life of a full time musician
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!
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!
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!
Ahh we are back in Ft. Collins. We have had so many good times taking brewery tours, hosting jams, and playing jams. This is our first real showcase type show in Ft. Collins at a great venue Hodi’s Halfnote. Hodi’s is a great place to hang out as far as just having a good vibe but then on top of that there is a great room with a big stage and excellent sound. We played with another band from Colorado called Able Minds. They are a cool mix of electronic and traditional (guitar, drum, etc.) type music. It made for a great night of upbeat danceable music. We had fun catching up with a friend of ours Liza as well. You may remember her as our merchandise representative for our last west coast tour. It was great to catch up and it was just a great night in Ft. Collins. Hooch over and out!
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!
The booking game is a crazy world… we finally confirmed the show that was supposed to happen on December 10th exactly ten days before it was to occur. On December 9th, I got a call from the booking agent saying that their email account had gotten hacked and he never confirmed the show, so we were SOL.
Luckily, we have been through this before and applied the Achachay! spirit. Focus on the solution, see the opportunity and make the most of whatever is in front of your face. After a few phone calls, it became apparent that nothing would happen that night. I’d have to wait until the morning.
We woke up at the usual time and I started calling all the bars in Winter Park. At first I got the usual run-around, but when I mentioned “We’re an awesome Austin TX funk rock band that got our show cancelled, do you want us to bring you an awesome show TONIGHT?” or something similar, they get things moving.
The Winter Park Pub came through in the 9th inning and opened their arms… not just a place to play, but a decent last minute guarantee, free food, free drinks. The show ended up being packed and well received. The staff was cool, and we’ll definitely be back! Even though Hooch and I both felt a little sniffly and hoarse, we played a top notch performance and had a great time busting out some covers we haven’t done in a long time. We closed off a three day weekend of 4-hour-a-night performances with gusto and energy.
We’ve been shown time and time again to keep the faith. In spite of whatever circumstances life throws your way, maintain an optimistic outlook while working hard to achieve whatever your objective is. Almost every time we’ve done this, the result is better than what we expected from the original plan. Even if it isn’t better, the experience is beautiful.
To top it off, we all three got to sleep in individual beds at the family place of a buddy I studied in Ghana with. We got to meet some of his family and catch up on six years of traveling, craziness, and life. All in all, a phenomenal day.
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!