Austin TX to Nashville TN to Lansing MI to Livonia MI to Oberlin OH to Columbus OH and back to lovely Austin TX again.
As you may have already guessed, last week I was on the road having a ton of fun playing drums, mando and a smidgin of electric guitar for Wild Ponies.
It was a short run of 4 shows, all of which were extremely awesome.
But before I get stuck into story telling, I have to introduce you to my new friend, Bertie.
Bertie was my lovely drum kit for the week and he did a most excellent job. On the ride to the house from Nashville airport I asked Doug what kit he had for me, to which he replied – ‘dunno what make it is, something old and weird!’….and Bertie is exactly that, old and weird – just like me.
Show #1 – The Old Town General Store, Lansing, Michigan.
My first time to both Lansing and this super characterful venue. If I could sum up my lovely little home town of Totnes in a single building – this would be it.
The Old Town General Store has a shopping area in the front selling mostly local produce and a lovely courtyard out back where all the live music happens. The shop had lots and lots of hippy stuff – all of which I wanted (I stocked up heavily on organic Kombucha and Michigan bumper stickers) and the courtyard was filled with beautiful and very happy looking flowers of all shapes and sizes.
The sun was shining, people were super into it, hurrah.
Here’s a little video courtesy of the my GoPro…
Food Stop – The Whistle Stop Diner, Pleasant Ridge MI
One of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had – it almost beat me! A toasted vege burrito with a side of hash browns, all washed down with a cup of tea – heck yeah.
Show #2 – Trinity House Theatre, Livonia, Michigan.
The moment I stepped through the front door and saw the stage, I knew this was going to be an amazing show 🙂
I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed connecting with ‘old’ stuff since moving to the US, so it was lovely to walk into a building oozing with so much historic character and charm.
Apparently it use to be a church a while ago. And so,
**BONUS** – guess what was right slap-bang next to the building?
A freakin’ super old graveyard! 😮
Well, by ‘super old’ I mean American super old (1830s)…but still, these were the oldest stones I’ve seen since moving here 4.5 years ago which was extremely cool.
Most people don’t know that in my ‘spare time’ I do volunteer work for a couple of organisations helping to preserve and document old grave sites in Texas. This includes documenting with photographs, clearing and cleaning stones all over the place and it’s been fascinating to learn about the history of each site.
Not everyone’s cup of tea I know, but this was a real treat for me – music, old buildings AND dead people! 😉
The show was packed. The audience were absolutely lovely and we had a wonderful time. Can’t wait to go back.
Food Stop – Wonder Bar, Milan OH
We stopped for food in a super cute town in Ohio called Milan (pronounced; My-Lan). The first building we drove past appeared to be a food place called Invention Restaurant. We all noticed this and agreed it was a rather odd name to call a restaurant. Once we’d parked up I grabbed my camera and had a bit of a mooch about the town square, at which point I very quickly learned that Milan was the birth place of Thomas Edison.
Light bulb inventing dude.
And for those of you who are interested, according to our resident Wiki expert (aka Greg Horne, guitarist, pedal steel and violin player for Wild Ponies) Milan has an annual Melon Festival.
I do think a melon festival could get you into all sorts of trouble if you’re not careful.
‘Look at the size of her melons!’
‘What lovely juicy melons you have!’
Really, the double entendre possibilities are pretty endless.
Show #3 – RiverDog, Oberlin, Ohio.
Right out in the arse-end-of-nowhere is an incredibly awesome place called Riverdog. Surrounded by trees, lush green grass and nature, Riverdog (as the name suggests) is right next to the river and there are 4 beautiful doggies who live there.
It’s magical, mystical and marvellous all rolled into one, and I didn’t want to leave.
Riverdog is owned by Terry and Deborah who are both artists. They spent 5 years renovating the buildings on the property themselves and did a wonderful job. The main house is an art gallery and studio. The other is a guest house and coolest of all was the venue for that nights show, which was a converted barn.
Yes. It was freakin rad.
Here’s another little video from the second set, the atmosphere was beautiful. Along with the 100 people sat inside and outside the barn, 4 doggies lay passed out asleep to my right, utterly unmoved by all that was going on around them.
Show #4 – Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza, Columbus Ohio.
Two things I look forward to when playing at Natalie’s.
- Playing music (well, duh).
- Eating their amazing pear salad AND consuming large amounts of their outrageously tasty pizza. It’s sooooo good.
I played at Natalie’s last year with Wild Ponies on the Galax tour (hence my pizza knowledge) and it was a ton of fun.
(I’m guessing I must’ve been too full of food to take any video or photos this time around 😉 ).
Then the following day we drove back to Nashville and I hopped on a plane to Austin.
For most of the trip the temperatures were between 75-80F and at night it cooled right down (which is what I’m use to being from the UK). It was a (nice) shock to the system when I got off the plane at 11:30pm in Austin to be greeted with 98F heat 😉
Good to be home ❤
I’ll be heading out with the Ponies again in a few weeks, can’t wait 🙂