At The Coop

At The Coop

Monday, July 7, 2014

Small World Tour: Day 1

SMALL WORLD TOUR...DAY ONE: Wednesday morning we said "hasta la vista" to Sadie dog, the chickens, and the homestead, and left them in the capable hands of our trusty caretaker. We pulled out on the road on the tail end of rush hour and headed east in the Nissan Versa tour bus to the strains of Tom Russell's "The Rose Of The San Joaquin" CD. The weather was beautiful, traffic was light, cruising was easy. One gas stop, three rest areas, and a Bojangle's later, we pulled into Garner, North Carolina, hometown of "American Idol's" Scotty McCreery, and the town where I spent my high school years dreaming about being anywhere else but. Hugged my mama's neck and visited for a little bit.
We left there,and went to gas up again. While I was pumping, a fellow walked up and asked about my license plate.
"Tennessee" I told him.
"Whereabouts?" he asked.
"Nashville? Do you know a guy named Cal Freeman?"
It turns out I do. Cal played pedal steel for Gatemouth Brown at the same time my friend Joe Sunseri was Gate's sax man. Cal had lived in Garner for a spell. I told this fellow that I had been to Cal's house when he lived locally. The guy says "I was his roommate. I remember you. You had a song about seeing red." I guess he did remember me. Small world.
Then we headed into Raleigh to the Berkeley Cafe, a place I have played a million times. Steve Howell and I were (some of, if not) the first musicians to play there. We had a "do-grass bluo" called The Lonesome Hound Dog Whales that played some original songs at a poetry reading there, prompting then-owner John Blomquist to start up a musician's open mic. The Berkeley has recently been bought and completely renovated by the owner of the recently closed and sadly missed Sadlack's Heroes. (Another place I have played a bunch,) Mike Spence and Rickey Bacchus were at their stations behind the bar. Bill Hickman was serving up his Wednesday Night Taco Special. Open Mic was in full swing. I went out and played a few songs for the hardcores on the back patio while awaiting my turn to perform.
Debbie Baggett and Jennifer Sanders were there. It was almost like Old Home Week(night). I played my allotted three songs "You Done Done It Now", "Inside That Box", and "My Dog Jesus". By popular demand, I played one more...A singalong of "What's Not To Love?". It was kick playing in the Berkeley again after so many years.
After a few more hugs and handshakes, we headed off for some much needed sleep.

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