Road Blog: Saturday October 21, 2017 - Lexington, KY
Road Blog – Lexington, KY
October 21, 2017
Last show of the tour
Yesterday we had the luxury of some nice downtime at the hotel north of Cincinnati as we were staying there for a second night and we only had a 2-hour drive to Lexington. I went for a good long run along a walking path and into a nearby neighborhood while Gabriel and Patrick went out for some lunch. When they returned we headed into Cincinnati for some record shopping at one of our favorite stores in the country – Shake It Records. It’s in a really cool neighborhood called The Northside and we try to stop there whenever we’re in town. The owner and staff are super friendly – lots of talk about what I might also like based on what I bought, and some awesome upcoming releases on their Shake It Records label. They’re now carrying our new record “Don’t Worry, It’s Not Contagious” and are also restocked on “Above The Sweet Tea Line,” so if you’re in Cincy and are looking for either, or just a killer record store – stop in! We each left with a stack of new and used wax under our arms, put it in the “records purchased” box in the van, and crossed the Ohio River into Kentucky.
The next stop was The Party Source, which we’ve also hit before. It’s a liquor store the size of a Wal-Mart. I had a list of things to look for from my pal Jon back home, but could only score one of them (and one for myself – Angel's Envy Rye). Pat got a sixer and Gabe bought a couple things too. We headed south down I-75 into Lexington where we stopped at another alcohol superstore – Liquor Barn. No luck there on any of Jon’s items, but I did find a couple bottles of this cheap Pinot Noir that I am partial too and haven’t been able to find back home.
From there we went to the venue and loaded in. Best Friend Bar is a small place, a square room with a small stage at one end. It’s a dive bar, but in the best way. They had a great liquor and beer selection, and urinals that spew hordes of fruit flies up from within the drain when you pee. Classic! They were showing the ALCS on one screen and the Michigan football game on the other, so Patty and I were locked into those. We were happy to see the Astros finish off the Yankees, because, well, F the Yankees, and also we’re wishing Justin Verlander the success he deserves. I’m a Dodgers fan too though, and my allegiance might be with them in the series, but I haven’t decided yet. I think it’s gonna be great. UofM didn’t fare so well and got destroyed by Penn State.
We back lined the drums and bass and I set up in front of NP Presley & The Ghost of Jesse Garon guitarist Chandler’s rig. He reminds us of Waddy Watchel with his curly locks and Les Paul. We opened a bar tab and ate burritos that they make on site. I got the Thin Lizzy, which had spicy ground beef and black beans. Super good. It turns out that we were competing with the Foo Fighters in Cincinnati on Friday, and sure enough, again in Lexington last night. We got word that some of our people were going to that and would miss our show. Then a couple hours before showtime we got word that the Foo Fighters concert was postponed due to a family emergency. Although we collectively hoped it was nothing too serious, we were relieved that it was no longer going to be a factor on our show, and I sent them a tweet expressing concern and inviting them to the bar. No such luck, but ya never know. We hung with NP Presley, Heather and the band for a bit, and eventually Michael Newsome went on and played a solid solo-acoustic set to a good room. It was his first show in a couple years, and he’s a super nice guy.
By now the bar was filling up nicely and in walked my dear friend Erica Minks. Erica and I go back a few years. She and her husband Bryan are a couple of my best friends and favorite people on the planet. He was on the road with his band, Bryan Minks and the Kentucky Sons, playing New Orleans last night, so he couldn’t make it, but it was awesome to see Erica and we hung out all night, laughing, doing shots and watching the music. There were plenty of other familiar faces around too – Virginia, Ben, and so many more. It’s no coincidence that Lexington is our favorite city. We love you guys and it was great to see you and get caught up!
We went on to a good crowd and played what might have been our best set of the tour. We had people hooting and hollering all night, engaged, rowdy, and loud! It was super fun. We dawned some leather college mascot masks for our song Patty’s Not Impressed, and I couldn’t see out of mine so I had to pull it back and look out of the mouth-hole to see my guitar. It was a bit of a debacle but the audience seemed to get a kick out of it. We finished up with a sing-along to our tune Hey Kentucky that really made for a great cap on the set, the night, and the whole tour. We tore down, sold some merch, visited with Virginia and Erica some more, and settled in to watch NP&TGOJG who came out on fire and killed it with a great set. They are so good. Nate is a great front man, and Heather has such a powerful voice. It doesn’t hurt that their songs are just great too. I got to hear my favorite – Only Time Will Tell – for the second night in a row, and Nate dedicated it to us, which was a thrill. He’s seriously one of the most genuine, generous, funny, passionate, sincere people I know. We’ve become great friends over the last couple years and I feel lucky to say that. Cheers and all the love, brother!
After their set we packed up and loaded out. We took some photos and said our goodbyes, which is always a damn bummer in Lexington, and headed north up I-75 for the two-hour drive back to our hotel. Pat was driving and I was riding shotgun, trying my best to stay awake. I put on the Billy Squier King Biscuit Flower Hour live album which the boys begrudgingly tolerated, we stopped for gas (yep, debacle), and eventually made it to our hotel at 4am, tired as hell, but with full hearts. Patty and Gabe crashed immediately and I stayed awake for a bit and watched Jaws, which started right at 4am as we got in. It took me a bit to finally crash, with the ringing in my ears competing against the tuba theme as poor Chrissy was pulled under and eaten by the massive shark. Just as Mayor Larry Vaughn was starting to spew his bullshit about keeping the beaches open to Brody’s dismay, I fell asleep.
Morning hit like a hammer this morning as we met out at the van for the 4 hour drive home. I took the wheel (because we wanted to get back as quickly as possible with no regard for safety or the law) and hit I-75 North through Ohio, then back into Michigan, ending up at Gabe’s where we unloaded the van and split up the liquor and albums we bought.
I am home now, after 10 shows in 10 nights, 16 states, countless hours and miles of driving, 2 bouts of spinach-induced food poisoning, dead armadillos, a valet backing our van into a car, stray wheels bouncing around the freeway, tons of new friends, great times with old friends, Little House on the Prairie, JAWS, a bike ride along the Mississippi, the Midwest, the Dust bowl, Texas, the deep-south, Appalachia, and Kentucky. It wasn’t the longest trek, but we missed our wives and our beds and our toilets and our dogs and cats, and are happy to be home.
HUGE thanks to the bands we played with, the promoters and the venues, our friends who came out to see us – even when they had to work the next morning – and to you for reading these blogs. Aside from just a couple bummer shows, this was the best run we’ve had as far as venues, crowds, and business. I’m already excited to get back out there, but we’ve got a couple weeks at home first. Stay tuned for more show announcements very soon. Xoxo