It was a perfectly relaxing Sunday in a sleepy little seaside town. Cold, clear and sunny. Main Street was deserted for most of the day. We found a diner, Egert’s, that served a very good breakfast and has been run by the same family for three generations…excellent home fries. I found a New York Sunday Times and settled in the front lounge with the sun streaming in. It was a relaxing, slow moving day.
It is a beautiful little theatre that they have in this town. It’s simple and clean and it sounds great. Our show was kind of like our day…a little sleepy and maybe a little too relaxed, but then again sometimes that is ok.
We slept last night in the Northampton Quality Inn parking lot and this morning made our way to Albany and The Egg. There are very strict rules about playing The Egg, because the theatre is mounted (yes, mounted) on top of a government plaza. The entrance to the loading bays which are underneath the plaza are as well hidden as the batcave and we had to circle the plaza a few times before Alfred appeared to show us the way. Once inside, and before he had a chance to back the bus up into the loading bay, our driver, Randy, was set upon by an overenthusiastic State Trooper. He was told that he had a five year old outstanding New York State ticket and that his license had been suspended in the State, so he had to leave the bus immediately and couldn’t even back it into the bay. Randy pleaded innocent and in his defence offered the fact that he had crossed the Canada/US border into New York State several dozen times over the past few years and had never been flagged. Eventually the trooper made a few more inquiries, wrote him some kind of ticket and then backed down on his demands and drove away. But now Randy has a ticket which carries with it a misdemeanour, which he has to deal with….all in the name of keeping us safe I suppose
The Egg is one of the weirder theatre designs out there. It sits on top of a pedestal at the edge of an enormous concrete plaza. The urban myth about its design is that the architect was having breakfast with Nelson Rockefeller who told him that he wanted a landmark theatre to be built in the state capital, so the architect placed a half a grapefruit on top of a water glass and said “how about something like that?”….and so it was born. This was the first of five or six Trinity Session shows that we are doing on this run. Two sets, with the first being made up of all Nomad Series songs and the second set a run through from start to finish of The Trinity Session. We have done three or four of these types of shows in the past. They are a little odd and a little “constructed” but tonight we could feel how they could easily work…it’s just a matter of relaxing in to the “construct”. Not a bad night overall.
This was our first full-on load out from our new studio (The Hangar). Out the back door, in to a van and then a short drive across the street to our bus and trailer waiting in the parking lot. It should have been fairly straight forward, except the van never showed up. Just as we were trying to figure out how to drag all of our gear through the muck and across the street-car tracks, our tenant, who lives above the studio, pulled up in a flat bed truck: our saviour. So we were about ninety minutes late departing, but at least we got the pack done. Our friends at the border were efficient and workmanlike and processed our papers without any drama, the next thing I knew I woke up in front of the Iron Horse in downtown Northampton. It was like I had never left the bus, the road, or Northampton.
It’s a great spot to begin a tour, one of my favourite stops in the Northeast. I checked out my fave used bookstore (The Raven), browsed through some vinyl at Turn It Up and stopped in for lunch at my favourite cafe The Haymarket. I love the energy in this town. It’s filled with smart, motivated and inspired young women: Smith College is at its center. You got to love a town where you can sit alone in a cafe reading your newly bought Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams and not feel out of place.
The Iron Horse is one of those legendary folk clubs that is resting on the laurels it earned well over two decades ago. It’s getting old and there doesn’t seem to be any money being put in to it for upkeep. The production is sub-standard and the dressing room area is dank and uncomfortable. We keep coming back because the patrons are great, they come to listen and for the love of live music and because of that we usually have fun playing here. Tonight we had a great night. It wasn’t the smoothest of shows, and there were a lot of clams being passed around the stage, Margo even forgot the words to Misguided Angel, but we played with a lot of energy, excitement and inventiveness. The audience was willing to climb on board and let us take them on a bit of an adventure. It’s great to be back on the road.