Road Blog: Monday October 17, 2022 - Chattanooga, TN
October 17, 2022
We checked out of our AirBB in High Point, North Carolina and headed straight for Mrs. Winner's Chicken & Biscuits. TrooperGirl22 and I discovered Mrs. Winners in East Memphis, Arkansas in 2006 on a road trip to see Tom Waits in Memphis and Nashville and it’s been a favorite ever since. Now, the boys and I, we’d just had Bojangles the day before, so no one was particularly in the mood for another fried chicken breakfast, but you gotta take advantage of these opportunities when they present themselves, so they kindly indulged me. I got a chicken biscuit + egg and a thigh on the side, plus a side of grits and a coffee. The sandwich was decent, the thigh was awesome, though a bit heavy on the salt, and the coffee was so incredibly friggin’ hot I couldn’t touch it for 10 minutes. Still, love Mrs. Winners and it’s always a must-stop when in the south.
I drove from High Point to Chattanooga with Gabriel navigating and Jacob sleeping almost the entire way. Poor fella was just all tuckered out. We jammed some Cheap Trick, Scorpions, Kiddo, the everybodyfields, and other stuff. The stretch between Asheville and the Tennessee line was particularly intense, with crazy climbs, descents, and curves, in a giant van full of heavy gear, but the Fall colors are near peak and every curve presented another amazing landscape of reds, oranges, yellows, browns, and greens that just made me feel lucky to be out here seeing the country. Still, it was a long drive, one of the two longest of this tour, and it was great to pull into our hotel around 4pm with a couple hours of downtime to chill.
At 7pm we headed into the city of Chattanooga. I’ve driven through once, maybe twice tops, but never stopped. The city was a bit sleepy at 7pm on an unseasonably cold Monday night. We found the bar and pulled in front, ignoring the red paint on the curb, and setting up a couple orange cones to make it look like it was ok, we were meant to be there.
The Cherry Street Tavern is a long, thin bar with the stage against the front window and a bar running along the left side. There are booths on the right, and a patio in the alley with a crazy geometric lime-yellow sculpture thing coiling at right-angles all the way back. The smell of marijuana permeated the air back there, and the area behind the bar seemed nice, but me being the urban-wildlife enthusiast that I am, was looking in the dark corners of the alley off to the sides to see what kinds of creatures of the night might be lurking.
We met the bartender and another guy (sorry, terrible with names) and they served up some amazing pasties. I told them about the pasties in the UP and these were more British style, but it was nice to have a meal that wasn’t fried in grease, smothered in BBQ sauce, or drenched in molten cheese and processed, cured meat. After dinner we set up our gear and I went for a walk around the downtown and called TrooperGirl22 to see what was happening a few hundred miles up I-75. Seems things are good but, again, cold, and the heat is on and she, who almost always runs hot, got our her Central Michigan University sweatshirt. I tried to not rub it in that I got to have Mrs. Winners, but I did sense a bit of animosity over the line at my good fortune.
Back at the bar the first Death album was playing over the PA, making us feel at home, followed by a mix of great 80s punk from The Nerves to Husker Du to Descendents , Mission of Burma, Dickies, Minutemen, and so much more. We met Alex (?), the sound engineer, and did a quick soundcheck. We also met Marty, one of the owners, and a super nice guy who was very accommodating and happy to have us. We went on around 10:15 and played for an hour. The crowd fluctuated a bit, not in great numbers, it being a Monday and all, but we’ve played to fewer on Saturdays, so we weren’t complaining. We put on the same show to 2 or 200 people, and we had `em hootin’ and hollerin’ in no time. We had a breakdown in a tune and one dude with a long, grey beard (another Alex) walked up and started jamming with Gabe on the spoons. That was fun for a moment – then we wrapped up our set. It was a good merch night – people were clearly on a budget but wanted to support us and take home some music, so I’m happy to say that The Tucos will be blaring out of some Chattanooga stereos this winter!
We tore down and loaded out, accepted one last round from one of the locals, said our goodbyes and hit I-75 north back to our hotel. Monday nights on the road can be throwaways more often than not. You’re sometimes happy with a couple of beers and $30, to be honest. The Cherry Street Tavern gave us a hell of an upgrade from that and we’re so thankful. We hope to come back next year!
On a downer note, it sucks ass to hear that our friends in Sponge had a bunch of gear stolen out of their van over the weekend while on tour in the Pacific Northwest. A couple cabinets, guitars, and pedal boards, including Timothy Patalan’s 1967 Fender P-bass. That’s the bass that he also played in TheFags and the same bass that Patty Patrick played on a few songs on our second and third albums. The show goes on, those guys are pros, and great people, but that is a kick in the nuts – people suck - and we hope that stuff finds it’s way back to them. Keep an eye out if you're up there in the Washington/Oregon area please. A link to their post is below and a pic of that bass is attached. Sorry Andy, Tim, Vin, & Kyle.
Back at the room I did some business and ate the last of my ribs from Raleigh the day before. They were still awesome. No nightcaps tonight, no crazy shenanigans. The boys and I are a bit wiped out, a bit road worn and weary, and we know we have to bring it in Atlanta tomorrow so we’re fixin’ to rally around a good night’s sleep and a short drive to kick some proper ass down there. Lotsa talk and excitement about Atlanta, so we’re gonna show up ready. As my friend HellYeah says, we ain’t here to lose.
See ya at The EARL tonight Atlanta! Chickens and Pigs and Dysfunctionals with The Tucos in the middle. Doors at 7:30, music at 8! xxx