Being back on the road is the high life for musicians. something new everyday.
When we are at home there is absolutely no money for things like drinks or food other than groceries, and walmart groceries at that.
But on the road... drinks and food are expected... its the least a venue can do for musicians... sling um a couple draft beers and a sandwich... And it's the biggest treat for us. So appreciated. In this way we get to sample all kinds of microbrewed local beers, local food, and lots of different coffees. At the Acoustic Coffeehouse they provide 2 free drinks to each musician and anything from the menu, including pizza and homemade dishes made daily like lasagna and veggie casseroles.. and jerk chicken... which was particularly delicious.
Last time we played I never got to my second drink. There were too many people that wanted to buy it for me. We'd be playing... and look down to find our glass half empty now more than half full of sudsy goodness. This can be dangerous, it is very easy to get too drunk to play.
This time was a little different. There were people there, most of them talking, but a couple were watching. In between each song there was strange silence... no one clapped, not even the people watching... they just... kept staring... it was the weirdest thing. Also at this particular coffee shop there are always nuts. strange men, some of them genuinely friendly with just a splash of spilled beer. Some of them sober as a rock and creepy as hell:
I'll spare you the details of 'Oxygen Tank Man', mostly because I don't want to relive it. I've never come so close to just telling off some old guy. Ladies at this venue know to text each other when we have identified who we need to stay away from. It some way, it makes the community stronger. It was only by his demands that i got this picture.
We did get a couple great things out of Johnson Tennessee (not too much money... but it was a wednesday):
1. we played very well. You never know during practice how the songs will go over, what they will actually sound like in each circumstance and on each stage. This is a wonderfully refreshing part of tour, your songs are new every night... even to you. This was our first gig out, and it sounded awesome, our set is really shaping up nicely with the addition of a toy xylophone set, the mandolin and a cameo by the flute.
2. Some one, a photographer obviously, swooped in to take our camera while we played. He was not afraid to get into other patron's space to get the angle. And we are ever so appreciative. These shots are great. Aaaaand, they focus on chad, not myself. Which is also refreshing, remind me to point this out to chad.
3. This awesome stencil outside, I'm not sure Chad realized what an artistic shot it was when he took it with the reflection on the car. (see above). We're still getting to know this new little camera. I think once we get the hang of it, it will be better than the last.
4. There is a laundry mat next to the Acoustic Coffee House, laundry mat's are notorious locations of old, treasured, decaying, vintage gems of pinball machines.... so that's it... I'm starting a pinball blog.... ! (Another beautiful shot by chad... they are like little presents when I review the pictures)
(please stay tuned for a NEW blog and reviews for the Fun House and ... uggg.. "Barb-Wire"
more like Boob-Wire... aha ha ha haha... not funny.
5. And finally, new friends. Our couch surfing hosts in Johnson city were great... couch surfing hosts in all the places we've been have exceeded expectations. They are all different, but all super nice. Its so much fun to meet all of them.
We ended up doing alright in Johnson City after all, our new friends bought t-shirts and tote bags and wallets. They look so much better on smiling people that on our merch table... see...
For these supportive people, we are so grateful. Thanks guys, we had so much fun!
And now, to close this blog, i think... a portrait:
In the morning Eriel is sitting in the kitchen where the breeze blows through, coffee in her hands. She makes it strong and takes it with just a splash of soy milk; and sometimes sugar when the day isn't being sweet enough.
Outside the window, the volunteer firefighters congregate on their porch across the way. She thinks they look like ants on a hill they way they're always running about... fire ants.
Everyone in Eriel's family is a cook, but there are no recipes. It is not uncommon for any of them to stand and stare into the pantry, turning a single ingredients over in their hands, maybe mumbling softly to themselves as the meal begins to form in their mind. Today Eriel was standing in the kitchen where the breeze blows through, with a ripe avocado waltzing from hand to hand. I don't think the latin fruit ever rendezvoused with the curry and coconut milk mixture that was later bubbling on the stove.
The smell filled the kitchen and took flight on the breeze that was passing through.
And then..., we did too.