Two weeks and what a ride it’s been so far. 10 cities and 10 glimpses of places I promise myself I’ll come back to. Amazing sights in every spot, though never enough time…
Beginning in San Francisco, we played our first notes of the tour in a session for Levis before our sold out show that evening at The Independent. American crowds really know how to make us feel welcome and it set the tone for the shows to come.
That was the first time I played my brand new Musicman Stingray guitar, which I picked up in LA before the first show of the tour. It takes a little while to get to know the feel of an instrument but after a couple of weeks it’s made it straight to the top of the pile. In many of the songs there’s a chance to improvise and experiment somewhat so I’ve been able to acquaint myself with it more and more at each show. In fact, you’ll spot each of us playing new instruments for this tour.
Due to the awkward logistics of hauling a huge bus and trailer through city streets and the lengths of some of the drives, we often have to spend our days off in unexpected smaller locations between show cities. One of these was Ashland, Oregon. Having never heard of the place I didn’t expect much. But it ended up being an incredible day. My run turned into an hours-long run/walk/climb/hike through a nature reserve and botanical Gardens. I saw wild salmon kicking up the stream water and a whole load of other wildlife I wish I could identify. It’s so important to indulge in nature whenever there’s a chance on tour! Sadly no bikes with us this time though so it’s exploration on foot for the most part.
Ry Cox and Hey Anna have been great companions on the road so far. Ry is both an excellent singer-songwriter and an experienced filmmaker, so not only can you hear him open for us but you can also expect an intimate view of us on the road to be released in the near future!
Right now I’m in Cambridge, MA. I actually lived and studied here seven years ago. As I write I’m sitting on the Number 1 bus headed to my old school Berklee College of Music. Strange to think that I used to struggle to carry my double bass (I played 4 vertical strings rather than 6 horizontal back then) and cram myself right onto the bus along this very route. Madness at rush hour! What was I thinking?
Our EP ‘Waves & Waves’ was released a week and a bit ago too. That was a fun project to take on in the weeks after the album came out. I remember bringing in my cellist and violinist friends and recording late into the night to replicate the guitar parts on the original ‘Big Ideas’ recording. And the almost inverse experience of working with Hey Anna remotely (London to NY) for their especially sweet version of ‘Pull Yourself Together’. When we made ‘Ocean by Ocean’ it was difficult to actually stop adding new ideas and to accept that the songs were done. For this EP everything was stripped back, re-recorded and opened up wide for completely new sounds and ideas.
You can check the EP out HERE.