Opening for The California Guitar Trio and Tony Levin
August 26-30, 2004

August 29, 30 - Encinitas, CA
Tyler mans the sound loft - CoachHouse

Fun shows to wrap up this short tour Sat and Sun at the CoachHouse and MiraCosta College. MiraCosta is always a sort of homecoming for me as I went to school there for a few years. It's always great to bring my "big name music biz" friends in, this time of course being CGT and Tony Levin. The show was held in the school's theatre and our dressing room was actually the theatre's dressing room. At one point during CGT's show, while just the three of them were playing, Tony and I chatted for a bit in the dressing room. He suddenly remembered seeing a wig there earlier, found it and put it on. ILots of laughter from the younger Stick player, and I encouraged him to wear it onstage. He did.. and the reaction there was the same. Hard to picture if you weren't there, but.. imagine the infamously bald Tony Levin coming onstage with sholder length curly red locks. I couldn't help noticing that it really seemed to go with his flannel shirt and jeans too.. sort of a lumberjack look or something ;-)

The CoachHouse the night before started with some stress. Reeves Gabrels was scheduled as a second opener along with myself. We weren't sure if he was going to play with a band or solo. Nobody (not even the CoachHouse) knew what he was doing until right about the time CGT and I finished soundcheck, a drummer showed up. Ahh.. Reeves must have a band! They were scheduled to go first; not the ideal thing to open a solo Stick/acoustic guitar trio show with a 4 piece rock band! As it turned out, Reeves who was supposed to soundcheck about 5pm and play at 8pm, didn't make it till the venue himself till I think about 9pm! Apparently car troubles were to blame, but it left us and his band in a state of... welll.. improvisiation! The CH staff wound up taking all Reeves' band's gear off stage and I started the show, followed by CGT. Reeves then reloaded the stage and played around 11pm. In the end it worked out fine as most of the people there were there to see the two of us anyways and with this order things worked better for them.
Tyler mans the sound loft - CoachHouse

Tillie and Bert Lams - backstage at the CoachHouse

August 28, 2004 - Irvine, CA

soundcheck - CGT, T Lev, P@
P@'s kit is ready
Fun night last night here in Irvine even though I wasn't on the bill for the show. CGT and TLev played at an event called the Third Eye Gathering. Since there was no way to add me to the festival's schedule, I just did merch duties. Lots of old and new friends came, excited that both the CGT TLev combo and Pat Mastelotto and Trey Gunn were playing. Patricia Fripp and Bert's daughter Tillie helped me with merch chores for both groups. It was great seeing Pat again and hearing him with CGT. It'd been about two years since he last played with them but you would have never known it from the show. Some of the new pieces from their CD Whitewater really took off with drums added (Red Iguana especially). I had a brief chance after the show to pick Pat and Trey's brains about what the heck it is they do musically too, which was great! Some funny things.. like playing "hits" together based on telephone area code numbers. They also ran a Japanese Samuri movie on giant screens during their entire set. Watching the movie with them providing the "soundtrack" made for some fun(ny) synchronicity.

August 27, 2004 - Ventura, CA
I'm two days in to a mini S CA tour with the California Guitar Trio and Tony Levin. The trip started for me with a visit (with Tony) to Stick Enterprises. I've basically played the same Stick for years now, and although they never really wear out, this one has always had an irregularity in the wood so it's always been in the back of my mind to try to replace it. Emmett always has so many new components and ideas on minor changes to his designs that it actually gets confusing as to what I might want to replace it! It was good to visit with Tony and confer on things we like/don't like. I think I'm a little closer to finally placing an order!
Knitting factory - early audience arrivals

We had a great show in Hollywood two nights ago. LA can be so strange when it comes time to deal with club managers, but I think everyone involved had a great night. Being the first night of the tour I was a bit frantic getting everything set before the show. I'm doubling as the merch guy for myself and CGT which means a "second set" of things to think about. Tony is also borrowing a bass of mine and using part of my amp setup and since this was the first night, I was pretty focused on hoping everything would work for him and trying to help make it work for him before the show. When I finally started my opening set I found myself feeling a bit like "oh yeah.. I'm performing tonight!"

Last night in Goleta felt much more settled. I think this "tour team" has already found a groove. Not surprisingly I think my playing was a bit more relaxed. Strange stage and sound at the Mercury, but its a tiny place and we've all been there before. The owner is fantastic and takes great care of everyone.