Road Blog: Sunday October 16, 2022 - Raleigh, NC
October 16, 2022
We left the Motel 6 in Troutsburg, VA and headed to the nearest Bojangles, because Jacob has this thing for their biscuits and lord knows we drag him to enough record stores and everywhere else. The Guess Who’s “These Eyes” still ringing through my brain from the karaoke bar the night before. Last time Gabriel and I were at a Bojangle’s, it wasn’t exactly return-trip-worthy and the highlight was that we both downloaded the Bojagles-emojis just so we could pester Patrick Patty with them relentlessly. Patty wasn’t impressed, and even Gabe and I deleted the stupid app before long. Anyway, where were we? Ok, so I got the spicy chicken sandwich, which is a clear attempt to compete with the Popeyes spicy chicken sandwich, which, for my money, is the best fast food sandwich money can buy any day of the week. Well, Mister Bojangle’s wasn’t quite up to that caliber, but it was a respectable showing and with a side of their dirty rice, a perfectly good way to start the day. Consider BO’s redeemed.
Before long we were heading south, through the city of Roanoke, which looked like a great place to visit from the windows of the van. We stopped for gas in some little holler and there was a church next to the gas station that was converted to "Trump Town USA” with a kazillion Trump signs and 30 foot tall stand ups and banners and giant RV out front with Donnie and Melania on it, and, well, it was something else. I’ve been working on not being political on social media, so let’s just leave it there.
The drive was a bit meandering, on almost all two-lane highway through the Appalachian foothills until we finally hit the Raleigh-Durham area. Shortly after we got on a proper expressway outside of Durham, a black pickup about 3 vehicles in front of us slid into the concrete barrier on the outside of the left lane and a cloud of dust, smoke, plastic and metal flew into the air and traffic slowed, swerved, and avoided him as he scraped along. “Holy crap!” Gabe and I said, Jake muttering a mere “huh?” as he peered up momentarily from his book in the back seat. The dude got back into his lane and kept trudging ahead as if nothing had happened, eventually taking some exit somewhere.
Our first stop in Raleigh was Schoolkids Records - Raleigh. It’s a cool store with a good selection of new and used records. We perused a bit and I got a sweet Aerosmith patch and a King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard record I’ve been seeking out for a while now, thanks to Nicholas Richard, who turned me on to them about one year ago exactly. They’re carrying our records at Schoolkids in Raleigh now, if you’re looking.
We drove the venue and parked the van and walked a block up to Sam Jones BBQ, a place recommended to us by a friend of Jake’s. I got the short ribs with sides of collards and mac and cheese. I have to say it was some of the best BBQ I’ve ever had. Before long, my uncle Todd and aunt Susan, who I haven’t seen since we played Chapel Hill in 2015, showed up, in town from Winston-Salem for the show. We had a great visit before we had to go load in and get set up.
The Night Rider is a dive bar that sits just outside the proper downtown of Raleigh. I wouldn’t call it a dive bar, which isn’t a derogatory term in my book, but it does have some dive/townie elements, while it’s clearly a diverse, accepting, eclectic place. There’s a stage in a side room and a bar and a pool table in the other. Karbuncle, our local support, showed up and we made our hellos and talked a little logistics and did what needed doing to get ready for the show. Super nice guys and they had a good pulse on the local scene. There was an ungodly amount of artificial spray-type spider webs around the stage, especially where my amp was placed, and it was clinging to my hair and person something fierce. By the end of the night I was done with it!
Sunday nights can be rough for sure, with Mondays, the two worst nights of the week easily. Karbuncle got a few people out and there were some regulars popping in and out and they went on around 7:15 to a respectful and appreciative Sunday night crowd. We followed around 8:15 and played a decent set to a good group of people. For a Sunday, it was a good night – and we felt great about it. We sold a good amount of merch, accepted a round of drinks from a guy who liked our set, said out goodbyes to Susan and Todd, Karbuncle, the staff, and everyone else, and headed west.
I agreed to drive the 90 minutes west to our AirBB tonight. We’ve got a long hike to Chattanooga tomorrow, and with the early end to the Sunday show, it only made sense to take a chunk out of it. Our AirBB is in High Point, North Carolina. It’s really great – we each have our own bedroom, lots of ambient lighting, and plenty of space. It was only about 11:30 when we got here, and hell – half the time we’d still be on stage at that hour. We had some leftovers and a nightcap and crashed out around 1pm.
Coffee is on now and the boys are crashed out as I write and post this and take care of some business. Today I might try to get a walk in before the something special we’ve got planned for breakfast and a 6 ½ hour drive to Chattanooga, where we’ll play at the Cherry Street Tavern tonight. Can’t wait for that as we’ve heard nothing but good things about the joint! Raleigh was a good time – we’re grateful to The Night Rider and Karbuncle and everyone who came out for a decent Sunday-night show! See ya again NC!
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