California Guitar Trio tour
with guest Tony Levin
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Tour Diary
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CGT Tour Dates

Day 9 / April 19 / Lawrence, KS

At last, a chance to do some laundry! Here in Lawrence Kansas, doing a phone interview (for the Everett Washington Herald) from "Suds 'n Duds", as my clothes were drying, it occurred to me how this road life is a bit less glamorous than people generally think.
Nice sunny day, and a few hours to look around. It's a university town, with lots of students (and of course, cafe's) around. The big Kansas sky is disorienting at first. Before the show there was a fantastic thunderstorm in the distance, providing lightning as if from a fireworks show. We actually delayed our load-in to watch it all.
A good show for an appreciative audience - nice people here, and we're glad we came.
We also managed to have some meetings with Steve, our booking agent, who lives here in Lawrence (and of course, the subject of these long drives came up!)

Day 10/ April 20 / Drive to Colorado

What's to say.... 640 miles to cover in the van. Kansas very very flat... more flat.. more flat... then, ten hours later, in Colorado suddenly driving through passes in the Rocky Mountains! Arrived in Breckenridge in time for a late dinner out, and at the next table was an engineer I knew (Steve Strassman, with whom I worked on a Ute Lempur album.) It's a small world for sure.

Day 11 / April 21 / Breckenridge, CO

Bill Janssen in the .... dressing room! Met another friend here, though this wasn't a surprise. Artie Traum, a guitar playing friend from home, and the co-producer of the Waters of Eden cd, had told me he'd be passing through here on a guitar clinic tour. Still, running into people you know while in such a small place is pretty neat.
Sax player Bill Janssen has joined us for the two Colorado shows - he's sat in before with the CGT, and is featured on some tracks on their live cd.
The show was at a club with a noisy bar - some kind of beer night -- probably not the best type of venue for a band of acoustic guitars that plays some Classical music! Tomorrow at the Boulder Theater should be much more appropriate.

Day 12 / April 22 / Boulder, CO

This show was broadcast live over the internet, and followed by a question and answer segment with the band on stage, questions from the internet. Kind of fun. It was put together by the trio's webmaster, Jon Lybrook, with help from the local radio station KGNU - and worked surprisingly well.
Thanks to those who watched the virtual show, and stayed online late at night to send the questions.
Fielding questions from the web
Day 13 / April 23 / Park City, Utah

For the second time, I've jumped ship .... jumped van, actually, and flown to the next city to avoid a very long drive.
Tours often have a recurring theme to them. The one on this tour is my losing my hat. I left New York in cold weather, with my lined wool winter cap on. No problem with that one, since I put it in my suitcase as soon as the weather was more reasonable (after Milwaukee, the first gig.) Then I wore the Seal tour baseball hat I'd brought along - my favorite lately. Lost it after the first week. These things happen - I'd brought along another hat, this one a green brimmed cloth one - good for crumpling up, and keeps my head warm enough. Lost that one a few days ago, as we arrived in Colorado to some chilly weather. I dragged the band along with me in Breckenridge, as I shopped for another hat I could live with. Ended up with another brimmed hat.
Lost that the very next day, on the drive to Boulder. Maybe these hats will all turn up when the tour's over and we clear out the van. More likely, I'm being absent minded and leaving them places.
Anyway, here in Park City I went shopping for hats again. I'm getting quick at it (don't even try to find a special one - what's the point!) and in minutes I purchased another baseball cap, which I'll try to keep on my head or in my carry bag!
Scoped out the club we'll be playing at tomorrow - it's called Harry O's -- no mention of our appearance on the club - in fact it's hard to tell it's there!

Day 14 / April 24 / Park City, Utah

What a show! Seems a party was scheduled for the "private club" just before our show - and many of the folks from that stayed on, drinking, shouting and playing foosball, right amid the audience that was trying to concentrate on the acoustic guitar music. At one point I left the stage, joined the foosballers (is that the spelling?) and asked them to hold down the yelling -- not much success with that approach.
Eventually, the faithful outlasted the revellers, and we re-played one of the pieces that had been drowned out. Ended up quite a good experience for those who endured the hard part. Most interesting point: a couple danced to our rendition of Misere Lou. In my minute of time on the microphone, I asked if they might like to attempt dancing to the upcoming Trio version of Beethoven's Ninth. It might have been an all time first!

Marquee? Marquee?

A tale of two venues.

Day 15 / April 25 / Salt Lake City

Quite a different venue today. After a midday appearance at a record store, we arrived at the show venue: a church. Should be quieter crowd here!
High point of the day-- no, high point of the TOUR - was a barbecue in the parking lot behind church, provided by an award winning barbecue chef, Pat, who just likes cooking for musicians. His travelling cooking rig was there before us - he'd made some salmon for me, and ribs for the others, and told us all about barbecue competitions. What a treat.
Pat's barbeque The show went well - it WAS a better behaved crowd than last night. (Perhaps because the church didn't serve beer.)

Day 16,17 / April 26,27 / Eugene, Oregon

Wow, lots to tell about Eugene. First of all, it had been a LOOOONG time since I was in a motel with a "Magic Fingers" 25 cent vibrating bed! The "Downtown Motel" has 'em, so make your reservations quick!
I flew to Eugene, again skipping a brutal van drive. Settling in (and trying the vibrating bed) I then had some time to walk around (pretty rare on this tour.) I found some nice coffee, saw the venue nearby (called the WOW Hall, which stande for Woodmen of the World!)
venueI walked by a club marquee saying that John Hall, my friend and neighbor from back in Woodstock, is playing here the same night as our group. What a co-incidence.
Morning of the show I had a local tv appearance, and a radio show with the trio - KRVM is at a high school, and there were students there, studying radio broadcasting - anyway, they had kindly ordered me a carrot cake. The caption written on it was embarassing, so I ate it quickly! (with help from the trio, of course.)
cake The show was great - very nice venue and audience, with a special feature - a guy who danced, freeform, to every piece we played. I'd been told that he's a fixture of the Wow Hall and dances to all the show. Made it fun for us.

Day 18 / April 28 / Portland Oregon

In my experience it's always rainy in Portland. Today is no exception. Too much of a downpour for me to walk to Powells - one of my favorite bookstores anywhere.
Before the show we had a talk with the sound engineer at the Portland club. Some soundmen in bars we've played have used as walk in music, the typical loud boomy music that's common in bars - but not in the mood of our show, nor appreciated by the audience that comes to these shows. So tonight, seeing it was a bar, we urged him to play something mellow.
Half hour before we were to go on, the bass drum booming through the p.a. was a nightmare, even back in our dressing room. So Paul went out into the house to make him change the music. The p.a. went silent, and Paul returned to the dressing room, saying he'd taken care of it by giving the sound man a copy of my Blue Nights. "Oh No!" I exclaimed -- "that cd starts with ..." and as I said it, the 5 minute Bill Bruford drum solo began shaking the venue!

Day 19 / April 29 / Seattle

Lots going on today. The show is to be filmed by a new company called Bootleg TV, for future release on the web. After soundcheck they had us over to their offices for an explanation of what the company is about, and how they hope to present whole tours of shows to the internet audience.
P FrippThe show was great - attended by, among others, Robert Fripp's sister Patricia, who helped out at the merchandise desk and did some test marketing for an upcoming tape series of Robert Fripp's writings, which she is about to release.

Day 20/ April 30 / San Francisco

Funny coincidence; at the Seattle airport I ran into my bandmate Trey Gunn, who is heading out, indirectly, to do the Crimson tour! What a strange feeling, not flying with him, but off in another direction to continue this tour! I'm told they'll play in Nashville, and then an extensive tour of Europe. I haven't heard the new cd yet, but like any fan, I'm excited to hear it. (and, next year, to do more playing with the group!
It's a day off, so in San Francisco I enjoyed an evening with friends before returning to my room to discover that the hotel has a disco attached -- when I complained about the noise, the desk said that they usually tell people about the noise when making reservations -- they must have forgotten to tell us!

The show was great - attended by, among others, Robert Fripp's sister Patricia, who helped out at the merchandise desk and did some test marketing for an upcoming tape series of Robert Fripp's writings, which she is about to release.

Day 21/ May 1/ San Francisco

A terrific show at the Great American Music Hall. For the trio and for me, playing a place this size is a bit of a move up in space and class - so we were very pleased to see the show sold out. I'm hoping I'll get to play the same venue on my June tour when it arrives here.
Accommodations, however, remain less than stellar. Beck's crew has now moved into the hotel, (with their 4 busses dwarfing our single van in the parking lot) and they don't seem to mind the noise there.
new singer with the band?

Never thought you'd see Fripp singing with the CGT? Here it is in color!


Day 22/ May 2/ San Rafael

Well, here's some photos to give you an idea what it's REALLY like on the road; first of all, though the tour is Cal. Guitar Trio, with me as guest, this venue, as some others, neglected to mention the trio - just me! Also, the night after our show will be the (much more popular) Hardbodies - female mud wrestling show!
marquee posters
crowd at San Rafael

We're almost at the end of the CGT tour now -- got to admit I'll be sad to see it end. Though I'm excited about starting the Waters of Eden tour, and hooking up with Larry, Jerry and Jesse, this has been a wonderful tour, musically personally and the audiences have been particularly great to us.
Now just two more shows and we'll be heading off in our different directions - only to meet up again as a quartet in July, when I think there's a Quebec festival we'll play. (We're also hoping for a November tour of Japan.)
One more thing: at the end of the Mahavishnu piece Dance of the Maya we all jump to cue the last note. During the tour I kept trying to capture a photo of the trio in midair, but with the delay of my digital camera, I always missed it. Finally, on the last night, at the L.A. Hardrock Cafe, I captured it on video. So, for those interested, here's a quicktime clip of the Trio jumping.

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Duelling diaries: check out Paul Richards' diary of this same tour. CGT Tour Dates