Thursday, September 11, 2008

Harvest Jazz & Blues, Delta Blues

Today we sleep in at our hotel. It’s the quietest hotel I’ve ever seen. I’ve had an interesting night as my wind-out window opened wide and would NOT wind shut again. In fact it stayed wide open. And it got cold and windy. So I turned on the heater next to the window… Yeah, you get the silly picture. I find out later that Michael’s window was stuck wide open as well! There’s no wifi here, and the whole place has seen better days. I don’t see any other guests, and the small staff is friendly. There’s nothing around this place. No stores, houses, gas stations, billboards… I use the time to catch up on Tour Admin— spreadsheets, inventory, advance press releases, thank yous… No running today— I’m still sore from Quebec City, and I’m going to take a recovery day or two. I also don’t want to be tired for the show.

We head down to the Delta early to get a bite to eat and to see if we can do a better job with the sound tonight. It was ok yesterday, but I’d sure like to hear some more of my guitar. Our stage set up is a bit pokey, the contractor didn’t deliver the requested boom stands, so I’m attempting to sing and play using the two pole stands. I know a lot of people do this, or can do this to advantage— but I find it to be problematic for my posture and playing style. Tonight Michael strongly suggests to me that we mic the f hole and not the plate to get more volume. I normally like to mic BOTH the f-hole and the plate, but the plate has been my default single mic position for many years now. I play with bare fingers on dead strings, and I like the tone I get off the crisper, plate end of the guitar. Anyway, it’s not delivering the punch I need in this instance— so I will switch to mic the f-hole tonight. The stage looks like this—

Actually, the stage looks better than this picture would suggest, and but for the just too high stools, it is about right for the space. The Buddy Guy Band are around for most of our two sets tonight. It’s a busy room, about half of the crowd festival goers, and the other half business people and accidental tourists. Michael and I sell a few cd’s. Actually, Michael sold quite a few this evening. The hotel crowd don’t swarm the merch table very often, so that’s a nice development here. John Campbelljohn (did I spell this right?) arrives. He’s to play following us. We break down quickly to allow him time to set up. John’s a wonderful east coast guitarist. I’m a big fan of both his electric and acoustic work. Unfortunately, on this night Michael’s back is hurting, so we decide to go directly back to our hotel. Have a good one, John! Way up the highway in Mactaquac we are early to bed. We were hoping to catch Trucks show tonight, but apparently our performer passes only let us in to stages we are performing at. What's that all about? So tonight we're taking it easy. We’ve got three shows to play on Friday, and we want to be ready.

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