Another quick little run in the books. We hit Hickory NC, Winder GA and Charleston SC on this trip. We got o see and visit with a bunch of our friends including Robb and the crew in Winder, Chip and Sara and all our friends in Charleston and we were happily surprised to see Mark and Libby from Tuscaloosa in Winder. It always amazes me when our friends make a long trip to come and see us. Makes it all the more worthwhile.
I try not to say too much about the negative stuff that goes on on the road, but this is too funny to keep to myself. At a recent gig, (I won’t say where, or even which tour it’s from to try and protect the parties involved), I was getting the very familiar speech about the volume. In the space of about 3 minutes, I was told by 2 different management type people that “we needed to turn down...” It’s a speech that I’m all too familiar with and the reasons why are so varied and boring that I won’t go into them here. Anyway, keep in mind, this is all happening on the break, so I’m told to turn down 3 times (one person tells me twice! Like maybe I’m hard of hearing or something!) Before we’ve even started playing again…very strange. When the first person comes back to tell me again for the second time, this is the exact quote; “I just want to make sure that you guys remember to turn down a little bit, it’s not too loud up front near the stage but in the back… and it’s not so much loud, it’s just the energy…”) I’ve been criticized for a lot of things in my career, but being too energetic was a new one even for me!
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about where I’m at musically/spiritually/philosophically and I’ve been feeling the need to “recalibrate” my self and get back on the point. I’ve kind of dipped my foot into some pretty murky waters at times over the last year or so and it hasn’t made me a better anything. I believe what I’ve always believed; that God put me here to make music and reach people through that music. My passion for the blues, loud guitars and playing from the heart is stronger now than ever and I hope as we hit the road this summer, you can hear a difference in what we’re trying to do. It won’t be anything drastic from the outside, so don’t look for me to wear robes or a beanie or start talking about the cosmos (anymore than I already do!) but the soul of my playing, my interaction with the music and the musicians, the way we present all of that to you, I hope it creates a more positive experience when you are kind enough to come see us.
One last note, I’d like to hip ya’ll to a friend of mine who is writing some amazingly insightful blogs. His name is Chris Kent and he’s one of the best musicians I’ve ever heard. I was blessed to get the chance to play with Chris for some years in the original version of the SHB (for some reason, he didn’t think that starving and going permanently sleepless were that appealing, so he’s since played with a who’s who of great musicians and entertainers). Anyway, he’s listed in my friends section on MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/ckbass) and if he’s not your friend yet, add him and subscribe to his blogs. This cat has his soul tuner dialed in so tight its ridiculous!