Bull riding, toothless men, robbery, crocodile attacks and hot tub parties…

1

Another plane, another window seat, another tour accomplished.

I look out the window and stare back in time to 2 years ago about to record “Little Green Bud”, just starting to tour within Ontario.

I am baffled by the experiences I have acquired since then. 6 US tours, 2 European tours, so many new people in my life, a new band, growth, and a little understanding of this crazy business.

I fell asleep and awoke to Chicago.  I could see the beach hiding below the skyline and reminisce about our romantic evening under the harvest moon, in the waves, doing yoga and wrestling amongst ourselves like innocent children who happen to have stolen the vodka from their parents liquor cabinet.

Where did I last leave you?  If I recall correctly we were en route to Austin for our Momo’s album release with Charlie Faye.

I will again opt for some stream of consciousness writing.

AUSTIN, TEXAS

Momo’s – pull up in SUV after a 10 hour drive from Memphis Tennessee.  Can’t park because film crew isn’t ready to shoot.  Must rewind and re – enter parking lot.  Act normal. Packed club.  Charlie is wonderful. Our set is fantastic.  So happy and relaxed back in Austin.  My second home. Bye bye cd’s.  Hello moolah.

Day 2 – Need water.  Need nature.  Barton Springs – a natural spring.  Hang with the crew for the day.  Pitter patter in the shallow end with a couple of the boys throwing slimy algae at each other for hours. Good for your skin? Pickled and frozen but peaceful.

Evenings = Falling asleep in the park. 6th Street, the darker side of Austin with fall over drunk college students and tourists.  Hilarious. A must see for the boys. Bar hopping, bull riding (not me).

Rudy’s Barbeque – Very Texan barbeque joint at gas station.  Royal treatment and interest because of giant cameras.  Lots of meat.  No plates, just wax paper.



 

 

WITCHITA FALLS, TEXAS  

Chloe plus late night pizza the day before = food poisoning.  Seems to be a tour regular.  But Chloe is buoyant and back in shape after a long sleep and rest.

Douglas’s home town, a small flat hot city or town or community. Too hot to be outside. Flip flops melt on the pavement.  Car interior melts.   Aly goes to the community centre to work out and is met by only toothless men.  That’s an exaggeration.  They had 2 teeth.

Accommodation – Doug’ s home is full of family photos.  Doug with short hair and glasses.  Hehehehe. Sweet sweet family.  So proud. Met the whole Boyd crew from parents to siblings to grandparents. The beginning of meat overdose.  Delicious cheeseburger pie (sadly stomach still in knots).  Roast.

Iron Horse – Doug so nervous about attendance but it all turns out great.  Everyone buys CD’s.  His dad so proud.

Back to the Iron Horse with the boys.  Chloe is entertained and not entertaining.  It doesn’t matter that I don’t like it.  Just want someone to be my monkey sometimes.

BRYAN, TEXAS / COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS

Home to Texas A&M – huge college in Texas.  Students galore.

Steveo Schlemmer.  Host at KEOS Radio.  I LOVE him.  Amazing sweet generous man.  Sets up shows every time I come through. Sets up hotel rooms.  3 Nights at Comfort Sweets, 3 rooms for 8 people. Last time we discovered the benefits of being handicapped in a hotel – YOU GET A HOT TUB IN YOUR BEDROOM!!!  2nd hot tub adventure in this hotel.  It is now tradition.  No we are not handicapped, just lucky.

Retirement home – Short concert for some lovely seniors.  Free apple juice!!

KEOS radio performance.  Love this little station.  So very welcoming.

House Concert – The most adorable young couple super fans with sweet daughter.  We played for Adam’s birthday.  So in love. Followed by hot tub party outside at Comfort Suites.

Day 2 – living in the hot tub.  Didn’t move at all except to attack like a crocodile.  Hired Bertin (Ogre) to pick up beverages and pizza. This is the life.

Village Cafe – Show one. 8pm. The Sweetness actually had our first show together following Folk Alliance International and a month of Douglas being alone in Austin.  Big reunion.  Came full circle.  Little girls dancing like ballerinas throughout show.  Adorable.

Revolution Cafe – Show two – 10pm.  Lets go crazy.  This wild little spot inspires us to let loose and revamp the songs on the spot.  Progression becomes dubstep. Bike becomes I don’t know.  Everything gets groovier.  What a laugh. Followed by hot tub party outside at Comfort Suites.  Luckily there is not morning rush.


LAREDO, TEXAS!!

Driving along the highway to our destination with the film crew hanging out their car to get good footage…ahhhh nervous!

Arrived. Pure relaxation.  No shows, just blah and decompression.  Aly’s home.  Very decadent residence with a pool in the courtyard.  Hmmm where is Chloe spending the next 3 days?  Beds for everyone.  I have a bed to myself.  WOO HOO and it’s a princess bed so squishy you can barely see me when in it.  Sam and Chloe do our after car hyperactive-must-expel-energy dance in pool. Thankfully, not caught on camera. Dinner made by Mama. Nobody talks but stares blankly into space like bags of sand (yes sand bags can stare).

Day 2 – Chloe and Sam need to give back their work visas at the border.  Hello day trip to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico – headquarters of drug trade, murder and kidnapping.  Yippy.  We walk across the border being filmed all along. Aly makes Doug stay at home due to his sketchy appearance.  But 4 germans with camera’s is completely normal.  Returning to the US there are military tanks with rifles. Creepy. More lazy pool time.  Floating bean bags.  Paella and wine.  Casablanca veg time.

Day 3 – Only lazy poolage. Family dinner around a giant table with a beautiful centre piece that isolated one side of the table from the other. Delicious.  3 dollar frozen margarita pitchers with free nachos of course. Margaritas look and taste toxic with a neon glow.  War in pool with Doug.


BACK to AUSTIN, TEXAS

Balcony TV performance – 2nd Sweetness performance with them.  1st at SXSW.  Followed by frozen Margaritas next door.

Last night with the film crew. Plan to take them 2 steppin’ but it was closed.  We opt for bar hopping and free drinks.  Final destination dance party. Chloe is a mushy nerd and tears up when saying her goodbyes.  Love these boys.

2 hours of sleep and then we are off to SAN ANTONIO


SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

Breakfast television with Great Day SA – Freezing cold. Tired. Hungry. Grumpy. Sad. Bored. On cue clapping. Fake excitement. WOO HOO! Followed by a much needed epic nap at Aly’s sister’s till we have to dress for the show.

Carmens de la Calle – 4th time there. Love the owner.  50 year old that makes you excited to age. Tons of CD’s sold to a new fan group who saw us on breakfast tv. Sangria and shrimp.


BACK again to AUSTIN, TEXAS

House concert – Very modern, designy gorgeous house concert for some young professionals.  Band lethargic. Loud party animals in kitchen.

Recording harmonies for Joe Marson, a good friend and great artist.  Barton Springs yet again. Meeting with our manager.  More mexican food. More nachos and salsa.  I can’t take it anymore.

ONE 2 ONE – Most incredible venue owners ever.  Robbed the night before. Goodbye concert cancelled last-minute when they arrive to open for evening. Terrible. Scramble to relocate show as it was going to be packed. Our manager David finds a spot.  30 min set. Some audience followed our instructions on the door. Not the same.  A little disheartening.

Saved by 4 Motown ladies singing to a backing track and dancing up a tornado…

Daniel of Vivogig gets us a 1:30am slot at The Parish, a well-known venue. We get there and quickly realize it is not going to happen because the other bands set up and tear down is too slow.  Long day. Lesson learned. always follow your intuition. I initially wanted to leave on or by the 1st.  If I had, who knows.  Sleep.

Last day – Mexican brunch. Nachos, salsa, refried beans. Doug, Aly, Sam, David (our manager).

CIAO!!!


INVENTORY OF ITEMS LOST 

It seems that on every tour I manage to lose a few things, usually the thing that are important to me for some reason.  I used to be sad about it but now I find a little beauty in it.  I leave a little piece of myself somewhere unknown.  Hopefully someone reads the journal I lost in New York last November full of weird sketches, or the sparkly one bought in the UK and lost in a cafe in Berlin full of poems, or my favourite filigree antique silver pendant left somewhere between Chicago and Memphis this time around or the camera left in Terre Haute in February full of scandalous pictures or the numerous phone charges left all over the place.  If you find that little piece of me, please take care of it.