Road Blog: Saturday September 25, 2021 - Round Lake Beach, IL
September 25, 2021
Round Lake Beach, IL
I left Algonquin and my lovely accommodations at Shauna and John’s house around 1pm and headed northeast towards Round Lake Beach. I can’t thank them enough for their hospitality! Phoebe the orange kitty wasn’t disappointed to see me go and make sure I knew where the door was and that it didn’t hit me in the ass on my way out. Seriously, though, it was a great stay and I am very grateful.
I stopped at a little record store called Reef Records Lakemoor where I thumbed through a couple bins and chatted with the dude about a new record from an Australian band he was playing that sounded pretty good in an 80’s powerpop-hair-metal kinda way (though we was clear it was a new band). I’d like to seek it out but I can’t remember the name! I thought it Was Dangerous Toys, but they were an 80s band and these guys are young according the dude, but name is at least similar. If anyone has any ideas or someone from Reef Records is reading this, please pass the info along! I left empty handed, with dozens of albums back home I haven’t listened to, but it’s a nice little shop and worth a stop if you in that area.
I arrived at Black Lung Brewing Company in Round Lake Beach on the early side and took my time loading in. I had to provide the PA, which is some extra work, but not a big deal for the right gig. Joshua, the owner and absolute stand-up dude, came up and we had a nice chat. I played there in June and really like the place and the people – good vibe, good mix of listeners and partiers, great beer… I was disappointed that the food track unexpectedly cancelled, but that’s the way it goes and my date with a schnitzel will have to wait for another day.
Nick Leet loaded in and we dialed in the PA as good as we could. It wasn’t quite the beautiful, crisp sound we had at The Law Office Pub & Music Hall the night before, but it suited the room and sounded fine. Nick went on at 4pm and played two full hours then I followed with another two. It was nice to hear some deep tracks he didn’t have time for on Friday, and a couple covers too. One of the highlights was an instrumental part where he stepped out onto the patio while Josh and his daughter danced to the music right in front of him – great moment! It’s been fun hanging with Nick - there’s a lot of commonalities between us musically and personally and I’m pretty sure we’ll be crossing paths and working together more in the future.
Shauna, John, and a friend arrived and hung out for a couple hours, and there was a pretty good crowd for the whole show. Before I started they did a 50/50 raffle, and about halfway through I provided the soundtrack to a stein-holding contest, mostly riffing on Johnny Cash’s “Cocaine Blues” and the Tucos’ instrumental DTW as it went from five down to one winner.
I wrapped up at 8pm, chatted with Josh, Nick, and Nick’s friend Steve for a bit before loading out. My plan was to drive home, and my goal was arrival by 3am. I hit White Castle right before the i-94 on-ramp and got the 2x double-cheeseburger combo with a small side of chicken rings. Not an example of my best judgement perhaps, especially after the Popeye’s I indulged in 24 hours prior, but damn if it wasn’t hot and delicious. Still, the Castle has a tendency to stay with you and I was feeling it for the duration of the drive with mild regrets.
I made it through the city fairly unscathed, onto the Chicago Skyway, into Indiana, and across the Michigan line around midnight. KISS Alive! And Aerosmith Rocks were cranked. I stopped for a tank of gas and a small bag of M&Ms in Paw Paw, then pulled into a rest area near Battle Creek to rest my eyes for 10 minutes before playing the Girl -My Number: Anthology (thanks Zoe!) and landing home at about 2:45am.
My second post-pandemic road-run is in the books, and it was another good one. I’m thankful to make it home intact and hopefully healthy, and very grateful to the venues, people, and musicians that were a part of it!
This morning I’m listening to Springsteen’s Nebraska because Atlantic City has been stuck in my head since Matt Derda & The High Watts did a killer version of it on Friday, unloading the truck, drinking some coffee and taking care of some business.
It’s time to buckle-down and prepare for my east coast tour with The Wild Honey Collective that kicks off in a short week and a half. That’s gonna be one for the ages, so come on out if your along the way!
Thanks for reading. Xx