Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year & Happy 4th of July! We’re still alive!

Posted on Saturday, July 4th, 2009

God Bless You

Hey all, you could say it’s been a while.  I really do wish and hope that, not only did you all have a great six months since I last wrote, but that you are all keeping your heads above water and staying strong in these trying times.  I cannot blame the economy on my sudden absence and for not keeping up with what I started.   For a while, I was really focusing on what I didn’t accomplish and left very little room for everything that we did.  It wasn’t until recently being asked about the trip, and seeing the excitement in eyes that screamed ‘I want to do that,’ that I felt proud of myself and Ammie for taking the chance.  For making it as far as we did.  Not only do I owe it to myself to think that way, but to the many people that supported our trip, the owners and staffers of the venues that welcomed us, the establishments that turned themselves into a venue for a night, the people that came out and gave us their ears, their food, their homes, and their directions!  Strangers helped us follow our dreams and at times, reminded us what they were to begin with.  I am grateful for those people.

So what happened?  Well, we didn’t make it to fifty states as we had originally hoped and planned.  We did, however, drive to and through thirty nine states, covering nearly 13,000 miles of highways, back-roads and interstates in a thirty three foot long home on wheels, somehow managing to keep ourselves (and everyone else) safe.  We were able to play music in at least one small town in twenty nine of those states.  And as a result, I see the world in a new light.

The night of my last official “small town” show was on December 8, 2008 at Metro Joe’s in Ninety Six, South Carolina.  At the time, I didn’t know it would be my last show of the trip.  So I was completely caught off guard when after finishing my set was asked, “Have you pretty much given up, but you’ve just gone too far to turn back?”  I was shaken but gulped my pride answering “things have been a little tough, but I’m still excited”, hoping he wouldn’t notice the stir in my voice.  I had repeated this phrase to myself those last few weeks and it was the most honest lie I have ever told myself.  I thought my music performance that evening had been decent, despite not being prepared for Christmas song requests from an audience comprised mostly of young families.  Maybe it was just simply a question that I wasn’t prepared to answer.  I still wanted so badly to finish strong and to complete the fifty states as I had promised myself I would do.

Metro Joe’s was founded by Joshua Brooks and I was privileged to meet his wife, daughters and family members who came out to support the evening.  Joshua was very friendly and had booked me just two days before my show.  In that small amount of time though, he was able to fill the room and bring some local publicity to my project.  The mayor even came out and introduced himself afterwards to tell me more about the town’s history.  Ninety Six is the town where the first land battle of the Revolutionary War (south of New England) was fought.  I guess the best way to sum up the show would be to direct you to one of the local articles that was published.

Welcome sign at Metro Joe's (Ninety Six, South Carolina)

Welcome sign at Metro Joe’s (Ninety Six, South Carolina)

Joshua Brooks & Family (Owner of Metro Joe's)

Joshua Brooks & Family (Owner of Metro Joe’s)

Even the Mayor came out!!!

Even the Mayor came out!!!

Thank you for all the support!

Thank you for all the support!

Merry Christmas ~ Metro Joe's

My father was also in the audience for this show.  He just so happened to be working in Atlanta while I was in Georgia (several days before the Ninety Six show), so I picked him up from the airport and he was able to share the adventure with me for a few days.  After my performance at Metro Joe’s, Joshua and his family filled our bellies and we learned more about the local history from some of the locals. Then my Dad and I hit the road for a 3 hour drive back to Atlanta so he could make his early morning meeting.  I was grateful that my father was able to be on part of this trip and for his encouragement as I rambled on crazily about the comment made in regards to my trip being over.Randall & Tiffany ~ Deep River Coffee Company (Robbins, NC)

Joe Frye ~ Delta Blues Guitar (North Carolina)

Joe Frye ~ Delta Blues Guitar (North Carolina)

Again, my apologies to anyone that is waiting in anticipation for this blog. For now, we’re happy again at home.  We’re both working and working towards getting out of the hole from this project……and things are beginning to fall into place.  I cannot even begin to describe all of the new music that was inspired from the trip or the thousands of amazing pictures we returned with.  I can’t wait to share them with you and get the book underway.  I’m betting it will have two parts.

Cheers, best wishes and a very Happy 4th of July to this beautiful country.

Categorized as The TRIP 2008