had left anyway fearing it start raining again. Asked a cop politely if I could squeeze thru the barricade to park in front of Friends (we were loading all gear into Goldie Hawn for the weekend instead of Boss Hoss, as my AC was fully funcional). He of course said no, and went on to say that we had to come up the next N bound street and pull into the alley behind the venue. Are you fucking kidding me?!? Told him I usually park on Brazos (aforementioned N bound street) in such a situation, but he insisted I pull into the alley. Guess he's never been in the back corridors of Friends, there is a fucking staircase covered in God knows what sticky substance. No way in hell we were going to do that. So parked on Brazos like I always do and aside for the extra 60 feet to load, were not hassled by APD nor had to deal with stairs.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Got back into town from the Minnesota trip Tuesday evening, hit the streets running. Busy.

Last night Maggie's w/ETB was fun, was looking forward to playing, been a week. Tonight a Thursday @ Friends, been raining today so might suck. Tomorrow Dr.Rockit's in Corpus Christi. Saturday an early in-store at a Best Buy in San Antonio to promote the Sam's Burger Joint show that night. Sunday a private party for the company that made our stickers. Monday ETB @ Friends. Tuesday night off from playing, but practicing with Truckers for the regional Texas dates. Wednesday ETB @ Maggie's. Thurs Truckers @ Continental CLub in Houston. Friday Truckers in Dallas or Denton, Saturday in whatever city I got wrong. Sunday Truckers at Scout Bar in San Antonio. Monday ETB @ Friends. Tuesday off. Wed ETB @ Antone's, Fri @ BD Rileys's, Sat a gig Michael booked in College Station. And that's where my memory fades.

Wrote that down mainly to keep my own schedule straight in my head. Phew.

Friday, July 2, 2010

St Peter, MN

Doing a family vacation until Tuesday, no need to write about it cause it ain't music-related.

However, got a text out of the blue from a number I didn't recognize asking if I was available to play Friday. Replied I wasn't (out of town, and would have been playing Nutty Brown with ETB if I was) and politely asked who it was so I would know. Trey Stapleton Band, can't remember when I met him or how he got my number. But it is nice to have random gig offers coming in from time to time.

Also was informed by Tessmer that not only are we back to every Wednesday at Maggie Mae's, when I get back we have a Thurs night at Friends and a Sunday private event for the company that made our stickers. SO I get back Tuesday, then play w/ETB Wed/Thur/Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon, Tuesday off, then Wed (ETB), Thur/Fri/Sat/Sun w/Truckers and Monday with ETB. 12 gigs in 13 days. My bank account will be very very pleased.

Need to have Tessmer update his online calendar cause a lot of those dates weren't on it...

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Mother Truckers CD release on Saturday at Antone's was an overwhelming success!!!

Great crowd, great show, lots of friends and family in attendance. Had Antone's packed to near capacity (thankfully they removed all the tables and chairs!). We played the early slot with co-headliners Mickey and the Motor Cars. So there was gear onstage when we loaded but no problemo. Their bassist Logan offered me his rig, but I declined in favor of my SVT thru Antones' backline Deitz 2x15 which I love so much.

M&TMC had their big tour bus and trailer right out front, which was too perfect in it's irony (our new album is "Van Tour" and here's this big honking bus parked out front... and it's not ours, heh!). We joked that we'd invite all our friends to party on "our" bus but we locked ourselves out ;) Amber Lucille Band (my old Southern Gun Culture bandmates) opened the show with their own CD release set, adding to the family vibe of the night.

Photos courtesy of Kristy Duff Wallace

The only drawback to taking the early slot is that we had the rest of the night off. Which I spent getting smashed and hanging with friends. Woke up at 9am next morning still drunk. Good times.

So glad the evening went well. Have been focusing all my attention on the show all week. But Friday early AM awoke to stomach issues and stayed up dwelling on shit. Put myself into a really dark mood rest of the day, and had to go mow my ex-wife Gina's lawn in such a mental state. And of course I lost a damn contact lens in the back yard (my last left lens) and was worried I wouldn't be able to get a replacement before the show on Saturday. On top of not being able to see well enough to finish mowing. Well shit. Got a new lens no problem, so that was awesome. Need to be able too SEE onstage.

Tried to pull myself out of the dark mood all that day, and tried to remind myself that when I feel at my lowest something good is usually about to happen. The night is always darkest in the hour before sunrise. By Saturday AM felt my mood turn around and was feeling much better/getting excited about the show.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Austin American Statesman w/The Truckers feature in the weekend section came out.

Only found one copy tho, heh! Our pic on cover of paper and several more pics and a 1500 word story by Michael Corcoran as well. Hell yeah! Expecting a good crowd saturday, can't wait!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Just got in from practice with the Truckers at the Oltorf Music Lab.

Went well, not perfect but we'd rather be a little off in rehearsal and sound great at the show than the other way around...

Last night on KLBJ was a blast. Loris must have played half the "Van Tour" album, heh! So good to see her again. New tunes sound great on the radio and got lots of great feedback. As our segment was over she played "Ocean of Stars." Listened to some of it on the way home and it sounded SO FUCKING MASSIVE with all the radio compression (released the album as-is with no mastering, what you hear is pretty much straight from my 8-track).

Will try to take it easy next few days to save strength for the CD release at Antone's on Saturday. Need to start working out again, not getting any younger. And while I play often with Eric Tessmer and for long sets, I only really let loose on stage for select shows (Antone's, etc). To give 100% even at the really good shows at Friends would take a terrible toll on my body over a 3+ hour set...

Weighed myself while in Corpus, back down to 152. Was up to 157 few weeks back. Still lean and mean. Not that I mind, but can't afford to lose too much weight... don't have much extra left! Other than that still feel pretty healthy. Forearms/hands/wrists not giving too much grief tho still have some lingering tennis elbow on R forearm. And I believe that was aggravated by recent yardwork.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tonight 10:30pm CDT on KLBJ FM 93.7 The Mother Truckers will be on Local Licks w/my good friend Loris Lowe. Listen online!

Radio and press are really coming together this week for the CD release, we are really stoked. Had a quiet sit-down jam yesterday at Josh and Teal's place. Got some copies on "Van Tour" and they look great! Practice went well and we are all really excited! Tomorrow is a full dress rehearsal for CD release at one of the Music Labs. Full stage rigs and running the set. Can't wait! Had fun jamming yesterday, tomorrow will be even more fun (and LOUDER).

In a good mood tho can't seem to make any headway financially just yet. Knew my van battery terminals were getting corroded again, even the new one Tessmer and I (well, he did most of the work, I just held the flashlight in the rain) installed after the van wouldn't start after an ETB gig few months back. So they finally decided to crap out yesterday after a driving back from Corpus Christi and stopping home with just enough time to change clothes, grab some gig clothes for later that night and grab my bass for Mother Truckers practice. Then my van wouldn't start. Shit.

Not only was I already late but everything that could have possibly went wrong went wrong. Noticed not only were terminals corroded but wires coming out of new battery terminal. No biggie, have spares. Getting cardboard box of tools/parts out of van bottom fell out and tools/parts then scattered on lawn. Shit. Replace battery terminal, still wont start. Neg terminal corroded as well, try to unhook/clean but the pole from the fucking BATTERY broke off. Nice. Had to disturb D's bath to borrow her SUV to run to O'Reilly real quick for new damn battery.

Which they didn't sell that brand. Ask who did, can't remember when/where/if I replaced it. Turns out it's a Ford factory battery. Nice. So bite the bullet (credit card) and buy a new battery full price. But installed it and made it to practice 90 minutes late but no big deal. Had a good jam which put me in a good mood after the eventful afternoon.

But turned out ETB was off last night which sucked ass because I just dropped $110 on a battery and am already behind for next month, but was also good because if I needed a night off, last night was a good night to have off. Was fucking exhausted. I really really hope the TMT CD release makes a sizeable profit and as much of that as possible makes its way to my bank account...