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


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Monday, August 30, 2010

Road Food

We've been doing really well this summer on not only sticking to a food budget, but also not buying the crappiest piece of junk available in the convenience store.

Post-Gig Snack

This means we travel with coolers and plastic boxes filled with good stuff. Some of my favorites so far include plantain chips (where have they been all my life?), green chile in a jar, jalapeno pita chips, and garlic sesame sticks.

Ooo! And then we buy a bunch of vegetables like red peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, and radishes and chop them up and keep a veggie bag. When you have a cooler they keep a surprisingly long time. Yay for healthy stuff.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wyoming Sights

Somewhere in Wyoming
Somewhere outside Dubois, WY

Wyoming Moon
A Centennial Moon


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Grad School

My Master's in Music Business

Touring is good to me. In June I was named Employee of the Month. This week, while visiting our friends Kris and Jen who work at Adams State in Alamosa, CO, I was presented with my Master of Music Business.

Pomp and Circumstance, please.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Where I've Been

Feet in the Red River

Last weekend we found ourselve with a day off in Taos, where we started writing a song in the park before a high school "sophtmore" sat down at our tree and started reading us his novel. He had 2 chapters done. It made for an interesting afternoon.

The next day Susan played the Larry Joe Taylor festival in Red River, NM, where I stuck my toes in the very very very cold river.

Red River Panoramic

Then it was up to South Fork, CO for the Rhythms on the Rio Festival. If I had my druthers for a 5th job it would be live concert photography. I bet that pays even less than playing the live concerts.

Susan Gibson at Rhythms on the Rio

THEN it was off to one of my favorite places on the planet, Centennial, Wyoming. Susan's cousins own the Friendly Store/Cafe/Bar/Motel there and they have this cool stage off in the aspen trees. It was magique, to be French about it. I highly suggest if you are around Laramie you divert for a trip to Centennial. Tell them we sent you! Have an omelet. The omelets are the best.

Susan Gibson in Centennial, WY

Tomorrow we finally get to Montana! A drive through Yellowstone is on the list.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Saga of the Broken Nebraska Pig

I stuffed some pigs in my backpack and forgot about them, and I guess they got knocked around too much because Nebraska busted. Thankfully, it was a clean break. Surgery was performed.

Broken Piggy

Piggy Pieces

Fixed Piggy

Nebraska is recovering and is now safely duct taped to the dashboard.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Tour Tour Tour


Oh hi. We left home last Friday and it's Friday already and here we are in Taos, NM. We have quite a bit of road ahead of us still, so it's been a good little jaunt up here. Taos is, as I have stated, where I will live when I retire if not before. Today we sat in the park in the shade and it was considerably cooler in the shade than the sun. This does not happen in Texas. Sorry, Texas.

We spent a day in Amarillo with Susan's niece and nephew and went to the Discovery Center, one of those science museums where you can touch everything and learn stuff. I learned that black holes do something to you called "spaghettification." It just made me hungry.

Inside a giant bubble!

The Old Blinking Light in Taos is one of my favorite venues to visit because the people are great, the food is awesome, the view is stellar...too much good stuff all together. I bought an OBL hoodie even though it's not really hoodie weather yet. But we're going to Montana and I'm ready.


Susan had quite a few adoring fans at the show, and something that doesn't happen very often...a percentage of them were under the age of 5. These kids had a great time.

Little Rocker

This little guy even brought his guitar to jam with Susan. He did great and will probably be headlining before we know it. Just remember us when we need backstage passes, dude.

Today we go to Red River and then north to Colorado. The longer drives begin!

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stuff Susan Brought Back From the Store

Road Food
Because we are fancy and we require fancy things.

Green Chile
Because we are in Taos and we need to taste test both.

Vanity Fair
Because Suz is the best boss evaaaaarrrr!

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Hit It

Seems like we just got back from Montana...oh wait, we did just get back from Montana. It's so lovely up there we are headed back!

Rear View Wyoming


Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Can Make Anything Creepy

Music from incompetech.com!

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wall Drug, South Dakota

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Well That Was Awesome

Another New Shirt

I flew in last night after taking a plane from San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley. Today I drove to Luckenbach for Susan's gig, which is about as far away from Silicon Valley as you can get. While I was drooling over the fact that Google and Apple were headquartered mere miles away, it was nice to kick back in Texas under a giant oak tree and watch The Boss and her hawt band. Hawt in the heat.

My mini-vacation to see Mary Chapin Carpenter was excellent. I left my laptop at home (gasp!) and was instructed not to do any work for 2 days for gawdsakes. (I mostly succeeded but maybe I did a little booking, maybe I did). I flew in and was picked up by my buddy Heidi, a fellow Mary Chapin fan, who has always been my tour guide extraordinaire in the Bay Area.

Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin

The first show was at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, a gorgeous hilly, sprawling, EXPENSIVE little town. Grapes and technology will do that to a community, I can tell. The venue was stunning, and the music was stunninger (ha). Shawn Colvin was on the bill as well (weird, I didn't see her on my Southwest flight from Austin) and started the night off with a solo set. Then MCC came and rocked our faces off. It got kind of chilly, so much so that we could see the bands' breath onstage when they sang. I did not mind because I knew back in Austin it was 102 or something stupid like that.

San Francisco

The second night was at the Wells Fargo Center in Santa Rosa, a bit north of San Francisco. We drove through the city in some fog, making for a gorgeous if obstructed bridge view. Heidi had scored me awesome seats both nights, and photography was allowed thank goodness. Video was not, and I felt the oppressive stare of the ushers both nights so all I managed was about 5 different 3-second clips huddled in fear behind the chair. Which is fine, although I'm pretty sure appearing in one of my homemade videos would launch MCC to fame and fortune. Oh, wait. Nevermind.

MCC and her Rickenbacker

The music...ah, the music. You know, Mary Chapin was the first artist I latched onto as a young kid looking for musical greatness, and she has held steady in my book of the best ever since. I truly believe she is one of America's greatest songwriters, period. Fight me in the alley if you disgaree.

Mary Chapin Carpenter

So anyway, the last time I saw her was 5 years ago when I was in college, still unsure about the musician life but thinking it would be horrifically awesome to be a touring musician. So when I saw her 5 years ago everything was magic and mystical and electric.

This time it was not that, but not on a bad way. Judging by Mary Chapin's tweets, the tour life for those guys - which consists of riding on a Prevost bus - is not much different than what we get to do in a Sprinter van (or an Element, as the case currently may be).

It's not mystical in that I know the band has worked their butts off musically to be consumate pros at what they do. Nor is it magic to imagine how they got the venue or set everything up...that stuff's all pretty much how you do it on any level of touring. You drive, you play, you sleep, you drive. (Although I think on a big tour bus someone else drives all night and you wake up at the next city...awesome).

Mary Chapin Carpenter in Saratoga, CA

So what this means is that instead of being ridiculously shocked that this was all happening in front of me, this time I got to focus on the music. Helped considerably by the 3rd row seats (again, thank you, Heidi!), I was able to see nuances and facial expressions and chord fingerings and all that good stuff. Very very very cool.

Mary Chapin Carpenter and John Jennings

Mary Chapin is, for one, a phenomenal fingerstyle guitar player. You know how some people start chording a song and then talk over their playing to introduce it? That's kind of hard. It's like tapping your foot in time for 3 minutes while telling a story. I have done it to some success and also messed it up entirely. Both nights MCC finger-picked the gorgeous pattern to "I Have a Need For Solitude" (Youtube is here) while telling a fairly long introduction to the tune, without missing a beat. My eyes crossed because it looks simple BUT IT IS SO NOT SIMPLE! My new goal is to get that good at finger-picking something. Anything. Check in with me in 7 years.

John Jennings

Other stuff like watching one of my main guitar influences (I refuse to use the term "guitar hero" anymore, oops I just did), John Jennings, tear it up -- but then also seeing what scales he was using for some songs or what chord forms...that was awesome. There's a musical language being spoken by these great players that I am not fluent in, but starting to understand common phrases and techniques. That made me happy, too.

Ultimately, I enjoyed the stage presence and songwriting of someone who, while I've only met her briefly once, is one of the main people responsible for getting me going along my path. While there are much more active mentors in my life now like a Dan or a Susan or a Terri, when you're 15 and sitting in your room with an electric guitar wondering what you're playing it for, you need motivation, and I was fortunate enough to latch on to Mary Chapin at an early part of my musical growth. I had a good example set early.

And THAT, dear readers, is why I flew 2000 miles for a concert. Amen.

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

In Case You Needed The Reminder...

Gibson Guitar


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Heavy Lifting

Gaga on the table
This photo has nothing to do with this post.

Wheeew! When you're a workaholic, getting out of town for a mini-vacation is a test of conscience and will. I survived summer camp at Red Leaf, where all the campers kicked butt at their show and all of us staffers breathed a sigh of relief. Being in one locale for 3 weeks, 8 hours a day was weird. Some days I liked it. Some days I wondered why the scenery didn't change like it usually does out the window.

This weekend I saw Terri Hendrix play at the Cactus Cafe, always a fantastic show. I took about 8 photos and 1 turned out, which is on par for my ratio.

Terri Hendrix at the Cactus

Tomorrow I fly to California for aforementioned vacation and tomorrow night I will be watching Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter tear it up in Saratoga. Pretty excited.

But first? We drive to Houston and play tonight! I love me some Main Street Crossing in Tomball...

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