Recap on 2013, Blog
The title says it all folks. This is the blog on 2013, respectively. Here’s hoping that 2013 isn’t a year you look back on with rancor. The year started like any other, winter months are usually pretty slow. We flew into Berlin in February for a few days for The Country Music Meeting, it’s a big indoor festival style show with an acoustic stage and a big auditorium stage for full bands. It’s basically a few days of watching other bands, playing some, drinking, and hanging out with the bands and music fans. As well as hanging out in our favorite Berlin bar called The American Western Saloon. It’s a fun deal and the band was to play the main stage early Saturday evening if memory serves, not to mention we were to be recording “Live in Berlin” in front of a thousand or so people. Well, the night before that was to happen three of the four of us stayed up drinking with the guys from Taney Town, a band from Amsterdam. Great conversations were had and so on but we stayed up all night. There was a bottle of Johnny Red and a bottle of Jager involved and I basically made it to the stage about ten minutes before we were supposed to go on and discovered that the other two were as hung over as I was. So it’s ten minutes before a live recording in front of a bunch of folks, no proper sound check, and most of the band are sweating booze. Cool. Dropped the hammer, threw down, all went well I think. The last song was funky, got some weird feedback on my guitar.
Returning home. Got on a plane Sunday morning and were about to lift off and the left engine blew right before the back wheels came off the ground. We came to a sideways sliding stop that took us until the end of the runway to complete, and then the emergency equipment was dispatched and we were taken to a building that was oddly sitting alone between some runways and held for three hours. There were huge rubber tubes that would inflate when to a/c kicked on. Eerie. I think the whole story is in February or March’s blog. It’s a good one, the details are there. Got home and drove to Austin to meet with the two guys that would become my manager and booking agent. That’s been good so far.
Six weeks of shows at home and then back to Germany for a three week run. Germany was good: Got into a fight, ate what was most likely horse chili, drank a bunch and forgot it was probably horse chili and ate more of it. Got so fed up with line dancers that I wrote “No Linedancing” on my guitar in black sharpie at one show. The next shows the line dancers were apprehensive to jump out early. That leads me to this: Hey line dancers, I’m sure you are all lovely as individuals but your dancing sucks and it has the nails on the chalkboard effect on me when I see it. You don’t spend money on merch, you don’t buy drinks from the bar and you bitch about cover charge because you are “Just There to dance.” Line dancers deserve a special place in the back. To you bands out there, play every waltz you know. ¾ or 6/8 really screws them up. (With exception to the Arizona line dance club from Austria I believe, and the line dancing ballet/linedance man who actually choreographed a dance to Cast No Stones which is a waltz. I like ya’ll just fine)
Dropped the Blacksheep EP shortly thereafter. Told everyone it was different. It has some old style country songs along with some grooves, songs that are misfits and probably shouldn’t work together but do but do because it’s that kind of project. So I put this thing out and get a good response for the most part and laugh when I hear from people that don’t get it, it was to different. No shit. It’s like the waiter that tells you not to touch the plate because it’s hot and the first thing someone does is touch the plate and say “That’s hot.” Well… Other than that funny nugget, BS has done pretty well.
Summertime: Had a good time. Went to Colorado with the family with the family for a week. Got to know some of the locals in Silverton, had some good evenings. Shot two videos, the “Loveletters” video for Deryl Dodd where I was the dude that was left by Virginia. And the Chapter 11 video for “Whiskey and You” where I was the homeless guy. It was very cool to be a part of both of those vides, I’m thankful they thought to ask me. Later in the summer I pulled a satellite cable out of a power pole behind The Golden Light with Dolly. Played Floore’s in Helotes opened for Junior Brown and Johnny Bush to sing a couple with Junior. I had them sign my guitar; I figured that was a good place to start. Played a Sunday afternoon in Luckenbach before Walt Wilkins and he waited to go on for his set until we got to speak which meant the world to me. And then our conversation afterward which I’ll never forget, he paid me a very nice compliment that he probably doesn’t remember.
Let’s head into the fall months. Had some good shows and some other cool stuff. After meeting some people at Deryl’s video shoot I got to do a small scene in a movie that has yet to be wrapped up. But got to shoot with Phil Hamilton and Matt Hillyer, Twas cool. Was playing a show at The Rockett Club when all of the power went out because somebody hit the transformer pole outside with a trailer. Played for forty five minutes without power. Memorable night and ended up coming back for a make-up. What else happened in the fall? Earl came on; let’s see how long it takes him to Spinal Tap out. Joke. He’s been great and a great addition on the drums and he’s come in almost seamlessly.
Wintertime: Blizzards, we’ve been caught in all of them, and some good shows to boot.
So let’s close this this 2013 year in review out. Let’s say hi to some new friends and some old friends alike. This year we finally got Luckenbach, Gruene Hall, and Floore’s and hope to have found homes at them all. One bummer was that we were supposed to play with Billy Joe Shaver back this summer but that didn’t end up happening. But we got a reschedule with him at Luckenbach March 22, awesome.
Here’s a big shout out to all of the venues that have had us for so long, good nights and bad. Old favorites and new places alike. We played a lot of cool places with a lot of cool bands this year; it’s been fun beyond what should be allowed. So let’s break it down into some random categories.
Coolest shows: Live in Berlin, Snorty Horse, and Knucklehead’s in K.C.
Not cool shows: Brewski’s Dancehall in Lawton OK and The bar formally known as Keefer’s in Mineral Wells, now under different ownership.
Weirdest show: Buffalo Run Casino. Great staff and excellent sound but we played a 1,500 seater for 15 people. Ended up getting drunk with a hip hop band at the bar next door, that was fun.
Favorite bar: Still The Snorty Horse in Columbia MO. Just come and see why.
Fewest people at a show: Three or four in Amarillo at The Golden Light. Oops.
Favorite place to eat: Got to stop in for dinner at Fuentes Mexican Restaurant in San Angelo every time we are in town. Food is always a plus and a constantly good margarita.
My favorite album of the year is Dark and Dirty Mile by Jason Boland and The Stragglers
That’s my year in review, not all of the details are there but the blogs are still posted.
I sincerely appreciate all of the love and support we receive on the road. It’s a privilege to do what we do for a living. It’s a far out journey, is it not?
Recap on 2013, Blog
Blog for November and most of December 2013
It is December 18, 2013. I started this blog at the end of the month last month but didn’t get it out and I just kept adding to it. This isn’t terribly uncommon for me, it just gives you a more random and colorful blog in most cases.
(Late November sometime) So let’s just delve right into the happenings of late. Got a few new stories for you as well as some news, opinions, and all that comes in that that is my blog. Right now I’m watching a zombie flick that is breaking many of the zombie flick rules but the cinematography is pretty good so I’m leaving it on. There are clear and ever present rules that are the fabric of these types of films and they have become something else. Much like music or any other art, it just never seems like it can be as cool as when we were kids, never as cool or as real. I digress.
Had a really fun Midwest run a few weeks ago so I’ll break that down a little minute for you. Played Des Moines at this cool little place called “The Gas Lamp” that was once the blues hangout under a different name. Nevertheless it was a kickass little joint with a good crew and small yet lively crowd that braved the twenty degree weather on a Wednesday night. Good time.
Thursday in Minneapolis at Lee’s, always love that place. More for the folks up there that started coming to see me down here ten years ago than anything else. Thanks to my good buddy Jon Harris and his wife Kelsie for the case of Michelob Golden Light, we had a great time. I also got taken by what was most likely a crack head lady for twenty bucks. We had the RV behind the venue and had been there a few hours shuffling in and out, and on one such occasion I was stopped by a women whom looked hard up and mumbling along. This was the exchange.
Lady: “Oh thank you sir, bless you.”
Me: “You’re welcome; I hope you have safe travels.”
Lady: “Well I just came from down at the church and they gave me all but fifteen dollars to get this ticket back home, and with what you gave me I’m only ten dollars short. Could you ask your friends if they have anything they could give me?”
Me: “We’ll ma’am they’re asleep but I have some chili in there I just made a while ago that’s still warm if you might care for a meal.”
Lady: “Oh no thank you, the ladies from the church gave me some snacks. I just need the money for the ticket. Can you wake up your friends to see if they can help me out?”
Me: “So you don’t need anything warm to eat before you go?”
Well that was that, I pulled out a twenty and asked for the five back in trade.
Me: “There’s your fifteen to get back home, have a good night ma’am”.
“I just bought that lady three crack rocks” is the last thing I thought before I walked in for the show. And a fun show it was.
Hazel Green, Wisconsin. Man, ya’ll showed up in full force and ended up being one of the most memorable ones we’ve had in a while. Played a place called “Sandy Hook Tavern”, and they took great care of us. We pulled up and the owner “Ash” welcomed us and says, “Hey, country bands don’t normally do well here but we’ll see”. I said “I think we’ll be ok”, and we were. Several groups came in from faraway places we didn’t even know existed and we must have played nearly three hours. Nebraska and Missouri are always good to us. Midwestern hospitality is awesome. We spend most of the year in the south; we hope to see you all up in the Midwest more next year.
Now… Let’s get to the ass whippin’ that ensued this last week. Earlier this past week I looked at The Farmer’s Almanac and it told me that we were to have a cold wet winter down here in the great state of Texas. I could have told you that based on some information my Nanny gave me on a particular species of bug many years ago. I can’t for the life of me remember what those bugs are called, but if the winter is to be mild the bugs will be a browner color. If the winter is to be harder the bugs turn black. They resemble millipedes but they are not, yet I’ve found this old tale to be true. I think we may be in for a hard one. I think we need a hard one. Having said that, late last week we set out for southwest Texas and it started sleeting on us just after Ranger Hill en route to San Angelo. San Angelo treated us well as usual and we had a good time. My favorite part of that town is Fuentes Mexican Restaurant.
The next morning was a nice wintry mix to Midland for the Lone Star Bar. A nice sleet storm came across west Texas. Played to a good rowdy bunch that braved the elements, may not have been a huge crowd but we had some singing and a few dancers. It was below freezing when we got there and it sleeted and iced the entire time. Now, having to get the band back to Ft. Worth and then me down to Houston for a private acoustic deal. We left Midland at 1:40 a.m. Sunday morning on slick streets and drove no faster than 30 M.P.H. to Abilene where it finally cleared to just rain. But then it continued to rain where it wasn’t iced all the way down to Houston. It stayed bad all over Texas with various parts freezing so me and Dean headed home. We were supposed to see Dale Watson in Austin that Monday night but some folks we were supposed to meet at the show couldn’t make it. So we postponed the get to gather. Hauled butt home Monday and here I am now on the night before Thanksgiving going over it all.
But that’s just some of the road stuff. Let’s delve into other subject matter, more random. Working on new songs, have a few done and working on a few more. May go into the studio in 2014 but not sure yet.
Politics: I’ll spare you the paragraph I had written on various matters concerning Obamacare, the Mideast, and other hot button issues you can read about in depth when the book comes out. The U.S. supporting the Iran nuclear arms deal, I’ve read what’s been said, you should. Sorry Israel, its baby steps towards progress. Believe it; it’s for the greater good. Sovereignty, diplomacy. Again, I digress.
Let’s lighten the load a bit shall we? Let’s get back to the arts, what I’ve been listening to and reading. Just finished a book called “Signing Their Life Away”. Gives some pretty cool insight on the lives of the men that signed The Declaration of Independence. Everyone knows the famous ones but most of the men were pretty colorful characters. Still working on a couple of other books I’ve been working on most of the year. Been listening to a little bit of everything. I’m digging on some Billy Don Burns.
Well good. Check out Codyjinks.com for more new merch items. Remember people love new band shirts and music for Christmas. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, see ya’ll soon.
Bonus blog for Nov/Early December. It’s already December 9, I failed to get the November blog out in time so I’m late again. However, this addition is a blizzard bonus addition. We had a weird work week, Wednesday and Thursday in Kansas. Thursday in Kansas City was awesome, Knucklehead’s for the first time. One of the coolest places I’ve ever played, hospitality was incredible. Our plan was to head back in after the show Thursday night, I think we finally got on the road about 2:00 a.m. and then we got stuck at one of the many railroad crossings in the industrial complex surrounding Knucklehead’s, heard that happens. The band goes to sleep after we’re through the railroad arms and get to the highway. We all start waking up at various times. Friday morning I wake up around Tulsa, it’s a winter wonderland and we’re going twenty five miles an hour. We would be going twenty five to thirty miles an hour until we got stuck on I-35 south. Bryan was snow blind and exhausted by Ardmore where I took over driving duties. The weather had made it slow for Bryan from Wichita Kansas until I took over and it just got rougher. Literally, that’s when then the divots and ice/pot holes made our twenty mile and hour drive as rough as I’ve ever had. Our already overly shaky microwave sounded as if it would fall again, it was just loud and I’m sure all of the screws in everything need to be tightened.
We had been slow trollin’ all mooring and into the afternoon and at 2:30 Friday afternoon traffic stopped on us just North of Denton in Sanger. The initial traffic report said that some semi-trucks had gotten stuck four miles ahead. We braced ourselves, we knew then we might be stuck in one of those storms you see in the upper Midwest on the news that people get stuck in for days. And so it was on, it was that bad feeling when you’ve been sitting on the break so long you just throw it into park out of sheer defeat. So close, yet so far away. That’s when the fun Twitter and Facebook activity began. We sat on the highway for a few hours, took a few funny pictures, and witnessed the beginning of people getting desperate. Getting stuck in the ditches, trying to go around and cutting through fields only to get stuck. We were trying to figure out if there were some back roads to go down, but didn’t figure it would be good to get Dolly on those narrow trails despite her good traction. So we pulled off at the exit we were fortunate to be at to camp behind a convenience store. We were able to fill up with gas before we found a place to hunker down. We had all of the shades raised and watched people slipping and sliding their way on foot to the gas station with gas cans, to the grocery store, and basically scouring the area for food and water. It was really surreal. We were parked so we threw out a few lines and some friends came to visit us. Tanner, Ashlynn, and Caleb whom we had met at a show a while back actually found us in the parking lot to bring us snacks, and our good friend Tom McElvain from The Dirty Pesos stopped by to drop off some whiskey. Thanks guys.
We were only eleven miles from Jon’s house so our buddy Marvin and Lynn from Sanger was able to get Jon and Earl somehow so we wouldn’t have to worry about maneuvering Denton later on. So after the company left it was time to sleep.
Bryan, Josh, and I got up around eight or nine that Saturday morning and accessed the situation. The Dollar General truck which we had dubbed our measuring stick on the overpass ahead hadn’t moved. So now the party is really about to get going. We knew that basically the whole metroplex was shut down and we had to try to maneuver back roads the last twenty five miles to my house to get Josh and Bryan to their trucks for the last leg of their journeys home, and me to meet Dean at my house to grab me in his truck to take me to my buddy Matt’s wedding. I had radioed Dean the night before to let him know my situation and he said he could grab my tux that next morning in hopes we could meet up and get back out. Let the good times roll. Or slide. Nine a.m. was our start time. It took us the next five hours to go the remaining twenty five miles to my house.
The first hill we topped on our back road journey home was full of cars sliding up and down from top to bottom and we knew we were in for a haul if this many people were out driving around. We literally pushed people out of the way to get Dolly a little further down the road. We would go for a little while (very slowly) and then get stuck behind another group of cars looking helplessly at three or four vehicles that have plugged up the roadway. Me, Josh, and Bryan would get out of the RV and go start getting people unstuck, much to the bewilderment of the other morons that just sat in their cars waiting for the “Unstuck Patrol” to ride in and get people moving again. We get within two miles of my house and have to back track a little. Then we get to my street which is a hill and treacherous and we can’t turn down because we see Dean, who by chance ended up getting there the same time as we had with my tux for my buddies wedding. He had stopped in the street. I get out to see why Dean has stopped right before we could turn down the hill. We find a car I the middle of the road spinning out. He was closer to the bottom of the hill where my house is. I walk down and tell the jackwagon that he needs to turn around and go the other way because there was no way he was going to make it up the hill. And we needed to get down. Bryan then skied Dolly down the hill expertly avoiding the parked cars. It was much like an RV slalom course. Dean has an F-250 4×4 so he slow rolled in front of Dolly in case she started snowballing. He could use his back end to slow her down. It was much like a big ol’ top heavy girl trying to get down a freshly dewed grass hill in spikes after a good night of Cosmos and Lemondrops. Hell of a job Bryan, no insurance claims. Got the rig stopped in front of my house after Josh and I broke up the ice in front of my driveway for Dolly’s front tires to slide in to. Great success.
I ran in, kissed my wife and kids and was back out the door jumping in with Dean to head to my buddies wedding. By this point we’ve come too far and I know I’m going to make it; I’m just going to be a little late. Dean had us up in the grass getting around stuck places getting there and back. And we got there only thirty minutes late. I literally practiced the song I thought I was playing in the backseat on the way. We get there and the place is down a big hill with some stairs. Everything is frozen so I figure I’ll just walk down the earthen part of the hill and dig my boot heals in as one does, a method I had success with earlier in the day. I ended up sliding down the hill with my suitcase and guitar until I slammed into a handicapped sign pole. In the process I bent the metal rods that enable the handle to raise and lower, giving it the roll behind effect. Dean and I hit the front door about the same time and he very dryly said “They had the stairs cleared off”.
The wedding was great, everyone made it and I got to see a lot of my old friends. Dean was gracious enough to hang out and eat good food and enjoy the open bar while the whole thing was going down, thanks Deaner.
During the day we saw two flipped vehicles, countless jackknifed rigs and stuck cars. And I fell three times. And for TXDOT, our legislation has nickel and dimed them down to being defenseless in situations like these. Thanks for that. That was Cleon, but to me she was Noel C. Noel C. came roaring in like the big white bitch of a storm she was and said, “You thought it was funny that they named a winter storm? Who’s laughing now chump?”
So let’s close this thing out with a paragraph or two on some random topic issues and other what not. Obamas selfies with Prime Minister Cameron, and more notably Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt. Wow, zero class at Mandela’s memorial service. How embarrassing for them to be a disruption at such an occasion. But the look on Mrs. Obama’s face was pretty mush worth it. Thanks Mr. President, you sly dog.
I along with the rest of my household got that stomach flu that’s been going around, that was fun.
Cans for Koozies is doing pretty well but we still need more to break last year’s amount of food. Many thanks to those that have participated.
Jamey Johnson and Megadeth sing “Wild Irish Rose” at a George Jones memorial show. That was fun.
And lastly, I was a part of a benefit for a four year old boy named Mason Simmons who is battling Leukemia. And he got to watch his own benefit from his room at St. Jude via Skype. All of the singers could see him on a computer screen just as he could see us. It was pretty powerful thing seeing that sick little guy looking at you. Fortunately The Mule Barn had a good number of people that were generous to the cause. There are plenty of causes out there people. Do something good.
We will see a few of you soon. See the rest of you in 2014. 2014, can you believe that?
Let us begin; there is much that is cool to discuss and things of that nature. Firstly, this is my favorite time of year. The first chills of October make me want to run naked through a corn field, backwards. Texas summers never get any shorter so the cooler weather is welcome.
Here are a couple of good happenings that have gone down the last month. Played Floore’s Country Store supporting Junior Brown, the sound was great and they’re quickly becoming a favorite of ours. But the cool part of the night was watching Junior Brown and his band kill it on stage. And Johnny Bush and his wife were sitting on the side of the stage watching the show. Johnny got up to do a few to a big ovation from what I thought to be a thin crowd. It was a really cool show and afterwards various guys in my band got Junior and Johnny both for pictures and/or autographs. I finally got my guitar signed; I figured those were good ones to start with. Played Justin Frazell’s TXRDR show with Tommy Alverson, Deryl Dodd, and Drew Kennedy at The Back Forty Smokehouse in N.R.H., had to have broken some kind of attendance record. Got to jam with Drew finally, man that guy is a poet. His new record is really strong. That was a fun show; Tommy and Deryl are two of my favorites. Big thanks to Justin; he does so much for us as does the rest of The Ranch. Many thanks to 95.9.
We’ve been in South Texas a lot this year and thank you guys down there for coming to see us. We’ve got some new places down there we really enjoy playing.
A few months ago I was in Deryl Dodd’s video for Loveletters and I met Jason Martin who was shooting that day along with others in a crew set to later film a movie Jason wrote called “A Hit For A Hit”. I will tell you nothing more than that it’s a dark comedy. Long story short I was honored to be asked to play “Stoner 1” in this film alongside my buddy Phil Hamilton, “Stoner 2”. That’s all I’ll say other than I got to peel out in somebody else’s truck around a corner in downtown Waxahachie in front of cops being paid to monitor the closed set. Awesome thing to be a part of.
Played my hometown of Ft. Worth for the first time since early spring, and for the last time this year I believe. Two full band shows in Funkytown is all we get this year I think. Played The Whiskey Girl with Whitey Morgan and The 78’s, had a big ol’ rowdy crowd and a hell of a time. Also had a lot of folks travel in for the show. Much love to our Kingwood and Houston folks, and our diehards in Columbia MO. hopefully the powers that be can get me and Whitey together again.
That next night we were at The Rockett Club and were about forty minutes into the set and the power went out everywhere. Somebody in a truck and trailer hit the pole across the street with the transformer that powers the club and the surrounding neighborhood and then he hauled ass… I played for a while acoustic in the dark but it became obvious that that the lights weren’t coming back on. Had a great crowd that didn’t get to see the whole show so we will be back at The Rockett this Friday the 25th for a free show, so come back out and we’ll finish what we started.
Got home about three o’clock Sunday morning in time to unpack, repack, clean up, and get my wife and myself to the airport for an early morning flight to Boston. My wife and I celebrated nine years of marriage this month and a trip to Boston was is something we’ve both wanted to do. We made it to the game Sunday afternoon just after kickoff and it was a good one versus the Saints with a last second win by the Pats. Then later that night the Red Sox tied up the ALCS at 1-1 with a late comeback in game two (they went on to win the series) Boston was on fire that night. The next day and a half we did the tourist thing and flew in Tuesday evening. The history part of the town is completely fascinating. We loved the town.
So, Happy Halloween it’s my favorite holiday of all. Get your costumes ready and go scare the shit out of someone, its fun.
New merch coming soon to Codyjinks.com and as always, check the schedule for new dates.
Blog For September 2013
Hello my people, here’s hoping you are reading this in good health. I will call this blog Hodge Podge. There will random paragraphs and what not, so let’s begin.
We will start with three weeks or a month ago in Abilene Texas on a Friday Night. My phone goes off and it’s ten minutes before we go on. It’s Melissa from Texas Red Photography. She asks if I can be I Bowie the next morning, a Saturday. Technically, yes because we were coming in that night because Saturdays show wasn’t too far from home. I asked who it would be for and she said her, whose video is this I asked. It was for Chapter 11’s cut of Whiskey and featuring Aubrey Lynn England and they needed a homeless man guy for the video. I hung up, we played, drove home, I went out to Bowie to meet the crew, the band, etc. to help finish the video. If you know the song then listen to it and you can imagine how the video might play out. I had a lot of fun with it and was glad to do so on so little sleep and not a shower in a couple of days. I was after all playing a homeless man. The folks at civic center and The Bowie Liquor Store were great. There was even a cool little write up in the paper. Cool to be a part of it.
Story Two. Drove out to Amarillo to play The Golden Light, never been there oddly enough. We don’t have Dean our regular driver, merch, TM with us so Jon drives us in and I jump behind the wheel to pull in and behind the venue to unload. We are in Dolly, our big ol’ RV and I’m slowly pulling in between The Golden Light which is on the right and a house that’s on the other side of the alleyway to our left and we hear a pop and see a black cable drop across the windshield. Well, shit. I get out to survey the damage and crawl up on top of Dolly and discover that to my right there is a power pole that powers the venue and the house to our left. The power pole was also attached to the satellite dish on the house that was the one I snagged. The way I was positioned wouldn’t allow me to move so Josh had to crawl up and work some magic as I tried to back out. The cable fell loose so I rolled it up and put it beside the house and knocked on the front door but no one was home. So I wrote a note that said something along the lines of “I’m Cody, I’m playing at The Golden Light, I’m the guy that disconnected your satellite, here is my number I’ll take care of the damage. I’m really sorry”, Et Cetera. I left the note on the door; we loaded in and went to the hotel. I tried to take a nap but I couldn’t because I just knew that when I fell asleep my phone would ring and I’d have to field a pissed off call all groggy. It never came.
We rolled back to do sound check and before we turned in I saw the note was gone yet I had received no call. We parked, went in and there was this dude sitting at the bar with the note in his hand. “Which one of you is Cody”? He asked. The band all pointed at me like I was the dead man who threw the salt shaker in the diner scene of Dumb and Dumber. Before the gentleman could say anything I approached him and said I was sorry, it was a complete accident and I would take care of it. He says, “Well there’s one big problem. You’re going to have to buy me a TV. and a subscription to the cable we never use”. I know I had a confused look on my face. The young man informed he was an employee of the venue and the house belonged to the owner of the club and the satellite had not worked for some time. So I ripped the satellite cable from a house the owner rented out and I wasn’t in trouble. Cool. So I tweeted about this ordeal and Dean tweets back. Better you than me.
Went to play The Bear Den in Howard Kansas shortly thereafter. Loved the club, the hospitality was above and beyond, many thanks to you folks. Loaded in, checked and went to the hotel. It was a retired nursing home that had been turned into a hotel/café that seemed mostly occupied by oilfield workers. We check in and have a really nice supper and go back to the club to play. Ms. Barbara the boss lady of where we were staying that night was there and I asked her how many people had died in the rooms we were staying in.” None that I know of” was her answer. The ones that knew where we were staying laughed , this was over the mic.
When we got back that night we all went to bed. I had my own room and I kept catching myself opening one eye to see if anyone was watching me. I couldn’t sleep. The covers were up over my nose and my eyes were peeled when I finally said to myself. “You are thirty three years old and you are peeking out from under the covers looking for old dead people. So I slept, and well with no ghosts. We got up the next morning and some of the guys had slept in old hospital beds. You know people died in those. Creepy. Overall… A funny thing. But grow up with a couple of ghosts in your house and you’re always looking for them.
Recently played before Walt Wilkins in Luckenbach at an acoustic deal. Me and Jake Martin played and Walt waited to start playing until he was able to say hi to me. That made my day, if you are not familiar with Walt’s work you should be. If you ever get to talk to the man you will be better suited.
I like to make my own ice. We are usually on the road three or four days a week. Most weeks we go through a lot of ice keeping things cold. Beer, cokes, water, lunchables, leftover bar food, and beer. I’ve learned that if I start freezing my own ice in various Tupperware bowls and sauce pans on Tuesday, I can have enough ice to last Thursday thru Sunday. We are talking a lot of ice but it’s cheaper than buying it. Just another helpful hint from the road. And remember… Bigger chunks last longer.
We’ve been really busy as of late, that’s a good thing. We’ve been spending a lot of time in South and West Texas. Lots of places we haven’t hit and places we haven’t been in a while. Lots of miles, lots of repairs to the equipment, and to Dolly and Betty, just got them both out of the shop but we keep rolling.
Been listening to a lot of metal and reading Hunter S. Thompson. I try to stay eclectic. I’ve found listening to everything I can and keeping an interesting read keeps the juices flowing. My two cents on culture.
My daughter turned four this past week. My first born, a little girl that knows nothing more than dad is gone sometimes. She loves music and wants to sing and dance when I get home. I remember when I found out I was going to be a dad. I was on my first radio tour in January of 2009 for “Doin OK”. I remember being in these cheap motels thinking to myself that I’ve got nine months to make something happen. I look back and laugh. I’m as worried now as I was then and I felt desperately that I had to make something happen fast, in this business of longevity. Happy Birthday Ladybug, the only published four year old I know.
The D.C. shootings, what can we say about that? Our hearts go out to the families that have suffered needless loss. Times like these require thoughts and prayers along with an in depth look at what really happened.
Halloween is right around the corner so you’d better start thinking of your costume. It’s my favorite.
Remember October 11 at The Whisky Girl Saloon.. It’s me and Whitey Morgan for the first time. Get your tickets now.
Support local music, spread some Brown Dirt
Much love from us to you, keep your eyes on the schedule, and if what you are listening to sucks don’t listen. See you soon.
Just catching up and cynical political analysis
My deepest and most heartfelt apologies for being so incredibly late on my blog entry. It’s been almost two months which puts me a month behind so basically you’re going to get screwed out of some of the details that I most certainly have forgotten over the last while. But never mind that, you can’t get mad at me for forgetting details you have no idea even existed. In fact, none of this may be true, maybe these stories never happened.
Went up to Silverton Colorado with the wife and kids and in laws a few weeks ago, had a good time up there as usual. A week in a tiny little town that sits in a bowl surrounded by mountains on every side isn’t a bad way to spend time. Brought a bunch of booze, drank it, and found a new favorite little bar called The Avalanche Brewing Company. The first time I went in there I ended up back at one of the locals places where other locals came and there was a Rocky Mountain High of a good time. The second time I went to The Avalanche was the last night we were there. We had to be on the road at 8:00 a.m. to head home the next morning. My wife joined/found me late that evening at my new favorite place playing name that tune with a couple of other drunk dudes as we jammed to an old country satellite station. My wife got me home but not before she shot some awesome footage of me trying to sing along to whatever was on the radio. Eyes open just a slit, big shit eating grin, stumbling over words I may or may not have known. The footage is archived I’m sure. Hey, I was on vacation, I got to be that guy. Sue me. Go to The Avalanche Brewing Company in Silverton Colorado.
Played some shows after getting back home, then down to Port Aransas for a couple of days with the wife and kids. Camping on the beach with the fam. Had a really good time, weather was good; water was great, sandy butt cracks, outside showers, and sandy poop from the one still in diapers. Got home just in time to wash clothes again and leave. It was the end of summer vacation and we got in as much in as we could.
Somewhere in the middle of all of that I got to be in Deryl Dodd’s video for Loveletters and Cigarettes which Deryl took down to Loveletters. He released it three weeks ago and it’s climbing pretty fast. So for all of you that don’t know the story, Nate Kipp wrote and cut Loveletters and Cigarettes seven or so years ago on his record The Real McCoy. I loved the song and started playing it soon thereafter and put it on Less wise in 2010. Deryl had heard me do it some years back and later called me about it, forgetting Nate had pitched it to him before. I had to tell him reluctantly, that it wasn’t mine. He loved it so he cut and put it out. He called me to tell me about the video shoot and wanted me to come out, he later asked if I wanted to be in it. Absolutely I told him. So everybody made it out on a Wednesday I believe to this studio in Dallas for the shoot.
When I got there Nate Kipp and Max Stalling were the first guys I saw and was greeted with a hug from both. Deryl and The Homesick Cowboys, along with Heather Stalling from Blacktop Gypsy and our own Aaron Wynn were shooting the band scenes, then Dave Perez from Tejas Brothers stopped by. Check the video out, it’s on YouTube under DD Loveletters. Heather played Virginia and I played the dude Virginia left. The scene where I’m sitting by the chiminea burning the loveletters was fun to shoot. This is what I heard.
“Ok, we’re about to roll”
“Light a cigarette”
“Make the fire bigger”
“Rolling, take a drag”
“Blow it out”
“Light a letter on fire”
“Take a drag and blow it out…slowly”
“Take another drag” (I’m getting light headed)
“Ok good, let’s make the fire bigger and do it again”
It was like 130 degrees people but a lot of fun. After the shoot it was dinner and then to Adair’s to shut that place down. After all, that place has ties to the song.
Big thanks to Brandon James and Shayne Hollinger at 95.9 The Ranch for all of their support as well. We’re going to be busy for the rest of the year folks so watch the schedule.
I have to start with this one because it’s really one of the better ones that I’ve come across in a while. In the midst of the recent uproar of the governments much more modern KGB style of tactics of monitoring the public with no restriction. I came across a BBC article I had to Tweet, if you don’t follow me on Twitter you are doing yourself a great disservice. Codyjinksmusic on Twitter. Here is a direct quote from the writer, “On Friday, President Barack Obama vowed to be more transparent about U.S. spying”. That’s some dumb laughable shit.
Egypt still can’t get it together, what a mess.
Bradley Manning says he’s sorry for his Wikileaks shenanigans as he looks at up to ninety years. Too little to late Private, you should have jumped ship and gotten the hell out of Dodge sir. What strikes me as funny is that the U.S. Government is trying desperately to get Ed Snowden to just come home. Come on home Eddie, we gonna welcome you right back and give you a real nice, fair trial. Yeah, big friggin mystery as to why homeboy is going to be hiding out in Moscow for at least the next year. You know Russia thinks this is just great. You don’t think that if the coin was flipped and there was some Russian secret spiller seeking sanctuary in the U.S.A. there would be a rally behind them? Damn right there would be, some commie turned it all around. That would be the headline. Good luck to both of you Private Manning and Mr. Snowden. That lady liberty can make an unforgiving old hag. But right or wrong… A rat’s a rat.
Israel and Palestine are in peace talks right? Awesome, I’ll hold my breath this time. Hey… let’s take a break from hating each other publically to get on the worlds stage and put on a dog and pony show for assumed progression of possible solidarity.
Jesse Jackson Jr. Thirty months in jail for misuse of campaign funds. Somewhere around 3,100 reported illegal transactions totaling around $750,000 for items like a Rolex, fur coats, and mounted elk heads, plural. Mounted elk heads. Really Tri-J? So just doing the math , 3,100 transactions totaling roughly $750,000 during your 17 years in the House of Representatives you are averaging almost $242.00 a purchase a couple of times a day for that duration. Wow. Not to mention almost $30,000 of unreported gifts during the same time. But the icing on the embezzling cake is that his wife is facing time for helping him cover it up. Standup guy, don’t you think.
By the way, what exactly does Jesse Jackson’s father do for a living/ and how did they get their money? You don’t make that much money being a Baptist Minister. Like father like son, daddy just found better ways to launder that money he made from leaning on people. C’mon Tri-J, should have listened to Dad.
And in other news: North Korea develops their own smart phone. Congratulations people of North Korea, here’s a fraction of the technology everyone else has, but if you can even afford one you may turn up missing if you go to the wrong website. If they will actually let you go to a website.
Alright, I’m done being a cynic for the night. See yall soon. Take care of each other. Be Good.
That’s my name, I hope you know how to run sound, A Blaine’s hangover at The June Bug Jam, Surprise in Carthage, Upcoming shows, I’m here for the wedding, Fare thee well, and Blacksheep
So here we are yet again, it is time for another blog. There will be a wide variety of subject matter in this edition, let’s get it on. Played in a small east Texas town about a month ago, it was a rodeo. We all love this time of year don’t we? There are few things I like better than a small town rodeo in the spring, but the poor rodeo announcer guy couldn’t get the name of the band right to save his life. I’ve seen my name jacked up on plenty of billboards but this was just awesome. Before we went on, in between events he would go through his list of sponsors and let everyone know that after the rodeo there would be live entertainment from Cody Jones and his Deftone Hippies, Cody James and his Deftone hippies, Cody Jenkins and the Tonedeaf Heroes, and my personal favorite: Cody Jinks (he got that right) and the Tone Def Leppards. Thanks rodeo announcer guy.
Played another show in some other state the next week with another band and had something happen that’s never happened to me, especially when being billed with another act. Both bands are loading into this venue that neither band had played when the lady in charge came to inform both bands that the sound man wouldn’t be in and that she sure hoped one of us knew how to run sound. Awesome, hey and thanks for all of the promo as well. As far as other shows go, played the first annual Junebug Jam in Milford, really cool band bill. Had a lot of fun despite a pretty brutal hangover via our stop off in San Angelo. We are currently adding new shows so keep your eyes on codysroadies. I almost forgot, big thanks to our friends from North Missouri for driving to South Missouri to see us at a new place.
Friday we will be in Houston and Saturday in Gruene. Gruene will be cool for two reasons, we’ve never played there and I will also be officiating a wedding. Our friends Marvin and Lynn asked me to marry them before the show, how cool is that? I really hope I don’t screw this up.
And finally, news of good and bad. Bad news first folks, Jon will be leaving us in the coming week or two. We are all still friends and wish nothing but the best for one another, but all of us move on. All the best to Jon and his family.
And the good news is that Blacksheep is finally out. It’s a six song EP that is completely raw and was really fun to make. It’s a pretty eclectic group of songs and we hope you enjoy them. You can get the physical copy at codysroadies and it should be online i.e. iTunes, spotify, amazon, etc. later this week I believe. So there’s your news people, hope this has found you well.
Take care, be good, many thanks.
It’s a whirlwind, it’s this crazy merry go round we snuck onto when we were younger with no plans of getting off. Most people await their turn and then file through the exit; I just tried to stay on the wildest ride I could find.
And I have… Haven’t been home much at all lately but being busy is better than the opposite. So here it is in a nutshell, the last six weeks. Went through the Mid-West and came home for two days and then flew to Germany for a three weeker. It was a tough tour. A close family friend on my wife’s side passed away and I flew out the day of the funeral. George Jones died and when I said something about it at the venue we played, nobody seemed to know. Jeff Hanneman of Slayer died, that sucks. I went to see them this past summer.
After three weeks we came home for a couple of days before hitting Texas at almost every corner for a few more shows. I did get to see one of my best childhood buddies who now lives in Austin on the first night of the run when we opened for The Damn Quails, and Midnight River Choir. My friend had lost his father last month, I had known them well when I was young.
The Saturday night show was in Omaha (TX) so I got to see Mom and Dad before Mother’s Day, they made steaks for me and the band. It’s been months since I’ve seen them. But before the show my Dad took me to his neighbor’s house to say goodbye. This man, one of my Dads dearest friends was on his way out, so I told him good bye and went to the venue. I guess the last six weeks have found my mind preoccupied with missing my family and dwelling upon the passing of some influential people, each of whom left a positive mark on me.
Jim taught me what intellectual humility was, I knew him for years before I found out he had his doctorate. He may have a double doctorate come to think, but that’s the point. He didn’t care if you knew, he just enjoyed the conversation.
George taught us how to sing with our souls, set a standard, and left us with un fillable shoes.
Jeff taught us that no matter how much we practiced we would never be as good as him, and that Slayer is a high speed history teacher of sorts.
Mike, I was always welcome. He taught me that people from other places talk funny, and at their house I learned what a Compact Disc was.
And Dad’s friend Mike taught me that when you go hunting with him there’s really not much hunting involved, fire pits are better assisted with propane, and it’s okay to ride your four wheeler wherever you want. And then there’s what he taught my Dad.
And in conclusion, Blacksheep will be ready next month, no specific date yet but I’ll keep you posted and it’ll probably drop on iTunes first. Remember to follow me on Twitter @codyjinksmusic, and do something good for somebody.
See yall soon.
I guess this will be a short one and that’s fine by me. The last one was pretty exciting.
Finally getting back to be being busier, in the final stages of the Blacksheep EP and still working on that to get it ready to go. Decided to take it back to an EP instead of a full length, I think it will be good in the end. Just got home from a Midwest/South Texas run, had fun. Opened for Jason Boland and The Stragglers Thursday in Illinois, very cool. Roger Ray was out, he and his girl welcomed their child into the world last week if I understand so congratulations to them.
As most of you know we’ve been looking for a new drummer for a few months and it looks like we have found our man. So the next time you see us, go say hi to Ben Wade. Other than all of that, keep your eyes on the schedule and upcoming news and thanks to all of the stations spinning the new single “Glad to Say”.
We will see you out there.
Listening to Quaker City Night Hawks new album Honcho
Reading: End the Fed by Ron Paul
Alright folks these things don’t write themselves so let’s get it on. I need to fill you all in on the rest of January and up this point in February. We had some good shows in January at some of our favorite joints despite a slow calendar; it works out though I guess. So January was ok. Nobody has any money in January anyway.
Let me cut to the chase because last week was among the single weirdest weeks I’ve ever had… One of those weeks I’ll hold forever dear because of the contrasts of emotions, situations, oddities and the fact that I have new ammo (The literary kind). Sometimes a lot of life’s experiences hit you all at once and it messes with your psyche. Moments of mortality, immortality, sadness, and optimism. Let’s just skip to the story because I no longer care to keep this intro going and I’ve been sitting here stuck for the past thirty minutes trying to word this eloquently, oh well.
The band got on an airplane to fly to Germany February sixth and this is what happened in succession. On the plane at DFW airport while we were taxiing out I was finishing a book that was just put out by a coworker of my wife. The book was about this women losing her husband to an illness and leaving her with five children. It was a great read and there were tears in my eyes throughout most of the book. I would have never read it had it not been a colleague of my wife, it was heavy, and detailed.
So I finish this book and we are about to take off. We are all checking our phones and we find out our buddy Mike had lost his wife Lindy to cancer. Mike sang for Speedtrucker for years and came off of the road to be with the love of his life. Lindy had brain cancer and lived four years longer than was expected. Me and the guys got to know them as we played their wedding and a benefit for Team Lindy Lou when she was raising money for other people that shared her illness, and her and Mike would come to see us play sometimes when we were in Dallas. I’ve worn a bracelet that I got at one such event about three years ago since as a reminder. These are good people I’m blessed to know.
So I’m sitting on the plane ready to take off and received the news. I confirm it with another mutual friend of Mike’s and mine and shoot him a text to send my condolences. He shoots me back a text to see if I would be able to sing at her service. No problem, I asked him what he would like me to sing. He responded with two hymns both of which I’ve known most of my life. And two others most of you would know as well. I texted him back that it was no problem and then we took off, Flew to New Jersey, layover, then to Berlin to play the Country Music Meeting. We arrive Thursday morning, get to the hotel for some sleep and then to the 4:30 p.m. sound check for the kickoff party that night. We walked in when The Thompson Brothers were getting set up. I walked in, walked up and said hi, I’ve been hearing about these guys for years. Every time I’ve ever gone over to Germany I’ve heard about the Thompson Brothers, so I’m going to see what it’s all about. I introduce myself and find two really cool laid back guys; mind you they are still setting up. We are at the American Western Saloon there in Berlin and finally meet The Brothers. They start sound check right as we are grabbing something to eat and we literally stopped chewing to look and listen to what was happening. We finished dinner to the remainder of their check. We got our own show and we clapped, a lot. The show that night was really fun; we had a really good time.
Friday we got to watch a whole lot of really good bands from America and Europe, that was a lot of fun. Remember that we don’t get to see shows, so we took advantage. Ended up staying up until the wee hours of the morning Saturday with our buddies from Taney Town from The Netherlands. Three of the four of our band had pretty bad hangovers for the next day. But the band was ready to go so I decided last minute to record it live to just to see what happened. I had a slight monitor issue at the end of the show but if the rest of the mix turns out good, we might have a live in Berlin record. We have to listen to it, and I have to say that the crowd was awesome. Hungover, but the show was fun, thanks to all of you that drove such a long way to see us play. People driving eight or ten hours to see you play for forty five minutes is humbling.
We cut our night short in order to get up early for our Sunday morning 9:45 a.m. fight. Sunday morning we get on the plane to go home in the nine o’clock hour. We get to the airport, get on the plane to taxi out, turn the corner, and then you feel the Captain gun it. We are in a 767 which carries two hundred plus people and are headed down the run way as usual and the front lifts off and we are leaning back pretty good, and the back end is about to lift up and there is a big pop. The front of the plane slammed back down as the pilot threw on the brakes. The ride got really exciting there as the left end of the plane came around a little bit in a fish tailing sort of way as we skidded to the end of the runway. You ever hear a pilot right after he’s about messed his britches? We did. “Uh folks, it aahhhh seems we might have hit something on the runway. Uhhh, we have uhhh radioed the tower and they will be sending, uhhh the appropriate personnel to the aircraft and they will, uhhh begin evaluating this, uhhh situation.
So we sit there for thirty minutes or so while all of the fire trucks, mechanic trucks, and officials come out to see if the aircraft is fit to get itself back to where they could look at it. We finally begin the slow roll back to somewhere in the air yard where they could stick us. They pulled up somewhere close to a building and they unloaded us by way of ladder trucks and then on to busses and put us in this room. They said initially it would take forty five minutes to check out the engine, and after an hour they said they had not found anything wrong yet but were going to conduct another series of tests that would take an additional two hours.
The man we had dubbed Mr. Yellowtie did a fine job letting everyone know what he could when he could. I would have hated to have his job, but he did well in trying to get refreshments to us before there was a mutiny. Long story shorter, we had to go back through customs and back into the airport. Really we thought, back through customs? The Polezi at customs looks at me funny like they always do because my passport is nine years old, and he asks me when I arrived in Germany. I said, “I’ve been here for four days and I just came back.”
“What was the purpose”?
“What do you do”?
“I’ve been here playing music”.
He hands me back my passport and I once again enter Berlin-Tegal. After the band gets back through, we all meet and head to the line in which we must wait for the remainder of the day, literally. Eight hours and forty feet later we get to the window of the sole lady that has been helping all of these people. Hmmm, understaffed airline in which I have to spend hours in line again. De JA Vu.
After we get to the poor lady that who is to help us after scores of other pissed off and displeased people we find she is quite pleasant. She informs us that the exact same flight will go tomorrow and we are already booked. We asked if it was the same plane and she said it was… “They will have the engine fixed tomorrow and you will have the same flight times”. We knew it, the left engine blew, we could see where they parked it about three hundred yards from a window we could see out of as we not so patiently waited. I took a picture of the disassembled left engine, it turned out ok.
So the nice lady gave us a hotel voucher good for a nice night’s stay at the hotel I stayed in last year when I got stuck due to blizzard. A one night’s stay, dinner, and breakfast the following morning. So we get our rooms and we agree to meet in the restaurant for a late dinner. We are all very hungry having not eaten all day. Brendan and Jon are in 306 or 307 and Josh and I get 327. By then we are just glad to have a bed, a bite to eat, and then mine and Josh’s key card wouldn’t open the door marked 327. “This is just insult to injury I remarked as I headed back downstairs. I went back to the front desk to wait behind a few more disgruntled travelers that were indeed in the same boat that we were in. I waited my way back to the counter to inform that my keycard for room 327 would not open the door. “Well, your room is 321 sir”. “Damnit, I forgot your ones look like sevens, thanks man”.
We finally meet downstairs and sit at the only table open due to the steady influx of travelers stranded as we. We get our dish of stroganoff and our one beer (per the voucher) and quickly discover we are sat next to the most obnoxious, annoying, yuppie goofballs that will not shut up with their, “Hey, we just saw you guys in line to, thanks for letting us sit down, let’s pick out a bottle of wine”. (That we don’t know anything about and pretend that we do, and talk about menial things and our worldly travels hoping to impress one another) And at our table we are just trying not to tell them to shut up, we were tired. We ate our meals mostly in silence and retired for the evening early as to get back to the airport early in case there were problems. And there were. We had all agreed to get up for a 6:30 a.m. breakfast to be at the airport in plenty of time for our 9:30 flight. I’m getting into the shower at six and I hear Josh who is now out of bed. “Oh $#!+”. I stick my head out of the bathroom door, “what’s wrong now”? “We have got to get to the airport, our flight has been cancelled”. So I take a sort of shower, jumped out, pony tail un brushed, teeth un brushed, and deodorant unapplied. We meet to go stand outside in the twenty degree weather for the shuttle to take us to the airport again.
We get there and go back to the same cursed ticket counter that I have spent many hours of my life I will not get back. But today we are first in line and have to wait fifteen minutes for the counter to open. And who better to open up the counter than Mr. Yellowtie himself. We all remembered each other exchanged proper pleasantries before we asked him just how he might be able to get us home. He explained to us that the part to fix the engine was late on arrival so there are two days’ worth of displaced passengers on the way in. Josh got the heads up about some sort of rule 80 that is in the passenger’s bill of rights. I still have to look that up but it worked, it requires the airlines to get you on another airline if need be due to mechanical issues on your own plane. That’s what I understood but it worked, so whatever. Thanks to Josh’s Mother in law for the tip.
New plan: Berlin to Frankfurt to D.C. to DFW. It was a long couple of days home but we had a great time with you all in Berlin, it was great to see all of the familiar faces.
Wednesday I sang at the funeral of Lindy Cox, I sang at their wedding some years ago and now at her funeral. Lindy was a very nice lady that did much for others. May God Bless and keep you Mike.
I’m tired of writing, I’m out.
P.S. The new single Glad to Say went out this week, and the book I mentioned before is called “Just Keep Breathing” by Joan Scott Curtis.
And here is the big news: I’m pleased to announce that we have begun a working relationship with CTK Entertainment, they will now be handling the booking.
Simultaneously, Punch Management and I have also begun working together.
Happy New Year everyone, I hope 2013 greeted you in a manner you found favorable. Me and the guys found ourselves at Adair’s and close enough to home to sleep in our own beds, normally we play somewhere out of town. Waking up in my own bed on January 1 was nice. So good, let’s get started with a review of 2012.
2012 started with an extremely cold run up to Minnesota, after OKC we didn’t see temperatures above the teens for the next five days, often times it was negative temperatures. We had a great time covering some new ground and such. More notably we pulled off of the highway in near blizzard conditions in Clear Lake, Iowa to stop by The Surf Ballroom to pay a little homage. If you’re not familiar with The Surf Ballroom, Wikipedia. That run ended at The Snorty Horse for a live recording. The recording hasn’t been mixed down yet but it’s on my to do list: I’ve heard it sounds good; all I can remember was the crowd singing so loud that it was difficult to hear my monitors. That’s a good thing though. Sometime during the early part of the year Brendan took the full time job drumming, and about this same time I was finishing up the vocals on the 30 album but with difficulty. At the end of 2011 I began experiencing vocal fatigue and through much of early ’12 I had to limit my talking, that’s difficult at times. Got the vocals done finally in late January/Early February, went to a specialist and he told me that that cutting back on my daily caffeine intake would help my vocal chords. This didn’t sound like a good idea to me, a guy that can put some coffee away. I switched to half caff and have been on it ever since. Consequently I drink less coffee now as a whole, I’m down to about six cups a day but in half caff that’s only three cups a day. And three cups a day is only two cups more than the specialist said I could drink a day. Baby steps.
Early February, my first trip to perform in Germany in two years and it just so happened that it snowed and iced during the night of my first show. Long story short, I spend the next two shows in five days in a lot of pain. My new promoter I’m sure thought me to be difficult to say the least. I would wake up and have a few shots at the hotel bar before I would spend the rest of the day trying not to wince in pain while around people. The last two shows were acoustic and very very slow. In March Jon and I flew to L.A. to pick up the band RV that I later named Dolly Parton, she’s top heavy. I figured there would be a weird mix of feelings I would experience back in L.A., there were none.
In May the band flew over to Germany to embark on a three week tour. We did a grueling seventeen nights in a row, most all of them usually two and a half hours. We went to a lot of places but didn’t get to see much as we traveled four, six, eight, hours a day. Set up sound check, grab a bite, change at the hotel, play, have a night cap, sleep, and then repeat. Our new promoter took excellent care of every last detail and us, I also learned a great deal about the band as a group and as individuals. Josh, Jon, and I had things going on as new dads. We made the trip one day shorter to make it home in time for Josh’s sons first birthday, and traveling overseas I’ve found you are never guaranteed to be home on the day specified, but we were. That time also fell when Jon’s daughter was about a month old, so by the end of that run we had virtually been gone a total of five or six weeks of the first two months of her life. And I had an eight month pregnant wife and two year old daughter at home. We were a bunch of worried dads and I learned more about myself than them, that’s all I’ll say. The best part of staying that busy is covering so many places in order to see all of the friends I’ve made over the years, and it’s usually just better if I’m busy.
In June my wife and I welcomed our son into the world and all of a sudden I have two kids. Holy shit, I have two kids, crazy. A month later I took the family to Port Aransas. I have really good memories there as a child and Rebecca and I really needed to get out of town. So we took the kids, put em in the RV, and went to the beach. Me, Rebecca, a two year old, and an infant. It was actually the first vacation Rebecca and I went on alone, well kind of alone. That trip is now also among my favorite memories.
We released “We Get By” in the early summer, my first radio release in three years. It ended up floating around on the charts for six months before it started dropping, so thank you to the stations the spun it and continue to as well. My least favorite thing about dropping a single is the radio tours. Radio tours are brutal because of the number of stations you have to hit a day, several days in a row, and all over the place. Typically the DJs are pretty cool and understand you have to be a hundred and fifty miles down the road in two and a half hours answering the same questions that they have just asked. Like I said, my least favorite part of it, but it’s a part of it. I called it The Great Texas Wal Mart Parking Lot Radio Tour. I’ve spent some nights in some Wal Mart lots.
Summer was good for us, in early fall Brendan announces he’s leaving the band full time but still fills in a bit. We went back into the studio in late November to record Blacksheep. We went to a new studio closer to home and with a different sort of background. Was a good and minimalistic session. Blacksheep goes to mix later this month and then to master and then to print. We should have new record in spring. Should being the operative word. We wrapped up the year and have now started the new one; there is your year in review, some of it.
I chose to put in a list of clubs this year as well. Let’s start with the worst club of the year. And the winner is Boots and Saddles in Seagoville Texas. We played there back in January, only my second time to play there ever, the first being seven or eight years ago. The owner then sucked and the owner in ’12 sucked. At least they are consistent. Favorite club goes to The Snorty Horse in Columbia Missouri, and the people there think I’m just shittin’ em when I say that. Weirdest club of the year goes to The Underground in Des Moines Iowa. We played there twice this past year so I’m validated. It’s the only club that I’ve had the door guy come up and say, “Hey man, can you get one of your road guys to help watch the door? I’ve got a little thing to go to”. And that happened twice with two different door guys they had. The “what we presumed” to be a gay bar across the street was more fun to drink at anyway, or I’m just way off.
Politics…You can run but you can’t hide. I’ll keep this short and sweet. Our government is like the WWF, it’s entertaining. It’s a show with good guys and bad guys and they have us right where they want us. Both sides are flawed, inflexible, and in dire need of restructuring. If they saw that people aren’t just one thing or the other, yet a mixture of both we might all be better off. Our government is dividing us people, we have to stick together, it might be a good idea. Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. And let me end this section with a quote.
The punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the government, is to live under the government of worse men.
Let’s get to some of my favorites of the last year. People/Bands to look out for. The Quaker City Nighthawks, really good rock and roll. Whitnye Raquel, baddest chick around. Derek Larson, I can’t take his new record out. Murder by Death, I got into them last year; it just took me all of 2012 to get the rest of their albums and immerse myself. And as always, listen to Scott Copeland.
Funny…Here’s to a 2012 that gave us Gangnam Style, 50 Shades of Grey (what’s new about any of that?), Honey Boo Boo, another Insane Clown Posse, Adam Lambert, and Linkin Park record, Call Me Maybe?, the fourth Paranormal Activity, crappy remakes of Total Recall and Red Dawn (that I refused to see based upon the trailers), and another season of Glee and The Kardashians. Funny in an Idiocracy sort of way, noteworthy nonetheless. I spent about $3,500 on tires this summer due to a bad alignment. I coined the term “Brown Dirt”, the alternative to the alternative dirt. RV mishaps: A torn awning in Waxahachie Texas, a broken bay door in Chicago Illinois, and getting stuck in the mud in Missouri causing us to get pulled out with a tractor throwing the alignment off. The winner is Sean for those; Dean and Marvin are clean for the year. The worst RV mishap of the year came in Dallas on my birthday when I hit a concrete pylon (completely sober) so hard it came out of the ground. But we don’t need to go into any details about that.
Cool stuff…Scott Copeland hosted a songwriting workshop a few months ago and put together a really cool book for all that attended. The book had sections on rhyme scheme, alliteration, and other things writers need to know and can use the book for reference. He also included a list of suggested books to read and albums to listen to by some great writers out there and my name was on that list. That’s cool, and somebody has to be one of the ones that people see and say, “Who is that?”
Cans for Koozies has raised well over two hundred pounds of food for our local food banks, that’s cool.
Got asked to sing our national anthem at H.E.B.s Feast of Sharing again this year and was introduced by Bob Kingsley. That’s cool. Dean came with me to help watch my kids while I was singing and we were mistaken by a lady as a man couple due to this horrible purple shirt he had on while he was pushing my son around in the stroller. That’s funny.
We met Uncle Charlie this year and we are both convinced that you have to give your art unselfishly and that the devil is always trying to get in touch with us, be it on the phone or what not.
And how soon we forget the tragedies, the human element that surfaces every so often, life. As we do every year we’ve welcomed new friends and family in and said goodbye to some as well. We’ve watched the impossible happen and we saw the absolute worst humanity has to offer. We’ve helped each other when we could and wish we could have done more. If everyone acted daily as in times of great destruction and need, imagine how the world might be. Mr. Lennon may have been on to something.
To my band: Thank You