Road Blog: Thursday September 17, 2015 - Columbus, OH
Road Blog – Columbus, OH
September 17, 2015
We left the Detroit suburbs shortly after 4 and it seemed from the start that the great state of Ohio was out to get us. There was a massive accident just north of Bowling Green that had traffic backed up for miles. That cost us about 45 minutes. Then there was some brutal construction north of Findlay that set us back another half hour. If you’ve driven the stretch between Detroit and Columbus then you know that there is no freeway between there and Findlay so you’re on surface roads for the last 90 miles. We were cruising along between a couple farm towns, middle of nowhere, when we came to a road-closed sign, unannounced, and unwelcomed. We had to turn around and detour, costing us another half hour. Thanks Ohio. Finally we made it to the outskirts of Columbus when I saw flashing blue lights behind us. 80 in and 70 and failure to use a signal when changing lanes. Ohio’s finest was not a welcome sight, but he couldn’t have been cooler and let me off with a warning. “The deer are running.” He said. “Hit a deer doing 80 and someone’s getting hurt.” I was mostly disappointed in myself, since not using turn signals is my #1 pet peeve for drivers, but lesson learned and we limped into Columbus 4 1/2 hours after leaving home with the cruise set to 71.
After a couple quick sandwiches we pulled up to TreeBar, a dark, hidden, neighborhood bar down a dark alley just off downtown. We loaded into the back room, said hey to a couple familiar faces, set up and ordered a whiskey. TreeBar is one of those places where everyone has a smile and a hug. We usually don’t play to a full room there, but the people who are there listen, buy merch and are always sure to pass along a kind word. It’s a very family sort of vibe. Roni the bartender is always super sweet, poring a good rye on the rocks and telling us the best local IPAs to try.
First up was Matt Monta, a guy I hadn’t met yet, playing a solo-acoustic set. He had some great songs and a great delivery, accompanied with some really good harmonica. A really enjoyable set, really nice dude. Next up was our old pal Ryan Parker, who we know from his road-dogging with Two Cow Garage and our many run-ins with them back in Detroit. Super great guy, who just hours before had been robbed at knifepoint. His set was great too – fantastic songs and really engaging. We hit around 11pm to a small but very attentive group of people and had a really good set. We broke out a couple new tunes for the first time and even got coaxed into an encore. We couldn’t ask for more. Murph from Two Cow Garage was smiling as I engaged his girlfriend Erin in friendly banter about which W.A.S.P. song we should cover and her new rescue cat Blackie Lawless. Not often we’re asked if we know any W.A.S.P., but it would be fun to try!
After our goodbyes and load out it was off to the Motel 6 in the suburbs. Morning came early as both Patty and I were struggling with digestive issues. After deliberation and detective work we narrowed down the tomatoes on our sandwiches as the likely culprit. It was not a fun morning in room 137. We rallied and enjoyed a great breakfast at the Starliner Diner – one of our favorite tour food stops. After that it was a quick drop in at Colin’s Coffee to see my pal Colin Gawel from Watershed and get some great java. We talked some Cheap Trick, John Speck and Watershed/Tucos possibilities before we headed into the city for some record shopping.
We’re on our way to Lexington now, between Columbus and Cincinnati. Tonight we’re playing the second annual Squallfest and we’re super excited to see all our great Kentucky friends and hear some great bands. Can’t wait to get below the sweet tea line!