Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Some New Faces This Year

In keeping with my tradition of getting shots of the crew and band up on this blog, here are a few photos of this year's models:

Anthony Aquilato and Daryl Dixon

Guitarist Tony Obrohta

Pedal Steel/Dobro/Banjo master Rusty Danmeyer

Lighting Director Steve Hoover

Monitor Engineer Jon "JD" DuCrest standing,
Assistant Engineer Danny Blazczak in foreground.

Band Leader and Keyboardist Tim Akers

Cade's Cove Retreat

The fabulous Beasley and I took a few days off to head to the mountains and do some hiking. We decided to take the Cade's Cove trip again, and hoof it back to Abrams Falls.

After seeing the many dozens of deer grazing in the pasture land, we finally reached the turn off to the trail head. Donna had to answer Nature's Call, and there are no facilities in the vicinity. On her way back from a wooded section - far from the trail - she was stopped by a Park Ranger, who was fairly certain that she was a male heading out to smoke some weed before his hike. After closer examination and accounting for the long distance between his vantage point and her bathroom trek, all was sorted out.

Abrams Falls trail is a 5-mile round trip hike with some fairly treacherous muddy spots and a lot of up hill travel on the way in.

Heading towards Abrams Falls

The trail runs parallel to a stream that was running pretty fast in some sections, full of the recent rain water.

The stream alongside the trail.

We made pretty good time getting in, and had a snack while sitting on the rocks looking at the Falls.

Abrams Falls

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tour du Jour

I'm on the bus, - a nice, brand new Prevost with slide-outs - on the way to the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT for the first two shows of the Kenny Chesney/LeAnn Rimes pairing. Zeke Clark has prepared a batch of his fab pasta, Anthony Aquilato has pitched in a few loaves of sausage bread, Shamus Bacon has gathered spicy sliced meats from his butcher that do his surname proud, I sprung (spranged?) for a case of cheap Woodbridge Cabernet at Froogal Mac Doogal's and we will be having our last "home-made" dinner for the week here shortly.

This is my first Country tour in a while, since Wynonna, I guess. It looks to be a fun time for all. The Chesney crew are all great guys and I'm sure we will co-exist nicely on stage and backstage.

We're doing arenas and stadiums, with just the two of us in the arenas and special guests like Sammy Hagar, Keith Urban, Brooks and Dunn and a few newer acts zooming in and out of the stadium shows.

I brought the latest, greatest version of my Suitcase Studio with me, so look for some work to get done on the latest Donna Beasley album. I have a couple of new pieces of gear that merit their own blog entry, more to come on that front.