Eleven weeks and some 10,000 miles later, we have returned to our home base down on the Lower Columbia River. Spring is giving way to summer. The farm is looking beautiful. We are settling in to the loft featured in this photo for a few months.There will be farm work, and there will be writing and rehearsing for the new album, and there will be booking of our fall tour.
We will also have a handful of shows in the region. We will headline the stage 7/21 for Bald Eagle Days here in Cathlamet, WA, joined by Tom Armstrong, and The Dead Hollows among other featured guests from the community. Down in Portland, on July 1st we will play a songwriter showcase at Alberta St. Pub, that will be acoustic guitar and sans drums. The full rock setup will be on display in Portland on 7/26 with the mighty Rootjack. More details on that will be added soon. And this weekend we will officially finish off our Spring Tour dates up in Northern Washington with three shows.
Our Instagram profile has all of our best tour pics @themutineers. We keep that updated often from the road. A link to our profile and some of the latest pics in the feed are right here on our video/photo page. BTW it's almost entirely different content from what we post to FB. We try to keep it interesting, folks.
And now for your brief tour highlights (see our previous blog for Treefort wrap up):
There was decidedly less roadkill on this trip than on previous tours, but I do believe I saw a chicken who failed to make it to the other side of the road. In northern California we communed with new friends inside of an enormous redwood stump that had been burned and hollowed out by a lightning strike. After our performance, Lagunitas Brewery sent us on our way with 54 beers. It was one hell of an Easter basket. Listen to the music of The Creston Line, Loose Engines, and RJ Bloke, three California bands that we would always, always be happy to play with. Something about that show at The Cinema Bar got us feeling like a million bucks. Maybe it was having Jeffrey Marroquin write our set lists for us! Or maybe its the afterglow of being with our SB family! <3
We traveled into space once again with The Scoundrels in Las Vegas. Smokin' Sundays... A haze of blue memories. Tell Alexa to play their latest album for you. Mike lent me his green custom Gibson SG so that I could have an actual back up guitar on tour. It came in handy three times. Thank you Mike!!! She's coming back to you in the fall! Hopefully after we return for a fourth time to Albuquerque because Marble Brewery is always a pleasure. I can't shake the image of that talking unicorn tho.
Texas was ok. Jenny introduced us to kind folks who live in a hexagonal tree house. There seemed to be a group shower room there. We found that we shared a recording engineer (Raymond Richards) with the band (Will Courtney) we played with in Austin. Jacob Furr helped us achieve emotional balance after playing for two hours to several hamburgers in Fort Worth. And it all took place during an early spring heat wave. Hello 95 degrees in April! But the weather broke and we found ourselves in Hot Springs, Arkansas discovering that it existed. It was 40 degrees that night. We didn't leave the woods again until it was time to play Nashville with Matt Woods. Out of the woods and into the arms of the handsomest sasquatch.
Asheville, Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Staunton. We played with, and sometimes in Drunken Prayer. We ate fried chicken as often as we could. We listened to a 5-record live anthology of Bruce Springsteen one night. But mostly we listened to John Wayne, Texas Funeral. Morgan cooked marshmallows over the bbq. 5 year old Leon sang "We're Not Gonna Take It" at 1 a.m. Once again, I made baked rigatoni (no surprises here). I regret nothing.
In Lexington, KY we picked up a show by walking into a bar and asking. Everyone was nice. We did our third run through Cinci and Cleveland. The Perfect Children got yet another powerhouse singer in the band. They now have the sonic power to shatter entire city blocks of windows. And to The 5 O'clock Lounge I say, Be warned! If you keep treating us so kindly, we are going to keep returning. Our first show in Detroit was on Mothers Day. No one brought mom except John Salvage who they call The Hamtramck Springsteen. Deservedly so. Santa Cruz Batman was there, he knows. He gave us a healthy bit of advice. Keep it weird, he said. Huge respect to the great show put on by Connor Dodson and Quick Draw even though none of their mothers showed up, I don't think.
Up and over the U.P. All the trees lost their leaves again. The great lakes are as blue as the Caribbean, but they are cold. It was only the beginning of spring there and Matt Sayles took us to the family cabin to see where he'll post up when the shit goes down. When we got to Milwaukee, it was almost winter again. I bought a book about a volcano. Our friends at Extension Cord gave us a lovely introduction to a town we had never experienced before. Also, you simply can not top their care package. Wild Turkey 101 and beef jerky!!!! Also, there are more bars in Milwaukee than traffic lights, maybe. Minneapolis was the most diverse group of people you are likely to see in a bar. We were on turf known as Somali-land. It felt like nowhere else in the U.S. We had a blast!
We got an interview on KRFC before our show in Fort Collins. We played with DW Doucet and will do so again in the fall. And the camping got real good. The rivers were running fast. The trees were giving shade. The mountain air was cool. We tried to go to Arches National Park on Memorial Day weekend. Don't do that. But we saw Canyonlands anyway before heading to our Provo show with John Ross Boyce. After meeting a cat named Sharpie and communing with family, we headed into the last week of the tour. We had to kill four days in the mountains surrounding Bozeman, MT. I think Montana in the late spring is about as close to heaven as you're likely to find. We drove home after our gig and listened to 10 hours of podcasts about Twin Peaks: The Return.
Best Burger - Lagunitas Brewery, Petaluma, CA
Best Whiskey & Soda - Al's Bar, Lexington, KY
Best Bathroom Graffiti - Fred's Texas Cafe, Ft. Worth (a long form trumper vs anti-trumper insult competition)
Most Stairs to Performance Space - The Pompei Lounge, Staunton, VA