Fri, Jun 2, '06
2006 tour report-the Barba-Shack attack rips through TN at lightning speed!
I'm writing to you this fine evening from Nashville TN, the music city!
I'm hanging out with Celia and Rich and Molly Irene and her friend from Idaho Kristin, and our new friend Charity who Molly has actually known forever but who happened to be in Nashville for a hot minute AND the most famous man in Nashville, Bob White,. AKA Roberto Bianco,.. Apparantly, Roberto is MIA tonight, so Bob is taking care of his clothes,..we're having a party here,. And waiting for some pizza,.. Or rather it's a group effort to order it,.. I don't think it's coming,.. I may have to be happy with cheerios,..
We just got back from the french quarter cafe here in Nashville. Celia and I had a great time playing at Jack Scott's songwriter showcase! He's awesome! Scott played one of his own tunes for us after the night was through that brought me to tears,..Damn,..that doesn't happen very often,.. But it actually inspired me to finish a tune I've been a bit scared of,..
I'll have it ready soon,..
And Nashville has been a blast since we arrived!
Rich and I met up with Celia and our good friend Molly Irene at Kimbro's cafe in Franklin,.. A packed house of attentive music lovers! Man what a great time! Even better,..my good friend from NYC, a recent Nashville transplant, Jairo was there to see the show too,..it was a great time,.. We met all sorts of great people and great songwriters! man, i could go on, but i think you'd get bored pretty quick from namedropping and stuff,.. I have noticed people do that a lot here,..and slow the sentence down a wee to accentuate the name that is about to be dropped,.. Just to make sure you hear it,..eh? to each his own I guess,.. Never has been my style,..
Celia and Rich and I also rocked the house at Carpe Librum,..Something told me it was going to be an awesome night,.. And I was so excited that my intuition was spot on,.. Sheila and the ladies at carpe librum treated us like family and took great care of us,.. Once again, we had a very attentive audience and a great time!
Our good friend Karen Reynolds, Knoxville's favorite songwriter (And who is absolutely amazing!) had us on her radio program, "writer's block" on WDVX in Knoxville later on in the evening. Man,.. I got to sing into an old old vintage RCA ribbon mic,..i know,..i'm geeking out but it was awesome! thanks Karen! (if she's reading this,.)
I left NYC on a down note,. You know, just feeling a wee overwhelmed, maybe even unappreciated a tad,..but see,.. This is exactly why I come out on the road,.. I've heard so much great music this last 3 days and I've met so many awesome and interesting people that I could drop today and I'd be happy happy!
but i digress,..
we've been getting lots of great feedback and selling lots of CDS and making people smile and in turn they make us smile,. A great big feedback loop of happiness!
it's just been great, super,..awesome,..but I think I’ve used that word already,..
Well, Molly has a video feed from her friend patrick in Cali coming in soon, so i need to sign off,..
we're heading to Memphis tomorrow and we're planning to go see Graceland! I'm so excited!
Tue, Jun 6, '06
More on the Barba-Shack Attack: Adventures
not too much to say tonight,.. I'm a wee tired. I'm writing to you from Kansas city!
Not a whole lot going on here,.. but it's a nice place. Tonight Celia and Rich and I performed at a place called the cashew,.. I heard through the grapevine that there are a few bars in KC called "the peanut" you know, the run of the mill watering hole type of places,..
hence the name "the cashew" which connotates a more refined environment,..
it was a cool place! I met lots of very cool people and I want to send a shout out to my new friend Jasmine who may actually be moving to NYC! i hope she can!
I also want to send some serious love to my new good friend Charity who we met in Nashville and just happened to be in KC for work. She actually came to the show! crazy right? So we had a great time tonight at the cashew!~ I'm so glad Charity was able to make it out! She's one of my new best friends for sure! You know, an "insta-friend" someone you meet that you just know you'll get along and be friends for a long time!
you don't meet alot of those in a lifetime,..I'm pretty lucky that I have a bunch!
I gotta tell you,.. I'm really excited to be going to STL tomorrow! my favorite city outside of NYC!
I'm sure I'll have lots of great stories to tell,..
BUt before we go to STL, we'll be getting some awesome BBQ here in KC,.. a place called bryant's or something,..
Mon, Jun 5, '06: The Barba-Shack Attack 2006: In the Heartland
I'm writing to you from the heartland! Yessirree!
This note comes to you from the gateway 2000 in the living room of my new friend Jeff in Lawrence, KS!
What an amazing tour this has been!
I can't even describe to you the amount of love Celia and I have received over the past week. It's been amazing!
Let's start with Memphis,..
Memphis is hot and humid,.. Let's just start there,..lol the air is thick and the city itself is a mixture of southern hospitality and voodoo. We got into Memphis from Nashville in the afternoon. Our first stop was Tops BBQ where we got some yummy sandwiches in the hood. Good stuff!
We really wanted to get to Graceland but we didn't have the time. The tour itself runs about 2 hours, AND would you believe it's a $22 entry fee?
silly if you ask me,.. So in lieu of Graceland, we went to the world famous, Beale street, checked out some of the famous bars and shops, listened to a cool blues band, and picked up 2 magnets for the fridge!
The show that night was at the MGLCC. It's basically a little house that's been converted into a meeting space. Everyone there was super nice and SJ Tucker is absolutely wonderful!
AND if the music wasn't good enough, SJ and her traveling mates put on a fire show!
yup, you read correctly, they dance with fire,.. It's pretty cool. I even have pictures!
That night we stayed with a wonderful woman named Shel and her husband. SJ calls her "Mama Shel" and now I know why! She is one of the coolest women i have met in a long time,.. Definately a soul sistah!
She not only took us into her home, but she even made us homemade pancakes in the morning. You can't get better than that!
Thanks Mama Shel!
Memphis for now on will be a stop on our route. We had a blast and everyone is so warm and nice!
Our next stop was Fayetteville, AR
Now I mentioned that I was a little nervous about Arkansas,..more or less based on touring musician friends descriptions of driving through Arkansas on the way to TX. Well,..I'm here to tell you now, there is nothing to fear! Actually the scenery is pictureseque, the foliage changes about halfway through the state, from hilly grassland to more hills and mountains once you reach the Ozark mountains in the northern portion of the state, which is where we were. It's absolutely gorgeous! There were a few times I was almost moved to tears by the beauty in front of us. It seems Arkansas isn't very populated,..thankfully,..it's rather refreshing to see open land as oppossed to the constant slew of McMansions and strip malls,..We stayed with Celia's bro, Derek who has a newborn baby girl named, Ivy, who is absolutely adorable! Celia is smitten with her new niece!
She soooo didn't want to leave!
What an amazing show we had in Arkansas!
We played at a coffeeshop called Arsaga's that was packed to the gills with music lovers. AND, the barista made a mean cappuccino! We were quite impressed!
So a big thank you goes out to everyone who attended! We'll make Arsaga's a "must stop" venue as well! And a biiiiiiiig thank you goes out to Derek for taking care of us!
And that brings me to today. I'm sitting in the living room here in Lawrence KS, in a house that was built in 1910. It's unbelievably gorgeous! Celia and Jeff are playing old standards on the porch, Rich is in the shower and I'm here typing away sucking down the last of my cappuccino,..
We arrived in Lawrence yesterday afternoon and made a pit stop to visit some old pals of Celia's, Bob and Jack Frost. (yeah that's his real name) and what an amazing guy! We had a nice chat actually, he's an amazing fellow and he actually salvages old junk,. Things like TVs and cars and my lord all sorts of stuff,..either fixes it or scraps it for parts and recycles the rest. Whether it's copper wire or aluminum,..it gets used in some way! Then he gives away the stuff he is able to fix to people who are either disadvantaged physically or monetarily,.. An AMAZING guy,.. I was really inspired by his passion and his devotion to helping other people. I'm hoping he's going to create a website to attract more awareness to his cause,.. I'll add the link here at MST as soon as I hear anything!
Last night we played at the Gaslight Tavern. The stage is outside in a patio area and it was a standing room only night. Celia is a local legend here it seems,..
She got her start here in Lawrence,.. This is her old stomping ground, so alot of her friends came out to say hello,..The show was awesome and we had a great time,.. I met some awesome people and I even helped name a new drink! Gabe, the manager, created a new version of a "white russian", So when you go to the gaslight tavern, ask for the Barba-Shack Special,..it's called the "Russian Express". ONLY available at the gaslight tavern in Lawrence KS!
I'm not going to tell you what the secret ingredient is for fear that other clubs or venues may try to adapt it as their own creation while our exclusive patent is waiting approval,.. but if you're in the neighborhood, go check it out!
I also met an amazing couple named Carol and Neeva. They have been together for 41 years, and are still just as much in love as they were when they first met. Carol is in her sixties, Neeva in her 80's. They were truly inspirational to me, which is why I must relate their story to you, especially considering the NYTimes front page article this morning concerning a ban on "gay marriage".
People who are against "gay marriage" don't want the masses to know about couples like these 2,.. Carol and Neeva. They don't want you to know the type of suffering they have endured just to stay together despite other people's prejudice and ill wishes directed toward them in the name of god or whatever excuse they make to be mean. They don't want people to think that a gay couple can sustain a family or can sustain a loving relationship for that matter. Truth be told, I know more gay couples who have been together for 10 years, 20 years, in this case 40 years, than I know of heterosexual couples who have managed to stay the test of time,.. my own family included,..
These women were a true inspiration to me. And if I can leave you with a quote from Carol which on the surface is kinda corny, but it's beautiful all the same,..
"love is tender and knows no gender"
Which is absolutely the heart of the matter,.. Alot of people equate gay marriage to some kind of sexual immorality but they forget that underneath it all is love,.. pure and simple, love for one person by another,.. I wish all of you could meet them,..the time we spent with them I will never forget. And I will forever hold their stories in my heart. The type of heartache they had to endure to stay together I wouldn't wish on anyone,..
And it makes me cherish my own relationship with Rich that much more,.. I couldn't imagine life without him,.. He's my best friend and soul mate,..We do almost everything together,.. Imagine, if you will,.. Having a great relationship like this, but your family members or neighbors or colleages at work who have known you for years all of the sudden turn on you,..or do everything they can to break your relationship apart because of a fear based and hateful type of "christianity",..that's got to be awful,..
Something to think about, anyway,. I applaude these women for having the courage and the strength within themselves to withstand such adversity and stay together all these years,..
41 years! When they look at each other their eyes dance like diamonds,.. It's pretty amazing really,.. How many "normal" couples do you know who have stayed together that long and actually are "happy"
I don't know any,..
But, my hope is that when Rich and I are in our 70's, talking to young whipper snappers like ourselves at this moment, we too will look at each other with dancing eyes, that we too, will want to share the story of our lives to anyone interested in listening,..that we too will know that type of enduring precious love that knows no boundaries, that isn't selfish or boastful,..that kind of love is hard to find.
Today, I say, I think that will be the case,..but life does throw curve balls at times, so who knows what will happen years from now. I will tell you though, that if hard times come, I'll remember those 2 and the adversity they faced to stay together. Hopefully that will sustain my belief that if you love someone, you can find a way to make your relationship withstand any test.
anyhoo,..enough ranting and slushy love stuff,..
Rich and I are headed into town here to get a little local flavor here in Lawerence. Then we're off to Kansas City. Aaaaaannnnnd,..only 2 days away from getting back to STL! i can't wait,..I love St Louis!
Mon, July 3rd, '06: Barba-Shack Attack; End notes please excuse my absence,..
it's me again,.. (not that you were expecting anyone else, but i figured I'd clarify, regardless,.)
So, I realize I left you all in the lurch,.bad bad me, for not filling you in on the last days of the Barba-shack attack in my favorite city, St Louis!!!!
Celia and I played 2 shows in St. Louis. The first was Novak's, a very cool venue in Celia's neighborhood. I met lots of awesome people and the bartender, Dana, was using me as a guinea pig for some different conconctions he was perfecting. Needless to say, I don't remember much else from that night,..except that it was full of fun and bright colors!
Day 2, Rich and I tooled around St Louis,.. We visited the arch and had a semi mediocre lunch at a touristy little spot in the downtown area. Then we met up with Celia at my favorite club, The Venice cafe. This place is awesome,.. It's wall to wall ceramic mosaic, filled with bits of glass and beads and bottle tops,.. Even mirrors!
It's absolutely stunning!
And if that's not enough, 2 friends of mine who I haven't seen in forever, Jill and Jane, came to the show! I met Jill on my first trip to STL with the Sirens. We all had a fun little party at her lovely brownstone and we've kept in touch ever since. Jane and I met in Hawaii at the girfest festival. I haven't seen her since then. Truth be told, I was super tired and feeling a little weary when they arrived, but they filled the room with so much good energy I was able to pick up the pace and finish off the set on an up-note. We had the opportunity to catch up on current events and be silly,..
all that good stuff,.. But, all things must come to end, and alas, that was the last night of the Barba-shack attack tour.
I'm happy to report that his was the most successful and fun tour we've had to date. And I have YOU to thank,.. All of you who came out to support us, who offered us a place to lay our heads, who bought CDs,.. I can't put into words how humbling and how estatic I am for having all of you in my life! And I can't wait to get back out on the road to see all of my new midwestern friends! I'd also like to send out a big THANKS to Celia for being such an awesome tour buddy! She's an awesome songwriter and I still have her songs in my head, after 3 weeks being home! Lucky for me, she'll be in NYC in August to record her new CD at Kampo so I'll get to hear all of those great songs for a whole week! Some people might think that's not a good thing,.. I think it is,.. Especially knowing that she'll have a great band backing her and I'll get to hear everything from inception to finished product,..I think that's the most fun for me,..
Our last tour date was in Cincinnati with my new buddy, Rhonda Everitt, of Pale Beneath the Blue. We played at a club called the Play by Play cafe. An interesting establishment. On our way to Cinci, I got a call from Rhonda saying that our show may have been cancelled because the booker had been fired and the headlining act wasn't able to make the show. Apparantly, the owners there are more interested in cover bands because "that's where the money is".
To each his own I suppose,.. We got it all worked out and the show happened and it was all good!
Once again I met awesome new friends, and as Rhonda says, I was spewing my "blue state latte drinking liberal" viewpoints during a conversation with my new friend Raymond. It was actually an eye opening conversation and quite interesting to get his viewpoints on some issues, I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation,.. And while I didn't agree with everything, as I'm sure he didn't agree with me on some points, I was happy to have another angle to chew on,..Since we continued our conversation outside of the club for an hour after they closed, I'm thinking he enjoyed it too,.. I hope so,..
I don't think people in Ohio talk much about things that may cause a stir,.. Here in NY we kind of thrive on it,.. It's very different.
So, finally, Rhonda had peeled Raymond and I away and we headed for her home,.. Before Rich and I made the 14 hour drive back home Rhonda and I planned and schemed for her upcoming mix session scheduled for the week after,..
And that brings me to today,..
The mixes have been finished and the tracks are backed up (twice!)
I finished a song for my publisher and I'm currently working on solidifying dates in Co during the South Park festival ANNNNNNND booking a European tour with my NYC partner in crime, Pantera. We're planning on going to Belgium, Germany and Italy in March or April of 2007!
Otherwise, it's been sessions and sleeping when i can, getting back into the rhythm of NYC life. It amazes me every time I come home that it takes a week to get myself hooked back in to the network.
And there it is,.. The last 3 weeks or so,.. paraphrased,..
This coming month will take us to PA 2x. We have a house party scheduled for this coming weekend and then the PA singer/songwriter festival will happen on the weekend of July 22nd. I'll be traveling with Kelsey from Pillow Theory and Frank Carter! We're playing back to back on Sunday the 23rd!
I'm really looking forward to getting out there and seeing all my friends!
So, friends,.that's all the news for now!
I'll keep you posted on the new tidbits as they come!