Whirlwind Weekend

Crazy times.  I’ve got this pinched nerve thing still going on, yet I’m working my butt off doing a ton of gigs and there’s no sign things are gonna slow down.  It’s good to be working, but I’m a little nervous.  This weekend was totally nuts.  After my massage on Wednesday, I came home, iced down my neck and shoulders for several hours and hopped into bed pretty early.  Next day, same thing…totally chillin, then the phone rings and my friend on the other end is offering me a gig that starts at 7pm.  Shit.  Man, I need the bread, but I wanna stay home and continue chillin/healing cause I’m leaving town in the early morn with the Champs.  Screw it, I’ll do it.  I got up, threw my suit on and went to work.  Senior’s dance.  Had a total blast with a cat named Vernon Yarborough and his trio.  Good stuff.  Friday morning I got up, drove over the Al’s place, picked him up then headed over to Joe’s.  He was running late, so we didn’t get out of town till nearly 10am for New Orleans.  Rolled-in around 4:30, picked up my GMC Jimmy that’s been down there for a month getting repaired, headed to WWOZ for the Champs 5pm interview with Vin Chary’s jazz show, then over to Scott Borne’s (program director) for some killer jambalaya with he and his beautiful gal, Robin.  Made it to dba around 9ish, set-up and started our first set at 10:20.  Wrists were a little sore and I was doing okay, but was super stoked to see some fellow beat makers come into the club.  My good friend Eric Bolivar (Anders Osborne) showed up, as did Al’s buddy and my new friend Chad Gilmore (Marc Broussard‘s drummer), who are both fantastic players and eager to join the already cookin set we had going.  Thanks fellas.  The 30 min rest was appreciated and you both kicked some serious ass.  It’s funny, but when Chad got up to play, I didn’t realize that he’s a lefty and he turned the kit completely around, which was really hilarious, but watching him play was amazing.  Such a nice feel and Eric, too.  Two baddasses!

Afterward, we packed up, people went home (or to another bar, which in NOLA is more the norm) and the Champs headed back over to Scott and Robin’s for the evening.  I however, was on my way to play a music festival in Rhode Island with Bonerama and needed a shower in the worst way, which is tough to do quietly at 4am in a house where people are sleeping.  Knowing myself and how much I love to sleep, I figured that if I were to try and catch an hour or two before going to the airport would prove to be a bad idea, I bit the bullet and hi-tailed it over to Louis Armstrong International for my 7:30am plane.  It was only 5.  Ugh.  Sitting around waiting, tired and sore as hell.  I’m thinking to myself, how in the hell am I going to pull off an hour set with one of the hottest New Orleans funk bands with this pain in my wrists?  No idea, but I’m hoping Lady Luck is on my side.

Fast forward to Providence…I’ve already been on two flights and rode in a van for 38 miles to this shindig, Rhythm & Roots Festival all without any sleep.  I’m exhausted but the show must go on and it did.  What a great time.  Steve Riley was killin, as was Marcia Ball and her terrific band.  Her drummer Damien Llanes, is from Austin and I used to go see him play at the Continental Club with Barfield.  Great player.  The next morning we all met in the lobby at 6:30 and headed over the airport for the early flight out to Charlotte, then on to NOLA.  When we landed at noon, I said goodbye to the fellas, thanked them for an amazing 24 hrs, got in my newly repaired car and headed home.  6-hr drive back, dropped into bed like a sack of potatoes.  The sleep was so good and although my hands and wrists were sore I felt elated that I’d hung in there and made it through.

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