April and I then embarked on a journey of finding venues on dates that worked. We were initially behind the 8 ball; and decided to scrap the idea of a fall tour. We quickly tried again for spring time (with more notice to the venues). As attendance is down at many live events, most venues are doing fewer shows and therefore you need to be more proactive in your searches.
We hit a few more snags, turns out Michael Daves ended up touring with Chris Thile on our dates. Tony brought in Brandon Rickman to fill the lead singer/guitar player slot. Tony and Brandon had done gigs before and enjoyed working together. Brandon was a lot of fun and a great picker/singer. Also joining the tour, Mike Barnett on fiddle, and Skip Ward on bass. Both superb musicians and great guys.
Final snag, Steve Martin, and the Steep Canyon Rangers were suddenly playing in Portland Maine, the same night we had booked One Longfellow; a Wednesday night. What are the odds???
Luckily for most, Tony and his fearless gang got to open for Steve Martin, and Hot Mustard got awesome free seats to the show. If you have a chance to catch the Steve Martin show, DON'T TURN IT DOWN!
Finally, our tour begins. We all converge in Albany NY at The Linda. WAMC's public broadcast venue. Nice folks, nice sound; really great evening. April's college friend Allison Bradley took the pictures. They came out really good!
We hang out in the hotel after the gig, drink some beer and laugh a lot (sorry guy staying next to us!) and the next day, the long drive to Portland Maine. April's long awaited guitar made by Scott Conley was picked up in Bowdoin Maine.
The Steve Martin show was great, the whole band was his straight man. Steve's tunes are fun, interesting and have great lyrics (none have cabins in them, I think).
We were off to Bellows Falls VT the next night; everyone staying at the Stockwell compound after the show. Check Ted's Blog for a review of this.
For the record, I claimed I would wear my K-Mart shorteralls if we sold X number of tickets; and you people did it... So there's your punishment, for those of you who thought I wasn't brave enough, I showed you.
We stayed up too late playing & singing. Ask Brandon to play banjo next time you see him, he can do it!
Off to Club Passim the next night, sold out crowd, and a lot of fun. We were on Concert Window, so friends and family could watch. Britney Haas was in town, and twinned with Michael Barnett. After the show, Tony and Britney did some hot jamming.
Bruce and I stayed at Tony Watt's place and I was up until 2 am or something still playing bass!
Last night of the tour was East Hartford Community Cultural Center, Roger Moss of Podunk hired us on. He fed us a nice meal, gave us a great venue and sound and we really had a good time on our "sniff" last evening together.
All said and done, we had a great time, and are hoping we can tour again next spring with Tony and company! Valuable experience; and a little taste of the road to a new band.
I finally learned to spell Trischka in one fell swoop (just when you think you're done with consonants, add another one), Tony is very proud when his socks match his shirt and Mike Barnett makes a great surprised face.