Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Spain 2 France 0

We flew from New York to San Sebastian, Spain arriving at 10:30am.
I vowed to stay up all day and go to sleep at a normal time for my new time zone. We checked in and hit the streets looking for lunch which proved tough for me. Tapas bar after tapas bar. Meat, cheese and bread. I did find small market named "Organics" and stocked up enough supplies to carry me through. I spent the rest of the day at the beach and managed stay up (36hrs) at this point til about 9:30.
The next morning I went out for a 5 mile run along the canal and then went back to hotel to get Alejandro, and we went to the beach and stand up paddle boarded for a while. On to the gig, it was at Teatro Eugenia Victoria a beautiful old theatre. The crowd was a bit reserved but we had good show.
Next day, on to Barcelona with our driver Danny. We are immediately greeted by Juan and Marjan (wonderful friends of Alejandro )who take us to lunch at this beautiful restaurant where they prepare a beautiful salad for me (not on the menu, but come think of it there was no menu) several courses were served and it all looked great. The gig in Barcelona was a rock club and it went off like rock show should. Loud, hot and sweaty. After the show I went with everyone for a bit down to La Rambla, the main entertainment district , with late night Cafes. I went for a run to the beach the next morning and a quick swim then off to Madrid. In Madrid we're playing the Dia De la Musica festival and we check in to a really nice hotel downtown. Complimentary breakfast is awesome with fresh fruit and cereals with soy milk. The gig was great and the catering was wonderful, palm tree plates and flatware (compostable) plenty of vegan options . All in all Spain is a really tough place to be a vegan.
But I have to say I loved it there regardless. The people are so nice and beautiful. Great attention is paid to the design of everything , from the ceiling of the airport to the most common dentist office on the corner. Great design. The night that we play, Spain is playing France about a block from our hotel and the air is electric. After Spain wins the town goes nuts and I go to sleep to the sound of car horns and victorious screams. On to Paris.
We get in town with time to check in to the hotel before we have to be at the venue, so I head out to find lunch. Indian food is always a pretty safe bet.
The crew at LĂȘ Divan De Monde was so helpful and the room was cool. We had great show and I walked around Paris for a while as we would be leaving in the morning, spending a grand total of about 19 hrs in Paris . It ain't vacation, contrary to what some may think. It the morning we head toward the U.K. And take the Euro tunnel under the English Channel what a trip that was. Right now I'm writing this from the deck of a ferry which has our sprinter van in the bottom of it in route to Dublin where we play tonight.
More to come. Keep cool Austin.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Last week of first leg of u.s tour

This last week was tough. Don't get me wrong, it ain't roofing houses, but , it can be hard out here.
Sunday was the Big Apple Bar b que Block party in Madison Square Park.
Great show, a light rain shower during "San Antonio Rain" and a big sing along on "Chelsea Hotel 78" just blocks from The Chelsea. It was a barbque scene but backstage catering had portobello wraps and humus with celery. That night was no sleep and a 2am load in to the Fox News building.
We did the Don Imus show (don't ask me). I got a short nap before load in to Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ. At Maxwells I always get the " health bowl" salad( pic below). The Ghost Wolves opened the show and we had a great show.
The next morning we had a 9am load in to "30 rock" for The Jimmy Fallon Show. Doing T.V is always a long day and then you're on, 3:30 of rock and roll and then you're back in the van headed toward Philly. No sleep so it goes without saying , no running for a couple of days. In Philly we do WXPN World Cafe Live radio show and have a great curry lentil soup and fruit bowl from a place near the studio called Pic-nic. Back in the van and on to Wilmington , DE. For World Cafe music venue show. A beautiful venue and a good show. After the gig we drive 3hrs to Albany, NY where we have a day off . I got some sleep and a nice 10 mile run through Albany. Played at the Egg performing arts center. Then on to Boston , played at Brighton Music Hall. I received a FedEx package with Fathers Day cards from home (thanks Greta, Isabel, and Nancy). 6 hrs sleep and on to Croton on the Hudson, NY. For the Clearwater Festival. Tomorrow were off to Spain. Now it gets really interesting. Happy Fathers day ! Got in one last run in Queens just now. Now, Off to JFK. Also thanks to Healthy Weight Food Co-op in Albany, NY for the fresh juices and getting me through the last couple of days. Great store.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Big Station release day

Mountain Stage (NPR) was fun, shared the stage with Justin Townes Earle, Elizabeth Cook, and others. Catering was institutional. Hotel was right on the river where there is a nice bike/ run path, got few mile in the day we left.
On to NYC for the "Big Station" record release show at the Bowery Ballroom. Got into the city with enough time to head over to Caravan of Dreams for a "Superfood smoothie #1" and a "raw omega salad". The show was great, big crowd, lots of fun.
On to Amagansett, NY.
I found the "1%" they're in Amagansett. I had a nice run on a day off in Farmingville, NY , managed to get in 7 miles without getting run over ( serious lack of sidewalks).
Next we were in Northampton, MA.
I've always had a good time here. Great running trail along the river, and great restaurants.We always head straight to Alejandro's friend Martin's restaurant ( Veracruz Mexican food) .
Our guitar player Billy "Blanco" White had some friends come see us who own a raw food business, Kurt's Cuisine. They brought a box full of food for us. Kale wraps , chia pudding and a few other creations I can't really describe except to say it was all wonderful . Thanks Kurt and Rachel.
Now, back to NYC for barbecue block party of all things. The coming week is a sleepless four days of press and gigs.
But I will mention we'll be on Jimmy Fallon Tuesday night. See ya!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Yard bird and the blue ridge parkway

In Nashville we played a (new) old time stage show, Music City Roots. Normally hosted by Jim Lauderdale, tonight Chuck Mead (BR 549) was hosting. It takes place at a roadside B&B known as The Loveless Cafe. Catered dinner was their famous fried chicken, green beans (cooked in bacon), mashed potatoes (butter).
On this day I survived on peanut butter , rice cakes and bananas. I got in a decent run through a neighborhood in Brentwood the next morning and set out for Ashville,NC.
I love Ashville. We arrived in the evening and I immediately started plotting how I was going to run the trails of the blue ridge parkway. I called a outdoors shop I saw, named Black Dome outfitters( I think). They were very helpful in advising me on where to find the trail head and best trails to take. In the morning Chris Searles ( our drummer) got up early with me and drove me a few miles out to the Folk Art Center on the parkway. I caught the Mountain to Sea Trail here and went north . It was pretty steep climbing and started to drizzle rain , at 4.5 miles I turned and headed south, super fast descent. Great 9 mile trail run and Chris picked me back up.
The show was at The Grey Eagle , a great club I had played before. They have a little kitchen and dinner was amazing. I had a vegetable curry with tempeh and a kale salad with green apples and maple vinegrette. We played a solid two hour show ending the night our tour mates Jesse Malin and Derek Cruz on stage with us for a rowdy version of "Rock the Casbah" and "Beast of Burden".
The next stop was Roanoke for a small festival. I really like this town, one street actually. Kirk Avenue holds a great restaurant , Lucky,were we had dinner, a great coffee shop and the Kirk ave Music Hall. Everyone ate weird cheeses, cured meats and fried chicken, but the chef prepared a great vegan dish of veggies and cous cous with spring greens salad for me. (thank you). Off to Morgantown ,WV for Mountain Stage.