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