Niantic, CT - Music For Music Festival

Last night was pretty fun. We played for an hour and a half which, for us, was a really long set. I loved it though, everything's different when you play long sets; how you interact with the crowd, song order. The tough part is staying entertaining for that long. But people seemed to have a great time, it was a pretty chill environment and people would stop to watch from the sidewalk (it was an outdoor show on busy street on a beautiful night, so there were people around). It was fun playing all of the songs we have to play too, that's a real challenge remembering words and changes but I was proud of us, we done good last night.

We're headed out to Philadelphia right now to play at the IndieBarn.com Summer Festival, a combined music, film and fashion festival. Then tomorrow night we're at a Dave & Busters outside of Philly. I'm excited for D&B's. It's like an adult Chuck E. Cheese. :D

Peace for now,


Spring City, PA - Chaplin's Music Cafe

Add another venue to the 'Mojo Filled Stages We've Played on This Summer' list. Last night in Spring City, a town 40 minutes outside of Philly, we played in the acoustically perfect venue that Charlie Chaplin and other pre-movie era performers would perform in the early 1900s. The space would've been an awesome acoustic-only venue, but they obviously spent some money with their sound system to make it just right (not too live, not too dead) for electric bands with drummers. Chaplin's was a BYOB club too, which helped put off this intimate coffee shop vibe, which is hard to do with an electric band but I think we did okay.

I really enjoyed the artist we played after, Spencer Mulder. He had such a great voice and a really good band. We hit it off too, talking to them after our sets for quite a while. Good guys. Their from Grand Rapids, Michigan but are looking at heading down to Texas to check it out, so hopefully we'll see them again this fall.

In other news, I've committed to Austin, Texas as my next destination. I've thought a lot about this and I think it's gonna be the best place for me after this tour's over. I'm gonna miss my friends in the north east, but it is just not the place for me right now. I can totally see myself going back some time in the future, but not any time soon. It feels sad to commit to moving; I made arrangements with my folks about moving this week, but I know it's what I want to do. Being in Texas last week really affirmed a lot of guesses I had been making. I met Christian artist Robbie Seay and his bass player, Ryan Owens and became quite inspired to follow my desires to be in the Christian music scene as well, which Texas supports in a big way. Austin was such a cool town, I could totally imagine living there. I'll be moving sometime in September, as soon as I find a place. This is gonna be good. I'll keep up with details as I make more decisions about that.

On our way back to the north east to play in Connecticut tonight. We head back to Pennsylvania tomorrow, but it'll be nice to sleep in a familiar bed tonight.


Back On the Road

After a four day break at the Powell's home in the greater Houston, TX area, we're back on the road to play at Chaplin's Music Cafe in Spring City, PA tonight. We left yesterday morning and should get there in time for a nap at the hotel. Our little break happened by chance. It was supposed to be two days off, but turned into four after a last minute gig cancellation, but let me tell you, we could not have been happier about it. 2 months on the road has been grueling, and I think we were all starting to notice that we needed a day or two off.

The break was thoroughly enjoyed. We spent time just lounging around the house, went to church at Fellowship at the Woodlands, saw a great concert by the Robbie Seay Band, shot guns at a shooting range, all sorts of fun stuff. But we're excited to play again today. Being a musician on the road is still better than doing anything else. :D

More to come. First we've got to get to Pennsylvania.



Dallas, TX - Fat Daddy's Sound Shack

So this will be my last blog for a bit, we're gonna take a couple days and break here in Houston and enjoy the hospitality of the Powell's. They've been so awesome. I sit here and type eating homemade breakfast burritos and salsa with fresh cantaloupe and coffee. Mrs. P is such a great cook.

It's always fun visiting the childhood homes of your friends because their parents usually have pictures up that they like, but their children don't. And in the age of camera phones, it's very easy to nonchalantly take quick shots of these mildly embarrassing pictures for your blog. :D

:sigh: Payback will be sweet, I'm sure.

Yesterday we drove to Dallas for a show at Fat Daddy's Sound Shack, one of the only venues in Dallas that you can basically say you want to play, show up, and play. Unfortunately we were booked with all hard-core metal bands, but we impressed them a good deal I think. The other bands and their fans were very supportive and listened to us just like they did the other two bands. Last night, for me, was just another example of how patient and interested Texan listeners are. Fat Daddy's was full of character, the walls were covered in the graffiti of bands who wanted to leave their mark; it was a little dark so I couldn't get a great shot of it. I figured out pretty quick who 'Fat Daddy' was:

It was a great show. Here are a couple highlights:

Oh yeah, the graffiti made it to the bathroom too.

"Happy day-off to you, Jon!" Oh, why thank you! I'm gonna go chill by the pool now.



Kingwood, TX - Nico's

Last night's show was truly the homecoming show of Blake (guitar) and Taylor (drums) and David (keys/guitar). The local support was stronger than ever and we cleaned house merch-wise. We stayed at Blake and Taylor's parents house and will be back there after our show in Dallas tonight, so huge thank you to the Powells! Mr. & Mrs. Powell have been so hospitable, putting us up last night, feeding us breakfast this morning, and sending us off this morning with a cooler full of snacks and drinks. Papa Powell even set up a super nice sound system with a buddy of his for our show last night. So needless to say, we cancelled our hotel in Dallas tonight and are gonna drive back to stay at their house again. :D

Back to the show. Last night was a blast. Nico's is a local bar with a little area to set up a PA, holds about a hundred people. We booked the show only a few days ago in lieu of a cancelled show. Since this was gonna be a chill show mostly for family and friends Blake had the idea to put together a half hour blues set as a trio to open up the night just for fun, but it turned out awesome! Blake, Taylor and I played some John Mayer Trio, Jimi Hendrix, Edgar Winter Group, some shuffle blues. I really hope we do more of that. Taylor is such a good lead singer from the drums and Blake really rips in a blues setting. The Hot Mugs is fun music, but the trio thing was exciting for us because we got to let loose for a half hour. A half hour to play what ever you want. Awesome.

It was a packed house last night! Friends of the Powells, Austin our road haus, and David. And with a really long Hot Mugs set, it made for an awesome night of music. People seemed to have a great time. The cool thing was that it felt like we had the support to play longer if we had any more songs, a feeling I keep getting here in Texas. Hmm...

Headed to Dallas now but we'll be back in Houston area in the the middle of the night; it's about a 4 hour drive between the two cities. Wish us luck,


Bryan/College Station - The Stafford

Another warmly-received Texas show. I could get used to this.

This show had a lot of locals come out because the Stafford is popular hang for the mid to late 20s crowd. Lots of family and local Texas A&M friends, and it's always nice performing for people who know your name.

With the second of our five shows in Texas down, we head out to Kingwood, Texas for a show at Neeco's, a local Kingwood bar.


Austin, TX - Momo's

For the last year or so I've been considering moving to Austin, Texas. I'd considered New York, LA and Nashville, but I felt like Austin was the most intriguing of the four. It had this 'oasis in the desert' kind of vibe in my mind; an elusive music mecca that few had discovered. New York seems too stressful. LA seems too fake. Nashville seems too stuck in it's ways.

Austin is fresh(er). Austin is progressive. Austin is open minded. I was sitting at Momo's after our set listening to an Astor Piazzolla tribute quintet, appreciating the relief of finally sharing the stage with great, great musicians. It's been hard this summer listening to other bands that don't have coherent sounds. But these guys last night had obviously spent much time with their craft. And it was so noticeable. The Hot Mugs also shared the stage with my brother Nic's band, Making Movies, another band I admire for the work and love they put into their music. We got booked on the same night at Momo's by pure chance, we didn't try to do it. It was very inspiring last night, and I just sat there last night imagining a life in Austin, playing music every night, watching bands I like when I'm not.

I'm still not totally sold on Austin. That, or I'm scared to committing to an adventure. I'm going to let it simmer for a bit. Crunch time to make a decision is coming, but not here yet.

Last night was pure joy hanging out with Making Movies and my brother. Nic and I had a great talk over dinner and later we all made good friends with the bartender, who kept the bar open for us and drank and talked with us late into the night. It was so good to see my brother. He's the bass player in MM and a damn good one now. He's only been playing for a couple years, but he's such a musical guy; he picked it up very quick. The band is one of my favorite non-signed bands. You can download a free EP of their's here (it's at the bottom of the page on the left).

On our way to College Station, Texas. After that Houston, Dallas and then back to the northeast.

Peace and love, thanks for letting me think out loud about all this.


Los Angeles - The Viper Room

Oh. My. Gosh. Epic show at the Viper Room just last night. Hands down the best venue we've played so far. It was so obvious we were playing at another level when we got on that stage. Before you go on they close curtains that cover the entire stage so the audience can't see you, and then they announce your name and draw the curtains as you count off the first song. It was so cool. The Viper room is one of the most professional venues on the strip, although it's got a nasty reputation because of the death of River Phoenix. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played opening night, and many famous bands have played there, kind of like the Whiskey A-Go-Go. We played awesomely and there were tons of people there, so it was a blast to play the show. The real treat for me however was seeing my uncle Gary and cousins Brad & Amanda, who I haven't seen in at least 9 years! It was so good to hang with them after the show and to catch up. We talked late into the night drinking coffee on the strip before they headed home and I went back to our hotel. Here are a few pics from last night's show. Epic lighting, huh?

We're driving to Austin, TX as I type this! I really liked LA, but I'm very much looking forward to Austin and the rest of Texas. I think our music will be better received in the south, plus, 3 of our band members are from Texas so we expect a lot of local support. See you in Texas!


Las Vegas, NV - The Freakin' Frog

Las Vegas was a blast. We got here a day early to spend a night enjoying the night atmosphere and just to see the town; most of us had never been to Vegas. Collectively the band left on top, but mostly thanks to David. He was lady luck last night at the black jack tables. Our collective 'score' was also reflective of most of us not gambling at all, being neither helpful or hurtful. I personally lost the 6 dollars I saved for gambling pretty quickly at the penny slots. Oh well. Our Thursday night was quite enjoyable. We found 32 oz margaritas.

It felt like a great deal until we saw the 100 oz ones.

We played at the Freakin' Frog last night, a bar about a half mile off the strip. The gig it self was a little weird, the other band backed out and we had a lot of gear malfunctions, but it was still fun.

The Freakin' Frog has over 700 beers and 600 whiskeys ready to serve, and we got a private tour of the whiskey room. It was awesome. We tried a rare bourbon that tasted amazing. Last night wasn't our best show, but the whiskey room totally made up for it.

Back to LA for a show at the Viper Room! Another vibe-y club I'm very excited to play. I'm ready to get out of this desert heat. It's been an average 103 degrees up here, so I look forward to the balmy 90s in LA. See you at the Viper Room,


Los Angeles - Whiskey A-Go-Go

What a fun night in LA last night. We played at the Whiskey A-Go-Go on the Sunset strip, which is famous for being a popular venue for all of the great bands of the 70s. The Whiskey was a spring board for bands like The Byrds, Alice Cooper, The Doors, Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, and Otis Redding. The Whiskey was also a spot where British performers would headline LA on their first tours of the US. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Oasis, The Who, and Cream. This was our second mojo-filled stage on this tour; the first being Toad's Place in New Haven, Connecticut. The Whiskey has a pro sound team, and cool lighting and a great bar staff. It really is one of the coolest places to play music in LA.

Thanks to David (keyboards/guitar), there was a great showing for our gig. David worked at ASCAP just down the street and brought out a lot of his friends that he made over his time in LA. Family of Tucker's flew out to support the band as did family of the Powells (Blake & Taylor, guitar and drums).

Even though last night was a great gig, the best part about LA for me has been visiting with my two friends Ryan Smith and Brian Werthiem. Both of them I met in Boston at Berklee and spent a lot of time with them making music and being friends. Ryan and I were in a band called The Powers That Be, traveled together in support of the band, and made a lot of music together in church up in Boston. Ryan and I are still great friends even though he's been here in LA for the last 2 years. Ryan works here as a performer, writer and producer. Brian is here on an
internship through Berklee working with a film composer. Brian and I have been great friends as well because he was the roommate of the leader of a band I was in. We've hung out a lot doing silly things around Boston and having deep conversations about the inter workings of life and spirituality. It was so refreshing to see them both. The time I spent with them recharged me in the way that good friends do.

I now await the signal to load up the van to head to Las Vegas. The band elected to spend an extra day in Vegas before our show tomorrow night at the Freakin' Frog. After that we're back in LA for a show at the Viper Room. Prayers for safety and a theft-less trip to Vegas would be appreciated. :D


Gear Shopping in LA

I love Los Angeles because of the gear selections available. Vintage basses, hard to find pedals, brands of amps I've always wanted to try, it's got it all. Here are a couple pics of basses I really want now as a result of yesterday.

No way. It's the Metalocalypse bass:
That bass was amazing, by the way. Yesterday really made want to have a real job so I could afford all of the wonderful instruments I played. Don't worry, the feeling was short lived and I quickly remembered I'm not any good at anything else.

I made one purchase yesterday: a MarkBass Super Synth. I'm so excited to share clips and a review, it's just gonna have to wait until we get a break in the tour. I'm just too busy right now! But I'm loving the pedal; looking forward to really spending some time with it.

Tonight we're off to the Whiskey A-Go-Go to play. It's just down the street so I'm going to spend the day relaxing here by the pool and enjoying the gorgeous LA weather.


Arrival in West Hollywood

So due to a lack of internet access the last couple days, I thought I'd blog all of the tweets I've wanted to make on this leg of our adventure.

After our show in Indianapolis, IN at Lizard's I drove to St. Louis, MO and then the last hour or so to Kansas City, MO where my parents live and we had planned on staying the night. It was so good to have dinner with them, walk the dog with my mom and chat and catch up with my dad. My siblings were there too and it was awesome to see them. (Olivia, thank you so much for the cookies. The other guys still don't know about them yet :D)

With a huge drive from Kansas City to Los Angeles, we got an early start on our epic 24 hour drive. Kansas is not a fun drive, but I think that part of the drive is beautiful. I love the huge skies and great expanses of farmland. After Kansas came Colorado, which is infinitely more captivating than Kansas. I love the feeling of being dwarfed by towering mountains. Tucker enjoyed driving through the first part of Colorado so much he drove till sunset.

After sleeping through the night, I woke up to find us switching drivers in the desert of Nevada just outside of Las Vegas. Driving through the desert is a different kind of beauty, and overwhelming in another sense. It's a wonderful drive from Missouri to LA, but I would recommend doing it in more than 24 hours. :D

The weather is amazing here in Las Angeles. We're now waiting on a couple guys to shower so we can go guitar shopping. LA, due to it's historically rich music scene, is also know for it's collection of vintage guitars all over the place. Wish us luck.


Barrington, IL - Penny Road Pub

We had a show last night. It wasn't spectacular, but some more of Tucker's family's friends came out last night so there was plenty of support. The bar tenders really liked us, which are good people to have like you. They were really nice. I fell in love with one of them. She was really cute.

After last night I thought I would be listening to Pink Floyd for the next week (we played with a REALLY good PF cover band last night) but instead I'm going to have Bon Iver on repeat. This guy is so soothing. It's kind of the definition of Indie, but it's the perfect 'post-gig, chill out, clear your head and drive back to the hotel' music.

There are plenty of good shots from last night, but I only feel like sharing this amazing photo-bomb by our drummer, Taylor:

Amazing. Simply amazing. Driving through Indiana right now towards Indianapolis. Dave's driving. Haha. We're stuck in traffic.


Chicago, IL - Goose Island

We've never played Chicago before. I personally haven't and the band as an entity hasn't. Although we dreaded the 16 hour drive it would take to get us here, excitement was surface level the entire time. I got the flu Monday night-ish, and really started to take a toll on me Tuesday, the day we left CT, through thursday afternoon, right before our show.(feeling fine now, thank you). My fever subsided an hour or two before we were due to go on which I was very grateful for, so I was free to just spend the rest of my energy on the show and look forward to passing out afterwards. After a good night's rest last night I feel better except for the typical leftover sore throat, but I'll take that over my status the last three days anytime.

We got to Chicago a day early to celebrate the 21st birthday of our guitar player, Blake. So while the underaged and myself hung out at the hotel, the rest of the guys stormed Chicago till the early morn. Everyone came back safe but I don't think the remembered much.

Our show was at the Goose Island Brewery, a popular bar literally 50 yards from Wrigley Field. The Cubs were away today but there were still plenty of people there, not to mention all those who came out that night for the music.

Wonderful night in Chicago. Off to Barrington, IL for our show at the Penny Road Pub.