UPCOMING DATES WITH JOHN WESLEY HARDING

Previous dates deleted to make it easier for YOU
March
Mon 12 Northampton MA, Iron Horse
Tue 13 Boston MA, TT The Bear's
Wed 14 Off
Thu 15 Arlington VA, The Iota
Fri 16 baltimore - unconfirmed
Sat 17 dayton - very unconfirmed
CO-HEADLINES WITH BLUE RODEO
Tue 20 Pittsburgh PA, Rosebud
Wed 21 New York NY, Bowery Ballroom
Thu 22 Philadelphia PA, North Star Bar
Fri 23 Cleveland OH, Beachland Ballroom
Sat 24 Buffalo NY, The Tralf
CO-HEADLINE WITH YOUNG FRESH FELLOWS (do not miss if possible)
Sun 25 Albany NY, Valentine's
HEADLINING DATES
26-28 TBA
SUPPORT FOR THE SOFT BOYS
Thu 29 Detroit MI, St.Andrews Hall
Fri 30 Chicago IL, The Metro
Sat 31 Minneapolis MN, First Avenue
MORE DATES TO FOLLOW
including:
April 18th: The Borderline, London, ENGLAND
 

Friday, April 27, 2001

Friday, April 20th

Sitting on the plane from London to Los Angeles in relative comfort. I say relative since the flight over just a few short days ago was definitely one of the most uncomfortable flights I've been on. But complain I will not as I WAS en route to London, a place I'd surprisingly never been to. I've done a few European tours over the last few years but for some reason our trips to the U.K. never seem to come to fruition, this trip would end that streak however.

One interesting tidbit about Virgin Airlines, they have no first class, it's called Upper Class. So, as I write this I can assure you that I'm a ticket carrying member of the Lower Class. Wes' comment on the classification terminology: "oh, that's SO English". Yesterday it was tea with the Queen, today it's Lower Class Virgin. But back to business.

So we arrived in London in the afternoon on Tuesday. We met up with Mark and Chris at the airport and Mark's first words to us were, "hey, let's get the hell out here". After being in Heathrow for six hours waiting for the rest of us to arrive I can understand his urgency to leave.

A word or two here about beating jet-lag. There's only one way to do it, DON'T sleep when you arrive at your destination, it will take you days to get on a normal schedule. It may be a bit of a challenge to stay awake until a normal bedtime but it must be done.

We had a radio performance on BBC the evening of our arrival so we were forced to be up for awhile and it worked out nicely for us. After a bite to eat and a pint at a pub close by, Chris and I headed off with Wes and our friend David to go see the Arsenal football match on t.v. at another pub. An interesting affair I must say. The match was a must win, or at least draw, and Arsenal was playing the very good Spanish team from Valencia. Things were going well until the last fifteen minutes when Valencia scored, pretty much ending the season for Arsenal and all the folks watching at the pub. The disappointment was pretty thick in the air, but Wes managed to brave it out and our BBC performance went very well. And nothing like a little live music to wake one up. By the time we got back to the hotel it was almost midnight so our jet-lag game plan was well under way.

A normal night's sleep and I woke up Wednesday feeling surprisingly fresh and normal, well, as normal as I get.

The Americanization of England in the 70's was inspiration for the Clash's classic "I'm So Bored With The USA" (one of the first songs I learned on guitar) and one can see why. On our walk through Leicester Square we saw McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and KFC within one block of each other. And while I would never find myself patronizing one of these establishments I must admit to patronizing the Starbuck's coffee next to our hotel. Guilty as charged, but I do think we're talking about a slightly different level of quality, and that's all I'll say.

PART II

O.k., so I'm cheating again as I sit here in Los Angeles after being home for a couple of days. I got off to a good start on the plane and then distractions began to appear, food, then movies, then the next thing I know it's time to turn off the electronic devices to begin our descent into L.A. Things are still pretty fresh in my mind though so a re-cap is on order.

So Wednesday was when the fun began. It just so happened that my brother and his lovely wife arrived in London on Wed. morning. After my good night's sleep I awakened feeling pretty damn good considering the previous day and night's schedule. It was off to meet Tim and Karen for some wandering, lunch, and more wandering around London. After a couple of hours it was already time for sound check so we parted ways.

We played a show for press at the Borderline before our full show and the word I would use to describe that little venture would be odd. We played to about 50 press people who all stood off to the right side of the club leaving the floor directly if front of the stage pretty much clear. I could see the folks since I was on the right side of the stage but I don't know how they could see anything besides Robert and myself, not exactly representative of the whole band experience but I guess they didn't want to appear to much to be an actual part of the show, God forbid. They seemed to enjoy the show however and we played well so what more can one ask for.

We knew right away that the full show would be a different story as the house was crowded and people were standing in front of the stage, what a novel concept. Tim and Karen claimed that of the three shows they have seen in the past few months this one was definitely the best, so I'll accept that.

I wasn't the only one with family at the show which meant that I finally got to meet Wes' lovely sister and mother, both very sweet and charming. And our old friends Tessa and Jeroen were at the show as well as my old buddy and tour manager Barry, who I've spent much time on the road with in the past with Steve Wynn. It was wonderful seeing them all and it gave the end of the night a nice party like atmosphere. Things in London end pretty early so we were back at our hotel by 12:30 so we all had a little nightcap to unwind before retiring in preparation for our next day of sightseeing.

Thursday was a day of walking, eating, walking, sightseeing, shopping, and eating. We saw the relatively underwhelming Buckingham Palace, beautiful gardens, churches, the Tate Modern, the Globe Theatre, the Tower Bridge, and the Tower of London. Then the hail storm hit. It seemed as if it was never going to stop so we decided to forgo the Tower of London 'til the next morning and head back towards what we called home for these few days. When we got off the tube at Covent Garden station and walked outside we were pleasantly surprized by the beautiful, sunny skies. I don't know where the clouds went by they departed in a hurry to go menace elsewhere I guess. I had quite a pleasant walk through Covent Garden looking in the shop windows, people watching, winding through the narrowish streets but the days walking was taking it's toll on my feet so it was back to the hotel to get freshened up for what would turn out to be a fantastic dinner.

We'd been eyeing the Bombay Brasserie since the day we arrived since it was right next to our hotel and when Tim saw the place he became very interested so we decided this would be the place to try. Word quickly made it's way around our camp and the next thing we knew there were eight of us sitting around a big, round table ordering what most of us would agree upon later as the best Indian Cuisine we'd ever had the fortune of eating. The conversation was stimulating, the food incredible, a woman sat at the piano and sang jazzy versions of various classics such as Cindy Lauper's Time After Time, making it all in all a wonderful time.

I commented to Kevin that the next morning, the day of our departure, my plan was to get up early and head to the Tower. Kevin got a quizzical look on his face and asked "why don't you just wait 'til you get to L.A?" It took me a second to realize he thought that I was talking about The Tower of London and not the record store. I guess there's the Americanization thing rearing it's ugly head again. Wes would make the same mistake later.

So Friday morning it was up early and on the tube to the Tower Hill Underground stop to meet Tim and Karen at the Tower (of London that is). Wes claimed that this is the sort of thing that English people don't bother with but I found it quite fascinating and I did here more than a couple English accents on the grounds. If you're interested at all in history this is a place to stop and check out. One can't help but get a slightly queasy feeling however when seeing sites like where Anne Bolyn was be-headed, the imagination can't help but take you back to those days for a moment. In this place there were many pretty horrendous things that took place, and all in the name of God. Go figure that one out. Strange times I would say and I'd like to think we've progressed a bit since then but who's to say really, I'm no judge.

Well, I said my goodbyes to Tim and Karen and left them to finish the Tower while I headed back to gather my belongings and head off to the airport with Kevin for our long journey home, which proved much more enjoyable than our journey there, especially after a final Guiness in the airport bar.

And this, my friends, is what I did on my spring vacation.

Cheers, and that's all for now!
posted by Tim Swan 7:32 AM

Tuesday, April 10, 2001

It seems a bit like cheating now as I write this final entry for this tour sitting here at my home but the final drive to L.A. wasn't completely without excitement so I feel it warrants a mention.

Sunday, April 8th

O.k., so Seattle is quickly becoming a favorite city now too. We've been there three times since last Dec. and it's been fabulous each time.

We got to Seattle from our beautiful driv e from Bozeman just in time to get a quick bite and head over to The Soft Boys, Minus 5 show over at the Crocodile. It's always a homecoming for Wes since he lives in Seattle but our friends there make us feel like it's a homecoming also. The show was fantastic, not that that was a surprize to us as we knew it would be, and the hanging out afterwards was fun indeed. Old friends and a couple new friends made the night a highlight of the tour also.

The next day was a relaxing day in Seattle walking around town, looking in shops, a nice lunch with the boys at the Palace Cafe, which I highly recommend, some late afternoon T.V. (A classic Rockford Files), and coffee in the market with a good friend. Couldn't be better.

Our show at the Tractor got off to somewhat of a slow start but got cookin' once we hit our stride and turned out to be a great end of tour show. Since we're off to London next week we weren't really considering it a last show however.

After the show it was next door to Hattie's Hat for a post tour drink with friends, good conversation and warm feelings all around.

We managed to get out of Seattle without event and our goal was lunch in Portland. My favorite Thai restaurant Thaiphoon was closed by the time we hit Portland so we went to a fantastic Mexican place of which the name escapes me now. Kevin's mom met us for lunch, giving us some insight into Kevin's sense of humor.

Our goal for this day was driving to San Francisco which was beginning to become a difficult goal to conquer. An acid spill on the 5 gave us a slight detour and a loss of 1/2 hour but we were determined to forge ahead until...

O.k., so we've done two tours now driving through questionable weather situations but we haven't gotten stuck or slowed down enough to have to stop or miss a gig, we've come close but we've yet to miss any important event.

We started our climb up Grants Pass in Oregon only to be caught in the middle of heavy snow. CHAINS REQUIRED!!! It wasn't long before we pulled off the road looking for lodging. No room at the Inn meant time for me to take the wheel and slip and slide back down the hill to Ashland, where we would rest for our 14 hour drive the next day.

The snow did provide us with a pretty spectacular drive the next day and fortunately this day would be rather uneventful, yet long.

So now we rest, work, play, for one week before heading to London for our shows next week. I will treat the London trip as part of this tour so there should be an entry or two in this diary to follow.

Peace!
posted by Kirk Swan 9:06 AM

Monday, April 09, 2001

O.k., so I've been a bit negligent with the diary entries as of late, and now it so happens that we're on our last drive home and there's so much that's happened in the last few days that I probably won't get it all in. So, highlights it will be.

Minneapolis. The show at 1st Ave. was fantastic and The Soft Boys played the best show of the three that we played with them. I talked to Morris (Soft Boys drummer) at the Crocodile in Seattle on Wed. and he concurred, also adding that it was one of his favorite shows of their tour. I would also have to give my vote to the staff at the club as being about the most professional and friendliest of all the clubs we've played. Not to mention that I got to see and hang out with the fabulous drummer, friend extrordinaire, Linda Pitmon.

The next day it was off to Omaha, Ne., which turned out to be the best in store performance that any of us have ever done. Don't even know exactly why but we all had a great time and our evening was made by our stay at Harvey's Casino in Council Bluffs, Ia. directly across the river from Omaha. I didn't even venture into the casino as gambling is something I have no interest in but just being in a comfortable new hotel with interesting characters to people watch was enough on this night. The line dancing in the bar was quite an interesting sight, especially when it dwindled down to a single line dancing fool. I guess when one person is involved it should be considered more of dot dancing than line dancing.

Next it was off to Bozeman, Mt. for our show two days later. Day one of our drive we took a little detour to the fabulous, and I use that word very loosely, Corn Palace. You'll probably have to refer to Wes' or Robert's site at to the exact location of this one, though it is on the map as some kind of National Site to see.

Bozeman was the next show and it turned out to be quite an interesting one at that. The Cat's Paw turned out to be pretty much a big roadside honky tonk kind of a place with slot machines, a poker table, and a liquor store all on the premises. What more could you want?

This night was the one night that Chris and I were opening the show and Wes informed me before hand that I didn't have to play if I didn't want to. Solo acoustic in a honky tonk, gotta do it just for the experience, plus I got to play a couple new songs, a challenge, which is what life's all about.

I would have to say though that the highlight of this evening was the karaoke after the show. Chris and Wes singing All The Young Dudes for the final karoake performance was pretty special, too bad the kids at this place didn't know about the show as they most certainly would have showed up after witnessed Chris and Wes' performance.

Then it was back to the B. and B. that Dave is just getting up and running. A beautiful place at the foot of the mountains with fresh snowfall on the ground it was a very beautiful, peaceful sight and we all rested well on this night.
posted by Kirk Swan 11:03 AM

Thursday, April 05, 2001

No more time changes, yeah!


We're on our incredibly beautiful drive from Boseman to Seattle with
only about one and one half hours to go and the mood in the van is resolved,
peaceful, and I could easily say, happy. We have the night off so we're
going to see our good friends The Minus Five and The Soft Boys play at the
Crocodile Cafe. What could be better on a night off?

It's aproaching dusk and I've never seen Washington State so
breathtaking. After today's drive it would be difficult to convince me that there
wasn't a Higher Power somewhere at some point that had something to do with all
this.

I think the last I left off in this diary however, was back in Chicago
and though it's only been a mere few days since then much has happened. As
has oft happened on this tour I've been in the middle of writing these
entries and something unexpectedly has come up and disturbed the process. So,
in the next few days there may be a bit of reminiscing in the entries that
follow. The positive side of this is that all the best bits will be recounted,
I promise you that.

Ears are popping now as we travel these mountains, and the turns are
frequent so I will sign off. Stay tuned!


posted by Tim Swan 5:34 AM

Monday, April 2nd

Wow, it seems ages ago since our show in Chicago yet the show was
Friday and it's only Monday now. I guess the time changes, miles, lack of sleep,
and relative busy-ness have all skewed our perception of time.

I can remember back to Friday though since our show was fantastic and
it's been forever etched into my brain. Our last show at the Metro was also
a memorable one for me, though in a nightmarish way, as it was one of the
most horrible experiences for me on-stage that I've yet to have. Equipment
malfunctions plagued me from the third song in to the end of the show,
ughh.

But this fair night was my vengeance, and though not a proponent of
vengeful acts normally, this instance was an exception, and one I thoroughly
enjoyed.

There were 900 pre-sold tickets and this was the second of our three
shows with The Soft Boys. Needless to say by the time we went onstage the
Metro was pretty packed. The adrenalin was running high and as a result I believe
we played one the best shows of the tour.

It was tough to even get into the main room after our set because it
was so packed but we did manage to see most of the set from just outside the
doors and The Soft Boys were fantastic this night.

Chicago has quickly become one of my favorite cities to play in and
this show seconded that feeling. After the show we ended up hanging out
downstairs in the dressing room lounge area with friends, old and new, making this
one of the funnest after show hangs of the tour.

A friend of mine's sister came to the show unavoidably missing our set
which I knew about ahead of time so I had to describe myself so she could
find me as the one with the sparkly shoes. I had a gut feeling when I saw her
that she was indeed the Fay I was looking to meet but when her gaze turned to my
feet I was positive. She quickly fit into our strange little gathering
and we all had a fantastic time. I think Wes described the scene the most
appropriately by saying "there were so many great people backstage, the
room was just filled with love".


posted by Tim Swan 5:31 AM

Sunday, April 01, 2001

Fri. March 30th

Woke up this morning in Ann Arbor, Michigan to the sounds of birds chirping away in their spring voices, a welcome sound indeed, especially after our bout of bad weather in the last week.

As we drive through Gary, Indiana it's almost impossible to imagine beauty. I feel for the birds that float on the water here. The best thing about driving through has to be the fact that it means we're getting closer to Chicago, which we are all looking forward to.

I think in my last entry we were en route to Dekalb for our first ever show there. Dekalb is about 60 miles from Chicago and according to Mark it's the last town outside of Chicago to be considered a suburb, though I find this hard to believe. I consider a suburb to have something surrounding it other than fields and we saw nothing but farms and fields on our way from Chicago to Dekalb. But enough of my tedious theory on suburbs.

I did manage to pick up a copy of Mishima's Sound of Waves for nothing so that will be next on my reading list, that and Spring Snow have come highly recommended so I'm looking forward to tackling them at some point in the near future. It's not always easy reading while hurtling down the highway on extremely bumpy roads and that seems to be what we've encountered lately. I don't know where the money collected at toll booths is going but it sure isn't going towards any road repair.

So, back to Dekalb. We played Otto's after a very fine meal at The House and the show was good except for the drunk guy standing directly in front of Wes for half the set, talking to him between songs. At last when he laid down on the floor to seemingly take a nap he was quickly escorted out of the club, and thankfully I might add.

This was the night that Wes provided a bit of slapslick on-stage, quite by accident I should say. The chain of events follows. Wes being a big soccer fan means he's had years of practice with foot acrobatics. When it comes time to pick up the tambourine he generally scoops it up with his foot in a very smooth, nonchalant manner. Not so this night. The foot went to pick up the tambourine but the tambourine was sent off course, Wes went after it knocking over the mike stand, which just managed to miss Chris. At this point Wes decided to fall on the ground to mock his clumsiness and in the process knocked his beer over spilling it over a good space of the stage. Chris went down at this point in his moment of sympathy for Wes. It was quite a site to witness from on-stage and I think no-one got a kick out of it more than Wes himself, and he was quick to recap the event to the audience after the song, lest anyone missed any part of it.

After Dekalb it was off to Ann Arbor, Mi. fora recording session for radio broadcast. Very nice, relaxing studio outside of town and after the session it was into town for a taste of Thai food, something I've been longing for since I left L.A.

We had the morning and afternoon in Ann Arbor and if you've never been to Ann Arbor I can tell you it's a lovely little place. For it's size it has a disproportionate number of book stores and record stores, making it an ideal stop for all of us. Here I picked up The Collected Poems of Philip Larkin and If You Want To Write, by Brenda Ueland, a brilliant book about the creative spirit more than about writing actually. I've read it before but as I gave it away I decided I needed this one on my bookshelf. Carl Sandberg, as the book reminds us, calls this "the best book ever written about how to write".

Next was our first show with The Soft Boys in Detroit. We quickly realized how easy and fun these three shows with The Soft Boys were going to be. I listened to The Soft Boys records back when they originally came out so it was great to be on the bill with them after lo these many years. Dumptruck did open for Robyn Hitchcock a couple of times years ago and I opened solo for Robyn Hitchcock in L.A. years ago but The Soft Boys is quite a different experience.

After the show Wes and I got a ride back to Ann Arbor with our friends and the listening fare was, get ready, Lynard Skynard. Freebird! Probably the most requested song at all rock shows these days I haven't actually heard the song in years. It was an experience I quite enjoyed actually!
posted by Tim Swan 5:22 AM

Wednesday, March 28, 2001

Tues. 26th March

En route from Elyria, Oh. to DeKalb, IL. We've had some pretty tedious drives in the rain recently but none quite matched our drive in the snow last night. Somewhere before Cleveland the snow started to come down so we decided to take a dinner stop in hopes that the snow would subside a bit. Good thought, unfortunately the snow did not subside so we found ourselves in a pretty hairy situation. Since I've the most experience driving in the snow I seem to be the one for the job in these situations, and since we're hauling a trailer it makes things slightly more interesting. The worst thing about driving in these situations is certainly the other drivers on the road. A little tip, drive slowly and don't apply your brakes. Apparantly most people never received this memo so we saw many cars off the side of the road and we came the closest we've come to an accident thus far.

We were on the exit ramp, two lane, in the left lane, as we were passed on the right by some fool in an Explorer and right after I commented on what a fool the driver was (you can use your imagination as to what my actual words were) he managed to lose control and spin out right in front of us and ended up facing us. Fortunately there was just enough time to pump the brakes and manuever around him and we were all relieved but adrenalin pumped at the same time. After my short tirade we got down the road a little bit and were passed on the right again by the fool in question. I guess not everyone has the ability to learn. After another hour or so of this we came upon 5 or 6 cars spun off the road in a row, this is when we decided to stop for the night.

And now we drive through Chicago on our way to DeKalb and it's sunny and clear and we are relaxed and happy to be almost to our destination.

Just a few more shows but we're really looking forward to our shows with The Soft Boys. More on these as they happen.

Tues. 26th March (later in the day)

The simplest things can make one's day much brighter out on the road and our last stop is proof positive. Good coffee has become very important to us all, especially when we're stuck with hotel coffee in the morning, so when we see a Starbucks in a travel plaza our spirits are immediately lifted. Wes' comment after our last stop, "I'M SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW!", and we all echoed our agreement.

Well, it seems like the last place I left off was on the way to our gig in Cleveland, which turned out to be a bit of a surprize for us actually. We were not expecting much in the way of turnout so we were pleasantly surprized by the packed house and enthusiastic crowd. This was the first night that Wes decided to accidentally throw his percussion avacado at me which of course created an outburst of laughter from Kevin and I, not to mention the folks at the front of the stage that witnessed the event. This, I fear will become a common occurrance now.

After the show I met some nice folks that saw our Tempe, Az. show three years ago, which I remembered rather well actually. That was the tour on which I played guitar for Wes and Steve Wynn and we played a small club in Tempe at which there was a pretty light audience but I remember it being a pretty fun, rocking show. Nice seeing those folks in Cleveland.

Next it was off to Buffalo for our final show with Blue Rodeo. We played the Tralf which is a fairly large place and apparently it was sold out, lots of Canadians attended this show. Blue Rodeo was definitely back in home territory and we were in a cold territory, the first bitter cold we've felt so far. Nothing like a long walk in the bitter cold to get the blood running and cob-webs out of the old bean.

We found good coffee in the morning and began our trek to Albany for our show with our buddies The Young Fresh Fellows. We got to town early and checked in to our hotel and noticed Sarah Brightman's six, count them six, tour buses in the parking lot. I don't really know anything about this woman aside from the fact that there were six, BRAND NEW tour buses staring at us. Two semis accompanied them by the way. What's the deal.

Back to the show though, OH MY GOD. If you've never seen The Young Fresh Fellows before I can say that you MUST make a point of it. Besides being fantastic guys off stage their show is AWESOME and like nothing you've ever seen before. No band has gotten me to jump up and down since I can't remember when but it's just a reflex when attending a Fellows show.

After the show it was a trip next door for a late night snack, which I wouldn't even bother to mention if it weren't for the fact that they were playing early Blondie at loud volume, which brought me right back to my high school days. I WAS sitting in my room in Ct., alone, listening to Blondie at that moment.
posted by Tim Swan 4:49 AM

Saturday, March 24, 2001

We're back on the fabulous Pa. roads but fortunately it's not pouring rain this time around so we're able to see the rolling hills of Amish country. I guess the sight of the day today would be the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant puffing away down river from us as we crossed the Susquehanna River. Good to know THAT'S back in working order.

I guess the last gig reviewed here was the Arlington gig at the Iota so I guess I need to get myself caught up to the present.

Tuesday night was the Pittsburgh show, all in all a good show though the conditions on stage were a bit less than stellar. We arrived to find that we would have no soundcheck and there were three bands on the bill that night so getting on and off stage was a bit of rush job which never quite makes for a relaxing start to a show but we did manage to get onstage on time and got the show going quickly. If you've ever seen Spinal Tap you can picture yours truly constricted in movement by a plastic pod though there was no actual pod surrounding me. In other words I was packed onto the stage like a sardine in a tin. I actually don't think much more elaboration needs to be done in regards to this show. We packed up and got out of the club pretty quickly so we could be fresh for our New York show at the Bowery Ballroom.

So, after our pretty intense drive from Pittsburgh to New York in the driving rain we finally arrived at the Bowery Ballroom, but only after a slight detour over the Manhattan Bridge and back. Soundcheck and stage size were a definite treat at that point and after soundcheck we decided to walk over to Little Italy for dinner, a good idea and bad one at the same time. Good in regards to the food, bad due to the fact that we got completely drenched in the incredible downpour we were caught in. I actually had to blow dry my pants before the show I was so soaked through. Mostly dry we took the stage ready to make this Bowery Ballroom show outshine the last one which didn't seem too difficult due to the technical problems we had last time. Everyting was working properly this time so we were already better off than the last time we played there.

The show itself was pretty great actually and there were some very friendly, familiar faces in the audience making things even more special. I knew my friends Dwight and Pixie were in the audience when someone yelled out "nice creepers", that could have only been Dwight.

After the show we all headed to the lounge downstairs and the mood turned to that of a party. Old friends, new friends, stimulating conversation, laughs, I think a great time was had by all, though it's always difficult to say goodbye in those situations. One of the up sides of touring and going new places is meeting new friends, the down side is that one has to say goodbye to those friends, old and new. But we said our goodbyes and went to our hotel and that's where the fun ended.

Upon arrival at the hotel we discovered that two of our three hotel rooms had been sold. This gave Mark the opportunity to release any and all tension that had built up from the craziness of the previous couple of days, and I must say, he did a pretty good job of it. When he was informed that we were in three separate hotels the fur started to fly. As eavesdroppers the conversation was thoroughly entertaining and Mark even had the opportunity to use an old line from Seinfeld, "you know how to TAKE a reservation, you just don't know how to HOLD a reservation". At this point, and it was 2:30 AM, a couple walked in and Wes walked behind them saying to Mark from across the foyer, "Mark, checking in, checking in Mark". In the end we did end up staying in three different hotels, the only consolation being that we were able to park our van directly in front of hotel #1, which was actually a pretty big consolation as parking a van in Manhattan with a trailer attached is usually nothing short of a major hassle.

By the way, we just payed our toll for the worst road of the tour, nineteen dollars. Nineteen bucks to drive on a shit road, NICE!
posted by Kirk Swan 5:09 AM

Thursday, March 22, 2001

A perfect record for a cold, grey, rainy day in late winter is Nick Cave's Boatman's Call and that is exactly what I listen to now as we drive from Pittsburg to New York. A little quiet solitude as we bounce down the freeway goes a long way.

It seems ages ago that I was sitting on the train from Philly to New York but I guess it has been 5 days and out here that can translate into ages.

I guess I should back-track to our gig at the Iota in Arlington on Thursday night, especially since it was a pretty fantastic show. I'd never been to the Iota but had heard good things about it and it certainly lived up to it's reputation. I've mentioned how therapeutic a fine meal can be before a show and the Iota delivered in fine form. Grilled salmon with rice pilaf is worth a mention when it's prepared that well and served with a smile.

Oh my God this road has turned to shit -- way to go Pa. Ever been in a small boat on the open sea? That's where we are now, but I digress. If things start to get convoluted though you can blame it on Pa. roads and the fact that my brain is getting tossed around in my head like a shaken, not stirred, Martini.

O.k., the Iota, nice small club with alot of enthusiastic fans and since we were headlining it was very relaxed, which I've grown to cherish, but those days are over for a little bit now. More on that later.

So I take the train to New York, get on the subway to go to the East Village where I'm staying for the weekend, walk 10 feet out of the subway stop and hear behind me, "hey Kirk". It was my old friend Steve Ulrich whom I haven't seen in 10 years. We used to hang out in the New Haven music scene back in the 80's when I was in Stray Divides and the Suburbanites and he had his band Skunkadelic. Steve is an incredible guitar player and when I get more info on what he's up to I'll post it here.

Then it was off to see Steve Wynn play at the Village Underground. As usual he put on a fine guitar driven rocking set featuring his new guitar player Jason who did an excellent job. Late night falafels followed and I don't know how, but Linda (Pitman), fabulous drummer and my fashion consultant on many occasions, managed to snag a table -- no easy feat as we were carrying guitars and amps from their gig. If you want something like that done though, Linda's the person to do it, she could charm the skin off a snake.

The quote of the weekend is a close tie between Linda and Red (Adam Lasus) whom I had breakfast with on consecutive days at Christine's polish diner on 1st Ave. between 12th and 13th. Linda, when discussing a record she recently listened to stated, "I fell asleep three times listening to that record, by the time I got through it I felt like I had an entire night's sleep". Red, when talking about his early days touring around in vans and cramming too many people in Motel 6 room came to this realization: "at one point I realized that maybe 5 dollars a day wasn't so excellent". Like I said it's too close to call so I'll call it a draw.

The rest of the weekend involved a little shopping, dining, tons of walking, and a fine show by the fabulous Janet Wygel at Tonic.

Monday it was back on the train to Philly to hook up with the guys before our drive to Pittsburg yesterday. And since I had only one real meal in Philadelphia it of course had to be a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich!
posted by Kirk Swan 4:51 AM

Saturday, March 17, 2001

Fri. March 15th,

I now sit on the New Jersey Transit Commuter Train heading towards New York where I will spend the next couple of days visiting friends, ah finally some time off without driving.

But I must backtrack if my mind will allow me to a few short days ago. I believe my last entry ended as I was on the road to D.C. (Arlington to be exact) and I had only gotten up to arriving in Boston.

After our afternoon spent in Harvard Square we headed over to T.T. the Bears Place in Cambridge. This is a place that I played at many times back in my Dumptruck days, actually played my LAST Dumptruck gig there. Like Maxwell's it hasn't changed much in the last 15 years, though they have finally removed the sound booth that stuck out into the middle of the club and they've recessed it to make the club slightly less claustraphobic. That would be the only change that I noticed however, they certainly haven't upgraded the monitor system. I still remember Seth back in the day asking for more monitor and I know we all felt the same this time but we take the hand we're dealt in these cases and we tend to overcome these little inadequacies and have fun in the process.

These Boston gigs are always fun for me as I get to see old friends and family and this proved to be the case at T.T.'s. My old roommates and friends Paul and Ann showed up to soundcheck with their 7 year old daughter whom I hadn't seen since she was a toddler. A budding musician, songwriter at 7 years old I told her to keep me in mind in the future as she may need a guitar player.

After soundcheck it was over to the Green Street Grill for a fine meal. If ever in Cambridge this would be the place to go for dinner. It's amazing what a fine meal will do to boost a travelling band's spirits. My brother Tim, who is responsible for this fine looking web-site, and his lovely wife Karen met up with Paul and I at Green Street for a drink and some catching up. Karen and I reminisced about the fact that we met for the first time at the Green Street Grill. After fattening up on seafood gumbo it was back to T.T.'s for our show. Back in November when we played with Fastball we were limited in time to 45 minutes so we felt obligated on this occasion to give a full show and that we did. Fun was had by all.

I was reminded by my old writer/editor friend Nick about a recurring spelling error in my tour diary so I will take his advice and DEFINITELY spell that word correctly from now until the day I die. I was recalling to Nick about one of my first memories of seeing an electric guitar up close and personal. It was he who came over to our house with his white Telecaster and was playing Sympathy For The Devil, I was all of 10 or 11 and boy did I think that was COOL! I think that was the start of some infatuation with the guitar that has led me up to this point. I hadn't realized before then that normal people like us, and I use the term normal liberally, could actually play electric guitars. Later on the punk movement would drive this point home even further and really spur me to pick one up and attempt to play it. So when you hear ear-splitting feedback the blame isn't entirely on my shoulders, blame Nick a little too.

Thanks Nick, and I don't mean that facetiously!
posted by Kirk Swan 2:43 PM

Fri. March 15th,

I now sit on the New Jersey Transit Commuter Train heading towards New York where I will spend the next couple of days visiting friends, ah finally some time off without driving.

But I must backtrack if my mind will allow me to a few short days ago. I believe my last entry ended as I was on the road to D.C. (Arlington to be exact) and I had only gotten up to arriving in Boston.

After our afternoon spent in Harvard Square we headed over to T.T. the Bears Place in Cambridge. This is a place that I played at many times back in my Dumptruck days, actually played my LAST Dumptruck gig there. Like Maxwell's it hasn't changed much in the last 15 years, though they have finally removed the sound booth that stuck out into the middle of the club and they've recessed it to make the club slightly less claustraphobic. That would be the only change that I noticed however, they certainly haven't upgraded the monitor system. I still remember Seth back in the day asking for more monitor and I know we all felt the same this time but we take the hand we're dealt in these cases and we tend to overcome these little inadequacies and have fun in the process.

These Boston gigs are always fun for me as I get to see old friends and family and this proved to be the case at T.T.'s. My old roommates and friends Paul and Ann showed up to soundcheck with their 7 year old daughter whom I hadn't seen since she was a toddler. A budding musician, songwriter at 7 years old I told her to keep me in mind in the future as she may need a guitar player.

After soundcheck it was over to the Green Street Grill for a fine meal. If ever in Cambridge this would be the place to go for dinner. It's amazing what a fine meal will do to boost a travelling band's spirits. My brother Tim, who is responsible for this fine looking web-site, and his lovely wife Karen met up with Paul and I at Green Street for a drink and some catching up. Karen and I reminisced about the fact that we met for the first time at the Green Street Grill. After fattening up on seafood gumbo it was back to T.T.'s for our show. Back in November when we played with Fastball we were limited in time to 45 minutes so we felt obligated on this occasion to give a full show and that we did. Fun was had by all.

I was reminded by my old writer/editor friend Nick about a recurring spelling error in my tour diary so I will take his advice and DEFINITELY spell that word correctly from now until the day I die. I was recalling to Nick about one of my first memories of seeing an electric guitar up close and personal. It was he who came over to our house with his white Telecaster and was playing Sympathy For The Devil, I was all of 10 or 11 and boy did I think that was COOL! I think that was the start of some infatuation with the guitar that has led me up to this point. I hadn't realized before then that normal people like us, and I use the term normal liberally, could actually play electric guitars. Later on the punk movement would drive this point home even further and really spur me to pick one up and attempt to play it. So when you hear ear-splitting feedback the blame isn't entirely on my shoulders, blame Nick a little too.

Thanks Nick, and I don't mean that facetiously!
posted by Kirk Swan 2:42 PM

Fri. March 15th,

I now sit on the New Jersey Transit Commuter Train heading towards New York where I will spend the next couple of days visiting friends, ah finally some time off without driving.

But I must backtrack if my mind will allow me to a few short days ago. I believe my last entry ended as I was on the road to D.C. (Arlington to be exact) and I had only gotten up to arriving in Boston.

After our afternoon spent in Harvard Square we headed over to T.T. the Bears Place in Cambridge. This is a place that I played at many times back in my Dumptruck days, actually played my LAST Dumptruck gig there. Like Maxwell's it hasn't changed much in the last 15 years, though they have finally removed the sound booth that stuck out into the middle of the club and they've recessed it to make the club slightly less claustraphobic. That would be the only change that I noticed however, they certainly haven't upgraded the monitor system. I still remember Seth back in the day asking for more monitor and I know we all felt the same this time but we take the hand we're dealt in these cases and we tend to overcome these little inadequacies and have fun in the process.

These Boston gigs are always fun for me as I get to see old friends and family and this proved to be the case at T.T.'s. My old roommates and friends Paul and Ann showed up to soundcheck with their 7 year old daughter whom I hadn't seen since she was a toddler. A budding musician, songwriter at 7 years old I told her to keep me in mind in the future as she may need a guitar player.

After soundcheck it was over to the Green Street Grill for a fine meal. If ever in Cambridge this would be the place to go for dinner. It's amazing what a fine meal will do to boost a travelling band's spirits. My brother Tim, who is responsible for this fine looking web-site, and his lovely wife Karen met up with Paul and I at Green Street for a drink and some catching up. Karen and I reminisced about the fact that we met for the first time at the Green Street Grill. After fattening up on seafood gumbo it was back to T.T.'s for our show. Back in November when we played with Fastball we were limited in time to 45 minutes so we felt obligated on this occasion to give a full show and that we did. Fun was had by all.

I was reminded by my old writer/editor friend Nick about a recurring spelling error in my tour diary so I will take his advice and DEFINITELY spell that word correctly from now until the day I die. I was recalling to Nick about one of my first memories of seeing an electric guitar up close and personal. It was he who came over to our house with his white Telecaster and was playing Sympathy For The Devil, I was all of 10 or 11 and boy did I think that was COOL! I think that was the start of some infatuation with the guitar that has led me up to this point. I hadn't realized before then that normal people like us, and I use the term normal liberally, could actually play electric guitars. Later on the punk movement would drive this point home even further and really spur me to pick one up and attempt to play it. So when you hear ear-splitting feedback the blame isn't entirely on my shoulders, blame Nick a little too.

Thanks Nick, and I don't mean that facetiously!
posted by Kirk Swan 2:40 PM

Fri. March 15th,

I now sit on the New Jersey Transit Commuter Train heading towards New York where I will spend the next couple of days visiting friends, ah finally some time off without driving.

But I must backtrack if my mind will allow me to a few short days ago. I believe my last entry ended as I was on the road to D.C. (Arlington to be exact) and I had only gotten up to arriving in Boston.

After our afternoon spent in Harvard Square we headed over to T.T. the Bears Place in Cambridge. This is a place that I played at many times back in my Dumptruck days, actually played my LAST Dumptruck gig there. Like Maxwell's it hasn't changed much in the last 15 years, though they have finally removed the sound booth that stuck out into the middle of the club and they've recessed it to make the club slightly less claustraphobic. That would be the only change that I noticed however, they certainly haven't upgraded the monitor system. I still remember Seth back in the day asking for more monitor and I know we all felt the same this time but we take the hand we're dealt in these cases and we tend to overcome these little inadequacies and have fun in the process.

These Boston gigs are always fun for me as I get to see old friends and family and this proved to be the case at T.T.'s. My old roommates and friends Paul and Ann showed up to soundcheck with their 7 year old daughter whom I hadn't seen since she was a toddler. A budding musician, songwriter at 7 years old I told her to keep me in mind in the future as she may need a guitar player.

After soundcheck it was over to the Green Street Grill for a fine meal. If ever in Cambridge this would be the place to go for dinner. It's amazing what a fine meal will do to boost a travelling band's spirits. My brother Tim, who is responsible for this fine looking web-site, and his lovely wife Karen met up with Paul and I at Green Street for a drink and some catching up. Karen and I reminisced about the fact that we met for the first time at the Green Street Grill. After fattening up on seafood gumbo it was back to T.T.'s for our show. Back in November when we played with Fastball we were limited in time to 45 minutes so we felt obligated on this occasion to give a full show and that we did. Fun was had by all.

I was reminded by my old writer/editor friend Nick about a recurring spelling error in my tour diary so I will take his advice and DEFINITELY spell that word correctly from now until the day I die. I was recalling to Nick about one of my first memories of seeing an electric guitar up close and personal. It was he who came over to our house with his white Telecaster and was playing Sympathy For The Devil, I was all of 10 or 11 and boy did I think that was COOL! I think that was the start of some infatuation with the guitar that has led me up to this point. I hadn't realized before then that normal people like us, and I use the term normal liberally, could actually play electric guitars. Later on the punk movement would drive this point home even further and really spur me to pick one up and attempt to play it. So when you hear ear-splitting feedback the blame isn't entirely on my shoulders, blame Nick a little too.

Thanks Nick, and I don't mean that facetiously!
posted by Kirk Swan 2:39 PM

Fri. March 15th,

I now sit on the New Jersey Transit Commuter Train heading towards New York where I will spend the next couple of days visiting friends, ah finally some time off without driving.

But I must backtrack if my mind will allow me to a few short days ago. I believe my last entry ended as I was on the road to D.C. (Arlington to be exact) and I had only gotten up to arriving in Boston.

After our afternoon spent in Harvard Square we headed over to T.T. the Bears Place in Cambridge. This is a place that I played at many times back in my Dumptruck days, actually played my LAST Dumptruck gig there. Like Maxwell's it hasn't changed much in the last 15 years, though they have finally removed the sound booth that stuck out into the middle of the club and they've recessed it to make the club slightly less claustraphobic. That would be the only change that I noticed however, they certainly haven't upgraded the monitor system. I still remember Seth back in the day asking for more monitor and I know we all felt the same this time but we take the hand we're dealt in these cases and we tend to overcome these little inadequacies and have fun in the process.

These Boston gigs are always fun for me as I get to see old friends and family and this proved to be the case at T.T.'s. My old roommates and friends Paul and Ann showed up to soundcheck with their 7 year old daughter whom I hadn't seen since she was a toddler. A budding musician, songwriter at 7 years old I told her to keep me in mind in the future as she may need a guitar player.

After soundcheck it was over to the Green Street Grill for a fine meal. If ever in Cambridge this would be the place to go for dinner. It's amazing what a fine meal will do to boost a travelling band's spirits. My brother Tim, who is responsible for this fine looking web-site, and his lovely wife Karen met up with Paul and I at Green Street for a drink and some catching up. Karen and I reminisced about the fact that we met for the first time at the Green Street Grill. After fattening up on seafood gumbo it was back to T.T.'s for our show. Back in November when we played with Fastball we were limited in time to 45 minutes so we felt obligated on this occasion to give a full show and that we did. Fun was had by all.

I was reminded by my old writer/editor friend Nick about a recurring spelling error in my tour diary so I will take his advice and DEFINITELY spell that word correctly from now until the day I die. I was recalling to Nick about one of my first memories of seeing an electric guitar up close and personal. It was he who came over to our house with his white Telecaster and was playing Sympathy For The Devil, I was all of 10 or 11 and boy did I think that was COOL! I think that was the start of some infatuation with the guitar that has led me up to this point. I hadn't realized before then that normal people like us, and I use the term normal liberally, could actually play electric guitars. Later on the punk movement would drive this point home even further and really spur me to pick one up and attempt to play it. So when you hear ear-splitting feedback the blame isn't entirely on my shoulders, blame Nick a little too.

Thanks Nick, and I don't mean that facetiously!
posted by Kirk Swan 2:38 PM

Thursday, March 15, 2001


Well, we're at the point now where we have to ask what day of the week it is and the response from other band members is not always that timely. I haven't had a chance to write an entry the last couple of days because, fortunately, we've had relatively short drives so I'll have to backtrack to Sunday's show in Hoboken.

I think we all agree that the Maxwell's show Sunday was possibly our best ever, not to mention one of the most fun! How could it not be when playing with Minus 5 though? We played with them back at the end of the last tour in Seattle and it proved to be one of the most fun shows of that tour and this gig surpassed that one. And Scott McCaughey's songs are fantastic, I'm a fan. Back in my Dumptruck days I played Maxwell's many a time and the gigs were always great, even filled with drama occasionally. I was recalling to Peter Holsapple that the first time I ever went to Maxwell's was to see REM with Peter opening solo. I was still a Ct. boy at this time so it must have been, well, I won't say actually so as to not date myself, but it was quite some time ago as you can figure. There's always been a soft spot in my heart for Maxwell's though and it was great to see some old familiar faces, Steve, Ira, and Georgia, just like old times. And, Susan brought cookies for us again which is always a bit hit and greatly appreciated.

The next day was a leisurely drive to Northampton for our gig at the Iron Horse. This was a very early show for us with a highly enthusiastic audience. I refrain calling the audience a crowd because that would seem to describe a large mass of people and that would be misleading. But they were incredibly involved in the show though which always makes us want to play and play we did as this one turned out to be one of the longest shows of the tour. I think we matched for time the second Knitting Factory show in L.A. I also was able to see my old friends Bob and Andy which was a nice surprise and treat.

We were done with the show and out of the club by 10:30 which seems very early for us these days so we went over to the Tunnel Bar for an after-show drink. If ever in Northampton this place is definitely worth checking out, it's actually in a tunnel and sports very comfortable leather chairs at the tables and has a very fine selection of cocktails and liqueurs and, again, since it's in a tunnel it's long and narrow and has a yellow tiled, curved ceiling and is just plain nice.

I thought I heard it raining outside during the night that night and when I awakened in the morning I discovered that what I heard during the night was if fact snow. By morning it had turned to slush however so it was no impediment to our day driving to Boston. This, after a great breakfast at Sylvester's with my old friend Bob who surprised me the day of the show by stopping by sound-check. As I say it was a surprise and it was nice catching up on old times.

Next was a beautiful drive to Boston, Cambridge to be exact, and an afternoon of Harvard Square featuring book shops, record stores, etc. More on Boston in the next entry.
posted by Kirk Swan 12:39 PM

Wednesday, March 7th

You really should check out Robert Lloyds tour diary. And I can only assume you're also reading Wes' JWH Road Diary 2001.

The pics from the show in Cambridge are coming--check back tonight.
posted by Kirk Swan 9:12 AM

Monday, March 12, 2001

Sunday, March 11th


En route to Hoboken where we play with the Minus 5, a great band featuring our friends Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck, we know this show is gonna be fun.

It's hard to believe that we left L.A. one week ago today. We've covered some serious ground in the last week and are looking forward to the next few days of easy drives, headline shows and meeting up with friends and family.

Yesterday's drive took us from Nashville to somewhere in Va. via a dinner stop at a fine Italian restarant in Roanoke. I won't go into tedious dinner details this time though.

We drove by Dollywood yesterday at some point but due to our slightly tardy departure from Nashville we weren't able to stop. Too bad, I've always kind of wanted to check out what the whole Dollywood experience is and it would have been a fine complement to our morning listening to Dolly's latest offering, Little Sparrow.

Well, as Mark brings us in to Hoboken I'll sign off for now but I'll let you know about the Maxwell's gig in the next installment.

Saturday, March 10th


On our drive from Nashville to Hoboken and Robert just purchased Abba's Greatest Hits which has immediately woken us up. I just turned the wheel over to Robert and had I known what the next music choice would be I may have continued for a bit longer!

The last 2 shows have been fantastic and it seeems like we've definitely hit our stride. The last time we played in Nashville the audience was pretty subdued so we were expecting more of the same but we were proven wrong. Last night was a full on rock show with people singing along at the front of the stage, requests being yelled out from the crowd, and a nice big stage so we were actually able to move with a little comfort. The result was a very energetic and relaxed set.

Ah, we're up to Dancing Queen now, it doesn't get much better than that! Wes just commented that if Dancing Queen was rocked up a bit it could be an Oasis song and I believe he has a point.

But back to last night. We stayed at Duane and Denise' (Duane is Kevin's brother) fine bed and breakfast, The Cat's Pajamas in East Nashville. If you ever need a nice, comfortable, friendly place to stay in Nashville this would be it.

We went out for a drink after the show to the Slow Bar. It's always great meeting new friends and last night we met a bunch of very nice, cool friends. Mark even convinced Liz behind the bar to let him have the sign that reads, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone (with a mullet.)" so that shows how cool Liz is. The sign now resides on the rear window of the van by the way!

more soon!
posted by Kirk Swan 3:45 AM

Friday, March 09, 2001

Friday, March 9


The quote of yesterday came from one Mark Stevens and is as follows, "I'm just a creature of the night, let me repeat, I'm just a creature of the night". Of course this came at 8:30 a.m. after playing in New Orleans, which turned out to be a typical New Orleans show. Slightly subdued crowd, if one could indeed call it that, though we were at the Parish room of the House of Blues which was quite nice. Maybe everyone's still hung over from the recent Mardi Gras activities. I thought we played a fine set though and things went pretty smoothly on stage but there was quite a catastrophe unfolding stage left during the last song of ours. It seems as if one of the p.a. speakers fell off it's column directly onto Blue Rodeo's guitars, snapping the neck off of a very expensive vintage Gretsch guitar, valued at $20,000, Canadian that is. And that is why I don't play expensive, old guitars.

After our show we headed out with our good friends Mark and Robert from the Continental Drifters for a drink and some catching up, which is always a nice treat. Then the one and only Peter Holsapple arrived and took us upstairs to his place for a little catching up. I met Peter many years ago when my first band, the Suburbanites, opened up for the D.b.s in New Haven at the Great American and we've been running into each other ever since. A very talented man and I look forward to hearing the new Drifters record.

Since we had such a long drive ahead of us we went home early, at least early for New Orleans, well 1:30, enough time to get almost enough sleep for our 8 hours drive to Atlanta.

So far we've logged in about 5000 miles in the last 12 days and the other night at about 1 a.m. on our 15 hour drive to Shreveport Chris commented that he felt like we're on the run from the law with the pace we were keeping. "Keep moving, gotta keep moving" were his words I believe.

We're all looking forward to Atlanta and Nashville as they're always fun to visit and we have friends in both places. I played the Cotton Club with Steve Wynn way back in 91 but have yet to experience the new Cotton Club, and I'm looking forward to it. I'll let you all in on how it went in the next entry.
posted by Kirk Swan 4:43 AM

Thursday, March 08, 2001

March 6th, Tues.

So last night was my first gig ever in Santa Fe and it proved to be a good show, not to mention an early one, which was fine with everone in the band as the infamous Coyote Cafe closed it's doors at 9:00 p.m. which gave us just enough time to quickly pack our gear and hoof it over to the Coyote for a fine meal. Then it was back to the club to catch the end of Blue Rodeo's set which included a floor full of dancing locals which was a first for the tour.

Then it was back to the hotel for a swim and hot-tub, a semi-rarity if such a term exists, but certainly a treat and helps to prepare for a 20 hour plus drive, which brings us to the present. It's midnight and we're somewhere outside of Dallas heading toward Shreveport, which is our goal for the day and will bring us to within striking distance of New Orleans, our final destination.

The quote of the day came from a young woman in Shamrock, Texas. When asked by Wes why everything in town was green she replied after showing a rather puzzled look, "I guess because the town is named Shamrock". Wes then replied, "but where did that name come from?" " I guess there were alot of Irish people that first came here" was the quick comeback for that one. So there's your in depth history of Shamrock, Texas. If you're ever passing through though there's really not much need to stop.
posted by Kirk Swan 7:51 AM

Monday, March 05, 2001

The shows the last two nights at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood proved to be pretty fantastic! It was our first outing to the Knitting Factory for all of us, even though half of this entourage reside in the city that hosts this club. I'm sure it won't be the last time that we play there however, and I know I'll be attending shows there in the future. It's a very nicely laid out, comfortable club and I would say probably the best sounding club in town these days. The two shows proved to be fun and good in different ways. Last night it turns out was one of the longest sets we've ever played together as this band so Wes commented that he must have been having an exceptionally good time up there. A bunch of old friends showed up so it was great to see some friendly faces that I haven't seen for awhile. It did prove to be a fairly late night however, as we stayed chatting, a kind of a going away party feel to the night as it would turn out.

So, we got our 4 1/2 hours sleep and got up to head out to Santa Fe, New Mexico, which is where we are still headed. We're 12 hours in with another four to go and spirits are up and there's still laughter in the air so I believe we'll arrive in good spirits.

Sights that we've seen along the way. A small pickup truck stacked high with an incredible amount of junk. If you remember the old Beverly Hillbillies intro just picture their truck stacked twice as high, don't know how that thing was even staying on all four wheels.

Next was an entire platoon of hot air balloons, very colorful and peaceful looking somehow.

On a drive like this though a nice meal is always the hope and tonight we not only had a good meal but we had an interesting one too. It's not everyday that you run into a restaurant like Black Bart's Steakhouse in Flagstaff, Arizona. Located in the heart of an R.V. park, Black Bart's manages to not only serve meals but it also serves up a little of the local college theatre talent. A little song and dance from the wait staff proved to be an interesting twist that we all decided is always a good way to make a road meal a little more memorable, and I won't soon forget this one!

So onward and upward to Santa Fe where we will have the day tomorrow to do a little exploring. First time for some but I was there visiting family this summer so I just may end up being the tour guide for the day.

Cheers!!!
posted by Kirk Swan 4:45 AM

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