We make our way south from Telluride earlyish. I use the word ‘early’ loosely… When we are on the road we rarely get on the road before 2 pm so leaving around noon is early… We get to Pagosa about 5 and the sun is just starting to go behind the mountains. We have a few hours to kill and Pagosa Springs is known for its hot springs. Everytime we mention Pagosa people say, “Did you visit the hot springs?” and until now we always said “no”.. But I can now happily say we have been to the hot springs and it was just what a back that’s been sleeping on floors needed! When I heard springs I expected some sort of rock landing with water spewing out of the ground… But it was really nothing like that… It was a nice resort type place. They had tubs indoors as well as outdoors on the roof. The roof was pretty crowded but it’s still sweet to check out the sunset and stars over the mountains while soaking in the tubs filled with spring water. After a couple hours of soaking our tired bones we head to the venue. The Bear Creek always takes care of us. The staff there is super friendly and the locals are awesome too. We play a long 4 hour set and then we hit the road to head back to Austin. That does it for the Colorado tour. It’s been a blast as always and if we weren’t heading back to Austin it would be hard to leave! 23 hours and we are home! Hooch over and out!
We started our day off right with breakfast out our Couchsurfer Mark’s home outside of Durango. The night before we arrived at Mark’s place and managed to get the van stuck in the driveway… Turns out the tires aren’t as good as they were new! After some slipping and sliding and pushing and well… all that fun stuff that comes along with having a 2 wheel drive van on the snow… We finally managed to get the chains on the tires and drove out of the driveway with ease. Man I’m glad we picked up those chains! So moving on… We had a 6 hour drive from Durango to Breckenridge through some amazing mountain passes including the Red Mountain Pass. Fortunately the passes were clear of snow and it was just a gorgeous drive. We arrived in Breckenridge around 8 pm and the Motherloaded was already hopping. The Motherloaded Tavern is such a fun venue. It’s the perfect environment for funky upbeat music like ours. They have a table that is bolted to the floor so you can dance on the table and people use it! The drinks were flowing and the crowd was dancing and eating up every bit of funk we could cook for them. It was such a fun night. I really can’t say enough about the Motherloaded. They really take care of us(check out the pic of the tip jar, lol) and this place is just a blast!
Pagosa Springs is a beautiful town in the mountains of Colorado. Because we have been to Pagosa and played at The Bear Creek Saloon several times I totally feel at home there. It’s pretty awesome in that we really didn’t know anyone in Pagosa Springs before we played a few shows and now we have a solid fans and friends that come out to our shows. There is a stange dynamic in Pagosa because it is a small tourist town. You will have a mix of people that are in town for the hot springs or the rafting as well as native ‘Pagosans’. That being said every time we play the crowd is responsive and just a ton of fun regardless of whether it’s tourists or ‘Pagosans’. This time around we met some new friends through couchsurfing. Our new friend Jarrett and his family welcomed us into their home and we had yet another great couchsurfing experience. We had great food and spent time sharing our stories about traveling and playing music. Really great times in Pagosa Springs. This is yet another one of those places that is very hard to leave… That being said we have to keep moving on to the rest of Colorado! Hooch over and out!
Thanks to our musician buddy Trey, we finally busted into the Tulsa music scene. The cold and rain forced us to play just inside the entrance to the Hunt Club, but with all of Hooch’s Oklahoma connections we were able to bring out some friends and make it a fun night.
We had some time to chill in Tulsa, which (as I expected) is a really cool town. Did you know that since the 50′s, Tulsa has dedicated 1% percent of budgets of its major public works projects to public art to accompany those buildings? Did you know you can mountain bike, and rock climb in Tulsa? That’s exactly what Liza and I did one afternoon, meeting some cool people. I also got to catch up with some people we met in Stillwater on other trips, which was really cool.
Hooch’s buddies Kit and Natalie hosted us and really made us feel like home. We had a lot fun… there’s even a secret video of Ryan and Hooch dancing that will never be made public… oh no, the secret is out!
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.
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….
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!
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
San Francisco always welcomes us with open arms and crazy fun free activities features thousands of people. Last tour we got to the Bay Area just in time for Bay to Breakers (see Hooch’s blog post); this time we got there just in time for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. This is a MASSIVE (ie 600,000 people), three day long music festival held in Golden Gate Park. The best part – its FREE! It’s like Austin City Limits but four times as many hippies (remember, its free), spread out over a much larger park.
Liza and I got there pretty late Sunday afternoon but still got to catch some classic acts like the Dark Star Orchestra, Gomez, and Emmy Lou Harris (she’s closed the festival every year since it began 11 years ago). I also saw my first “Occupy Wallstreet” sign there. Not knowing anything about the movement yet (this was a few weeks ago after all) I thought it pretty ironic- The festival is free because its funded by a guy who made a ton of money investing in stocks. Actually, I had a great conversation about the whole thing with a buddy of mine from SF. I’ll include some of that email exchange HERE, for those of you interested in my thoughts about the whole thing.
We had a free day in the area, which gave us a lot of time to relax at Ryan’s long time family friends’ the Burger’s (who have now hosted us three times, always very welcoming!) and catch up with friends from the usual: Rice, Ghana, high school, Austin, etc.
Our show at Kimo’s was cool for the following reasons:
- Great surprises of people who came to see us (thank you Facebook for connecting us all)
- Delicious Indian food before hand. My buddy Chek ate lamb brain. I tasted it. Very strong flavor.
- The Official Story was funky, talented, and super fun to dance to!
- Void 808 Band- cool guys whom we played with again the next night in Sacramento
- We freakin’ rocked
That about covers it. We’ll strive to play Strictly Hardly … next year? Either way I’m sure San Fran won’t disappoint as even if there aren’t absurdly fun large and free events to attend, there will be awesome people to hang out with.
The day started off with a free birthday burger at Sylvester’s in Atascadero on our way to Paso Robles. Sylvester’s has awesome huge burgers so it was totally awesome to get a huge mushroom burger for free… After stopping by the club to set up we head over to our buddy Ruben’s place to chill before the show. After a short nap at Ruben’s place we head back to the venue for the show. This time we played at the 463 Club in Paso Robles. The 463 Club is a sports bar/music venue. We ended up having a pretty small crowd but the few that were there were our good friends and we had a blast playing for them. After the show we let Ruben show us downtown to do some birthday partying. The first bar we stop into has one of my favorite pastimes going on…. Karaoke… To say that I have a good time singing Karaoke would be a bit of an understatement. So Ryan and I sang a few songs and Liza even ended up singing a couple of songs. It was a ton of fun. After the karaoke we headed back to Ruben’s place and finished the night with a few drinks and a lot of laughs. Great food, great friends, a fun show, and Karaoke. All and all it was a great birthday!