Getting up in these past mornings as I move on through life I find my eyes and mind awakening earlier and earlier. Gone are the days when I would insouciantly lie about because my body desired it or maybe I would just find it pleasurable to be this way caring not about what needed to be done that day but rather idle away a few hours drifting in and out of a semi-dreamlike state. That’s not how I am now. My mind comes on-line and there’s no sleeping left in me. I am up early on a consistent basis, ‘I am constant as the Northern Star’; I have become my Grandfather. Although my Grandfather didn’t go for runs in the morning and I don’t drink coffee either, some of my more productive times are in the morning. So up I get and go for a lengthy run along the quiet state highway. I get back and since we’ve spent the night in a little B n’ B the vibe of hanging out in your room is just not quite the same as in a chain hotel. Albeit it’s a pleasant comfy place this B n’ B is, you still feel as though you’re in someone’s house, which you are, and besides being conscious of every noise you make while getting dressed or doing morning routines, the need to check-out and move along down the road has a stronger pull than usual. So heeding to that urge I start to pack up and we need to get moving because today is Memorial Day and you know what that means; a parade is coming. When I got back to the B n’ B after my run, there were already people lining both sides of the street. At first I didn’t put it together but it soon became apparent to me. The streets will be closed and we’ll have to wait it out, but come on, this is Winterport, Maine. How long can the parade procession be? It’s charming and nostalgic to think about this parade as I’m living out this small-town-America scene today that is also going on in hundreds of other towns across the US. They’ve got the marching band and Shriner’s with their colorful fezzes, didn’t see the little cars though, and vets young and old walking, firetrucks with lights on to convey celebratory not cautionary signs and convertibles with honored guests sitting up on the back boot of the collapsible roof with their feet on the seats and waving to the people on the curbs, who have in their hands their little American flags waving back. Well I didn’t actually see all of that take place but you could hear it coming as we were packing up and made our escape up a side street to avoid the delay. If we had the day off I’d be content to sit and watch the pageant unfold and pass by, but we’re not and it’s down the road for us. I say a reverent prayer to those that have given sacrifice and served and give my solemn thanks and gratitude to them all. We quietly make our departure.

Chris-D-brickhouseIt’s to Scarborough, Maine today and we return to the Brickhouse. Paul Williams has started to have live bands play at his house because of his love of music. It’s a nice sizeable abode with an ample basement/downstairs that he converted into a cozy little performance place. Able to accommodate up to 80 people or so, Paul started getting bigger acts up there because he can offer road bands a chance to fill-in an off-date in their calendar and while also providing free lodging on the premises. It’s been a while since I’ve slept less than 25 feet from the stage I played on that night. It’s a comfortable environment Paul provides and he goes out of his way to make his artists feel comfortable. It’s actually a good little system Paul has going on. Plus you get that close intimacy with your audience that sometimes is lacking from gig to gig. I’ve always like the press-the-flesh vibe in a room but this is more of a private party feel but it all works nonetheless. Today is different because Paul has constructed a stage outside for the summer days of the year and although there’s rain on the horizon threatening to open up above us, we opt for the outdoors. Not all is happy due to the PA having to be moved from the inside of the house to back outside because I think everyone thought we’d choose an indoor performance due to the weather forecasts in the area, but I’m ready to rock out and I want to play at the volume in which being outside can afford me to be; Loud! Everything is set and we get the equipment up and running.

We keep tabs on the moving storms with our smartphones and the weather apps and we kick it off as people start to show up and plop down in their lawn chairs to watch the show. When I play outside, sometimes shows have a really loose vibe to them and I tend to take all kinds of chances with the music. It’s as if the lack of physical walls around me translates into no walls of conformity; I’m free to roam spiritually and musically. The crowd looks like a small affair because after all it’s been a long weekend and even though there’s still Monday left to lay about recovering from all the festivities of the preceding days, you can tell the mindset of most is starting to wind down and prepare for the proverbial grindstone that is in their not too distant future. All things said though, the scattered throng is here to have a good time and we do our best to provide it. As dusk approaches we turn the gloaming into a sonically filled event. We are visited by mosquitos that try as they might to ply their innocuous and stealthy manner to ebb away what we have to offer. Some are successful and some aren’t but we play on. With minimal stage lighting we play till it’s dark all around us and then call it a night. It’s been another fun night at Paul’s Brickhouse and I’m grateful to Paul and his wife for allowing us to come here to play. We banter and visit with all who are still there at the end, pack up our things and say our good-byes. The club portion of the tour is over and we’ve only got one more date to go with another stop at Don O’Dell’s Legends show to be taped tomorrow. I hope it goes well.

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