The Doug Fir reminded us what a live show ought to sound like. Jesse and James are sleeping to prepare for their two day drive (we’ll be there soon) and I’m about to pack up the van with our gear. I saw a lot of old friends and a few folks who saw us last time we played here – THANK YOU for coming back to see us – and to quote Rennie again, “tonight was like taking a nice warm bath.”
The balancing bird that rests on Dave’s pedal steel. A gift from his son.
Here’s the craziest part of this whole tour: I LOVE The Handsome Family’s music SO much and have for quite some time now. And I get to listen to them play after each Wildewood set once I get my things out of the way. Their songs transport me to the time when Wildewood was first playing together and I was much younger and much more foolish (except for my taste in music, of course).
Alex is sitting in on piano for Tiny Tina right now and Greg is enjoying a beer with James and Jesse. They have ended up being so helpful and fun to hang out with, and I’m not surprised. I’m writing this from the half of Axe & Fiddle that is a darkened closed book store.
Stroll through Oakland with some ice cream, check.
Lunch at Russian River Brewery, check.
Eerie drive past the Redwood forest, check.
Those of you that know me know that I’m what most call a workaholic. This tour
makes all of the work I do in Albuquerque worth it. We’re about to play five nights in a row and after two days off we’re all ready to play again. It’s been especially cool to have Jesse and James along for the ride. Glad they’re with us till Portland.
We had a full day off in San Francisco and I was lucky enough to catch the evensong service at Grace Cathedral. To get there I walked up steeper hills than I ever could have imagined. A good day of wandering and discovering.
Anticipating the exchange. We’ve got an Albuquerque start to the tour (where “let’s leave by 9:30” means “sometime Friday”). Tele, Gretsch, Hofner, and some pedals are my official gear for the road thanks to The Handsome Family letting us backline. I’m ready to go. Actually, I’ve been ready for about a year. That highway is just waitin…
You name it, we’re staying together. It’s 2015 now and Wildewood is almost five years old. Our first time playing as the trio we are today was at St. John’s Cathedral for a choir fundraiser. The set consisted of very old songs (from “Meredith Wilder” solo days) with acoustic guitar, pedal steel, and drums. No bass, no harmonica, no baritone guitar. Even without a band name yet I knew that Greg and Alex were going to be in my life forever. Now, after hundreds of gigs (literally), we are planning our second round of opening sets with The Handsome Family on the west coast in April, an EP of the beloved Eric Johnson’s songs, and a third album of collaborative original music. We are creating sounds I never could have imagined on my own. I can’t wait for the local shows we have coming up so we can share our music with whoever is there to listen.
It has been a long time since I posted on the blog but that is because Wildewood has been very busy. Not only as a band but individually as well. Most of this hustle and bustle comes from the music side of things, which is great news. To have so much collaborating and performing and planning is a blessing.
In October we played our first show at Albuquerque’s Oupost with Le Chat Lunatique covering Cole Porter’s music. The time and energy we put into learning his music was challenging but ultimately we benefited greatly from stretching ourselves out of the normal writing, covering, and gigging that we have done for the past four years.
We have a handful of gigs for the rest of the fall and winter but until 2015, we are dedicating our rehearsals to fine-tuning a handful of Eric Johnson’s songs to record and EP of his music. He was a great local songwriter in the bands Big Sad Guy and Rivet Gang. Check out The Handsome Family and Pawn Drive to hear what the musicians he played with are doing now.
Thank you so much for reading this blog, coming to shows, and loving music as much as we do.
p.s. We are lucky enough to have some tour dates lined up in April and May for another round of opening for The Handsome Family! Any support and encouragement in the months to come will be put toward our tour plans.