NorCal

Exploring San Fransisco 

Things are starting to wrap up here, a little. We're in the very last leg of the tour and so I think both Adam and I are experiencing this kind of half-tiredness half-antsy-ness simultaneously. It's weird. However, we are in the best place to be feeling this kind of craziness; San Fransisco. 

I'd been to San Fransisco once when I was 16 for a leadership summit, and I remember thinking it was just the coolest place to be. Even now, there's something really inherently magical about crossing the Bay Bridge from island to island -- especially with the fog (who I learned is named Carl), it gives this other-worldly almost Jurassic Park-esque vibe. 

On Thursday, we took the whole day to just hop in our cars and head over to SF. We explored around town a bit, saw the "painted ladies" that are famous for being shown in Full House, went across the Golden Gate and saw some pretty spectacular views over in Marin Park. 

NorCal, you're killing me. #norcal #sanfrancisco #gorgeous

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I don't know what else I can really say about San Fransisco that people don't already know... It's beautiful, it's hip, it's expensive as all hell, but people are sure nice. Also, it's stunning. 

Sebastopol, Sonoma, HopMonk

Yesterday we took the car up to Sebastopol, a small town a little outside of wine country. One thing is for certain, this place is somewhat stuck in the 60s/70s, for better and for worse. The people are SO kind, so friendly and welcoming, the stores are so cute, the whole downtown strip smells like incense and aromatherapy oils, and even the town dive bar is a little haven of sorts. 

After meeting up with an old friend from back home, we headed over to the HopMonk Tavern in Sonoma. This venue was perfect in so many ways; it came equipped with a cute stage, free beer, and a surprising amount of familiar faces mixed in with some unfamiliar yet very friendly ones. The first set went just swimmingly, but unfortunately I had some health issues right before the second set (I think the change of altitude was getting to me) and we had to wrap it up a little early. However! One really cool thing that happened was that my brother finally was able to get up onstage and perform some of his own songs for the first time. So, it actually worked out for the better.

Last Gig before LA

Tonight, our last show before we get down to LA is going to be at the Vine in Danville. It's kind of crazy to think that after today, my new life in LA begins -- And speaking of which, a big show is coming up on Wednesday, the 10th:

I think I'm ready to be in LA now

As far as tours go, this is definitely not even close to the longest tour I've done, what with being in Europe for nearly seven weeks. But I think the combination of touring AND moving has taken its toll; I am tired. I am ready for sleep. I'm also ready to start getting a hold of my life. 

I think California and I are gonna get along just fine. //show tonight in Sonoma @ 8pm!

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CONVUTCA

Catching Up A Little

On Sunday, we had a real fine lazy day. It was lightly snowing in Denver so we decided to take it easy with our host Jess -- really, nothing much happened except for a trip to a coffeeshop, some walking around, a trip to a diner, more walking around, a trip to Voodoo donuts, more walking around, coming back to the apartment, eating said donuts and watching Raiders of the Lost Ark. Oh, and beer happened. It was a good day. I even had a chance to catch up on some songwriting, and I'm thinking about putting out an EP of songs from the road once we arrive in LA. Just an idea. We'll see, but you heard it here first. 

Our Big Adventure

We knew that there was a big storm coming in on the day that we were supposed to leave for Salt Lake City, so we left early in hopes of avoiding the storm that was headed East while we went West. We stopped by Boulder, CO but unfortunately it was so foggy out that you couldn't really see the rockies. However, Boulder is still really cute and I can see why so many people like it so much. However, we had to head out in order to beat the storm, so off we went. 

The plan was to completely avoid the rockies and go up to Wyoming to take I-80 all the way to Salt Lake City. Once we were in Wyoming, the landscape was a lot flatter which made the snow that was coming in manageable. About two hours into our seven hour drive, right as we're about to get onto the I-80 ramp, we see a sign and then a gate indicating that I-80 was closed down. I didn't even know you could close down a highway!

Greetings from planet Hoth #snowy #dontworrymom #wegotthis

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That being said, we had to backtrack down to Colorado and take a small highway all the way through the state into Utah. I won't give too many details, but it wasn't really the most fun drive in the world. Luckily, I have an AWD Subaru. Unluckily, the drive took us 14 hours. 

Salt Lake City

Somehow, we completely missed the mormons. We didn't spend too too much time in Salt Lake City because we had a 10.5 hour drive ahead of us, but we did make time to go to the gym at our hotel & to grab a really solid breakfast before heading out. Oh man, was the drive outside of the city beautiful. 

Oh man.

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Even a little bit outside of the city, there were some pretty spectacular views. We passed through the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah which is apparently where they do a lot of race car testing. Either way, it's really pretty. 

#nofilter #nofilterneeded #saltflats #speed #history

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I HATE THE DESERT 

It was pretty for maybe about an hour, but after that it just became awful. I definitely have some sort of mild version of agoraphobia because oh my god you couldn't put me back in that barren wasteland if you tried. Deserts are the absolute worst. I hate them. 

CALIFORN-I-A

After a 10+ hour drive, we finally crossed the border into our final state. I have to admit, it's pretty weird knowing that this is the state I'm going to be living in for the next undisclosed amount of time. I don't even know when I'm going to leave the state next. 

Anyway, we celebrated our west coast arrival by grabbing In-n-Out, and it was magnificent. We arrived in Alameda last night and we'll be here for a few days before our shows on the 5th and on the 6th. So, in the meantime; rest, coffee & a few visits to San Fransisco. 

 

AMARILLO + MILE HIGH CITY

West Texas Sure is Strange

I think I have the opposite of claustrophobia. There's something about wide open spaces and a seemingly endless blue sky that makes me really uncomfortable, and west Texas sure has a lot of wide open spaces. It didn't help that since it's January, everything is brown and dead. I'm really painting a nice picture, huh? I guess the one redeeming quality of the grassy plains are the tumbleweeds. I don't know why, but I love tumbleweeds -- I think they're adorable. 

We are not in Massachusetts anymore. #westtexas #roadtrip #blueskies

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Amarillo is even Stranger

Amarillo is a tiny little city surround by complete nothingness. It's not incredibly pleasing for the eyes, but luckily Adam and I were totally spoiled and were able to stay at a friend's ranch out in Canyon, Texas. The ranch was actually IN a canyon. We arrived just in time for the sunset, so we hiked up to one of the peaks of the canyon to watch the sun disappear. That's definitely not something you see every day in New England. 

Dove Creek Ranch, Canyon TX

Dove Creek Ranch, Canyon TX

Before we headed over to the venue, Adam insisted on going to "The Big Texan" for dinner. The Big Texan is a famous joint right on route 66 that prides itself on all things Texan including their "Free 72oz Steak". It's really just a food challenge where one has to eat an entire 4.5 lb steak with all of the sides in under an hour. I just ate soup. 

the 806

I was having a really hard day up until the gig. I think it was a combination of being in a foreign place, being exhausted, and missing home. It's really easy thinking about the easy things when you're doing the hard things. 

When I got to the 806, I was exhausted and really wasn't sure how I was going to get through this gig. But then a miracle happened; the place became PACKED with college kids who were super energetic and enthusiastic. The energy was absolutely infectious and it absolutely picked my soul up by the armpits out of the doldrums. It was amazing. 

thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou

thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou

En Route to Colorado

We had to wake up pretty early in order to get to our gig in Denver, and we even managed to catch a little bit of the sunrise in the canyon. I have to say, once we got out of the grasslands, the landscape suddenly became a lot more gorgeous; red clay structures, sandy hills and strange bushes were all abound. I can see why so many people love the landscapes of the southwest. 

We had to pass through a tiny bit of New Mexico in order to get to Colorado, and it's amazing how much the landscape changes just before you hit the Rocky Mountains. This country is massive.

Appaloosa Grill

We arrived to Denver in really good time, mostly because of the time change from CT to MT. The venue of the day was Appaloosa Grill in downtown Denver, CO -- we had a 2-hour bar set for happy hour. The staff was super friendly and a lot of the people who were in the bar were very kind and had all kinds of nice things to say.

These two ☺️ @adamjhanson @jessebhanson

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It was also super cool because Appaloosa Grill is right in downtown Denver. There's this strip on 16th street that's incredibly reminiscent of Church St in Burlington, VT. It's just a giant stretch of street where there are a lot of shops and wonderful lights. 

#denver #lights

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Cool Things about Denver/Colorado

  1. Weed is legal 
  2. The economy has been doing stupid well because of the legalization of weed
  3. People are really nice
  4. Probably because of weed
  5. It's snowing here and it's really pretty
  6. Denver, CO gets more sunshine per year than Miami

UP NEXT: Getting some damn sleep

We don't have a gig until Friday, so between now and then we're going to enjoy ourselves in Denver, Boulder, Salt Lake City & NorCal. I am tired. 

 

DFW, TX Y'ALL

I absolutely love Texas.

Wednesday was our day off in Austin and it was absolutely gorgeous outside. Adam and I slept in probably until about 11am or so and then headed out -- originally, we were thinking about going to Franklin's BBQ which is famous for always having a line way out the door, but we were both hungry and didn't feel like waiting, so we went to South Congress St and had a tex-mex brunch at a place called Magnolia's. After brunch, we perused around all kinds of shops full of weird things. When they say "Keep Austin Weird", they really mean it; costume rental stores, odd antiques, and stores that sold pillows with classical style portraits of Bill Murray on them were all found on the same block. 

We went for a really nice walk in the park on the riverside in order to see the statue of Stevie Ray Vaughn -- Adam has been making me listen to a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughn, and I ain't complainin'. 

For dinner, we went to this place called Salt Lick's for BBQ and OH MY GOD it was so good. So good. I stuffed myself with meat and paid the consequences but it was worth it. Austin makes me so happy. 

Kablam!

Yesterday, we took off from Austin pretty early and headed out to Dallas where our next gig would be. We had so much time to kill and the commute wasn't that long, so when we got into Dallas, Adam made it a point to bring me to Dealey Plaza/The Grassy Knoll where JFK was shot so that we could continue our assassination tour (in reference to visiting the Lorraine Motel in Memphis). It was kind of creepy. X marks the spot(s). 

Dallas and Fort Worth are Not that Close

After we grabbed lunch, we headed to my old friend Ashley's place in Fort Worth. Even though the region is called "DFW", Dallas and Fort Worth are actually about an hour apart. It was REALLY wonderful to see my old buddy Ashley -- we hung out at her place for a few hours before heading over to the gig in Dallas. She has a bunch of adorable pets:

Clovey!

Clovey!

Savannah!

Savannah!

Tanner!

Tanner!

Dallas is Really Pretty at Night

Dallas, yer real purdy at night. #Dallas #Texas #skyline

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Opening Bell Coffee

Our venue last night was Opening Bell Coffee in downtown Dallas. It's SO cute. It's a little underground coffee shop and wine bar with all kinds of cute decorations and a friendly staff. Before we went on, two girls named Worth & Marie went up and played a whole bunch of really pretty and mellow tunes. It was very nice and relaxing and definitely set up a good vibe. They had also brought a bunch of people that seemed to be around their age, so that was really nice. 

My pedal dance. 

My pedal dance. 

Raaaaah!

Raaaaah!

A little fun in Fort Worth

My old pal Ashley -- We used to get in a lot of trouble in middle school. Nothing has changed. 

My old pal Ashley -- We used to get in a lot of trouble in middle school. Nothing has changed. 


Next Stop: Amarillo!

Our next gig is tonight in Amarillo, TX at the 806 cafe! If you have any friends in Amarillo, send 'em out, because we don't know anybody there. 

Austin, TX

"I'm goin' down to Austin, Texas...

...I'm goin' down to save my soul, get that BBQ and chili, eat my fill and come back home" - Texas Cookin' by Guy Clark. Such a good song.

Yesterday we woke up in Oklahoma City and hung out with my Aunt Maggie a bit before headin' on down to Austin. It's about a 6 hour drive, so we made sure to leave early so we could get here and load up our stuff. The drive was pretty uneventful. Oklahoma is amazingly bare, but once you get over the Texas border, it's suddenly filled with humans. We passed through Fort Worth in order to get to Austin, and everything they say about Texas is true; Texas really is huge.

Friends, Pizza, Falling in Love

We got into town around 6pm and had a couple hours to load our stuff into my sister's friends' apartment. We had plenty of time to go down to the venue, load our stuff in there, and then go exploring in search of food. My brother has been to Austin seven times now, so he was more than happy to show me around in a tiny car tour. The venue, Beerland, is on Red River St right near 7th street, and 6th street is THE street of Austin. That's the street that's completely closed off to cars during SXSW, and going down that street, my heart felt so full. Music venues, strange cuisine and tattoo parlors were everywhere. The whole energy of the city is so friendly and infectious, I absolutely love it. We were gonna try grabbing some more substantial grub before the show, but ended up at a pizza joint right across the street. Totally awesome. We even went for seconds after the show. 

Beerland

Beerland is the prettiest little dive bar there ever was -- disco ball, old elvis statues, a shag carpet that's been so run down that it feels like concrete and a pool table. What was so cool about this show was that I had come across Cari Q and Chris Strand through friends of friends and they were gracious enough to put on the show with me. Lucky for me, too, they were amazing. Cari has this really cool modern-day texas swing pop sound going on, and Chris's songs were so gorgeous I thought I was going to cry. The whole night was such a treat for me, and the folks were super kind and friendly to me and Adam during our set.

Cari Q

Cari Q

Chris Strand

Chris Strand

Thank you Austin for showing us a good time last night 👍 // #austin #texas @beerlandtexas

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I'm Getting There.

Being in Austin really is a quick way to heal the heart -- this is exactly why I came out on tour in the first place; to see cool places and meet nice people and to play music. There are definitely some moments when I think about how I'd like to be sharing these experiences with certain people, and there are definitely moments where I miss my dog. But right now, I am happy to be in Austin. 

Our Snow Day in TN and our Spring Day in AR

Our Day Off in Franklin, TN

On Sunday we woke up at Becca's place in TN and took our sweet time waking up; steam showers, jacuzzi baths, and some yummy homemade breakfast sandwiches via Adam were all had. It was great. Our plans of the day were as follows; go to a music shop in Leiper's Fork, go to Becca's friend Renee Armand's house, go sledding, watch the Pats game. 

First, we went to this adorable shop called "Finds in the Fork" in Leiper's Fork, TN. It's SO cute. It's a little community shop with boutique clothes, records and guitar gear with a little "pickin' corner" where people were welcome to take instruments off the wall and jam with each other.

Rebecca also played a tune of hers:

Then we went to Renee Armand's house (she used to sing backup for John Denver and she has an incredibly interesting life) -- She has a BEAUTIFUL ranch property in the middle of nowhere, TN, equipped with two Alpacas and a donkey named Pickles. We went sledding, and this happened:

I won't talk about the patriots. 

Off to Memphis!

We left from Franklin pretty late and headed got to Memphis around 9:30pm. Our host Brian was SUPER awesome and had already gotten takeout BBQ waiting for us at his house -- it was amazing. Brian's awesome. 

When we woke up, we decided to go to the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated, and it was really really weird and creepy. It's now the Civil Rights Museum, and they've completely preserved the face of the motel. They even have a wreath right where he got shot. Lots of dark energy, definitely left us feeling a little glum. Memphis!

The Natural State

Arkansas is really weird. We only saw it from the highway, but this is what I have to say about it: The eastern part of the state is like what Applebee's would be like if it were a state. Just totally uninteresting, yet distinctly American. Once we got past Little Rock, there were definitely some REALLY pretty sights. It also didn't hurt that it was nearly 70 degrees at various points throughout the day, which reminded me of why I'm leaving Massachusetts -- I'm tired of the cold. I like spring weather. More, please. 

OK-LA-HOMA

We are DEFINITELY not in Massachusetts anymore. The terrain has completely changed -- we're not quite in the super flat part of Oklahoma, but it's definitely a lot more flat and barren of trees than what I'm used to. Lots of Casinos. 

Oklahoma City itself is MASSIVE. The city limits stretch 70 sq miles. It's absolutely huge. On the way to my Aunt's house, we were amazed to find chain after chain after chain -- anything you can think of; Wendy's, McDonald's, CVS, Starbucks, Aldi, Exxon, Home Depot, Walmart, Walgreens, Applebee's, Long John Silver's, Popeyes, Bueno Tacos, Taco Bell, KFC, EVERYTHING. All on one street. It's insane. 

My Aunt lives a little Northwest of downtown OKC in a nice residential neighborhood. We were greeted by my Aunt, my cousin Renee & her boyfriend Kendall, and my cousins Nathan & Justin. It's been a REALLY long time since I've seen them, so it was cool to see how they had grown since the last time we all got together. It was a really nice visit, and everybody seems to be happy and doing well. They even have a JRT named Dot! Reminds me a lot about Maya, which definitely makes me miss my dog. 

NEXT STOP: AUSTIN

Our next show is tonight in Austin, TX! I'm really excited about this one because I'm co-billing with two awesome local singer-songwriters named Cari Quoyeser and Chris Strand. We'll be playing @ Beerland, TX tonight at 9pm!

MUSIC CITY

Nashville, here we come!

Yesterday, we started our journey from Jeffersonville, IN to Nashville at around 10am. But first, we made a vital stop at a joint called Wild Eggs in Louisville, where I met Micah the busking fiddler and then promptly ate delicious Apple Bourbon Crepes. 

Buskin' with Micah in Louisville, KY

Buskin' with Micah in Louisville, KY

People in Tennessee Don't Know How to Drive in the Snow

Seriously. All along I-65, we saw a ton of cars and trucks in the median and on the side of the road. It's not that hard to just stay on the road. But then again, we're just a couple of Massholes driving in a AWD Subaru with brand new tires. 

TN Brew Works 

Due to the cancellation at Two Old Hippies, the only place we had to be was at Tennessee Brew Works, a small joint a little outside of downtown. This actually worked out hugely in our favor -- Not only did we have not have to rush from place to place, but the band that was supposed to go on after us had to cancel due to snow... So we got two hours to play! 

It was such a treat -- The folks were kind, my cousins from Louisville were able to hit our show before going to another concert, and one of my very good pals from back in the day was able to come and join me onstage. Laura's a fantastic cellist -- we used to play in Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras together growing up, and she's always been a great friend. 

<333

<333

The set seemed to go over really well -- and it was also really great that my cousins could come out to see us before their other happenings in Nashville. That's the thing that I really love about touring -- Being able to see old friends & family. It's one of the joys I have of being a musician. 

Family!

Family!

I'm feeling good.

Sometimes I get a little sad in waves, but seeing friends & family and playing music for kind folks is a really quick fix for that. We got to crash at our friend Rebecca Correia's place last night in Franklin, TN. It's essentially a hunting cabin in the woods with its own amazing guest house. I got to take a steam shower this morning. Life is good. 

GO PATS !

Our Two Days as Hoosiers

Leaving Chicago

On Thursday, we woke up at my friend Shreya's apartment in southern Chicago (not like south side, but just south) which is right on the UChicago Campus. We got to take our sweet time waking up because all we had to do on Thursday was get to Louisville at some point just to stay at my cousin Shawn's house. 

We decided to get a real taste for Chicago by doing what any reasonable tourists would do; go to a 124 year old diner straight up in the South Side of Chicago called Dailey's. We were the only white kids there, and the food was insanely good. Just the kind of food that makes you feel like you're eating a hug -- yes, I got chicken & waffles by the waitress's recommendation and it was bomb. The locals were also wicked nice. 

Crossroads of America

Indiana has to be the least interesting state in the world -- Their slogan is "Crossroads of America", which I joked really just meant "Okay, just use Us to get to the Next Place". Here's an awful picture I took of Indianapolis, another really uninteresting city. 

It's in there somewhere

It's in there somewhere

We arrived at my cousin's house in Jeffersonville, IN, which is a suburb of Louisville right across the river. Their house smelled like awesome chili and their 6 year old daughter Lyra could not be any cuter. 

Snow, Snow, Go Away 

Yesterday, the early effects of the storm Jonas hit Louisville (PS, it's pronounced Lowe-vull) and they had an accumulation of maybe 3" tops. Well, that was enough to close down EVERYTHING, and I mean basically EVERYTHING. School, work, most restaurants, and worst of all -- our show :( 

Apparently, our show was in a neighborhood of Louisville where plows get to towards the end of their sweep of the city. Whomp whomp

And so, we hang.

Considering how much we have left to travel and drive, I guess maybe it was some sort of blessing in disguise to just take it slow and hang out. Adam and I did make our way to a Waffle House for breakfast, but after that it was all just hangin' in. We managed to do some well needed rehearsing, and we even had auditions for a new band member:

Next Up: Nashville

Today we have two back-to-back shows in Nashville: 

4pm: TN Brew Works
6pm: Two Old Hippies

I think Nashville is going to be both simultaneously super fun and also super hard -- I have a lot of really fond memories of Nashville, and it'll be interesting to see if any of those memories come up while we're there. Either way, time does heal the heart and with every passing day I'm literally one step closer to where I want to be. Oh, and speaking of where I want to be...

!!NEW SHOW ANNOUNCED!!

Molly Malone's in LA on Feb. 10th! This will be our final show of the tour, so mark your calendar and tell your friends!