The Digi Solo Spring Tour has been over for a little more than a week now, and I think I’ve finally decompressed. I’m adjusting back into a routine of writing, recording, and the usual business stuff. I'm also re-learning to relax a bit. Getting off the road hasn’t been this deep sigh of instant relief that I imagined it to be. It’s actually been quite restless and somewhat confusing. A lot of the last week of the tour was spent fantasizing about sleeping in my own bed. The reality was that after I climbed into my bed, I was still laying there awake three hours later staring at the ceiling. Either way, it’s good to be home (really in a couple of different homes right now between Columbus and Philadelphia) and I’ve never felt more passionate or honest about who I am as a musician.
We spent the last four days of the tour making our way back to Ohio through Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. I bumped into another artist at the show in Johnson City, TN who I share a booking agent with named “Alli and I.” It was funny talking to someone who’s been on a similar route and path as me for the past month and trading quick stories about where we’d been. He mentioned that he’d kept seeing my posters up at the venues he was playing and I definitely recalled seeing some of his. I had kinda felt like Zach and I were in our own little world on this tour. Instead of thinking of us traveling to all these different places, it kind of felt like we were in the same spot and all these places were traveling through us. It seemed like we were alone in this world a lot of the time, but getting to talk to Andrew was a nice reminder that we weren't. He was just usually only a few days in front or behind us.
In Virginia I played at a small record/arts/vintage store named The Bazaar in Roanoke to kick off the weekend. Definitely a unique venue and a cool place to stop in and play for some genuine music lovers. However, the next night in Staunton, VA proved to be one of my favorite of the tour. I played at a place called “The Pompei Lounge” which was located above a fancy Italian Restaurant called “Emilio’s Place.” Above the first floor restaurant is a series of small bars and lounges on the second, third and fourth floors. The whole building reminded me of something out of a Wes Anderson movie, and I wasn’t entirely convinced that you ended up in the same place any time you took the same set of stairs twice. We ended up playing on the top floor which proved to be a challenge for loading in and out. But the hard work was worth it. The doors and windows opened up to a cool rooftop patio and the music flowed out into a fantastic Spring evening. Lots of little groups and dance parties travelled through the lounge and I got to do my first ever DJ set to keep the night going.
Our last show of the tour brought us to Thomas, West Virginia, a small mountain town with a tiny population and fraught with tourists for parts of the year. We played at a venue called The Purple Fiddle where the owner gave us the rundown of the many artists and creatives who’d flocked from the big cities to settle in Thomas. We ended up staying in the hostel above the venue, and spent our final night drinking whiskey and playing pool with a couple of the tenants. We were even treated to a little Fiddle performance from Spooky The Fiddler, a member of Strung Like a Horse, who had played the Purple Fiddle the night before.
Zach and I were more than a bit exhausted driving back the next day, but it was a fine ending to a long stretch on the road. So, was the whole thing worth it? I can say that the high’s and low’s of a relatively unknown artist on the road can be mentally challenging. But, looking back I don’t think I’ve ever made such an impact as a musician, and some of the fruits of my labor are starting to trickle in from the most unexpected of places. I learned so much and I’m really excited about what we’ve got planned for the second tour this Summer. For now, I have to dig myself into a hole and focus on getting some new recordings done. Stay tuned for some more announcements soon and stay digital!