Chicago, Illinois

Could not sleep beyond 7:30...tried and tried. After an hour I got up opened the curtains and started the day. This hotel does not have a coffee maker in the room and there's nothing as grand as Peet's nearby. That first cup of coffee is everything and I wasn't prepared to go outside for it. Room service. A small pot of coffee was $10 with a $5 delivery charge and an 18% gratuity. By my calculations that's nearly 17 bucks for a couple of cups of caffeine. Screw that, I'll do without. Togs on, down to the gym. The usual slog. Back to the room. I'd promised Mike McGoldrick I'd ring him at noon and, if he was still interested, take him to Downtown Dogs for a serious hot dog. So off we went but first both of us desperately needed a cup of coffee and opted for the first spot we fell into. That done we walked a block around the corner and ordered a couple of Char Dogs, hot dogs that have been WELL grilled on the outside but the inside is still juicy and delicious. Neon green relish, onions and mustard...a work of art. Mike went on for a walk down the shore of Lake Michigan and I went to my fave clothes store, H & M. A new shirt in hand I made it back to the hotel and listened twice to Bo Ramsey's album "Stranger Blues". This guy's got it going on in a big way.

Tonight's gig was the Chicago Theatre, the home of one of our best gigs of the last tour. Another old palace, domed, angelic scenes painted and sense of what the real old show business of the '20s used to be. Our friends Paul Kennerley and Chuck Ainlay came in from Nashville for the show and it was great seeing them. The gig was grand and even with a couple of screw ups was one of the best. The audience the same.

A runner back to the hotel and a little private room off the main bar was the site of a gathering of friends and band.

It's off to Milwaukee tomorrow.

So long,