(Jason Lent has forsaken the island paradise of Hawaii to follow us around for a few months. I have happily placed the tour diary in his capable hands. It should bring a new perspective to our ramblings.)
After a slow, midnight drive out of Brownfield, ME, I found myself sliding my credit card under the bulletproof glass of a Motel 6 as a young man in the lobby coordinated the arrival and departure of some lightly dressed women. Anxious to leave my room (cell) at first light, I drove into downtown Portland and walked into a small coffee shop. Greeting me on the stereo was Townes Van Zandt. I settled in for the first side of the album and then walked a few blocks to the indie record store to fill up a bag of songs for the ride up the spine of Maine where the ocean’s fingers extend into the dense forest.
Rockland, ME provided a magnificent setting for a relaxed day on the seaside. I wandered alone for a few hours and then crossed a street and ran into (Crazy) Ed and (Cookie) Bob. They were unable to shake me the rest of the day and the group swelled as old friends and llamas pulled into the small coastal village. Exquisite sound, a fantastic audience, and the band playing an inspired set made for a memorable night far away from the tidal pull of the “real” world. The new songs shimmered and Margo’s vocals soared through unclouded speakers where every line hung like a whisper in your ear. As the last note of each song faded, a moment of silence briefly existed before the crowd roared with applause. I love those moments on tour.
After the show, we made for the only pub in town and found a father jamming with his two young (very young) sons. The three piece was holding down the bar as the local police cruisers made laps around the block waiting for someone to stumble into their path. As we returned to the hotel, one of the region’s bigger metal bands (according to one of their “fans” hoping to meet the band members on a more personal level) was packing up their gear and the hotel felt like a surreal version of the “Riot House” on the Sunset Strip with fans of both bands jostling for the elevator. Another amazing day stacking up the miles and set lists.