Bert Lams and Tom Griesgraber Tour
West Coast July 2007

July 25, 2007 - Ashland, OR
Today was our last stop on this all too brief trip, and thanks to our good friend and promoter Donella, we found ourselves once again at a winery in Talent, OR. Donella is amazing and always does a great job of taking care of details and spreading the word around town. We had a great show in yet another very scenic spot and got to see quite a few familair faces. Normally on our west coast trips, we've had a little more time and have managed to go a little farther north. Because of conflicting schedules though, this was as far as we could come. Since we couldn't come to them, some of our fans and friends from as far away as Eugene made the trip all the way down to see us. Thanks guys!
Tomorrow Bert flies out early and I drive all the way from Medford, OR to Long Beach, CA. But for now, some scenes from the day...

our venue
friends and audients

Yesterday was a dedicated drive day for the trip. we had a little bit of a scare leaving the Clearlake area as for a time it looked like we were headed right into a major wildfire. But.. fortunately our course turned away from the fire before we got right up on it.

what we leave behind

July 23, 2007 - Clearlake, CA
Clearlake is almost a second home for me, because my dad moved there many years ago. I think on almost every trip Bert and I have done up this way, he and his wife Thomasine have helped organize a show for us. Tonight they enlisted some extra help from a group called the Clearlake Performing Arts Association. Normally the CLPA just do events during the regular year (not the summer), but they helped out for us anyways, and we were grateful for it! The show was in a beautiful church overlooking the area's massive lake. Our green room also came equipped with some unusual but happy listeners.

an unusual audience

July 22, 2007 - Walnut Creek, CA
Today was almost certainly our biggest show of this tour. In fact, it helped set up the whole tour. Last year, The California Guitar Trio (Bert's "other gig") played with The California Symphony here in Walnut Creek. The Symphony is a professional organization who while being a traditional symphony like to incorporate other elements into their group and their program. Today's show was a fundraiser for them, so ticket prices were $100 each! I have to admit I was a little embarassed promoting that alongside our normal $15-20 ticket prices. But.. they have 75 people show up, so.. a great day for music in more ways than one! the setting was incredible. We had a stage set up above a jacuzzi, with a pool between us and the audience, and a rose garden just off to the side. There was some great catering too, and we were once again joined by Carol, the flutist from this area.

Stick player's view from the stage
warming up with angles

July 21, 2007 - Albany, CA
Last night we played at the home of Neil, a Santa Cruz area drummer and new NS/Stick player. He and his family did a great job of organizing and promoting the show. we had a bit of a scare during load in though, as at one point we came to realize the car keys were missing! In fact, we never found them. I was starting to wonder how we contend with this (emergency dealership trip? rental car?) when I remembered that years ago I'd hidden another key somewhere. so, we're now using the "spare" as we never did find what happened to the first set!

Today's show is in a church, and hosted by our friend Phil. We'll be joined by a bay area flutist that Phil has told us great things about. Phil hosted a date for us on our last trip through this area in his music store. He is a real enthusiast for music, especially early classical music and it will be good to see him again.

July 20, 2007 - I5 towards Santa Cruz
I'm the passenger in my own car while Bert Lams is taking his turn behind the wheel on a trip to Santa Cruz today. I've done enough trips up and down the 5 now that I feel like I'm falmiliar with all of the truck stops. It seems like everytime we pull off somewhere I recognize where we are and start to remember other trips that stopped in the same place. Today thankfully is our only very long drive where we have to play the same day!

July 19, 2007 - Los Angeles, CA
Tonight's shows was a house concert in LA, hosted by some of Bert's friends and attended by many more of them. LA is always a unique place to play. It seems like almost everyone is somehow involved with the entertainment industry here, so often they might be a little jaded because they've seen so many shows, movies, etc. What we're doing though, with this unusual mix of music and instruments, presented in a very intimate space is different though and everyone seemed to really appreciate it. I've gotten to know many of Bert's LA friends over time, and it was nice to see them again tonight.

July 18, 2007 - San Diego, CA
Bert Lams and I started a short west coast tour tonight in San Diego that will take us up to southern Oregon over the next week. Tonight was one of the only shows we'll do in a traditional "veune." Actually we started last night with a "secret" invite only show for friends and family at home in Encinitas. We're doing more pieces together as a duo this time which is fun but sometimes quite challenging, so last night was a bit of a warm up show. Bert has an affinity for tricky music. Trickiest of all this trip is a version of a Chopin piano piece called the Revolutionary etude. Bert is playing the left hand part from the piano, and I'm using both hands to try to cover the right hand parts. It's great to be playing with Bert again. We're already planning our next trip too for the east coast in September.

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

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