Hey all. This week I fly to Philadelphia to join Jeff Oster (trumpet) and Michael Manring (bass) for a weekend of jazz/ambient music concerts and recording sessions. On Friday we tape two sets of music for the syndicated public radio program Echoes (http://www.echoes.org/). Saturday evening we play a show for the legendary Gatherings Concert Series (http://www.thegatherings.org/), and then hustle over to WXPN-FM for a late night zombie set, which will stream live over the internet from 2-3am Sunday morning EST. Here’s the link: http://xpn.org/music-artist/xpn-stream.
Unlike Michael and Jeff, I don’t get to tour very often. I’m a recording studio homeboy, but there’s nothing like a live audience road test for inspiration and perspective. In the mid 80s I made a brief go of solo touring. I had released a few LPs at that point. Airplay and contacts were all on the upswing, and the indie music scene was wide open. With each gig, I’d pack my Ford Escort wagon and hit the road. No cell phone. No email. No Internet. No credit card. Just a map, a list of phone numbers, some cash and change for pay phones. With luck, the gig paid for my return trip. I’ve been reflecting on a few of those (mis)adventures lately, including a week long drive to and from Philadelphia in 1987. Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic I was not. No legion of French girls on the other side for Carl. It was many hours of bleary-eyed highway hypnosis, uncreative detours, toll bridges, air-break deafness, spooky rest stops, mountain roads, radio static, cassette tape jams, spilled coffee, french fries and other diner delicacies. Character building, yes. Great music, fer sure. Cool people, absolutely. Worth it? I like to think I came out ahead. Hope I left something behind too.