Sunday May 9, 2010 - San Diego, CA
Our final show for this leg of the tour tonight before we reconvene in Atlanta in about four days. Tonight we were joined onstage by my great friend Peter Pupping and his bassist Jeff Basile. Peter was a guitar teacher of mine many years ago and one of the most business savvy musicians you'll ever meet. We all joined together at the end of the night for a "jam" on El Condor Pasa, an old Andes folk melody.
phone, tuner, taquitos... what more could you want?
Peter Pupping and Jeff Basile open

Thursday, May 6, 2010 -Sebastopol, CA
May 6.. my birthday! As a fun twist to the trip, we wound up playing somewhat close to my dad's area today. He drove down and met us in Santa Rosa for the day and we had a few nice hours walking around the town and having lunch, before we headed to he venue. It was an unusual one tonight (but aren't they all?); a community center at a housing complex that I'm told was built by "hippies" a few decades back. One of the most interesting features was a tree house outside that seemed to defy gravity.. Our friends surprised me at the end of the show by bringing out a cake and singing happy birthday! Bert led the group.. though he did guess the timing wrong and the song finished once before the cake made it out from the kitchen ;-)

our names in lights! (ok... dry erase marker!)

local accomodations

Wed May 5, 2010 - Alameda, CA
Today we played a benefit concert for the Berkeley Humane Society which was held in an art gallery in Alameda. Our friend Stacey Street helped organize the event which was pretty much a guarantee it'd be a nice one, and it was. Very nice space and listening audience. Afterwards we stayed with Stacey and her husband and had a nice visit. Her husband is a symphony musician and had a unique insight into some of the music we're doing, picking up on things only a well trained ear would notice. The night concluded with Stacey, Bert and Don trying to figure out how to unfold a Futon frame for Bert and me running to grab my camera.
our hosts

up to the gallery we go
the stage is set

The Futon Committee studies the blueprints

May 4, 2010 - Palo Alto, CA
We had a last minute booking tonight in Palo Alto. Perfect routing for us, though it was scheduled less than two weeks to in advance. The fact that we could even arrange it is one of the great things about house concerts. But with only a few days to promote a weeknight show, it was only a small but generous audience. Our host Glenn Cornett found a wonderful space for us in a home that was redesigned by a noted architect. The unusual shape to the room provided an amazing acoustic space. Hopefully we can go there again with more advanced notice!
amazing acoustics in Palo Alto

Monday May 3, 2010 - Bishop, CA
Amazing show last night in the very scenic Bishop, CA, made so by a small but very enthusiastic audience and a natural mountain landscape that in my experience is second only to the Alps in Switzerland (maybe). The show was in a "venue" that was actually a converted gas station a few miles outside the town of Bishop. It was full of pictures and memorabilia from a famous mountain climber who was the first person do to a solo ascent of the "El Capitan" peak. The audience were very receptive to the music and even a few equipment glitches didn't dampen things. Today we have a drive day towards Palo Alto, Ca. Unfortunately the road through Yosemite is closed due to snow, so we'll miss out on that scenery and have to drive up and around the park a bit. But it's still pretty amazing looking!

just across the street.... Mt Tom!
Mill Creek Station.. great venue!

cool outdoor stage (for use another day maybe?)
here come the people

breakfast at Bishop's "Bakkerji"

Saturday May 1, 2010 - San Diego, CA
Back home for the night briefly, and after today's commute and performance, I'm beginning to believe Bert and I might just be able to do anything, at least in terms of musical performances. In the past three days, we've driven about 1000 miles, and played three radically different performances. Thursday's show with John Mayall was a big stage, 1000 capacity club.. Saturday an art gallery... and today.. a friends wedding! I'm not sure when I actually met Mark Hillis, but it was many years ago. He put out a CD called Acoustic Environment that I played on many years ago. For probably over a year he and his new wife Stacy have been planning their wedding and asking me to be a part of it. It just so happened that it wound up in the midst of this current tour, and it just so happens that Mark is also a fan of The League of Crafty Guitarists, The California Guitar Trio, The Robert Fripp String Quintet, etc (all groups Bert was or is a part of). We left Las Vegas at 9am and drove straight to El Cajon, CA with only a quick stop to grab lunch and a quicker stop to pick up a music stand and mic stand for Bert. He played solo classical guitar as the guests were arriving and then together we played the cocktail hour. Certainly the only time I've ever played a wedding and been encouraged to play some progressive style pieces! It actually felt more like a concert that way and the guests were more engaged with the music than you'd normally find in that setting. Congratulations Mark and Stacy!

Friday April 30, 2010 - Las Vegas, NV
Vegas! We had a great night tonight, playing for Kathy and David Deiterman and their friends and colleagues in Las Vegas. Everytime we've done a SW tour, I've looked at Vegas on the map but oddly, we've never managed to play there. This was actually not only the first time for Bert and I to play in Vegas together, but even his first time period. It seems a bit unbelievable to me, but apparently The California Guitar Trio have never played there. Kathy and David were the perfect hosts, and had a great space for the concert; a commercial space they work from that serves as both Kathy's art gallery and store and David's CPA office. We were surrounded by Kathy's original artwork which made for a nice setting. They helped to generate a lot of interest among their friends with what we are doing and I hope we'll be able to schedule another trip back that way before too long. For Kathy, the night was also the launch of the new website for her artwork:

Vegas here we come
Gateway to the Vegas entertainment industry!

Some of Kathy Deiterman's amazing artwork that served as our visual backdrop. (more at

Thursday April 29, 2010 - Agoura Hills, CA
Fun show tonight opening for the great John Mayall. It was made quite special for me also in that the venue was only a few miles away from Stick Enterprises (home of the instrument I play). Emmett Chapman and his wife Yuta and most of their "crew" that make and sell Sticks came to the show and it was great to have them there. In 12+ years of playing the Stick professionally, I've never had an issue with one that prevented a show from happening. But I still sometimes wonder "what if," especially on bigger shows and tours. After all it's not like I could run into the local music store in say Kansas City or Atlanta and pick up a new one. Last night I found myself thinking.. if there was ever to be a night where I had a major Stick issue before the show, this should be it!! But as always.. totally dependable and no problems! I also had a chance to catch up with my good friend Manda Mosher who is a fantastic folk/rock performer from LA heading out on her own tour soon.

load in time - Agoura Hills

Mayall's sound check
all the effects it takes to play the blues

Wednesday April 28, 2010 - Glendale, CA
After two days off at home in Encinitas, we started back up today with a house concert at the home of Gerry and Susan in Glendale. Our friend Kathryn Bostic opened the show with some of her original piano/vocal tunes and also did a version of Paul McCartney's "Blackbird" with Bert that was great. Kathryn is a powerful vocalist and writes with some really nice chord changes in her music. It was fun to see Bert play Blackbird in the 5ths tuning he uses too; the chord shapes wound up looking more like some sort of classical guitar piece. Also fun for me.. though we just met our hosts Gerry and Susan through Kathryn, it tunrs out Gerry is good friends with one of the Deans at Berklee who I'm also friends with. Always nice to connect the dots like that! Their home was beautiful with something of a "middle eastern" styling to the architecture. Pretty unusual but a great atmosphere for a concert!

a walk to wifi in Hollywood
and a Belgian tourist

Sunday April 25, 2010 - San Diego, CA
This weekend I played one of my favorite local events; Artwalk! It always seems like the people who come to this event (looking to view and buy original artwork from hundreds of artists) are just the perfect audience for the music I do. I did some very long sets on Saturday and Sunday, and Bert sat in a bit to help polish our material a bit more for the tour. We also used the opportuinty to do some good "PR" for our upcoming San Diego show which is happening May 9 at AMSD Concerts. I'm looking forward to that one, which will also feature my good friend and former classical guitar teacher Peter Pupping.

Friday April 23, 2010 - Mexicali, Baja, MX
Tonight we had first show ever in Mexico with teh Bert and Tom duo. I'd actually played in the city of Mexicali at the "Baja Prog" festival a few years ago with Jerry Marotta (who was also playing with the Tony Levin Band during the festival). The city really seems to have a good number of people who are very passionate about progressive music. We thought we were headed to a house concert.. which we were, but... it turns out the house in question had its own private club inside! Stage, lighting, sound board and sound man, a bar with waiters, tables.. room for 100 and even a real plane hung from the ceiling! Too cool! I want one (the home venue.. and sure I'll take a plane too!) It was a great setting and I guess where the the Baja Prog festival had first started out. The organizers are already talking about trying to get teh California Guitar Trio down there as well as my group Agent 22. Both sound like good ideas to me! I hope to go back soon! The only downside was leaving Mexico. Apparently two musicians in a SUV filled with gear leaving Mexico at midnight is enough to make the US border patrol suspicious. We spent about 90 minutes detained in their lot until finally an officer went through the car for about two minutes and then sent us on our way. We made it to our hotel in Calexico at 1:30am.. and were back on the road to San Diego by 7:30am.

just a typical Mexicali living room...
friends Linda Cushma and Kiko King open

some decor from the disco (aka home)
and some more...

quick shot from a long stop at the border

Friday April 23, 2010 - I5 towards Mexicali, Baja, MX
The "next" Bert and Tom tour has started! We had our first show last night in San Marino near Pasadena in LA, then drove back to Encinitas late at night (but not so late we didn't have time to stop at an In 'N Out Burger). The show was hosted by Steven Gute at his mother's house and he played a solo acoustic guitar set to open. They had quite a few of their friends there many of whom were hearing us for the first time I think. It was a nice intimate warm up gig for the tour.

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

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