On The Road Blog, Part Three: Florida's west coast, Atlanta, Love for NC and home again

"In music, one doesn't make the end of the composition the point of the composition. If that were so,the best conductors would be those who played fastest,and people would go to concerts just to hear one crashing chord-because thats the end. But we don't see that as something brought by our everyday conduct. We thought of life by an analogy with a journey which had a serious purpose at the end, and the thing was to get to that end:success,or whatever it is, or maybe even heaven after your dead. But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing-and you were supposed to sing,or dance,while the music was being played."-Alan Watts

        I flew out of the keys like a bat on fire ,hopped up on cuban coffee and made my way to Alligator Alley. Crossed the Everglades and Naples and rolled into Fort Myers and caught up with some old friends. After a much needed good night sleep (anything was better than"the band room" in Marathon) got to hang at my buddies tackle shop and prepared for my show on Sanibel Island. Sanibel really is a beautiful place. I use to work on Captiva for about a year, an island just north of Sanibel, and enjoyed my time there. I got an opportunity to play at the iconic watering hole The Jacaranda. The place has been there forever. The show was great, awesome crowd and got to see some of my best friends. Great time for sure. Wish I could spend more time but I was in fact "working". Headed up to Apollo Beach the next morning to a great place I played last year. Circles Waterfront. Right in a marina, it's a wonderful place to play. It was a beautiful Sunday and the snowbirds and locals were thoroughly enjoying themselves. I stayed with an old LBI local and friend Joe, and along with another LBI head and friend Brian, we spent the next day "brewery hopping" and making awesome food. 

         I have a love/hate relationship with Florida. Ive been going there my whole life, my father lived down there, I have many friends and family living there and I even lived for a few years. But there is something about it that gets to me. I feel like its more Jersey than Jersey, Lots of strip malls and bad drivers but Floridians say that about us so I guess its also a give and take. Still, can't beat jumping on a plane "on the cheap" and in less than two hours be hanging out in beautiful weather and hanging with friends. 

         Headed up to Atlanta for my third show in the city. Played down town at a place called "Bone Lick'...lol. They also had a speakeasy there hidden behind a bookshelf. Cool stuff and fun show. Got to see and crash with more old friends then made my way to my beloved Asheville. This would be my 8th time visiting this little "gem' in western NC. A vibrant music/food/outdoor scene keeps me coming back. I was bummed I missed the open funk jam they have every Tuesday at Asheville Music Hall but I got some world renowned bbq and got to play at a really cool spot just outside of town called Good Stuff Tavern. I played there a few years ago and really enjoyed myself. I got to play with some traditional old timey bluegrass players. I love the banjo and fiddle. I could have stayed for days or weeks but like I said I am "working".

         Got on the road to Charlotte NC and pointed myself in the direction of Ass Clown brewery. Drink an Ass Clown don't be one, as the charming brewery says. Great people and great place, oh and great beer, if you are in the Charlotte area check them out! My cousin and her boyfriend came out and we had a great crowd. Awesome show, hope I get to play there again. 

         That being the last show of the tour I got on the road back to the old dirty Jerz where I had no time to rest because I had a string of local shows to play. I was honored to be the first musician to play at Ship Bottom Brewery. I was joined by my friend Taylor on Bass and James on Fiddle. We've been talking about putting together a string band for a while and this was the base of it. We had a blast and we are talking about adding a  banjo player to the mix. Friday I headed up to NYC to play my first weekend night in the city. Ive been chipping away for a while up there and still just scratched the surface. That being said the show at Sylvania was great and a very cool bar and performance space in Harlem. I got home the next day very excited for the first "Catcha Fish" show of the summer. Catcha Fish is my full band and it's a collective meaning all the musicians are in other bands and live all over the state so its hard to get everyone together often but when we do its magic. We do a funky, jazzy, reggae, jammy type grove and it works great with this crew. Im excited to do more shows with these guys.

       So, Im home and settled now and have a little time to catch my breath before Im on the road again. In may Ill be heading back up to the Poconos for a show and more local stuff, then I'll be doing a run up to New England where I'll be playing in New Hampshire and Maine. In June we will be at a festival in up-state NY and I will be at The Purple Fiddle in Thompson West Virginia for a weekend of shows. After that i'll be settling into my summer residency's and enjoying time with friends and family. Thanks to everyone for coming to the shows and all the support! Im also doing more recording so keep in touch and go see live music!!

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