While Jason and Scott had to drive the van from St. Louis to Seattle, finding a new bond along the way,the rest of us flew out there on the 3rd. James and I shared a Jet Blue flight from Boston pretending to be interested in “Funny People” to avoid conversation. Actually, aside from my dislike for Adam Sandler and the silly cringe inducing Wilco references, we quite enjoyed the film. I was hoping for a Top Chef marathon but no dice. We all met up at the hotel to discover that Jay had a little domestic dispute over the holidays. I don’t know how he managed to keep this out of the papers. No, it wasn’t a heated Thanksgiving argument and it didn’t involve a golf club. It seems that he was attacked by a Radio Flyer wagon and sustained an injury to his nose.
Jay is not phased, however. Let’s not forget that he hails from St. Louis where bandages are fashion statements.
We had a considerable amount of time the day of the show to wander around Seattle and I made a pilgrimage to a place that has been closed the past two times we’ve been there: Amandino’s Salumi. Amandino is the father of celebrity chef Mario Batali and he specializes in cured meats. There’s usually a line out the door but it’s well worth your time for cased meat heaven. Since it was a cold, misty Seattle day, I opted for the warm Porchetta sandwich and a glass of wine.
In addition, I purchased a Mole Salami to take home (which has been keeping quite nicely in the van thanks to the freezing temperatures) and some sliced Finocchiona. Being that it was sliced, the Finnocchiona didn’t fare so well in the van and the smell offended some of the dudes. Except for Scott, that is, who loves all things meat. I admit it wasn’t the most pleasant smell but it still was better than the jar of preserved garlic that Farrar bought in Texas. That smell woke me from a deep slumber:
Neumo’s is a fine rock club with the excellent Pike Place Fish Fry next door. We played a decent show despite having to go on at 10:30 which was a little late for us East Coasters.
It’s raining in Boston for the 80th day in a row. The only thing keeping my spirits up besides the plate of nachos I just prepared is the news that I’ll be home from tour in time to catch The Pretenders and Cat Power. As I’ve mentioned here before, former Son Volt/Jay Farrar players James Walbourne and Eric Heywood are currently Pretenders. Go see them if you get the chance as they both shred and are a joy to watch. As a bonus, the always fun to watch and listen to Jim White plays drums for Cat Power.
Our own Mark Spencer had the pleasure of being a Pretender for a week last fall while Eric was busy with Ray LaMontagne. In case you were looking at the cover of American Central Dust and wondered, “Who is that headless man playing lapsteel?”, here’s your answer:
On July 7th, Rounder Records will release our new album, American Central Dust. Rounder was founded almost 40 years ago in the city where I live, Cambridge, Massachusetts. This means that there are now two benefits to living here:
1) Close proximity to fresh oysters.
2) Close proximity to Steve Martin and Dennis DeYoung Records.
“Down to the Wire” is the first single. My mom has already heard it twice on the radio so someone is doing something right.
Our first show of the tour will be on July 4th at the Rothbury Festival in Michigan. I’m not sure if the schedule has been posted yet but I’m pretty sure we’re playing the same day as The Dead. Unfortunately, Mellencamp will not be joining his tour mates at Rothbury. A few days later, we meet up with the Cowboy Junkies in Denver and head west for a bunch of shows. Rumor has it tickets have been selling quite well.
Speaking of festivals, Bonnaroo starts this weekend. As I read all the reports about police confiscating hallucinogenic mushrooms and what not, I’m reminded of the time we played there back in 2006. The night before our set we went to see Radiohead or more accurately, listen, as we couldn’t find a comfortable viewing area in the sea of 75,000 people. This was quite alright since the air conditioned backstage/artist village area was set up with a giant flatscreen monitor, open bar, etc. Our guitar tech at the time really got into the spirit of things and decided to climb up a 20′ scaffolding/lighting tower and pretend he was a DJ from on high (it made sense at the time). Security quickly summoned him down and we had to do a lot of explaining to not have him banned for the rest of the weekend. Other than that, it was super hot and dusty, Phil Lesh and Friends played way too long, and Bonnie Raitt looks really good in person. Jimmy’s DJ booth:
Welcome to the Son Volt tour blog. Our tour in support of American Central Dust kicks off at the Rothbury Festival in Rothbury, MI on July 4th. Look for daily updates starting around that time. Until then, here’s some photos. I have a bunch of old photos that I’ll probably be adding to our flickr site now and again. -Dave