Here we are in Baltimore, Maryland. I really love this place. It helps that we are staying with amazing people from the band "Red this Ever" (who put on a fantastic show, if you ever get the chance to see them...do it!). We feel like queens staying here. 2 nights ago we were in Roanoke Va where we stayed in what virtually amounts to a frat house...trying our best to let go of the noise of the after show party, scrunched up on the floor amidst the partiers. Nothing wrong with a good party, but we were SO TIRED. We had already traveled a long and scary road just to get to our first show on this tour. The van! Oh the van. It is really old, but in good shape with low mileage and no rust. I spent 700 getting work done on it to prepare for travels. So I felt pretty secure about it.
We left Asheville around 12 to get to our Roanoke Va show. about 3 hours in it the battery light starts flashing, then the different lights started flashing. And we suddenly lost power to the vehicle in the middle of rain and heavy traffic (lots of semis). Fortunately we have AAA, so we called them and they were there in an hour. We thought it was a connector cable to our battery, or a bad battery itself. It took the AAA guy about 2 seconds with the jumper box for the van to jump back to life, but the battery still read low energy. We went to the Auto parts store and they tested the battery and the alternator and said they were fine. We got about 30 min down the road and the van starts acting up again. We pulled off at another auto parts store and they tested the alternator and said it was bad. We had no choice at this point. If we were to make it to the show we needed to hold our breaths and go.
We made it, late, but there. Battery gage showed it was barely alive. We flew into our performance gear, set up, and hit the stage. THANK GOD!
It was a good show. Keep in mind this is Milby's first show, and he was awesome. It was so cathartic, all the angst and nervous energy let out in the first howl. The guys from the headlining band said we could stay with them that night, but they were also throwing a big party. I am 11 years sober, and Milby just doesn't like to drink, AND we were exhausted.
Here is the small miracle. And part of why I love the road. People Bend over backwards to help traveling musicians. I have seen this all over the country, time and time again. It really is amazing. It is like, 1 second, everything is going to hell in a handbasket, I want to lay down in the road, cry and go home. And then people reach out their hands and pull us out of the gutter. Time and time again. I have seen the Best side of people come out. WE NEED MORE THINGS THAT BRING OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE. (unlike our current government). I would have pics, but there was so much tension and drama with the van and being late that pics were the last thing on our mind. I am working on this blog in various spots, so now we are sitting outside the venue for tonight, the Epicure cafe in Fairfax, Va. It's a Happy hour show, so things have calmed down enough for me to write this, and start taking pics and video of things.
Back to our travels to get to these calm waters...
we barely made it to the venue, and we were holding our breaths after the show to get to the place we were staying that night, ith the other band. We had somehow found someone to work on out van ON A SUNDAY MORNING IN VIRGINIA. Who knew that was even possible? But we would have to backtrack about 45 min to get there. We didn't want to wake up hungover people to charge our battery so we just started down the road. We make it about 25 min before the battery dies again on the highway, in the cold rain. I call AAA again, and the mechanic. The guy tells me he has run out of time to work on our van, he was going to try and cram it in super early...we didn't realize it was time sensitive. So we are screwed.
Got dangerously close to really losing it and trying to figure out how to get home. (which is still only a few hours away). But I tried to calm down and scrambeled around for another mechanic (on a sunday morning in Va).
In the mean time, AAA shows up. The guy was kind of rude, saying he couldn't take us because we were too big, with too much weight. He would have to call the next size tow truck. Finding out later that was bullshit, he just didn't want to deal with us in the rain. Don't worry, the next driver was pissed off about that and was gonna call AAA to raise hell. So we wait another hour or so in the pouring rain 2 feet away from Semi's flying down the road. At this point I am glad the baby is not with us on this first tour. For sure.
While this is happening I somehow find ANOTHER mechanic to work on it. Once the 2nd AAA driver arrives, he is not too sure about where we are taking it. He says he has towed people there months ago and their cars are still sitting there. And the place is overwhelmed with broken down cars and dogs. That the place and the people smell like dirty dogs. A junkyard.
But on the phone the guy had really sounded pumped, all excited to get us back on the road, so off we go. And when we arrive it is exactly how he described it. But the place had a lift and was ready to work, told me to calm down, take a deep breathe and go next door to eat and rest at the mexican restaurant. So we did. It took about an hour or a little more for him to have a new alternator delivered and put in. He drove it next door and delivered it to us. IT WAS AMAZING. I don't care how stinky this little mountain man was, he saved us and I gave him a big hug. WE ARE BACK IN ACTION!
Everything has been smooth sailing since then, we have not missed a show. (though we were late and pressed for time getting to Baltimore). the show that night as another killer, at a place called Joe Squared. If you ever get a chance to see Vorrh, FuzzQueen, or Red this Ever, do it. Good Stuff. We stayed w Red this Ever, as we will tonight, and they are really fantastic. I get to take a shower!!
We are outside of the Epicure Cafe, to play a happy hour (early show) in FairFax Va, and completely chilled out. I will have pics and video soon!