Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 108

Sorry it’s been so long since that last blog! I AM going to blog til I win that Grammy – I promise!!!

So, here’s what I’ve been up to… I went out of town on a little mini-US tour for about 3 weeks…

Started with a show in Des Moines on April 10th was amazing – we played to a packed house, opening for gb Leighton, and he was stellar and perfectly hospitable… the owner of the House of Bricks thought ahead and asked gb Leighton’s people if we could use their backline and it was not a problem. We left Milwaukee around 12:30 and had enough time to eat before we hit the stage. The crowd warmed up to us right away and I sold 14 CDs before we started driving home about midnight! Got home at about 6am and slept all morning and into the afternoon.. It was totally worth the trip, and I got a call back from the owner on Easter Sunday – he was very impressed with us and is totally looking forward to having us back!

The rest of the week was eventful, I had a solo show at a regular venue of mine (the Coach House Grill) on Thursday night before Des Moines and that was fun, and another solo show in Watertown, and that was another huge success. The owner of another bar I played in Watertown was there and asked me when I would come back to play for him. I’ll have to set it up again to play for Happy Hour at one bar (Riverview Water Trap), and then at the Uptown again that night. People in Watertown seem to like what I’m doing quite a bit!

Well, I officially took off for my solo road trip on Wednesday at about 1pm, and made it into Des Moines for my first show just in time! I wanted to have a little more breathing time, but it’s hard getting organized for these trips. Good thing I remembered everything… one time I drove out to a venue and forgot my PA speakers! I had to ask my landlord to drive out there with my speakers (the venue’s speakers were not right for my PA), so I offered my landlord $50 to make the drive and he was nice enough to help out!

The first show this week was at a place called Scooter and Bab’s and those folks were totally cool, it was a tips only gig and I sold some CDs and made some tips and had a groovy chicken salad for dinner. Fun people. I had a long drive the next day, so I started driving after the gig. (Quite a bit after the gig, actually… I met a guy named Tim and we hung out at the bar for awhile until I finally decided I had to start driving, at 1AM.) Got about 2 hours of driving in and decided to crash at the first travel center I saw, in the parking lot, under a light, with my car locked. My friend Edie bought me a killer travel blankie and pillow for Christmas, so I was able to sleep until about 9/9:30AM, and hit the road for Muskogee, OK.

Max’s Garage was a great venue; it used to be a car garage with four bays. High ceilings, totally keeping the garage vibe inside. I must have had another chicken salad… my usual fare. Started playing around 4:30 and people were generous towards my tip jar, plus the owner gave me a little bonus at the end of the night. I sold a few CDs and had a great time, but I should not have played that last set. My voice was tired and I had 3 more nights of performing coming up. Stayed with the owner’s friend, Billy. Billy was awesome, and he had to leave for work in the morning before I had enough sleep to start driving again. He woke me up to move my car with the house doggie, this cute female poodle, and I can’t remember her name right now. I left him one of my CDs and a thank you note. I had a great night’s sleep! Thanks, Billy!!!

The next night was in Denison, TX, at a venue where I have played many times before (Break Time), and they give the artists a nice guarantee, plus anything extra that comes in through the door. When I booked this show, the girl who I was on the phone with told me that the date I wanted was already booked, so I asked her if she could call the band already booked and see if they could switch to the following weekend, which was not booked yet. She was able to reach them that evening, and they had no problem switching their date. Nice guys! I slept in on Friday morning at Billy’s house, and got to Denison at about 5pm. Steve is the friend in Sherman, TX (town right next door – 5 minutes from Break Time) who I stay with whenever I am there, and he got switched to graveyard shift due to these hard economic times. He didn’t have to be at work until 9pm so we went out for dinner at a great little place called Cellarman’s, where they have tons of different beers on tap. We enjoyed crab cakes and shared beers & a pizza. Got in a quick nap before we both had to go to work, and when I showed up at Break Time it was empty but the usual crowd filled up the place so that by the end of the night there was a great crowd of beer-drinking fools!!!! Gotta Love Them Texans!!!!!

Stopped in El Paso for a mini “420 fest” and I had fun there – friend drove down from Albuquerque to see me but, I think he got to see me sing like, one song! Also got to see this great little band from the area, Ya Ya Boom. Loved ’em! Had a great night but not such a good morning since I got so drunk I was not ready to check out of the hotel when it was check-out time, so I slept in my car for another 4 hours and finally was able to keep down some food & start driving to CA sometime around 6pm.

The rest of the trip went well… I played the Shut Up Marie reunion show in L.A. with the line-up on the GIMMIE CD, and we had a great time!!! I wish I could go out there more often. Got to hang with the first friend I ever made down there, Lisle Engle – also a GREAT singer/songwriter – we’ve been friends since 1999 and he is good people. Got married a few years ago to a beautiful burlesque dancer Eliza Bane, and they just had a beautiful daughter, Sammy who I got to meet!

Got to see Luvie, Barbara, and Garrard, really enjoyed visiting my friends in L.A., and then up to Reno! Played shows in Truckee, Reno, and Fernley, and got to visit Karen, (Babe-Doll), and Kevin & Katherine, Bob & Kathy, former Beach Boy Adrian Baker, the whole Reno gang!

Next show was in Elko at Machi’s – where they do “Dinner & Annie B.” night – a fun night of great food, friends, music and fun! Hope to head out there again in the fall!!

Drove through to visit a friend in Wyoming and then stayed with another friend in Des Moines… racing back to Milwaukee to get back on my projects!

The July 31st Milwaukee Artbeat is the big project on my plate right now! Working on locking in the final artists for the show, and the gallery artists! It should be a great night! Please visit the ARTBEAT MySpace page to find out more! And tell your artist friends about ARTBEAT – we’re ALWAYS looking for great, interesting artists for the show!

Also working on my new album… the new band is called Annie B. & The Starlight Heroes but I’d like to change the name to the Starlights Hotels… I’ll keep you posted! Also working on putting out a compilation CD on remedial children records of female bands & artists mostly from the Midwest! Keep your eyes out for that, too!!!

Peace, & Much Love! I promise I’ll write again much sooner next time!


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