Couple months ago, Alicia called me up and suggested we do a mini tour of the south. Her band Girls in Trouble were offered a sweet gig in New Orleans. We decided to make a trip out of it! And we did, last week! Alicia had booked a couple tours before and so had her husband, Aaron. But, they were in Europe. It was up to me to get the ball rolling. It was kinda difficult at first to figure out who to contact and where to even start. We went the friend of friends route and finally settled on 3 shows in 3 towns: New Orleans, Ocean Springs, and Jackson. Thanks Alex, Lance, and Marsh! We do hope to do another tour sometime soon, with more lead time so we can get more gigs set up! Cross your fingers, ok! And holler at me if you want us to come to your town....
After at least 10 years of absence from the big easy it was great to be back. I had forgotten how much I loved this city. Evidence of the flood was still there and clearly still in the hearts and minds of the people who lived there, but she still felt the same, smelled the same, and sounded even better. We had a great time, exploring the quarter, the garden district, and making new friends. It was fun for me to see Aaron sample all the local foods. So far I haven't found a vegan poboy in NOLA but I am still looking.Our show was at a place called the Saturn Bar. Our new friend Alex set it up and his band the Tom Paines played an awesome set. Old time music with a bit of Tom Waits thrown in and some humor too. The turn out was slim, but we had to get our feet wet and start somewhere. The full GIT band played that night and they were great! Alicia is a wizard with her pedals and an amazing song writer. Elena was on electric guitar. Aaron on bass. Jonathan played accordion and Alicia guitar, fiddle and said magical pedals. But, I believe she makes magic with anything she touches. They are a fun band to watch. Everything just seems to come so easily and naturally to them all. I loved it. That night after the show we met Kourtney, Alex's amazing wife and got the tour of their expansive envy inspiring back yard and house. They took good care of us and the conversation was good. Alex and I have some music tastes in common and that is always fun. Sarah was there too, keeping us on course and generously allowing us crash in her living room Thank you!After the Saturn gig, and then GIT fancy gig, the rest of the band headed back to NY. We met up with friends at Mimi's for some great swing music and dancing. (No, I don't know how to swing dance, but I am waiting for someone to teach me.) Before meeting up with Aaron and Alicia and the gang at Mimi's I was whisked all around town by and old friend from my MS days to a bar where a bluegrass jam was happening, another bar where some sort of electric blues was happening and another where a friend was working. It was a super fun night and I was glad after like 14 years of not seeing my friends that they had turned out to be so cool!
The next morning we (me, Alicia, and Aaron) piled in to my little Ford Ranger (Hank the Silver Dragon) and headed East. Ocean Springs or bust!! (It is my blog, I can type cheesy things like that if I want.) The trip is pretty short at about an hour and a half, we listened to some great stuff on New Orleans public radio. We talked a lot and I tried to give as much of a history lesson as I could, surely getting most of my facts wrong. We stopped around the state line for Cajun boiled peanuts, yum! We pulled off the interstate early to explore old Biloxi a little and stop at the Biloxi Schooner for lunch. By this time we had all had our fill of fried things though... but it was good. We drove over the bridge to Ocean Springs. It was fun to give them a tour of my home town. We made it to Dad and Harriet's in time for a little tour there too, satsumas from the garden and a short nap before we headed to the gig.
My old friend from the little house days, Lance hosted us at his new bar the Squeaky Lizard . We had such a good time there and the turn out was pretty good. Bunch of old friends and my parents came and I was happy to see them and feeling lucky to be supported. My friend Peter played some original tunes and he was great! Lance included us on his ? um wall of fame. We got our silhouettes painted for prosperity! Alicia joined me on fiddle and harmony singing on one of my songs and I always like it when that happens.The next morning we hit up the famous tatonut and I cheated on the vegan thing in order to have one. (don't tell the vegan police) It was yummy!!! We drove on to Jackson stopping somewhere on hwy 49 in an old gas station that was like something out of Deliverance, good ole boys and fried Chicken! We made it to Jackson in time to have lunch with Aunt Ginger at Keifer's and she educated Aaron and Alicia on a lot of things not limited to yazoo clay. Little while later we met up with Marsh and had a drive by food madness at a yummy indian place and headed over to Hal and Mals. This tuned out to be the best show of the trip. Ending on a high note (pun intended). Alicia had done some foot work getting the word out to the Jewish Community there and a bunch of Marsh and Daphne's friends came. Thanks y'all for the full house! Alicia and Aaron played a great show and I learned the rules of show business from Aaron!
It was sad to say goodbye the next day to A and A. But, we had a good go of it and I am always grateful for their friendship and endless support! I sent them off with a bunch of satsumas and we all giggled at the deserted Jackson airport, man that place was EMPTY!
That afternoon I met up with Daphne and Marsh and their friends at a good pizza place, maybe if they read this they can tell me the name. I drove on to Meridian, MS to see Jimmie Rodgers grave site. I sat on the bench there and yodeled for him a bit. I met back up with M and D in Birmingham, AL a few hours later (after I dropped 20 bucks at the thrift store) and saw a great show there at the Bottle Tree. Their band, Overnight Lows were great and I met some nice people! Crashed in Birmingham and headed back to Atlanta the next day and suddenly it was Fall.