Tomorrow we are heading out on the road for the first time in 18 months for a short spin around the Great Lakes. We are nervous and excited and hope that those of you in the area can drop in and say hello. Joining us on-stage will be John Farnsworth and Jeff Bird. Here we go! You can find all the show and ticket info here.
Iowa City (Nov 1): We had a day off in Iowa City…Halloween in a college town. Most of us stayed safely inside our rooms and watch the debauchery unfold on the streets below. As the night wore on the howling became more intense, the clothing a little bit scantier and the footing a lot less sure…woo-hoo, paaaaaarty. Pete and Jeff decided to dress up for the occasion. Pete dressed up as his favourite hockey player and Jeff dressed up as Belzebub or maybe it was the donkey from a Midsummer's Night Dream….I'm not sure.
It was another church tonight. Not a bad sounding church, but a church nonetheless. The main issue was the size of the stage which was so shallow that we basically had to line up in a row against the altar wall. It made for a tough time hearing each other on stage. But it was a fantastic audience, small but mighty, and they helped us through.
Evanston (Nov 2): We always enjoy playing The Space in Evanston. It is not yet a great sounding room, but they keep tweaking and slowly improving it. It's a definite listening space which is what makes it a fun room to play, the audience is tuned in from the first note. They also have a great dressing room space in the back, which is clean and comfortable and inviting…and it has a turntable and an eclectic vinyl collection, say no more. We had a great day and two excellent shows…both of them sold out, with two excited and appreciative crowds. Tonight was the first night on this tour where it felt like we really took off…sometimes it just takes some time.
Ann Arbor (Nov 3): When we were pulling up to the venue this morning we were trying to figure out how many times we have played Ann Arbor. Al figured that it was around 350 times, it's probably closer to 20, but we settled on “a lot”. It's always been a good town for us and it's an easy place to visit. The Ark has been our home in Ann Arbour for the past few years. It's a small venue but a great listening space, the audiences are always tuned in and the room and stage sounds great (the only negative is that the dressing rooms are crap). The Ark is a non-profit room and tonight's show was part of their annual fund-raising. It was another good audience tonight, but I thought our performance was a little uneven, not terrible but it never took off….a little disappointing from our side of the stage but the audience seemed to enjoy themselves which in the end is what its all about.
Next up are The Kennedy Suite concerts on Nov 22 and 23 at the Winter Garden Theater in Toronto. We and alot of people behind the scenes have been working like demons putting the show together. It involves over 30 musicians and a few other whiz-bang production thingies ….it is going to be an exciting night of music, something completely original and something that we probably won't repeat, so if you are looking for a road trip…I think it will be worth your while. We hope to see you there.
The tour schedule is now complete for October and November in the midwest U.S. We will be starting in Buffalo on 10/24 and will be stopping in Saugatuck, MI; Chicago, IL; Stoughton, WI; Minneapolis, MN; Iowa City, IA; Evanston, IL; and Ann Arbor, MI. All of the details are here.
This was a great way to start a tour: welcomed and stuffed by Skippy’s Sausage Stand Deluxe. It’s always a pleasure coming to Ann Arbor. This was one of the first towns in the US that showed a real interest in our music. We have many fond memories of playing sold out shows at The Blind Pig in the very early days when the only album that we had on our merch table was Whites Off Earth Now!! (we sold both the vinyl and cassette version!!). The Ark is our home in town these days, it’s a great room to see a band, very fun to play and they have Bells Two Hearted Ale on tap. We probably should have done two shows, but we’ll settle for a jammed packed, enthusiastic first night house. We had a great night, despite the fact that Margo isn’t feeling great…the energy and enthusiasm of the audience lifted her up….but….. back to that sausage stand….
Margo, Jeff and I did an early afternoon recording for the radio show Acoustic Cafe, which is always an enjoyable experience and by the time that we arrived at the venue, Skippy and his crew of Chef Rob and sous-chef Major Mike were already cooking up a storm. We were treated to a lunch of that Sausage Stand classic; sausage sautéed in peppers and onions (with a splash of bourbon) and a bowl of tasty, spicy gumbo. When we returned, after soundcheck, for dinner, Skippy and his crew had raised the bar to new heights. In honour of the completion of our ambitious Nomad Series, Skippy had designed a menu inspired by the four albums: glazed scallop over miso noodles; grilled salmon; strips of beef; peach cobbler; and several other tasty sides and sauces. It was pretty spectacular and darn tasty too. Skippy is pulling up stakes in these parts and heading west to settle in Des Moines to be near his daughters and grandkids. So it looks like we’ll have to start planning more regular trips through the heartland. A great beginning to the tour…let’s just hope that Margo recovers quickly.
We’re headed out to the midwest for Round Two in April and we’ll be in MI, IL, MN, IA, MO, NE, KS, WI and TN. More specifically, we’ll be in Ann Arbor, Evanston, Minneapolis, Davenport, St Louis, Omaha, Salina, Madison, Cincinnati, Nashville, Chicago and Kent. Check here for all the details.
We have added October 2009 shows in Lexington, MI; Three Oaks, MI; Ann Arbor, MI; Pittsburgh, PA; Carrboro, NC; Lewisburg, WV (our third Carnegie Hall!!!); South Orange, NJ; Easton, MD; Vienna, VA; Blacksburg, VA; and Black Mountain, NC.
We are also going to be in Quebec in November 2009: Montreal; Sherbrooke; Quebec City; Rouyn Noranda; and Val d’Or.
Check out the TOUR tab above for further information.