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Life On The Road?

Deckman 10 Aug 09 - 10:59 PM
Joe Offer 10 Aug 09 - 11:14 PM
Ebbie 10 Aug 09 - 11:58 PM
Janie 11 Aug 09 - 12:07 AM
Deckman 11 Aug 09 - 12:18 AM
Deckman 11 Aug 09 - 12:25 AM
GUEST,MtheGM 11 Aug 09 - 01:01 AM
Eve Goldberg 11 Aug 09 - 06:01 PM
Deckman 11 Aug 09 - 06:15 PM
GUEST,wordy 11 Aug 09 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 11 Aug 09 - 08:08 PM
Peace 11 Aug 09 - 08:13 PM
Eve Goldberg 13 Aug 09 - 09:21 PM
Deckman 13 Aug 09 - 09:35 PM
frogprince 13 Aug 09 - 09:46 PM
Deckman 14 Aug 09 - 01:32 AM
frogprince 14 Aug 09 - 11:28 AM
Deckman 14 Aug 09 - 01:29 PM
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Subject: Life On The Road?
From: Deckman
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 10:59 PM

I've always wondered what it's REALLY like being a traveling folksinger. Over the years (many) I've met many of the travelers: Pete, Sonny, Bob Gibson, Guy Carawan, Reilly and Maloney. And more recently with my involvement with Stew Hendrickson and the Pacific Northwest Folklore Society, I've been pleased to meet travelors such as Jeff Warner, Jed Marum, Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangson, and many others.

I've heard some of the horror stories: bad food, bad motels, no family, etc. Yet, at the tender age of 72 (172?) I'm about to take off on an 11 day singing trip. If it goes well, I might head up North next Spring.

So, I'm asking for you experienced traveling folksingers to tell us what it's like on the road? Give me tips, things to avoid, anything to help ease the bumps. Thanks ... Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Life On The Road?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 11:14 PM

Well, I was a traveling investigator, not a traveling musician, but there are lots of similarities. I'd advise you to get plenty of sleep and vegetables, and be sure you enjoy your travel and don't focus completely on music, or whatever your work may be. If you have friends in areas you're visiting, don't forget to spend some time with them.

Most of all, have a good time, Bob.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Life On The Road?
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 11:58 PM

Heading "north"? To Alaska, mayhap? We'd love to have you.


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Subject: RE: Life On The Road?
From: Janie
Date: 11 Aug 09 - 12:07 AM

Enjoy yourself thoroughly, Bob.

I spent a lot of years travelling, doing craft shows. Suspect there are similarities. Joe gives good advice. We never had time for friends or recreation, and it was grueling. Had we been able to allow more space and time, it would have been wonderful.


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Subject: RE: Life On The Road?
From: Deckman
Date: 11 Aug 09 - 12:18 AM

Ebbie ... We'll see?


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Subject: RE: Life On The Road?
From: Deckman
Date: 11 Aug 09 - 12:25 AM

Janie ... You said it was "grueling". So ... should I have gruel for breakfast? bad bad bob


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Subject: RE: Life On The Road?
From: GUEST,MtheGM
Date: 11 Aug 09 - 01:01 AM

Travelling-folk can take many forms. In the 50s there was a fashion for US folksingers to be sent over here to England by their universities or record companies to research British folk at first hand: that was how I became a friend of the late great Sandy Paton, and learned songs I still sing from Gina Glazer. But the story I mean to tell concerns Ralph Rinzler: he invited a few of us {Robin Hall was one, I recall} back for a drink after a Ballads&Blues night with Ewan&Peggy at the Princess Louise. Was I ever astounded to find myself in a suite at the Dorchester in Park Lane, no less!: have no idea which US record co was paying! Can't now, tho, help recalling that old Benny Hill verse: 'The folksinger came from America to sing at the Albert Hall - He sang his songs of protest admired by one and all - He sang that the rich were much too rich and the poor too poor by far - And then he drove home to his penthouse in his brand new Rolls Royce car'.   LOL. M


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Subject: RE: Life On The Road?
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 11 Aug 09 - 06:01 PM

I haven't spent long stretches at a time on the road, but I do a lot of short tours. Here are some of the things I have learned:

Make sure you have accurate maps and directions for everywhere you are going. If I'm gone for more than two days, I make myself a TOUR BOOK. This has one page for every day and includes all the important information for that day:

-where the gig is (address, contact names and phone numbers*)
-where I am staying that night (address, contact names, and phone numbers*)
-when I have to be at the gig and how long the drive will be
-directions to everywhere I have to be
-information on sound check, whether food is supplied by the presenter, and other useful details about that gig

*including cell and/or emergency #s

I put the tour book in a binder. On the first page, I create a summary list with the highlights - date, gig, city, state, contact name and number. I leave a copy of this at home with my partner so she knows where I'm going to be every day.

The tour book has made my life way easier because all the info is in one place and easy to find.

Some other things that are helpful:

I often bring a copy of "The Tofu Toolbooth" with me. This is Dar William's book that lists health food stores and vegetarian cafes all over the US. It's kind of out of date now, but I've still found some nice places to get healthy food with it. Unfortunately, I think the book is out of print now :-(

I contact all the presenters ahead of time, tell them my basic travel plans and make sure they have my cellphone number in case they need to contact me.

I bring healthy things to snack on in the car. Almonds are great for a protein hit. So are pumpkin seeds. Sometimes instead of eating lunch at a restaurant I will go to a grocery store and get some carrots, hummous, cheese and crackers. fruit is also good to have on hand.

If I was more organized, I would keep a cooler in the car with things like hard-boiled eggs, hummous, cheese etc. so that I could avoid eating at restaurants altogether, at least for lunch. But I haven't gotten my act together on that yet.

Make sure you have a way of hiding your instruments in the car - you will be parking your car all over the place and it's better if people don't get the idea there are valuable things inside. I usually carry a blanket with me.

Those are some thoughts off the top of my head. I hope they are helpful tips!


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Subject: RE: Life On The Road?
From: Deckman
Date: 11 Aug 09 - 06:15 PM

Hi Eve ... this is exactly the stuff I'm looking for ... any chance you're available to join us in mid September. When they have the next war ... I want to be on YOUR SIDE! thanks, bob


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Subject: RE: Life On The Road?
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 11 Aug 09 - 06:18 PM

Earplugs, and your own comfortable pillow. Laxatives and anti diarrhea tablets, anti-inflamatories. A bottle of whatever you fancy, and a very gentle but firm refusal to play somehwere else when the gig is over.
And sleeping pills.


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Subject: RE: Life On The Road?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 11 Aug 09 - 08:08 PM

Dear Bob:

I recall it in two ways; as a single guy and as part of a trio.

In the latter case, we had an agent who booked us into low to medium priced motels or hotels, all of us in one room with an extra roll-away bed (most of the time). After a few weeks of this, it becomes a little like a marriage without the "privileges." You quickly find out who has unpleasant personal issues or quirky physical problems. Lots of bad cheap eats. It's a wonder we did not suffer more from malnutrition or Montezuma's Revenge. We got booted from a couple of places for trying to rehearse in our room. Who knew that folks next door would be asleep at 3:00 in the afternoon? Amazingly, none of us smoked, which automatically eliminated one potential source if ire.

You will recall a lot of the coffee houses did not serve booze, so we were often OD'd on hot mulled cider, etc.

I traveled little as a solo performer, but it was fairly painless except for all the food and lodging issues. I spent the night once in a firehouse, another in the back of a truck and several in my car, for example.

I wouldn't trade any of it for gold!


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Subject: RE: Life On The Road?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Aug 09 - 08:13 PM

As a solo: read Eve's post closely. I would never leave a guitar (instrument) in a car. I'll carry it with me even if it's a short stop to take a wizz. Takes 30 seconds to B and E a car. Takes me 60 seconds to pee by the time it's hit time to stop.


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Subject: RE: Life On The Road?
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 09:21 PM

I wish I could carry my guitar everywhere, but the reality is it's too heavy in it's Calton Case. And, what do you do if you play several instruments or you are carrying a sound system?


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Subject: RE: Life On The Road?
From: Deckman
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 09:35 PM

This is being interesting! The way this tour is being set-up, we'll have several days between gigs. That's good for taking the drives in easy stages, as well as doing some visiting with family halfway through. bob


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Subject: RE: Life On The Road?
From: frogprince
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 09:46 PM

Well, those groupies should help make up for any bad food and motels...
Where all in the country are you bound? After a few spins of your CD, we would certainly try to get to any gig near us.
                      Dean


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Subject: RE: Life On The Road?
From: Deckman
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 01:32 AM

Well ... this trip I'll be doing some stuff in Pocatello, Idaho, then I'll be in Hamilton, Montana for a couple of days, then I'll do another gig in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho before heading back to the Seattle area. If I (we) survive this trip, I might buy another five gallons of gas and try it again next Spring! Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Life On The Road?
From: frogprince
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 11:28 AM

Kind of a long drive from Michigan, darnit.


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Subject: RE: Life On The Road?
From: Deckman
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 01:29 PM

Not if you drive REAL FAST!


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