Monday, January 25, 2010

Looking for Warmth 4

The wind really picked up and pushed the rain down to the ground in torrents. It started that night. The trees whipped around the guest house all night. The racket wasn't exactly to the point of waking me up, but it floated in and about all of my dreamy subconsciousness.

Needlesstosay, my pea coat was back on that morning as I climbed into my van.

I started off at a brunch performance at Bud and Alleys before heading over to Central Square Records for a workshop featuring Nicole Witt and Shawn Mullins. The topic was songwriting. It was definitely interesting. I can't say anything was life-changing, but it affirmed a lot of the issues and fears that all writers and songwriters have, and it's always nice to heard, actually hear, that it happens to everybody.

I was standing close to the stage area, staring at a CD that was proclaimed "the best live r&b CD ever!" It was a concert from 1968 featuring Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Booker T, and more. It looked awesome. But I didnt bring any extra cash, so I just started at it for a few or twenty minutes...

We left there in order to get into the venue I was performing at. Evan was performing in the set before me, and I hadn't heard him yet. This venue was Shorty's. And it was standing room only before the first set went on at 3pm, and stayed that way until after my set. They had also cleaned up the sound since the night before.

On my set was Emily Lynch a young and talented singer/songwriter from Nashville and Effron White, a man who had been inducted into the Arkansas Hall of Fame! He had some amazing story songs. The audience was great - super attentive! And it was wonderful to see several of the other performers there as well. I made this set a little more introspective than the previous night's set, including Over the Road, which i dedicated to my dad, since his birthday was only a couple days away.

After my set i made my way to Stinky's Fish Camp. What a name for a place? I agree, there was some trepidation on my part, but it is a very nice place! All the staff were sweet and kind! They had me try Abita Turbo Dog beer, which was actually pretty tastey! And i am not a big beer fan at all. Dont be fooled though, their grits are made with chicken stock.

The set was cool. Carmel sounded great. Adlai Waxman had a jazzy side of Billy Joel thing going on, and Ryan Parker reminded me slightly of Ryan Adams/ Graham Parsons/ and some Tom Petty.

After a breif set of locals, John Oates and Reed Waddle came on. Reed won the NYC Songwriter's Circle contest last year. He has a very Brett Dennon/ John Mayer/Jack Johnson vibe. Good stuff though. John Oates sounded ok, though I think much of his voice was either not up to par, or simply gone. He did do a good version of She's Gone and Maneater.

So ended my last full night in Florida.

The morning woke with a brunch. A champaigne brunch. But the place, called Fire, did make me specially an Eggplant Napolean - all vegan. It was tastey and filling. Otherwise, I would have been relegated to some standard iceberg lettuce i imagine.

After the brunch we went out to see and hear the Indigo Girls, who were playing on a beach on the far end of town. The artists all got in early and got great seating (I was behind Shawn Mullins). The day was fun but really cold. The big upside was that the little cafe across the street had soy and made me a delicious and spot-hitting hot chocolate.

My friends Evan LaFloch and Carmel Mikol, who seem to be distracted.

Mr. Effron White.

The Indigo Girls.

Shawn Mullins singing with the Indigo Girls.

Why am I shivering when there are palm trees?!?!?

Beautiful dunes and inlets were all around the area.

This was the speed limit sign where I was staying. Yep, 17 MPH...
From there I rolled out to my show at Stinky's. It was crowded early. Emily Lynch was again on the set, and Ben Reno rounded it out. By the time we started, it was over-packed. And everyone was ready to be attentive. This set became much more upbeat with Upon Your Dreams, Manifest, Perfect, Ever After, etc. Manifest was the 2nd or 3rd song of 5, and it really struck a chord with a lady in the audience. She was right up front. And you could see the music rolling over her, enveloping her, and picking her up, moving her, etc. She began dancing. Somewhat tamely at first. But that didn't last too long.

Soon she was right up by me, almost hitting the microphone often. She ended up getting so into that she was disrupting much of the rest of the audience, and was eventually thrown out!

On other news, I got the whole crowd singing along to the NaNas in Perfect! What a wonderful harmony it was!

After me was most of Dread Clampitt. They had a full-time washboardist. Oh yes. They were wonderful at that barroom alt country/newgrass sort of stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed their set. Last of the night were 2 big hitter songwriters. the one, Chas Sanford, wrote "Missing You," the John Waite tune, and one of the most played radio songs of all time. He also rocked an acoustic 12-string, even to the point of blistering solos! He was quite impressive!

I sadly couldn't stay for all of their set, as I needed to get on the road to make it back to Ohio for a show. I said my goodbyes, and was soon driving out of Florida and into Alabama.

Where I crossed paths, most unfortunately, with a deer.

It did into survive the meeting. And my van's front grille and lights were trashed. However, the van still ran. So, I ducked taped the lights on and started down the backwoods 2 lane country road hoping the van would at least get me to a city.

It did more than that - it got me 14 hours down the line and home!

I can't say enough about my van! And 5 hour energy! That stuff works!


  1. Your van needs to write an autobiography: Tales from the Buffalo.


  2. Sorry to hear about the van. : (

    Glad you survived it.