Road Blog: Wednesday October 06, 2021 - Albany, NY
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
This tour is a bit different for me because I am traveling and performing with a different band than my own – The The Wild Honey Collective. Tommy and Dani Elle have hired Nich and I to round out the touring party in place of band-mainstays Timmy and Dan who were unable to make the trip. I’ll be opening with a short solo set, then the WHC will back me up on a couple, then I’ll sit in with them on lap steel, mandolin and guitar. I’m super excited to be doing something a bit different, albeit temporary, and to be playing a support role, rather than being “the guy” for once. The material is great, they are wonderful people, we’ll be seeing some beautiful country, and the shows look very fun.
Tommy, Dani and Nich arrived at my place from Lansing late on Tuesday night. We had a couple drinks and got in 3 or 4 hours of sleep before the 5:30 wakeup call and van-load (it’s not really a van, but let’s just call it a van for the sake of simplicity, ok?). We were on I-275 south by 6:15 and crossing the Ohio line less than an hour later, Karen Jacobsen - The GPS Girl leading the way. Daylight broke above cloudy skies as we headed east on the Ohio Turnpike, through Cleveland and into Pennsylvania. We had the USB stick on shuffle the whole time and were treated so some Molly Hatchet, Scorpions, Quiet Riot, Titanic Love Affair, Ozzy, and a dozens of other things. Many stories of horrible gigs past were shared, coffee was consumed, the miles racked up, and we counted no less than three families of deer and five hawks, the fifth dramatically landing just off the freeway, talons opened, pouncing on some unsuspecting rodent right in front of us as we crossed into New York. Poor little dude didn’t see it coming, but hawks gotta eat too.
We arrived at our AirBnB at 4:15, exactly 10 hours after we left Plymouth. It’s a nice apartment in a diverse neighborhood with a big living room, a bedroom off to the side, and another up in a loft. After a brief decompress session, we were back in the van and heading to the venue. Paulys Hotel is the oldest tavern in Albany. It sits on the corner in a city neighborhood surrounded by fried food, liquor stores, and smoke shops. It’s got ornate wood marquetry behind the bar and cool tin ceiling tiles. The stage sits in the back, and the bar runs along the north-facing side of the building. We loaded in and did a lengthy soundcheck with Shane, a stand-up dude and excellent sound guy. I took a short walk, picked up a couple of $1 scratch-offs for Nich (he won $2!), gulped down a slice, and headed back to Pauly’s.
Curious Comet went on around 7:30 and played a fun set. They are a duet, switching between electrics and acoustics. They play Reverend Guitars, so we bonded over that, and I really enjoyed their songs and set. I went on shortly after eight to a small but respectable, engaged, and enthusiastic audience and played a couple solo-acoustic numbers before Tommy, Dani and Nich came up. We plowed through our set and had a blast. I broke a guitar string, then Tommy broke one. As Iz came up for the last three songs and backed us up on drums. It was super fun. As Is (Israel) went on after us and played a great set of originals and a couple covers. He’s a one-man-band, strumming a guitar and playing the drums with his feet. We bonded with the locals, including my new friend Peggy, who sells her comic books for donations to the local Humane Society. We talked about UFO, Michael Schenker and Phil Mogg, trading choruses of “Lights Out,” “Doctor Doctor,” and “Rock Bottom.”
Every last person at the bar was super nice and appreciative of our performance. We sold some merch, took a few photos, and loaded out. Nich got a six-pack at a nearby market and Dani got a pizza and some garlic bites at an adjacent take-out joint. Tommy drove us back to the AirBnB where we brought in the guitars and stressed out about parking for a while before we found a spot on the street nearby. Nich and I went on a brief and fruitless search for food, pausing to make sure a girl down the block was ok and not getting manhandled (she was laughing, it seemed fine) before heading back to the AirBnB for some 30 Rock and a nightcap before crashing out.
This morning I was up and at `em at 6:30am and out on the street talking to TrooperGirl22 on the phone with a hot cup of coffee. I went for a run to see the NY Capital building which is about a mile away and really loved the crisp, damp air and the smell of falling leaves. The boys are starting to stir and soon we’ll be back on the road east to Vermont where we’ll play The Stone Church in Brattleboro tonight. Looks like a beautiful place and a super nice city and I can’t wait to see my friend Rachel and play these songs again!
Huge thanks to everyone here in Albany for last night – couldn’t ask for a better Wednesday night. Thanks for reading. Xx