Posts Tagged ‘Annapolis’

Tour Diary – Annapolis, MD and Sellersville, PA (March 10 and 11, 2013)

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Annapolis, MD – (March 10, 2013) This morning I was woken up by a marching band. It was doing what it does best, marching and playing, leading the parade past our bus. This was Annapolis’s first attempt at a St Patrick Day Parade so I don’t feel it would be right to comment on it….but they did miss the date by a week. I wonder if the decline in funding for music education in the schools systems around North America can be linked to the overall decline in the availability of high-school marching bands to celebrate holidays up and down our main streets. Someone should get a grant and study that equation…you could create a whole career out of it.

This little town is becoming a regular oasis for us when we come through the area and the Rams Head is at the center of that oasis. This is another of those weird rooms that doesn’t look like it should work, but it does, we always have interesting shows here. Part of the reason is that this is a very comfortable and easy town to spend a day. We’ve been here so many times that we all have our favourite, book store, record shop, ice cream parlour or café that we like to check in on. The days are relaxed and so are the shows. This one was no exception.

Sellersville, PA – (March 11, 2013) This is one of the strangest little burghs that we have ever played. It’s a mere crossroads of a place that, I think, is tucked away in the hilly south eastern corner of the state….not too far from the little Shangri-La of a town, Jim Thorpe, PA., which we discovered last summer. The place is over-flowing with ghosts and perhaps a ghoul or two. Zombies roaming the streets would fit right in. We loved it. The more we dig in to this State in search of venues, the more we discover these very odd and refreshingly original little towns. Sellersville is perched on a very steep hillside, so we spent the whole day walking up or downhill. Even our bus sat all day on an incline. It gave the day an interesting perspective.

We ate dinner at the 250 year old George Washington Inn (guess who stayed there overnight?) and the waitress told us all about the buildings ghosts. It was an excellent meal. And it was an excellent gig. This was our tenth show in eleven nights and we all chose to take this show by the throat and throttle it in our own special ways. The audience was up to the task of providing us with the energy, which we so desperately needed, and we dug in. An excellent show heading in to a much needed day off.

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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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Tour Diary – (July 18 – 20, 2010)

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Camden River

Day 1: Camden, NJ – A very long overnight drive from Toronto to get us here. Why here? A three day festival just across the river from Philadelphia, put on by WXPN (one of the better music stations left standing). It was as hot as a two dollar whore on the 4th of July. I tried to stay as cool as possible and moved between the air conditioned bus and the air conditioned green room and didn’t get much of a feel for the festival grounds. It was definitely a well attended event with lots and lots of bands that I’ve never heard of (kids these days). We had a pretty good, if short, set. After the show we headed back to the hotel to recover from our heat exhaustion. Later in the night the police cordoned off the hotel parking lot…speculation was that a body was found in the back of a car. Welcome to Jersey.

Day 2: Annapolis, MD – A day off on day 2 of the tour is just a little unusual. But so be it. We woke and we drove. We watched the movie Greenberg in which Ben Stiller (in a serious role) plays an asshole who puts himself into cringe-inducing situation. We kept waiting for the punch line, which never came. And we watched Green Zone in which Matt Damon plays a soldier in Iraq who goes off on this ludicrous hunt for the missing WMDs. It was time well wasted. We arrived in Annapolis just in time to greet the noon day sun. It was so hot today the squirrels were fanning their nuts. I braved the heat to wander around Annapolis. I’ve always liked this little town, it has ice cream, good coffee, cobblestones and lots and lots of history: it actually has over three hundred years of history ranging from the inspiring (the ratification of The Treaty of Paris) to the terrifying (the bustling slave market that was this town’s economic engine for decades). I found a pristine hard covered copy of Ian McEwan’s latest book, Solar, in one of my favourite used book stores, I found a smelly pub and ate a semi-tasty BLT with a happy hour, half priced pint of local Pale Ale and had a cup of oh-so-tasty coconut ice cream at the Annapolis Ice Cream company. So it was a good day.

Day 3: Annapolis, MD – Another good day. Hotter than a McDonalds cup of coffee. I found a nice cafe and had a good latte and very good breakfast of smoked salmon with capers, onions and cream cheese on a toasted sesame seed bagel. I talked to my family who are ensconced in the Adirondacks; worked on a new song called Idle Tales; struggled through soundcheck; and then had a very fun show. The Rams Head is an odd space. It doesn’t have the greatest sound on stage (and it probably doesn’t have the greatest sound in the audience), but it’s always a fun place to play and that’s because of the audience. There is always an energy in that place which you just want to plug in to. We played a wicked version of Me and the Devil tonight. Before we went on, we watched a documentary on Miles at The Isle of Wight in 1970. So we were emboldened.

Annapolis 1

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June & July Tour Dates

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Our plans for June and July are coming together. Still a few more dates to add, but we’ll be in Memphis, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, Austin, Albuquerque, Scottsdale, Salt Lake City and Arvada, CO, in June. And Camden, Annapolis, Knoxville, Asheville and Atlanta in July. Click here for more details.

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