Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Transformative Measurement of Dynamic Change in the 22nd Century

Well it's starting to get cold here. Not cold like Minnesota or Canada, which is the coldest places I've ever been, but cold like Tennesee. Which, if you've never been here, is cold enough for me! We are rehearsing some new material and working on some new sounds for 2008 (you know this year is almost gone!). I'm looking forward to playing out soon. It's funny to play almost everynight for 6 weeks and then just stop for 2 weeks. I mean, I don't stop playing, I play all the time at home,it's just different when you're sitting on your own couch or when you don't even have to finish the song, or when you just play Van Halen covers all night to try and make your wife laugh! Of course, I also dress a little differently when I'm playing "concerts" for my wife..."Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love...I'm trying to get her to hold a lighter up while I play, but she's not even having any of that. It's also kind of strange having internet so close! No Panera Bread! Not even a Starbucks! My wife's coffee is a thousand times better! Plus I get to sleep with the Barista!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

September tour in tha' books!

After having a chance to sleep in my own bed for a couple of nights, I'm ready to sum up the last leg of the tour. What a great time we had! It's been a while since we did a 5 week tour in one stretch and in the past, you usually hit the brick wall of despair/anger/frustration/loneliness about 3 weeks into it. This time was different though for a lot of reasons. For one thing we've been going around the country making friends for the last 7 years and now when we go to Des Moines, we look for Duane. When we go to Steamboat Springs, we know we'll see Arnie. When it's Topeka, it's time to see Jeff and Trina. It's so great to have friends in all these areas that come out and support us and welcome us into their towns with open arms. We are truly blessed to have such great friends across the country. Another big big reason for the tour going so comfortable, is the fact that we had several chances to hang with my MF brothers and even JAM!! NYC was Chuck MF Lanza territory and a great sushi dinner with my old friend Arnie G. When we hit Chicago (as usual) all bets are off! Keith MF and Jen Throneberry made the trip with Tyler's mom, Chuck MF a.k.a. Smoke-on-the-MF'n-water! and Lori flew in from NY for his B'day, Randy Z fed us and made the trip up, Superfan was there, and best of all Buddy was there and hanging out with him is something I never get enough of. Keith and I discovered (well he re-discovered) the hottest hot sauce in the universe. This stuff is what hell tastes like <http://www.insanechicken.com/da-bomb-final-answer-hot-sauce.php> You like hot stuff? I mean really hot stuff? Do you like it when tiny men with torches leap on your tounge wearing spiked shoes? Then you'll love The Final Answer! When we got to Minneapolis, it's time to hang with Tim and Susie Obrien and Pappy and the gang. What a beautiful group of people. I am blessed to know them all. We had an amazing oasis in Wisconsin when our man Dino not only put us up at his house, but his supercool mom cooked us an amazing Italian dinner! Dino's friendship is another blessing in my life that I am so grateful for. He's done so much for us as a band with his inspiration and enthusiasm, but it's his friendship that means the most to me. God blessed me with one wonderful brother, Shane, but he's blessed me again with a bigger family of spiritual brothers than I ever dreamed of. And of course, there's my band family. If it wasn't for Richard and Tyler, I'm sure I would have lost my mind many times on this trip. Richard and I have done this for a lot of years, and we're still loving it as much as we did the first time we went out. Watching Tyler grow into this gig has been one of the really fun things about this trip. For 5 weeks, he's gotten better every night. On many occasions, people have been coming up to us telling us how great it is to see us smiling on stage and having fun! I thought we were always having fun, but I'm glad it's showing! It would have been fun to go back to the first nights gig at the end of the tour and see the change. One thing you can't plan for is how people will respond to adversity. You just have to go through it and see what happens. These guys have met every challenge with a positive attitude and a smile. That allowed me to keep my perspective and stay cool when we lost all my cables and my tool box on the interstate in the middle of the night (if anybody in KC finds my roadcase, I'd appreciate it if you could send it back to me!). Every challenge was just an opportunity to get after it and they made it fun for me. We ended up in Louisville at one of our favorite joints Stevie Ray's. My voice, for the first time in 5 weeks, was completely gone the first night thanks to a nasty cold. I'm not a great singer anyway, but when you open your mouth and don't know what's going to come out, it's a scary thing indeed! We got through it with a lot of guitar playing and Richard stepping up with his "Badboy" self! Second night was a little better vocally, but I didn't really get it back until I got home. And that brings me to the best part of any trip, HOME!! My girls are the most important things in my life and I haven't gotten enough hugs and kisses yet, nor have we played enough games of "Princess Monopoly" or Hi Ho Cherrio. My guitars are all put back together and my amps didn't flinch at all this trip. I've got Keith MF lined up to rebuild the trailer, and tonight he and I will take the two most beautiful women in the world to Papa Boudreaux's where we will eat and drink too much and howl at the moon! Man it's good to be home!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

3rd Annual Blues Christmas Benefit

It's hard to believe that it's almost Thanksgiving, but this year has flown by! It's time to start planning the 3rd Annual Blues Christmas Benefit. This is our homecoming show and a chance to help our hometown community. The last two years have raised over $13,000.00 for this charity and we're hoping to double that amount this year. As always, the heavy lifting of the planning and prep work goes to Keith MF Throneberry and Xtreme 4X4. In addition to the devastatingly talented Ms. Natale Stovall and her great band, as well as food and drink, we're planning to have a silent auction with memorabilia from various entertainers, sports figures and celebrities. As always, the SHB will be there and we're planning a special show just for this event, with some friends from the extended SHB family. This is our chance to give back to the community that has been so supportive of me throughout my career and the place that will always be my home. If you're coming in from out of town and want info on tickets and accomidations, or If you can't make it to town, but want to contribute (or get a really cool t-shirt or poster), email us at: scottholtband@gmail.com

Monday, October 15, 2007

Day 31 or How to correctly determine the sex of your new sea monkey

Day 31 of the current tour, and here's the kind of day that you're glad you can make it through; We get up on Sunday morning grab a Starbucks and travel 3 hours through a snow storm and over the Rocky Mtns to an afternoon gig in Arvada, just outside of Denver. We load in and play at 2:00 pm to maybe 10 people who are nonetheless appreciative and make it worth it for us. We load out, then we get in the van and drive to a Chipotle for the first meal of the day at 8:00 pm. We then get back in the van and drive 4 hours to a Wal-Mart parking lot where we sleep for about 5 hours wake up in a freezing wind storm and then grab a cup of Starbucks and travel the remaining 5 hours to Kansas City for our gig tomorrow and Wednesday. We resist the urge to get a picture of Tyler sitting on a gorilla (it's just too freakin' cold!) We checked in to our Hotel and then left immediately for a 2:30 pm lunch, (Arthur Bryant's BBQ!! KC's best)returned to find that the hotel we're staying in for 3 days has a broken TV in our room (there's also 2 extremely large Bull Mastiffs inexplicably chained to a small tree just outside our room and no other cars in the parking lot!). We change rooms (far from the deadly canine guardians of hell), get showers (yes we are clean)and head for Panera Bread to get the first Internet we've seen in about 5 days. The connection's too slow to catch up on The Office or any other TV show that we haven't seen in about 4 weeks. I can't even find the Clapton interview from Larry King! (I did just finish his biography a couple of days ago, great book!) I try to respond to some my space messages, but there's a ton of them and I'm always afraid I won't go back far enough! I do appreciate all the messages though and I will get them answered eventually. I did check out footage of the current Van Halen tour (seems to be the exact same show every night which is kind of a bummer, of course that might be the only way they can keep Eddie and Dave from killing each other! they also are keeping Wolfgang in the shadows).Now the goal is get back to room in time to see Curb Your Enthusiasm, do some laundry (we're clean I told ya!) and change some strings on my guitar before hitting the first bed I've seen in 35 hours! Now you want to hear the really crazy part? I wouldn't trade jobs with anybody on the planet! And now for some random thoughts and observations; As I said earlier, I've been keeping up with the current Van Halen tour and listening to a lot of the shows via the Internet. They are sounding better every night, but you just can't go home again. Actually Wolfgang often sounds the best of the lot! It's sad to see how far Eddie has fallen from where he was at his peak.Just found out about this guy Kimbo Slice on You Tube. Holy crap!! this is like the scariest guy I've ever seen! He looks like Mr.T if he'd done real time. He's some kind of backyard fighter that just beats the crap out of people (except for this one fight where the guy uses a choke hold on him). Went and saw 3:10 to Yuma (great film) We Own The Night (...you also own my $10.00 and I want it back for sitting through that slow moving piece of crap that even a nude Eva Mendez couldn't save!) Now I want to see Into The Wild, Eastern Promises and American Gangster. I started an audio diet of nothing but Eric Clapton last Monday, other than Sunday mornings, which I always reserve for Gospel (this past Sunday was Aretha Franklin!!) I haven't really dug into Clapton for a long time and it's really great to revisit some of the old stuff as well as a bunch of "Internet acquired" live stuff that reaffirms my belief in Clapton's greatness. The tree goes like this;
1.Jimi Hendrix

2.Buddy Guy, Jeff Beck

3.Clapton, Earl Hooker, BB King

4.everybody else from here down is constantly fighting it out for position.

Makes me wish I had my Clapton guitar on the road, of course after 5 weeks, at one time or another, I've wished I had every guitar on the road...except in the mornings when I'm loading the van, then I always think I have too many guitars out here already. Especially since I've been playing #1 almost exclusively for the last several shows. I don't know what it is about that guitar, but it just does whatever I ask of it and never complains. I started reading Where God Was Born this morning, great book. Check it out but have your Bible handy to cross reference. Tomorrow should be good, Einstein Bros. Bagels is a block away, we're playing a gig, I'm one day closer to being home with my girls!!!!, Road Food says there's a place that has great fried chicken (gotta love that yardbird) & I get to make music with two of my dear friends. Life's good.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Don't taze me bro!

Today is the start of the countdown to the end of this tour. What a trip we’ve been on so far! Today is day 2 in Topeka KS and we’re looking forward to playing a new club here. We had a blast in the Minneapolis area and saw a bunch of our old friends. It was great to see everybody and hang out and jam with our buddy, amp building genius, Tim Obrien. So what’s an average day on the road like? Well, today is the 3 “L’s”; load-in, laundry & lunch! We also have to find Tyler some new drum sticks. The first night he was with us, I kidded him that there wasn’t any wood chips under his drums at the end of the night, since then he’s been breaking about 4 sticks per night. That’s much more like the SHB! Beat stuff until it breaks!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sweet Home Chicago

The SHB's gig Sunday night at Buddy Guy's Legends was maybe the best yet. At least it was the most fun we've had there so far! The only thing missing was Buffy, but the MF Mafia was all present and accounted for and the crowd was awesome. Buddy and I got hang out for a little bit before the show and between sets (in fact it almost got me in trouble because we kept starting late because we were having such a good time hanging out and laughing!) The band played great, Tyler's really making big strides an with his mom in the audience, he broke 7 sticks (Vic Firth my ass!)!!! We all play better when our mom's are in the house! Richard won the prize for coolest shirt, and Keith MF Throneberry and Chuck MF Lanza (who both had their beautiful wives with them) tied for best cover song. Chuck jammed on Smoke On The Water and Keith jammed on a medley of Purple Rain / I Just Want To make Love To You. (We all play better when our wives are there!) Randy Z was invaluable in getting the party started with a great bottle of wine and taking care of the guitars that seemed to be breaking all over the place. Rich made sure it was loud enough and Harvey made sure that one really "joyful" gentleman only danced with ladies who wanted to dance with him! Superfan Mike was in the house, and it was great to see him. We had new friends from the UK and France (thanks to Scott Brittingham for giving them a ride!) Like I said, the only two things that would have made it perfect would have been having my beautiful wife there and if Buddy would have jammed with us, but that's just an excuse for us to do it again! Thanks to the Staff at BG's for making every visit feel like coming home. A big thanks to my MF brothers for keeping the show going! Ya'll make me sound so GoooooD!