The album came out while we were on the road in the Midwest. We played the last announced show in Des Moines, and then one more, a private performance in an old dairy barn outside of Iowa City where they'd pulled out the stanchions and built a stage, moved in bleachers and hay bales covered in old burlap coffee sacks. Magic.
We drank the last beers on the street at The Mill at two a.m., and said our good-byes, each of us headed somewhere else in the morning after 12 days and a few thousand miles together. I slept a couple hours and then rose in the dark and drove the lonely van to Madison, Wisconsin, crossing the Mississippi River at Dubuque at sunrise. I dropped off the loaner bass cabinet, drove another hour to my folks' house where the back seats of the rental van - which the company would not remove or keep - were stashed in the garage. I re-installed the seats and drove another hour to Milwaukee. At the end of a tour you get lighter as you go along, losing your people, your backline, your vehicle, pausing at the gas station finally to throw out empty cardboard album boxes and a truly wonderful variety of trash, until you surrender your suitcase to the curbside valet and step into the air-conditioned tedium of the airport, emotionally raw, and willing to cry over bad movies seven miles above the earth.
Coming home I slept hard and in the morning we made coffee and filled a Duluth Pack and the old wooden wine box containing camping gear, secured the canoe to the car top with come-along straps, and drove north to a small, clear lake in Vermont where we could listen to the loons calling all night.
There's not a single thing I need to tell you about in July, and I plan to keep it that way. In the third week of August the band will convene at the venerable Tønder Festival in Denmark to begin a tour of Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and France. In the first half of October, we'll be in the Northeast. In the first half of November we'll tour from Southern California to Seattle, then over through Spokane and into Montana. But that's all a ways out, and you can read about it elsewhere. I need to clean my office, and I might paint the kitchen.
For now I'll pass along that Blood Brothers charted strongly today on the Billboard charts in a number of categories - the first time that's happened to me - and if you haven't already done, you can still order it. It sounds the same as if you had bought it before.