Tag Archives: Jay Farrar


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.



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Jay’s new guitar

Jay’s new Creston guitar, the “Okemah”, has a block of wood from Woody Guthrie’s childhood home in Okemah, Oklahoma set into the body beneath the pick-ups.  No joke.



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November Tour Dates

The November Midwest/South tour dates are up on the Tour Page.  There’s a lot to look forward to with stops in Lafayette, Oxford, Floore’s Country Store in Helotes, TX and a blowout show with Jason Isbell in Austin.  I’m not sure who’ll be opening the other dates.


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Tour wrap-up

I’ve been delinquent in updating for the past week.  A combination of very long drives and crappy internet connections are to blame and somehow I have less time now that I’m at home with the family.  Here’s some highlights:


We played at the beautiful, newly renovated Fox theater in downtown Spokane.  The last time we played Spokane was at the taste of Spokane which is officially called, “Pig Out in the Park.”  With a name like that it’s no wonder that we had deep-fried Oreo’s that night.  Besides some one-offs and promo gigs, that was the first official show of the Okemah tour.  It feels like we’ve been several different bands since then.  So back to the present, instead of going to our very nearby hotel to relax before the gig at the newly renovated Fox Theater, we all opted to hang out at the club.  Mark, Andrew and I were embroiled in a vicious game of Scrabble through Facebook as the others drank coffee, slept, roamed the streets, etc.  Well, we really should have checked out that Ramada Inn.  Later that night, I watched from the parking lot as Jay, Mark and Chris walked into their rooms and immediately walked back out.  Jason and I quickly assessed the situation and decided the rooms smelled like old, dirty strippers. While dismantling the Febreeze wall unit in his room, Jay was enveloped by the scent of cheap strawberries that he’s probably still trying to shake.  So, we hopped in the van and headed down the road to Ritzville, Washington and the Empire Motel where the train runs by every hour.  Although there is nothing ritzy about Ritzville and I’m not sure what sort of motel allows the desk attendant to enter your room without knocking to retrieve the Ziploc bag of ice from your freezer so your bandmate’s beers don’t get warm while you sit in your underwear on the bed, we all slept fairly well and were a little closer to Boise.


A couple of years ago we played at the Wood River Winery which actually lies a few miles outside of Boise.  I couldn’t remember much about that show but I do know that they didn’t have Boche!


As it turns out, Jay and Mark rule the court.  Other highlights included:

-A wedding rehearsal during soundcheck.  That’s something you’ll never see at Rhythm and Brews in Chattanooga.

-An eclectic dinner featuring Thai basil beef, chicken with apricots and olives, tofu and vegetables and raspberry chocolate cake.

-A mostly seated crowd save for a bunch of dancing women that somehow reminded me of MILF Island.  Also, let me say this, if your going to bring your children down in front of the stage to have a good look at the crusty men please make sure they have ear protection.  When allowed to play without noise restrictions we can be a loud band.

Thanks to all the people who came down in front gave us a little something back.  We had a fun night


We awoke early on Saturday and set out on the 8+ hour drive down an endlessly winding highway hugging what might have been the Lower Salmon River or the Snake River or something else entirely.  Whatever the case may be, it was beautiful.


After about six hours I wished we were headed down some boring, straight, interstate looking out on dead, brown grass.  Indiana in December comes to mind.

We arrived just in time for soundcheck at the University of Montana only to have doors pushed back to deal with some major technical issues.  Despite the exhaustion, sound issues, and a burning desire to be home, I was determined to have a fun last show.  In my mind that involves playing too much and too loud which is exactly what I did.  I threw in some heavy metal fills, worked up a sweat and that was that.  We said goodbye to the Cowboy Junkies, went to the bar, met some very nice people who were at the show and called it a day.

It took me five days to complete this post but I’ll try to get some photos and videos up here and hopefully some news updates.  More tour dates for the fall are being firmed up at the moment and I’ll post them as soon as I get the word.  Alright, see you later……


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Last night was special

After wrapping up another grueling marathon rehearsal we celebrated with a couple of  St. Louis’s finest pizzas and a bottle of sparkling wine.   This would be a short break, though, for we still had a long night ahead of us.  There were T-shirts to be silkscreened and CD’s to be stuffed into digipacks, not to mention all the plaid stage shirts that needed mending.  Jay saw how hard we’d been working and knew we’d need something to get us through the night.   He put aside all those guitars that needed to be tuned, sauntered over to the piano, and began to reveal the long lost 4 part vocal harmony to Tear Stained Eye that cannot be heard on the original recording. IMG_0246

As those 4 angels gathered round and sang, a strange and familiar sadness washed over me.  I realized this was not a 5 part harmony and again I would not have a chance at the microphone.  Suddenly, I was reminded of a news story I once read and was comforted in knowing that I wasn’t alone.

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Interview with Paste Magazine

Paste Magazine’s Jay Sweet posted a nice little interview with Jay Farrar.  Jay Sweet and I sometimes run into each other at the beautiful Singing Beach on the North Shore of Massachusetts.  It was there that Jay taught me that the fried clam originated in Essex, Ma and not Ipswich as commonly believed.


As for those tour rehearsals mentioned in the intro to the interview, I suppose sitting at home staring out the window at the rain and eating bacon for the third day in a row counts as tour preparation.


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Jay the Oppressor

There’s an interview with Jay up at Aquarium Drunkard:


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