Well, well, well, where do I begin after a tour like that!?!?
I can start with some “thank-yous” since that is the first thing that immediately comes to mind! The most important right off the bat is directed towards the fans, old and new. The fans are not only integral, but essential. Without them we’d have no reason to go on. Also, I want to thank my amazing “pick-up” band. I almost feel bad calling them that since we bonded, grew and matured so much as a band over the month on the road, but they did indeed start out as merely a “pick-up” band. These guys (Barend Courbois, Henk Punter, Patrick Obrist and Bob Fridzema) brought it every night and stepped up to the plate when it was needed. The mark of true pros. Couldn’t be happier with the result. And we’re just getting warmed up. Not to take away anything from my totally epic American band (Andrew Haley, Rick Prince) either. It’s just great to have two teams I can rely on! I also want to thank Martin, my European manager for handling this tour and every and any situation with confidence, diligence and respect for our band. He stepped in and took care of business like a true pro and I’ll never forget that. We look forward to working with him on many more tours coming up.
From the first show at the Blues Connection Festival in Rijen, Netherlands to the snowy countryside of picturesque Germany all the way back to the Bunnik Jazz Festival in Utrecht, we had some great laughs, fine meals, interesting moments and the most important: Killer music!!! Hard to believe it was actually a month of touring. At the last gig we all looked at each other and said, “We could go for another 2-3 weeks EASILY!” I think we built up such a momentum that it was hard to stop after that rapport was really in full swing, but such is life.
After one of these tours, it’s good to reflect and think about what was awesome, not so awesome, needs to be changed, needs to stay or brand new ideas you never thought of before. We have a lot of each one that we are adding for our upcoming full-length European tours and even our Stateside runs. But the biggest thing we learned about this tour is that every band member is uniquely talented and brings something special to the table that must be showcased. So for future gigs the idea is to allow the bassist, organist and drummer have more time to show off their skills while I get some time to catch my breath. We also learned that with this band, we are able to put on a full “rock show” for people. With Barend’s background as a heavy metal bassist and Bob’s Deep Purple-esque organ tone and of course my gnarly sound we are really getting the younger fan-base out to these gigs, which I’m happy to see.
Some of the pictures I’ve enclosed I believe capture the spirit of this tour, way more than I can say in words. The coolest thing is contrasting the “epic” stage shots with the relaxed, behind-the-scenes pics we took on our phones while waiting backstage or just acting like fools. That’s what makes these tours the most fun too. When you hit the stage, you pour your soul out and give yourself up for the audience, every night in fact. But, during the day you get to clown around with the band and crew members and blow off all that steam. Keeps us sane, or insane, one or the other! 🙂