Thursday, October 13, 2011

BDL and the Carnival of Follies

Howdy Love Bussers!

I hope everyone is having a beautiful day.  It looks like we will be posting our travel blog every two weeks, and the last two weekends are the perfect example why.  Sometimes we just have short trips to gigs, and there just isn't much to report, and then we have weekends like our Bristol>Boone>OBX, where touring basically turns into a Chevy Chase National Lampoons movie.  Every calamity that can happen does happen.  More on that later.

September 29-October 2

Thursday:   Hickory, NC was great as always.  This is one of our longest-standing gigs and we are able to see some of our very first fans here at the Taproom, as well as our great friend Janell Henry, who designed our album cover for Let It Grow.
Anna Swenk

Friday:  Hillsborough, NC turned out to be a really great gig!  We had no idea what to expect, and between this little town rocking out and our great friends from Raleigh/Durham that made the trip, we had a great time.  The highlight of the show was the Spirit>Easy Goin'>Hokey Pokey>Easy Goin': the kids really rocked out some Hokey Pokey dancin'!    And we were blessed with the presence of one of our very first "super-fans,"  and my cuz, Anna Swenk!

Hardcore BDL Fans!

Saturday: High Point, NC.   We really like this venue a lot and the crowd was probably double from our first time. 

BDL at Blue Bourbon Jack's in High Point, NC
Sunday: Justin Mychal's Cancer Benefit.   This is easily one of the best things we do all year.   Justin picks a family that has a child struggling with cancer and all the money that is raised helps the family, and he raises A LOT of money.   Trust me, you will not attend this thing and maintain dry eyes.  It's a very beautiful and very emotional day, and every single person leaves realizing how lucky we all have it,  because these families go through hell that few of us know.  
Chasper giving a drum lesson to a new friend backstage

October 6-8

Thursday:  The weekend started off on a slightly ominous note as Dan misjudged the leaving time and had to meet us in Boone instead of Winston.  No big deal really, as things like that happen from time to time and we can easily adjust.   The Bristol show was a really good show for a Thursday night.  Sometimes it takes a night to get back into the swing of things, but this one felt really relaxed and comfortable and had some great jams.   Joey was stoked about a vintage Fender Stratocaster that he just had bought, and this was the first show with it.   I also discovered that Cass can sleep for 3 hours while his phone alarm blasts in his face, but if you put on one Nickelback song he wakes right up!  (Great info to have!)  We left Bristol thinking everything was ok...

Friday:   The first thing we had to do was get new tires for the van, since we were about down to the wires on one of them.   Luckily we have a fan in Boone that works for a tire place!  He helped us some, but $600 later (ouch!) we were rolling on new tires.   Ashley wanted to get some "spinner wheels" while we were at it, but we told him he had to wait until next year.
BDL fan Thomas Hand of Boone, NC!!

Then we pulled up to our first gig of the day in Boone, the High Country MusicFest, and started unloading the trailer; which is when we discovered that there was NO STRATOCASTER!  It was left in Bristol.   We've been through this before as someone (who will remain nameless) left a banjo in Atlanta.  I swear it wasn't my fault, though, but that's another story.   We quickly found out that it was still safe at Machiavelli's, so we started working on getting it back.   Meanwhile, we saw one of Joey's old blues friends play some of the best guitar we've seen in a while: Rusty Barkley with the Part Time Blues Band. Joey says that outside of fellow Spartan Dennis Shaw, Rusty has taught him more than anyone else.  Keep your eye out for these guys, they will blow you away.    Enjoy!

We were able to play the fest with our friend Shawn Roberts, who plays the percussion tracks on our new album.  It really takes the Mid-Summers Dream>Dream Walker to a whole new level.   Chasper really loves playing with Shawn, as they have some great drum solo sections together.  Here is the full photo album from our official photographer, Jenny Viars.  

I was able to catch Shawn playing drums with his African Drumming Group on King St. in Boone, NC between our gigs.   This is why Boone is so special.  You never know what you'll find downtown.

Mid-way through our Murphy's set that night Joey got his guitar delivered by Jamie Morrell who was  very quickly made "Fan of the Week" on our Facebook page!

We decided that we should drive through the night to get to the OBX after our Boone gig and around 5:45am both Chasper and I jump up awake from a noise that doesn't sound right.   We had a flat tire on our new trailer, and it was leaving an impressive trail of sparks!   We decided to name the trailer "Sparky," by the way.   So as the sun was coming up we were out changing a tire.   Four brand new tires on the van and we blow a trailer tire!

We finally make it to the beautiful NC Outer Banks and to the Nags Head Fishing Pier that always gives us a house right on the water in return for acoustic sets at the restaurant.  It's a great deal and we definitely come out for the better in it.   We also decided to buy new trailer tires, so 6 new tires in a span of 20 hours.   Maybe we should ask for tire donations next year?
Nags Head Fishing Pier and a single set of footprints in the sand.  I guess I was being carried....
  After 3 acoustic sets at the pier through the day we played Goombay's that night for a really fantastic crowd.  (8 sets of music and 400 miles in a span of 30 hours! wow)   OBX loves some BDL, and we have John Mebane and Robert and Cindy Via to thank for that, as they are also "super-fans" and make sure that the crowd is really strong.    And to cap the weekend follies off, as we were setting up Dan realized that he left his guitar back at the house!   All we could do is shake our heads and laugh.  What a weekend.

See you on the road!  We might need a place to crash so be on the lookout! :)

Brian and BDL

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