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Book Reports

Aug 05

What a Great Summer

So hard to believe that it's August already! Nancy flew home a few days ago to get ready to start school down in St. Petersburg and I am on the road again....alone. What a great Summer we had!

Winnemucca was a surprise highlight of the Summer! Great little town, great campground, good restaurants and friendly people. Woke up with a flat tire on July 4th! My emergency service had someone out in less then an hour! In Winnemucca!! They put on my "dodgey" spare and took my wheel into town. Next morning we drove to town, my tire was already repaired and ready to go back on the bus...total cost..$15. I love this country!!

That night we had a great dinner at the Martin Hotel with a tabelful of new friends and a sold out show! What a great bunch of music lovers in that town. Lucky my tire didn't blow out in the desert....not much there between Reno, Winnemucca and Salt Lake! As we started East, the check engine light came on again...not a good sign!

Steamboat Springs and Denver were fantastic. Got to go to The Strawberry Park up there in Steamboat and what a cool place it was! Natural hot water at 114 degrees is mixed with ice cold stream water to make different temperature pools for soaking in a natural mountain setting. They say it's very cool to go there in the Winter, with snow on the ground! We soaked with our Pals Steve and Denise and just loved it.

My show and workshop went well and everyone had a good time including myself. When I returned for the second set, my B string was missing! The bridge pin seemed to have popped out as I put my guitar down at the end of the first set and I didn't notice it until after the break as I stared playing! Quickly I ran out to the 'bus' and located an extra bridge pin. That was a first! Guess we all should carry an extra pin in our cases...

Nice visit with my friends in Denver and a good show and workshop at with The Swallowhill Music outfit. Got to look at a few possible 'buses', but we couldn't work out a trade. Really liked the 2007 Roadtrek 210. Pretty similar to our old Xplorer.

We headed East through Nebraska, and after searching the Internet and making quite a few calls, made a deal for a new bus in Galion Ohio! That's where I had my air conditioner replaced last Summer.

When we arrived in there on Tuesday, The new 'Bus' was prepped and ready. After closing the deal, we started moving in and believe me, that wasn't easy! I could never have made the move so quickly if Nancy wasn't with me......but we drove out on Wednesday afternoon, headed for Cleveland!

Nancy and I had a nice visit with our Cleveland Pals, Amy and Tommy and another nice gig at the Winchester...I sure miss not being able to visit my old pal Robert Lockwood when I'm nearby.

We really got used to the 'new bus' in a hurry, and we are loving the luxury. Next stop was in Maryland where we visited with "my film maker', Preston and his Wife Jennifer. 'The film' is coming along and should be available next Summer. We ate great crabs and seafood at a little place called THE RED ROOST. It was the kind of place no one finds by accident! A local treasure for sure! Tucked out of the way a from the tourist attractions of nearby Ocean City.

Had a very nice gig at the GLOBE THEATER, first time back in 5 years! The place has new owners and is now a very cool Supper Club! Lots of old fans who waited a long time for my return made me very welcome and we all, did have a very "large time". May be back in December on my way South.

After the gig, Nancy and I made our way to The Flying J truck stop right over the Delaware Memorial Bridge and were sound asleep by 2 am. By noon the next day, we were camped at The Liberty Park Marina & Campground in Jersey City. After a short rest and showers, we took the PATH train to Manhattan and made our way to BB King's.

We met Janis Ian and her manager and they were great! Janis said that they hadn't planned on an opening act, but when she heard I was available, she was delighted! We hadn't worked together for well over 20 years...

The dressing room and perks at BB's are the best. Nancy and I had dinner, and before I knew it, I was up in front of the packed house and the crowd was really digging my show. It was over before I knew it and I enjoyed mingling with the crowd afterwards.

The crowd went wild when Janis came out. After her first song, she told the audience,"after Book Binder's great guitar playing, I knew I had to open with an accapella number." They adored her and sang along on quite a few numbers. Richie Havens was there, and it is always good to see him. We all used to play the "hoots" back in the 60's at the Gaslight Cafe!

Back on the train, back to 'the bus' and back to sleep at last. What a great night we had. There is nothing like a big show in NYC!

Got to visit with "The Mom", who is doing great. It's always so great to spend time with her. She is the most optimistic and positive thinking person I know... We visited for three days and got to spend some time with The Nephew, his Wife Seema and baby Sofia who is growing like a weed. We did a few dinners out and a brunch and off we went.

We then drove the new rig out to Greenport Long Island and took the ferry to New London. What a great ride that is, cruising across Long Island Sound watching the boats, the birds and the open sea. A great way to unwind for sure.

We pent a few days at a campground in Plymouth MA, before our gig with Roomful of Blues. Dave, the singer for the band told me he was a big fan for years and first saw me perform at Brown University back in 1974 when he was still in High School!

Roomful was unbelievable! What a great band! Great horns, guitar and boy did they rock. My first paid gig was back in 1967 at URI. The headliners were Happy & Artie Traum who made $450. Roomful was a new band, they were paid $250. and I got 50 bucks! And I was delighted...I was making $50. a week working part time at a gas station and going to college on the G.I. Bill.

So sad to hear that Artie Traum passed away last week with cancer. He was just 65 years old. What a cool cat he was...and such a fine player. He will be missed by so many.....

So that catches us up, Nancy is home, I'm headed to 'The Ranch' and all is well. Enjoy every day, cause it can't last forever...

Bye For Now

The Book