I arrived in Ohio on April 20th, into the open arms of my two favorite boys, Josh and Collin of We Are One Photographic, who immediately dragged me on a vigorous hike directly following my 9 hour drive. The Allen Family graciously opened their home to me for the month as my Midwest home base. The last month has been filled with amazing shows, new friends, memories, and even a wedding!
My first week in Ohio I played at Scribbles Coffee Co. as I always do when I come to this neck of the woods. (One of the best coffee shops in Northeast Ohio) I also played at the Stone Tavern for the first time and met Kent singer/songwriter, Julia Kate Davis!
The highlight of the week was definitely meeting Blue Lunch, an awesome blues/jazz band from Cleveland who have sensed called me three time to share the stage with them sense I have been here. They are incredible musicians, kind human beings, and all around badasses.
You can see a video of us jamming together here:
The following weekend, I had the pleasure of staying with the lovely and talented Emily Rose Darrow of Emily Rose Imagery in Michigan. (You can see her great work here: http://www.emilyroseimagery.com) She and I met when she attended school near my home in Mass.
That morning I played an early show at the Foggy Bottom in Dexter Michigan, then went into Ann Arbor to explore with Emily and with Josh in tow as my ever so wonderful travel companion. I then played at B-24's Coffee Bar in Ypsi, Mi that evening. We completed our magical day by going to A&W root beer & drive in. Purely Magical.
I finished my Michigan Leg in Buchannan Mi at the Union Coffee House for a show with Skinny Soul (Lower Michigan folk duo: https://www.facebook.com/skinnysoulmusic?fref=ts) It was such a warm and wonderful day, complete with grilled burritos and many new friends.
On 5/9 I played at an excellent Vegan Cafe called Root Cafe in Lakewood, Oh and finished up the evening doing guest vocals fir Blue Lunch at A REAL SWING DANCE. (In a gym and everything!)
On 5/11 Josh and I trekked up to Mansfield OH for a show at Relax, Its Just Coffee, a coffee shop with A FULL STAGE! I played with some incredible bands, including Secret Grief (Who have an awesome 45 out under the name Tiger! Tiger!) as well as Small Parks, both from Michigan. I made a lot of new friends and got to see a surprise set played by the owner, a young man named Cory. Cory graciously offered Josh and I place to stay, but we trekked home with enough time to get a good nights sleep to prepare for the week ahead.
I played so many great shows and made so many wonderful friends, I could write pages and pages. But one major highlight from every Midwest tour I do was my annual trip to the Buzzbin in Canton. Seriously, any of my touring friends should seriously consider stopping here. They are so friendly! A truly DIY, punk-rock place to play. That being said, I was delighting to see head banging and two stepping going on during my set. The crowd is always so welcoming, even when something as strange as a jazz crooner comes bopping into punk rock territory! I shared the stage with A Taste For Strange, Jovan & The Wild Things & Willow Weeper.
I've got a few stops left to make before I head back to New England, but I will be back to Ohio in August for the Cleveland Blues Society's festival if everything falls into place!
I can't wait!