Monday, March 21, 2011

Meet Me at the Moon Tour: Month 1

Feb 24th-March 21st:

Our first day on tour we battled a snow storm on the way to Tacoma. We played with The Devil Whale there to a small but stoked crowd. TDW played their song Television Zoo, which is currently my favorite song of all time, so that made it a hell of a night! The next day we spent in Seattle at my brother Zach's house. That night we had our Seattle CD release party at The Grotto. A bunch of friends and fans came out and made the night one to remember. Nothing like an intimate party in an old speak easy. It was hard saying bye to Zach the next day. Knew I wouldn't see him til May.
That night, Sat the 26th we had our big CD release party in Portland at Laurelthirst Pub. It was our first show with tour mates, Leeroy Stagger (Canada) and Truckstop Darlin opened up the night, which was a real treat and honor for us. Love those guys. We knew right then that the tour was going to be awesome. Leeroy and his boys put on a fine show.
The next day we drove 9 hours straight, starting at 7 am to get to Sacramento in time for our 7pm show at the Sacramento Poetry Center. Thanks to Kate Asche for helping set that up! It was an intimate acoustic show to about 20 dedicated listeners in a very neat art space. Fun times.
The next day we had off, thank goodness. I ended up hanging out with our friend Michael Coffman and his lady Bea. They made me vegan lunch with goodies from a free box he'd picked up that morning. Then he took me on a bicycle tour around downtown, including a nice stroll through Capital park. Thrift stores, sunshine and belt buckles make it quite a successful outing!
The next day we woke up and drove 7 hours to LA. We stayed with our friends Lindsay and Phil in their beautiful home in Encino. Linz came out to the show and she and I had a fun ladies night with tequila and tiger/lion arguments with a man named George. Fuzzy times!
Quite hungover, the next morning we woke up and drove 7 hours to Fountain Hills Arizona. My good friend Michela's mom Donna lives there and she was kind enough to put us up for the night. Really nice place, really wonderful woman. Michela and her dad joined us the next day and we all enjoyed a walk in to town and a sit by the fountain. I also made friends witha couple of humming birds that morning while sipping my tea on the patio.
That night we played in Prescott Arizona at a place called The Raven. Great venue, great crowd and yummy food. I'd be happy to go back there anytime. Plus, as an extra super treat, some old family friends of mine drove and hour and a half up from Aquila to watch our set. One of my dad's best friends in the world and his family. Great seeing them and two of their grandchildren as well!
We didn't have a place to sleep that night (We are doing this whole 2 month tour with NO MOTELS) so we drove the hour and a half up to Sedona to crash at the Payne household, where the following night we were playing a house concert with Leeroy.
GREAT time in Sedona! Bryan and I hiked up to the vortex and sweat in the sun, breathin in the cacti and all that red rock energy. After yoga and relaxation, got to spend the evening playing music to locals around a campfire. Did the hike the following day before our departure. So looking forward to a return visit to that place, with those great people.
That night we played in an awesome little brewery in tiny town, Dolores, CO.
Didn't know what to expect out of this spot, but as a few people had promised, it was quite a GEM! Great food, great venue, lots of very excited, music loving people! We rocked for a while and then Leeroy got up and we enjoyed wine and dancing. Those locals could dance! All night too! That night we stayed with Rob's cousin in Cortez. Sweet people.
Next day we battled the snow at 11 thousand feet making our way to Crested Butte (Or as Bryan says, Crusty Butt) What a winter wonderland! Felt like I was back in northern Alaska, feet upon feet of snow piled high, taller than me with sidewalks and doorways shoveled out. Beautiful time there, stayed at their nice little hostel and played a day show up at West Wall Lodge.
Next morning we got to use the lodge's pool, jacuzi, and spa shower. What a treat!
After our spa morning, we drove towards Denver to meet back up with The Boys and play The Walnut Room. Cool space, and we even had some people come out. Most exciting for me was my friend Ryan from Sitka, AK, that I hadn't seen since we were 15. She's all grown up, married and had a whole little of ADORABLE babies. Nice Hubby too, it seems. :) It was also great seeing Kay and her husband, along with some distant relatives of mine by marriage: cousins of my wonderful Aunt Karen Hill. Neat surprise.
Have I mentioned how much we love Leeroy Stagger and his band? They rock so hard it's amazing. Fantastic lyrics and songwriting, perfect harmonies and probably the best drumming I've ever seen live.
That night we stayed with Miss Sarah, Bryan's best friend's mom who lives right outside of Denver. Very nice woman who let us take over her living room for a day and help ourselves to her kitchen. Always appreciated!
That night we played Boulder at a little wine/cafe spot. Pretty cool little show, and the venue was good to us. Stayed with some close friends of Rob's. Awesome Husky dog that shed all over us with love and hair.
Have I mentioned that the weather has been AMAZING this whole trip? (knock on wood, but it hasn't rained once) Take that Portland! :P
After Boulder we drove to Colorado Springs where we stayed with Bryan's friend Becky, who he hadn't seen in 15 plus years. Cool gal with a gaggle of kids running around. Made us a mean veggie curry. Winning! We played the Triple Nickel and had an okay show. The people in the room were really digging it.
We were really thankful in Colorado that the gas prices had gone down. $4.06 was the worst and that was in SoCal. We are back down to the $3.35-40 range now. (whhew)
The next day we drove to Albuquerque. We had set up a last minute house concert at my sister's friend Lesley's house. We had no idea what to expect, but in ended up being my favorite show of the tour this far! Beautiful house outside the city. Her living room had wonderful acoustics, and our backdrop was the city lights shining in through her huge windows. She also whipped up a delightful spread of snacks and wine. She said she didn't expect many people to come, but their ended up being about 40 of us there. Fantastic night with great attentive and generous people. Ended the night with some bananagrams. Fun times.
Next morning I called my Seaside friends, worried about Tsunami scares and damage. Such a horrible time for Japan! Katie assured me all was well, although the whole city had been evacuated at 3am the previous night. Scary stuff! That's where I lived for a whole year!!
That night we played in Las Cruces at the brewery. Cramped little spot, but people were digging the tunes. Ended up getting invited to a huge local St. Patty's day party. Danced til 3 am and watched silly hooligans be hooligans. Our new friends made us a great big breakfast in the morning. Thanks friends!! (Kyle, Liz, and Sarah..oh and Pablo too!)
That day we drove all day, 11 hours, to get to Austin. It was hot and long, but we survived. Got to Reese's house at around 11 and passed the f out. She came home drunk that night at 3 and got naked and whooped around the house. God I love that girl!
The next 7 days was SXSW in Austin and man I did NOT know what to expect. What a zoo! We loved pretty much every second of it. I will say that I think I drank more tequila in those 7 days than all the rest collected in my life. Day parties are where it's at. We didn't have wristbands so we just saw all the bands we wanted to see while they played their unofficial parties. Often times there was free drink and food. Win!
Plus we hung out with good friends and bands all week long. We saw/talked to The Head and the Heart, The Small Ponds, Or the Whale, Slaid Cleaves, and SOO many more. Great networking! Go us!
I feel like I've just come out of the best/longest party of my life-yet feel very productive cuz we played/walked/networked a BUNCH this week on top of all the good time stuff. Again, GO US!
Today we left Austin and drove 7 1/2 hours to Bryan's parent's house in Baton Rouge. I had enough energy to go out to dinner with everyone. I may have eaten friend pickles. (I HAVE to get back on my super awesome diet.) Austin was a litte tough, plus all the booze didn't help with the wise decision making. So now I've been in bed for hours, talked to my bestie on the phone, watched some Vice Guide to Travel on Netflix, and just when I was feeling lame and overstimulated mentally, with nothing to do, I remembered, ummmm HELLO! WRITE something. So I did. Two songs and this long rambling blog. Hope you enoyed!

Love and miss everyone.
xoxoemma, the gents, and steggy

Saturday, December 11, 2010


We took the night train to Paris from Barcelona. I slept some, but after lugging all my stuff on the metro and getting a bit lost, by the time I arrived at my host's house I was dog tired. When I got there, Sannita and Alice were there to greet me. Sannita got me tucked into Dom's bed so that I could catch up on some rest while everyone was out or working for the day. I stayed in bed until 5 and then found myself motivated to get up. It was my first night in Paris after all!

Alice showed me on the map how to get to the Eifel tower, only a short 20 minute walk, so I set out in the cold with Steggy in tow. Walking down commerce street, I was surrounded by shops and shoppers. Christmas lights hung in the street and everyone seemed busily buzzing around in preparation for dinners, meetings, parties and other nightly activities. Still a bit groggy from my nap I seemed to slip silently through their world, taking in the buzz without really being awakened by it or the cold. As Commerce turned into Motte-Piquet and I rounded the corner, there it was. The Eifel, in all her beauty rose above me. Awake with excitement I hurried into the park to get a view of her entirety. The base, strong and beautiful, held her perfectly straight and upright in to the Paris sky. The lit monument nearly brought me to my knees. After all these years of dreaming about world travel, seeing pictures of Paris and this tower, only to have them represent dots on the map. Now here I was, standing under her circling beacon of light. I suddenly had a flashback of my mother making buiscuts when I was very little. I was sitting at the counter playing with the dough scraps and my mother was speaking to me in french. “Ma petite cherie. Ma belle enfant.” She had taken french in high school.

I smiled, staring up at it, accepting the reality that I was both much later in time and across the world from that counter, those buiscuts, and my mother. Just then it turned 6oclock and the tower began to sparkle with crazy lights, going off like a sparkler on 4th of July in the shape of the Eifel Tower. In that moment, I smiled, eyes glazed and happy, so immensely happy to be living this life.

The next 6 days in Paris are a blur of good food, fun shows, art museums, and great new friends.

Friday I met up with another couch surfer named Rafael, he showed me the main sights on Champ De Ellyse. We started at the Arch and worked our way down, seeing The Concorde, Opera, ( ) Garden, The Louvre, and finally Notre Dame. We walked around inside the cathedral. I must admit, I'm a bit partial to Guadi's Cathedral in Barcelona, but the outside architecture of Notre Dame is very beautiful and impressive. Raf and I split up and I walked on to see the Pantheon, then walked the very long walk home. Friday night Dom had a small party at the flat and I helped cook with Sannita. We all drank wine and even small shots of absinthe, passing the guitar around and singing together.

Saturday I took it a bit easier. I got started on my book report for class, and met up with Jack at his host's place for lunch. His host Macsha is really nice. She's from Germany but lives in Paris, studying.

That night was our first show held at Tania and Francis' place. They have a huge art space/living loft that really blew us away. The food spread and atmosphere was quite superb that night. We sang to a crowd of about 70 people. Fun night for sure.

Sunday was free museum day, so I got up at 8 and got out the door. I did one wing of the Louvre and all of both The Orsay Museum and The Orangerie Museum. Saw works by Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Manet, Monet, Picasso, Renoir and so many more. Really packed, but awesome day. I went straight from running around museums to go play our second show. Luckily it was a laid back couch surfing crowd and a surfer named Matt's house. Everyone was really excited about the show, most of them having never had a house concert experience before. Jack and I put on a good show and I believe we both gained some new real fans.

Monday I took it very easy and finished my book report. Didn't really leave the house until Jack and I met up with Matt for dinner. He took us out to Indian as a thanks for the show. What a guy!

Tuesday was my last day in town and it was snowing very hard. I bundled up and went walking around Luxembourg Garden. That was a hoot. It was quiet and surreal in there. All the statues looked frozen and abandoned. There was one covered spot where a few old men were playing chess. Apparently snow doesn't bother them. I spent the rest of the day wandering, grabbed a takeaway lunch, then stopped at the market for that night's dinner. I was cooking for the whole flat as my thanks for their great hospitality. I made a big veggie thai curry, with carrot-zuchini salad, and garlic broccoli. They were quite happy about the meal, and so was I. Jack and Mascha joined us. We had a few drinks, passed the guitar again. Sannita and I sang some Anna Nalick at the top of our lungs. Everyone went off to bed and she and I stayed up late into the night swapping life stories. She's a great gal and I hope I've convinced her to go to Alaska. I think she'd fit in great there. She's from Latvia and has a lot of gusto.

Today I trudged through hellish weather to get to the metro and train station where Jack and I were supposed to meet. He texted me that he couldn't get to the station soon enough so I got a train ticket and he'll meet me here in Brussels tonight or in the morning. After getting a little lost, asking for a lot of help, I've found my address and was saved by two sweet french ladies in this warm and cozy African restaurant I'm waiting in. Best meal I've had yet in Europe and super cheap! Hopefully my host will be home soon and I can explain about Jack being later.

Hello Belgium!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I have to say it, I love Spain. The food, the people, the scenery, the trains, all of it impressed me. Our first night we pulled into port in Barcelona after riding the ferry from Civitiviche for 20 hours. Jack and I split up, he rode his bike to meet me after getting off the metro on Fontana street. We walked the few blocks to the apartment where we were staying. Aleix is an old friend of Jack's from their Amsterdam days. He is a choir conductor and lives in an apartment building his mother owns. Upstairs from him is his wonderful girlfriend Monica and their little baby, Sammy. I fell in love with Sammy. What a cutie! We had some time to rest that evening but later we were called down to an apartment on the first floor where Aleix's cousin Ernie lives. His flatmates are Enric and Israel. What a great bunch of people! Their friend Serena was over and we shared wine and stories, and best of all, songs. Jack and I did a few of our own and then the group showed us their version of a spanish classic, the name of which is escaping me. I posted a video of it on my youtube though (channel-emmahillband.) That was a really special night.

The next night we had a show at Monasterio which was a really cool club. There was no one there since we aren't known in Barcelona and it was a Monday night. (Apparently monday night USED to be songwriters night, but a month back that stopped being a thing.) We started playing a song to an empty room and in walked Serena, our new friend from the night before, followed shortly after by the whole gang! They had come down to our show and man did it turn the night around. We made it feel like a small party. Every now and then people would drift in and out. I think we may have entertained a guy from Germany and his girlfriend for a short bit. I had written a song called “Full Moon in Barcelona” that evening and luckily had already memorized it. It was about the night before so, as you can imagine, our new friends were very excited to hear themselves mentioned in a song. They were singing along by the end, which is always a nice feeling.

We had the next day off, which I spent resting up. I was still quite tired from lack of sleep, long ferries, and well, Italy.

On Wednesday we caught the train to Madrid. There we stayed with an even older friend of Jack's, Pablo. Pablo is one great guy! He treated us so well and it was great to see he and Jack catching up, you can tell how close they are. It was the day before Thanksgiving and because we had a show the next night, I decided to cook a big meal that night with the two of them to help me honor it. I made a vegan, gluten-free feast of candied yams, eggplant tien, pasta salad (with rice instead of pasta,) and veggie ceviche. The boys were quite pleased, and it helped me survive my first Thanksgiving away from loved ones. It was a very nice night. Jack and I sang to Pablo a few of our new duets and we drank a bit of wine.

Then next night we played at The Wurlitzer. It's a pretty hip spot, but maybe a little too rock and roll as the bathrooms were scary and there were little cockroaches randomly crawling on the bar. We had a local opener that night and between his few fans, and Pablo's little gang we had a small, but kind crowd. The bar treated us well with free drinks all night and they paid for our dinner. Pablo's friend Juan was leaving the next day to serve in Afghanistan, (he's a lawyer for the Spanish army,) so they were celebrating extra that night. I got sucked into the fun and after our set, we split off with Jack who was good and went home and went to bed. I on the other hand, stayed out all night with Pablo and friends, dancing our butts off at an awesome club playing Spanish and American hits from the 80's and 90's. Good times! I paid dearly the next morning with a killer hangover.

We got on a train that afternoon to Seville. There we walked about 30 minutes until we were in old town walking down narrow roads inside of castle like city walls. Hiding in a little nook behind the oldest church in Seville was Nick and Pilar's adorable flat. Pilar welcomed us in where it was warm and inviting out of the rain. (Apparently it never rains in Seville.) She fed us an amazing lunch of hot bean soup, fresh tomatoes and spiced olives. I was in heaven. After Jack and I both rested for a short bit, Nick got home and we started preparing the house for that night's show and party. Around 9 people started trickling in and soon the whole house was quite full and the tables were covered in yummy food. I drank only tea that night as I was still nursing my almost gone hangover. That was a really great show. Everyone sat quietly for my set and seemed very impressed with the songs. After my set we took a break to eat and socialize and then got settled back down for Jack's set. We ended the concert with our duets and everyone loved those.

In the morning Jack and I parted ways. He went on to Portugal, which I decided to skip as busses ended up being involved that were not covered my my Eurorail, and I had been invited back to Barcelona to hang more with Aleix and friends, and to really get to see the city. Boy am I glad I did. I had received an email the night before from Aleix telling me not to eat anything all day until I got back to Barcelona because he and the gang were planning a special seafood Thanksgiving lunch for me. I didn't eat a thing and it's good too, because they were not kidding around with that lunch. There were all kinds of clams and mussels is various sauces, with bread and olives. I stuffed my face having NO idea that there was an entree yet to come. Aleix had made a big seafood and potato stew which was delicious. We had tiramisu and champagne for dessert. These people are some of the most hospitable I've ever met. It's times like these that my faith in humanity is restored. Over the next couple of days I got to spend more time with each of them. One day Enric took me out walking all over the city showing me both the royal palace overlooking the city, as well as Gaudi's cathedral and the gothic quarter, all of which are breathtakingly beautiful. We had Indian for lunch which was a really nice treat for me. The restaurant he took me to was delicious.

The next day I explored some myself, went shopping in the open market. I also found a specialty shop that sold gluten-free bread and other yummy organics. Went home and made a snack and found myself invited to lunch with Aleix and Monica. They made yummy pizza and a side dish that I can't pronounce or spell, but involves asparagus and is really delicious.

After that I walked about 40 minutes across town to find a theater playing the original version of the new Harry Potter. It was very funny trying to explain to everyone why I wanted to see it, and no I wasn't claiming it was of great merit or had morals, but that it was merely entertaining. I guess I don't seem like the Harry Potter type. They have no idea, haha. That night I ended up heading down to the neighborhood pub with Ernie and Israel to watch the Barcelona/Madrid futbol match. That was fun. The place was rowdy and with good reason, everyone was excited to see Barcelona slaughter Madrid 5-0. I do have to say, that Madrid's big player, Rinaldo, I think is his name, is one sexy man.

Last night, my last night in town, I met up with Ernie at 6 to go to a nearby gallery where Israel was having an exhibition. He's a great photographer and is in a collective that works with tin-type photography. I enjoyed the art show very much and took some pictures of the work. I also plan on finding the collectives website and sharing that at a later date. Afterwards, we went to the market to get some food, as that night they were holding me a goodbye party, but I wanted to cook some things. I made stuffed mushrooms, padron peppers, and guacamole. Enric made more mussels, this time with a curry/ raisin sauce that was to DIE for. There were olives of course, which always makes my day. I think when I get home I'm going to start incorporating spiced olives into at least one meal a day. These people know what's up. I taught them how to play rummy and egyptian rat screw. The latter had us going for quite some time. I think it was a hit. I wrote a new song yesterday called “A Hundred Homes.” I played that for them and bid them farewell with one more round of “Full Moon in Barcelona.” Everyone sang along. Hugs all around and I went off to bed.

Jack and I shared one more lunch with Aleix today before we left for the station. He really is quite a character and such a fun guy to be around. I can't thank him enough for putting me up in his spare room for a total of 6 nights!

Now I'm sitting on the night train to Paris. I'm really looking forward to the city of lights. I'll be doing my first proper couchsurfing experience. Jack has a spot lined up and I'll be staying with a kind seeming fellow named Dominique from Quebec, now working in Paris. We've got two house concerts lined up, one of which already has 60 confirmed guests. Should be quite spectacular.

That's all for now. Xo

Sunday, November 21, 2010



My first day in Rome was hectic. I had started my journey from the Portland airport at 9am and after stops in Seattle and Paris, arrived in Rome at noon their time the following day. Luckily I'm not afraid to ask for assistance, because I had no idea how to find the train into Rome, or how to buy the tickets. After I got it figured out and a half hour train ride, I was at the Termini Station in the center of the city. I was to stay in a hostel that night called The Yellow and I had a few simple directions on how to reach it from the station. What I didn't know is how crazy the drivers would be, that almost no one would speak English, and the street signs are not signs at all but carved into the sides of corner buildings. With assistance from about five different people, while lugging around my stuff over cobblestone and dodging mopeds, I finally arrived at the hostel. It was super cute!

Once I checked in I got on the web to let everyone back home know that I had safely arrived in Rome. While I was in the bar doing that, I met a man named Austine Igwe from Malta. We became quick friends and decided to get dinner and see some sights before it got too late. He's very nice and easy to hang out with. We had fun walking around seeing the Republica and inside of the Santa Maria Basillica.

That night we drank wine and met about 15 people outside. I brought my guitar down and we played and sang songs, drank wine and shared stories from our travels. I will not forget that night. What a wonderful introduction to my trip!

The next day Austine and I met up in the morning, stored out things and went to see Old Rome. As you get off the metro and walk out into the air, the first thing you see is The Colosseum. It was breathtaking!! The energy that it puts out, and the way the light was shining through its columns was quite a sight to see. Of course all the surrounding arches and ruins were fantastic as well. We walked down and continued to take in the sights, piazzas and then finally Trevi Fountain. I made my wish, he made his. It was beautiful to see it and all the people gathered there.

Austine split up with me to head to the airport to catch his flight home and I headed back to the hostel to use the internet. On the way there I bumped into Lindsay. (we met the night before) She's a videoblogger from California. You can follow her Twitter @ twitter/lindzluvs She's great fun and since I realized I'd have to stay another night at the hostel, I got moved into her room and we visited at the bar and made friends with some guys visiting from Germany and had a nice chat. We got a bit of sleep than woke up the next morning and headed out to see The Vatican.

What can I say? It's overwhelmingly beautiful. I plan to post photos on my facebook.

The ceilings alone, (ALL OF THEM) were beyond anything I'd ever seen. The attention to detail in Rome is quite amazing.

After that and a bite of lunch, Lindsay and I headed back towards the hostel, we both had to head to Termini station, so she could head off for her side trip to Paris, and so I could meet up with the amazing Jack Stafford.

It's great fun traveling with Jack. His sense of humor never stops and he helps keep me confident during this new experience of hectic traveling.

That first night we played at a couchsurfers ( meetup in Rome. They fed us and we met a bunch of people. This is where I met Kisha who put me up that night so I didn't have to pay for the hostel again. She's a gal from New York living in Rome, living the dream really. She leads quite the life! She was good to me and helped with directions in the morning so I didn't get lost and miss the train.

Speaking of missing trains, Jack and I missed our first one, but luckily there was another shortly after. We made it to Reggio earlier than expected and while we waited for Giovana we did yoga in the square. Even though we got funny looks, it did us a bunch of good and it's always better to have a companion to do strange things with, then you don't mind the looks really.

Giovana came and got us in her car and we went out to her vineyard/b&b. What a beautiful piece of land! And that was in winter! I can't imagine how perfect it must be in season. We had an entire villa to ourselves. That night we sang a concert to about 25 people who all brought food, wine and great attitudes to share in the evening. They were a wonderfully attentive audience and all very nice people. I sold some albums, as did Jack.

The next day was a traveling day and it was train, train, walk, ferry.

20 hours later we landed in Barcelona. Now I lay here in a bed offered by Jack's kind friend Ilix. We will be here until Wednesday and then we will head to Madrid. We play a show tomorrow night.

Until next time,


Monday, November 15, 2010


I'm sitting here in the Portland airport. I have about 24 hours of flying ahead of me, and 6 weeks of European adventure. I'm excited and nervous. I've never been traveling alone before and although I will be meeting up with my friend Jack Stafford and tagging along with him for the majority of my time there, this is a big step for me. I love my friends and family and love spending my time with them. I also love the holidays. This will be the first Thanksgiving that I will spend without family or very close friends.

Enough of that! That's sounding way to whiny. I'm SOOOO Excited! My first week will be spent in Italy. I have three days off to roam around Rome. I'm ready to walk! I'm also ready to sing on the Spanish steps...

So I'm going to try and be faithful with my blogging and other media updates. I started a tumblr account today that is dedicated to my friend Steggy and our adventures together. You can check it out at

I love you all and will look forward to keeping in touch via the wonderful worldwide web.
xoxoemma hill

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 26 - Separate Ways

Sat, Oct 2

I flew out of Oakland early that morning to get back to Portland in time to attend a wedding. The guitarist for Scotland Barr and the Slow Drags, Zach, was getting married that day, and I couldn't miss that! It really was a great party, very informal and a lot of fun. But I did feel a twinge of jealousy that Emma was getting to stay in SF and see two more days of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.

Day 25 - Hardly Strictly

Fri, Oct 1

Randomly, we were already scheduled to be in the Bay Area at the same time as the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, which is a free 3-day concert put on by a super rich guy as his present to San Francisco. Actually, someone on the All You Can Jet facebook page told us about the event, and then when we were in DC, Danny from Stripmall Ballads told us he was flying in for the show! Small world. We borrowed Emma's Aunt Becky's car to drive into the city (thanks!) and spent a while finding parking, then headed to Golden Gate Park and found Danny. The first set we watched was The Waybacks - I've never seen a guy shred on distorted acoustic guitar like this guy! Then we saw Patty Griffin with an amazing band behind her. Emmylou Harris came out and sang a song with her. Unfortunately, we had to leave early that day, missing Jenny and Johnny - but we had seen them in Portland just before leaving on tour, so it wasn't too heartbreaking. We made it out to Point Richmond for our gig, which was at a cozy little wine bar called Four2Nine. We played on the patio out back, opening the night, then relaxed and watched the other bands. Good friend John Howland closed out the night with his bassist Andrew (and the infamous Burger King shirt).