The Long Road "Home." - NC, VA, WV, KY
"The purpose of life is to know yourself and love yourself, trust yourself and be yourself." - a tea bag
Well, back in the KY - for now... Just in time for a Wonk's favorite holiday.
If you are in Cincinnati for this corporate misunderstanding of "Love," come join Wonky Tonk & The Highlife and Busman's Holiday (IN) at MOTR Pub on 2/14.
Thank you to Local 506 in Chapel, Hill for being host to the last show on this Wonky expedition. A super neat venue, with a kick ass sound man Rob, a fancy spectacled and super-kind door man and a babely 'n bodacious bartender Melissa who plays multiple instruments & in many musical projects (check out Trailer Bride).
Go to Local 506 for music, go there for friends, go there for your soul. Plus, the staff is incredible and it is situated between two delicious Indian Restaurants. (There is a sweet deal of a Groupon for Mint, go. Now!)
My first time in Chapel Hill was playing at a kick ass venue called The Cave, where I am informed by an awesome photographer, that an awesome musician - Sarah Shook - slings dranks. There I met a fella named Mike Cole. Not only has Mike attended many a show (music is the great emulsifier), he has become a dear friend, and has finished a super cool project which is fun art and benefits a local charity. Check it out HERE.
Nick Shananan - a man who quietly blends Ryan Bingham and Willie Nelson with a love of George Jones and makes it totally his own; One of the best songwriters I have had the pleasure of meeting...he even played me some John Prine! He has an EP called " Hello Heartache, Welcome Home" - check it out.
And Zach Gregory, front man of The Antique Hearts from Raliegh. They are masters at fusing rock 'n roll, pop punk and country mentalities. Sometimes ethereal, sometimes rockin' amidst lyrics that are so simple they are deep and others that just drive into your heart.
I often am an island: traveling hundreds of miles solo, playing 3 hour sets, alone...which does wonders for my crippling shyness (jest). So when I get to share the stage with folks, I remember WHY I listened to that discounted Tarot card reader, gave up all I know and traded it for tunes and the road. Thank you Nick and Zach.
"Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
#whereintheworldiswonk #extendedstayamerica #hotellife
Tour was incredible, thank you to all the venues, bands and fine people of Lexington, Ky - Knoxville, TN - Black Mountain, NC - Clayton, GA - Asheville, NC and Chapel Hill, NC.
If you have not already please check out the creations and journeys of Logan Fox, Lost Dog Street Band, Carrie Spaulding, M.T. Sullivan, Eggshell Emily, Gypsy & Me, The Antique Hearts and Nick Shananan.
Much love to you all, see y'all down the road.
This blog is again brought to you by Green Sage Cafe in Asheville - I am always one to try something new every day, even for simple novelty, but this place has me coming back for Wi-fi, great Vegan (and Animal) food, juices and smoothies, and the customer service feels like I am right home at Grandma Wonk's house. Plus, I love happy accidents; they seat you with these letters and an animal illustration that (besides the opossum) do not coincide with their names. The whole alphabet is out there, the opposum found me both times :) .
Yesterday it was sunny and 50 degrees in Asheville so I decided to take a Hike. Literally.
Practicing mindfulness, getting my cardio in and talking to the water and trees, Craven Gap was a much needed adventure. 2/8/18 also marked the day that my musical and soul inspiration, Mr. announced his first album in 13 years, The Tree of Forgiveness - thus the nature selfie.
I worked up an appetite on that incredible 6k hike through the mountains so I searched "vegan" via the YELP and found myself at Rosetta's Kitchen where Peter Pan served me a delicious vegan sweet potato and kale soup and looked into my soul . Rosetta's Kitchen is an incredible restaurant & bar on a super cool strip with much to check out. The cocktail and Kombucha menu is quite gorgeous. The staff is comprised of mostly young adults who embody the OG Woke movement with pretty hip wit - i.e. one of their specials that day was "Fritter Sweet Symphony..." sounded incredible and gave me a chuckle. Plus this was a bathroom graffiti that made me miss my kick ass band, The Highlife:
It was nice to be back in a town that is aligned with my energy. The night prior I played in Clayton, GA and while the people were kind and I am so thankful for the experience, our energies were not compatible. In those moments I try to learn a lesson. I think the lesson for that evening was, play through and with passion for yourself and for the journey and for your art. While I am sharing art, it is not meaningless if it is not received, it is a learning and growing experience that helps me to love myself and my craft.
Reminiscent of Super Happy Fun Land in Houston, TX, Rakes End in Cincinnati, OH and Goodbye Blue Monday in Brooklyn, NY - all three now closed after a long run of representing Weird at it's finest- Sly Grog Lounge in Asheville, NC now carries the torch and the fire is raging. It was a true honor to play at this venue, which has had a slow evolution and is now in full swing with board games, arcade games, various novelties, ping pong, delicious Empanadas, and a vintagey store downstairs. The sound man Mike and bartender Amy were top notch and quite friendly, as was the audience. If you live in or are just visiting Asheville and you need a dose of weird, good music and tasty empanadas you should find yourself saying (and doing) "I WANT TO GO TO THERE." - Thanks Liz Lemon.
Beyond the venue itself, the music was exceptional. Asheville is known for its magnetic and pristine community, attracting souls from all over the world.
Mt Sullivan, traveled all over the nation playing her banjo and loving Doc Watson until she found her home in Asheville. In tune with her soul and the Universe, MT loves walking and sings (with a style congruent to Devendra Banhart) about the beauty in All the Things.
Eggshell Emily is originally Brooklyn, NY and serendipitously best friends with some of my very best friends who reside in Saint Louis. With her incredible voice and humor, she sings songs inspired by Conor Oberst, Jenny Lewis and scrap-booking.
Gypsy & Me are from Tampa and Jacksonville, FL - real estate photographers who found love for each other and moved up to Brevard after a hike and now ramble together singing punk inspired country tunes.
Snip-its from my Iphone are below, check 'em out!
I learned all these stories in the mere hours we shared together. What an honor to share and be be Understood. Thank you Asheville.
After the show, I used Priceline to get a cheap hotel; the Quality Inn at 180 Tunnel Road, room 124 did not have a Bible so I left my #whereintheworldiswonk in the picture Bible in the night stand drawer.
And though I explored extensively on Monday, I did not see this textural gem until today:
“Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. You must be able to sustain yourself against staggering blows. There is no code of conduct to help beginners. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent.”
Music always healed me. But I never would be so bold as to be the one playing it. Only observing and loving. Until that day at the Groupon discount Tarot card reader post-breakup where I swore I’d never smile again.
I just learned what “gain” means. How can I hang out with musicians? How could I have the gumption to call myself one. To this day I tell people “I play tunes” not, “I am a musician.”
It’s easy to get down on the fervor one’s talent lacks but I’m out here Doing IT. Relentlessly. Everything in life is a fine line. A perfect concoction. This quote resonated greatly with me. And from “one of the top 8 sexiest women to kiss John Wayne” at that.
thanks John Erhardt from Wussy from introducing me to https://www.nitch.com/
Be bold. Take blows. Have faith.
Be a cowgirl.
Today started with a kick ass vegan meal from Green Sage Cafe in Asheville, NC.
It was sunny out, so I took a stroll, looking for all the quirks the city had to offer - when I made it into the Arcade. I knew I had been there before. But which time? This is the beauty and pain of being a vagabond. These very true instances of “deja vu” ... it’s not just a mirage.
I had had to keep calling this number, with a robot who sounded like a nice uncle, to renew my parking meter. This was the constant check on reality as I meandered through the streets filled with Buddha’s, “you are beautiful,” “remember to live...”
With the advent of mindful eating, influx of yogis and yoga teachers; the corporatization of the “woke” movement - poor Asheville is being changed by “the man.”
As you come down the mountain to the once quaint and magical town (Still is but the future is apparent), huge buildings under construction tower over the city. Folks making money off of the folks fleeing to places like Asheville thinking they will find salvation in a place without first finding it within themselves.
After I had walked for about 3 hours and a since I was tired of calling the parking uncle, I decided to head to Knoxville.
I needed gas, and made a turn right outside of Asheville. The whole town felt like a Walmart parking lot, with unhappy folks spending their coins under Florescent lights. To make use of the wrong turn I stopped in a depressing place called Bi-Lo to get water, apples and other supplies but was hard pressed to find anything in this sad place, that didn’t have all of the chemicals and fillers they feed to the Herd.
Off to to get fuel from The Man. Then back to my home, the road.
I often drive in silence, sometimes tunes but mostly I love podcasts. It is an incredible age for knowledge. That double edged sword of technology brings our demise but also the accessibility of everything we would ever know, for Free.
(Everything is free now - Gillian Welch)
I listened to the season 2 finale of NPRs “More Perfect...” After leaving Asheville this was a fitting episode. Surrounding the breathable nature of the Commerce Clause and the monetary Soul of the USA.
Then there was Knoxville.
Per usual, from my Production soul, I arrived way early.
Loaded in (this venue is on a pedestrian square, the only accessible load in is through a creepy alley that is beautiful muralled, narrow and filled with trash cans. To get through I’d have to walk into this alley alone. Remove the trash cans. Load in. Put trash cans back. I have done this before. Not smart for a solo lady.
So now I park illegally in the the handicap spot, take my gear and sprint. Then park in the lot across the way), went back to Loretta to escape the cigarette smoke and listened to The Wintervals (because I saw their poster in the window).
When it came time I arrived at the venue and ordered water with lemon - since my diagnosis the booze intake has been mostly replaced by teas and water - and prepared for my 3 hour set with an empty notebook and black binder brimming with words from folks I admire.
There was a vending machine with guitar strings; a smart move for a venue that hosts live music every night of the week.
I met a lonely man with grand stories from the past and a guitar on his back,named Robert Scott; “you know, for $10 I’d be your opener but I guess I’ll go bang it out on the street and see what I get.” - more on him later.
And then, commenced in the Smokey bar, of folks who like to drink, by which I am a background noise, and on stage where it is unusually cold. Gulp in the smoke air. Try to feel my fingers and keep my nose from running into the microphone while trying to get outta my head and just fucking perform. - eventually I got there. I kept looking at this heart on the floor, it was my secret cheerleader.
Some folks listened, some folks didn’t I don’t blame them, I wasn’t on my game so much this night- I’m working on consistency, which is hard when you are so sensitive to the energies around you. They were nice, the staff was incredible as always. My incredible friend Trisha showed up before her work shift and to let me know I had a place to rest my head - she is an incredible woman, music is really the great emulsifier -
I was bought a whiskey by a fella named Jesse. Had a scar on his right eyebrow. Wanted to support me but didn’t have any cash. Didn’t want to get in the way of my boyfriend but was upset I was taking to other people, who were “better at flirting.” He knew a lot of famous musicians, screamo... they were international. He is from Knoxville but gone for 10 years and just moved back. He appreciated me putting my art on the stage and though he was in the military and made speeches to hundreds of important people he couldn’t put an art on stage. Also, he was not trying to get in the way of my boyfriend but he, well you know this story.
I met another fella. He talked on cosmic love and that he didn’t hate capitalism but it is important to destroy their core. Unemployment is not a bad thing. He also was no rookie at drinking. Kind and on the brink of enlightenment but lost to his own demons .
I thought I lost my John Prine hat. I’m not materialistic. I’d lose most everything if I could. But this. This was a thing. The thing. So many folks helped me look. I never lose anything. When I returned to show them I had mistakenly left it in Loretta I was met with hugs of true happiness. That. That was the highlight. Humans can be beautiful.
I commenced to Trisha’s and arrived to find a glittery gift on the bed that she and her daughter gave up. So I could sleep on it while they dreamt on the couch.
Thank you Trisha.
Thank you Knoxville.
Thank you Preservation Pub.
“A glad heart makes a cheerful face but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is crushed”
#whereintheworldiswonk #findme #hotelife #sponsorme #vagabond #roadlife #sololife #ashevillenc #roadproverbs @qualityinn @choicehotels