We pulled into beautiful Charleston, South Carolina and found our venue, the Windjammer, on the Isle of Palms. I’m used to bars that have pool tables, maybe darts, and on a rare occasion, horse shoe pits. This one had beach volleyball. I tried to wrap my head around the combination of booze and highly physical activity, but I just couldn’t picture it. We drove over the bridge to check out downtown Charleston and walked around the beautiful streets. I even found the lack of parking to be downright charming.
We went back to the Windjammer and met members of the Will Lewis Band, who were playing before us. They showed us a fine Southern welcoming and brought a great crowd. We made new friends and thoroughly enjoyed the beach life, fleeting as it was. After sticking our toes into the Atlantic, it was time to drive on to Georgia. We didn’t have a show in Savannah, but we’ve always wanted to see it, and this was our chance.
Savannah is full of moss-covered trees, beautiful old buildings, streetcars, and amazing parks. Oh, and an open-container law. It’s the stuff of dreams.
We moved on to our gig at Twain’s, in Decatur, had a delicious beet sandwich, and set up for sound check. A dear friend from long ago showed up and ended up putting us up for two days.
Lisa and Andre (aka DJ Enchant’d) showed us a great time in a great city, and clued us in to a free concert in a park around the corner. The Sweetwater Brewery puts on a free 420 Fest every year. You can get in for free or pay 5 bucks to drink, and see bands and comedians all day for 3 days. Don’t mind if we do! We saw Soulive play a great show in the sunshine and we meandered back and forth between stages and craft booths and around kids and dogs and hoola-hoopers and stoners. A great time was had by all.
Later that night, Lisa and Andre introduced us to the sexy, sexy world of salsa. They told us “some friends” were headed to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History to dance a little.
We walked in and saw hundreds of beautiful people twirling under life-sized dinosaur re-creations while the Cuban music blasted over several speakers and filled the elegant 3-story room. Salsa under dinosaurs…we never would have found this world without a little help from our friends, and now we’ll never be the same. We left feeling uncoordinated and unattractive, but inspired!
Next up was Gadsden, Alabama where the fine gentlemen of Tu’Kanoos (whom we had met on the patio of a bar in Big Sky last winter!) were having an all-day crawfish boil before our show later in the night. That meant about 7 hours of drinking and eating before we had to be professional. I kept telling myself the crawfish were like little lobsters, but my heart and my head kept saying they were cockroaches from the sea. The heart and head tend to win these arguments and I stuck to the red beans and rice.
The carnage of little carcasses slopped up to our elbows, and then we put on our pretties and did our little ditties. We continued to hang with the owners and staff of Tu’Kanoos until the sun came up. Thanks for the wreckless hospitality, gents and lady; I had “West L.A. Fadeaway” in my head for DAYS (now you can, too). Let’s do it all again in Montana!
On to Birmingham. We met Keith Harrelson and played a show at his listening room, Moonlight on the Mountain which sits on a steep bluff overlooking the great city of Birmingham.
This is one of those rare music venues where you’re guaranteed to get a personal show, so you bring your own drinks and snacks, and you settle in and really get to know the performers. We shared the stage with Amy Mccarley and her backup band and really enjoyed their set. Keith put us up at his place and we chatted late into the evening. We had such a good time, we decided to stay and see Tony Furtado play there the next night!
If you’re in that area, or you know someone who is, please point them to Moonlight on the Mountain and keep these great listening rooms in business. It’s how music should be heard!
The next morning, we played at 8:30am on the local Birmingham TV channel (thanks again, Derek!) near the famous Vulcan statue that put Birmingham on the map. From there, we headed on down to New Orleans.
Thanks to all the Southerners that crossed our path in the last couple of weeks. We appreciate your friendly, giving hearts and we certainly hope to return before too long.
Up next: Tumbledown House gets crabs in the Big Easy.