Honey Diaries by fjzhxb


									The Honey Diaries
Thursday, July 10, 2008 – Providence, Rhode Island – Chan’s Today was one wild ride!!! I don’t think we can take a whole tour of such excitement so we’re hoping, from here on out, to take it down a notch or two. Our day began by waking up at 3am to head to Dave’s house (Dave Kida, our drummer) which is about 20 minutes from the Los Angeles Airport, LAX. He let us park our car there to save some money. He had ordered a cab, and at precisely 5:15am an old 80’s Chevy van pulls up, painted the bright yellow color of the Yellow Cab Service. A stocky man jumps out, moving extremely fast, who looks like an ex-boxer complete with the lumpy nose from more than one lost fight. He’s a man of few words but definitely a man on a mission. After backing out of Dave’s dead-end street and coming extremely close to hitting the neighbor’s car, he guns the old van onto the main thoroughfare, and we begin the wildest nightmare cab ride of our lives. When moving forward the gas pedal is always pushed down as far as it will go and, after a light would force him to stop, I don’t think John Force from NHRA fame could have beat him off the line. He enters the freeway at traffic jam time by shooting completely across the freeway, from the slow lane to the carpool lane, without ever slowing down or making way for other cars. They had no choice but to make way for us. At this point we stop laughing and know we are going to wreck sooner or later. Our crazy Armenian cabby then starts jerking his head back and forth, like a fighter does in the corner of the ring, and then takes a few rapid slugs from his coffee mug, while at the same time he’s playing with his cab computer. He couldn’t seem to stay in one lane and got so close to the center cements freeway divider that Rod leaned over the front seat to ask him if he was ok. Rod told him we were getting worried since he couldn’t seem to stay in the lane. He said not to worry, he would get us there, and then proceeded to take the overpass curve at about 65mph, almost flipping the topheavy old van. I strapped on my seatbelt and we all three hung on for dear life. He entered the terminal area at about 65mph, which is 4 lanes completely packed with buses, cars, and cabs, all changing lanes at the same time. I guess he was thinking that his honking would certainly clear a path for us. As he skids up to the Continental Airlines curb he’s forced to stop short of his mark by a big bus that’s parked in the 2nd lane over but the side storage doors are open and there’s no way he can get by. He screeches to a halt, throws open his door and jumps out screaming at the bus driver, something about a personal insult and his inferior driving and parking skills. We couldn’t get out of that van soon enough. The 20 minute drive took about 8 minutes but we all agreed it was the longest 8 minutes of our lives. And for that we paid $50.00. Henry (Carvajal), our guitarist, and Dave went on a different plane than Rod and I. We all left at the same time but we connected in Cleveland, while Henry and Dave connected in Newark. I can hear the gasps of you veteran flyers at the mere mention of Newark. It’s just how we had to do it as there weren’t enough seats on either flight for all 4 of us. Both of our flights left Los Angeles on time but as Rod and I were sitting on the 2nd plane in Cleveland heading for Providence, Rhode Island, the captain came on the microphone saying there was a small problem with a part, and they were trying to replace it. The next announcement was that there was no replacement part at the entire airport

and the mechanic would try to repair the problem. The next announcement was that we all had to go back into the terminal and we would eventually go to another gate and take a different airplane. This put us behind about an hour and we were so happy and relieved to finally arrive in Providence at about 6:15pm. Jim, our road manager, had been waiting at the airport an hour for us. He had driven all of our equipment out leaving California about 4 days earlier. Keep in mind that our first show at Chan’s started at 8pm. Meanwhile, Dave and Henry have been delayed terribly at Newark and are now on the tarmac with 25 planes ahead of them preparing for takeoff. They won’t arrive until 8:30pm at the earliest. So we make the decision to have Jim drive us the 30 minutes to the hotel so Rod and I can get ready and go over to the club as soon as possible. It took Jim 2 hours to make two complete round trips to the airport and finally, at 9:30pm, the band was all together and getting ready to play. We were so grateful to the audience for their understanding. We were 1 ½ hours late to start and only 6 people had to leave prior to the show. The remaining Flyer fans were a loud and appreciative audience and the band gave 200%, playing for over 2 hours. None of the remaining people left early. It was so good to be back again at Chan’s 3 years after our last show there. We went happily to our hotel with bags full of Chinese food and a sense of relief that we had pulled off a good show in spite of the many obstacles put in front of us in just this one crazy day. Oh, and one last thing, a bed never felt so good!! Friday, July 11 – Fairfield, Connecticut – FTC Stage One We all felt much better when we woke up today. From here on out we will be in our 15 passenger van and in charge of our own destiny. We will be on time to the gigs. In fact, we’ll be early!! We have a comfortable setup in our fairly new Ford van. Jim does all the driving and we listen to music, read, or sleep. We’ll stop one time on the trip for a meal, and maybe a pit stop or two if someone needs it, and arrive at the hotel in Fairfield in about 3 hours. Rod and I go to our room and rest while Jim takes all the gear over to the venue. It’s an old theater with a large stage and close up seating in a horseshoe around the stage. It’s what we musicians call a very intimate setting. Sugar Blue was also on the show and he started at 7:30. He has his wife on bass, a very pretty girl from Germany. They put on a great high-energy show as always and from the huge backstage room where we sat we could hear the audience screaming and clapping. It was a lot of fun in the “green room” as we had friends back there, Dave had 3 of his relatives (he grew up in Springfield, MA), and we’re all drinking, laughing, and telling stories!! I love the green room time. All the boring work of getting ready for the gig is behind me and I can hang out with my band mates, who I love, and our friends. It’s like being at a party (with a bottle of Chardonnay just for me) and the best part of going onstage to play is still ahead of me, teasing me with lots more fun to come. I could savor that moment forever. I wish I could bottle it up to have whenever I wanted, but then it wouldn’t be so special, would it? We finally went on at about 9pm and played one long set for about 90 minutes. Sugar Blue and his band had to leave early as they were very tired. They had driven all the way from Chicago to play this date, the first on their tour, and it had taken a

long and grueling 14 hours. The music sounded so good in this old theater. Some venues are better than others and this one made the music sound sweet. And when the music sounds sweet you play differently. We play more subtle with lots of emotion and dynamics. The slow blues brought tears to my eyes. This is the perfect setting for a band like ours. Our old friend, Kent Miller, sat in on harmonica. He’s a great player who never went pro but could have as he’s very talented and knows his way around on the harp. The show ended early, about 11pm. It was a great night. We gathered up our second meal of the day, cold now sitting out in to-go boxes, and headed back to the hotel. It’s not a very fancy hotel but it will do. Tomorrow we leave the hotel at checkout, the ultimate time to leave as we can sleep in late. We’ll travel 3 hours to Worcester, MA. This tour is very nicely set up as the drives are short. Any drive over 6 hours is a tough one when you have to play that night. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s gig as I’m hoping to see our good friends Roger and Joey. I heard that they might be showing up. Saturday, July 12, 2008 – Worcester, Massachusetts – Gilroy’s You’ll never guess where I am right now. I’m sitting on the floor in the tiny bathroom of my hotel room with the laptop propped up on the toilet seat (with lid shut, of course). Hey, it’s the only place I can go at 4am where I won’t disturb Rod. And I can’t just go wandering around the hotel or go to the parking lot and sit in the van as you never know where you might come across a serial murderer just looking for an aging piano player to torture and kill. Understandably, it would be revenge for all of the piano lessons his mom made him take, thus being unmercilessly teased and beat up regularly by the popular jock crowd in school. Hey, that would drive anyone to take up serial murdering. I have a lot to tell you as I didn’t write yesterday. You see, it’s now Monday morning. So, let’s go back to Saturday. As I told you, we left the hotel at checkout. We should have eaten before we left as there was a really cool diner next door to the hotel. But we said the famous last words, “Let’s just get some miles behind us and stop down the road.” Well, in New England, eating establishments aren’t lined up neatly at the freeway exits like they are everywhere else in the States. There’s just a little white sign with 3 simple black drawings, in case you can’t read English, of a gas pump, a knife and fork, and a twin bed. These pictures could mean lots of things to different people, but New England city planners felt they would be adequate to describe what awaits you should you take that exit and drive a few miles either east or west. Being musicians on a tight schedule, we prefer to see the actual fast-food building before pulling off the freeway. Well, it never happened and 3 hours later we arrived at our hotel in Worcester, MA. We were excited because it was a Courtyard by Marriott and we love the unusual occurrence of the club, or festival, putting us up in a nice hotel. Jim and the guys were heading over to the club to set up so Rod and I headed out on foot in old downtown Worcester (pronounced Woooostah). It was a Saturday but we had to walk for miles to find someplace open that served food. We didn’t see one fast food restaurant in the

whole area. But we found an old (hey, everything is old in Worcester) Irish bar with a small menu, but by this point we were desperate. So feeling much better after a sandwich, we found our way back to the hotel for a couple of hours of rest in that nice big soft bed. Gilrein’s had new owners and was completely remodeled and looked great. I had a feeling it was going to be a good sounding room and that we were going to have a great night. There was a blues duo playing when we walked in and the seats were mostly filled. It’s a small club that probably holds about 125 people. Everyone was so nice and came up to welcome us to town. There were old fans and new ones and, at last, Joey (we look like sisters) and Roger arrived. Now I knew it was going to be a great night. By now all the seats were filled and even the bar side had people standing, ready to watch. We played two sets, the first being a long set of 90 minutes at least, and from the first song the crowd was with us. They were listening to every note and, together, we were all in “Blues Heaven”. It was, musically, a perfect night spent with old friends. The owner and his wife were really sweet and took great care of us. They invited us to come back any time. Later, at about 2am, sitting up in bed propped up against soft pillows, watching an old movie (we bring along a portable DVD player and movies from home), eating potato skins dunked in lots of sour cream and picking the kalamata olives out of the salad (god, I love olives!), I was in “Honey Heaven”. Ahhhh, sweet dreams. Sunday, July 13, Rockland, Maine – North Atlantic Blues Festival Until the alarm clock rang at 6:33am!! Yikes. Only 3 hours of sleep. But we have over 200 miles to travel and must get to the hotel by 11:30 since we play early today, at 3pm. That’s why I couldn’t write my diaries today. All I could do was fade in and out of sleep and starvation. I didn’t even have the energy to read a book which is one of my most favorite things to do, other than gardening, which is my number one most favorite thing to do. But all I could do was remain in a semi-coma until 3 hours later we stopped for a delicious meal of Egg McMuffins and orange juice. Nothing but the best when you’re a rock star!! We arrived right on schedule at the (ultra-sleazy) Tradewinds Hotel in Rockland. Jim has this uncanny knack for figuring out our arrival times to the minute. A great and necessary talent for a road manager. There was only one room ready as it was still early, and I got it since it takes me 1 ½ hours to get ready. You didn’t think this beauty comes naturally, did you? No, it does not. It’s very expensive and takes exactly 1 ½ hours to create. The hotel was packed and buzzing with musicians and fans alike. The festival site was right across the street on the water and we could already hear the music, even inside of our room. It always gets the butterflies of excitement going inside of me when I hear the bands playing loudly from the big festival stage, and see all the people milling around half-dressed in their summer outfits, with big smiles on their faces knowing they’re about to have the time of their life. If you’ve never been to a Blues festival, you have to go at least once. The energy in the air is palpable; you can see it and feel it all

around you. It’s a musical experience you’ll never ever forget. Precisely at 1:30, we made the short drive just across the street and parked right next to the stage. Best seat in the house. We like to go at least an hour early, sometimes more to a festival, so that we can hear the other bands play and catch up on the news with our musician friends. Festivals are the only places we get to see each other and compare funny road stories. No-one understands the life of a blues musician like another blues musician. We watched Janiva Magness play and they put on a powerful and entertaining show. She had on an ankle brace after falling out of the van a few days earlier. Hey, the show must go on!! And she still had on her high heels…and the ankle brace. What a trooper!! We’re really good friends with all of her band members. I’ve gotten to know them well through Dave since he played with her for several years right before joining our band. So it’s always fun to see them and hear what’s been going on. Sugar Blue and his band were backstage enjoying a day off. They had played the day before. Then, after us, Elvin Bishop was closing the show, so his band was hanging backstage too. I got to talk to him about his (and my) favorite hobby, gardening. He grows food and cans (why do they call it canning when you put the food into jars?) hundreds of jars of his crops every year. Now I’ll bet that’s something you never knew about Elvin Bishop. Pretty cool, huh? The festival had set up a boat, a short walk behind the stage and out on a pier to the water, where we could go and eat lobster and a bunch of other great food. So everyone was eating, drinking, and having a great time. Well, not everyone drinks these days. In the music world, you’d be surprised how many musicians don’t drink anymore. AA seems to be very popular in our world. Rod and I never ever wanted to join that club so we have all the fun we want when we play, and we practice “moderation” when we’re off. Well, we practice it most of the time when we’re off. Other times…oh, well….let’s just forget about those times. I just don’t think playing would be as much fun if I had to do it straight. Have you ever tried to be around a bunch of happily drinking people when you’re sober? It’s really irritating!! I prefer to be on the same elevated level (that would be blood alcohol level) as most of the people in the room. Of course, there must be some “clean” musicians who see me coming with a big glass of chardonnay in my hand along with my big goofy smile, and they go running for cover. I don’t blame them. See, we’re just not on the same plane. Precisely the point I was trying to make. There were at least 5,000 people out in front watching when we took the stage at 3pm. They were primed and ready for a wild ride and we were more than ready to give it to them. We’ve always had a “killer instinct” when we take the stage. I don’t know where it came from but we’ve always had it, even if there are only 5 people in the audience. So with all of those people out there you can just imagine how our juices were flowing. We played 90 minutes and received three standing ovations during the set. It doesn’t get any better than the audience in Rockland yesterday and the band played really tight. We were totally in synch with each other, feeling the music through our cells rather than hearing it and reacting to it. Yes, we were in the Blue Zone. It was a show we’ll

always remember. How can you ever forget 5,000 people screaming and clapping for a song that you’re playing? All of the emotions that we’re feeling as we’re playing are actually felt and duplicated and multiplied by all of those people. It creates a circuit that connects us like a gigantic car battery. It’s a feeling like no other. After the set was over, we went to the cd signing table and there was a huge line already formed. We posed with our fans for photographs and signed cd’s, posters, and festival books for about an hour. By the time we walked away, Elvin Bishop was already into his set a few songs. And later on, as we walked around the small town, we couldn’t walk 20 feet without someone stopping us to say how much they loved the show. The people in Maine have a reputation for being the nicest people in the whole country. Where else would someone stop their car at a green light and let you walk across the street (when you had the red light)? In Los Angeles, even people on the sidewalk get hit-and-run almost every day. I don’t even have to get into the red light, green light thing. So we were pleasantly surprised at their kindness and had to try it out a few times just to see if it was a fluke or not. We finished out the day at Dairy Queen. And I didn’t think the day could get any better!! Back to the hotel we were in the bed by 9pm. We were pretty exhausted since we had no sleep the night before. And that’s why I’m now sitting on the bathroom floor in front of the toilet typing away on my laptop. After 7 hours of sleep I’m wide awake. Wow!! I just noticed that it’s starting to get light. Maybe it’s safe enough to go looking for a Starbucks!! We have today off and will be driving 8 hours to New Jersey. We want to get most of the drive to DC out of the way today. Tomorrow is off too and we’ll finish up the trip with a 4 hour drive into Falls Church, Virginia just outside of Washington DC where we play on Wednesday night. Then an early night in the hotel room. We have 4 more nights to play so it will be nice to gather our strength. There’s only one problem with an early night. I’m hoping that I can sleep at least until it gets light. I don’t want to spend too much more time on the bathroom floor. OMG!!! It’s 7:30!!! My butt hurts….. Wednesday, July 16, Falls Church, Virginia – The State Theater We’ve spent the last two days traveling and I was strongly reminded of the horrors of the road that drove us to quit the long road tours, other than the escalating costs of gas and hotels. We drove 8 hours on Monday and another 5 hours on Tuesday. If you’re a person that loves doing anything other than sitting in a chair all day long, being in a van all those hours is boring, monotonous, repetitive, and extremely hard on the back and hips. Then we tried to save money by staying in cheaper hotels and Rod and I always got the room next to the partiers. So we can’t get a good nights sleep but what does it matter since my road affliction of “road insomnia” on my nights off kicked in with a vengeance. At home I always sleep so well and love to get a full 8 hours a night. But on the road, if we don’t work, I lay awake half the night. I brought along a cd player just for this reason but it was in the car. I’m just plain out of practice. That second night I felt so depressed and was really hating life. It took “therapist Rod” quite some time to

talk me through it. He assured me this wasn’t my life forever, just for 10 short days. I won’t have to live in cheap motels by night and a boring van seat by day. These are the things we are paid for. The 18 hours that we’re not playing. The other 4 hours are free as we do it only for love. Music, music, music. The State Theater was an old theater that holds 800 people on a good night. There’s a huge dance floor in front of the stage and the tables are behind it. But since the stage was very tall, everyone could see the band clearly. The sound was wonderful and we played quietly onstage, which is our favorite way to play. You can hear everything clearly and there’s a nice reverb that smoothes and blends the sounds together. Unfortunately, I had an attack of “blues Alzheimer’s”. Here’s what happened. The green room where the band hangs out before we play was 4 flights of stairs up behind the stage. Thank goodness I had worn fairly comfortable shoes. I went straight up there upon arriving looking forward to my first glass of chardonnay. Rod came up also and, since there was no Coors Lite, he said he would go back down the 4 flights and search for the refreshments. Well, I waited and I waited….no Rod and no drinks. By now we only had 30 minutes until we had to play so I decided to go on a search of my own. At the bottom of the stairs as I breathlessly asked Jim where the drinks were, in comes the guy from the club with a big iced container full of beer, wine, water and sodas. So….back up the 4 flights!! This left me only about 10 minutes to drink a couple of glasses of wine. Maybe it was the fact that I had only eaten one piece of pizza and a small salad all day long, or maybe it the fact that I drank 2 glasses of wine so quickly, or maybe it was the fact that I’d now climbed 12 flights of stairs in high heels, but I just couldn’t think straight when we started to play. It was really scary when the white keys looked black and the black keys changed to white. I messed up the intro to my favorite song, Little Walter’s “Sad Hours”, but Henry came to my rescue and played the line for me until I could switch around the black and white keys. This seriously freaked me out and I kept thinking about it which you should never do. Just like an Olympic athlete, when you make a mistake, move forward and don’t look back. It took me some time and some convincing to get back into the groove. By the second set I was feeling more than fine. We had a small audience for this huge room but it was a special type of audience. Musically, they were very very intelligent. We can always tell by the shouts and the applause. There are certain places during a song, after a solo, etc., that would deserve applause. Not just at the end, which is the usual place an audience would show a reaction. This audience knew exactly what was going on and we really enjoyed sharing the night and the music with such knowledgeable blues lovers. I don’t think they noticed my mistakes but I must admit them to you. I’m far from perfect. Tonight I promise to have some food in my stomach and not to “bong” my wine before the first set. Moderation will be my new motto. God, I hate that word. Thursday, July 17, New Castle, Delaware – JB McGinnis Pub & Grill

We seem to be driving around in circles. I know this since today we ate at the same restaurant at the same service center on the same toll road as yesterday. But I’m not complaining as it was Sabarro’s, and they make darn good pizza. But we need to change up today as variety is the spice of life!! The good news is we’ve been checking out of our rooms at noon so we’ve all been getting lots of sleep. Everyone is still in a great mood, EXCEPT for poor old Jim, our road manager. He isn’t really old, only 58, but his body is turning on him. He hurts everywhere. His hands, wrists, stomach, prostrate, and probably other places that he hasn’t divulged. He’s very strong and in shape, body-wise, but he’s a meat lover and I’ve watched him eat meals of nothing but meat for about 20 years now and that stuff will kill you if you don’t eat it in moderation (see, my new favorite word). Anyway, he’s so grumpy almost all the time, and it’s really hard to keep light and positive with that negativity staring you in the face all day and night. He agreed to drive this one last trip for us but keeps mumbling about “retirement, retirement, retirement”. Last night as he was carrying gear to the car, he practically knocked me over as well as several of the fans in the audience. Maybe it was our fault because we were standing and talking near the stage. But don’t you think an “excuse me, I need to go by here, please move over a bit” would have been better than swiping my leg with a 100 pound amplifier?!?! And I guess he figured the gig was over. Why worry about a few wounded fans? The weather is very hot, about 92 degrees, with 100% humidity. The news man said that if it reaches 100 degrees with 100% humidity, there will be a health warning. And it’s supposed to be getting hotter each day. You start sweating in just minutes if you stand outside. But we’re in a nice van with air conditioning so no worries there. Of course, Jim hates air conditioning and keeps opening his window every 2 minutes to let in some “refreshing warm air to keep me awake.” Now, I always thought that warm air made you sleepy and cold air kept you awake. Silly me! We had decided to leave the hotel last night at 6:30 as we had an early 7:30 show and there was an opening band we wanted to see. The weirdest thing happened. You know when you leave a hotel room, and you shut the door, and then give it a little shove making sure it’s locked? It’s always locked. But tonight, it opens right back up. We try everything to get it to catch and lock but…nothing. Now we’re in a fix. All of our stuff is unpacked and all over the room. The bathroom is the worst with all of our lotions and potions spread out on every flat surface. Luckily, Dave was in the room right next to us, so we decide to put our sweaty possessions into his room. All of us start grabbing whatever we see and putting it in a pile on Dave’s floor. I packed up the bathroom as fast as I could, and we not only got the whole room moved, but stopped at the front office and Rod got us the key to a new room. And after doing all of these extra things, we pulled into the club only 12 minutes after leaving our room. It was the ultimate hotel marathon. If there was a sport like that, we would be champions! The club was not a usual blues club, just rented for one night by the Diamond State Blues Society. There was an opening band, Mikey Junior, a young friend of ours who sings and plays harmonica. He had a good band with him, especially a young

guitarist, Matt, with lots of potential. They played really quiet and tasteful, and we all really enjoyed their show. We played two sets and finished off the last set by bringing up Mikey and Matt to play with us. It was lots of fun and lots of good music. The audience was a blues society audience, so they know good blues and how to have a good time. There were lots of old friends there so we spent our time off stage catching up on old times. Back at the hotel we still had to move all of our stuff into our new room. This didn’t take too long with Dave helping us. Then, once in bed, we ate our sandwiches that we brought home from the club and fell asleep watching an old Charlie Chan movie. I’m starting to dream about “home”. Only three more days. Tomorrow we head to Baltimore. We’re a little apprehensive as it’s a room that doesn’t usually have live music. The Baltimore Blues Society is moving in a stage and sound and putting on a one-time show. The really bad news is that there’s lots of stairs for the load in. Jim is not happy. Friday, July 18, Baltimore, Maryland - Huckas This was the hardest day of all. We were once again able to leave our hotel at noon, which is good news, and headed to our usual service center for our one meal of the day. Yes, we are still circling the same area so we decided to keep our routine going, however boring that it may be. But this time things were different. It was a Friday and tourists were already hitting the freeway hard. We followed the herd inside the main doors, pushing our way through the huge crowd of people. I went into the bathroom first and women were stacked up six deep to get to the sinks. Then we walked over to the food area and every restaurant had a long line of at least 50 people. It was crazy so, even though we didn’t know when we’d find a suitable place to grab a meal, decided to get the heck out of there. So we head to Baltimore with growling stomachs. Baltimore is a huge city and very difficult for a non-local to find his way around. Jim was dreading it but was prepared with directions from the hotel. It must have taken almost one half hour once entering the city to find the hotel. It was right in the middle of the city, in the busy financial district. The streets were packed with cars and it seemed like there were lights every 50 feet. At last we arrive and Rod goes inside to get the rooms. Well, guess what? No rooms ready until 4pm, and it’s 1:45 right now. We can’t get ahold of anyone at the club to see if it’s open and we can load in our gear, but we decide to head over anyway and try our luck. What else can we do? And maybe we will see a place to grab a bite to eat. We head outside the inner city area to an area called Canton, which is by the water. Early in the 20th century, Baltimore was a city of several divided ethnic neighborhoods. Canton was the Polish area and about 15 years ago the yuppies discovered it, and revitalized the shops and brownstones. It’s a really picturesque place to live now, and looks like so many European cities that we love so much. We felt relieved to be out of the crowded main part of the city and found the club easily. We

couldn’t get a response from anyone inside so walked over to a Subway to have our lunch. At this point we were so hungry that it tasted like a 4-star restaurant. By the time we returned, the back door was open. The club was decorated in a Middle Eastern theme, hence the name Huckas (pronounced Hookas). The independent promoter, Stephanie, had arranged for a stage to be brought in as well as lights and sound. The show would be supported by the Baltimore Blues Society. Jim brought all the equipment up two flights of metal stairs off the back alley. Ok, the hard part is over. Going down the stairs is always easier than going up! We sure were looking forward to getting into our rooms for a short rest. It’s hot and humid and we need some air conditioning. But, after fighting our way back into the city, the lady behind the counter at the hotel tells us that only one room is ready. Well, Rod has had just about enough. He calmly tells them that they need to find us 4 rooms NOW, or we will cancel and go elsewhere. And you know what? In about 20 minutes we were in our rooms. Or I should say, suites. Nice big rooms with wonderful beds. Now we’re sure the hard part is over. Upon entering the club, we get a big applause from the fans waiting to go upstairs to the club. There’s also a restaurant downstairs and a few of them were dining before the show. When you get applause just for walking in the door, you know it’s going to be a fun night. The sound onstage was great and we came out of the gate running. People were dancing from the first number to the last and we played two sets. I know the crowd loved the show since I talked to them on the break and afterwards and they told me so. But, what with the drinks in their hands, or the fact that they were dancing, or feeling shy, or some reasons I can’t even think of, they were definitely the quietest crowd we’ve had on this whole tour. It’s a little disconcerting for a band to not hear much feedback from the audience, and we tend to get insecure and think they’re not enjoying the music. But, what can you do except keep playing and hope that you’re wrong. Well, we were wrong. They “quietly” loved the show. I’m not criticizing our fans for their lack of loud enthusiasm, and we’re really happy that you wanted to spend an evening with us. I just want you all to know how we musicians translate the audience response. And a lot of the time, like this one, we are wrong. But we feed off of your energy like vampires and, when denied it, we feel a rejection of sorts. Pretty pitiful, huh? We really do need to get a grip but….please give us some screamers tomorrow night. We want to feel the love. Then Dave finished off the perfect day by falling off the edge of the stage and hitting his head on a speaker. He has a cut now and tomorrow will probably have a big goose egg to go with it. One more day to go. This touring is not for the feint of heart. It’s dangerous out here!! Saturday, July 19, Virginia Beach, Virginia – The Jewish Mother It’s 6:20am on Sunday and we are heading to the Richmond, Virginia airport. We got to sleep at about 3 am since we had a late show last night. It was a perfect ending to the tour. Here’s how yesterday went down.

We left the hotel at noon even though we had what we thought would be a 5 hour drive to Virginia Beach. The show didn’t start until 10pm so we figured that we should get a good sleep since we knew today we wouldn’t get very much sleep at all. The drive was going well until we started the very last leg, heading through Richmond then east out to the coast. The traffic became very congested and we slowed to a stop many times. There were a couple of bridges and long tunnels to go through and the traffic was just crawling. It was early Saturday evening and we couldn’t figure out why all the people were just now heading out to the shore. So, what was supposed to be a 5 hour journey turned into a 7 hour hot and humid odyssey. We were all pretty wore out by the time we arrived at the hotel and I had to start getting ready right away while Jim, Henry, and Dave drove the 2 blocks to the club to load in. The club, The Jewish Mother, was a small club with a restaurant on one side and the stage in a side room of its own. The bar was right in the middle on one end. There was a good sized stage and I bought the sound man a shot hoping to bring us luck in the sound department. He did an ok job until he started in on the reverb slider. We were starting to sound like a surf band until Rod asked him to lighten up on the reverb. He didn’t appreciate him saying it over the microphone but how else do you talk to the sound man in the middle of a show? I think it embarrassed him but he should have known better. They have a lot of blues bands play there. But other than that, we played really good and had a great time. The audience was a sit down one with no dancing and they listened and showed their appreciation enthusiastically. You know how much we like that and we pushed ourselves to the limit for them. After a couple of encores we said goodnight. With our midnight snacks in hand, we headed back to the hotel for a very short night’s sleep. We haven’t done a road tour in quite awhile, with two seasons passing without going out at all. We’ve just been doing weekend fly-ins to festivals. And I think this will be the last. We were considering doing another one in September, but have decided it’s just too hard in so many ways. And Jim is done with these trips so, without him, it would be very difficult to pull off. We will not drive across country and who could we trust with all of the things Jim does for us on one of these trips. A big thank you to Jim for taking care of us out here on the road for the last 15 years. We hope, sometime, to be playing at a festival near you so that the Mighty Flyer’s music (played live) will stay fresh in your hearts. But, if not, you will always have the many, many recordings we’ve made throughout the years to keep you company when you miss our special kind of blues. Thank you all for sharing the music with us. Without you, the joy of making music would be so much less. We love you all.


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