The August Tour was amazing beyond words… but I’ll try.
15 different sets in 12 days, 3 travel days. Let’s just say I had plenty to keep me occupied 🙂
Thanks to God for no car issues, total safety and in fact -mostly- enough sleep in each night. Whew!
John McClure is a friend and like so many I know, a genuine gift.
I was able to do 5 different sets in 2 prisons, about of 80 men in one show, 4 diff. sets in another max. security prison, both have excellent chaplains who are gems. Also did a
show at Buckeye Christian Center and again, a kind, gracious staff and audience on the night. A number of biker friends came out to that one.
I don’t cry easily, too many years of craziness with a lot of pretty needy peeps… but I sure did cry at the last Ohio prison sets, well, one or two of them. Shackled and behind bars, these men listened, responded and prayed. There but for the grace of God…
Then to Halsey Valley, New York. This rural area is loaded with farms… and a great deal of poverty. Paul (director at Victory House) has great heart for folks in the valley, puts on concerts and helps with all sorts of needs. Kind staff and a pleasure to work with.
His re-done, majorly cool barn was full of folks, many Rez heads from back in the day. Just an amazing reception and response that night.
Then in Pennsylvania- local cable tv show simulcast on the web with in-store (York Emporium, site of the Festival) audience joining with my friend Shane Speal. Really, the cigarbox guitar movement is largely his “fault” :). Shane blessed me with yet another of his creations, this one a 2 stringer (that with the cool 3 stringer he gave me got a work-out ever since!).
My friend and hero One String Willie creates a diddley bow in 5 minutes at the end of his fabulous set!
I could go on… but Shane, Jim Lewin, Pam and staff at the Emporium are just a rush to work with. We were able to also do interviews and some music in 2 local NPR Radio (Harrisburg, PA) interviews re. cigarbox gits including Justin and Bill.
Justin Johnson and Bill Jehle were excellent- and Justin’s set at the Fest the next day was as usual, amazing. I had a great time doing a set as well as joining my friend David Sutton (see my pics of him and his books… gifted photographer, cbg builder and player) -he invited me to play on 3 of his songs, I did and it was quite fun!
Then I was able to do a WJTL (Lancaster, PA) set live with another kind and receptive audience which was also simulcast on radio and web-streamed. Really kind staff, amazing crowd response, old Rez fans and lots of blues enthusiasts. Did some q. and a. from the audience as well… a very good evening!
Next a.m. I was invited to do a bit of music and speak at New Path Community Church in Mt. Joy, PA.. Matt and Carol, “Sweetlife” (music duo) are dear friends who have hosted me while in PA last year and this one… and this is where they lead worship. They also do wonderful speaking on marriage restoration having experienced it… and I can tell after 41 years with my Wendi… who’s in love 🙂 Very sweet indeed. I was blessed sitting in on guitar during their set as well.
Pastor Jay and staff are amazing, truly gracious folks, and it was a real pleasure to spend time with them!
That night, last stop in PA, I was able to work with Tom Becker and crew up at The Row House in Lancaster. Tom arranged for a cookin’ bass player and drummer who learned a set of my tunes and the Elk’s Club blues-rocked! At one point I looked up (often close my eyes due to sweat!) and a load of couples in front and back of room were dancin’… so much fun!!
Oh- as I pulled up in the parking lot I just had to laugh at the sign you see here… and no, I didn’t park there nor would I 🙂
The Row House have real heart for the peeps in the area and again, were a treat to be with!
Yep, back to Ohio for one last stop with Frank James Boyd, Jr. and his blues band. He and band cook for sure… and it was a pleasure working with them (I did some cigarbox git tunes, then Frank and band bluesed it up, then backed me on a bunch of my tunes and finished with several of their own).
The site was an outdoor show in “the hood”, working with the fine, serving staff at Gateway Resource Center who work with the poor and those in need of freedom from substance abuse, etc.. This show was a blast and was a great way to end an amazing tour.
So thankful to all who made this trip sweet… and it truly was.
Next stop- Wendi and I head to our friends at Ev. Cov. Church in International Falls, MN! Yep! Doing a cigarbox guitar building workshop, blues set with an opening blues band and speaking on the Sunday along with a few other fun activities. Pastor Darren is a good man and I’m happy to get up that way, especially with my Wendi! As always you can see details via http://www.grrrrecords.com in the Shows section.
Thanks for prayers and stopping by.