Road Blog: Friday June 02, 2023 - Louisville, KY
June 2, 2023
We left our dive motel south of Cleveland as temps hit 90f. Jacob was driving and focus was on breakfast. We landed at an I-Hop in a Travel America plaza off the interstate south of Akron and it was a fine meal. I got the traditional eggs Benedict and it was perfect. I’ve never had a bad meal at Ihop (I say this every time and the boys roll their eyes). Had a mediocre one once, but never a bad one. We meandered our way southwest through the Columbus construction quagmire, into Cincinnati and through the baseball traffic, over the Ohio river, into Kentucky, and westward to Louisville.
Our AirBB is a basement apartment near the airport. It’s a weird little spot but safe, clean, and comfortable, so all good. Next to the Cleveland Motel 6 it’s a dream. We had about an hour of downtime to chill, dust the ride off, call home, and whatever else needed doing. We drove into the city and stopped at Better Days Records before they closed. I passed on a female-Japanese-duo disco album that had a great cover but not so much the songs, but did get a reissue of the second Fanny album. Better Days is now carrying our titles so if you’re local and looking, that’s the pace to go! It’s a big, well-stocked store, and the owner was friendly and welcoming.
Just a couple blocks away sits the Highlands Tap Room Bar & Grill on the bustling Bardstown Road. It’s an electric street busy with bars, restaurants, boutique stores, and smoke shops, with a diverse and extensive collection of walkers, eaters, drinkers, and passers-by. I arranged load-in with the manager and we settled in for some food and a pint. We’ve got a long, not necessarily great history with Louisville. By my count this was our sixth show here (not including one cancelled during the pandemic). A couple have been better than others, but most weren’t great. The one that sticks out was in May of 2014 with Call Me Bronco (I think) and our pals Those Crosstown Rivals at this bar. We were looking forward to getting back.
The room is square with a couple support beams in the middle, a bar along the left side, and a back room with a pool table. They have a short stage now that they didn’t have last time, and a small but adequate PA for the room. We leisurely set up and sound checked before I went for a short walk to clear my head before the show. When I got back a small stream of friends we haven’t seen in ages started to filter in. Andy “The Untaggable” was first. He was the first drummer for Vibrolas and a good friend with whom we have a lot of history. It was great to see him for the first time since the before times and get caught up. He’s consistently upbeat, positive, and just generally a good dude to be around. My pal from Marquette Jimmy Mundane came in with his son and a friend, and I don’t think I’ve seen him since our first Louisville show 10 years ago next week. And shortly before we went on my pal Michael Jett and his fiancé Sondra arrived and bellied up to the bar in front of the stage. Jett and I go way back to our early shows and tours with TCR, the Fun Ranch parties, and more recently the first show back after Covid, a private event in Ypsilanti, MI. Always a great hang and we’ve always had a great friendship.
I met a dude named Jeremy Dixon who said some nice things about the band. He told me that there are an unusual amount of Jeremys who hang our there, and they have a Council of Jeremys who go by only their last names to avoid confusion and gather there to drink beer and fight evil. He said I am now on the council and I told him I was honored and that I would do my best to live up to the role. I also told him that in my travels with this band I’ve met at least three other Jeremy Porters, most of them musicians, in places like Texas, North Carolina, and who even knows, and that there have always been talks of forming a band called the Jeremy Porters and we wouldn’t even have to change our names. He said if we played there they would be on the council too and it would be Porter 1, Porter 2, etc.
We went on at 10pm to a thin but slowly building crowd that ebbed and flowed all night. People would come in hang for a few songs, then retreat to the patio or the bar next door, and another group would pass through. It was respectable and more than enough to keep it fun. We locked in really good for most of the first set, but the second set got a little looser and messier. Still, we had fun playing, some good banter with the crowd, and a few laughs before we wrapped up around 12:15am. We packed up, loaded out, emptied our glasses, did our dual-dummy-check, said our goodbyes, and hit the road.
Our AIrBB is about 7 miles from the venue, near the airport. We got to chatting and busting balls and kinda lost track of things when Jake noticed that Karen Jacobsen - The GPS Girl had us reaching our next turn in 91 miles to cross into Cincinnati. Gabe had put in the recent Ihop in northern Ohio in and we were now 20 minutes northeast of Louisville. Karen’s name was cursed and I chivalrously defender her, we got turned back around, and landed back at the apartment around 1:30am, no harm done. Spirits were high, but we were wiped. I did some finances and crashed out pretty hard a little after 2am.
This morning I was out of bed by 7:15, blog mostly written and a cup of Keurig down by 8, and back from a -mile run by 9. Nothing of note there except the festering corpse of a dead cat that smelled so bad it’s making me gag right now, about 7 yard sales, and a weird Mason’s looking cement horse that took a selfie with me. The boys are stirring and I’m gonna steal the van and head over to Liquor Barn and spend our next mortgage payment on supplies for the summer.
Thanks to Everyone at the Highlands Tap Room for our second-best Louisville show ever. Seems like that’s our place and we’ll make an effort to be more regular. Tonight we’re at Weasel Boy Brewing in Zanesville, Ohio, a bit east of Columbus, so maybe some CBS friends will come hang! Tucos 8-11ish. Xx