Writing this in the backyard of Scott’s friend Josh, a saxophonist in New Orleans who is nice enough to put us up for the week. There is a warm breeze and it is a sticky but beautiful 80 degrees, although it is kicking up a bit and there are some storm warnings.
Some carryovers from S.F.: Grant trying on a handmade tie-dye coat at Jamming on Haight, and my favorite photo on the Boom Boom Room Wall, Big Mama Thornton with the Muddy Waters Blues Band.
SO…after San Francisco we had a show at Harlow’s, in Sacramento. We played with Big Sticky Mess, a funkadelic trio from Davis. They were a lot of fun, a little bit of Bootsy Collins, Cameo, and 70’s funk guitar and bass; it was impossible not to dance! We stayed at their house in Davis, a musician’s house with 11 people, jam/recording space, and a friendly house dog. Many of them work at the Trader Joe’s down the street from their house part time, which gives them time to work on music too. Davis seemed like a cool, mellow college town, although I didn’t have a whole lot of time to explore.
We then headed to Nevada City to another favorite spot, the Crazy Horse. The Horse has a small apartment unit above the bar that we were able to stay in (any time we have the opportunity to stay somewhere with a kitchen is a great thing because we can save money by cooking. Of course, avoiding hotel room rentals is a huge cash saver too.) We had a day to rest, stretch the legs and play frisbee, and wander around a town a bit. I found a bookstore and bought a copy of Tolkien’s the Silmarillion, which I’m hoping to get through in the van rides and plane ride home.
The Tuesday show at the Crazy Horse was pretty intimate, with plenty of supportive local folks. Some are here for Jazzfest too!
Thursday was time for Southern California, in Hollywood. We swooped in to load and soundcheck, and I had just enough time to go to the big Amoeba Music store there, where I picked up a used Zero 7 CD, the Garden, which I’ve checked out from the library and played beginning to end several times over the years, so I figured it was time I buy it. I also went to dinner with my dear friend Sarah; I wish there had been more time, but as always it felt good to catch up and hear her thoughts on things.
Although our show at the King King Theater there in Hollywood was kind of sparsely attended, the stage was really nice and the sound was awesome. We also made a few new fans and signed some albums, something I don’t think I’ll ever get used to!
Right after the show we loaded up and left for San Juan Capistrano; Sam’s parents hosted us that night and the next day and treated us to lunch. As is the case with everyone who puts us up, they were extremely warm and hospitable, and very curious about the touring life, which I honestly have fun discussing (obviously).
Every once in a while I deal with some anxiety about making a music career work. Scheduling performance and teaching commitments efficiently can be really tricky, and I worry about shortchanging students by being away too often or for too long, and although it is tremendously exciting for me to have these chances to travel, I am always trying to be aware of my responsibilities back in Seattle, and it looks like these travel opportunities are going to come up more often in the future. For now, the best I can do is be honest and give as much notice and accommodation as possible, and hope for the best; I’ve seen more than a few examples of how people make music work professionally on this trip, so I know it can be done.
That’s all for now, next post I will cover San Diego and the Southwest!