Cleveland—July 17, 2009

Hit the ground running at 7:30 am, heading to WDOK and our friends Trapper and Terry on the morning drive show. Quick interview and a couple of songs and off to WKYC TV channel 3.wkyc-tv clevelandTurns out that one of the cameramen at the station is a guy who’s voice we all know. He’s the AOL guy who says, “You’ve got mail!”."You've got mail!" As chance would have it, my good friend from the Jim Brickman tours, Anne Cochran, was guest hosting that morning and we did a short chat and a tune, then piled back in the van and hustled to WCPN, the NPR radio station located in the new swanky digs at the idea center in playhouse square for a live one hour concert from their studios on their “Around Noon” series. We set up all the gear and played 5 tunes and interviewed with the very erudite host, Dee, all of which was webcasted simultaneously. Then packed it all up and back in the van to WCSB, a jazz station operating out of the old NPR studios. We played informally for about an hour out of a single amp and a cajone (a wooden box that serves as a drum.) Then back in the van and over to our new hotel closer to the venue, check-in, 30 minutes to regroup, and then off to soundcheck at Cain Park, which is a beautiful outdoor (covered) amphitheater and a large stage. It looks wonderful but is cavernous when it comes to the sound. We unloaded again, set up, and struggled for about 2 hours to get some sort of clarity with the sound and finally turned the soundcheck over very tardily to our opening band at 7, an hour before the start of the show. Guitarist Doug Wood, bassist Darren Frate and drummer Ivan George opened for us. Doug is our booking agent and was also responsible for all our publicity in Cleveland, lining up all 3 radios, the TV and also an online CD review that week in CoolCleveland.com. So he definitely gets the MVP in Cleveland, as well as the rest of the tour. Doug probably spent more hours booking and dealing with the tour than we did, including all our travel and rehearsal and shows. Definitely the kind of guy who has your back and who you want on your team.

Pizza delivery never showed so it was a hot dog from the concession stand and onto the stage a little hungry for our 5th show of the day. 3 songs in, a cable somehow gets loosened on my pedalboard and the violin mysteriously disappears from the mix. A few panicked moments later, he found the problem and dropped back into the mix just in time for the second verse of “Peace and Quiet”. One few minutes later, his E string breaks at the start of the next tune and off he goes to grab the spare, which hadn’t really been played in about 2 years and which posed a constant tuning issue for the rest of the show. But on we went, playing an excerpt from the very demanding contemporary electric violin concerto “The Dharma at Big Sur”, solo Bach for electric violin and the rest of the show on the spare violin. The sound never did get better onstage. In fact, it got louder and worse as the night wore on, adding to the challenges of an already challenging day. But the show was still a blast to play for a crowd that included a lot of friends and the standing ovation helped everyone’s attitude.

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