Greetings I&A followers!!!
Sorry for the gaps of silence between each of these entries.
It is almost 5pm on the night of February 22nd. The air is calm and mild. I’m sitting in the RV next to the Longbranch Saloon in Knoxville, TN. The sound of the street is hopeful. We can hear the subs kicking out the bass riff of some song no one wants to hear. It’s been a frantic week of non-stop shows and driving. I’m trying to recall the specifics. I believe the last entry ended right before we visited Boulder, Colorado. Details escape me of that little city. However, I will mention that Boulder is a great place to ride your bikes and it is in close proximity to a myriad of breweries if you’re into that sort of thing. It was unusually hot. I do remember that. It was a short stay and our journey to Nebraska was long but, thanks again to the luxury of our RV (Thanks Terry and Julie Carbary!!!), it was comfortable.
Nebraska was a pleasant surprise. If you have ever been that way, you’ll know what we mean. For those of you who haven’t, ask yourself what the first thing is that pops in your head when you hear, “Nebraska.” Is it The Cornhuskers? That state in the very center of America, furthest from our adored Pacific and Atlantic oceans? (I’m very partial to the coasts, as you can tell) Lincoln is considered a “college” town and so we met many students at the show. The venue is called, “The Bourbon Theatre” and on the marquis outside was the band’s name proudly displayed like it was the Radio City Hall. Most had never heard of us and yet they were welcoming and really enjoyed the show. If you’re ever there, check out a show at the Bourbon but during the day, stop in at The Public (it’s an independent shoe store with fashionable boutique footwares). Also affiliated to that store is The Blackmarket, another store you can check out. I think it’s specialty is second hand attire. Next was Iowa City.
Iowa City was beautiful. It probably helped that it was very sunny and brisk. Naturally, playing a show at the Java House made it the perfect combination of coffee, sun and fresh air. We played for a show called Java Blend on Iowa Public Radio which is somehow affiliated with NPR. The host Ben Keiffer was jovial and inviting. We really appreciate jovial and inviting hosts by the way. After the show, as we were trying to load our gear out through the back alley, (the way we had loaded in), our plans were foiled by none other then Lucinda Williams and her tour bus that had just arrived as we finished. At least, we think it was Lucinda Williams. Her name was on the bill for the theatre right next door for that night. From there we were on our way to Memphis but stopped in St. Louis along the way.
St. Louis, we will revisit you later this tour. However, I will say that we stayed at a hotel there and some much needed showers were had. Also, Henry (Tim and Lindze’s 10 month old) seemed to break his sickness, or whatever it was that was ailing him. A healthy Henry is a happy Henry.
Memphis, Tennessee was a trip. The Folk Alliance reminded me of living in the dorms at university. After hours of wandering around the Marriott hotel and poking our heads in various rooms where different (and very talented) folk artists were playing for folk industry people, we experienced what was the equivalent to a giant folk/frat party. The Folk Alliance essentially takes over the top 3 floors of the hotel and puts on showcases in each room. The labels and organizations that these artists represent decorate their rooms to look appealing and “vibey” for their audiences. The rooms were tiny and packed. Take note, these showcases didn’t even start until 12AM. I think the programs indicate that the last shows ended around 5-6am. These folks (pun very much intended) love to party. We left around 3AM and made a beeline to GRACELAND. For those of you who don’t know, Tim Wilson is Elvis’ biggest fan. He was like a child trying to get into Disneyland at 4 in the morning. We’ll try and post some footage of us bawking at the King of Rock And Roll’s palatial tomb.
Next, we hit up Nashville and the Basement. We were joined by Mark Olson whom we’ve played with in the past and hung out on S 12th later in the evening. It was a pleasant night with the fair weather they’ve been having out there lately. Nashville is great. We’ve enjoyed what seems to be a large community of music lovers and the culture here. It’s not often that you can stroll down the main street of your local downtown and listen to amazing players in every single bar. It’s bittersweet. There are amazing musicians in this world that will always be more skilled than I. Either way, there’s no denying, when you see great players, it’s still very entertaining to watch.
Franklin was so warm and welcoming. We played a show at a venue/house conversion that reminded me so much of home that we felt very comfortable there and had a great time with the folks who run that place. Will and his wife who is french and who’s name escapes me right now (my apologies), Jerushala and Anna. Thanks to you, we had a blast at and our hopes solidified. Thanks to Kimbro’s Pickin Parlor in Franklin, Nashville. We encourage anyone and everyone who lives there or is passing through to visit Kimbros. They are awesome.
So here we are now, sitting in Knoxville, next to the Longbranch, Saloon. It’s been one full week since we first departed our lovely homes in Seattle. We are halfway across the country and we have had at least one show every night plus additional daytime performances and in-studios. It’s all very exciting and we couldn’t be more blessed to have such a supportive following. We send our love and thanks to all who’ve contributed to the success of this tour and we’ll continue to send the updates!! Thanks for this great experience!! We’ll see you on the road!!
Next up, North Carolina!!!!
(Ivan & Alyosha)