The day started off with a new road to travel on. Not metaphorically but in reality. I had stated before that I had always gone by Laughlin, NV, but now having been there one of the roads to get to Salt Lake is US 95, of course there is a west leading state road that must be taken to get to 95 but it’s a short jaunt. What I so love about the western United States is the vast vistas and open spaces. Nevada has this in spades. We all know the government thought along these lines too with the state being infamously designated our nuclear weapons testing grounds. You need open spaces to blow those things up so why not? There’s also lots of time to ruminate and work on things of the mind while driving and it’s those moments I look forward to as well while driving out here. Our destination is St. George, Utah to break this drive up. St. George is right across the border of Utah after you cross the extreme NW corner of Arizona as I-15 cuts in a north east direction. This is where the geological landscape changes to reddish mesas and striated mountains that start to become more apparent. It’s gorgeous. We arrive at St. George in a timely manner and quickly settle in at our hotel. St. George is lovely with all the landscape around it being a reddish/orange hue with cedars and other coniferous trees to contrast the setting. The sunset is beautiful too.
Up and away we go to traverse the last 300 or so miles to SLC. I remember Utah being the first state in which I saw speed limits of more than 70 miles an hour when our previous governments were starting to ease up on speed restrictions back in the 90’s. The roads can stretch out to a thin ribbon disappearing in the distance here in the Great Basin area that is Utah. The peaks here are still sporting snowy caps due to the recent weather episode that blew through and it’s a land of more contrasts; green valleys and snowcapped mountains. Salt Lake finally comes into view and we arrive with a few hours to let the travel fade from our bodies and I try to quickly grab an hour of practice cuz’ I’m still having trouble with the end arpeggio of the new Tejano-style song I wrote. Why did I have to write a difficult end? The Bleu Bistro is a new venue for us but the ownership is old friends to us. Carl is the same person that ran the Sun & Moon Café that was here and opened up his new place which is located more in town as opposed to out in the foothills of the mountainous ridge that demarks the eastern side of SLC. We’re set up in a corner but we’ve got ample room here because the Sun & Moon was a compact affair we conformed to, but here I’m free to do coliseum gestures if I’m so inclined. Both nights are well attended and I’m still thrilled to see a lot of people are supporting me way back from the Zephyr club days.
I’ve been playing SLC for many years and I don’t plan on ever stopping if the people here will have me. They love to dance here and it’s the crowd’s energy and enthusiasm that I feed off of. We play two almost completely different shows for our 2-day stand here and I try to work out some of my shortcomings on the less played songs in our sets. Our energy is good and by the end of the second night, the area to my right has been taken over by the dancers and there’s a large contingency swinging and swaying to the music. All is right with me here in Salt Lake. Like all towns and cities I have an affinity for, it’s the people that give these areas their own distinct identity. Architecture can be the dressing and appearance but to serve as the all-important corpuscles that carry life and oxygen to this working body falls to the populace. It’s a lovely vibrant city and one that I happen to be very smitten with.
Thank you Salt Lake City for all the years of happiness you’ve given me and I hope for many more years to come. We’ll see you all next time. – chris duarte