June 17, 2004

Wow! Being in the Northwest, in my home territory again, makes me remember what it was like to look FORWARD to summer rather than DREAD it. Although the intense heat and humidity of Missouri is something you get used to after a while, it can never compare to the memories of my childhood summers when you could play outside for hours and only break a light sweat, it took a bit longer for those deadly ultraviolet rays to burn you, and the nights cooled down to where you could sometimes even see your breath, but you still didn't feel like you needed a jacket. It's light here until 10:15pm, the sky a beautiful indigo above the evergreens. The mountains and the water still take my breath away and I'll never get sick of this view.

It's so good to see my family again. Although my sister isn't here and I miss her very much, I get to see my mother, father, step-parents, grandmothers, cousins, and old friends. (I think I might even see some aunts and uncles and extended cousins this trip, too.) We're pretty concentrated in Washington and Idaho.

Since Michael and I are playing this Sunday (Father's Day) at a new martini bar in the Belltown area of Seattle (the area of the city the record label I am on was named for) we decided to do some pre-promotion for the show and get some strangers interested in coming. We saw a poster for an open mic yesterday at a Starbucks here. We showed up a half an hour after it had started and realized it was the last one of the year they were putting on and that it was primarily for students of the nearby high school. We signed up anyway (slot number 8, which ended up being place number 4 since nobody else had really signed up on the sheet - people were just being called out by name by the MC since everyone knew everybody else) and decided to play Gravity since everyone was only allowed one song. We were greeted by warmth and interest immediately, and the MC said we should play another tune. We'd definitely travelled the farthest and were the oldest ones there so our butts needed a break! :) Seriously though, we sold CDs to several attendees and hopefully those will multiply to be heard by more and more ears. There is NO wasted gig. And besides, my cousin Betsy won a free cup of coffee for us by guessing how much the MC paid to buy his pants and tailor them. She guessed $23, and it was $20, so she was closest. We also saw this kid named Dan get up and thrash around on-stage like every great rock star down the ages. He had Elvis, Mick Jagger, Robert Plant, and Trent Reznor down pat. He's one to watch for... :)

We did however, have to learn a little lesson about the venue we are playing at. We foolishly thought that since they served food, minors would be allowed and told several people at open mic who were interested to definitely attend. However, Washington liquor laws are much stricter than in other states, and now we don't know if these teenagers can attend, even with parents in tow. We were disappointed, but at least we got those CDs into their hands, even if we don't see them this Sunday in the crowd.

We've nailed down details with an independent filmmaker here named Brian Quist (he's fabulous - check him out online if you get a chance. He did a movie called 'A Day in the Hype of America which won the Rhode Island International Film Festival for best documentary - along with many other things) who's going to film the live show this Sunday and also film me being interviewed. This will be cut and spliced and put into DVD/CD format and hopefully tagged onto the end of the Nashville 5-song CD, so people will get their money's worth in a different way than the usual 11 or 12 song CD.

There may also be a publicist in the crowd who could get the band into the Bonneroo Festival here in Seattle - a GREAT one to play for exposure! All in all this is going to be a very productive trip.

Happy Father's Day to any dad that reads this...

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