i am sitting on the starboard
of your only way
back home


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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I Heart Taos

Taos Rear View II

It is soooo nice to be back in New Mexico and get to be here a couple of days. We're staying at a resort near the venue (sometimes...ok many times...we luck out with where we get to stay) and the smells and sights of the sage and skies and mountains are good for whatever ails.

This morning Susan and I headed over to KTAO and did an interview about the show tonight, and Susan played a second time on the afternoon show. The KTAO studio is gorgeous and perhaps where I want my retirement home to be. I don't know if they'd sell me the whole station so I could live in it, and I could only probably pay them $45 for it, but I can ask.

Hank the dog helped Susan out with her interview...too bad he didn't hop in the van with us.

Susan Gibson and Hank on KTAO

Time to go set up at the Old Blinking Light! They have awesome green chile stew. Yesssss.

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It's time for a video!

I've been slow at editing...too busy collecting ceramic pigs I guess. Here's some footage from the front half of our month...Winter Park, CO and the cabin in Montana!

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rear Views III

Idaho River Rear View
Idaho River

Construction Worker Rear View
Lots of construction on the drive to Boise.

Rocks Rear View
A little rock with our usual green.

Crossing a bridge in Idaho.

Wyoming Rocks Rear View
Somewhere in Wyoming.

Rainy Colorado Rear View
Rainy Colorado drive.

Colorado Sunset Rear View
Sunset outside Denver!

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

On knowing a rock star.

Rainbow and an iPhone

We saw two sets of double rainbows yesterday on our drive from Salt Lake City to Denver. I feel like I have spent much of this tour gasping in wonder at the natural beauty of this country...from the flatness outside Lubbock to the raging river in Idaho we followed for hundreds of miles...makes me want to stick my camera out the window backwards and take it all in, I guess.

Susan is a rock star, so while Marian and I have today off, we will drop her off at Denver International because she will be flying to San Antonio to open for Steve Earle in New Braunfels tonight. Good grief that is cool. Steve is singer-songwriter GOLD. The crowd will love Susan. They approach writing from the same earthy, plain but estute place. That's what makes a songwriter the cream of the crop...less fancy-pants and more substance.

Then she'll fly back Sunday morning and we'll start driving again. Confronted with all the possibility of having the van and dogs at our bidding, I bet we will park it back at the house we're staying at and not move the whole day. That's the plan.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Days off are expensive.


Since I spend so much time trying to get the exact right shot for documenting things, as evidenced by the photo above, I splurged today on our day off in Parker, Colorado. (Actually that shot is evidence that I drop stuff in the wheel well while driving and have to contort myself in my seat to get it...anyway).

When we were in Missoula, Susan was interviewed for the Montanan. Editor Brianne and crew were great and they introduced me to the joys of the Flip video camera. They filmed the sit-down interview as well as a walk-around campus and I was enchanted by the tiny gadget. When I researched them and found out they have an HD model and they don't break the bank...well...let's just say the boss indulged me by letting me stop at Best Buy today. She's such a gadget enabler. Pretty excited to road test it!

Interview at University of Montana

U of M campus walk

I'll get my chance because after one more day in Parker, we'll jet for a set of gigs in Cuchara CO, Taos NM, Lubbock, Amarillo, and San Antonio. And then this month of touring will be done. Not sure what my land legs will look like...probably wobbly.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Rear View II

Wyoming Sun Rear View
Wyoming sunny day.

Wyoming Grey Rear View
Wyoming grey morning.

Driver's side rear view
Driver's side flip in Montana.

Flathead Lake Rear View
Flathead Lake in Montana

Downtown Missoula Rear View
Downtown Missoula, MT

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Salt Creek by a Lake

Ok. So I haven't blogged in a week. We arrived here in Montana on Monday night after hours and hours of driving and I have been enjoying the lakeshore ever since. I've learned you can't blog and HELP WIRE POWER TO A BOATHOUSE at the same time.

I never thought I'd type that sentence. We rolled big driftwood logs up the beach and burned tree debris and Marian and I held some wires while Susan and her dad did the electrician stuff. And that proves...you probably can't Google everything. Except the name of the power company which is what I'd have to do if I had to wire anything.

Susan's dad sat down next to me yesterday and said, "Can I ask you a personal question?"


"Do you have a sunburn on your nose or have you been drinking?"

Haha. It's sunburn. All this outside time and my pasty eastern European complexion have caught up.

Better crack a beer.

We did take several hours to sit on the beach and practice, though. I learned the traditional bluegrass tune "Salt Creek" in high school, and since we have a guitar, banjo, and fiddle, I thought that would be a good one. We got pretty far for one day of practice.

So it is. The gigging starts tomorrow. Maybe I'll find a good Internet connection in Missoula this weekend. And some suntan lotion.

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Friday, June 5, 2009

So far so good. We've logged some miles, from Lubbock to Red River to Winter Park. We wound our way through a mountain pass and I shivered the whole way, but when we loaded in to the venue tonight it was lovely out. My flip flops remain on. We're chilling before the show tonight in a rare bit of hang time.

Duct Tape Camera

I've been filming a bit and wanted a driving backwards shot. Of course that requires duct tape.

Murphy's in Lubbock

Murphy's in Lubbock was fun -- the West Texas winds picked up a little but just enough to make it comfortable.

The Lodge in Red River, NM

It was great to be back in New Mexico even if I was nowhere near Albuquerque. The air smells fresh in that state. Susan played at The Lodge bar, and she and Marian were joined on a tiny stage by some great musicians...but it made the stage even tinier.

Nice window view

Kinda crazy how in one day you can go from this view...

Somewhere in the Rockies

To this view!

I'm having a good time. I've had allergies or something, so I haven't been singing much. Luckily I can still play guitar for the big banjo finales. Tonight I'm going to give it a go and play a set. Mucinex is a wonderful thing. Tomorrow we have the shortest drive so far...4ish hours to Centennial, Wyoming. More scenery! Gotta keep sticking my camera out the window...

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Rear Views

Rearview Texas
West Texas

Rearview New Mexico
Northern New Mexico

Rearview Mountain
Central Colorado

The Johnson Tunnel in Colorado
The Johnson Tunnel on I-70, Colorado

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Algebra? Really?

Here's a word problem for ya:

A singer/songwriter is offered a gig with a choice of payment options. They are:

- take a $450 guarantee versus 80% of the door less $150 for sound at an $8 ticket price

- take 90% of the door less $150 for sound with no guarantee

- take a flat $650 guarantee with no versus percentage

If the singer/songwriter expects to pull in a crowd of 112 people, which deal is the best? We did an Excel spreadsheet with formulas today to figure out something like this. The numbers were completely different, but the formulas are the same. It made my head hurt. We think we picked the right deal.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Switch It Up

Elizabeth Wills and Susan Gibson

One of the 85,000 things I love about working for Susan is that there's always a surprise. This last weekend at her gig with the marvelous Elizabeth Wills, we witnessed both Susan and Elizabeth playing congas on each others' tunes. Then there was the uncommon marriage of banjo and cello onstage, too...it worked. I enjoyed it a ton. I've seen and played tons of songswaps and set swaps where artists pretty much do their own thing, and it's a rare treat when interests, talents, and schedules line up so the artists can play on each other's stuff.

Elizabeth Wills and Susan Gibson

I had some allergies set in before that gig, which I opened, and I could sing fine. The next morning I woke up with the voice of a teenage boy in puberty. I sound a lot more pathetic than I feel, which is probably cooler than sounding really good and feeling like crap. Oh well. My theory is that if indeed I have acquired allergies, I will be fleeing Texas in 2 days anyway and the clear skies of Montana will save me. We can hope. If it's a cold it's super mild anyway.

This photo is from Alabama. Maybe there will be less bugs this time.

We cleaned out the van yesterday in preparation for 24 days of travel. I need to pack my suitcase and make sure I have every piece of technology imaginable in my bag with appropriate cords. Will someone please make everything charge itself via laser beam or something? Solar power even? My bag would be so light.

I'm looking forward to the big skies of Montana and Wyoming, and I'm excited to spending some time in Boise, which I know is a neat town. I'm also pretty stoked about booking Susan for a week on the East coast in October...that's in process and I'm all about going to New York and hopefully Boston and/or Washington, D.C. That's what's neat about planning tours...you get to be excited about going new places (well, new for me anyway).

I've done it enough by now to know that there's probably not much sightseeing to be done on a short trip like that, but sometimes being among the locals at a music venue is a neat way to steep in a city or town, too.

There's plenty of steeping to be done starting Wednesday...better pack some deodorant. Natch!

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