Saturday 20 October 2018

We manage to catch a few songs from our pals Dig Deep at Badger State Brewery before heading to ZZQ for my load in

NOT much time to hang around this morning – we need to get to Green Bay and pay Kip at Printables Inc for the tour t-shirts he printed and shipped to New York.

He’s around ’til 1pm.We leave Wausau int he snow and hit Green Bay and Kip’s place with 15 minutes to spare. Great top see him and hang out for a while.

My show at ZZQ isn’t ’til 3pm and our pals Dig Deep are playing at the Badger Brewery taproom at 1pm. We drop by to see them and have Philly cheesesteaks for lunch before checking into our motel and hitting ZZQ.

Booker Misty is waiting for us – and some folks in the music room are wrestling with an old PA system. They call for help and soon Jesse arrives, disses the house PA and brings in his own rig!

We’re up and running pretty quick and I have a blast playing a couple o 45-minute sets. Shame the show was moved from a nighttime show to the afternoon, but there’s still a good bunch of folks in. The Dig Deep guys have hot-footed down after their show and catch a few songs, we sell some merch and chat folks then I tidy up the stage area.

Pete – Dig Deep bass player – ands wife Chris hang out with us for some dinner and a few drinks. Great to catch up with them…these guys became pals on very first trip to the USA back in 2013.

We’re back at the motel soon after 10pm and relax a while before crashing.

Fun and games at ZZQ in Green Bay

And a wee Glengoyne with our pals Pete (Dig Deep), Chris, ZZQ owner Bob and booker Misty…

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Sunday 14 October 2018

Montrose Saloon, Chicago….

IT’S snowing when we wake up in Winona…and we’ve a good five hour drive to Chicago ahead.

We pack up, say cheerio to Ken and hit the road, stopping at Perkins for some breakfast.

The weather eases up and we take turns driving, arriving at our pals Mark and Nan’s just after 5pm.

Load in at Montrose Saloon is 7pm, so we’ve time for a catch up before we head down there. We dump the gear and go in search of food, find a pizza place nearby and take it back to the venue where John Ballantyne’s Crazy Heart have just started their set.

We bump into PR man August Forte who has helped me out with some PR and media stuff in the past but we’d never met…Eric from the venue had him do some promo on tonight’s show. Hey;s done a grand job and it’s great to meet him and hang out.

After a quick change over I hit the stage for 70-minute-or-so set and have a blast. The PA struggles a bit to start with, but Eric’s on the case and we have a great time…the place is pretty crammed and everyone seems to be having a great time and in the spirit of things.

Its nice to see so many of our Chicago pals out…Nan and Mark go back to the house after show and give us a key to get in once we’ve finished packing up and loading out. A grand night πŸ™‚

That’s been 11 shows in row – gonna be nice to have a couple days off…

John Ballantyne’s Crazy Heart open the show with a fine set…

And we share a wee dram with PR maestro August, the door guy and venue co-owner David.

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Thursday 11 October 2018

Great to be back at Rich’s in Annandale….

AFTER clearing the decks work-wise, we’re out the hotel by 11am and on the 150-mile journey north to Annandale, Minnesota.

We stop for fuel and pick ip some stuff in a supermarket, grab a snack and continue on our way. Load in is 5pm and we want to get checked into the hotel before we hit the venue.

Our pal Casey and his buddy Ian have the PA ready when we load in – soundcheck goes like clockwork and after catching up with venue owner Rich we’re fed and watered – well, maybe that should be ‘beefed’ – and back downstairs in the venue in time for doors opening.

It’s looking pretty quiet until just a few minutes before showtime…then the place suddenly fills up and I have a fantastic couple of beer, whisky, bourbon and fireball-fulled sets.

We’ve lots of friends here and it’s grand to catch up and share a few drinks.

Back at the hotel we have a snack, a glass of red and catch some zzzzz’s……we’ve a 400-mile journey on a mixture of roads to get to Racine tomorrow (Friday)

Soundcrew and pals Ian and Casey enjoy a well-earned Glengoyne

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Saturday 25 November 2017

Weirdy beardy action at Strathblane Village Clubtrathblane,Balnefi

AFTER a lazy morning I do some last-minute online promo for tonight’s show at Strathblane Village Club and print off the list of advance ticket sales .

I make a big pot of veggie black bean soup – a bit of an experiment after last week’s effort using soaked black beans and a smoked ham hock. This version only takes an hour rather than the four or five of the last batch!

There’s a lot of gear to get ready – not just the usual instruments and stuff, but also the PA, some extra lighting and a backdrop as well as tablecloths, tea lights and other bits and bobs to help ‘transform’ the village club into a ‘venue’.

We have some of the black bean soup which is good, but not as tasty as the ham hock version then I pack the car and Margaret gets all the merch ready.

We stop in at Glengoyne distillery en route to pick up a couple of banner stands, a bottle of cask strength to give away and a good supply of 10-year-old to give folks a courtesy arrival dram.

We start setting up the room about 4.30pm and it’s a bit of a stress-fest trying to get everything in order before doors open at 7.30pm. The PA’s being a pain and not wanting to link in stereo but I find a work around and overall we’re pleased the way the new remote mixer works.

Doors open on time at 7.30pm and the room has been transformed. The whisky starts to flow. There’s a fantastic crowd in and I have a blast playing two 45-minutre sets. Not sure if it’s the music or the whisky – or maybe a combination – but the place is jumpin’ πŸ™‚

There’s a fair amount to strip down after the show but with the help of some of the Village Club folks we leave the place as we found it and roll up home just after midnight. We’ll unpack the gear int he morning!

With Connie – lucky winner of a bottle of Glengoyne Cask Strength πŸ™‚

Welcome drams courtesy of Glengoyne

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Sunday 10 September 2017

BED & Breakfast places aren’t always very ‘musician-friendly’ when it comes to breakfast times and checkout…the place we’re in – Abermar Guest House – is pretty good tho’, allowing us to have breakfast up until 9am.

And the breakfast’s good. Checkout is just after 10am, but we’re ready to go before then and hit the road. For once, I feel we’ve stayed in a place we can recommend πŸ™‚

Margaret drives the first half hour or so then I take over ’til we get to Perth and pick up some shopping and grab a burger.

Just as we arrive home the heavens open and it starts bucketing rain. We unpack some of the stuff, but leave all the gear in the car until the rain’s off.

I have a load of online stuff to do. We didn’t take a laptop, so I’ve still to do my blog…I can do it form my phone, but the pictures I want to sue are on the camera rather than already on the phone so it’d have been a bit of a fanny dance.

Also, an email from Google this morning alerted me to some hacker activity on my website. I’m pretty sure the integrity of my website is OK as I have industrial-strength security, but I’m concerned the server it lives on has been the target of a malicious attack. I’m right…my site is OK, but there’s five or six folders of malicious files in the public html folder on my server.

I clear ’em all out, scan for any remaining offending files then change the login etc details before resubmitting to Google for the ‘all-clear’. If Google suspects a site has been hacked it’ll quickly go down in the search engine rankings. Jeez, glad I can deal with this myself!

I take some pix of the specially produced ‘Dave Arcari’ single malt produced by Glengoyne to mark the launch of my new album

Then new Facebook banners for my page and profile with the next show info. Same for YouTube. Then a video to be edited up to promote Friday’s (15 Sept) show at the Blue Lamp, Aberdeen.

Now the rain’s off I unpack the gear at the studio then I take some photos of the special ‘Dave Arcari’ 10-year-old single malt Glengoyne produced to mark the launch of the new live album.

it;s after 9pm when we have dinner, then I make up a special rub for the beef short ribs and other beef I plan to put in the smoker tomorrow. Duly rubbed and wrapped in cling film, the meat is in the fridge ’til tomorrow morning…

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Sunday 30 July 2017

MugStock! And luckily it stayed dry for my set πŸ™‚

UP early! Gotta get everything sorted and hit MugStock Festival by midday.

My stage time on the main stage isn’t ’til 4.25pm, but we have to get parked up, loaded in and all sorted out.

Old pal Paul Henry greets us when we check in at artist liaison and takes us over to meet stage manager Dave Boardman,…another pal we know from his days booking acts (including yours truly) at the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge. The world is shrinking very quickly!

An impromptu performance for Oxjam at their pop-up stage!

We hang out and watch some of the early afternoon music and are about to go for something to eat when a lassie comes and asks “are you Dave Arcari?”. Yup! Apparently I’m expected on the Oxjam stage for a few number like, now! I had said I;d be up for playing a few songs for them but no-one ever got back confirming anything, let alone day or time. No worries – we rescue a guitar from backstage and race to the wee pop-up Oxjam stage, plug in and rattle out three or four songs for them. Impromptu, but fun.

Oddly, most of the bands have been selling merch from the front of the stage, but that’s not much good in the rain and I hae to clear my gear of the stage pretty quick for the next act to get set up…plus, we’ve to hand over a prize bottle of Glengoyne, Dave Arcari t-shirt and CD to the Glengoyne prizewinner…and have a dram with her. Arrangements had been made during the week that we could do it in the beer tent opposite the stage, but when we took stuff in there earlier, the girl running the bar was pretty short (actually, bluddy rude) with us and basically said no, we couldn’t!

Luckily the MugStock folks came in and got everything sorted out.

So…back in the main arena after the Oxjam thing, Margaret gets  a table set up for the merch and I go backstage to get ready for my set. The weather on Saturday was awful, but has been OK today…and luckily it’s dry throughout my set. The stage crew and engineers are brilliant and I have blast…and it’s lovely that the crowd came forward and endured the mud at the front of the stage πŸ™‚ 

I quickly clear the stage and rush up to the beer tent and the merch table to meet the Glengoyne competition winner and hand over her prizes. Margaret takes some pixs and we have a few drams πŸ™‚

My cousin John and his wife Pam are there and press a beer into my hand. Lovely to see them and other folks drop past to check out merch and say hello.

I have to go and shift my stuff from the backstage storage area to free up some space for acts coming in later, so we say cheerio to everyone and get everything to the car. We’ve had a great time, but we’re pretty knackered so nip back to the mail arena, exchange our meal vouchers for some grub then hit the road.

We’re home, unpacked and chilling with a drink by 8pm. Phew. What a day πŸ™‚

Glengoyne compo winner Deirdre picks up her winnings at the merch table

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Tuesday 20 June 2017

A nice wee dram helps my video editing go smoothly πŸ˜‰

MARGARET drops me, my guitar and all the video gear at Glengoyne distillery at 8am.

We shooting a quick d-i-y video of Whisky in my Blood for World Music Day. It’s a fun and productive morning, then I’m given a lift home in the Glengoyne landrover.

There’s some work to get out the way before lunch then I edit the video footage. Unfortunately the footage from the second camera isn;t really useable – really over-exposed. The camera switched itself off just before we started filming and although I got someone to switch it back on, the exposure lock was off. Ahh well…the other suff’s OK and it’s really just a wee thong for social media, not a video masterpiece.

While the rough edits are sending back to Glengoyne via wetransfer I go out for a walk and catch up on some podcasts.

I’m not long back when Betty drops in and we enjoy a drink in the garden in the last of the evening sun.

After a quick Thai-inspired stir-fry it’s back into the studio to finish the video edit ready for tomorrow, a few things in the office and, finally, a few minutes to relax in front of the telly before bed.

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Thursday 15 June 2017

Will and I have a great morning at Glengoyne and sample a little more than the angels’ share πŸ˜‰

A RUSH to get out the door to meet Catriona and Will and Glengoyne.

I’d promised Will at Christmas that we’d go on a distillery tour at Glengoyne and we finally sorted a date. 

While we’re on the tour Catriona and Margaret go to a place nearby for coffee and cake. Meantime, Will and I enjoy the tour and enjoy a few drams. i also use the visit as a chance to catch up with the marketing folks who are arranging things for the media/industry album launch event and a few other wee partnership projects over the next few months.

Margaret and Catriona pick up up when we’re done and we go to a garden centre place near Killearn for lunch. Very nice.

Back home we chat over a coffee or two then Catriona and Will head off and I get on with some work before making dinner.

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Thursday 20 October 2016

Time for a wee Glengoyne after the show with Keil Grove, Dig Deep and venue booker Dave. Alright!

Time for a wee Glengoyne after the show with Keil Grove, Dig Deep and venue booker Dave. Alright!

THE Microtel in Fond Du LacΒ proves to be another breakfast disaster.

Available ’til 10am says the sign, but t 9.30am there’ nothing – fridge empty, no yogurt, bread, bagels, muffins, cereal, milk…just a waffle machine and some crappy waffle batter. The manager comes past and says he’ll get stuff brought out…Margaret gets some cereal and a jakey-lookin’ guy comes out with a tray with three or four bagels that loom like they’ve been picked up off the floor. I pass.

Back in our room I get on with some poster art and online promo for the Scottish shows when we get back later in November and December…Bank Street Gallery (100% unplugged!) in Kirriemuir on Saturday 26 November and Clarks, Dundee on Thursday 15 December.

My eyes are playing up. I’ve been feeling pretty crap since we arrived the USA and I’m kinda sick go fighting it day in, day out. I’ve been stressed, irritable and feeling terrible – hopefully it hasn’t shown through.Β I decide – again – to try and blitz the uveitis and bump up the steroids. Far from ideal, but if I can keep things at bay ’til we get home and start feeling even a little better that’ll do.

We’ve a book club night a few days after we get back and I try to concentrate not things long enough to at least start reading Mornings in Jenin that was loaded on the Kindle before we left.

The Cold Shot, in Appleton, is 40 or 50 miles away and we leave a little early so we’ve time to stop in at a Japanese restaurant called Bamboo when we get there. After a nice meal we unload at the venue and catch up with our pals Dig Deep who’ve sorted the show.

Texan troubadourΒ Kiel Grove opens the show with great songs and stories, then I hit the stage helped by a Β few large drams from the audience, then the Dig Deep guys finish the night off…there’s a fantastic crowd in and we all have a blast. Some night!

I’m little worse for wear when we load out around 3am and stop at a Perkins on the way back to Fond Du Lac. Ooofft…

Keil Grove gets things off to a great start at The Cold Shot....

Keil Grove gets things off to a great start at The Cold Shot….

...then yours truly....

…then yours truly….

...and bluegrass mayhem from Dig Deep :-)

…and bluegrass mayhem from Dig Deep πŸ™‚

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