Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day 4: Ithaca and Recap

After NYC, the Po'Trailer hit the road again, this time to Ithaca, NY. We arrived in about 4 hours and immediately hit up Ithaca College. If you've never been to this part of NY, it's amazingly beautiful. Ithaca's a quaint college town in the midst of the Finger Lakes region of New York. The band has been through here a few times and we know one thing about Ithaca for sure: they love their live music.

We ended up at Ithaca College doing a performance lecture for the students there before hitting a local establishment to finish up the tour. The crowds were awesome and we were very appreciative. At that point in the tour, I think I can speak on behalf of the entire band when saying that it was time to get back home. We love the road but our beds were calling us. Regardless of how tired we were, we still melted faces at the shows and gave it 100%.

Looking back at the entire tour, I have to say how happy I am with the end result. In total, we drove over 700 miles and played over 12.5 hours in front of great crowds all in a little over 3 days. There were never any diva moments or guys arguing. I think most-importantly, the music developed and got better as we progressed through the tour. There were a lot of amazing musical moments that happened throughout the course of the tour. Maybe things that would be hard to pick up when you're watching, but for the guys in the band I know it makes all the difference when you can have the freedom to open things up and try new stuff without running the risk of everything getting messed up.

We can't thank everybody enough for the love and support. To the fans who came out and watched, to the folks who put us up for an evening, to the sponsors and promotion people who made it happen...we can't thank you all enough.

Look out for more tours in the near-future. And watch the website for some important announcements.

Yeah you right!!!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 3: NYC

After lots of laughs with old and new friends at Penn State it was time for us to hit the road and drive on through to the Big Apple. The drive itself was gorgeous. It's fall around these parts and the hills of Pennsylvania were an amazing site and inspiring to drive through.

After another 4 hours of road time logged in (the Po'Wagon is about to hit 100,000 miles!), we began to see the New York cityscape in the early afternoon. We knew there would be free parking at the club so we made sure to get to the city around an hour before parking became legal to get us a good spot in front Sullivan Hall. We made our way through with Maggie (our GPS system) and hit the Holland Tunnel ready to enter Manhattan. As we were about to hit the checkpoint, I said "Wow, this trip has been good logistically speaking so far." Without a surface of wood to knock on, I knocked on my head...

Not more than a minute later the lady at the gate told us trailers weren't allowed into the Holland Tunnel and we would have to be re-routed to the Lincoln Tunnel. We obliged, but not before a Port Authority policeman stopped us to search our trailer. By the time we got back on the road, the infamous NYC rush-hour began and we were soon stuck in a complete traffic jam.

Moving on for what seemed like an eternity, we finally got close to the Lincoln Tunnel. The traffic eased off and we were soon going at a decent speed when we got stuck in the Lincoln Tunnel traffic! ARGH!

Needless to say, NYC kicked our ass that evening and we were all a little on edge driving through Manhattan with the Po'Trailer. Luckily we managed to find the club okay and there was still free parking right in front of Sullivan Hall.

After a quick dinner of falafels and Mexican food, we walked around New York for about an hour and then quickly realized that there simply wasn't enough time to really do anything, so we found a nice looking sports bar in the Village and settled in to watch the the Vikings/Green Bay game.

After a few brews it was time to hit the club. The Sugartone Brass Band was laying it down good and funky. Man, these guys have soul. They took me right back to the sights and sounds of New Orleans and made me homesick more than ever! Nick sat in and jammed with the band since they were short a trombone player and of course he kicked ass.

As the evening continued, the crowd started thinning out. With it being a Monday night, I was happy we had any crowd, but by the time we took the stage (11:40-ish), a few dedicated friends and fans were around but the rest of the place was empty.

Undeterred, the 'Boys unleashed a fury of funk in the faces of all. We hit em' hard with good old favorites like RAF Riff, Garbage Platin', and Man Power while introducing a few newer ones like Sellout and our version of Carry on Wayward Son. The evening concluded with Jimi's Bones. The amazing lighting system in the club created an ethereal atmosphere when Nick began shredding the intro. The crowd of the mighty few exploded at the end and our first show at NYC was over.

After the dust settled and we made it out of the city, I began to think about the experience. What was great, what could've been better, and what we'll never do again. Overall, I'm excited about last night. There were some logistical and technical issues that came up, but we were well-received by the people who stuck around and the club management really enjoyed us. We know we're welcome back to the city any time.

Shows like last night aren't anything the band makes a ton of money on, but I can't think of a musician out there who wouldn't agree that it's one of the most-exciting things in the world for your band to play NYC. It's a mixture of intimidation and all-encompassing love. And for your music to be well received is all the payment we need. We'll be back, NYC. Thanks for the good times.

We're off to Ithaca today for the final leg of the tour. We teach at Ithaca College for the good people in the Ithaca Trombone Troupe and Hal Reynolds. Then we take the party to a local favorite club called The Nines. It's the first time we've played there and we're looking forward to it.

Thanks for keeping in touch with the band and our adventures! Leave a comment and let us know what you think about NYC!!


Monday, October 5, 2009

Day 2: Penn State

After a great show at the Bullfrog, we packed up the Po'Trailer and headed to State College, PA to play for the great students at Penn State! We did a performance lecture for music students where we talked about music entrepreneurship, freelancing, etc. We heard some great feedback and it seems like we were able to give them some good info.

Later that night we rocked the house at Esber Recital Hall. The crowd was bumpin and the music was thumpin! We ended the night with drinks and food at Champs with Trombone prof. Mark Lusk. Man this guy is awesome and we really enjoyed our time with him and all the students. Thanks for the good times guys! We hope to come back.

We just arrived in NYC and checked out our club for the gig tonight. Sullivan Hall is pretty sweet and we are all anxious to rock the joint! We'll let you know how it goes!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall Tour: Day 1

The tour got off to a great start when Rochester decided it was time to stop raining and let the sun come shining through. We had a beautiful drive through Western NY and Northern PA, with the changing leaves and the rolling hills.
Our first hit on the tour was extremely successful; Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport, PA. The food and the beer are incredible at this local brewery. It also helped that this was one of the most supportive, excited crowds we've played for. Special thanks to Steve, the owner, who went out of his way to make the trip more comfortable!