Hi, everybody! I am writing not from my couch but from the backseat of our tour vehicle. Next to me in the middle seat is my one-year-old, next to her is our friend and baby-whisperer Kris, in the front driving is Shawn, and next to him is our friend Matt, who has been documenting our tour.
This is day 6 of the tour and I am having the time of my life. It’s just as fun as I had imagined and everyone is really bonding and having fun. I love traveling so much that I forget what town we’re in. I love constantly being on the move. I love being in a different city every night. I love meeting new people. I love making new connections. I love playing music. I love this.
So far, we have played in Nashville Tennessee, Knoxville Tennessee, Lexington Kentucky, Athens Georgia, and Durham NC. Each show is with Chelsea Williams and Ross Garren – fantastic musicians – and I am loving the opportunity to become closer with them and see them play every night.
In the car we have been bonding and listening to a lot of Kid Rock. I now have a newfound appreciation for his music and showmanship. We are all kind of obsessed with him right now. Also I feel like he is really attractive. Something about that patchy mustache/tank top/long hair combo…
We have also been listening to a good amount of Eminem, some improv comedy podcasts, and we’ve been talking a lot about music, entertainment, and vitamin deficiencies. I, for instance, ate my first vegetable of the tour last night when we got Chinese food take-out. I also have not taken a shower this whole time. I’m kind of into embracing the grime, Kid Rock style.
All of our shows have gone really well. Better than I even could have imagined. The audiences have been really engaged and responsive and the venues have been amazing. The first show was on Sunday at Little Harpeth Brewing in East Nashville.
The place was cool, the stage was big, and the sound system was good. And our label-mate Gina Sicilia came out to see us! It was so nice to hang with her. It was like a Blue Elan sister-reunion.
The next morning, on Monday, we woke up early and drove a few hours to Knoxville. We were scheduled to be there at 10am for a performance on the Blue Plate Special at the WDVX Knoxville station. The radio station is in the Knoxville visitor center and the program is so cool – every day, people come to see the performers playing that day (free) and the show is broadcast live on the radio station. We played a 4- song set. First were Chelsea and Ross (amazing as always) and we were up next.
I get a little nervous when we do live broadcasts but I am happy to report that I didn’t f- anything up. The show went great. Afterwards, we did a little meet-and-greet and met people afterwards. I love doing that. A very kind woman came up to me and told me how much she enjoyed the performance. She told me that her husband died a year ago and that he loved music too. She said he had toured everywhere with the Blues Brothers and I asked what his job had been. She said ‘he was John Belushi.’ We spoke for a few more minutes and made a nice connection. Back in the car, I told the story and mentioned that she had been married to John Belushi. After about an hour of deliberation, we realized that her husband must have been a John Belushi performer because, it turns out that, sadly, John Belushi died 36 years ago. But I will still always remember that kind woman as John Belushi’s wife.
After that, we couldn’t waste any time to get to our next load-in, which was 4:15 in Lexington KY, a 3+ hour drive. It was our tightest time crunch and we drove fast! Also there was a weird time change situation that happened so we almost thought we had an extra hour – good thing we didn’t dawdle because we pulled in at exactly… 4:10! Have I mentioned that Shawn is a driving machine? Our show in Lexington was at Woodsongs – a live show in the big beautiful Lyric Theater that is broadcast to TV and radio all over the world. The host told us that the listening audience is over 2 million people. No pressure.
As soon as we pulled in, there were people there waiting to help us unload. In the rain. We were so grateful. Inside, the place was full of kind, loving volunteers who work to run the show. There was a volunteer providing reiki (!), there was a huge table full of barbecue for the performers to eat, and we had our very own dressing room. Talk about plush.
We met everyone and loved them all immediately. We had a production meeting where we went over the course of the show, then a sound check (they had super cool microphones hand-made of brass from Portland Ore), and at 7 it was time to go on. We all went on the stage together and took turns performing and talking – front porch style.
The show was super fun. The livestream is up now – check it out and let me know what you think! I felt like we rocked it.
That night Woodsongs put us up in a really nice donated hotel room (definitely the nicest one we’ve had of the whole tour!) and we stayed up late talking and rehashing the day. So much fun hanging out and bonding with each other. We had a great time.
Tuesday morning, we drove to Athens, Georgia. That was a long drive. About 7 hours. But we got through it with a little help from Kid Rock. We got to Athens in the evening, checked into the Days Inn, and got settled.
The Athens show was late. We didn’t start until 9:30 and I didn’t know if I would be able to stay up that late. You might be surprised how tiring it is to be so inactive on long drives. But Shawn offered to go with Matt to set up our gear at the venue and I stayed in the room and took a little nap, which was so nice.
Shawn came back and woke me up saying ‘time to go!’ The good thing was that I was too disoriented to have any pre-show nerves. I jumped up, put on some lipstick, and walked out the door.
We got to the venue, a place called ‘World Famous.’ On the way, Shawn said ‘this is our kind of place, Jackie. The place is full of hipsters.’ Yessss. We got there, and seeing a room full of young people our own age energized me.
We got on stage and I gave it all I had. That show was one of my favorites for sure. I felt so on. And I felt like I was really connecting with the audience. It felt like a transaction of love. The greatest currency.
After, we watched Chelsea and Ross and then hung out after talking and laughing. We met lots of new fans and connected with lots of people. I loved every minute.
We went back to the hotel (blasting Kid Rock ‘Cowboy’ on the way) and passed out hard. The next morning, we slept in until 11. That felt amazing. And then it was time to pack up – off to the next place!
Wednesday was Durham, NC. We played at a music school. It was such a cool space – they empower young people by encouraging them to create bands and teaching them the joy of making music. We loved the vibe in there and had a wonderful time meeting everyone. A student from the school opened for us and did such a good job! It was really nice to see a young person perform. I loved it.
Even though there was a UNC game on at 9, the whole audience stuck around until the end of the show. I hear that that’s high praise in North Carolina!
We packed up after the show and went back to The Days Inn.
This morning, Thursday, we got up at 8 and packed up the car. Another day, another town.
That’s where we are now. In the car. On our way to Knoxville to do a shoot in a cavern! And then after that we’re heading to Memphis. If you’re in the area come see us! I’d love to see you!