Road Blog: Saturday October 09, 2021 - Searsmont, ME
Saturday, October 9, 2021
We left our motel cabin in the early afternoon and headed north in search of lobster rolls on our way to our show up in Searsmont. We had a few suggestions but ended up deciding on a place called Red's Eats in Wiscasset based on one of them, plus they claim to have the best lobster rolls in the world, so that seemed legit. We made good time getting up there with Nich behind the wheel, me riding shotgun, Tommy and Dani in the back, and KISS – Double Platinum on the stereo. As we pulled up our hearts sank when we saw a ling going around the block and then some. We knew that wasn’t an option and were happy to see another joint just down the hill called Sprague's Lobster with a line about 1/10th as long, so we went there, settling for what was sure to be the world’s second-best lobster roll. The line moved slow and food came out slower, but in the end, it was pretty righteous and we left with the satisfied feeling of melted butter flowing through our arteries. One dude eating there looked like cocaine/DUI-era Glen Campbell, so he was quickly and quietly dubbed as such, and I regret we have no photographic evidence.
We crossed the Sheepscot River and headed another hour northeast through rolling, curvy hills. Karen Jacobsen - The GPS Girl said we’d arrived at our venue as we passed a dilapidated gazebo in an overgrown field, but thankfully she was off by a couple hundred yards. We pulled into Threshers Brewing Co and proceeded to get the the lay of the land. Tommy and I were scoping out the area we were sure we’d be playing once they moved the pool table, but were then informed we’d be playing on the outside stage. By this point is was getting dark, and the temps were falling pretty quick. Jeff our soundguy and his dog Tim helped us load-in and get set up, which took some time, but by about 7:30 we were ready to start.
Last night we had a pretty healthy three-hour time block to fill so I played a longer solo set than I’ve been able to so far. I’m not gonna lie, it was cold. I had a hoodie stowed in the truck that I was very thankful for, and Dani ran to the local grocery store and scored a sweatshirt and orange hunter’s cap herself. There was a respectable quantity of people there, some wrapped in heavy, wool blankets, others gathered around a couple spaced-out firepits that looked very welcoming from the stage. I thought as I played that it looked a bit like a Civil War-era soldier camp from my angle, silhouettes of hungry young men gathered around trying to keep warm, eating their hard tack and drinking their coffee, before the battle that was imminent on the morrow.
I finished up and stepped off while Tommy, Dani, and Nich played a few and met a guy who was friends with John Sinclair back in Detroit and also Husker Du’s Grant Hart, who we bonded over. Before long I was called back to the stage and we plowed through the rest of the set with me on guitar, mandolin and then lap-steel. Sitting just back from the band I could see the steam from their breath as they sang, and a bit of a struggle with frozen fingers and cold, steel strings, but hey we’re pros, and we’re also from Michigan, so we did what needed doing and delivered a set we were proud of. At one point, those brewpub beers were piling up so Dani and Nich stepped off to heed nature’s call and Tommy and I traded glances and fell into an impromptu, improvised acoustic and lap-steel jam in the key of G. We transitioned between made-up A, B and C parts pretty much seamlessly for a few minutes, lost in the moment – it was pretty cool. Then Tomy picked up the tempo and went into an acoustic version of Husker Du’s “I Apologize” that I did my best to keep up with.
After our set we chatted it up with the locals. A second completely unrelated dude asked about John Sinclair, which was super random. The primary topic in the pub seemed to be how to best slam into a moose on the road when it’s unavoidable to minimize your chance of death, which made my determination to get these guys back to our cabin even more steadfast. We loaded out, said goodbye to the lovely staff, Jeff and Tim, and headed towards I95. The gig was good – we had fun, the cold was a factor but everyone including us had a good time. The people at Threshers – staff, patrons – everyone was super nice to us.
We were on the road sometime just past 11pm with me at the wheel, Nich shotgun, Tommy and Dani in the back. The temp outside fluctuated between 40 and 44 degrees. “Can we listen to metal?” I asked as “The Hellion” from Judas Priests’ Screaming for Vengeance record kicked in. The drive back was a bit rough after a long night, but I don’t often drink beer in great quantity and didn’t mind being the DD. I fought off the nods for a few minutes just north of Portland as Back Sabbath’s Technical Ecstasy played (in fairness, moments of that record would give someone on meth the nods), but made it back to the Pride Motel and Cottages just fine where we all crashed out pretty quickly around 1:30.
I woke up at 6:30am this morning and fought the notion of getting up to use the bathroom in the cold, cabin air for about 45 minutes before I finally gave in. I was up so I grabbed the laptop and whipped this blog up because doing it in a moving van is not fun. We’ve got a 6-7 hour drive to New Hope, PA where tonight we see and play with our friends in Alpha Rabbit at John And Peter's – another new venue I’m looking forward to checking out. Huge hugs and thanks to the good people at Thresher’s Brewing for a fun and adventurous night! You have a great place and wonderful people and yummy beer and we’ll come back and see you again! Xx