Road Blog: Friday October 11, 2019 - Kansas City, MO
October 11, 2019
Kansas City, Missouri
We left our hotel in Joliet, IL around 9am in a cold, miserable downpour. There is a cold front coming through the Midwest and supposedly blizzards in Colorado, so we’re watching all that news with interest. We gassed up the van and headed west, then south, towards Missouri. We crossed the Mississippi north of St. Louis, near Hannibal, Mo. as the rain finally broke and we started to see some clear skies. We decided to stop in Monroe City for gas and that’s where it all went to hell. It was Bob’s turn to fill the tank but he was having a bladder situation, so I volunteered to watch the pump while he went in to pee. A bus from some regional high school or college pulled up and a hoard of young, cute co-eds wearing yoga pants and Beats went in to use the bathroom and get some snacks, all giggling and doing what young girls do. So I’m pumping the gas, which is flowing at the pace of a glacier, and freezing my ass off on count of the cold front, and cursing Bob for leaving me out there (OK, I was a little hangry too) when I noticed my shoe was untied. So I tried to ignore it but the tank wasn’t full so I put my foot up on the back bumper and bent over to tie my shoe and just as I bent over and the Missouri wind hit the exposed skin north of my butt and south of my back, I realized….wow - I must have some serious plummer’s butt right about now, I also realized at that moment that two of the co-eds were walking right behind me, getting the full view, and broke into hysterical giggles at the horrible sight, continuing all the way into the bus. Goddamnit.
Right about then the pump clicks – finally done, so I went over to top it off and before I know it there’s gas flowing down the side of the van onto my shoes and pants. Jesus Christ. I went in and got a beef jerky, cheese stick, and peanut butter cheddar crackers for lunch, pissed off and embarrassed, fueled even more by the line-up of co-eds waiting to use the single bathroom. This ain’t all fun and games, hookers and blow, piles of cash, and adoring fans, you guys. There’s real world shit happening out here too, and we're in the middle of it. So I got back in the van, complained to the boys about the shitstorm I’d been through in the last 10 minutes, they got a good laugh out of it, and we were back west-bound on M36. Right about then I got an email from The Law Office Pub and Music hall that we’d left a case of shirts there the night before, somehow missed on our last dummy check. Ugh.
We checked into our hotel and headed into Westport, a neighborhood of Kansas City that is full of cool bars, restaurants, and shops. It’s also the exact spot where the Sante Fe, Oregon, and California trails all merged, making it a very historical area and a hub of activity during westward expansion. We had dinner at Beer Kitchen where Gabriel and I had the butter lettuice salad and Bob got a beef sandwich of some sort. The boys headed back to the venue and I went over to Mills Record Company – a GREAT store that carries our records. I picked up a copy of the new Sturgill Simpson Society record, which I’ve been enjoying digitally but needed the vinyl, and left them a copy of our last record. Super nice guys.
We loaded into The Westport Saloon and set up. We talked to our sound engineer Weston White, a good dude who had us dialed in in short time. I had some gear issues that took me 20 minutes to iron out, nailed down to a bad patch cable, and we were ready to go. We went on around 8:10 to a mostly empty room, but after a couple songs we had a good crowd that was pretty engaged. We played until 9:30 to an appreciative audience and had a good time. My gear issues were gone and I found a new game to mess with Bob – “throw a pick in Bob’s beer.” I think it’s more fun for me than it is for him, but the crowd seemed to enjoy it too so it’s likely to continue, along with “step on one of Bob’s random pedals mid-song,” another favorite of mine that seems less appreciated on the other side.
We had to load out and cut out quickly because they lock that whole neighborhood down at 10:30 and no cars are allowed in or out until 3am, and we couldn’t be caught in that. We saw the beginning of Grand Marquis’ set and they sounded awesome – KC sorta Dixieland music. I got to have a few words with Travis Fields, the owner of the bar, who we met when we played there a couple years back. Super great guy, an asset to the music scene here for sure. We headed back to Overland Park, KS, where we are staying, couldn’t find a bar, so settled for a flask of whiskey and South Park reruns.
This morning came early and my intentions to go for a run were thwarted by 36d temps, so I did a couple miles on the treadmill instead. Bob came down and we had some fine hotel breakfast buffet and now we’re packing, showering, changing strings on the Les Paul, and getting ready to turn north for the relatively short 4 hour drive to Omaha where we’ll play with The Broke Loose and Gerald Lee Jr.. at the The Barley Street Tavern tonight!