So… I’m back from an awesome week on the road with my family and our friend Jonathan Reuel.
The tour was amazing.
No wait, that’s the name I gave my iPhone. Seriously, can you imagine handing that kind of technology to one of the characters in Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang? You know they would have looked at it and exclaimed “Stupendous!”
Ok, so the tour. We learned a ton on this one, and I am sure there will be more we discover as we process the whole thing. One thing I can tell you for sure, this tour was living proof that when we have the connections, we can ACTUALLY do this!
We didn’t make a ton of money, but we sure made more than if we had stayed home.
And the work was hard, but gratifying. We got to the end, and I thought, “I could totally just keep doing this”. We are tired a day after, but not dead! (I’ve done some touring before where things were really stressful and too much, and it took a week afterward to recover enough to even want to talk to people!)
Our first night, we played at The Electric Brew in Goshen. The house wasn’t jammed, but the turnout was good, and it became evident that Jon is at the top of his game as a guitar player right now.
The next night we played a house concert in Warsaw, IN. Some friends hosted it, they did a wonderful job, and we met lots of really cool new people!
We drove late into the night (my favorite time to drive) to Bluffton, OH. The next morning we arrived on the main Bluffton University campus in time to play and speak in their chapel service. Jon and I also sat in on their music planning meetings and offered some input, then set up at the campus coffee house (Bob’s). Bluffton has this music project called the Anabaptist Bestiary Project (not as weird as it sounds) that does original music, and they kicked off the evening concert. Afterward we played a set that I am pretty proud of, and had a great time meeting new faces.
The next day we drove south, to Wilmington, OH to see our old friends at the newly remodeled Joe’s Java. That was an interesting night – about a third of the audience were recovering addicts, another third were homeless, and the final third were a random assortment of college students and old fans of Jon’s. That was a great night over all, although the guy sitting in front of me answered his phone several times, was pulling up videos on his phone and passing it around, and then played (loudly) what sounded like the theme song from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air“. I can’t say I’ve ever experienced that before during a show!
The following day (Saturday), we drove north to Lima, OH. There we played at a church for our smallest crowd. The set went fairly well despite this, and we still had some great moments. We drove into the night, sent off by the many helping hands at the Elm Street church.
On Sunday, we played and spoke at a church in Millersburg, OH – what we had to say seemed very well received, and then they had us join a potluck dinner afterward that was really great, especially the company!
We then set up shop across town at a place called “Jitters” that was roughly the size of your average Panera Bread restaurant. We were joined by virtuoso bassist (and all around good guy) Toby Hazlett, and our good friend Annie Yoder. We played to a good sized crowd and definitely enjoyed the food, coffee, improv photo shoot, and making some great music with Toby!
I am really looking forward to doing this again soon, and thank you to every person who helped us get the show on the road! -Nate