I can think of a lot of things that one lonely person needs on the road, but I can think of two things that are crucial: 1. cruise control, 2. someone who has or does mother children. Cruise control is obvious. Why a mom? It's simple. They're just concerned about you, especially if you happen to be sleeping in their home and are a singer of songs that they enjoy, even if you are a total stranger. Yes it's true, the fans are very important, but not as important as the mothers that you meet along the way. They're the ones who really get you through the tour. "Would you like to do some laundry? Can I make you a to go cup of coffee? Can I fix you some dinner? Would you like to take a bath? I made you some apple brownies." seriously, you don't get that sort of hospitality anywhere except from a mother. And then you hit the road again, well-rested with a full belly, clean jeans and the warm fuzzies.
I'm just leaving St. Louis, where I played the 4th of 8 shows with The Wood Brothers. I stayed two nights with friends of a friend of friend, Mike and Kelly. Kelly is a mom. Now you know where I'm standing. Well, I'm sitting actually, I'm driving, sort of. I've got the cruise control on and I'm typing this with my voice. Ah technology.
I'm headed to Bloomington Indiana, Twin City to Athens Georgia, or so they say. This is my first ever solo tour. Solo driving, solo loading, solo performing, solo everything. This wasn't the original plan, but Ben Lewis' flight was canceled due to hurricane Sandy, and so here I am. Anyway, it's really not so bad. In fact I'm seeing this tour as a rite of passage. I could see it being harder if the Wood Brothers weren't so sweet.
Four more shows and four more cities to go and then a long ass drive home to Nashville. Wish me luck!
Oh and happy Halloween!
I just want to throw it up for Ali. Grazie Mille. Sorry if I stay at your home too often.
You are a shining star onto the world.
Grand Rapids MI
Westhampton Beach, NY
New York, NY
Not everywhere, but certainly several places, and hung out with some pretty great people. The Davis's of Chadds Ford are wonderful people with a beautiful new deck. And it was at their home that I finally watched Blazing Saddles. Fantastic. Mel Brooks and Willy Wonka are a fabulous team. I would love to do a remake. I would be Willy Wonka and Cleavon Little would be played by, oh I don't know, how about... and Don Cheadle! BOOM!!!! Now that's a remake.
And as we are on the road with Jerry Reeds grandson, Jerry Roe (who is the drummer for kd lang), I've also been dreaming of growing a mustache remaking a little film called "Gator." Jerry Roe would play Bama McCall and I would be Gator.
I would also love to play Batman.
If you have any other suggestions of remakes that the Lera Lynn band could possibly dream of starring in, please post it on Facebook. If someone comes up with one that makes me "LOL," I'll send you a shirt or something.
Ben's mom sent me a Rubiks cube. It's really frustrating when you can't win. It's a youth puzzle, and there's a million kids on YouTube that can do it. But me... I'm just a big idiot.
We're playing Hyannis tonight on a stage that spins around! If I said I wasn't excited, I would be a liar.
Sometimes you forget about things you love or move on from them for one reason or another. But forgetting means you can later rediscover. Last night in Evanston, IL., I had the opportunity to rediscover the magic of something I once held near and dear; whiskey. Bourbon to be specific. Having recently spent 2 weeks in England, driving in a backwards car on a backwards road, I wasn't able to spend as much time as usual with my old friend. Upon return to the US, as some of you know, I was hit with a quadruple health challenge. I tried everything imaginable, except whiskey. Let me tell you, Whiskey truly is a cure-all.
How is it that the road delivers us wonderful people all the time? I guess the universe approves of our ventures. We played at Space, where the owner put as much, if not more, thought into the green room as the live room. Super super rad there. Can't wait to go back. We also met the coolest, sweetest couple last night, Ernie and Quinn, of somewhere south of Chicago IL. Ernie opened the show for us and then opened his home to us for the night. They built us a fire outside, played fiddle tunes and made us pancakes for breakfast. I slept better than I have in weeks. What have we done to deserve this? Nothing probaby.
Being on the road also presents challenges, especially with respect to finding mail recepticals. Lately we've been chasing down mail people and asking them to send out our postcards. I wonder if they think they're about to be accosted, ony to be handed a pile of ridiculous post cards. You're welcome. --Lera
Katie is a cat lady. And a cat lady is a nemesis to the band, no matter how sweet, how generous, and how amiable a person is. The Ben’s will never fully accept a keeper of cats. Meow. We hate our allergies.
As we drive through Nebraska, I reflect on our time spent in Colorado. To quote Lera Lynn, “Colorado is possibly the worst climate for a South Eastern bred singer for two reasons. 1: It’s dry. 2. I can’t hold my whiskey.” To quote me, “I’m from Colorado, I love it here, please stop talking about the altitude.” One actual downside about Colorado, no Bank of America, which has led me to invent a game. It’s a race. First person to find out where I am, kill me and take my wallet wins way more cash than anyone should ever carry in a wallet, much less a child Velcro wallet.
Nebraska is a perfect state for pondering questions in ones head. Can my pin number be 5 numbers long? If so should I switch my pin to P-I-Z-Z-A? How much do stuntmen make a year? How far away can Chicago be? If someone killed me and took my wallet, how long until they guessed P-I-Z-Z-A? I wonder what Lera’s pin is.
You know what? Nebraska is pretty. We’re 82 miles from Kearny.
Dear Fans of the Blog,
I am sorry. I am sorry that I let you down, yet again and failed to blog overseas. More than once.
Buon Giorno! I'm in my home state, Colorado! Rad. Adam came all the way from Utah and the Knutsons were there, and my family and the Ebel's and it was Suzanne's birthday, and and and my brother had too much to drink and I'm sure today he has buyers remorse for spending like, over $100 on things he probably could have stollen out of our van. I'm saying... I would have trusted him with the keys.
Lera has altitude sickness, jet lag, allergies and womanly times happening right now, so she's a blast. Flat tire on E470. Our first one. Got it by running over a Browning shotgun choke. It was a real treat trying to figure out how to get the tire off the bottom of van... it was a mess. Good thing Jeremy showed up and saved us from what would have been certain lateness.
Ricky came too! All the way from Florida.
Every time I visit Colorado I wonder why I ever moved away. What? So that I could ultimately meet Lera and have to ride around in a van with her while she steals my Advil and tells me to stop playing my Indian flute that I bought at Heritage Square? Hindsight = 20/20.
So many good things. Anyways, I'm sort of busy. I'm going to go try to find Bama McCall's grandson and hang out with him, because yes... I'm on tour with him. And they say sequels are never as good as the original...
Our address for receiving mail is:
PO Box 214
We'd love to hear from you.
I'm such a horrible keeper of the blog. Apologies. I know all of you have just been hanging on to the edge of your seats, anxiously awaiting my next post. Well, I have an almost excuse for my neglect. We're in the UK. Internet access is rare when you're driving all over. NO more excuses. We're relaxing in the Lake District in England after a week of traveling and performing and driving on the wrong side of the road. I will say, I'm almost a master at wrong-side driving now, except when backing up. It's backwards twice so that it's almost right. Whatever the case, it's a real brain fuck.
We played at the Secret Garden Party in England. No one told us that we'd have to traverse acres of suck-your-feet-down mud before getting to the stage. No one told us that we'd want to have water proof shoes either. I started with Chaco's. Ben with his lizard cowboy boots. Poor boots. They're in need of repair now. Eventually Ben just went barefooted. Even the costumed party goers on who knows what were giving us funny looks. We might have been 2 of 5 people in that 20,000 person festival without the rubber boots. Oops! I'm told by several that while we were on stage, playing our folky duo set, a man approached the stage and exposed himself to us. Ben says they made eye contact. Luckily I was distracted by something and missed this altogether. Phew! If you're ever in England in the "summer,"and looking for an experience, go to the not-so-secret Garden Party.
We played our first set on a river boat. Everyone gets drunk midday. They walk around on the boat and sit and listen to music. It's a good thing. I'd do it again. And again. Mary Ben's Girlfriend met us in Newcastle just before boarding the boat. I'm really glad she's here.
Tomorrow we're headed back to London, then up to Perth, Scotland to play a couple shows before heading down to the Cambridge Folk Festival. I can't believe we're already half way through this trip. I am anxious to get back to Ben Wills, and hear some bass on these songs, I can tell you that. Ben, we love you.
Holla at ya Athens, Ga. Athfest might be the best reason to live in Athens…Aside from Kelly’s Jamaican Jerk Chicken. Our night shared at the 40 watt with Modern Skirts, Quiet Hounds and Twin Tigers was one for the books! A real ho-down!
And then David Prasse happened. Prasse and friends have the unique ability to once a year turn Little Kings into the coolest day party found in these parts. Got a chance to perform with Thayer Sarrano, The Empties and some others. Just a real great time.
Thank you to everyone who made it out. It was hot. It was crowded. It was fun. JB’s polish sausage was back! And mine fell in the back of Lera’s car on the way home.
And my Grandma Wills was there. How do you like that?
Lera Lynn here. Here being home. At last. Ben Lewis and I played in Atlanta last night, which is familiar and close enough to Athens to be included in the feeling of being home. But tonight we play in Athens, our real home, which is always splendid. And then we get to make the 2.5 minute drive to our own respective beds. Last night was our first of three shows with Todd Snider. What a character. He makes me feel like Mother Teresa. The Variety Playhouse was a fun room. I can't believe how wonderfully attentive the audience was. Makes me think, if you can weather Athens discerning fans, you can likely survive in some pretty rough crowds. Thanks for making me tough, Athens. Atlanta delivered us this guy, Seth. Seth wanted his chest signed. And like everyone who asks for a body signing, he asked me to write something really witty. All I could dream up was the literal. Thank you Seth for your enthusiasm and please thank your lovely lady lawyer friend who was there cheering me on as I debated how to traverse your dewy chest hairs. Oh this life. From now on, I'm only signing ladies ;)
Well howdy folks. Last night we opened another show for Paul Thorn at Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC. A fine establishment with even finer staff. We were made welcome with handshakes, smiles, and a few six packs of beer. Beautiful. The crowd was exceptionally welcoming and we made a good deal of top-notch friends (two fellas by the name of Jody and Chris just to name a few). I'm getting way ahead of myself though. The main reason for coming to Carrboro was to get close to Chapel Hill so we could swing by one of the greatest restaurants in the entire world...Time-Out. Roughly 8 years ago I had the great pleasure of eating at this gourmet producer of foods and I've had a burning desire to return ever since. Their claim to fame is that they serve Thanksgiving food 24/7/365. Needless to say, Lera went without. Overall review, not quite everything I remembered, but definitely some tasty eats. Highest quality grease for sure. Post show, we loaded into the van and left in search of shelter. We found a La Quinta sandwiched between a Red Lobster and a Bowling Alley. Done. Upon entering said Quinta, we encountered a cop, a manager, and like five 8-year-olds. Their parents had locked them out of the room for some "private time" and they were up to all sorts of tomfoolery at 2 in the A.M. After a few threats of child protection and the long arm of the law, the hoodlums were wrangled and returned to their hotel cell. Afterwards, we were honored by Manager Margaret and inducted into the La Quinta rewards program, established by the late Mr. Quinta back in 1936. A Spaniard fella! This is a high honor and only given to the most thrifty of folks. It is now today and we're headed back to the Cat's Cradle because I forgot a pair of pants there. Then off to Winston Salem for one more show and home tomorrow! Go America!