Back in the U.S.S.A.

I am well aware that while we have been basking in swimming holes, running barefoot along pristine beaches and floating down rivers, Americans have had a whole season of some of the most abhorrent snow and ice storms in their history – still, I want this cold weather to continue.  We have been back in the States a little more than a week and it feels fantastic.  Three inches of snow in Nashville the other day (a rare occurrence) and I frolicked around in it like giddy pixy bounding over lily-pads.

I’m writing this midway between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh – sitting in the passenger seat of my little black Honda Civic while Vanessa is erratically trying to dodge gaping potholes. We’re on a short run with Ali Sperry & the Family Vacation, before heading back to Tennessee this Sunday.  On one side of the highway (a modest 6 laner) are wiry, leafless trees the colour of rusted steel wool, and out the other a frozen rock face with long stems of grey ice streaming down.  It always amazes me how these roads plow clean through mountainsides – the sheer volume of rock and dirt that must be excavated to accommodate massive highways.  Clearly New Zealand doesn’t have the volume of traffic to necessitate such measures – but for this I’m very glad.  

It’s great to be back in the States, definitely missing NZ friends and family, but it really is sound posse I’ve found myself amongst here.  We played a super fun, though lightly attended show at the 5 spot in Nashville the other night as part of Nick Pagliari’s (Moon and 42) songwriter night.  Also on the bill was Molly Martin, whose album ‘Somewhere Between’ is definitely one of my favourites of the last few years.  

With our new VISA we can legally pursue other music based means of work, so upon return to Nashville next week, I’m going to really push for more in-town work on guitar.  Ingratiating oneself in a new scene is quite an intimidating process, with no real clear way to go about it except to just get out there, meet people, go to jams, and pretty much say yes to everything.  I love playing guitar and singing in TTS so, so much, but also really cherish those times when I can just play guitar and not also have to focus on singing and oftentimes leading the band.  So that - along with T-ing up some more co-writes – is my mission for the short term.  

In other news, after a very boozy NZ tour (Tom and I pretty much exclusively drank either Manhattans or Negronis while travelling in our rather salubrious camper), I have decided to meter my alcohol intake a little so as to focus on running again.  Note - I have been in this position before.  As a matter of fact this is one of the recurring battles of my life - my love for long distance running and it’s clash with the lifestyle of late nights and drink.  My struggle to enact a moderate approach to things in my life makes this particularly difficult, though ‘moderation’ has been a recurring resolution of mine for many years.  Perhaps this is the year it will stick.  

So, two highly caffeinated cups of shitty Tim Horton’s coffee in ma belly, I think I will sign off, listen to K.D Lang and the Sis Boom Bang (I’m quite obsessed with the song ‘Sing it Loud’ – written by our eccentrically wonderful producer Joe Pisapia), and look out the window at the crude remnants of the steel industry past and present that are so commonplace in this part of the country.  Cheerio everybody!

Top of Mt Roy, Wanaka NZ.

Vanessa’s humble home, Inglewood, Nashville TN.