Thursday Climate Change Talk in Cleveland Heights. Great audience, good attendance, lively q&a. People do seem a bit stuck on the Al Gore should be perfect topic, but a) I'm not here/there to defend Al Gore, b) If not for his getting the message out, the topic would not be on everyone's lips right now, for that we owe him a ton of gratitude, (hey, maybe a ton of Carbon?!), and c) What he does or does not do has nothing to do with what the rest of us have to do to fix this mess. Should he be vegan? Sure, I suppose to be the perfect environmental messenger he should be. Should he fly in jets? Sure, to get the message out quickly and on the scale he does so, I'd say it's a net gain. Does he now have solar power on his home, yes. Local ordinances had only until a few months ago prohibited them. And, his entire fam has been carbon neutral for years, buying carbon offsets. All this 'Al Gore ain't perfect so why should I be' talk is simply a distraction and a ploy to distract, confuse, and neutralize the global warming/environmental issue as a whole, and to rationalize one's lack of personal committment. Most people aren't falling for it, thankfully. Ate at Tommy's in Cleveland Heights after the talk. Wonderful eatery.
Friday- Woke up too early to get to Akron for a radio appearance on 91.3 to promote the benefit for pancreatic cancer which was held Sunday afternoon. I somehow croaked my way through "Petals of Peace", having still not fully recovered from my Vegas throat.
Friday night- Barking Spider, Cleveland. One of the only clubs I will play in the U.S. due to the owner, Martin, being one of the nicest club owners on the planet, and also the great baby grand they provide. I always enjoy my sets there. Right after the gig had to dive into the car for the long ride to Ann Arbor.
Saturday- The promoters put me/us up at a very nice B&B in Ann Arbor. Parthenon arrived around noon. After our usual brotherly joking and ribbing, we got down to rehearsing in the back yard. I knew right away how special this show was going to be. Running down "One Good Reason" in the living room with the reverb of the hardwood floors...just sounded fresh as ever.
Sat night- Dexter, Michigan. A fully outfitted stage with lighting, sound, a good crowd on the town square. Parthenon and I ripped through tons of songs, mostly our co-writes..it just felt so right to be back on stage with my musical other half. We just click right away as if we've been doing this every day since '95. A real special treat came for "Dana & Mary" and "The Last Hawk". A local flutist and a young (15 at most) kid on cello accompanied me. I just went into a trance hearing them play the notes I had written 2 or 3 years ago. I had yet to hear them played live on stage with me. That was just so cool. What I'd give to be able to do that in each town. After the show we had an afterparty at a high end restaurant, with the higher ups in Dexter government/Chamber of Commerce. I got up and did a couple tunes for them, stayed around and chatted, sampled the different wines--a very relaxing way to end such a memorable gig. They were already plotting the next Dexter show in Winter '08. I can't wait. Big thanks to Brian for conceptualizing, undertaking, and then realizing this entire event. When we returned to the B&B around midnight, it was time to bring out my cool green frizbee that lights up at night. We played in the street until most cars had been wacked.
Sunday- The Talent had to make his OWN breakfast at the B&B (what the f?!), but as a professional, he rose above this obvious oversight. Hung out with Parth until it was time for me to hit the road again. We promised to get "She Comes Home A Hero" out to every friggin' publisher in Nashville. I just know this is a country smash. Said g'bye to P, then hopped in the car for the long ride down to Akron. The venue, Musica, was set up with some nice food platters, a silent auction, many performers, and me. Zach, Kori, and his mom did a great job on this benefit. I know they raised some serious money and there were good vibes all around that place. They were all so worried that I wouldn't have enough reverb in my monitors! I guess someone had tipped them off to that. Well, it sounded great. I'm very happy I was invited, and would do it again next year if they ask. I did a short set, stole some cookies, then hopped back in the car for the ride to Columbus.
Sunday night- When I do house shows I usually make attendance predictions a few blocks before arriving. My call tonight was for 9. I just had a feeling, on a Sunday night, moms, kids, church, school, work, --didn't equal a full house. The first clue is how many cars are parked outside. There were a lot. So, I walk in the front door and am met with applause from the full house that has shown up! What a great way to put The Talent in a giddy mood. I couldn't wait to sit down and croon for these people. There were approx 45-50 women, and 2 men, me and my new friend Luther from Kentucky. This was such an amazing audience. They were with me the entire show. Smiling, clapping, laughing, crying, no distractions or ins and outs, nobody moved. This Living Room Show moved up the list and has debuted at #1 as my all-time fave house shows, it was that good. Thank you to Karen, Laurie, and Laura and Kelly and everyone else for making this Sunday night show so successful. Get ready for February! I shall return!
Sunday late night-back at our cool hotel. My "driver" took a late night tour of Pickerington, Ohio in search of Soy Delicious and Tums for the Talent. She earned mega guilt points that may be cashed in on a future excursion.
Monday- Swimming to wake up, then off to Benevolence (sp?), a vegan lunch place in Columbus that has great food. After stuffing my belly, drove back up to Akron where we had a sad goodbye until next time, as I was staying to work in Akron one more day, and my entourage were needed on Parthenon's tour,er, no that's not it, they had to get home. (the inside joke is that they believe Parth treats my peep better than I do mine...perhaps, but I include free gas and tire air pressure checks. I don't see greek boy doing that?!
Monday evening was studio work in Akron, then eating at my fave Italian restaurant east of the Truckee River, Bricco in Akron.
Tuesday, Sept. 11th Flew home with no delays, glitches, bumps, upgrades, hassles, nothing. Amazing.
Currenly trying to close the deal on another of these extended weekend gig/talk fests in the Pacific Northwest and S.F. Bay Area in late October. Stand by for that.
Off to sleep, until mid-October.