Hello again. It's that time again and we're ramping up for another tour with Mark which means dusting off the old typewriter and a third edition of Notes From The Road. For those who are new to these notes, it's simply a little bit of writing I do at the end of each, or most, days. Sort of a summary of my day, reflections of the city we're in and highlights of some outstanding food and drink. Once in a while I might even write about the show! For this outing, I've been encouraged to write about my instruments that are with me on tour and that I play during performances. That will be a monumental task as my eyes begin to glaze over when the talk turns tech, but I will at some point over the next few months have an entry or two devoted to gear. Also, my friend and band-mate Guy Fletcher does a brilliant daily tour diary on his website with loads of photos, contests and more. Our entries occasionally overlap but generally we cover different things, so check out Guy's site as well for another angle on things, http://www.guyfletcher.co.uk/index.php.
After 10 days of rehearsals in London, we have adjourned to the Berkshire countryside and an old film soundstage for production rehearsals. What that means is full stage set up, lights rigged and sound just as it will be in a concert performance. This gives the crew, lighting director and front of house sound man a chance to rehearse the show at the same time we are. Without giving anything away I can tell you the lights are seriously tremendous and the whole show is very fresh. It's the usual band with the addition of John McCusker, a brilliant musician from Scotland. He's fit in so well it seems like he's always been in the band.
Getting back to the rehearsal facility, many movies have been made on this soundstage, most notably the Hammer horror movies with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing of the late 50s and early 60s. We're staying in the old manor turned hotel just next door to the studio. The manor figured heavily in those movies as well whenever a haunted castle, a large oak door with black iron hardware or a creaking staircase was called for, the Hammer crew brought the cameras over and rolled film. It's a beautiful setting, my room overlooks the River Thames in the peaceful, picturesque village of Bray.
We have two more days here then it's a break for Easter holidays. I'll be going home to Nashville for the break then will fly to our first gig in Amsterdam at the end of the month. I will officially begin Notes From The Road as a daily entry at that time, so stay tuned, come back often and tag along with us on tour.
Until then. so long,