Well, I made it home after 10 days on the road in the Golden State. It really was a star-studded trip, and I'm really thankful for all y'all who set up the gigs, listened, sang along, visited, shared your food, your couches, etc. And thanks to my musical pal Beki Hemingway for joining me for the LA portion of the tour. Here are a few yet-unseen photos from some of my favorite moments in California this past week and a half:
Here's me with my hosts Mollie and Maggie in Roseville. We've got a nice tradition going now...every time I visit, we go to In-N-Out Burger for lunch. As a cheeseburger expert, I must say that this place is darn good, but still, nothing beats Culvers.
Oh, and here's the long-promised photo of my receptive audience at that first gig two Saturdays ago in Roseville. You guys rocked, indeed. Bet you've never heard "O Morning Star How Fair And Bright" and Neil Young's "Helpless" at the same show before. Thanks again to Justin Roberts and Liam Davis for joining me at that show!
Next in line you shall see my left cheek and nostril with the Pacific Ocean in the background. Yes, that' some sort of huge battleship out at sea, thanks to the close proximity of Camp Pendleton. That night I spent in Oceanside was interesting...the beachfront downtown area goes from a touristy mecca in the daylight, to a military party town in the evening, to an all-out Snoop Dogg gang-turf zone at night. Later that week a San Diego native found out where I had been and he said "You walked around downtown Oceanside at night??! Not a good idea." Well, I made it out without incident, but I must admit I was getting some funny looks from the locals.
Finally, the last photo features me with my fabulous guest musicians that joined me at my noontime concert in Manhattan Beach just a couple days ago. That's the aforementioned Beki Hemingway on the left, and then we have my former-Chicagoland musical friends Linda Good and Kat Parsons! Both Linda and Kat are amazingly talented singers and musicians, but what I really respect about them is that they really live out their vocation. When we all were living and gigging in Chicago, Linda and Kat packed up their stuff and moved to Hollywood to be real rock musicians. Years later, they're still in LA, singing, writing, performing, recording and doing the real thing! Lots of folks talk about moving out West to "be a star" but few people actually take the steps necessary. Linda and Kat are great inspirations to me...they're the real deal. And yes, they've got the talent to back it up. SO, I was thrilled to have them backing ME up on Sunday..."Workin' my Committee" had triple doo-wop girl back up vocal support, and Linda was exquisite on grand piano for a cover of Crowded House's "It's Only Natural" and Annie Lennox's "Little Bird."
Right now it looks like I might be back in California next February, so perhaps I can reconnect with some of these wonderfully cool people and places.