Road Blog: Wednesday October 14, 2015 - Detroit, MI
Road Blog - 10/14/2015 - Detroit
Not exactly a road show as it was in our home-town, but it was the first night of our tour so here goes. The Majestic Cafe is the last of the few venues in the Majestic complex that I haven't played. It's a restaurant, usually, but transforms into a great band room with a low stage at the far end, a nice green-room, and plenty of space in back to drop back and get some distance from the music if you want.
John Speck was up first. I've been a fan of his work since he fronted Hoarse, The Fags and HiFi-Handgrenades in the past couple decades. He's doing a solo-set these days, sitting down with an acoustic guitar and a new handful of songs. He's suffering from a lost voice, big time, but he gave it all and somehow it worked, despite his frustration. His songs are that good - they'll come through under any circumstance. I felt bad for him, but everyone there loved his set and I'm glad he played. It was also my first time sharing a bill with him, so that's a real pleasure, and a check-off the list too.
Next up were Mutts from Chicago. These guys are touring with Two Cow Garage and we connected online this past week where I was able to get a preview of their tunes. They are a trio, like us, but with keys instead of guitars. Their tunes are super smart, but delivered with a brash confidence and swagger that reminded me at times of Tom Waits meets The Jam or something. Super high energy, great show, and nice dudes.
We're very lucky to occasionally have the opportunity to play with bands we love and listen to as fans. At the top of that list is Two Cow Garage from Columbus, OH. I've been going to see these guys play since their first trips to Detroit/Ypsilanti back in 2002 at the Elbow Room. The first time I played with them was with The OffRamps in 2003 at Small's (with Grand Champeen and Posrchsleeper), and then with The Tucos a few times sense. I have such respect for these guys - for many reasons - but the big 3 are their work ethic, their amazing product (songs/records/live show) and their genuine good nature. You're not going to find nicer guys who work harder and write and deliver better songs. Every time we play with them we end up with the education that we have work to do. They set the bar. Last night was more of that. They're always great, but it was probably the tightest and most together I've seen them.
And what a thrill to see so many friends out! We had a small contingent from Toronto drive in just for the show - THANKS Paul & Woody! You guys are amazing! And John, Monica, Tim, Dustin, Chris, Jason, Laura, Jake, Joe, Jill, Mike, etc etc - thank you guys so much. I know you weren't there just for us, but it gives the good people who put these shows on a reason to have us back in the future, it helps the touring bands who need every body they can get on a Wednesday night, and it's just plain great to see you guys and hang out!
So we're on I-75 just south of Toledo as I type, on our way to the first road-show of the tour - Dayton, Ohio, and one of our favorite venues - Blind Bob's. It's great to be on the road again, and staring down the big adventure in front of us. More tomorrow.