2006 ~ Were You There?
As 2006 wound down, as always, I became a little nostalgic. And I realized how many of you guys I met out there on the road this year. Anyways, here are a few highlights from 2006.
January 6th 2006 – Belcourt Theatre (Townes Van Zandt Tribute Show)- Nashville, TN
As amazing as that show was…not just performing, but getting to listen to everyone else. The after party was even more memorable. Weird, but memorable. Those of you that we’re there know what I’m talking about.
February 2, 2006- Poison Room – Cincinnati, OH
Cold as Hell……..ran into an old friend. made a new one.
February 3, 2006 – Red Line Tap – Chicago, IL
Damn it was cold. It hadn’t been that long since I’d been in Chicago, but things had changed quite a bit. Felt like exorcising old ghosts. Which we all must do from time to time. But damn it was cold. And snowing like Hell when I left the next day. Whoever that was, thank you for letting me crash at your place. Sorry about your cat.
February 23, 2006 – The Grey Eagle – Asheville, NC
Chris Knight was great. I hadn’t seen him play in ages….and it was good to hear him with just a guitar again too. The folks at the Grey Eagle were extremely gracious. And my ex’s parents fixed me dinner. Who woulda thunk it? All is forgiven.
March 17th, 2006 – The Underground City Tavern – Springfield, IL
It’s always good to see Brian and the folks at UCT. It was St. Patty’s Day so everyone was extra festive. I got to team up on this show with my good friends Last Train Home. I had knee surgery two weeks before this show, so luckily I have a little brother who was willing to chauffeur me around that week. Thank ya bro.
May 6, 2006 – Piney Woods Performances – Conroe, TX
I seem to have a SERIOUS THING for Texas Beer. And I don’t discriminate, I love ’em all. Cheers! And got to meet a lovely lady from Louisiana on the way to the Lonestar state.
May 17, 2006 – The Basement – Nashville, TN
CD release show for “Drink Ring Jesus” record. The Coalmen were great as always. Chelle Rose was great as always. Gotta love The Basement. They do it up right. One of the more memorable nights in good ole Music City of 2006.
May 27, 2006 – The Down home – Johnson City, TN
This place has become one of my absolute favorite places to play over the years. Ed and company are great. And I ALWAYS have a good time in Johnson City. And this was no exception. And it’s been fun getting to know Mic and the High Score boys. So much fun we decided to have them back me up on the fly for part of the set that night. So if you saw that show you definitely saw the High Score boys flying by the seat of their pants. And whoever’s whiskey bottle that was stashed across the street. Thank you & Damn you.
June 15, 2006 – Dave’s Taverna – Harrisonburg, VA
I followed two beautiful women through a graveyard after midnight. This sounds made up. But it’s true. There were witnesses.
And “someone” in my band learned that you can’t do handstands on tombstones. Especially old ones. They will fall over. And you will be cursed. Though I hope for his sake that said curse has been lifted.
I’m not sure why they threw us out of the Super 8 so hastily that next morning. Hell, we weren’t even there but a few hours. And usually hotel personnel are so polite. Ya know, with it being a service industry and all. But not that dude. Check out’s at 11am…Get your shit and get out. So much for a little late checkout for the guys in the band. Sheeeeesh. I did write them a spirited email when I got one of those “How did we do?” follow up surveys the next week. Funny thing is….I was still in the shower and missed most of the fireworks. It seems Paul and Willie we’re exchanging verbal jabs with the staff while I was trying to wash away a bad hangover. The music store with the ukuleles made up for it. Ukuleles make everyone happy.
June 16, 2006 – Ashland Coffee & Tea – Ashland, VA
This place has become a regular stop for me and I couldn’t tell you a better place to play a show. Kay and Co. are always wonderful to us. I truly love playing here and seeing everyone everytime I come through.
Willie solved our late night conundrum about whether to cure our late night munchies with Wendy’s or Taco Hell. He decided on both. He took the Taco Bell bag with one hand with his half-eaten Wendy’s burger in the other. Weird looks from the cute little girl at Taco Hell that night.
The time I was here before that………..all I had to eat was an apple Steve Wedemeyer gave me. Pretty good damn apple though.
June 17, 2206 – The Anvil – Greensboro, NC
R.I.P. Dear Anvil : Great People, hope they start another club.
I love my friends “The Everybodyfields”. They are sooooo good. But that’s not why I love them. We have sooooo much fun is why I love them. I met Sam at Merlefest when he and I were finalists in the songwriting contest. And that’s also where I met Kathy (who first booked me at the Garage in Winston-Salem, NC). And she is like some kinda honorary member of their band in my mind. Anyways….I keep running into these guys all over and we keep playing shows together randomly…and viola’ …..Now I add them to my list of friends in Johnson City, TN (Rob Russell & The Sore Losers, etc, etc). And on top of that, Jill’s singing is the reason I met my ex-girlfriend. So even though I lay the blame for that relationshiop/heartache ever existing squarely on her shoulders, I hold no grudge. I still love her. Jill, that is.
Big thanks to our “secret pharmacist” who supplied us with some freakin’ great cough syrup…….and suddenly………everyone in the band had a bad cough. Though in retrospect it didn’t mix well. Also note to self: Don’t start one big band tab at the bar. Stick to what’s in the green room. That shit gets outta hand too fast. It’s like we all think it’s not ours when it’s all together.
I saw the sun come up in Greensboro. And I’m not sure why. Except to say I wasn’t the only one still up. It says it all when someone in the band says his heart was hurting, but he was too afraid to speak up and ask if anyone would take him to the emergency room. By far the longest ride home from North Carolina I’ve ever had. If it weren’t for the Bojangles biscuits, I don’t think any of us would’ve made it. I slept for two days when I got home.
June 25, 2006 – Westside Cafe – Frederick, MD
Well, thanks to the most torrential rainfall MD has seen in 20 yrs, attendance was not what we would’ve all hoped for. But Steve and everyone at Westside are great. And I have to say, if you’ve ever got a day to kill around Frederick, do it. Stroll the same streets the Union army marched down on their way to the battle of Gettysburg. Also, if you have as thick of a Southern accent as I do, remember to speak slowly and repeat your order till they understand you at the coffee shops there. “Ice-coffee” for example, must be very hard to understand.
June 27, 2006 – The Purple Fiddle – Thomas, WV
A dead day in my schedule landed my in WV for a day off. It was gorgeous…but it rained the whole time I was there. However, I was able to get some writing done since I was the only soul in the little old house I stayed in. And I re-watched “Last Of The Mohicans” for the first time in ages. Natty Bumpo Rocks! Oh yeah, and there was also this awesome old bar down the street called “The Sportsman”. I think Crown Royal was $1.50. And it was my downfall. That and the jukebox. I kept old school George Straight and Bob Seger blaring all night long (I’m told Steely Dan isn’t allowed in there). And I played any and everybody in pool. And I’m pretty sure I saw the Mothman.
June 28, 2006 – Starr Hill – Charlottesville, VA
Such a beautiful town. And good to see an old friend again.
July 29, 2006 – Bluesboro – Murfreesboro, TN
The day after my birthday and my first show in Murfreesboro in ages. It’s funny because I went to college here and worked there for several years after school. And I have alot of family there as well as friends. So this felt alot like a homecoming show. That building usta be called “Jonathans” and was my favorite watering hole back in college (along with the ever-surviving “Campus Pub”). But Rob and all the guys and gals that work at Bluesboro are always great to me and the band. I think waitresses have gotten prettier since I was in school there. And until someone builds a club in Woodbury or Manchester (don’t hold your breath), this is the hometown show.
July 14, 2006 – The Halo – Johnson City, TN
I’m always happy to play a show and hang out with my mates in JC. Rob Russell & The Sore Losers are my boys, and we always have helluva time. And this little spot in Johnson City has to be one of the coolest bars I’ve ever been to. I see why the call it the Halo. Every one of those gals behind the bar seems to be a neon angel of some sort. Take your pick. You’re bound to fall in love with one of them. Or all of them.
Aug 5, 2006 – Kudzu’s – Memphis, TN
Good to see Nancy Apple and Co. as always. I have alot of very near and dear friends in Memphis, and always have a good time there. And any place with the name “Kudzus” will always tug at my heartstrings.
Aug 19, 2006 – Mucklewain – Harriman, TN
This whole festival was a blast. Joey and Co. really outdid themselves. Of course playing at noon leaves waaaaaay too much time for a guy to wander around a festival in East Tennessee. And I tried to play a trick on my buddy Paul by tempting him with two beautiful East TN gals (who unbeknownst to him had been put up to their tomfoolery by moi’…but like a good boy, he held firm). So somewhere deep into that Mucklewain night I finally bit the dust in a tent shortly before the sun came peeping up.
Aug 24, 2006 – Tasty World – Athens, GA
It’s always good to be back in Athens. Especially when I get to play with my buddy Dodd Ferrelle. I’ve made alot of good friends over the years down there. And I made a few more this time as well.
Sept 8, 2006 – Tunes At Twilight – Cape Girardeau, MO
Well what must have been my first live TV appearance (KFVS-12) was made interesting by the fact I had to be there at 5:30am in the morning. But Mr. Underburg (who incidentally kept me up and forced me to drink his fine bourbon) made sure I got there on time. I think there’s a copy of this floating around on Youtube. The show that evening was very pleasant. It’s a much bigger town, but it reminded me of Woodbury for some reason. Maybe it was the fact I was playing outside on a Gazebo Stage in front of the Courthouse. But don’t let this quite little college town fool ya. I’m told when the bars close a taxi service will take you across the river to the bar on the Illinois side, where “the” bar stays open later.
Sept 13, 2006 – The Evening Muse – Charlotte, NC
I always love playing at The Evening Muse. It seems I’ve built up a good bit of history at that place in a short time. Maybe my North Carolina shows just seem to be more eventful than others. I don’t know. It had been years since I’d seen Bruce Robison. He’s always been one of my favorite country songwriters. He’s got that kinda laid back smooth country style that always reminded me a bit of Don Williams, albeit with a little Texas Two-Step thrown in for good measure. Anyways, he and his band we’re very gracious to me. When a man’s traveling around solo he spends a little too much time alone. And the shows themselves are the only time for any interaction. So many thanks to Bruce and the boys for the whiskey and the company.
Sept 14, 2006 – The Purple Onion – Saluda, NC
Return trip to one of my favorite places around. Everyone there is always so good to me. I crave their food. And I always have a good time. And it’s close enough to Asheville to see my friends there too. New and old. One of my better nights in 2006.
September 15, 2006 – The Garage – Winston-Salem, NC
I love the Garage. And I really love the bar across the street. But weird things always happen to me in Winston-Salem. There’s the ex-gf thing. The Jehovah’s Witness Conference thing. Now the disturbing late night text thing. I dunno. Maybe somebody burned a buncha witches in Salem, NC too, like they did in New England. Freaky.
September 24, 2006 – Eddie’s Attic – Decatur, GA
It’s always good to see/hear the Little Country Giants again. And the new folks at the Attic (Bob), as well as the old (Eddie) are very gracious to me. And over the years I’ve made some great friends in Atlanta (hello Kerry and Tiffany)….and my long lost son; Rocket, the dog, resides there as well.
Sept 16, 2006 Rodi – Gastonia, NC
Damn that is one cool place. Their food goes right up there with “The Purple Onion”. My two freakin favorite places to eat out on the road. Everyone who works there is so damn nice. And without their company, I woulda been one bored dude in ole Gastonia that night. They made me forget Tennessee lost to Florida by one point that night. Also, I think I’m undefeated in Pool in Gastonia.
Oct 19, 2006 – The Basement – Nashville, TN
I’m always happy to share the stage with my buddy Mack Starks and The Coalmen. And me and the band used this show as a way to try out all the new tunes on the new record (Spring 07 release?) ………and we we’re even graced by Miss Jody Haynes who make all those harmonies sound so great on the record.
October 26, 2006 – Dave’s Taverna – Harrisonburg, VA
A special thanks to borrowing Elvis’ gear to go parasailing……too much fun for me. Though they say it killed him. But I did get a little dehydrated. Thank you for the water Chop.
October 28, 2006 – Family Wash – East Nashville, TN
After an 11 hr ride home I managed to stumble next door to the Family Wash for the “Music From East Nashville” Cd release show. And I played the more traditional version of “Drink Ring Jesus”, not exactly the remix on the compilation record. Kinda hard to do that without a DJ.
Nov 10, 2006 – Corner Lounge – Knoxville, TN
Damn that was fun. Mic Harrison and the High Score boys once more. Probably the best show we’ve ever done in Knoxville. And there’s some video of that trip floating around somewhere. Funniest line I’ve ever heard someone say before he answered his phone in the van: “Ok, everyone act like 100 children just died!”
So here’s to seeing you guys in 2007…..