Taylor Swift, The Foo Fighters and The Shack Band

January 14, 2015

see_no_spotify

Three completely different artists and three completely different takes on Spotify

Taylor Swift has made waves in the news this week for two different reasons: one is that she has the first platinum album of the year; two, is that she has removed her entire catalogue from Spotify. Regardless of whether you are a fan or not, this is big news in the music business on both accounts. Now everybody is weighing in on the subject from Dave Grohl to Spoitfy’s CEO. Now it’s The Shack Bands turn.

With record sales on the decline, many speculated that the last platinum album had already occurred. Swift’s record proved them wrong selling over a million copies in under a week. Before the release of the album she pulled her music from Spotify, causing a flutter of commentary from everyone involved in music. She has claimed that Spotify devalues music. Her decision has proved a very profitable one.

Dave Grohl (The Foo Fighters, Nirvana) has declared he doesn’t care about Spotify’s effect on the artist. His stance is that if you make great music than people will buy concert tickets and you will still get paid. He amended his statement with the caviat that he is playing two nights at Wembley stadium this summer so he can afford to miss the extra couple bucks from streaming services such as Spotify.

Although The Shack Band is planning for a summer packed with great music festivals and shows up and down the east coast, we are not headlining two nights at a stadium. Spotify streaming royalties have only earned us a couple of dollars since a single stream pays less than .01 cents. The bread and butter of our business is live shows and to a lesser extent, merchandise as well. Now that we know where a couple of the music industries biggest juggernauts stand, what does it mean for guys like us? I think the best way to describe the effect it’s had on us is through a recent fan interaction I recently had.

A couple of weeks ago we were in Atlanta for the first time. Before the show, I was setting up our merch table where we have t-shirts, koozies, and CDs for sale. Our merchandise profits go to buy hotels, gas and pay off debts related to recording our album. A guy and his girlfriend came up to talk to me and told me it was their first time seeing us live.. I was really happy to meet some new folks that have discovered our music. During the conversation, I asked the couple how they had come to decide to come out to see us. They said that they discovered our new album on Spotify. Since we were standing over all our CDs and T-shirts the guy remarked that he would buy a CD but he can listen to on Spotify instead.

So, to start a tally that’s a $10 CD sale lost and a $10 ticket bought. This was essentially a net gain of zero dollars. Now you can see how the issue goes from black and white to grey very quickly. My personal stance is somewhere in between Dave Grohl and Taylor Swift. I like Spotify as a consumer. I am actually using it to listen to music while I write this blog post. As an artist, I hate it because I get close to nothing when people listen to my music. On the other hand, I love that people from all over the world can discover our music. I also like the democratization of music that has occurred because of the decline of large record labels. Through our crowd funding efforts and our own personal money we financed our record ourselves. We didn’t need the approval of a record company executive to release our record. Spotify is good for us, but only because it slightly outweighs its evils.

Shack Taxi Wrap Up

December 13, 2013

rocknrollhotel

The dust has settled and we are back home from a whirlwind four day run with Moon Taxi.  If you are not familiar with them, check them out.  They are one of the few bands that all five of us collectively agree: they rock.  Their live show is incredibly engaging and we were all still entertained even after four nights in a row.  We were particularly excited when this run of shows got booked after what a banner year that Moon Taxi has had.  The band has released a new album, numerous music videos, performed at Bonnaroo, and most recently played on the David Letterman show.

Our first night out was in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The town itself is really great but historically Raleigh has been a tough music scene to crack. HoweverThursday night was an exception. People were out in full force filling up Southland Ballroom as soon as the doors opened.  This was our first show with Moon Taxi in over a year so when they arrived there was some catching up to do. Since we saw them last they purchased a new tour bus.  A Mercedes Sprinter.  Comfortable, luxurious tour rigs are what musicians dreams are made of. It was inspiring to see a band we’ve known for so long pull up in one.They have bunks, satellite T.V., a lounge area, and the diesel engine gets better gas mileage than our van to boot. And we thought we were high rollers with our new 15 passenger van.

Friday night we were lucky enough to play in our hometown in Richmond.  We played at Capital Ale House , which is a venue we typically do not play.  Richmond has a great music scene and musicians are spoiled to have a host of great venues to play.  The venue was packed with faces new and familiar.  The highlight of my night was heading down to the green room and hearing Trevor, the lead singer of Moon Taxi, singing our encore song ‘Got Work To Do.’  The low light of the night was after load out. After hauling the last bit of gear into the Moon Taxi trailer I found myself standing in the rain at two in the morning, no Shack Band in site.  I could have called and waited for a cab, but I just decided to walk the two miles and hope I saw one on the way.  About a hundred cabs passed me on my walk, all filled with occupants.  By the time I reached the apartment I was completely drenched and my desert boots were soaked through. Even though it was a rough ending to the second night, I couldn’t help but be in good spirits after two great shows.

Harrisonburg ended up being a wild night per usual.  The venue was twenty people short of selling out before we showed up so it was primed to be a killer show for the third night in a row.  We haven’t played a weekend club show in Harrisonburg in years and with the addition of another great band there was a lot of buzz.  I got to sit in on Moon Taxi’s, ‘Suspicious,’ which was a blast, so much so that we did it again the next night in DC. By the end of the evening the whole crew was ready to have some fun and one of our favorite JMU fraternities was throwing an after party at their frat house. Moon Taxi decided that they wanted a taste of the local flavor and tagged along.  It must have been a sight to see watching us pull up in a tour bus and have a horde of people stream off into the house.  Needless to say it got a bit wild, really wild. Fast forward through some craziness and we ended up picking up a shirtless Hunter from a Hampton Inn ten miles away in the morning.

We wrapped up our run in DC to another great crowd despite the snow and sleet that had been accumulating on the roads all evening. Unfortunately, a girl leaving the club slipped and hit her head on the curb outside of the club and was out cold for two minutes. As we were loading out there were fire trucks and an ambulance tending to the situation. After such an amazing four nights it was a harsh reminder that we were headed back home. We feel truly blessed to be on this journey. 

As our last night on the road came to an end,  Mason and I were lucky enough to sit down with Moon Taxi and pick their brains about strategy and what our next moves should be as we continue touring and putting out our new album.  What started as timid handshakes on Thursday ended up in hugs on Sunday night.  It is a rare occurrence when we get back into the van and say we could do another four nights out on the road.

It’s a Marathon. Not a Sprint.

October 29, 2013

redamp

If you keep tabs on our tour schedule you might have noticed that we haven’t been hitting the road as hard as usual. That is by design since we’re heading into the studio the second week of November! We’ve spent our time off the road rehearsing and refining our songs to get ready. The process of putting out on album as an independent band has been a long but fun process. We expect it’ll be out sometime in 2014.

Besides rehearsing on our own, we’ve been meeting with Jody Boyd and Marna Bales out of Red Amp Audio. They helped produce the first record out of their studio in Richmond. It’s great having a team like them on our side. They really believe in what we’re trying to do, and they make us feel like success is inevitable. This month they’ve made us dissect each song in order to make them translate better in a studio setting. Taking a song that has been road tested and arranged to work in front of a live audience is a very different thing from creating a song for an album, at least for us. We’ll be doing overdubs and vocals at Red Amp with Jody and Marna, but the bulk of our recording will be done in New York.

We’ll be spending a week at Engine Room Audio in Manhattan recording the majority of the album. This is where drums, bass, pianos, organs, and saxophone will be laid down. Our long-time friend Dan Millice will be mastering and tracking the album. He mastered our last album and has worked with other artists, including 50 Cent, Trey Songz, A$AP Rocky, and the like. The studio is really slick, so we look forward to the city bringing its own brand of excitement to the album. We rented an apartment in Brooklyn while we record. Hopefully we’ll have time to explore Brooklyn during our down time, but this probably won’t happen. (You might remember a blog from last winter where we spent the night at Dan’s ex-girlfriend’s apartment in Brooklyn and the fallout from that) It should be a pretty long week with fifty hours of studio time. Our biggest concern is burning ourselves out and getting to bed at a reasonable hour. Bobby has pledged to be“Drill Sargent Bobby”to make sure everyone stays on track. That should be fun.

Recording the album is probably about half the work required to produce a finished album. We’re still in the process of securing funding for the record as I write. Our Kickstarter campaign is set to roll out by the end of November. We’ll be offering pretty cool things, from Hunter’s handwritten lyrics to a full band performance. Some of the other things on the docket include planning the album release party, getting the music on online platforms, album artwork, and all those other things you don’t even know about until the day of.

Trying to create an album while basically never stopping touring has been difficult. I would liken the process to a rock tumbler. You put a bunch of ugly rocks in there, let them churn around violently for a while, and then hopefully you come out with a beautiful polished stone. I’d like to report that we’re gracefully crafting these tunes, but it’s a tough process. I’m sure everyone’s girlfriends, friends, and families will look forward to seeing us a little more frequently when this album is done. Just joking, we will probably hit the road even harder in support of the new record. See you out there.

 

 

Fighting Boredom on Tour

September 18, 2013

IthacaWeekend

It’s a Tuesday night and we’re getting ready for our next run. I just popped my laundry into the dryer and I’m about to have dinner. I usually try to have most of my stuff together the night before so I don’t wake up and discover that I only have one pair of clean boxers. Another thing that I always do before heading out is making sure I have something to entertain myself with while in the van. This usually includes going to the library and getting some fresh CDs and a book. Although our job is to play music, what we actually do is sit in a van all day traveling. Then we get on stage for between one and four hours and get back in the van. Our other main job while in the van is fighting boredom.

What they don’t tell you as a young musician is that if you practice all your scales, nail those auditions, and meet the right people you too can be trapped in a van for most of your waking hours! My last semester of college I knew that I would be heading out on tour and spending a lot of time traveling. I had some experience touring and knew that I wanted to put my time to good use while I was not on stage. I had grand plans to read all the classics that I never got around to, and I even toyed with the idea of learning to day-trade. Learning to day-trade?! What was I thinking?

Your best friend in the van is your phone, more specifically your iPhone. I spent the first couple months with a flip phone, then had my ancient charger stolen in NYC. Seemed like a good reason to upgrade. Everyone in the band now has an iPhone. It’s great for band morale. If you’ve heard enough arguing or you’re tired of someone’s voice you can pop in your ear buds in and retreat until you’re ready to reenter the conversation. I recently got Pandora One, which is Pandora without all the commercials, which is great. Listening to any music except what you are about to play is great. We also play comedy stations off of Pandora or Spotify through the van speakers. Wasting time on Facebook or Instagram is good too. But trying to make phone calls is awful. Getting the van to quiet down is like plugging eleven holes in a bottle.

One of the other popular options is talking to each other. We’ve all heard each other’s stories already so the topic of discussion always end up at fast food and girls. We also do a lot of“would you rathers.”For example: Would you rather eat KFC or Popeyes for the rest of your life? Would you rather eat Tacobell three times a day or at Outback once a day. We did a round of would you rather be a Siamese twin the other week. It was a hot topic of discussion to see which one of us would want to be tethered to the other forever. Everyone’s feelings got upset after you chose someone else over them. I instigated that one, and the whole band was begging for it to stop after ten minutes.

We do occasionally talk about our music and scheduling rehearsals and stuff like that too. If we have to.

Or else we nap. We recently got a new van and now everyone has a whole bench to stretch out on. Napping levels are at on all-time high. This means our spirits are at an all-time high. Some folks are better than others at napping. Our nap king is Hunter. If given the opportunity I truly believe he’d sleep upwards of twenty hours a day. I’m pretty sure he wishes the days were longer so he could sleep more. That doesn’t mean that Hunter is lazy, though. He’s a very prolific writer, so much so that the band can’t keep up learning his tunes. On the other end of the spectrum is Mason. I can’t recall when he actually napped. He put his head down and stopped talking for ten minutes maybe. We once made him ride in the fourth bench, which is the designated napping bench, and he threw a temper tantrum the entire time. Bobby is pretty good at napping, and he’s also like a Navy Seal. He’ll wake up and yell unsolicited driving advice out of a dead sleep. It’s truly impressive.

 

Sick days? What sick days…

August 19, 2013

road
I was out with some friends from back home the other week when they decided to pack it in and head home to get to bed. They had to get up early for the commute to their offices. This got me thinking about how thankful I am that no one expects me to do anything before noon. Also how much I loathe fluorescent lighting. It also got my gears turning about the lifestyle that our band leads. Our lifestyle is envious in some respects. We get to drink on the job, we’re our own bosses, and our main purpose is to have fun and entertain. But there are no sick days, and even if you’re having a shitty day you still have to get up there and play your heart out. If you can’t do that you might as well hang it up. Besides, there’s no accounting job waiting for you out there, I’m sure.

There’s always something that can take your mind off the task at hand while on stage; a not so great exchange with a girlfriend, missing a family event back home, or thinking about that bill due on the first. One thing that I love about the guys in our band is their ability to play through even the most trying times. Hunter sings with reckless abandonment even if it’s the second show of the day after singing for five days straight. Most singers would not even fathom keeping the touring schedule we have. Their voices would be done and they would be complaining all the time.

We had one of these trying days on the road about two weeks ago. We were in Charlotte, North Carolina where Hunter’s family is from. He and his family knew that his grandmother was not doing very well, and he needed to go see her before the first gig of the day. So Hunter got up early and went over to the nursing home to see her briefly. I can only imagine how he felt meeting up with his family and visiting his grandmother in her condition. We told him not to worry about load-in for the gig and to take his time. But just as we were rolling in to the venue, Hunter gets dropped off with his cup of Starbucks and starts helping. His grandmother passed away the next day. Luckily we were in the area, so he was able to say goodbye. I’m not sure he would’ve made it down otherwise.

At the end of that gig, we all started to pack up. That’s when we noticed that Mason had been missing for some time, which is not like him at all. He’s usually the first to crack the whip at load-out, whereas I seem to get wrapped up talking to someone in the crowd and get yelled at by the other guys. Eventually I had to go ask Mason a question about merchandise or something and found him out back of the club on his cell phone. I knew from the look on his face that something awful had happened. Before he even said anything to me my stomach was in knots just looking at him. It turns out, right when he stepped off stage, he’d received a text from a friend asking him to call him. His buddy from college had the unfortunate task of telling Mason that one of his fraternity brothers had died in a car accident. Andrew was also in the same frat, so I went back inside to tell him to go talk to Mason. We told the two of them not to worry about packing up and to take their time, just like we’d told Hunter. But five minutes later the two of them were back wrapping cables, loading the van, and meeting the crowd that stuck around to talk to us.

It made me a proud member of the band to see that even on an awful day everyone is still in it together. No one complained about how they couldn’t see fit to go play the next show. Everyone just got into the van to watch the odometer click a couple hundred more times and spend another night away from home on stage. And then we played our hearts out.

Q & A – “Where do y’all stay when you’re out on the road?”

July 8, 2013

As the newest member of the group I’m still filling in friends and family about what I’m doing for a living since graduating college. Most folks want to know where I’m traveling, what kind of music we play, and my least favorite question, how long do you plan on doing this?  But, the question that always keeps cropping up is, where do you stay when you’re out on road?

We stay literally everywhere, and that’s one of the most interesting parts of traveling.  Although I yearn for the day when we can book the whole top floor of the Ritz Carlton in New York City for the week, I love our precarious and somewhat crazy accommodations while traveling.  Although we occasionally stay in hotel rooms, it’s not the norm for us right now.  Looking back on our favorite nights on the road, they typically involve staying up way too late with new or old friends in their homes, mansions, sorority houses, shacks, apartments, or even barns.  It’s truly amazing how people from all walks of life step up to support the arts and host bands from out of town.  If your idea of supporting the arts just involves eating finger foods and sipping chardonnay, you’re not supporting anyone I know; you’re just at a dinner party.

barnjam

My favorite recent memory comes from a show we did in Awendaw, South Carolina.  After getting lost and driving through a national forest for close to an hour, we arrived 15 minutes before show time. As we were playing our set, it became clear that the headliner wasn’t going to make it.  Fueled by youthful vigor and cheap beer, we played through the evening.  The organizer of the event offered to let us stay with him after the show.  We happily obliged and hopped into his dune buggy. He drove what felt like 100 miles an hour through the gates of his compound up to a barn.  The barn had about 15 mattresses strewn about for us to crash on.  The folks gave us a case of beer and enough snacks to last through morning.  In the morning we awoke to the sounds of goats and chickens.  The cherry on top was that the organizer of the event and owner of the property was also a dentist.  Some other folks who lived on the property informed us that if we came early for our next gig, we could get our teethed cleaned.  That’s truly supporting the arts because I don’t know any musicians with a good dental plan, let alone a 401k.

In the past week we encountered some old friends up in Maryland.  We ended up staying with our friend Christina, who’s typically on the road with Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. She offered to come out and run our merch table while she sold some of her own crafts.  Over dinner at a BYOB Thai restaurant, she offered to let us stay at her house in Baltimore.  We asked her if she really knew what she was committing to—hosting a whole band—but we took her up on it. The whole group slept like babies and she made us a great homemade pancake breakfast before sending us off.

The next day we played in Frederick, Maryland.  Believe it or not, Frederick is a happening place for live music. The people there are thirsty for new acts.  Our friends Jack and Rachel came out to the show early to hang.  We had stayed with them once before after a show.  Rachel ran our merch table while she was nine months pregnant.  I’m not saying she was close to nine months pregnant or looked really pregnant,  she was literally nine months pregnant.  In fact she gave birth to her third child just over 24 hours later.  It was Hunters personal goal to play such a great show as to induce labor.  I think he missed that day in health class because I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work like that.  We ended up driving home that night, but our friend B Cal stayed with them.  We got a text from him saying that they were the nicest couple he had ever meet.  Seriously who does that?  Two kids with another due at any moment and you care that our people get to come out to our show and let them stay at your house.  These two either need a medal of honor or a psychological evaluation.

rachel

Rachel w/ newborn Everett Francis Brown

These examples don’t even come close to mentioning all the friends and families who have hosted us.  Meeting and staying with the people we meet along the road is really what makes what we do fun and worthwhile.  Even bigger artists are catching on and couch surfing their way across the nation.  Most notably Amanda Palmer of Dresden Doll fame has touted the enjoyment of crowd sourcing and surfing.  In our world of homogenized truck stops, suburbs, and strip malls, it’s great to actually get involved in the towns we’re lucky enough to visit.  I love waking up in a hotel room with clean sheets and towels as much as the next guy, but it just isn’t as fun.   As we recount our favorite nights on the road, no story ever involves a stay at La Quinta.

– Josh

Tour, Travel, Tired & Tips for Packing

May 10, 2013

It’s been awhile since our last travel entry.  Too long.  We’ve been hitting the road, rehearsing, and planning our upcoming album.  It’s been a great couple months and we’re about to lean into a dense summer schedule.

Last week Style Weekly posted an article called “Road Tested” asking touring Richmond musicians about packing tips and lessons learned.  (The original article can be found here)  This article is especially topical for us since we just had our van broken into in New York City.  Luckily we only lost a couple of bags.  It was still a hard pill to swallow with a couple hundred dollars worth of personal items stolen.  It was an annoying amount of theft, enough to piss you off but not enough to file a claim and pay the deductible.

Berlin

Steve Berlin  of Los Lobos sitting in at The Cutting Room in New York, NY – 4/20/13

This got us thinking about what we bring out on the road and how we pack.  I’m always amazed when I see musicians bringing their “babies” out on the road.  This is the instrument or piece of gear that would be virtually impossible to replace because of rarity or price.  If you love something, don’t take it on the road.  If something travels enough, it’s certain to meet one of the following fates: it’ll be lost, stolen, broken, wet (most likely soaked in beer), or it’ll meet other unseemly atrocities.  The key to happiness with touring (and life, for that matter) is simple: KEEP YOUR EXPECTIONS LOW.  You’ll be elated when you come home with half the stuff you left with.

On a recent trip to West Virginia I asked each band member to share a couple packing and traveling tips.  The number one travel tip: bring less clothes.  According to Mason and Bobby you should always bring extra boxers and socks.  Hunter, the eternal napper and writer, suggested pillows and a notebook.  Our keyboardist Andrew touted the virtues of bringing versatile clothes such as cowboy boots and a blazer.  I always have to have sunglasses and baby powder.  Other obvious good habits include getting to bed as soon as possible, bringing extra strings, and grabbing naps whenever possible.  Sticking with our low expectations theme I find it best just to let go.  Let go of the notion that you have any control over what happens when traveling.  Getting frustrated or angry over things beyond your control will just wear you out.

This attitude is what leads to great shows and happy band mates.  We’re still trying to figure it out so we can do this for many years to come.  While on most runs our nights still blend into the morning, maybe we’ll trade on less beer for one more salad the next time around.

– Josh

Winter Tour – First Leg

January 16, 2013

Wednesday, January 9 – Sullivan Hall – New York, New York

This is my first run back with the boys after finishing school and coming on full time. I started off the morning in Richmond servicing the band van: getting the oil changed, inspected and cleaned. Fast forward to 3 o’clock in the morning parked in Brooklyn, the van is back to its original condition littered with Budweiser cans and fast food wrappers. It was nice while it lasted.

Playing in New York City is always a logistical nightmare. This time around it went off without a hitch. Free parking at the venue and where we were staying in Brooklyn. Big score. We had an hour set at Sullivan Hall in the Village. The show was a blast with a lot of old friends coming out to support us. Getting people out on a Wednesday night is tough and coupled with playing in the city is another challenge. The sound guy was awesome and gave us a recording of the show, reportedly a $75 value according to the venue’s website. Another score. The trip up was worth it.

We finished up the night and headed to “decompress” in Brooklyn. In some sort of cruel retribution our friend Dan (who mastered our record) brought us to his ex-girlfriends house to stay for the night. A member of the band may or may not have slept walked into a roommate’s bedroom to sleep. The truth remains murky.  Long story short, Dan got out of dodge and is now on the road with us acting as de-facto manager and sound man.  His return date is uncertain.

Thursday, January 10 – Triumph Brewing Company – New Hope, PA

After grabbing some lunch and catching up with some more folks, we went and toured Engine Room Audio in Manhattan where our record was mastered. We pulled up outside and had an intern keep an eye on the van while we looked around one of the slickest studios I have ever seen. Besides having a great live room it also had a sick roof deck overlooking the city. We piled back in the van and made our way to New Hope, Pennsylvania to play at Triumph Brewing Company.

Although we had a thin crowd, we still had a great time.  The room sounded real nice and the micro-brews kept everyone in high spirits.

 

Friday, January 11 – The Bayou – Washington D.C.

This show was booked as an anchor for the rest of the run. Reaching out to new places means you don’t necessarily make what you normally do so its good to have a sure-fire gig that you can count on to draw people out and make some dough.

The Bayou did not let us down. I am not sure what the capacity of the room was, but I am sure that the fire marshal would not have been a happy camper if he saw this room so packed. It was a high-energy show with the whole crowd dancing and actually listening. We had a couple guys from Pigeons Playing Ping Pong come sit in which was the highlight of the night (besides the droves of beautiful DC girls).

It was a pretty great night and the cherry on top was staying at the Marriott. Clean beds and a solid breakfast was a great way to start of Saturday morning.

Saturday, January 11 – Dante’s – Frostburg, Maryland

It was a solid night with great sound and lots of free drinks. We hightailed it back to Richmond after what all of us considered a successful run. No broken gear, showers every day, and no emotional breakdowns. The highlight of the trip back home was playing twenty questions and seeing a car blow up on the side of the road.

September Highlights/Lowlights

October 2, 2012

What a month! September began with our longest band road trip to date and ended w/ a bang w/ back to back sold out gigs in Washington, DC and RVA! Here are some of the highs and lows of the month:

Sept 1 – 2 Harrisonburg, VA > Joliet, IL

If this routing doesn’t look too appealing on paper it’s b/c it’s not… trust me. We played an afternoon frat gig at JMU on the Saturday afternoon of Sept 1 and then high-tailed it 15 hours to Joliet, IL (a suburb of Chicago where the Blues Brother’s were released from prison in the iconic film) for a wedding gig for a close friend from college. Both shows were killer and we got to see a ton of old friends and poke around Chicago on Labor Day. We got deep dish pizza and… it sucked to be honest. Highly recommend against it.

Take home message: it takes 17 hours to drive a van and trailer from Chicago to Richmond and you lose an hour.

Sept 13 – 16 Charlottesville, VA > Blacksburg, VA > Rock Camp, WVA

We did this run w/ a great band from Baltimore called Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. We’ve known these guys for a little over a year at this point and always have a blast getting out on the road together. We started the run in a funky new little spot in Charlottesville called The Main Street Annex. This is the first music venue that I’ve ever played in that is actually attached to an ice-skating rink (and it felt great sliding around on an empty rink after a few barley pops and sweaty set). Overall the night was a good one.

The following night we debuted a relatively new spot in Blacksburg called Sycamore Deli (see picture above). If one might recall, it’s the old Lantern from 4 – 5 years back when some of us went to VT. The show was at capacity before either band even hit the stage it was also our last show (for a while) w/ McArthur (our light guy) before he hit the road w/ Dr. Dog. Kiiillleeerrr night all around.

After Blacksburg, we headed out to the Pink Moon festival in Rock Camp, WVA. I arrived after the remainder of my band mates only to find that our little club PA was running the entire festival b/c the hired sound guys “were out to lunch” (literally, the left for lunch and never came back). After a little bit of chaos ensued, everyone lent a hand and we made it work out. We ended up running EOTO’s set (see picture of Michael Travis of String Cheese Incident/EOTO above) in it’s entirety w/ very little issues.

We played the following day and all in all, it was an unforgettable weekend.

Sept 27 – 29 Newport News, VA > Washington DC > Richmond, VA

After driving home from Newport News and working all day on basically no sleep, we headed up to DC to try out a spot called Bayou. It was awesome. The place was absolutely packed thanks to a lot of our old VT friends, fellow musicians in bands like Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Moogatu, and Deaf Scene, and people who had simply heard about the band thru the grape vine. All in all a killer night and a packed room.

The following day/night we played a day set at spot outside of Richmond called Dorey Park for a “Bark in the Park” event. This was easily our biggest K9 audience to date and we ended up playing 8 songs, getting paid, and rolling straight to The Camel for beers and load in.

Our night gig was for the Southern Belle’s CD Release party and it was an absolute blast. The club was packed by the time we went on and our set featured sit ins from most of the members of the Belle’s. There set featured sit in’s from over half of DJ Williams Projekt including horns, keys and percussion and at one point, there were at least 20 people packed on stage belting out the chorus to Hey Jude in Last Waltz fashion.

Weekends like these are why we do what we do and love doing it. Stay tuned for more updates, shenanigans, and van stories (we did break down a few weekends ago but figured everyone was bored w/ broken van stories).

 

Halfway Thru the Summer Tour and…

July 10, 2012

I currently find myself sitting in a Charlotte hotel room watching the same episode of Sportscenter repeat itself on a loop. They say it’s “live” and “new” but it’s pretty much the same shit over and over again. We just had five shows in five days and we finally got to catch up on some much needed R & R and in a bed no less. Here’s a recap of some of the memorable moments from the tour so far.

July 4th – Washington D.C.

We played a place called Acre 121 in Columbia Heights inside of DC. Terry, the owner of the club, was the man. At set break he escorted us up to a roof top party with hundreds of other party goers and we got to watch 20 + different fireworks displays at the same time. He also waived the remainder of our monster bar tab at the end of the night which was definitely a killer way to kick off a five day run. All around, a solid show where we met new friends/fans from all over the country.

July 5th – Wilmington, NC

July 6th – Raleigh, NC

We played this show with Bubonik Funk (Charlotte, NC) and Former Champions (Richmond, VA). We’ve played with both of these groups before in the past but never on the same bill. This show was also put on by our good friend Mike Little from Mike Little Presents. Overall the show was a success but the night was highlighted in a slightly abnormal fashion. While waiting to load in myself and Hunter walked up the street and stumbled upon an awesome band from Asheville called Jahman Brahman. After meeting a few of their roadies we got some stickers and headed on back to the Pour House which turned out to be a great gig.

All in all, show went well and we are gradually getting to play in front of more and more people in Raleigh.

July 7th – Charlotte, NC

We actually met another rock ‘n’ roll band on the interstate on the way to this show, or so we thought. We proceeded to roll down the windows and chit chat with who turned out to be our friends from the night before, Jahman Brahman from Asheville, NC. We tried to huck CDs to one another but not surprisingly, neither of us had any to spare.

We played the show at the Double Door Inn in Charlotte with our new friends from Raleigh Pseudo Blue. These guys were easily one of the best pairs we’ve ever had and our fans had no problem telling us about it all night. This was are most packed show and it was a killer way to end the run. Mark, the bass player from Pseudo Blue, ended up partying with us after the show and hitting up breakfast at the Gillespie’s the next morning which leads to…

July 8th – Charlotte, NC (again)

We picked up a last minute bar gig at a place called Char Bar still in Charlotte. Ask any band, a paid Sunday show while on tour is about as good as it gets. Only issue we had was that it started pouring once we were set up and we ended up spending the majority of our show time battening down the hatched trying to keep our gear safe. A few electrocutions later, we were off and running for what turned out to be a sweaty hour and a half set for some die hard Shack Band fans.

Can’t wait to get back out on the road this Wednesday. The rest of the week is as follows:

July 13th – Asheville, NC

July 14th – Athens, GA

July 15th – Savannah, GA

July 16th – Folly Beach, SC

  • Upcoming Shows
  • America

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Mae’s Song

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Muddy Waters

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Mailing List Signup


  • Positive Vibe Cafe
  • Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube Jambase