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


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Saturday, August 29, 2009

August Recap...


Here we are. Here I am, here you are anyway. I'm in Albuquerque...not being a merch girl in Colorado. I quit the tour in a fit of frustration over a lost bag of Skittles in the van last Thursday.

Just kidding. While I love touring with Susan, I have another job in Austin that must be attended to at the music school. It's good for me to have both, and I am fortunate enough to have both jobs let me be flexible with where I am at any given moment. I fly back to Austin tomorrow and Susan stays on the road for another 2 weeks. The first two weeks went fairly smoothly besides the gaping wounds on my feet (mostly healing well, one is still gaping and hurts right now...but it was the worst one so it's taking longer heal. Skin is pretty awesome, growing back over itself and stuff).

Rhythms on the Rio Festival: Susan Gibson

We played at the Rhythms on the Rio Festival in South Fork, CO last weekend. We drove all night from Fort Collins to get there (translation: Susan drove all night while we slept and I took the last half hour drive in the morning so she could go to bed and sleep a bit before the festival). We stopped at a rest stop somewhere in CO at 3:30 AM and let me just say this...if you are a creepy dude, or any dude at all, or any creep at all...never ask 3 girls in a van at a rest area to jump start your truck at 3:30 AM. Ask a guy. Or call the cops. Or just wait for daylight. We left in a hurry and I'm sure creepy guy got a jump start...just not from us. Shudder.

It was the first annual and went really well for a giant production like that in its first year. The scenery was awesome, the people were great. Susan played a great set and won a lot of new fans. I played what is called a "tweener" set between bands while Great American Taxi set up their gear. It's weird to play solo at a big festival. I felt like an ant on the big stage, but it was fun nonetheless. Even ants have fun.

Playing the festival

Then it was off to Taos, NM for two nights at the Old Blinking Light. The 2nd night we were lucky enough to be outside, and the view was gorgeous. Sunsets rock here. I have thought it for a while but really, mark my words, I am retiring in Taos in an adobe house. I can't wait. I want to retire when I'm 32.


A few days in Albuquerque are good for meeting up with people I haven't talked to face-to-face in a while. I get to be a bridesmaid in my friend Jamie's wedding, so I tried on the dress today. I hope I don't trip in its fanciness - it will be a fun wedding!

Currently listening to the new Imogen Heap album...she's brilliant as usual. My wound will continue to gape for a while. In exactly a month I'll be flying to New York City. Things swim in my head.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Me and a Bicycle and the Road

We've been traveling for over a week now and it's been one heckuva tour so far. Mostly pretty dang good. Susan played to a packed house in Dallas and San Angelo was a fun stop with lots of good weather photos, as posted below.

On the way to San Angelo we started spewing black smoke out the back of the van and losing power on hills...not a good thing. Everyone had an opinion at the bar, but we made the decision that maybe bad diesel was the issue and we headed to Albuquerque because

a) my folks will always put us up
b) the Sprinter dealer that Susan purchased the van from lives in ABQ

So after some runaround and about 3 different Sprinter dealers and mechanics, Susan herself found that there was a crack in an air hose, which tends to cause black smoke and loss of power. She duct taped it and things improved immensely. There is not a thing that she can't do with a roll of duct tape, I don't think. We found Ricky the Sprinter Magician who
got us a new air hose (because 100 degree weather is probably not the best for duct tape on a very essential car part) and we were on the road to Colorado by Tuesday morning.

Mom helps fix the van.
Mom "helps" Susan fix the van.

Mechanic Rear View
Mechanic rear view.

Albuquerque Rear View
ABQ Rear View.

Susan played a really neat show in Arvada called "America's Soul Live" at the Old Town Pickin' Parlor, which is exactly what it says...a parlor (aka a paradise aka a room) FULL OF GUITARS TO PLAY. Nothing I picked up that night cost less than $2500, I don't think.

America's Soul Live

Old Town Pickin' Parlor in Arvada, CO

We spent the last few days up in Centennial, Wyoming, home of the Friendly Store and Bar...owned by some awesome folks. This town has about 60 residents in it but they all come out to see the show, and some drive in from Laramie and other towns in the area.

Cruiser Bikes

On Thursday we decided to take what is called a Cruiser bike ride down the mountain near Centennial. You pick a bike, all made int he 50's or 60's or so...put it in a truck, take it up the mountain, and you coast down. It's awesomely gorgeous and the best way to see the natural beauty around area.

However, you see...I wore flips flops because I didn't really know the exact components of a Cruiser ride, and obviously this was a bad idea. I made it all the way down almost when on the very last...10th of the ride I felt some brake loss and then tried to stop myself with my flip flops, which true to their name flopped over so that I was off both pedals trying to stop on a hill DRAGGING THE TOPS OF MY FEET ON THE ASPHALT.

I'll let you soak in that image for a bit.

Luckily I didn't like this situation for very long and veered off into the weeds once I realized that I had. To. Stop. I got up with help and rode the rest of the way down because I guess I was in shock and my feet just looked brown, which was probably what burned skin looks like.

We got back to the house and I was pretty bloody...so our kind hosts and Susan offered Band-Aids, Advil, and tequila. I think the tequila probably helped most. FIRST AID TIP ALERT: The next day we didn't have gauze so we cut up a maxi pad and used it. Surprisingly the exact same material. Worked amazingly well.

I limped around for our Friendly Store gig and tried and probably failed to not be too whiny about it, but now I'm all wrapped up and we're in Fort Collins, Colorado and I'm feeling ok. I borrowed a pair of Crocs and I walk like I'm 50 years older than I am...but things seem to be on the mend. I do plan to milk the sympathy card for as long as I can though.

First Aid for Road Rash

Tonight after the show we drive to South Fork, where I'll be playing along with Susan at the Rhythms on the Rio Festival. Pretty excited! No more accidents.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Who Made Texas So Pretty?

We had the most beautiful drive to San Angelo today...

Driving to San Angelo

Golden Rear View

Lightning in San Angelo

Weird Light Formation

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Notes and Asides

Rear View Ocean

I have a sunburn on my nose, well earned and cherished since I got it at the ocean in Port Aransas. I had been to Port A twice before but never had time to actually hang out in the ocean, only look at it. Sometimes I stress about things like money, scheduling, people, and life...but sometimes I get to hang out on the beach because I'm there for my job and that's pretty awesome.

I had a meeting with Katie, Melissa, and Emily last night to discuss some musicalness...Katie's blog tells you the topics we covered in detail. The thing that made the biggest impression on me was when Katie picked up her purse from the floor of the coffeehouse and a clipped toenail fell on her lap. I almost gagged. Then we wondered who would clip their toenails in a coffeehouse.

Today Dan and I re-listened to what we had tracked on the new EP last week and we liiiiiiked it. Some vocals are a little edgier than what you are used to hearing from me, or what I am used to hearing from me...but I think it works. It's all in the name of the story of the song in my mind.

I'm having issues identifying the type of singer I am "supposed" to be...it's not a matter of picking my favorite singers and copying them, and it's not a matter of angling toward some fantasy of what I think I should be. I believe overall most of us could sing however we wanted to, with training and practice. I think in my case my voice is there to serve the song and the words I write. Not much should get in the way of that. What that means in terms of inflection and breath and thought behind it is what I am working on, but I guess it's good I decided my voice is that of a storyteller. I like that idea.

This weekend I leave on a two week tour again to Colorado and New Mexico...I'm about to freak at the 50+ days of over-100 degrees we've had so not a moment too soon in my book. Hallelujah.

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Coming Home Radio

Go about 40 minutes in on this interview from Coming Home with Dave Wheaton for a spot with Susan. She talks about our touring this summer...and banjos and donkeys. (There really were donkeys).

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Checking Inn....

Just to say I didn't skip blogging for a week. It's been a busy one...car trouble, meetings, prepping for the rest of the month and into the fall. Susan played at a wonderful venue called Third Coast Theater in Port Aransas last night, which is tied to a gorgeous resort...where we were are staying. Same place where Terri Hendrix has her Life's A Song workshops that I've attended. We walked to the ocean last night after the show and were back again this morning. I am salty. In 30 minutes we leave for a show in Corpus Christi and then we drive all night back home, so Monday can start things all over again.

More details shortly...and yes my car is fine!


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Recording Log Day 3

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Three Days In...

Whew! Dan and I wrapped up three days of recording on Friday and it was a great experience all around. We got a LOT done. "Switzerland" is pretty much where it needs to be, so we're going to let that one stew and come back to it. We started "Ritalin" on Friday and got a good ways into it. I was so tired by the end on Friday (which I'm not sure why, it's not like I'm doing all the work), so I had to yawn my approval...but I assure you kids, it is CATCHY. Who knew my songs would benefit so much from Hammond organ?

We walked in not really knowing what we were shooting for...other than a certain vibe that some of our records have, but no set plot for instrumentation or anything. It ends up being fun to just kind of go at each tune and try things out.

So we have a break due to both of our travel schedules, and then we'll meet up one day in August, and then another flurry of travel activity. I'm chomping at the bit just to play around more with these tunes, but I think some sit back and listen time is good for them, too. Once again patience is the name of the game.

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