Chalk Up Another One
Just got home this morning from playing our last show of the year in Kansas City, a tour that started nine months, one hundred and eight shows and seventy-some thousand miles ago.
We actually had a west coast run and a date in Las Vegas left but had to postpone them due to a scheduling conflict with some elective surgery I want to get done before we start another touring season.
It’s a feeling of accomplishment, getting another working year under your belt, but there’s also a feeling of nostalgic sadness, knowing that the equipment will be stored in the warehouse, the truck and the buses are headed for their yearly maintenance appointments and the band and crew will be all going their separate ways, not to become a daily part of my life again until early Spring when the next touring year begins.
It always takes me a few days to realize that I don’t have to be five hundred miles away tomorrow night and break the regimen and routine of waking up in a different motel parking lot every morning, boarding the bus right after a show and heading off down the road to do it somewhere else tomorrow night.
I love my life on the road, I love the people I travel with and walking on stage in front of a crowd of people, knowing I’m going to spend the next hour and a half entertaining them is about as good as it gets for me.
It’s easy to get caught up in the rhythm of life on the road, do a show and move on, interviews, meet and greets, band meetings and always an endless ribbon of blacktop highway in front and behind, day in, day out, waking up in a new town and going to sleep on your way to another one,
It can become somewhat mesmerizing in a most pleasant sort of way and a comforting feeling of doing exactly what you want to do for a living, doing what you’ve trained yourself for all your life. Walking on stage is one of the few times I ever feel like I know exactly what I’m doing.
I have devoted my life to developing a sixth sense of how to sequence and pace a set of music, read the mood of an audience, feel when you should lengthen or shorten a show.
You develop a keen sense of punctuality, leaving the hotel at the prescribed time, standing in the wings in the last couple of minutes before your performance and walking on stage at the minute show time has been advertised as starting, in respect for the people who have bought the tickets, enabling you to live your dream.
I have been living my dream for over sixty years and I am thankful to God and all the music fans who have made it possible to do so.
I live in the best of all possible working environments, as there is nobody in our outfit who is incapable of doing their job and the road crew moves mountains of equipment and fifteen people night after night to destination after destination, safely and on time.
And, insofar as the other players in the band, I am their biggest fan, I love the way each one of them plays and enjoy hearing them and performing with them every night.
Being a member of the CDB, whether it be the traveling unit, the office staff or the ranch hands is almost more like a way of life rather than just a job. Everybody is laser-focused on one thing, getting the job done and moving on.
It’s a great way for an eighty-two-year-old picker with several million miles and several thousand shows, under his belt to stay excited, creative and happy.
And even though it will probably take me a week or so when I wake up in the mornings to look around and discover if I’m on The Twin Pines Rambler or at the Twin Pines Ranch house, and it will take a while before I stop thinking that I have to be somewhere to do a show tomorrow night, I will enjoy my time off.
But all the time looking forward to that day in the spring when the mission is resumed and I join my brothers for another year on the road.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
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Check out "Mudcat" from Beau Weevils - 'Songs in the Key of E'