Saturday, July 23, 2011

Avoiding the wrath of God

Because I suck SO bad a photography, I "collaged" this pix. The crowd went freaking NUTS!!

A run a nights with little sleep is not atypical to these road trips. Friday started at 12AM with a 10+ hour drive through a HELLACIOUS rain and wind storm that had the bus feeling like we were sailing around Cape Horn or something (literally floating at times). I said I’d be the one who would sleep on the van floor that night seeing as we didn’t have enough room for everyone to lay down. Seemed easy enough since we were all tired as shit and I can usually sleep anywheres. I then laid down between seats and started freaking out with a little claustrophobia seeing as I couldn’t move my arms OR legs and it being just a struggle to wedge my way down there in the first place. About the time I kinda settle down, James (still our driver) lets out a BIG damn yell after a bolt of lightning hits within 40 yards of the front of the van. The storm evolved into being just an epic flood of sorts without the bolts of ‘lectricity all the while I crawled around on the van floor until I found the best place to get a little rest and later split a seat with Matt for the coupla hours of actual sleep later on. ‘Bout 11am we pull into Twin Falls, WI while it’s still raining like hell. Water getting up to the level of the seats  in the front section of the festival.  After maybe 2 or 3 hours it just stopped (and drained). Believe it or not, it ended up being a great day of music. “Country Thunder” (which maybe shoulda been called “Country Thunder and God’s wrath”) is a pretty big festival and one of a bunch big ‘uns in Wisconsin (I think there are like 10 big ones). It gives a lot of the bands and crew a chance to catch up back stage with old friends. Jason (and band) ran into a good old friend Dominic who’d played guitar with them for years. Me, running into some great friends and band Blackberry Smoke from my publishing days (Btw, they are fixin to record a new record J). Those guys are just the real shit in every aspect (look up the word "Authentic" and you'll find a perfect description for those guys). Well lookie there, it's Scott Kernahan, Jason's manager that got me this fabulous gig. He's out slumming with the road dogs for the weekend (but in a damn bus none-the-less, I'd call him a bastard but he could now fire me). 

The aftermath of the morning floods

Another long line of autographs. Nice bikini ma'am. 

The wrath of Charlie Starr from Blackberry Smoke. THEY freakin' rocked (again)!! 
O.K., the show that everybody that I talked to raved about was the Charlie Daniels Band. Because I was back stage blabbing I didn't go out front and see it but apparently he is GREAT again. I'd seen him years ago and thought he was just "fine" but apparently he's now a show NOT to miss. Big surprise to me.
It seems some of these festivals sometimes have unexpected shit that comes up but after some back and forth with the festival guys Jason did end up playing his 2nd set of the day at the scheduled 11PM-ish time (after the Zac Brown Band finished their show). Jason’s set WAS a great set and the pretty drunk crowd went pretty freaking crazy (see pix)! Good to have after a freaking long… hot… DAY! We get close to 4 hours sleep this night. Think we’ll throw a little slumber party.  

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