Tour Diary – Northampton, Mass (March 1, 2013)

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.

Here is Pete's ipad sketch of the Iron Horse: