I HAD A HUGE BEARD THIS PAST YEAR…

…As you can see here, here, here, here, and here.

AND in the previous 80 posts of YouTube videos which total the entire vlog series by Chris Darby from our Fall 2012 tour.  From August to November we traveled from Missouri through the Midwest, to the East Coast and New England, and then zig-zagged through the South on our way back home.  We played 50 shows in 80 days.  It was unreal and all encompassing.  A ton of work, a lot of fun, really tiring, and in the end worth it.

I’ve been back in Madison over 2 months now and in some way it still feels like I’m getting back into the groove of things.  I needed some time to decompress after all of that constant moving from place to place, being in the van, being with other people and constantly meeting new people, not showering or changing clothes, being a polite guest, getting good food, getting to the next town, being on a schedule.  After all of those eighty days of life on the road it is really good to be back home.

Oh but did I mention that I played music every day and every night for 80 days in a row?  Because that was also awesome and the greatest thing in the world.  I got a chance to focus on just being a bass player again for a while, and that was nice.  I also got a chance to play solo for people at almost every show.  And there seemed to be a piano at most places we stayed and I found myself playing piano a lot on this tour in our free time.

I hope you peruse some of Chris’s videos.  Some of my favorites include…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hkDPYW7N7c – Skip to 1:41 for all you need to know about Matthew of The House Cafe in Dekalb, IL.  I spent 48 hours with this man!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43IG3goF8JU – Buffalo, NY was a trip!  The Vault run by Kevin was one of the coolest places we played, and The Rice Cakes from Rhode Island played with us and were awesome.  Plus on the way there…Canada, Poutine, Niagra Falls!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVZGsK01PTw – Good Times.  Some of my favorite people meeting on tour are all in this video when we hung out at The Beet Rust in Lewiston ME, Chris, Ben, Erin, Natalie, and then Chris & Kyle of course.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoRnMSS_aSE – I played the best solo show of my life in Amherst, MA at this UMass house party at the Blue Haus, none of which got caught on video at all.  The people who lived at this house and let us stay with them for a while and put on the whole party and the show in their basement were all super awesome.  It felt like hundreds of people were there partying while we played.  (Chris hated it!  Haha)  My set didn’t get recorded, but this youtube video from that night does include a hilarious cameo from some party bro who busts into the middle of Kyle, Natalie, and I playing Greasy Coat and proceeds to drink two tall boys.  This made us laugh for much of the rest of tour.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blLoMJEXN9o – This was the most beautiful sight-seeing we did at the lighthouses and rocky coasts of Maine.  Oh and a typical pizza stop.  Chris’s camera was really nice and you can see it in this one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6IoPVlbPJM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfgx7d2sLpA
– Maine was awesome for a lot of reasons!  You can see our stay with Devon and our tour of a ghost island and a bog walk, and then you can see the jamboree from our last night in Orono in this clip.  And also we surprised Adelyn Rose in Portland and hung out with them at their bowling alley show!  We were on tour at the same time, they’re all from Eau Claire!  This was cool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHxfMZF-NjE – I liked Kentucky!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATPG_O6_4mI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17iwsStpZXU – We were in New Orleans on one of our last stops!  And it was for Halloween!!  This clip does not show at all the crazy treehouse party we went to or the all-night drunken costume party throughout the city.  But trust me that was all awesome.  This clip does include how beautiful it was during the day though and also includes me doing a pretty solid piano version take of an original tune.

Now that I’m more settled in to being back at home I’m figuring out what to do next.  I have been thinking about finding people to play with for putting together a band for my solo stuff.  Or I may just do some home recording for a while and take a break from shows.  Or maybe just try to do both.  I may take a break from pop and rock-oriented stuff altogether for a little bit and try to noodle around as Czech Mate.

People ask me how tour was and if I’ll ever do it again.  My answer to this is I definitely would do it again just for a much shorter jaunt.  2 or 3 weeks in the Summer would be perfect.  Or a couple times a year, maybe again in the Fall.

It’s nice to not think about all that for a while, too.

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