Wednesday, February 12, 2014

BDL, Yarn, and The Willow Tree

Hello All You Big Bus Lovin' Daddios!

Last Saturday we got to be a part of the Grand Opening night of the Willow Tree Coffee House and  Music Room in Johnson City, TN.  Most of you will know that this new venue has been opened by our good friend Teri Dosher, along with her daughter Zoe (we blogged about it at the end of this post), and it is a big step toward fulfilling their dream of operating a top-notch music venue.  Operating a venue is one of the toughest challenges in the music biz, but I have never seen a place get off to a better start than the Willow Tree.

Many months ago, when Teri was trying to put this night together, she told me that she wanted us and Yarn to play and that she was going to get "300 people to come!" I said, "No way, we can't get that many people to come out in Johnson City!"  But, being the ever-optimist, she said she was going to do it.  So as we were playing Saturday night to about 400 people, both old friends and new, in this beautiful room, I just had to smile at her and say, "You did it."

This shot shows about 1/3 of the huge crowd that came out.
Here is a link to the show recording, courtesy of Jeff Prater.

We decided to go warrior style with some face paint.

Yarn just killed it. They really are one of the best bands playing today. If you get the chance to see them, do it!  Here is a link to their set (thanks Jeff Prater!).

Here's a great video of us playing the classic song "Sugaree" with Andrew from Yarn getting up with us and just laying it down!

Big Daddy Love with Yarn - Sugaree [Grateful Dead] from Mike Nichols on Vimeo.

The highlight of the night was the BDL/Yarn collaboration set.  We just got onstage and went for it.  We didn't really know what songs we were going to play, but in the moment we came up with "I Know You Rider," "Can't Find My Way Home," the great Neil Young tune "Helpless," and lastly "Turn on Your Lovelight" 

When you hang out with Yarn, the party doesn't stop, so after most of the crowd had left Blake fired up a great acoustic jam in the back kitchen. 

Queens of Trouble - Beth Recchio and Karen Moss
See more photos by Jenny Viars from this amazing night here.

Behind the scenes of BDL there is a constant symbiotic force that both has our backs and is also along for the fun ride.  In fact, sometimes I'm not sure who is having more fun here: us or Scott's dad and his "posse." The things they do for us range from cooking great dinners at festivals to filming and producing the entire "Live At Ziggy's" DVD.  But they are not afraid to hop on a plane, along with the "Queens of Trouble" Karen Moss and Beth Recchio, and come down to the Florida Keys and hang out with us a few days.  

Driving from Marathon Key to Key West, with "The Posse"

Here's a video of Gary's Gang, as they romp around the state having more fun than anyone I know.

Thanks for the support, everyone!  We are headed up to Woodstock, NY to record our next album at the great Applehead Studios.  We'll be posting updates as we go, and keep a lookout for our Kickstarter program to help fund this project. 

See y'all soon!
Brian and BDL