Last show of the tour - Los Angeles, CA - Cat Club

Our tour has ended. After 89 days of rehearsals, photo shoots, gigs, tv appearances, all night drives, hotels, celebrity meetings, sabbaths, reunions, blogs and tweets, the end is here. . This experience has been invaluable to me as a musician and a person, and I will use this summer as a reference for a long time I think.

Last night we played at the Cat Club on the Sunset Strip in LA for the 'Sunset Strip Music Festival'. The gig was a great last show. Great crowd participation, cool little club. The Cat Club's owner, Stray Cats drummer 'Slim Jim somebody', looks like a skinnier Fonz decked out in rockabilly gear; leopard print suede shoes, flaming pink shirt, black tux jacket and hair that was combed back only on the sides. He greeted us as we loaded our gear into the club and even held the door for us. Seeing him hold the door for us was kind of a celebrity moment. He had played drums alongside Lemmy (of Mötorhead) and a guitarist in a blues set during the previous night's entertainment.

The kickoff the night before was really to honor Slash (guitarist in Guns n' Roses/ guy who always wears sunglasses and a top hat) who was this year's special guest. The city of West Hollywood elected to make August 26th 'Slash Day'. They had it at the House of Blues and was pretty much insane. I met childhood idols Traa and Sonny of the band P.O.D., a band I listened to on repeat for two or three very important years in my development. And I saw from afar Nikki Stikks of Motley Crüe and the guitarist of Alice in Chains. There were tons of people there, I have no idea who could've been there and I just didn't notice.

Getting back to the show, knowing that it was the last time I was playing with the guys for a while made the set move slower. I savored it. Tried to make it really, really good. Over the summer we've figured out the exact spot where Taylor liked to lay back on the beat, where Dave and I would have a moment, where Blake and I would do a lick at the same time. Getting that close with a group of guys was really cool. I'd never had the opportunity to spend that much time learning a group of people musically like that.

This summer was fun, but I think I'm ready now for a break and then some time in one city for a while. I've got some things to tie up in Kansas City while I'm there, and then I'll pretty much be ready to head down to Austin. More to come,


The End Begins.

Driving through the Arizona desert on our way to our last gig of the summer. Well, almost. I guess more definitively, we part ways for a time after this show on Friday. Myself and Taylor head to LAX Saturday morning to fly to Kansas City and Boston, and the rest of the gang drives back to Austin, TX (haha) to close the deal on the house they are gonna be living in. We will meet up again in Connecticut for an industry showcase in New York, a show with State Radio in Boston, and a 24 hr drive to Kansas City.

The end will come in it's own time, but I think we're all ready for it. We've all tried our best to get along, some more than others, but that's not the point. Fact is you see people's worst when you spend this much time with one another. After a while, all you see are people's faults, and that makes it pretty hard to get along. But I think we're about to cross that crest of being able to look past all that again. It might happen after our show, which would be a shame but I would still take it. I don't mean to sound incriminating. I think humans naturally don't get along, so it's a blessing nobody killed anyone. :D

I do know that we're all looking forward to our new lives in Austin. Trying to plan that and do a tour was hard enough. We are all ready to be there. But first, I'm ready for a couple weeks in Kansas City with my family. Taylor is ready to start Berklee. Blake is ready to start his krav maga (craw meh-gah) back up. Dave's ready to see his honey in LA. And Tucker's just ready to have a stack of movie tickets and a regular sleeping pattern.

Overall this has been an incredible experience. Traveling comfortably all around the country for an entire summer was amazing. I got to see what it was like playing the same music with the same people every night. I've been to every city I've thought about moving to. I've met a lot of people. I've seen parts of the country I've never seen before, some of them twice. Good food, cool hotels, cool venues, long drives. When all is said and done, we will have driven 15878 miles, and spent 244 hours of our lives in the car. That's 10 days. (not including the drive back to Connecticut or shorter trips within the cities we've played). The good thing is that we are all in ironman shape when it comes to car rides now. I think I could drive or ride for ever and be totally fine.

We're still a couple hours outside of LA now. Looking forward to the heavenly nap that's gonna happen this afternoon before tonight's partying. The Slash tribute show is tonight at the House of Blues in LA and with our gig tomorrow night, we were given passes. Should be fun. I just love that song he does, 'American Woman'. ; )


What To Do When You Don't Have A Show (Gallery)

He was actually looking at the Green Lantern display.

Our now exposed right-side trailer tire.

'Izzabelle', the ferocious gaurd dog.

Enough said.


Denton, TX - Andy's

I type 100 yards from the shore of the Gulf's waters. This tour has led to many moments of tranquil beauty, be it in Connecticut, New York (in it's own way), Los Angeles, Colorado or another place. One of the really cool parts of traveling all over the country. The hope is that you can appreciate it all when you're in the midst of the chaos that is touring. It's not that bad of a life, but there's something about it that makes it seem like a grind sometimes. It's moments like right now that give fresh life.

In the square of downtown Denton, on the corner is Andy's Bar. The saloon-y venue had a hip basement billiards room, and a main room which hosted a long neon lit bar. A rolling librarian ladder allows the bartenders to grab new bottles of Jack and Gin. The 21+ only balcony overlooks the stage at the back of the room.

Our roll that night was to cap off a night of 90s reunion shows. A Hootie-esk band and a Metallica wanted-to-be band were getting together again for a single show. It was a night of wondering if they were any better 15 years ago. The verdict was not. After a 2 hour delay and mass exodus of the supporting crowd, we played a semi-drunken set to the bartenders and local drinkers. Semi-drunken because, lets be honest, if you're supposed to play at 11:30pm, but you start at 1:30am, you're not going to NOT drink until after your set.

We had a hotel, so we slept in that night and drove back to Houston in the afternoon. We decided to head to the beach later last night and got here after the sun set and the moon had come out. Beach walks in the moonlight are unbeatable.

We're here for another night and back in Houston tomorrow afternoon. Couple days of practice too before we head out west.


Austin, TX - Momo's (round 2)

Once again the Powell family shows us their kind hospitality. Due to the cancellation of our House of Blues show, the Powells are going to enjoy our company until we have to leave for LA. This saddens us as much as it causes delight. A show is cancelled, but we get to eat really good food. Such is life.

We knew when we were planning our second trip out to the west coast, wanted to hit up Momo's in Austin again. It just has a nice atmosphere, it sounds good in there, staff is awesome. We were fortunate enough to get a time slot on a day we could do it, so I know we were all looking forward to it in our own little ways.

Simply because a time slot was available for us to play in doen't always mean it is the best slot for us. At this stage in the game we will take anything. As we should. But closing the night after sitar, soprano sax and tabla night is pushing it. Some how we got tacked onto the end of 'World Music Night' at Momo's, which I believe is what happened last time.

"And now, representing America, 'Tucker Jameson & the Hot Mugs'!"

It was a late night but a chill one. We had some great Mexican food, drank good beer in the air conditioning. Set for us started at midnight, so we played till about one, but not after relaxing with our friends who had come out to see us. Then we drove back to Houston.

I am thankful that Blake & Taylor's bass playing dad has quite an extensive bass library. I'm workout my Victor Wooten chops this week with Victor's self-transcribed book. There will be much swimming done this week, much practicing, drinking, hanging, all with lots of food. Not a bad week.

We leave for LA in 6 days and I head to Kansas City in 8. Looking forward to seeing the KC peeps. I want to go to a Chiefs' game.


Indianapolis, IN - Lizard's (round 2)

We played Lizard's (ironically owned by a chick named 'Liz') about a month ago on our last tour round the country. We liked it so much that we wanted to come back, especially since the booking agent for the venue promised us we could directly support (play right before) the headliner: owner Liz's band. But since disappointment circulates in the music business like the common cold, we got slotted as the opener for the night. What ev's. We dealt with it.

Lizard's, to refresh your memory, is this dive across the bad side of the train tracks outside of Indy. A basement venue, it's just one of those places all the blue collar guys go to drink when they want to get away from the wives, and where all the bikers end up when they're done being seen. So needless to say, we fit right in with the crowd. We're surprisingly liked at Lizards however. I don't get it, but I won't fight it.

So after we got done with our set and put our stuff back in the trailer, we got hit with a musical experience NOBODY was prepared for. Words do not describe.

They were terrible, but they had the look going, that's for sure. Interesting to watch, but their set wouldn't end soon enough for me. I was so tired I passed out in the van for the last hour we were there. And after Tucker made the rounds we headed home (hotel).

After a pit stop at Guitar Center we are headed down to Houston, TX for a day of R'n'R before the show in Austin on the 17th. Austin, Dallas, Houston, LA, HOME. The end is in sight. Pray we don't kill each other before then. :D


Cleveland, OH - Roc Bar

For our first time in Cleveland ever as a band, last night wasn't bad, especially considering the headliner cancelled. A few days ago we did a college radio interview in promotion for the show, and the host who interviewed us came out and chilled with us. The Roc Bar staff are really nice, they fed us and took care of our drinks all night. It's on this sketchy street south of downtown Cleveland, but next to a hoppin' night club. The street went from being super deserted when we got there to being a happening part of town by the time we went on.

Watching the 5th Element right now. Such a good movie.

We played a longer set last night because headliner, acoustic blues dude Billy Wallace, cancelled last minute. So the other acoustic guy played his set and we rocked out for a little longer than usual.

Cleveland turned out to be a late town. We stayed hanging out and making friends until around 2 am. New friends are nice. Feels good leaving towns knowing you met people worth seeing again.

We're in our hotel in Indianapolis right now, chillin' before our gig later. Back to the 5th Element. :D