We started July 15th in Wilmington, NC at the Juggling Gypsy were we had to leave at Midnight. The venue had made us coffee for the road. Our plan was to drive through the night in order to get to Knoxville, TN by 10:30 AM. You're probably wondering why the hell did we have to be in Knoxville by 10:30. We were booked to play the Blue Plate Special which is broadcast live from the Knoxville Visitors Center for a local FM radio station.
We did drive through the night and decided to stop to try and get a little sleep right around the North Carolina and Tennessee Boarder. After waking up at a rest stop we took off on our last stretch to Knoxville. We finally reached our destination by 10:45 AM. The whole time being paranoid about our breaks. We knew before we left Wilmington that we needed to take it easy and be careful because our breaks were starting to go. Having shitty breaks in the Smokey Mountains is not the ideal situation. Like I said we did manage to get to where we were going despite the breaks.
When we arrived we quickly unloaded our gear and merch and set up as the sound guy directed. We were like a bunch of zombies simply doing as we were told and executing with very little dialog. The DJ saw the look of sleep depravity on our faces. Once we got everything dialed in we were directed to a near by coffee shop. We were more than happy to venture forward to obtain some much needed caffeine and liven up a little.
By the time we got back the tiny visitors center was filled with people. They all sat in rows of chairs in front of the stage. Calm chatter filled the room as they waited for the show to begin. There were two acts that day. The first act was a duo called Friction Farm. A talented older couple but not necessarily the type of music we would voluntarily listen to. They were to take up the first thirty minutes of the one hour show. It was during this first half hour that we all started to become nervous.
Keep in mind Andy and I have been playing front of people most of our lives and we have played without an issue in front of hundreds but shows were people go to specifically listen to the music rather than to have a good time is always more nerve racking. The show started at 12 PM. By 12:30ish we were set up and about to play. Though the actual set is more of a blur than anything else we played a set that could've said our lives. None of could remember if we had made even the smallest mistake and after listening to a copy of the show we were extremely happy with the out come. By the way, we do have our set from that day and will release it as a live album in the near future.
After the show we rushed the van to Midas after trying to see if any of our Face Book friends had any recommendations for a quick cheap mechanic. After about two hours and a couple hundred dollars later our breaks were no longer an issue. We took off to set up at Crafty Bastard Brewery in Knoxville. This show pretty much paid for our breaks so it could've have worked out any better in my opinion. During our set a random couple had caught some of our set and went up to our tour manager, Kristen, to offer up their home to us saying that many times in the past someone had put him up and wanted to do the same for us. It was a chemist named Charlie and a school teacher named Beth. We couldn't have asked for better hosts. They were just happy that we chose to take them up on the offer. We are always very grateful for people like this. They come out of no where and just decide that they want to do something to help our a group of smelly, road dogs. Charlie and Beth were our Knoxville heroes and we hope to cross paths with them again in the future.
In the morning we set off for Louisville, KY to catch up with some old friends and play the world famous Mag Bar. Until Next time!