Friday, September 10, 2010

Mini-Tour Part 3: Common Grounds and Lexington, KY

We pulled into Lexington around 4 with a few hours to hang out before the show.  Our buddies Tara and Rick have recently moved in with Mark and Kristi, who we had met before and were thrilled to finally get the chance to get to know.  They were even more awesome than we had anticipated AND they have the coolest dog ever:
Her name is Cheeseburger.  She likes getting her butt scratched and has the softest armpits we've ever felt :D  She also sits up like a person while regally surveying the room with her droopy face.  She loves pawpaws and is terrified of corn husks.  Needless to say, we had a blast hanging out with this crazy dog all weekend.

The Common Grounds show was wonderful, as usual.  Melissa and Katie were the coolest baristas ever, making us delicious lattes including an Almond Joy (chocolate, almond, and coconut) and a Honey Bee (vanilla and honey).

We had the honor of playing with Jerry Belsak that night, who moved us all with his warm, heartbrakingly glassy tone and stunning arrangements.

It wasn't the biggest crowd ever but those there were as nice as they could be- we always vote quality over quantity.  We also met a great guy who happens to be best friends with another great guy that we met at our Salisbury shows- and guy 1 came out on guy 2's recommendation!  Thanks, guys!  Can't wait to see you both again :)

Ricky Lewis from The Key Note Speakers sat in with us on djembe and kicked some serious arse (no surprise!).  We're eager to play with him again.

Ron killed with some pirate songs to a happy late-night crowd.  If Common Grounds hadn't been closing and we hadn't had somewhere to be, we would have stayed there all night.  It really is a fantastic coffee shop.  It's in an old 2 story building that we still haven't properly explored.  It's full of chess boards and cushy sofas, warm-colored walls and pretty lamp fixtures, rotating artwork on display and it's always buzzing with that particular breed of nice, laid-back Kentuckian that we have yet to find anywhere else in such concentration.

We made our way back to Tara and Rick's after the show where Mark had cooked up an incredible meal of ribs, bacon & greens, black beans, and rice.  It was so rediculously delicious, it's a little hard to think about!

We stayed up way too late with a wonderful group of people telling stories, playing music, and enjoying a few adult beverages.  It was a great night.

We woke up to rain, which was a little sad since we had planned to go camping in the Red River Gorge.  But it worked out great because there was an art fair in town we got to prowl around.  We saw all sorts of beautiful local work and heard a killer band called Prefab Rehab who is definitely worth checking out.

After the fair, Mark made us mouthwatering soup beans & rice so good that my tastebuds almost mass-suicided, resigned to never having a better meal- but then Mark said he'd make pork loins the next day and my mouth found renewed purpose :D

That night we went to see our buddy Byron's band, A Melodic Horizon in nearby Richmond, KY.  They were AMAZING!  Curse Childers writes the wonderful lyrics which he sings with his smooth, willowy voice.  The arrangements are rich, the sections complex, and the musicianship is through the roof!  It is music that you can fall right into the groove of and each song is like a present- all different and all full of surprises.  I can't wait to see them again.

A Melodic Horizon kindly offered us time to play while they took a break.  The crowd was in right away.  We played The Worm and Curtis Turner to a rockin' house.  Alas, the bouncer was not diggin' the tunes, so we skipped Chopo.  We were thrilled to get a chance to play- especially because it broke the ice for us to meet some of the awesome people hanging out.  I sincerely hope we cross paths with all of them again.

A Melodic Horizon's second set was just as incredible as the first.  It flew by before we knew it- I would have listened to them all night.

We made our way back to Tara and Rick's for a relaxing and even later night than the first.  It's impossible to crash early when there are such great people around. 
A few hours of sleep later, we had an easy morning, sipping delicious French press coffee and soaking up all the wonderful company.

That afternoon, we went to the Red River Gorge and were blown away by all the epic scenery. 

We saw Skyline Bridge, Tara and Rick's regular campsites, 
 and a huge spider that I hope I can forget about.

Tara and I went for a dip in the river before we headed home for another chill night of good people and tremendous food.  Mark made more of his amazing greens and a porkloin that melted in our mouths, smothered in mustardy BBQ sauce that I'd chug by the gallon if I could.  He also grilled corn on the cob, which Cheeseburger fled from.

We also picked up supplies for Ricky to make panang, an incredible Thai dish that he masterfully prepared.  I think I had three helpings by the end of the night, not counting Mark's dinner.

It was sad to say goodnight and even sadder to say goodbye in the morning.  We had such a fantastic time.  I'm just glad we have another Lexington show booked, or I'd be plunging into unbearable Kentucky withdrawal.

We had a smooth drive home full of epic weather that I thoroughly enjoyed from the passenger seat.

Now the September Tour looms on the horizon.  We're feeling a little overwhelmed and that much more eager to hit the road.
I just posted brand new tracks that we'll be releasing this trip as a preview of the final CD, which we'll have remastered with nice packaging for a CD release tour we anticipate for December or January.  We also have a brand new T-shirt design coutesy of Ron, which we've turned into a screen and are going to print our first shirts with this very evening.

I'd say goodnight but sleep is nowhere in my very near future...

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