Tour 7: Fall 2011, West (4)
Today we are traveling from Preblo, CO to Telluride, CO. We got a late start and didn’t get out of town until about 2 PM. We have a night off so we decided to stop in Salida to see a friend of ours Ty. We met Ty through couchsurfing a couple years ago and have been tight ever since. We also decided since we had the night off we should see if we could find a place to play. We hit up a couple of bars and they were all very receptive to live music but were booked. There was also a place with a patio that we could play on. But playing a show in 20 degree temperatures didn’t sound too appealing… The last place we popped in was the Tenderfoot. Ryan did the talking and the Bartender Mary was more than happy to let us play. We decided to go have dinner and make a decision about whether we were going to play a show or drive across an icy mountain pass after dark. Looking back now, it seems like the obvious decision was to play the show… The show was awesome. We had the bar packed all night. People were dancing and having a great time just like we were! It was another one of those times where we are on tour and randomly things come together for an awesome night of music. We will definitely be back in Salida. A big thanks to the Mary’s at Tenderfoot for having us play. It was such a blast!
Catching Up on Blogs: Liza writes about Oklahoma City
The drive from Tulsa to OKC is fairly short, so we arrived at Hooch’s old friend Autumn’s home with time enough to have a proper meal and veg. out before the show. Autumn’s mom cooked us a delicious feast of spaghetti, with four little sauce pans to choose from, so you could bask in whatever flavor your heart desired. This was also the first time in what seemed like eternity that I had access to spinach and a variety of fresh vegetables that I had only dared to dream about during my car-naps in the van… a higher level of bliss cannot be desired.
What can I say about The College Bar in Stillwater, Oklahoma? Well for starters it was my favorite bar in Stillwater when I lived there... We always have a great crowd even on a Monday night which is amazing. As far as this time at the College Bar it was business as usual. We had a fun crowd including a big group of my friends. Playing for old friends always makes a show more fun for sure. The show went great aside from a moment when I was playing Jordan's guitar on 'Fight for Your Right' and it decided to stop working. Jordan and Ryan kept going with the song while I tried to get the guitar working to no avail. After the song ended Jordan figured out the issue (only Jordan knows how to fix his set up...) and the show went on without a hitch. It was once again just a great time with old friends and new friends in Stillwater and it is always a pleasure to come back to another home away from home!
We’re almost done chronicling our last tour… Just about to get into the last week. This is a stream of consciousness post…
On Friday October 14th we woke and drove 7 hours from Denver to Pagosa Springs. We’ve done this drive twice before and its pretty sweet, but this time was more ridiculous since we had already driven 12 hours from Reno to Moab, and eight hours from Moab to Denver the previous two days. Both of those shows were four hour shows too. We’re putting in our 10,000 hours I suppose, although we’ll be better drivers than players at the end of it
The show was fun. The Bear Creek Saloon always has a new crowd of people and we never know what to expect. The funny thing about this time was that we didn’t have a place to stay. Normally, we just drive home to Austin because Pagosa is often our last stop, but this time we were playing Creede the next night, and its only 1.5 hours away.
We only took one break so sourcing a sleeping spot proved fairly troublesome. Luckily Liza saved the day. What would we do without her? She befriended a traveling troupe of friendly dudes traipsing across the US and they offered the floor of their hotel.
The great stories happened at the afterparty, as they are often wont to do.
Ryan and Liza were tired, so they headed back to the hotel. Hooch and I were pumped to check out this crazy after hours secret club run by a peaceful biker gang… that our friend Justine told us about.
The place was really chill. It was kind of what you’d expect: a warehouse with a pool table, music, dancing, and “free” drinks (you are expected to tip). I got invited to play a game of poker, so I got immediately sucked in. It was sweet. I played it really cool and knocked everyone out over the course of the next three hours until I was heads up with the host. At that point it was 6:30 AM so we decided to split the pot and call it a … morning.
Hooch and I managed to find a ride back to the new acquaintances’ hotel. We stumbled around the complex toting a bottle of whiskey, searching for the right room. Upon entering, we were surprised to find that sleeping bodies covered almost every single surface in the room. I managed to curl up in the corner between the wall and the bed, but Hooch would have had to sleep halfway in the bathroom. Pretty funny situation. Last thing I remember before passing out was that he was eating a leftover Subway sandwich, both in the bathroom and in bed since they were one and the same.
Of course it never ends on the road. The party goes on. Our gracious and generous hosts had to check out early the next morning since they were hitting the slopes and moving on, so they awoke us just two hours later. Where was Hooch? We hopped over to the van and found him comfortably clutch the whiskey and a spare pillow to his breast. I suppose the bathroom floor just didn’t do it for him.
Liza and Ryan fared ok, but Hooch and I had stayed up until about 7AM partying. I passed out in the van next to Hooch and we both slept for the next couple hours. I’m not sure what the others did – I think they checked out a hot springs and got some breakfast. I think I ate some oatmeal at a gas station later that day.
Yep. That’s the deal with Pagosa Springs. We’ve never really gotten to enjoy the daytime offerings of the beautiful town. Hooch befriended the friendly biker gang (They are called something ridiculous like the “He-Devils of Grace”) and they offered us a place to stay, so hopefully the next time will be a little more restful. Either way I won’t be surprised if we end
up with a good story to tell.
Tommyknocker’s, is a cozy bar that has a musky-fresh pinewood smell and is full of friendly folks, who recognized us as the band by the simple fact that we were strangers. The bar owners took good care of us, making sure our bellies were full and our livers working. What’s nice about playing in a town so small is that once the musics starts, the people come- locals and travelers alike- ready to dance and have a good time.
We’ve had some interesting times in Moab. The first time here we toured Arches National Park (my favorite National Park thus far) and this time was interesting in it’s own way… We were supposed to have a show in Reno the day before on our way from Lake Tahoe to Moab but because a booking agent at a club failed at his job the show didn’t happen… So we drove straight from Tahoe to Moab. In case you haven’t looked at a map of the area lately is a super long drive… 13 hours to be exact… This isn’t the longest drive we’ve encountered but it did make it hard to sleep comfortably… We arrived in Moab at 9 am and set up camp to try to sleep. Fortunately we found a nice shady spot and it was nice and cool so sleep came easy. After a few hours of rest we headed up to Eddie McStiff’s our venue for the evening. It’s a cool restaurant/bar and although we had to keep it quiet, it was a good show. We made some new friends and ran into some friends from Austin actually (Hello Devra!) which always makes life more fun. After the show we had a 7 hour drive to Denver. As you can tell our booking manager (aka the members of Achachay!) forgot to look at the map when booking this section of the tour…. But we did end up surviving and sleeping well when we finally got to Denver super early the next morning… Ahh the life of a touring musician… It can’t always be one with the luxury of sleep….
They say all’s well that ends well, but there’s something to be said for getting off on the right foot. The magnificent drive through the vineyards and rolling hills of central California into the mountainous region of Lake Tahoe was certainly a sunny beginning to the events surrounding and including the Achachay! show at Rojo’s (as in Row-Joe’s). Our hosts were an ever cheerful group of ski-bums, who tend to move in large packs and almost exclusively on bikes. They also get seriously amped up for shows, so when their excited state was bombarded with the absurd amount of energy Achachay! puts out during their shows, the basement of Rojo’s broke out into ballistics.
In Stockton we payed the quietest show of our lives. No joke- I was very impressed by Ryan’s ability to keep it down.
We played at a restaurant in Stockton called Greek Brothers- a nice place with beautiful views of the rivers. The crowd was solid but the playing was seriously so quiet that I had to whisper to Hooch on stage, in case the audience could hear what I was saying to him. It was very strange playing our funky, raucus, and dancable music in such a fashion, but it was also fun. I could hear our singing and harmonies so well!
We sound good. We’ve been practicing in the van every single day, a program called “Singing Success” by a guy named Brett Manning. He’s a funny dude and some of the exercises sound funny to an outside ear, but man do they really help. I get more and more confident every time I do them. I understand my voice a lot better, and I’m excited to keep growing.
The staff at Greek Brothers was exceptionally nice and appreciative of the music. I think they’re the ones who bought the most merch, and were generally really friendly. We got to hang out with some other patrons at the end of the night who were generous in buying us whiskey and eager to talk music, so all in all it was a fun night.
The Voodoo Music Experience was incredible. Please enjoy these videos!
We’ll be back soon with a recap of the weekend.
It’s gameday in Eugene, OR and we are pulling into town from California on a Thursday afternoon. We are set to play at a sports bar, The Maize Lounge, following the game and it looks to be a fun show. Phil a friend of ours from Couchsurfing has set up the show for us. Phil plays with a funk/jam/awesome band in Eugene and he has been booking for the club for a few weeks now. The Maize Lounge is pretty much a standard sports bar. A few TV’s, decent bar food, and of course beers. On another couchsurfing front… Todd a good friend of ours we met through couchsurfing who was living in Austin for a bit ends up meeting us in Eugene to hang out. Anytime Todd is around you know it’s going to be a good time! After waiting around for Oregon to beat Cal we get to start the show. We have a small crowd of dancers that makes the show fun and we make a great impression on everyone at the bar. Following the show we hear that there is a funk jam at another bar downtown. We pack up our stuff and head to the funk jam. The funk jam was a blast! Jordan ended up jumping on guitar for a bit. I ended up getting on the microphone for a long song. Every once in a while I have to get the “front man” out of my system and jump on the microphone to do some singing. It was such a great time and such a great release to just go crazy on the microphone for a while. After the jam we headed back to Phil’s place to hang out. It seems like everyone that lives with Phil plays music and that makes us all kindred souls at least to some extent. So needless to say we had a great night of hanging out and playing music. Couldn’t have asked for a better day on tour!