I was so excited to get the news out about the EP that I decided to save the tour tales for the next blog, and here I am!
We hit the road at the end of October. On the 24th, Edward played City Vineyard in Birmingham, AL, opening for Lee Lindsey, a terrific Canadian singer-songwriter who is touring with Shani Drake, a fine violinist from Seattle with a lovely voice. Lee and I connected several years ago because of our talented sons (hers is Sam Bradley) and we've emailed and chatted a lot, so I was glad to finally meet her in person. She wrote a song that Sam often performs called Like a River. Edward has covered it occasionally, and performed it with Sam at a private show last year. Lee invited Edward up to sing it with her that night, and though it was a little rough without a rehearsal, it was beautiful and touching. Our street team leader, Kymber, got it on video, so you can Google it if you want.
We met up with Lee and Shani again two days later at South Creek Vineyards and Winery in Nebo, NC. Lee, Shani and Edward took turns playing outside on the deck for a very attentive crowd who were enjoying the wine tasting and the beautiful, if breezy, day in the mountains. Edward didn't have a coat with him, and when the sun moved away from the stage, his hands were almost too cold to play. One of our friends loaned him a jacket, and a thoughtful gentleman in the crowd let Edward borrow some knitted gloves, and though he managed to play one song with them on, they didn't work very well for fingerpicking. He did keep them on when he wasn't playing, though, and when the show was over, we discovered that the gloves' owner had left before Edward could return them. Thank you, sir! We promise they have a good home.
Lee and Edward sang Like a River again, and it was better the second time. I think Lee's road manager, Kenzie, got video of it, but I'm not sure. Kenzie is a great gal, by the way. She and Lee are driving all over North America for their tour, and I may be a wee bit jealous of their RV. We had a lot of fun with all three ladies, and I hope we get to see them all again.
South Creek is a gorgeous place and the owners, Jim and Mary, were the perfect hosts. Get up there if you can - it's well worth the trip! You can see pics from the show, including the gloves, on their Facebook page.
Sweet friends came to the winery from Greensboro, then brought us home with them and spoiled us rotten. We really didn't want to leave (they shared their home with us again on our return trip), but we were expected in VA the next day at StellaWiki's. We had a couple of days of downtime, which was great for catching up and visiting, and then we all drove up to Richmond on the 30th for Edward to play at GlobeHopper Coffeehouse. It's a cool little place and Kimmy is a fine hostess. Not only can she make delicious beverages, but she can run cables and route electrical cords, too! She asked us back, so I'll try to make that happen as soon as possible.
Halloween at StellaWiki's is the way to do it. Send the men out with the kids to get candy while the ladies kick back with a cold one and a movie. If we didn't love decorating and dressing up so much at our house, I'd be tempted to start a new tradition!
The next day, we loaded up both cars and drove up to Fairfax, VA for the Only About The Music- Artists For Autism concert. The Grafton Institute was the beneficiary charity, and the money raised is going to their music therapy program. 13 artists (a combined total of 37 musicians) performed over 2 days, all on the same stage at the Auld Shebeen Irish Bar and Grill. It was hectic, a little crazy, and a lot of fun!
We saw old friends like Bobby Long, Lee Lindsey, and Surviving Allison, and made new ones, including Alex Starling, Tom Bertram, Denny White, Shannon Labrie, and Miles Garber. The line-up also included Toy Soldiers, The Hunts, Naseem Khuri, and David Mayfield Parade, who were the final act of the weekend. So much talent in one place, and such a great bunch of people! Everyone was excited to be part of the show, and especially to help Grafton and the kids they teach. The coordinators kept things running as smoothly as possible and I still don't quite know how they did it. They not only had musicians, technicians, and audience to contend with, but also emceed, and ran a silent auction and raffle, composed of an incredible selection of items donated by the artists and friends of OATMAFA. There were one of a kind performance photos, autographed memorabilia, handwritten lyrics, signed guitars, and so much more. Everyone had a great time and a lot of people went home with new treasures and wonderful memories. We hope the OATMAFA gang ask Edward again for the next one, even if he did keep calling them the Oatmafia.
He and Lee did rehearse Like a River and performed it during her set, and quite a lot of people commented later about how great it sounded. I know there are videos up of that performance, so if you Google one, you'll probably find all of them.
Edward and I hung around Fairfax for an extra day and caught Mike Nesmith at Wolftrap. Mike looked great, and there were several points during the show when I closed my eyes and just listened - he still sounded like that 20something in the beanie. He didn't do any Monkees songs, but we didn't care. He did all our favorites from his solo career, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was a perfect ending for our mini-tour.
FYI- Our fantastic street team leader, Kymber, is working on a special project with us, so stay tuned. We'll let you know as it develops. Until then, take care!