Everything crawls to halt. There’s orange cones. Lights flashing in the distance. It’s an accident. Now we’re down to one lane and the traffic starts to creep forward finally. Kevin rolls down the window and I can hear the tires spin a “shhhhh” sound through the rain.
Here it comes. The crash scene. We drive by slow. Crane our necks and look down off into the embankment on the side of the road. What’s going on? There’s people standing around. A couple Highway Patrolmen in uniforms.
Yeah, that guy over there must be the driver.
Seems like every few weeks or months, you’ll see one of those jackknifed trucks on the side of the road. Sometimes it’s the truck and the trailer. All contorted with the cab swung around folded under the trailer. (Another reason I don’t love trailers.) Sometimes it’s just the truck on the side of the road. At the end of skid marks in the road and down into the ditch.
And it’s wet and cold and you feel a little depressed. And you wonder, did someone fall asleep? Did the driver rest his eyes? Or did they just let themselves go—get exhausted trying to chew up some long distance trip? Slam on the brakes to avoid killing a deer. Or what?
Now what? Are they going to lose their gig? I’m sure this wasn’t anyone’s first choice in terms of gigs.
I love getting out there. I must, right? And I love the feeling of the road moving under us. But I get anxious. And now there’s all this.
Be safe out there I tell myself. (Wish me luck on the hillbilly highway, anyone?)
Sure, we’ve got Covid protocols in place. Am I worried? A little, yeah. All kinds of unknowns. Hell, I’m worried about the staff at these clubs who are just trying to do their jobs by enforcing mask mandates or asking for proof of vaccination. I worry about them getting hassled. They didn’t sign up to be Covid cops. They’re everyday people. And there’s more…
I’ve got worries. You’ve got worries. We all have worries. Rodney Dangerfield had all of our worries combined but he did okay, after a rough start to his career when he had to leave the business and sell aluminum siding. He sure came barreling back, though, didn’t he, keeping Bill Murray from stealing every scene in that movie. Where was I?
But you know I’m not here to bum anybody out. Let’s face it, the last 20 months have been unreal. Maybe some good came from it. Maybe we’ve got a better sense of the greater good. Like Uncle Leo said (and I’m paraphrasing here). Keep it tribal, people.
The band has been playing good. Okay, that’s an understatement. I don’t want to set the bar too high by way of expectations, but we’re showing up ready to play, people. And I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel good to be kicking the tires of the brand new (used) Econoline. Better than ever, really.
Meanwhile. We’ve got more tour dates. Not to mention the fact that the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass virtual hoedown starts today. So, there’s much to dig into. With both hands. Deets below.
P.S.: Today is Bandcamp Friday. And I’ve included some of my collage art over at our Bandcamp shop. I like to keep my hands busy when I’m fretting over mixes and sequences in my studio. Sometimes I put these up on Instagram and people have responded. We’ve also got some earlier records available as well. Framed collages will be sent via UPS ground whenever possible. UPS Worldwide for international shipping. Framed collages across the water! We will contact you via email to discuss insurance options.
P.P.S.:Today through the weekend. (October 1-3). Join the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass virtual hoedown. It’s very much happening. You can see the schedule of performers over on their Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/p/CUc4MTxghHb/ All live-streamed on hardlystrictlybluegrass.com, facebook.com/hardlystrictlybluegrass, and youtube.com/user/hsbfest. Xfinity customers can simply say “Hardly Strictly” into the Xfinity Voice Remote or stream on Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex.
P.P.P.S.: Meanwhile, meet me in a hurry behind the barn. Stomp your hands and cross your legs for the Trip in the Country show Fridays at 2 PM Pacific Standard Time. LOG ON HERE: https://www.gimmecountry.com/#/radio And be sure to hit “subscribe.”
P.P.P.P.S.: You asked for it. Now you got it. Brand new Trip in the Country T-shirts. Glamorous. Elegant. Essential. And for now only $24.99 in the Gimme Country store. Isn’t it time you slipped into something a little more comfortable? Now you can. Right here: Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Op. 54 / 78 / 106; Gerhard Oppitz
P.P.P.P.P.S.: New Midnight Rider T’s. A Chuck Prophet Midnight Rider T-Shirt, people! Midnight Rider’s Mitra Khayyam is the coolest. I bought a Waylon tee from her all those years ago in Austin at one of her pop-up shops. And I treasure it. Her shirts are American made. Distressed. Vintage. Impossible to replicate. If you’re not looking for a CP shirt and don’t mind a little unwanted attention, check out her David Allan Coe “Just Divorced” tee. http://bellesound.com/shop_10.html
GIGSVILLE: Get up to the minute details on live shows here:
Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express:
Stephie Finch (singing, piano, guitar)
Kevin T White (bass guitar)
Vicente Rodriguez (drums, singing)
James DePrato (guitar)
(US dates Support from Matt Jaffe)
10/9/21 - Guerneville, CA Real Neato Festival (Chuck Prophet Trio)
10/24/21 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club
10/26/21 - Chicago, IL - Fitzgerald’s
10/27/21 - Newport, KY - Southgate House Revival
10/28/21 - Three Oaks, MI - Acorn Theatre
10/29/21 - Grand Rapids, MI - Tip Top Tavern
10/30/21 - Ann Arbor, MI - The Ark
10/31/21 - Columbus, OH - Natalie’s Grandview
11/2/21 - Pawling, NY - Daryl’s House
11/3/21 - Holyoke, MA - Gateway City Arts
11/4/21 - Fall River, MA - Narrows Center for the Arts
11/5/21 - Philadelphia, PA - The Music Hall at World Cafe Live
11/6/21 - New York, NY - City Winery Upstairs (2 shows! 7pm and 9:30pm late show) (No support act)
11/7/21 - Vienna, VA - Jammin’ Java
11/8/21 - Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe
11/10/21 - Madison, IN - Red Bicycle Hall
11/11/21 - St. Louis, MO - Off Broadway
11/12/21 - Kansas City, MO - Knuckleheads
11/13/21 - Des Moines, IA - xBK
11/14/21 - Omaha, NE - The Reverb
11/20/21 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel
5/8/22 - Vienna, AT - Chelsea w/The Mission Express
5/9/22 - München, DE - Backstage w/The Mission Express
5/10/22 - Prague, CZ - Jazz Dock w/The Mission Express
5/11/22 - Berlin, DE- Urban Spree w/The Mission Express
5/12/22 - Hamburg, DE - Monkeys Music Club w/The Mission Express
5/13/22 - Odense, DK - Dexter w/The Mission Express
5/14/22 - Malmo, SE - Folk a Rock w/The Mission Express
5/15/22 - Copenhagen, DK -Stairway w/The Mission Express
5/17/22 - Wesel,DE - JUZ Caro w/The Mission Express
5/18/22 - Geislingen, DE - Die Rätsche w/The Mission Express
5/19/22 - Erfurt, DE - Museumskeller w/The Mission Express
5/20/22 - Rüsselsheim, DE - Das Rind w/The Mission Express
5/21/22 - Leffinge, BE - De Zwerver w/The Mission Express
5/22/22 - Utrecht, NL - Ekko w/The Mission Express
5/23/22 - Breda, NL - Mezz w/The Mission Express
5/24/22 - Leuven, BE - Het Depot w/The Mission Express
5/26/22 - Bury, UK - The Met w/The Mission Express
5/27/22 - Nottingham, UK - Metronome w/The Mission Express
5/28/22 - Newcastle, UK - Gosforth Civic w/The Mission Express
5/29/22 - Glasgow, UK - Glee Club w/The Mission Express
5/30/22 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell w/The Mission Express
5/31/22 - Bristol, UK - Fleece w/The Mission Express
6/1/22 - Birmingham, UK - Hare & Hounds w/The Mission Express
6/3/22 - London, UK - Lafayette w/The Mission Express
6/9/22 - Oslo, NO - Loaded Festival w/The Mission Express
6/17/22 - Vitoria-Gasteiz, ES - Azkena Rock Festival