Photo courtesy of Liz Cullen

A rainy day wake up and the skies let a little bit of steady rain come down. I do my work-out, gotta stay in shape somehow, and then gaze out my window as I eat my post-workout snack. We get ready to jump on the LIX – Long Island Expressway or 495. You know I just was wondering how the LIX got the designation of an ‘even’ number in the 3-number interstates. See, odd numbers are designated as spurs the lead into or away from the downtown area or Interstate that later hooks up with the dominate Interstate. Evens are the loops, which encircle the metro area the dominate Interstate either goes through or by-passes. Yes I see that the Long Island/Manhattan/Other boroughs area is a geographically challenging area to lay out a simple ‘Loops and Spurs’ configuration there but I guess this is just me again letting my mind chew on trivial minutia. Anyway the traffic is about ‘par-for-the-course’ for a Saturday morning and we do just a little bit of slow driving on the lead up to the GWB. At least the traffic was at a slow pace. I’ve sat on the Cross Bronx when it was at ‘no pace’. We were also having trouble getting a reasonable rate for a hotel moderately close to the club but so far no go. So my hotel guy was working feverishly at obtaining one and we were just in a hold pattern. We decide to go down to the club and hang around the immediate area until load-in. Most of the shops are closed in this quaint little neighborhood of Teaneck and the pre-dominate Jewish community in this area are all out taking afternoon strolls. I do see this one little store front open and it touts that it’s Authentic Southern Cooking. ‘Maggie’s Southern Kitchen’ is the name and I tell myself, “I’m down with it. I’ll check it out” My rhythm section goes for this big deli across the street from where we park the van and I turn the corner towards Maggie’s. Upon entering it’s a really small dining area and the food is all behind glass sort of buffet style warmers but there’s someone behind the stands to fill your plate. There’s fried chicken, Meatloaf, Smothered Pork Chops, White fish and the sides of black-eyed peas, mac n’ cheese and collard greens ect. I get the black eyed peas and collard greens and Meatloaf. It was pretty good. I wouldn’t rave about it but it certainly was a pleasant experience and the charm of the place did help with my taste opinion. My guys came to Maggie’s cuz’ the deli they went to was closed. We all ate there at Maggie’s. That done we drove to the club and someone was there so we loaded in.

mexicali-teaneckMexicali Live is a really great club. Set up as a music venue the seating in front of the stage is good and there’s a back upper deck on the back wall. I’ve never packed this club but it would be cool to see a couple hundred in this place. The food here is pretty good too. The stage is about 3.5’ high and has ample room for us. The backdrop behind us on stage has little lights in the curtain giving it a ‘Celestial skies’ effect and it looks great on videos and pictures. The sound system is good too. I bring in the Marshall and erect the barriers to dampen the volume. It’s actually kind of an industrial look on the stage with the black road cases set up in front of the amps. An empty canvas so to speak but it looks cool that way. When we start it sounds great. I love the way the Marshall is rounding out my tone and I can hear everything. I’m having a great time and trying to reach for things I can hear in my head but haven’t tried with my hands. I’m not frustrated if I don’t achieve what I was going for cuz’ it sounds great in what I’m doing. Wow. Like I said, enjoy the times I’ll be able to bring this amp in and get to play it. Not all the clubs on this run will allow it. : )

The gig done and merch sold and signed and hands shook and hugs given, we pack up and before the gig I was able to find us rooms in Middletown, NY. about 60 miles. The price of a room dropped dramatically that far out and the traffic was but wisp of what it was this afternoon.

That’s just fine with me. We take the beautiful drive up to Rochester tomorrow. I’ve done that drive many times and I always look forward to its awesome views it has to show for.

Till then…..

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