Blue Lou's Reports From the Road


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     Somewhere north of Claremore,OK,the 1st real road trip.......
on the plus side,it was threatening rain,but held off until we got the
van down into town......Greg's Dad,Alvin,came to the rescue,by
driving Greg's truck up from OKCity....we dumped all the bags,etc
on top of the equipment,and all the people into
the truck and remaining vehicles,and proceeded West........
   Grand total travel time.......about 20 hours.........
   Slept a few hours,after the usual motel snafus.......
wrong info about the number of beds,etc......but made the club on time,
and had a good night,all things considered.
   It was my 24th New Years' gig.....
  Jan.4th,'03
   All the friends and relatives departed yesterday,for the Midwest....
they stopped in Claremore,and the van repair was complete,YAY!!
Now,if we can just figure out how to get it back to Albuquerque...
   Learned that another group is staying at the same motel...
Daryl Perry Band--we saw two sets of them at Cowboy's,another
country spot in town. They were all good players,and seemed like nice people.
Daryl has come up with possibly the only known rhyme for the word'Albuquerque'.....
no small feat!
   We had to tear down the gear Wednesday night,to make way for a Latin group
on Thursday...and set it up again Friday. Now,we'll tear it down again Sat,
and skip down the mountain from Santa Fe to Albuquerque,to set up and
gig Sunday night,at the Caravan.
Jan.8th,'03
   A Wednesday off from the Caravan...played early hours on Sunday,5:30-10:30.
It was was slow,but the help said it was par for the course.
   The Caravan has a long-standing practice of using an afternoon group for
a happy-hour type session,then other groups(like us) for the evening dance sets.
So Monday,when we showed up to the gig,another band was just finishing up.
This is great for patrons,but it only allows 15 minutes to get the first band off,
and the next one on....and makes it rather tight on the stage....
the guy in my spot(stage left) played guitar and keys,like me,
and practically begged to leave his road rack in place...I told it him was fine by me,
and he thanked me profusely,not only at the time,but the next day as well.
I'm guessing it was an issue for him in the past....I've known guys that were
VERY competitive,who would've made him "get that gear outta the way!!".....
but I figure we're all in the same biz here,why not make it easier on the
next guy,if you can....it meant a lot to him,and nothing to me....besides,
I've come to learn that these things do come back,and sometimes in
unexpected ways!
   We were told Tuesday would be well attended,and it was--a good crowd on hand,
already warmed up by the afternoon guys,so we jumped on it pretty hard.
In addition,we had been told that the owner of Cowboys would come by to look at us,
and (presumably) report back to our agent,who still hasn't heard us yet.
   Thus,one can imagine the feeling of panic that set in when our PA went fritz
during the first set,and we had to shut down to look for the problem after only
a couple songs. The house sound guy played some tunes to keep things moving,
and then we tried again,but something still wasn't right--so we shut again,
and simply ran a line from our mixer to the house system.
The house man,to his credit,got us up and running without much delay,
and after a couple songs we were sounding tolerable.
  We finished the night without further incident,then struck the stage,so
(another) act could set up Wednesday. They sure do offer a variety
of entertainment down here in New Mexico!!
   Also a variety of food...we have 4 zillion choices for Mexican and/or
NEW Mexican food.....which,as anyone here will tell you,are two different things...(?)
I guess us gringos just don't get it.We went to a New Mexican place for dinner
tonight,which was recommended by some city police....
(Backspace to last night...after the sound snafu got settled,a group of 5 or 6
cops came in and just hung around,watching the band...on break,Marci & Chris
went over to chat,and they all hit it off....so after the show,
they all hooked up for (the cop's lunchbreak),then the cops went back
on duty,and they got to go along!!)
   Chris was once on The Job himself,and I'm sure he enjoyed talking shop....
as a side note,Marci & I had just a couple of days ago had a conversation
on the relative merits of Guns in America.....I wonder if this has had any
effect on her thinking.........
   Sometimes traveling can be interesting....

   Other times,well.......

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