After my incredible time in Eau Claire, I ambled over to Minneapolis to meet up with my friends Martha and Tom who I hadn’t seen since high school. I had some extra time before the show so we met up and they graciously took me out to an amazing dinner. We went to a really cool restaurant and had some delicious food. I can’t remember the name of the restaurant, but it was awesome. Sorry. I know that’s annoying.
After dinner, Tom and Martha dropped me off at Market Barbeque where I met up with John and Torrie for our show that night. The place didn’t really look set up for shows at all and it definitely wasn’t. BUT, we moved some tables in the bar, set up by the front window and when our buddy Jeff came, we played for a bunch of friends and a bunch of strangers.
Location: Market Barbeque in Minneapolis, MN
With: Jeff Rolfzen
I played first and was shaking uncontrollably for some reason. It felt like I had fever chills, but thankfully the set went okay and there was no fever.
Jeff Rolfzen played next as well as a set by his buddy Eric. Jeff’s songs were really great traditional-style folk songs. He even played the folk standard “Moonshiner” which I’ve always loved since I heard Uncle Tupelo do it back in the day. Eric just did 2 covers, but they were doozies! He did Roger Miller’s “King of the Road” (!!!!) and actually did an amazing job doing Tom Waits’ “Chocolate Jesus”. I didn’t think someone could cover that song or Tom Waits for that matter and do a good job, but this guy nailed it. Consider me impressed.
John’s set was amazing as always. His songs are technical, heartfelt, affecting, and honest. I couldn’t have asked for a better tour companion.
After the show we went to my new friend Cassie’s house where she had made us an apple cobbler and we hung out for a long time talking music, life, and food. We eventually had to say our goodbyes to everyone and make our way to Steffan and Hannah’s house where we crashed for the night. They were amazing folks and hosts and I found out around 3 in the morning that Steffan had to work at 6:30, but he wanted to hang out with us so he just didn’t go to sleep. What a guy!
We had a long drive that day as we headed down to Omaha, NE where we were going to meet up with my buddy Gabriel and his band Skypiper. Gabriel played upright bass on Chemic’s Fever on the Forest Floor, but I’ve never actually met him so it was a huge treat to get to spend time with him.
Location: Caffeine Dreams in Omaha, NE
The show was at a great space called Caffeine Dreams. There was a good crowd there for the show as well as a mostly full house who were just there to hang out at the shop. John played first and, as always, made a few conversions. You’d have to actively try to not be impressed by him.
After my set, Skypiper played and blew me away. They are a rock band and a folk band, but they carry none of the kitsch or schmaltz that the combination would typically imply. There songs are air-tight, Graham and Mike’s voices are gorgeous, and each member is a true-blue player. I can’t wait to play more shows with these guys. They were so kind as well. I’ve really been blessed by all of the wonderful people I’ve met on this tour. It’s hard to take it all in right now, but I’ve made some real friends on this tour and it’s been awesome.
After the show I met some lovely European girls who bought some records and talked to us for a bit. They asked me to come over to Europe and play in France and Denmark. If anybody wants to help make this happen, it’d be a dream come true.
After the show we went back to Gabriel and Kacey’s (his wife) where we watched a movie and went to bed. We also got to meet their amazing dog Oliver who was a sweetheart.
The next morning Gabriel took us to this great diner where I got to eat one of the best omelets in my life. It was filled with fresh zucchini, spaghetti squash, onions, mushrooms, and spinach and was incredible. Definitely the best paid-for meal I’ve had in a long time.
We eventually had to leave and make the long trek down to Topeka, but we had a truly wonderful time in Omaha.