I’m up and so is the Beast across the street. With its insatiable appetite for industrial sustenance the wheels and cogs of industrial output go on. Maybe the economy is doing good if the world still needs that many satellite dishes. Huh, who knew? It’s keeping people employed and I’m all for that. We’re in the van and its back on the road for us. Au revoir Burlington and to the great corn state of Iowa, so we head back on Hwy 34 east to I-74 east and into Indianapolis. We’re also seeing the annual migrations of birds heading back north. Today the weather is quite pleasant and it looks normal for them to head north but there were a few days at the beginning of this tour where it was looking and feeling like the dead of winter and there the birds were heading north in long spindly undulating skeins and you just know there’s got to be at least one bird trying to be the voice of reason, ‘Hey Y’all, I don’t know it’s still pretty cold up here (flap flap) and the ground hasn’t gotten any browner. (flap flap) If anything it’s getting whiter down there. (flap) Can’t we just stop and relax until it’s at least above freezing?’(flap flap flap)… The internal clock is a powerful pull in all of nature. Oh yeah, it’s also pretty cool that I see a bald eagle here and there now. I was 44 years of age when I saw my first bald eagle in the wild. It was actually on my 44th birthday too. Albeit I mainly lived in the southern regions where they are scarce and the species was making it’s comeback from the dark widespread days of DDT usage which through the passing down in the food chain was shown to significantly weaken the shells of eggs laid and then with the minority of people actually shooting the birds to protect livestock plus loss of habitat and other variables. The times were not good for the bald eagle in the late 60’s and for most of the 70’s. Happy to report they are making a healthy comeback.
The Slippery Noodle is a famous club on the circuit with a good restaurant included in the biz. With its high stage and upper and lower seating layout it can surely be a rocking place when filled to capacity in the room the bands play in. Tonight we hear from the owner’s son, Josh, that the phone has been really ringing and they’re expecting a pretty good night. As we take the stage, the bottom is completely filled and there’s a few people lining the rail upstairs so we definitely have a bigger crowd compared with our last gig. The playing arrangement is a bit different too; three 60 minute sets. Just when you’re getting on a roll and as we start to warm up we have to take a break. I do get to sell merch for two spans of times so there is a small silver lining. All things being normal we adjust to the time configuration aptly and it allows us to be really intense for the ‘hard-cores’ who hang on for the last notes. Tonight I front end loaded the first two sets with mostly blues and saved the last set for the ‘wild’ unconventional songs that have my ‘crazy notes’ that I spin and weave. Once again the night ends with me going totally overboard in my attempts to channel some kind of Coltrane spirit and evocations from my guitar. Listening to the drums laying down a thunderous pad I go back and forth from lyrical lines to furious emotional spurts thinking of the tensions in respect to the root key of the song. I know I’m probably a sight to see with me bending up and down and stomping my foot and at times singing out loud with the slow lyrical lines. I have no idea what I’m doing at the time because I am all in with my mind body and soul to the musical moment on stage. I am on an internal journey. The landscapes I see in my head are made solid in my eyes by the sounds that come into my ears. Only when the last note is played and the sound ceases do I return to this world I mostly move through. I know that sounds dramatic but that’s what I think about and what I see when I play. Really
One more night to go and it’s just a short drive to Newport, KY. An old church is what I’ve seen. I pray for a good show to end this tour. We shall see….