For finality’s sake, I’d like to wrap up the story of Patchy Sanders’ six week tour across the US and back. I also feel ready, after returning home a week ago, to share this incredible experience with loved ones and reader friends.
We left Downingtown, Pennsylvania on a high note. The Dtown babies (Dani, Dan, and Jacqui) shared two beautiful shows with their childhood community. We were well fed, rested, loved, and equipped for the final two weeks of tour, a portion of tour that was quite different than the previous four: fewer shows, no more financial guarantees (apart from our show in Falls Church, VA), and multiple long drives. I appreciated playing fewer shows and having a bit more down time to rest, explore, and connect with friends.
In Falls Church our venue host treated us to a dinner at an Asian restaurant along the highway with a sign outside that said simply: Vegetarian Restaurant. Tour has taught us to not judge a book by its cover, however, so we valiantly entered the restaurant, sat down, and embarked on a Journey Through Organic Tempeh Land (an actual name of one of the menu items, which Dani eventually ordered). The food was exceptional, fresh, and interesting. We performed in a church where George Washington held the vestryman position in 1762. We slept on air mattresses. Dan drew a diagram on the shower glass the next morning of what it was like to share an air mattress with Jacqui. It looked like dangerous surfing.
In Asheville, Danjacquiandsara stayed with friend Patrick Armitage (and dog Yokey) from the good ol’ Four Corners Folk Fest days back in September. While the show in Asheville was highly mediocre, we performed with Mattick Frick, Patchy’s OG drummer, which was immensely satisfying and fun. Hikes and breakfast improv games were had in Asheville, which many call Ashland’s sister city. I was happy to eat fried catfish, collards with bacon, biscuits, and tried a bit of sweet tea, all from a delightful farm-t0-table in west Asheville.
Nashville! We all eight stayed at Lindsay Lou and Josh’s house for three nights. I slept in a Harry Potter staircase room strung up with lights and all made up with a cozy, tiny bed. It was perfect. Our show that eve was also cozy, with a slightly tiny, yet appreciative, audience. We ended in true Patchy Belly style, ripping through “Traveler” and harmonizing through “Be Still”. I spent most of my time with my dear friend Ben Hardt, hiking in the woods outside of town and eating vegan nachos and the most delicious ice cream and reminiscing.
Our show in Kansas City, MO was not memorable, save for the fact that our sound tech’s name was Buzz, it was Bruce Van Ornum’s last time ever hearing us play, and our opener duo, Betse and Clarke (http://www.betseandclarke.com), was a delightfully fun surprise!
And then we drove across Kansas. I had grown up knowing next to nothing about Kansas except that the capital is Topeka and that it is the flattest land on the earth. You drive and all you see is flatness. And, well, that’s what it was, except it was beautiful. It was so simple in its beauty, grasses and cows and clouds and snow drifts along the highway. I liked Kansas.
The final weekend was spent in Boulder. Danjacquiandsara stayed with Dan’s family and the Pynins stayed with our friends at the Picklebric housing community, where we would play our first show in the Boulder/Denver area. The Pickle show brought down the house! Well attended by intelligent, strapping, kind, interesting people, homemade cheese and liver pate, tea and a raffle (http://picklebox.org/). On Friday we performed at the Walnut Room in Denver with the Lovebirds and Danielle Ate the Sandwich. Mixed reviews…it was a difficult show. Good pizza snack on the drive back to Boulder in the snow. Our final show of the tour was at the Laughing Goat Coffeehouse on Pearl Street. Our lovely friends from Picklebric made a great showing, as did several other friends, family, and my brother’s sweetie Lilly and her family. I was tired from a burly canyon hike earlier that day but was pumped full of love and gratitude from our exceptional audience. It was a perfect way to end.
Then we drove…and drove…and drove…and made it home safe, Eowyn asleep in her car seat and a car boy of Tub Springs water in the back.
And we had Thanksgiving, and cozy times, and Christmas tree getting, and Navi chess nights, and so glad to be home.