Posts Tagged ‘Alexandria’

Tour Diary – Alexandria, VA (March 13 and 14, 2013)

Friday, March 15th, 2013

When we arrived in Alexandria yesterday we were pummeled by a full-on Southern Rain. But it didn't matter, we all took to our rooms and most of us didn't re-appear until it was time to go to the venue this afternoon. This was our first non-moving bed in the last 12 days….pure luxury.

Two nights at The Birchmere…the first night was a Trinity night and the second night was the first time that we ever performed Black Eyed Man in its entirety. The Trinity night went like a dream. A very excited audience (especially for The Birchmere which can be a bit staid at times) and we played with a lot of energy and invention. It was an excellent night.

We have been working on the songs from Black Eyed Man for the past couple of weeks in soundcheck and have been playing a few of them each night. This is not an easy album to play…way too many chords. Songs like A Horse In The Country and Murder Tonight In The Trailer Park have been in our repertoire for decades, but about half of the material hasn't seen the stage in ten years. After listening to us in soundcheck for the past week Jared has decided to buy a clicker and keep track of the amount of mistakes that we make during the performance. The show went well. We only had one little train wreck during the bridge in The Last Spike, I lost track of where we were and then Al followed suit, and I also screwed up Jeff during the solo of Winter Song (we have never played this song live). There were a couple of other minor hic-ups but all-in-all I think we pulled it off. It wasn't the most relaxed show that we have ever done, but the challenge was exciting and it felt like the audience was in to the whole premise. A very succesful two nights.

We also had the pleasure of visits from the ghosts of Tour Managers past. Blair Woods and Craig Chapman were there for the first night and Mike Sponarski, who is in town with The Chieftains, came down after the show and kept us up all night. It's always fun reliving old campaigns with comrades in arms.

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Just in Time for Holiday Gift-Giving

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Lots of new shows in March-April-May 2013. Concert tickets make great gifts for the hard-to-please! We're looking forward to being back in Westhampton Beach, NY; Atlanta, GA; Annapolis, MD; Sellersville, PA; Alexandria, VA; Newark, NJ; Tarrytown, NY; Medicine Hat, AB; Cochrane, AB; St. Albert, AB; Banff, AB; Whitehorse, YK; Vancouver, BC; Seattle, WA; Spokane, WA; Bend, OR; San Francisco, CA; Saratoga, CA; and L'Assomption, QC. More details here.

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Tour Diary – Annapolis, MD and Alexandria, VA (Feb 28 & 29 and March 1)

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

Three nights in the same bed. It’s practically unheard of on tour. We had a day off on Monday and then two nights at the Ram’s Head….which all adds up to three nights in the same bed. This is a decent little town to be stranded in if one has to be stationary for a few days. There is history, coffee, decent beer, ok food, books, ice cream all within walking distance. What more can one want on a day off.
The Ram’s Head is one of those venues that looks like it shouldn’t work, but we always have a good time and very good shows in this room. It’s small and cramped and the stage is too small and the PA is no great shakes, but the stage and room sound great, the audiences are always keen and supportive and we always have fun. I think we overplayed the room on the first night, but it was still a good night. The second night we settled in and had a very good evening. On Tuesday, Jeff, Margo, Jared and I ventured in to DC to record a Tiny Desks concert with Bob Boilen. Bob (and NPR) have been big supporters of the band over the years for which we are extremely grateful. The concert will be posted on the Tiny Desk site later this month (we’ll let you know).

Unlike the Rams Head, the Birchmere is the type of room that looks like it should be perfect for us. We love coming here: the staff is always friendly, we are cared for from the minute we arrive and our audience seems to like the room because we always sell it out. But there is something about the sound on stage that always keeps us from having one of those great shows. It’s very hard to hear the dynamics of the band on stage and so it becomes difficult to fall in to the music and let it take over. Also, the way the room is set up leaves a lot of the audience off to the side and so it’s hard to get a feel for the room. I don’t think that that we have ever sucked in this room, but I feel like we have never really hit it. Tonight was no different….I think we played well but we couldn’t find that next gear.

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