Mid-City Parade #mardigras2013 #NO #NewOrleans #touring #travel
A few days after Thanksgiving, we set out on what would be our longest stint away from our home base. It would take us from Brevard, NC to Tennessee, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina and Florida. We finally got back to Brevard today. In the two months, I think we played about 30 gigs while putting many many (too many??) miles on Blue Bell. We crashed everywhere from Walmart parking lots to fans homes, to state parks, as well as the occasional splurge on a hotel room. We’ve met some great and supportive people, camped out under the Geminid meteor shower, had our first major blowout in the van, played some great (and not-so-great) venues and just generally enjoyed laboring for our love.
I think we are just going to take loooong naps until we head out again for New Orleans in a few days. Got to rest up for Mardi Gras!
Cheers from Blue Bell
We’ve been spending mucho time down in Gulf State Park near Gulf Shores, Alabama. We’ve found ourselves pretty gig-free this week so we’ve been taking the opportunity to air and clean out the van a little: pulling out clothes we don’t wear much, getting rid of trash that ultimately accumulates in those hard-to-reach crevices and just rearranging even the small things so as to maximize as much space as possible. Even getting some time to work on new material. Actually being able to cook some hot meals every night is a nice change too…
Due to some unfortunate events, we found ourselves gigless this week. We’re down in Alabama, near Gulf Shores, so we found us a relatively cheap state park that actually has WiFi. It’s chilly out so we’re gonna hang in the van a lot and get some booking done.
Had our first tire blowout on the way to a gig while rolling down I-10 East in Mississippi. We were going about 75 mph when the tire just gave out. Luckily the van didn’t fish-tale or get out of control. We tried to get the spare tire on only to find out that the mechanism that lowers the spare off of the frame was completely stuck. We had to call Triple A. They couldn’t get it down either, so a tow truck was called. We had to have Blue Belle towed back 60 miles to Biloxi (where we were staying). We had some interesting conversation on the way back with Howard, our tow truck man. We never made it to the gig….
Woke up in the van at a Walmart in Beaumont, TX and headed to a nearby Starbucks to get some coffee and do a little computer work. After a couple of hours we made the hour-or-so trek to Houston for our gig that night at The Big Top Lounge. We got in pretty early so we headed somewhere to loiter for awhile and maybe grab a van shower. We settled on a Kroger parking lot about a mile away.
Around gig time we made our way to the club. In the midst of our load in we met Rosie Flores, who was headlining the Continental Club next door that night. We got to catch a little of her set after ours. She had a great blues/rockabilly/honky tonk thing going. This seemed like the typical kind music for the area that is Midtown Houston.
Post show we got tacos from the joint next door and crashed again at a nearby Walmart at around 3am. Next stop Austin…
Trek to Houston
Big Top Lounge
Tacos a Go Go
Found out yesterday that a gig we were en route to in Memphis was cancelled. The management was really nice and actually offered to hook us up with another place to play. This particular bar is called The Brass Door (also in Memphis).
It was kind of awkward from the start, as the staff didn’t really know there was going to be live music. We also thought we might have to play off in a corner table sitting down with no PA. In the end we just set up one speaker and crammed ourselves into small corner and made due. No one payed attention and we made zero money. We did get free food and the owner definitely wanted us back…with a guarantee this time. These things happen but you gotta roll with the punches. It still beats cubicle life!
On to Texas tomorrow..
We were headed to a gig in Memphis from Asheville only to find out it was cancelled. We were 5 hours into the ride. Apparently the venue decided it wasn’t doing live music anymore and we only found out because we just happened to contact them for confirmation. This is the first time that something like this has happened in the 11 months we’ve been touring. I’m actually surprised it hasn’t happened more. Just gonna chill in a hotel room in Nashville…