Tuesday September 2, 2008 - Los Angeles, CA
Bert and I had a terrific show last night at a venue called The Coffee Gallery Backstage. What a great room! The owner does the best job of promoting shows of any LA venue I've ever played at too. I guess he's been at it for over ten years and keeps a mailing list himself. People have learned over the years that he only books good acts and that if he recommends checking someone out.. they'll be worth the ticket price. So, we had a nice turnout of our own friends and fans and met several new ones thanks to the venue. The setting is just plain fun too with all sorts of perspective paintings on the walls and ornaments around the room to make you feel like you are in a sort of coffee warehouse. There's already a few video clips of this show up on YouTube.

Tom & Bert The Coffee Gallery Backstage (photo by an audient.. but I'm not sure who. help!)

soundcheck at Coffee Gallery

August 27, 2008 - driving from Sedona, AZ to Encinitas, CA
Long drive day today as we make our way back from Arizona to Encinitas. We stopped briefly in Yuma for some food (I'm not sure whether it was a late lunch or an early dinner). Crossing into California one quickly sees some major sand dunes and we stopped for a photo op. From there the terrain becomes very rocky almost as if the sand left all it's rocks behind. Someday I'll have to learn what that's really all about!

crossing into California

This morning, before starting the drive back to San Diego, we took time out to visit our new friend Ken and see an amazing house he built right outside the town of Sedona. He used an amazing array of techniques to make it very environmentally friendly. Some of the walls are built out of local rock, others of compressed straw. In the garden he has a lawn (in the middle of the desert!) that even in summer he only has to water every few weeks thanks to some special hydroponic crystals he buried in the soil that retain water. Amazing! At Ken's suggestion, Bert, Carrie and I walked down his street a bit and into a gorgeous park for a bit of sight seeing.

Bert cools off a bit

another park visitor

The house Ken built
self-sustaining.. in the desert!

Wednesday August 27, 2008 - Sedona, AZ
Tonight we played at the Sedona Creative Life Center. The show was organized by my old friend Mark Rownd. Mark is a great musician and composer himself who used to live in San Diego and has albums out on Spotted Peccary Records. He and his wife Darcy moved to Sedona several years ago and this was the first time I've had a chance to see them and Sedona itself. It was really nice catching up with them a bit, and wow.. what an amazing place! We played in a "chapel" at the center which overlooked some of the awesome natural beauty of the area. There's a real magical feel to Sedona and many people who move there just seem drawn to it. A parking sign at one Creative Life Center space read "Reserved for director. All others willbe swept into a vortex!"

soundcheck at Creative Life Center
above the stage

Carrie checks out the rest of the Center

Tuesday August 26, 2008 - Fountain Valley (Phoenix) AZ
Bert Lams and I are off on another of our adventures. The goal this time was mainly to spend some time in Encinitas, working on our album, but.. to play in some of the material and help fund expenses a bit we're doing some shows in Arizona and Southern California. This is actually our first time taking this duo into Arizona. We usually start in San Diego (my town) and head north up the coast, but thought it might be fun to go east instead this time. Bert flew into Phoenix yesterday and I drove out from San Diego. Our show tonight is a house concert put on by local musician and guitar teacher Scott Hallock. He and his mother made us feel very welcome. They live in a neat area called Fountain Valley, named after it's gigantic man made fountain that goes off every hour. They say that when it's run to its full height it is the second tallest fountain in the world. It's so tall in fact that they only run it to its full height when the weather permits as it's easy for winds tostart throwing water all around.

The fountain from a great distance

Want more Tom stories and trivia? Check out the website archives for past tour diaries.

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