The Sun streamed through the dusty warehouse windows, dappled by the broad leafed trees growing by the creek bed out back. I woke when a train went by and roared across the ancient rail road bridge that stood behind the building. I quietly packed the gear while Blythe slept, being careful not to disturb Angus, who had curled up on a couch the night before after knocking back a little too much bourbon.
Once we were ready to go, I woke Blythe, who rolled the sleeping bag, and we jumped in the van. We were planning to see Pete one more time at Shenandoah pizza, but thought it better to hit the highway. We had a room waiting for us in Raleigh NC. Since we were going to be in the area for a few days, we treated ourselves to a comfortable motel room, as a reward for our hard work over the summer.
The GPS pointed us down I-81, and we started off. Soon, however, unfamiliar roads began to spring up in the directions. Our GPS has a habit of putting us on strange roads, but we threw caution to the wind and followed the robot off into the hills. A valley stretched out in front of us, our state road lying like a wrinkled ribbon over its floor, clinging to small, rolling, green hills. We sailed, unfettered, on these country roads for two hours, gliding out of Virginia with no effort.
Another country road soon dropped us onto I-40, bringing us swiftly into Raleigh. In moments we were checking into our room, throwing our clothes in the corner, cracking a bottle of wine, and picking apart a baked chicken we got at a local grocery store. We couldn’t get too comfortable though. We had a show in Chapel Hill, about a half our drive to the west.
We piled back into the van, and tried to muster the energy for another show. Chapel Hill is an ultra-clean town, with the feel of all southern college towns. We found a parking spot right in front of the place, and stepped out on the sidewalk to survey our surroundings. The Cave is situated at the bottom of a staircase leading directly from the sidewalk down a narrow alley to a low door. It’s dimly lit with a long wooden bar along one wall.
We introduced ourselves to the bartender and to Viva La Vox, another one of the bands for the evening.
Phil of Stripmall Ballads arrived while we were setting up. With all the acts there, we were ready to start the music. Unfortunately, for the second night in a row, thunder roared, and the skies opened. The rain certainly kept the crowd small. Phil stepped up and fingerpicked through some folky ballads and told some stories about his time on the road.
We stepped up next and played a pretty straight forward set. We plowed right through and ducked off the stage. Viva La Vox set up and played some great psychobilly and punk flavored roots tunes. We loved it.
When all music was played, we packed out fast. We were eager to get back to our room and waste time for the first time in this summer time. The next day stretched out before us, so we lay our heads on the motel pillow, dreaming of cable TV and 3 dollar wine.
Tomorrow… DAY OFF!