I know this tour was pretty short, compared to some of the long worldwide hauls many bands go on. Our tour-mates, TDC had two more dates and another few thousand miles to go when we headed back for the homeland.
Still, for me, this was a pretty Big Deal. It’s the culmination of years of work, numerous hours of self-doubt, musical re-evaluation, crazy changes at inopportune moments, technical twiddling, and the like. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for, well, my whole life, but for one reason or another have never quite gotten to, until now.
There are some people I couldn’t’ve done this without. Not in a million years.
Jill Sheridan – I’ve been told, and I’ve often said myself, that bringing Jill into the band was one of the smartest moves I’ve made. The girl can sing, she’s enthusiastic about the music, she manages to take all the crazy changes I make with grace and aplomb, she handles all the exceptionally nerdy tech stuff I set up, she’s funnier than hell, she’s easygoing, always great to talk to, and has always, always been a good friend to me. She’s probably the closest thing I’ve got to a sister. I always feel like I’m criminally underutilizing her skills onstage, and I think I need to do something about that. We work great together. And I think I simply could not do this whole “band” thing without her.
Elizabeth Scheef – she’s awesome. She’s hardcore. She knows everybody. She’s calm, cool, and collected under pressure (like, say, driving through 4th-of-july Traffic in the DC metro area). Her packing skills are legendary. She’s clever, funny, patient beyond any reasonable expectation, can drive like a formula1 racer, friendly, outgoing, and damn professional. AND she did this entire tour while 3 months pregnant, with nary a complaint. She’d earned the right to sit out a drive, or to pass on load-in, or to lobby for more comfortable quarters, but never once did she. I’ve never met anyone with such resolve. She’s going to be a fantastic mom, too.
Raya Wolfsun – Adding Raya to the lineup at pretty much the last minute was a risk. We had two whopping days to practice, she’d never done anything resembling this before. I basically threw her into the deep end and said “swim!” And swim she did. The crowd loved her, she’s got a capital-V Voice, great stage presence, and she’s deeply entertaining and sweet. So, as she would say, it was full of win.
Dan Clark – the dude nudged me, poked me, and eventually shoved me into committing to this. My own self-doubt had kept me from trying it. Dan finally was the guy who said “dude, you MUST DO THIS.” So I did. And it was great. And I can’t thank him enough. He’s managing his own band – which was excellent every single night – and doing a fine job of keeping me informed about what’s happening when, where, and putting me in contact with all the people I need to contact. A great, hairy guy with talent to spare and a level of professionalism I can’t even touch.
Thanks to all these people for making this tour happen, and for making it great.