Tour Recap Part 1: NYC
I recently went on a solo tour Sept 8 – 19th, performing in NYC, Boston, Cleveland and Chicago, and I can’t wait to get out there and do it again.
Sept 8th – Grace and I flew into Laguardia for the first run of shows in NYC, The Big Apple! Our changeover flight in Chicago was delayed a few hours, so we arrived at the hotel at 11:45PM, dropped our bags, and left immediately for a midnight radio appearance on WBAI. The station is located at 120 Wall St, near Ground Zero, and security was tight to get into the building, being 9/11 weekend and all. The show was Radio Unnameable, on the air from midnight to 3:00AM since the Sixties, hosted by free-form radio pioneer Bob Fass and his assistant Bill Prop. This was the most interesting radio show I’ve done, because anything can (and does) happen. I performed most of the Film Noir album in between calls from late night New Yorkers who discussed everything from 9/11 to weapons of mass destruction to hydro-fracking to Texas barbecue and wildfires to the questionable origin of the song “You Are My Sunshine,” capped off with a mystery caller who played the song on harmonica and hung up. Bob knows many of the callers by name, some of them have been calling in for years.
While playing on the radio, I was imagining the cab drivers who were listening and the people at home in their tiny New York apartments folding clothes or having a late night snack and taking a moment to tune in to WBAI. There’s a mystery to performing on the radio in that you have no idea who your audience is, but they are likely alone, so it’s like giving potentially thousands of one-on-one performances simultaneously with a live audience that might also be imagining what I look like. It’s really satisfying.
Sept 9th – Slept in to make up for the day before, then Grace and I headed around Manhattan to drop off demos of the new Runaway Sun album at some indie record labels I thought might be interested in our sound and at some venues to lay the groundwork for future touring. 10pm show at Googie’s Lounge, the upstairs part of The Living Room on the Lower East Side. I didn’t realize how close The Living Room is to Arlene’s Grocery, where Runaway Sun played last year, the venues are right around the corner from each other. These are great places to play shows.
Sept 10th – Early rise to head back to the Living Room for the first AndyRoo kids show on the tour. This show was in the downstairs part of the venue, and the sound system is amazing. What I learned: kids in different states make the same sounds for monkeys and snakes.
After the show, Grace and I finally had some down time to take in NYC. In the evening we met up with her friend DJ Riddler and we went to hear him spin at Webster Hall. Another one of NYC’s gems, Webster Hall used to be the home of RCA records. It has since been turned into a venue, but performances are still recorded and the upstairs is one of the coolest venues I’ve seen. Riddler had a great turnout on the mid level of the venue. He’s a Houston-based DJ, but flies to NYC nearly every weekend for a gig. Not too shabby!
Sept 11th – Day off.
We walked around Battery Park where flags were posted honoring the victims of the 9/11/01attacks and we saw the new building being built at Ground Zero. The city was very quiet the whole day, and the NYPD positioned on every corner. Some tourists were extending the flags and smiling for the camera, and it seemed disrespectful. The flags had the names of the victims printed on them, why would someone want to smile with one of those flags? The day passed without any problems.