Montana/Idaho

We had driven to Spokane to break-up the long drive from Vancouver to Big Sky Montana the night before. Had a relaxing night and a pleasant drive through Montana.  Arrived too early as we usually do to sound check so we had a little hotel time. It was snowing on the mountain already if you can believe it. I thought it was still summertime! We headed back down the mountain to visit with our old friends the Young Dubliners out of Los Angeles and local favourites Jawbone Railroad. The Young Dubs had recently had all their gear stolen along with their van in California so they had to scramble to get rented gear for their tour. Jawbone Railroad played a great energetic opening set. We were next and did our thing then the Young Dub’s closed down the party.  It was a lot of fun. Thanks to the organizers and the sound crew.

Thursday we drove to Lewiston Idaho to spend the night with Tyler’s parents. It’s fun to visit and they live 30 minutes away from where our shows were in Moscow Idaho. After some tasty bbq (thanks for the veggie burgers connie) we went into town to check out some music at the brewery. Things winded down early so we went back to the house and sat on the back porch for a while. Then everyone got tired. Because I’m the oldest i get to sleep in the attic. Or maybe no one else can stand the heat. Or the precarious climb up a ladder and across a rooftop while balancing two serving trays with a bowl of fruit on your head. It’s a bit of adventure to get there but once you finally arrive it’s a nice place to chill out. Very quiet and cozy. And the wifi works up there too! I spent a few hours listening to some mixes Greg Reely, who is mixing our album back in Vancouver had sent us. It’s really cool how he can send us songs to listen to and we can get back to him via our producer. (guitars too loud, snare drum’s too quiet etc) But generally he and Carolyn Arends, who is our producer have a pretty good idea what we are looking for in terms of the sonic quality and  the overall vibe so the mixes they are sending us already sound pretty good. He’s mixed four of the thirteen so far so we are looking forward to hearing them all by the time we arrive back in Vancouver in October. So if you were driving down the alley behind eleventh avenue in Lewiston a week ago thursday around 3 a.m and saw a guy in a attic in a rocking chair with headphones on and a smile on his face, that was probably me. Or it could have been the neighbour. Coincidentally he was doing the same thing. What were the odds?

We got up relatively early Friday morning to attend to a bunch of stuff. Van repairs, instrument repairs, key cutting, karate lessons… All the little things that need to be taken care of when one is on the road as much as we are. Then it was over the hill (the way i feel sometimes) and down the road to Moscow to set up for the weekend at John’s Alley. We’ve been playing there since the mid-nineties. It’s fun to see people we’ve known since the early days who still make a point to come out every time we are in town. And there’s always a fresh crop of new faces. That’s the beauty of a college town.  After a quick set-up there was time for a shower and some dinner so that we did. Nothing like a shower to refresh and signal the start of our work day! After a bit of a rough start, the show was really fun as it almost always is. Because we were playing two nights and we generally like to repeat only repeat a handful of songs, we busted out a lot of material that we hadn’t played for a while much to my delight and chagrin. I was lyrically stumped by one song so i had to make up a little gibberish before i got back on track. But people were even singing along to that. That’s how friendly our Idaho crowds are! We played pretty late and because we were playing Saturday too, we left our gear set up and strolled hand in hand across the street to the Royal Motel. New York has the Chelsea. L.A. has the Chateau Marmont.  Moscow has the Royal. After all these years it really does have a familiar feel to it. Not quite like home. More like a cabin that you go to every now and again but homey, and i don’t mean Jason, nonetheless. Saturday everybody took the opportunity to sleep in and do various things. I watched the wonderful movie “Once” and went over to Mikey’s Gyro’s for my twice yearly falafel and tabouli. Later in the afternoon I got a call from Rebecca: “Trev. Are you in the hotel?” she asked. “Yes. Why? Is there another spider in the tub?” I questioned. “No. Just come over.” “O.K.” So i walked over to their room. Rebecca and Tyler greeted me with cherub-like looks on their faces. “Close your eyes and hold out your hands!” I generally hate playing that game. Who knows what people might place in your grasp: A mouse. Dog food. Broken glass. A hornet’s nest. Dirty diapers. Sharp tacks. Crazy glue. A What About Bob dvd….I could go on. Against my better judgement I threw caution to the wind and when I opened my eyes I had in my hands the most adorable little tie dyed beanie cap! Or toque as we say in the frozen north. Thanks guys. That was sweet. We all met later for dinner and I wore it there. But I think I’ll save it along with my sandals, patchouli oil, hackysack, frisbee and hula-hoop till next summer’s festival season. We hit the stage around ten and played all night. Good vibes. Thanks to Jay on sound and Brian and everyone at the Alley for making us feel welcome once again.

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