There was no slow transition from sunny and in the 70’s southern California to colder than a well diggers ass Cape Cod. We got home from the tour and were treated to a nice blizzard that dropped about twelve inches of snow. It’s okay though. That’s part of the deal when you live in a place as awesome as New England. We are pretty handy with shovels as well as guitars.
It’s fun catching up with everyone about our trip and a little surreal standing in the hardware store in my Carhartt’s buying joint compound and telling a story about the House of Blues show in San Diego. I’m thinking: was that me?
We had two homecoming shows. One at the Ritz on Martha’s Vineyard, an Island that has become a second home of sorts and the following night at Grumpy’s Pub, the world’s greatest dive bar. Both were near record breaking low temperatures. The kind of cold where you take off your gloves and the wind feels like bee’s attacking your unprotected skin.
Friday night was our new van’s maiden voyage across the Vineyard sound on the Steamship ferry boat, a trip she will take many times. The Ritz is a wonderful little townie bar in Oak Bluffs. It’s one of the only places open year round. Our good friend Philly D was playing any early acoustic set so we got to listen while we ate dinner and  had a pre show drink. John and I even got up and did a few acoustic tunes.
We started playing and although the place wasn’t jam packed it was a pretty incredible turn out for such a brutally cold night. Charles works construction on the Island and knows everyone. Everyone loves Charles wherever we go. It’s good to have a guy like that in the band! We’ve been playing the Island a lot the last year and it was great to see a lot of our friends from over there. During our west coast tour we played all  show case shows with a bunch of other bands on the bill which is great but means 30-45 minute sets. At the Ritz we played for over two hours and got to get into a bunch different things. It was loose and fun.
In the morning we got on the ferry before the wind really started howling. This can be a hazard playing on the island. If the wind really starts screaming you don’t know when you are getting off the rock.
We drove straight to Grumpy’s and set up. I love the afternoon vs. late night scene at Grumpy’s. There’s always a crowd sipping the afternoon away as we set up our ever growing pile of gear. One of these days we have to do a set for those guys.
I went home did some work and dozed off. When I woke up it felt like the wind was going to blow my house down. It was cold outside, not just bone chilling but soul chilling. As my brother Tommy said it was, “really chipping down!”
The Silent Trees were at Grumpy’s setting up when I got there. They’re a great band we’ve been trying to book something with for a while and finally our schedules lined up. The band plays as a duo sometimes with John and Mary trading lead vocals and always floating beautiful harmonies but that night they’d brought a tight rhythm section with them. The vibe was more rock than folk and the crowd loved it. Mary is a member of the Brazen Belles, our very own local burlesque troop. They put on a killer show and had sold out two nights at the big theater in town. The band warmed the crowd for a few tunes and then Mary came through the side door, still in full burlesque hair/make up and a saucy bell bottom/belly shirt combo. It was a really cool moment, very rock ‘n roll. They played a tight set of originals and covers including a epic Led Zeppelin number.
Earlier in the evening I resigned to the idea that it would be a light turnout do to the insane cold but to my surprise the place was packed. It was fitting that it was Valentine’s eve because there was so much love in the room. John’s sisters Mariko and Eva ran the sound board and did a wonderful job. The Brazen Belles crew was in full effect and it felt like a real hometown throw-down. We started our set with Life Is Just A Dream a song that seemed in line with the recent series of events. It was a rollicking ninety minute set. I couldn’t stop smiling. I don’t know the color of energy but I know I could feel it and it was good.
It was great be home, enjoy what we’ve done and get ready for what’s next. We play with Spiritual Rez Saturday February 27 at the Met in Pawtucket, RI. We are really jazzed about this venue and line up. It’s always a good time when we play with those guys. It’s also an all ages show which is awesome.
If you’re reading this and you’re rocking with us, we love you. Let’s keep rolling.

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