So we’re back in the South and its a beautiful day as we head from Atlanta to Charlotte. All the time we were here with Blackberry Smoke, we didn’t actually play Atlanta. I personally know some people from Atlanta and I have been to the city before. It was 2010, the year before I met the band and I played a few songs in a bar in Decatur one night and I tried my luck at Eddie’s Attic the next. It was very sweet.
Hearing that drawl again as I spoke to some folks last night took me back to last spring and my heart was glad for it. This part of the country has a unique lush beauty so we’re getting to see some amazing sights on our drive here today and I think after 6 weeks we’re feeling very thankful to have all we have today.
I know I am. Eddie’s Attic ran a big open mic competition. I just happened to be in town on the right night. I sang some songs from Daddy’s Table plus something on piano that was new at the time. I got through to the finals but came second to a very much better three piece. I kept it down but I was devastated I didn’t win. At that time I was devastated in a much larger sense that I really wasn’t winning as a solo artist at all. After 15 years and 3 record deals in London, I had moved back to Glasgow and shortly after that American trip I was ready to pack it in.
In the six years that have passed my life has changed in ways I could never have believed in 2010. Now when I take the stage I’ve got The Temperance Movement behind me and I never feel like I did at Eddie’s Attic. Never. I take much pride in the solo records I made. I got on TV. I toured with some great people. I worked with many brilliant musicians and producers. I’d love to play those songs again and I probably will too. And when I do it’ll be great and great for one reason: The Temperance Movement. As much as I thought I knew before it, most of what I know now about music, I’ve learned from The Temp in the five years we’ve been touring.
American touring has been a big part of that. I’ve declared my love for the State-side road here many times. If a UK band gets a chance to do it, it’ll change that band forever. And I’m not even talking about success. I’m taking about experience. The reality of touring. Together all the time. Long journey times. 50 shows. 100 shows. Keeping the energy up. Hitting the stage big every night. Missing home. Hearing strain on the end of the phone. Feeling helpless to do much about it but listen. Gambling life in today’s casino style music business…
You may have had to listen to this kind of thing from me recently after a show. Perhaps I’ve been spilling over the brim a little. Dashing a fresh fan’s excitement that we’re even in their town with brooding conversation about cost of plane tickets and such. Sorry if that was you. I feel quite at home here. North, South, East, West. I feel like I can just blab to people like I do at home. Its a good thing really.
Last night was also awesome it has to be said. I am proud that we got to play that legendary room before it gets closed. The folks who came to Masquerade really welcomed us and danced and dug what we did. A few boys from Blackberry Smoke came down. Richard Turner burst into our dressing room 5 mins before we went on, said hey and split. Rock star. Brandon, Eric, Thumper… great to see you guys. Thank you also to The 68-75’s for opening the show. Everybody rocked the shit out of it last night. No doubt.
Tonight we’re at The Underground in Charlotte, on stage at 9pm.
See you if you’re there.