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Book Reports

Jun 22

Greetings From the West Coast

Greetings from the West Coast.....what a trip so far....we had a ball at the Florida Folk Festival, it was as hot as expected. Nancy and Maureen sold more cds and dvds then we ever have at a Folk Festival...I was lucky to have such a fine team working on my behalf! Got to hang out with Arlo Guthrie a bit, he is a cool cat for sure. Got to meet his son-in-law John who has been working on my videos...he too is a cool cat! Great music, great audiences and a lot of fun.

Headed West with a stop in Tallahasee visiting old pal Bill Melton and then on to Panama City to visit with "the blues detective" Gayle Dean Wardlow, author of CHASIN THE DEVILS' MUSIC. He is 'the man' when it comes to Blues knowledge. Check out his book which comes with a great cd including rare Paramount sides from his collection. Available at Borders etc.....Listened to a bunch of old 78 rpm discs, played some cool old guitars and ate some local oysters...what a time!

On to Biloxi for a little gaming and a lot more eating before we got to Louisiana.(more good eats) First gig west was the old Camp Street Cafe. Great to see Guy and Pip Gillette. They were proud as punch to show off the new Texas liscense plate....It says Support Texas Music and has a picture of Blind Lemon Jefferson on it! I am so jealous that I might have to move to Texas. What other state is that cool? Had a nice crowd at the cafe and headed North for Oklahoma.

Not eay to find, we finally ended up at THE BLUE DOOR. Biggest crowd I ever had there and it was a great show. Nancy keeps breaking the record selling cd's and dvd's! The concert DVD is really very popular in the new format. Still waiting on 'Book's Blues Book', sorry Hal Leonard has been so slow at getting it done...any day now...

Beautiful drive west thru Oklahoma, the Texas pan handle, New Mexico and into Arizona.The Painted Desert,unbelievable....the mountains and the plains breathtaking! What a country we have....I truly believe everyone should do a cross country dive trip before looking to visit overseas! Had a nice visit with Nancy's Brother Ed and his wife Lenda in Overgaard Az.. We got to see how the fires devistated miles of forrest and homes a few years ago. Amazingly enough, some trees were spared and others with charred trunks are once again green on top.

On the way to Tuscon, we drove thru the Salt River Canyon which is called 'the little Grand Canyon'. Unbelievable drive down the mountain to the river and then up the mountain out of the canyon. We had to stop and stare at the beauty of it all at every opportunity.

The Tuscon gig was also fantastic! Lucky for us the desert sun spared us. Somehow we had a balmy evening for our outdoor show with temps in the low 70's. Great Mexican food before and after the gig too!

After a good sleep, we began our journey towards Las Vegas. The Hoover Dam is always a sight to see but it was really somthing to see how low the water level was! Security around the dam was quite noticable too. They say the drought out in the desert is the worst in 500 years! Temps by this time were over 100!

Got 'camped' at the KOA campground behind The Circus Circus Casino-Resort. Had a little scare when the a/c compressor kicked out with temps around 105....but a quick cleaning of the area behind the filter brought her back to life...thank goodnes! We spent a few days up and down the strip visiting the snazzy resorts, hitting the penny and nickle slots and playing a little black jack. Lots of fun, free meals and a few nice wins. When you bet 180 pennies at a time, the wins can sure add up....as can the losses....

Got put up at the STRATOSPHERE CASINO & HOTEL the night of my gig which was pretty cool. Nice to know I have fans in Las Vegas! My buddy Tex Whitson's son-in-law worked for security at the Stratosphere so we felt real safe there!

On to 'The Promised Land'...Very cool gig in Covina, hadn't played the FRET HOUSE, for 10 years! Nice crowd, good time and I am starting to think about next years West Coast trip already! Last night we did a 'private party' at a winery North of Santa Barbara. A real nice time, cool group of friends who really know how to enjoy themselves. The Fellow that hosted the party had about 20 vintage cars including a '51 Hudson and a very cool 53 Kaiser. I felt right at home with my '36 Gibson Nick Lucas!

Well, That's a mouthfull...will try to write more often, but it ain't easy being on the road. Camped outside of San Jose as I write. Have phone line at every campsite, cable TV and a jaccuzzi and pool down the path! It's rough out here for sure, but someone has to do it....

By For Now

'The Book'