Tour Diary – Ann Arbor (April 13, 2012)
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.