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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Tuesday 9 October 2018

Time for a dram with Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, the Trongone Band, soundman Eric and bar tender Morgan. Great night.

AFTER breakfast and the now normal routine of emails, social media and last minute “today’s show” online promo we hit town.
Margaret want to go to T J Maxx and we need some stuff to fix my necklaces.

On the way back to the hotel we pick up some stuff for lunch then I restring the guitars for tonight’s show.

Load-in at the Raccoon Motel is 5.30pm. The Trongone Band is sound checking as we load in then soundman Eric get me set up in good time for my 7pm stage time.

The place is pretty empty at ten to seven…but miraculously fills up as I take the stage. I have an absolute blast then clear the stage for the Trongone Band who play a blistering set before Sarah Shook hits the stage with her band, the Disarmers. Sarah’s albums have been on constant rotation back home since our pals at Bloodshot records tipped us off about her music.

We’re loaded out just after 10pm and back at the hotel slightly worse for wear soon after…some grub and then I crash!

I kick things off at the Raccoon Motel…

…then the Trongone Band….

…and Sarah Shook & the Disarmers.

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Tuesday 2 October 2018

Jesse Malin at Coney Island Baby, NYC

GOOD morning New York!

The guitars have arrived and the concierge guys have ’em downstairs. I go and pick them up and all’s well so we celebrate by going for breakfast at the Silver Dollar diner a couple of blocks away on 2nd.

Back ay Ginny’s we go down to the storage area in the basement and pickup all our USA tour stuff as well as my National ResoTone and the banjo.

I tune up the instruments and we do a quick livestream then Margaret gets busy folding and rolling t-shirts. We decide the best way to pack ’em is rolling thump with some masking tape round them marked with the size. We don’t have any masking tape tho’, so I go out an find an art supplier shop inside the interior design school then stop off at Morton Williams…a cool grocery store we like…and pick up some sushi and a couple of treats for lunch.

We eat then tape up and mark the shirts, do a little more work then make our way downtown to find something to eat before we go to Coney Island Baby to see Jesse Malin. The noodle place Margaret checked out inline is mobbed and there’s no chance of a table. After  wee bit of wandering about we find a poke bowl place which is pretty good then carry in to the bar/venue.

The support bands are good and the place fills up. I’m amazed there’s only one toilet cubicle for the entire place…mind you, at ten bucks a drink people probably don’t pish much here!

Jesse and his band – including hr guitar player I saw him with in Glasgow a couple weeks ago. – hit the stage soon after 10pm and play a storming 90-minute set.

When we get outside after the show there’ major rainstorm going on. After a couple of false starts we manage to get an Uber which drops us off back on the upper east side and we fall into bed at Ginny’s…

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