Hail hail folks.
We just rolled in tonight from a lovely trip down to Los Angeles and Ventura. Played some very awesome shows, got to be on TV, got to goof around behind the news desk, and got to see family and friends in far off lands that we wouldn’t get to see otherwise.
I’m tired and weary and exhausted, and I’ll be up to teach the ‘ol Zero Period Jazz Band tomorrow morning… but I had to just jump on here and put in a word or two about traveling with a band. No, scratch that – not “a” band – this band.
Ryan’s family lives in Los Angeles – Ryan grew up down there. Thanks to our tour schedule and the awesomeness of Ryan’s family, we’ve spent lots of time with the Avellones. I have even come to feel that the stretch of carpet between the front windows and the back of the couch is my stretch of carpet. Ryan’s younger brothers have vanned it around with us – this last weekend they even brought along some killer gear and shot footage for a potentially amazing music video (the footage of us in the TV studio was gold, I tell you. Gold.) Our friends from high school that have ended up in LA have been huge supporters, wonderful late night partiers and skilled late, late night taco-truck-finders. The band allows these relationships to exist outside of the internet, and I love that.
This last weekend was logistically easy enough that I was able to drive down with Jenny and Stella (my lovely lady and our lovely little baby-lady). And for a place to stay, we were able to stay with our family that we see all too seldom. The result was amazing time spent with the little cousins / nieces / nephew, great time spent with the whole family, meals shared, kitchen floor early-morning banjo-jams of Pie for Breakfast, gracious hospitality, and some very wonderful quality family time spent with people that we love, but don’t see enough. Saturday’s show took us to Ventura, and we were lucky enough to be able to stay with friends that had moved south years before and that we hadn’t seen much of since. Got to catch up, got to play music with the youngest son who picks a mean banjo (and came and sat in for a couple tunes that night), got to see the creative and inspiring things they are all up to, got to sleep in their cozy, loving house, and got to raid their fridge in the morning. And, once again, the band and our tour schedule got it all to happen.
I suppose the only down side is that when you’re in town but also working, the schedule is tight. You don’t get to spend all the time you want, you don’t get to have the lazy conversation over the cup of coffee you were hoping for… but damn. It sure beats a text message and a facebook status update.
So, for every time I jump on the ‘ol Blog here and begin to sob about missing the family, about being on the road too long, or anything along those lines, y’all can just link this post back to me and remind me of how many great friends and family members we’ve met / made / stayed in touch with / partied with / crashed-on-the-floor-of and gotten to see and hug and spend time with thanks to the crazy schedule and traveling antics of this van-driving bunch of hooligans.
It is glorious.