Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Tonight I reside in Charlo, Montana, on the old farmstead of my Herak grandparents (and great-grandparents). My uncle Marty lives here now with his wife Roxanne. Grandma Herak, as you may know, is currently living in an assisted living center in St. Ignatius. I visited her this afternoon and played some songs for her and crew. She's surprisingly healthy! I'm going to stay an extra day here so as to visit with her some more. This evening we attended the Charlo varsity basketball game. My cousin, Bocephus, is star of the team. The Vikings beat the top-ranked team in their division conference, Alberton, by fifteen points, and Bo was bedrock as always.

Last night was the finale of my January 2006 musical campaign. It took place in Spokane at the Shop. Though sparsely attended, decidedly due to wet weather, the audience was enthusiastic and the staff big-hearted. The show was the cherry on top of my most lucrative safari ever. In 26 performances I distributed close to 500 units (350 CDs and 150 pillow cases). I would have sold more, 'cept I sold out of every CD I brought and didn't have many left for my final two gigs. Plus, I didn't have my two brand new CDs available until midway through tour when they got overnighted to me in Little Rock, AR, and Dallas, TX, respectively.

My only disappointment yesterday was getting a $244 speeding ticket in Oregon.

Soon, time permitting, I will recount more highlights from this most excellent crusade to and through the skeleton key-hole of the American west. Pictures, too, will be forthcoming.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Portland, Oregon, was even more generous than Seattle. Great venue, great opening band--Grodie Bros. and Friends; they have the worst band name ever, but that makes it cool somehow. One of their members is named Spudblaster.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Last night's two shows in Seattle did me good. I sold $300 in merchandise and got to hang out with a lot of old friends. Now south to Portland, OR.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Played a fun show in Astoria, OR. Then the Bellingham college gig got cancelled, so I stayed an extra day in Astoria. Had a tremendous mini-vacation with Miranda and Teresa. Now it's off to Seahawk Town for a double-header: two shows in one night. Tomorrow back to Portland. Then Spokane and east, east, east. Excalibur is starting to chomp at the bit, hungry for his Dakota pastures. Slow down, boy. We're in the beautiful, moist NW for three more nights. Let my good times roll while they may . . . soon enough you'll be back where the prairie meets the badlands, and you can stretch out and rest a while.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I just got a recharging massage in Eugene, Oregon, from my friend Jennifer. Last night her hot tub helped ease the transition from sunny California to the foggy northwest.

To catch up . . . the downtown LA show at The Smell was fine, befriended a homeless El Salvadorean fellow named Daniel who thought my folk songs were "wack" (but loved the raps), stayed w/ friends Joanna and Reid in Long Beach, drank a beer with Anna Oxygen while the mariachi band serenaded a couple.

The next day Bill's ex-girlfriend, Eden, climbed in with us and we all drove to Big Sur for the Quiet Quiet Ocean Spell music fest. A pod of whales spewing misty geysers from their air holes and a classic sunset greeted our arrival. What followed was equally psychedelic--two days of gently waving music transmissions and tree-climbing ocean flights.

Then Bill and I drove to Oakland for our final show. It was modestly attended, but good enough. My cell phone, which I'd left in Long Beach, got returned by Joanna and Reid. I recited cowboy poetry to my homegirls, Annessa and Jolene (from the Flathead Rez in MT). I ate the best burrito ever after the show. Bill and I crashed in a dusty theatre storage room in the Mission District of San Francisco. At 8:30pm I saddled up Excalibur and drove nine hours north, to where I jog my memory and blog.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Groovy baby. I just made it to Eugene, OR.

Tomorrow I'll have time to write.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I added some links to the January 16th entry that you may find interesting.
The San Diego gig was lightly attended and odd. Thankfully the small audience was generous with donations. Bill and I spent the night at his friend Laura Fine's house. She made magic pancakes for breakfast w/ maple syrup and strawberries.

The weather is still balmy. The palm trees are bursting with flavor. As Sarah Vaughn sings, "It's good work if you can get it, and you can get it if you try . . ."

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I finally got a good night's rest. I'm shaved, scrubbed, and ready to rock westward to Quartzite, AZ--land of 10,000 R.V.s. We'll be doing a free, guerilla theatre-style show in the middle of the desert just for the snowbirds and tarantulas.

After the Phoenix hootenanny last night, Bill and I crashed at my cousins Annie and Ellery Williams' place, on the outskirts of the city. They have a sweet pad, indeed, with two friendly pups and a 50" television set. I watched World Poker until 2 a.m.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Met back up with Bill last night in Tombstone, AZ (where Wyatt Earp was sheriff back in the day), and we drove the remaining 30 miles to Bisbee for the show. Bisbee is a far out town full of artists and hobos. The show was excellent. I slept in a funky attic space with postcards for wall paper.

As for the hitchhike adventures:
I was really fortunate to arrive to the show on time. After being stuck in the Santa Fe/Albq. zone for three hours, I caught a ride with a nice guy on vacation in his 2005 Prius. He drove me the remaining 600 miles. We took the scenic route through one of the curviest, wildest highways I've ever been on in eastern Arizona. Saw a bear, elk, and plenty o' mule deer. This guy turned out to be an ABC (formerly CNN) News correspondent. He covered both the Saddam Hussein and Michael Jackson trials. He has interviewed Condi Rice and Arnold (the Governator). I told him I'll be his Dunn County scout/agent. I wonder if the branding at Voight's ranch this spring is worthy of international coverage. Maybe the annual Walleye Feed at the Buckskin Bar. I'll dig up something that ABC will surely latch onto (kiddin').

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!!!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I messed up and now I'm missing my Tucson show. Bill and I left Santa Fe early this morning and drove to Albuquerque for a photo shoot. Then we cruised south on the I-5 for a while, until I realized I had to hitchhike back to Santa Fe. This took me three rides. In Santa Fe I met a bunch of old homeless guys. We all played guitar for about three hours in the city square. Then I met up with my friend Crow. Tomorrow I have to hitchhike to Bisbee, AZ, which will be a challenge.
It was due. After a string of "smooth" shows, last night's gig in Santa Fe was rough. I blame it on the Albuquerque whiskey (it's pineapple juice from here on out.) The crowd was very forgiving, though.

Bill and I are now heading back to Albuquerque for an early morning photo shoot that was offered to us by a photographer named Emily.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Santa Fe, NM. Sunny and warm. More later . . .
This is the best tour I've ever been on. Last night in Alpine, TX, at Railroad Blues, was amazing. Tonight's show in Albuquerque, NM, was incredible. Excalibur ride on.

As we go, Bill has been videotaping our adventures. Today in the West Texas desert we had a good time of it. Saw a burro tramp--a lady who lives on her donkey and sleeps in the ditch at night.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Greetings from Denton, Texas. It's an hour outside of Dallas. Ol' Blue AKA the Blue Stallion AKA Excalibur AKA my '89 Buick Century is rollin' like a champion. Bill and I are like sardines in there, but everyday, with massive merch sales, we gain more breathing space.

However, today, 100 copies of Good to Be Awake arrived in Dallas at Bill's mom's house. They look good! Hopefully I'll sell a few tonight.
'Twas a warm night w/ a splash of rain at a guy named Henderson's house, and 50 or so folks showed up. Denton, Texas was bedrock. I still don't have my CD Good to Be Awake, but rumor has it that a box of 100 copies has arrived in Dallas this morning. I'll pick 'em up this afternoon.

Here's the Crunks Not Dead link for your reading pleasure.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Good golly, Miss Molly--it's hard to keep up. I'm in Huntsville, TX. Last night Austin. Before that Shreveport, Louisiana. The last two shows w/ Bill Daniel were great. Lots of people. Money was made. Warm weather. I lay out on the grass at Bill's brother's place with my shirt off and soaked up the 80 degree sun rays this morning. I got mild food poisoning in Shreveport at a barbecue joint, though. I've almost recovered.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Tomorrow begins the Road Dog Tour, with Bill Daniel, in Shreveport, Louisiana: see homepage.

I still have yet to receive my new CDs in the mail. Apparently the replication machines broke down. It's been disappointing not having either of my twin babies with me during this first week on the road. The good news is that they're finally done and in the mail. The bad news is they didn't arrive today, which means they might not arrive in Little Rock until I'm gone. Daaang.
Southern Missouri is pastoral. I'm twenty miles away from the Arkansas border.

Both of my last two shows were solid. In particular, I enjoyed last night's performance at Eastside Tavern. There is a lot of love for my songs in Columbia. It seemed like half the audience knew the words.

Just a few highlights of the last two days include:
  1. Hiking to Devil's Ice Box (a cave outside of Columbia) w/ Elise, Ben, River, and Lunaya.
  2. Leo Jalipa's enthusiasm, spaghetti, and beatbox skills.
  3. The hospitality of Malavika, Isiah, and Andrell.
  4. The songs of Noah Earle, Jesse Witherell, and Eli Gay.
  5. Walker's post-Christmas party feast.
  6. Breakfast on Eli at La Cocina this morning.

Also, 319 JOE's license plate is officially sold. Fare thee well.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

No time for gabbing. I'm in the middle of Iowa roaring down Highway 63 to Columbia, MO. Had a great time in Decorah last night at a house party. Really nice people lent out the top floor of their house and fed me and Samuel and Froseph food. Stayed in Jeff Mitchell's rustic-to-the-extreme cabin out in the sticks. Jeff Mitchell, by the way, is an amazing songwriter. Jack Norton called in the middle of my set, and we did a duet. Froseph played two songs, too.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The gig at Green Lantern was Grade A. Never sold so much merchandise on a Monday: thirteen of Love Hangover Sale, Pt. II, twelve of (return to the) . . . blackhole (of outerspace), fifteen pillow cases, and other odds and ends.

I stayed at my pal Samuel Pixley's farm after the show. He's the farming deejay.

Now it's to Decorah, Iowa.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

1/1/06- I'm in Fargo at the Red Raven Cafe. This joint is hip.