All Writing and Photography © Alex Livingstone/Owner's Closet

Friday, September 18, 2009

Part 1: All The Pretty Girls Turn 40

Sitting inside WalMart is not awesome. However, knowing that the van has had an oil change is awesome. This stop also allowed us to get supplies like CD-Rs and legal pads. Once we gas up, we're heading off to Niagara Falls, NY for a two night stint at a lovely motel where we're gonna set up camp and work on arrangements for new songs. But let me back up...

Saturday night was quite interesting. My plane landed in Columbus @ 5:30 and I promptly took a cab to the house where Tim was going to play a private gig. The hostess and party throwers were very nice and hospitable, considering I didn't know them from Adam. They had built a stage in the backyard and set out hay bales for for theater style seating. A great crowd assembled for Mona's 40th and for them, Tim played two hefty sets. Actually, the first one was 30-40 minutes long but the 2nd was behemoth. Cuz was pulling out all sorts of tunes, specifically J.P. Olsen numbers from way back. This only encouraged him further that we should record "Crazy" in a couple of weeks. The revelers wanted me to play with Tim but by the end of the first set, I was in no shape to do that. I enjoyed myself thanks to the lovely Columbus evening provided me by Mother Nature and the extraordinary hostess Haley. They had an air mattress for me when I crashed at 3+am.

We had an early van call and ended up leaving Columbus around 12:30pm. We had to pick up the Crate combo amp Parker so generously loaned to me/us. We also had to get our tour vessel from Sam. Our fart box is the Sun's old van, a grey E-350 not unlike the 'peen van.

We barely managed to iphone it to Galion to pick up the rest of the band, Aaron Lee Tasjan and Mark Stepro. We were on a tight schedule but made it to Nelsen Ledges State Park despite the absurd AT&T blackout in Mid-Ohio. Tim claimed he could get a signal in the Middle Of Nowhere, Alaska which makes one wonder why it's impossible to get a signal north of Columbus. Midwest dark ages with a side of sauerkraut.

The benefit we played was for National Autism Awareness. That's a great cause, I think, because of the complex issues austistic people and their loved ones/care givers face everyday. What I don't support is the jams the band before us was dishing out. Jam bands. Blargh. The stage, setting and PA were all very nice and allowed us to have a great first gig as The Freeland Barons. We rocked out the majority of Porcupine and got sonic on a couple of songs. The Daily Life sounded good on its maiden voyage. Get What I Got worked ok for being so complicated. Joy was fun.

Dr. Ralph Stanley played after us and it was quite nice. He just stood there and sang some songs while his band of Christians did all the work. Ralph sang "Oh Death" acapella which was touching until he forgot the words. Oh well, the guy is 82 and deserves as much slack as he wants. After waiting and inordinate amount of time waiting for Donna the Buffalo to play, we got bored and took off down the road towards Buffalo. The decision was made to find rooms in Erie, PA so we headed downtown to see where the action was. Turns out there wasn't much action in plain sight so we headed into The Docksider Bar for a brief respite. Bad idea, for it was Karaoke Sunday the The Docksider and the singing was atrocious. So we had a couple First Night of Tour beverages and found a room at the Tallyho-Tel on the interstate. No luck in finding The Wonders' Memorial Practice Space. Maybe next time. The next morning, it was off to Niagara Falls, NY.

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