Oct. 11

Just home from a fun run up to Staunton, Va. and Huff's Church, Penn. with duo partner/pal Eric Brace. Allow me to explain a little about the misery of the road. We had to get up early Friday morning to drive up to Virginia in the autumn sunshine. And it's a long drive, so we had to bring an eight-CD Louvin Brothers boxed set and a four-CD Emmylou Harris boxed set and some other favorite albums. And we had to stop at our favorite Thai place in Knoxville, Taste of Thai (exit 378 off I-40), for lunch. And we had to look at the beautiful scenery along the way. And then we had to have a fantastic meal at The Mockingbird in Staunton before playing to a great crowd full of friends and luminaries (Robin Williams - not the Mork from Ork guy but the guy from Robin & Linda Williams who co-wrote "Rollin' and Ramblin' - was there and was extremely kind and gracious). Then it was off to the lovely home of lovely friends for a good night's sleep. 
On Saturday, it was late sleeping, followed by lunch at Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint (highly recommended), followed by more driving, this time up through the Shenandoah Valley to the blue roads of rural Pennsylvania. We made it to Barto's Landhaven Bed & Breakfast in time for another great meal, and soundcheck, and a gig in what must be one of the coolest venues in America. Ed and Donna Land run this place, and we talked with them at length before the gig, hearing bits of two amazing life stories. You know you're in a pretty good conversation when someone says, "I really enjoyed working with Peter Jennings." Then it was another fun show, this time with steel guitar work from our friend Dave Van Allen. Then more conversation, some weary but happy goodnights and another good night's sleep.
See, you people simply don't realize how hard it is out there on the road.
Next weekend, we're back in Virginia, for shows in Ashland and Roanoke. More friends, more conversation, more songs, etc. It's hard to express how much fun this is right now. Eric and I have new songs to sing, from two new albums, and we've been doing this together long enough now to anticipate each other's next move but not long enough for things to feel stale or rote. Dare I say, it's a fun show to play and, we're told, a fun show to watch and hear.
Things are going great with the new albums. So pleased to have new songs out there, and so pleased that the recorded versions of those songs feature some of the masters of American music. Every time my new The Lloyd Green Album is written about, I smile to see Lloyd's name featured so prominently. He is the Sandy Koufax of the steel guitar, and he's playing better now, in his 70s, than he did 40 years ago. Amazing but true. For those who have expressed concern about Lloyd's health, the good news is that his bum knee is feeling less bummy and he anticipates a fast return to performing.
Otherwise, all is well. At home, we've got a six-month-old baby boy, learning and growing and smiling every day. I'm still writing for The Tennessean, and still teaching about the history of country music at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music. And I got a little boost this week when I entered into an agreement to endorse D'Addario guitar strings. They're the ones I like using, so this is like being asked to endorse the Green Bay Packers, or being asked to endorse Kris Kristofferson's Spooky Lady's Sideshow album. 
Hope to see you at a show sometime soon. I'll be the one looking sour and irritated. It's very hard out there on the road.

1 comment

  • Joan Pugh

    Joan Pugh

    I'm just happy that you can force yourself to get on the road and do these shows, despite the difficulties of it all..

    I'm just happy that you can force yourself to get on the road and do these shows, despite the difficulties of it all..

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