Road Blog: Saturday June 01, 2019 - Danville, KY
June 1, 2019
The drive from Huntington, West Virginia to Lexington, Kentucky is an easy two hours through mountains and gorges and hollers and hills. The Sun was coming out between overcast skies and short bursts of light rain. My first stop was Liquor Barn. There are a few of them scattered around Lexington, but I usually seem to end at the one on Man O’ War Blvd. It’s basically a super-market sized liquor store with every imaginable libation, and plenty that you couldn’t even imagine, along with a behind-the-counter section for hard-to-gets and some other miscellaneous food and party supplies. I left with a couple bottles and some beer and managed to keep it just south of $100 so that was an accomplishment. From there I checked into my hotel, which was nearby, called TrooperGirl22 and got the updates from home, got dressed, filled the hotel room garbage can up with ice and beer, threw it in the truck, and headed south.
The drive between Lexington and Danville is another one I’ve done a few times, having played shows in nearby Waynesburg a few times for the annual Fun Ranch party. It’s divided highway through horse farms, woods, and small cities. I stopped in Danville to see Tyler at Cosmos Comics and drop off a guitar case for a local buddy who is working on a guitar for me, then headed up to the Shaker Valley Farm, just north of the town. The first person I saw when I pulled up was my pal from Nashville, Ned Hill. Then our host Ben Aubrey came out. I met Derek Spencer, who I’d heard of but didn’t know, and was also playing, and saw my dear friend Whitney, who plays drums for NP Presley & The Ghost of Jesse Garon.
It was a beautiful day, low 80s, sun and scattered clouds, and a beautiful setting – a small stage set up between a couple of big trees with the backdrop of a huge barn and heard of goats (technically called a tribe, according to Google) running around a massive tall-grass field. Ben and Trinity took a small group of us out to the barn to meet the goats and they were super awesome – all different sizes and colors, calling out, jumping around, and checking out the strangers. One little dude was crying for his mama like it was an immediate emergency, but Ben explained that he was fine, and the mama knows exactly what was going on, and if he really needed something she’d be there.
The music started around 6PM with a great set by Jack Smithers. Honestly, I don’t have the energy, time, or memory to go through every act that played, but they were all great. NPP&TGOJG played a full band set that was, as always, a lot of fun, then Ben’s new project Brother Byron played a set – killer songs with Ben leading the way with his great voice and guitar. Derek Spencer went up after them and played an incredible set as it started to get dark out. He’s got a bit of Springsteen thing going on, and we talked about that a bit, but his stuff certainly has plenty more to offer with songs and scenes set in Eastern Kentucky and a charismatic delivery that is all his own.
Ned played after Derek and that was a lot of fun. I’ve played with Ned several times and seen him a couple other times, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him without a band. His songs transfer to the format really well and it was cool to hear a couple of the back stories behind the songs too. At one point he asked if anyone knew Bryan Minks, resulting in a chorus of joking, but heartfelt BOOOs from the audience, since Bryan was supposed to play but bailed on us earlier that day. I closed out the night, hitting the stage around 11. I kept with the general theme of the night of mostly depressing, slower songs, opening with my tune `Barely, All The Time,` before getting into some more upbeat stuff from my catalog, but throwing in a tear-jerker here and there. After 7 hours of watching music, socializing, drinking beers, eating food, playing with goats, and whatever else, I can’t say that I was on my A-game, but it was in the spirit and went well, to a really attentive and appreciative audience. It was a really fun day and night and super positive event with the best people in attendance, in a great setting on a beautiful day. What else could you ask for? I hope they do it again, and if asked I’ll definitely make the effort to return.
After some visiting and merch-trading I drove back to my hotel in Lexington, arriving sometime before 1am. I finished up an episode of Hart to Hart then got into some TJ Hooker before crashing out. I rolled over at 6:15 am, crawled into the shower, gulped down an in-room coffee, and headed north on I-75. First thing I did was to crank Aerosmith’s second record Get Your Wings, which was produced by Jack Douglas. On the way down on Friday I listened to a great podcast by Bob Lefsetz with and interview with Jack where he talked about working with Areosmith, Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick, and more. Some amazing John Lennon stories too. I’ll put the link in the comments if you’re interested. After that it was Alice Cooper – Flush The Fashion, The Cars Anthology, Motley Crue – Too Fast For Love (Leathür Pressing), and some other stuff, before arriving home at noon.
It was a bummer that my Thursday show was postponed, but both Huntington and Danville were really fun and I got to see many old friends and make some new ones. This coming weekend The Tucos are at the the village idiot maumee, OH, then the next day is my EP release show at PJ's Lager House in Detroit. Please come on out if you’re in the area! Thanks for reading. I’m probably more or less off the road until fall, but it’s shaping up to be a busy one, so stay tuned. Xo.