Porter shares a rhythm section with Carson's band, so after the Ft Worth show, Mitchell and I just hung around the DFW area and met up with Porter and Bethany to start his tour. Since we had only had a couple rehearsals and played one show before the tour, the first few gigs were a little interesting. However, I've always been a fan of shows with that small element of 'everything could fall apart at any given moment', so no worries. The Dallas show was a nice paid rehearsal, meaning that the bar we played had a super friendly staff that took care of us and fed us well, but A) that venue just isn't meant for live music and B) outside of the few friends we brought, it was fairly empty. Take all of that into consideration with a shitty PA set up by one of the bar staff, and you get a so-so night that was good for working out the kinks with a new band.
Houston was markedly better, as Cottonwood is a big venue with pro sound and consistently good crowds, and our buddy Garner came out from Austin to open the show. Mitchell and I play with him as well (you'll notice a common theme developing, here), so we got to rock double duty that night. After the Houston show, we got to go home for about 12 hours to play an ACL Live show with Carson at the Moody Theater in Austin, opening for Jerry Jeff Walker... after which we hit the road again to drive through the night to Waverly AL. Maybe not the smartest tour routing, but SO VERY GODDAMN worth it for the incredible opportunity to play the Moody Theater. Somewhere around 3 or 4am, Porter and I got weird and pulled up all the 90's metal we could think of on Spotify, much to the chagrin of the sleeping bass and synth players in the back of the van. At Standard Deluxe, we met up with Caleb Caudle and his band, old friends of Porter's who split the bill with us. Such a cool venue... print shop by day, with two stages to host live music from time to time. We played the smaller room, which was like a tiny house that had been gutted and filled with a stage and seating, and it was packed. Shared some whiskey by the fire during Caleb's set, then headed over to Birmingham where we met Helen. She and Porter go way back, and she's an absolute sweetheart and great musician. Put us up for a few days and played with us at The Nick (and later in the week in Nashville). Man, shit got dark at the Nick... it's now joined my short list of favorite dive bars in the country (along with Sudsy Malone's in Cincinnati, and the White Horse in Austin, among others), but things definitely got dark that night. Without divulging too much detail, let's leave it as booze leading to personnel issues leading to a few awkward days following. It happens. On the bright side, Porter and I got weird again and listened to old school hip-hop for the majority of the drive out of Alabama.
The first Nashville show was great, the band actually got the night off while Porter played a song backed by a bunch of Nashville pros at an AMA showcase. Also got to see some rad songwriters like Aaron Lee Tasjan and Brian Wright do their thing. Back in Alabama, we learned the proper usage of the phrase 'Roll Tide', met up and shared a bill with Caleb's band again, AND managed to not come in last place at bar trivia before the show. Athens and Atlanta were both fun sets, but plagued by the dreaded curse of 'local openers that don't draw anyone to help out the touring band'... oh well. Plus side, we got to crash with Mitchell's Aunt and Cousin in Atlanta, who have put us up with other bands before and are always way too nice to us on the road.
The second Nashville show was OK, could have been awesome, but we were caught working with a 'sound tech' (aka bartender who happened to be available to set up mics and sit behind the board) who had been taking advantage of the free PBR's for one too many hours during the showcase. The Basement is a really cool little tiny venue, and the crowd was great, but bad sound led to a less-than-awesome show. Also, it took Domino's over TWO HOURS to get food delivered to us before the set, because, I don't know, directions are hard I guess. In Memphis, we met another touring band called Stoned Pony, and realized upon arrival that the club had booked three touring bands on it's two stages, with no local support. We ended up hanging out with the other band most of the night, played several rounds of Briscola, and generally made a shitty night into a great time. Stayed with a nice gal who turned out to be a crazy cat lady (upon entering her house, she warned -- "please be quiet, I have several elderly cats"), but she cooked us a rad dinner and we went bowling the next morning, so, y'know, good with the bad.
The last show of the tour was a great time, with our buddy Carson meeting up with us (she had been on her own solo run to Nashville for the AMA's) to open the show solo. Whitewater Tavern is such a great venue, I've been there a couple times this year and never had a bad show. By the end of the tour, only one of the wolf statues had been broken, and the wolf dreamcatcher and wolf lamp (with matching shade!!) ended up gracing our home back in Austin.
9/10 Common Table, Dallas TX
9/11 Cottonwood, Houston TX
9/13 Standard Deluxe, Waverly AL
9/14 The Nick, Birmingham AL
9/15 The Basement East, Nashville TN
9/16 Egan's Bar, Tuscaloosa AL
9/17 Caledonia Lounge, Athens GA
9/18 Red Light Cafe, Atlanta GA
9/19 AMA Showcase @ The Basement, Nashville TN
9/20 The Hi-Tone, Memphis TN
9/22 Whitewater Tavern, Little Rock AR