Road Blog: Friday December 14, 2018 - Nashville, TN
December 14, 2018
We met at Gabe's house at 8am in the pouring rain, loaded the van, and headed south down Telegraph Road, I-275, then I-75 into Ohio, though Toledo, Dayton, Cincinnati and across the Ohio river into Kentucky. We listened to The Who – Quadrophenia, Kate Bush, some Ukrainian metal thing Gabe played, Buzzcocks, and The Beths as we drove through Louisville, past the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green where a sinkhole engulfed a couple choice `vettes a few years back and they left the gaping hole right there in the museum, and finally into Tennessee and to our hotel in Nashville. I'm at what seems to be the tail end of a nasty head and chest cold that has me stuffed up, coughing, exhausted, and strung out on various medications that might just be worse than the sickness itself, so I spent the drive trying to rest in the back. We stopped for a couple pee breaks and some gas, hit some traffic in Cincy, Louisville and Nashville, but made it to the hotel relatively unscathed.
We didn't have much time to relax because it was an early show with a 4PM load in. We headed into the city and found the Little Harpeth Brewing and loaded in. It's a big, open warehouse with a nice stage at one end and a small tap stand opposite, with a massive shelving unit on one side holding pallets of beer cans in shrink wrap. There was a pop-up clothing market that took up the whole floor, complete with a massage chair and a stand where you could pay $1 for a "Shitty Advice." The other bands were loading in too and we said hello to our friends in The Raelyn Nelson Band, who we met in March at The Brass Rail in Fort Wayne, Indiana and invited us down to open for them last night. We had a beer and watched them soundcheck then headed out on foot to a place called Thai Foo Ket that the staff highly recommended.
Thai Foo Ket is an unassuming, frankly slightly dilapidated, building behind a big, bustling night club surrounded by warehouses. We were starving. I ordered chicken satay and pad cashew and the boys each got a papaya salad and an entrée. The appetizers came out and we dug in. After a couple minutes Gabriel and Patrick were sweating and turning red. The papaya salads were off-the-chain hot. Pat threw in the towel pretty quick. Gabe hung in there a little longer, but eventually his eyes were watering and he was beet red. We each enjoy some spicy food and have some tolerance for heat, but that salad was crazy. Food was good though – I'd go back.
Back at the brewery, the opening band Slippery Lemon was getting ready to go on. These are older dudes (like us) playing some rootsy, Greateful-Deadish rock and roll – good tunes, great musicians, and super nice guys. They're from Birmingham, Alabama, so we talked a lot about our visits to Alabama and their experiences in and perceptions of Detroit. We played second and had a good time up there. The crowd was milling around the back of the room but gradually came up front and by the last half of the set we had a pretty good group in front of us. We played well and it sounded good.
Raelyn Nelson Band went on after us and they had a respectable crowd up front watching them. I've been listening to them in regular rotation since we met last March and love their stuff. In case you don't know, Raelyn is Willie Nelson's granddaughter, but their music is somewhat of a departure from Red Headed Stranger. There's a country element to it, with her slight Texas drawl and a little swing coming in and out, but it's more rock and roll, bordering on punk. The second song is a cover of Joan Jett's Bad Reputation. Raelyn plays a mean ukulele, Jonathan is a great guitarist, and Preach rocks the hollow-body bass, but I was mesmerized last night watching Angela beat the living hell of the drum kit. She's a powerhouse and really drove the band. They played a great set.
After their set I may or may not have volunteered Troopergirl22 and I into doing the Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon next year as a relay with a girl I met from Walled Lake, now living in Nashville, and her boyfriend. We loaded out and said our goodbyes and headed back to the Baymont Inn. Big thanks to Raelyn for inviting us down to play, and the super nice staff at Little Harpeth Brewery for the hospitality. Safe travels to Slippery Lemon – we'll look you boys up next time we come through Birmingham!
We're planning to do a little record shopping and get some Nashville hot chicken before leaving town. Tonight we're in Lexington, KY with our brothers Bryan Minks and the Kentucky Sons. This is the last show of a great year for us, and our last show with Patrick on bass, so it's a bit of a celebration and also the bittersweet end of an era. Hope to see all of our Kentucky friends tonight!