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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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December Tour Dates

We’re doing a quick run down the west coast in December.

12/4 – Seattle at Neumo’s
12/5 – Bellingham at the Nightlight
12/6 – Eugene at WOW Hall

12/7 – off

12/8 – tba
12/9 – San Francisco at the Fillmore
12/10 – Santa Cruz at the Rio Theater
12/11 – Los Angeles at the El Rey
12/12 – Solana Beach at the Belly Up


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Great ending to what was a pretty smooth tour.  Detroit was better than last time we played there if I remember correctly.  All I recall from 2005 was a very cold cement club and a so-so crowd.  Decent crowd this time and we played just fine.  Following the show, Mark, Jason, James and myself broke rule number one and went to a house party.  We piled into our host’s mini-van which I think was used to haul dogs around cause the seats had been replaced by particle board.  Well, it was either dogs or firewood (or both) since there were wood chips everywhere.  When we got to dude’s house we realized that we were the party and we quickly called a cab.  The cab arrived just in time for us to see the bonfire being built in the backyard.  You have to love an urban bonfire.

Chicago was intimate.   The crowd was a little lighter than last time but that didn’t bother us.  What was most memorable was the woman who jumped on stage between songs during our encore.  This has NEVER happened to my knowledge and our security team, Jason, was baffled at how to get this woman off the stage so we could be done with our 29 songs.  Apparently she told Jay she wanted to meet the biggest Son Volt fan who we assume is her husband. He politely declined and she got down.  Since we hardly ever hang out with women, we promptly melted with embarrassment.


This was our first time visiting the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee and we were quite impressed.  Of course, when we walked in and saw the seated theater we groaned imagining that it would be a snooze of a show.  Boy were we wrong.  The people were on their feet and ready to get down, or something.  Awesome show.  What made our experience even better was the super cool backstage area.  Downstairs is spacious with lots of comfortable chairs/couches, a stereo stocked with pretty good vinyl, and a bunch of games (foosball, Galaga, Centipede, Operation, etc.).

IMG_0678IMG_0679Also, we must give thanks to the caterer for the delicious pulled pork, catfish, mashed potato, rice and bean feast.

I have very little to report about Minneapolis except that it was a great last show of the tour.  Oftentimes, the end of tour can be anticlimactic and although we didn’t tear it up after the gig, I think we were satisfied and ready to go home.


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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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Tuesday night in Boston went down fairly well in my opinion.  Although the first time I played The Paradise I was skeptical about the sound of the room due to it being so shallow, having seen a few shows there recently I know that it’s a solid room.   The only show I saw there before moving to Boston was a hardcore matinee in 1990(?) featuring The Cro-Mags (w/ Harley but not John Joseph), Burn, and Wrecking Crew but I was too scared that day to notice the PA.  Back to Tuesday, the crowd was decent, the show was well received and we all had a good time being on stage.  We did a little hanging post-show with friends, family, and label moguls from Rounder and then it was off to bed.

Yesterday, Wednesday, we drove most of the way to Detroit stopping only to pick up James’ repaired Firebird and to eat at the Cracker Barrel.  Even though when I toured with Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit for a month we, no joke, ate at the Cracker Barrel almost every freakin’ day, I rarely stray from the breakfast menu.  In fact, I almost always order The Old Timers Breakfast.  Last night, I took a chance and ordered the roasted half-chicken from their seasonal Autumn Apple Harvest Menu.  Topped with apple gravy and accompanied by cornbread stuffing, green beans, and a ripe Gala apple, I’m happy to report that the chicken was tender, juicy, and completely satisfying.  Highly recommended.  And, I don’t really care for chicken.

Of course, I don’t have any photos of us in Boston so here’s one from when I played the Paradise with Jason Isbell.  Derry and Morgan in a heated mustache growing contest



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Philadelphia, NYC and Albany

Free time and internet connections have been scarce the past few days so please forgive me for not posting.  On Wednesday, we played the World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.  Located near the University of Pennsylvania, the WCL is in the same building as WXPN which has always been kind to the Volt.  In 2007 we played a free lunch hour concert there as part of a promotional jaunt for The Search.  That time, our friend and personal fishmonger Jason, brought us a giant platter of seafood (clams casino, shrimp cocktail, oysters, etc.) to be enjoyed post-show.  Jason out did himself on Wednesday:

IMG_4217IMG_4221IMG_4219Thanks Jason!  No one is quite sure if he brought the birthday cake as well.  If so, thanks again.


By all accounts, the show went great.  Being that it’s fairly new and clean, the World Cafe is a little lacking in atmosphere.  Typically we play the Trocadero but that has it’s own problems, namely, you can’t drink on the ground floor so all the drinkers tend to congregate on the second floor balcony.  I suppose if we could figure how to sell out the place this wouldn’t be a problem.

Even though we gorged ourselves on sushi in Philadelphia, James, Andrew and I found ourselves at a Japanese restaurant before Thursday night’s show at Irving Plaza.  I highly recommend the grilled sea bass at Sushi Choshi which is just a few blocks from the venue.

The gig in New York was mostly a success.  Although I’m confident that the sound in the house was solid, on stage it was loud and lacking in definition.  Also, for some reason the lighting director decided to black out the stage in the middle of a song.  Not sure what that was about.

Being that we were in NYC, we all stayed out too late and paid dearly the next day.  Jay had it the worst, however, as he had to be up early to play on the radio.

Luckily, the show in Albany was a mellow one.  We played The Egg:

IMG_0647The Egg is located in the same plaza as all the government buildings.  There doesn’t seem to be too much activity in the plaza and I had to keep telling myself that it was not Sunday and I was not in the Planet of the Apes.  Although The Egg is an architectural marvel, it is not very rock ‘n roll.  Had we not just played a bunch of theaters and performing arts centers back in July, we might have appreciated the change of pace but instead we said, “boring”.  To it’s credit, The Egg sounded crystal clear on stage from where I was sitting.  I enjoyed being able to hear everything until I realized I could hear everything!  We played “Looking at the World Through a Windshield” which we haven’t done for a week or so.  Thankfully, the lights in the house were kept low so I couldn’t tell what was going on in the audience but it sure was quiet between songs.  In the end, it wasn’t bad but I think James said it best when he called it the “anti-gig.”

Albany Rocking!Jay & Dave

Sera Cahoone



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Green Mountain Men

GetAttachment.aspxAnders and Mark at the 1st Annual Vermont Volvo Rally.

Anders Parker has a new record out today entitled Skyscraper Crow.  Check it out.

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