Night Of The Toad(s)

Wow. Last night was great fun. The progression of this band over the course of a tour is amazing.

Toad’s Place can be a rough room to play sound-wise. There are subwoofers under the stage for the PA system and this wreaks havoc on the stage sound. There were times when the vibration in the floor was shaking my fillings loose! So we were all concerned about that. During sound check we turned the main PA system off for a little bit and you could hear everything crystal clear. But then as soon as the house system gets turned on it turns into a wash of muddy low end, mostly vibrating up from the floor.

However it was so much better once the room got full of people. That made all the difference.

I watched some of Danny Barnes’ set. Wow. I’d seen him before as part of a bluegrass band at Greyfox, but now he’s doing this solo thing where he plays the banjo, but he’s playing along side tracks that he’s got pre-recorded on a Mac, and he’s sending his banjo through some very cool effects. He’s very creative and fun, and he had Mike up of the last couple tunes. Really good!

So, we had him come and play a couple tunes during our first set. Of course the first inclination is to have him play on bluegrass stuff but he really isn’t limited stylistically like that; he can fit into almost any style. So we had him up first for Mike’s “What Things Seem.” So cool trading riffs with him. Then we had him up for Bill Monroe’s “When The Cactus Are In Bloom,” a cool bluegrass tune that we’ve made our own.

And Danny’s a very nice guy too. He has that bluegrass gentleman mentality and you can tell that he’s just a kind soul.

It was Asia’s 21st birthday at midnight last night. (She’s my daughter.) During set break we all did a shot. Yay! We had her favorite song, Willow Tree, in the set and Mike announced her birthday right before. Cool! And then later she came right up front. I love that!

It was great to see the local Creek contingent there too. It really felt like a home town show. Craig and I got to have dinner with Dave Livolsi, one of my favorite bass players on the planet. (You can probably guess the others.)

After the show I was walking around Yale taking pictures of the architecture and sending them to Cheryl. The buildings are beautiful and walking around there at night is other worldly. I’m a big fan of architecture though I know very little about it, and Yale has some of the best. There are lots of strange shapes and gargoyles and ironwork doors and whatnot.

So, here’s a shout-out to my son Jordan, who along with his brother Ian has a gig this week playing at the Holliston High School Senior Showcase. I was helping them rehearse a couple of weeks ago and they are so good! They’ll be playing “Drift Away” with Ian singing and Jordan doing harmonies and playing guitar. Regretfully I’ll be on the road still and will have to miss it, but they’ll probably show it on the local cable station for months afterward. Good luck you guys!

Those were some good comments on the favorite cities. I have to say that I love Providence and had the best experience living there. It is small enough to be able to walk anywhere and I lived (dangerously) on a street that had probably 25 restaurants within a few blocks. Plus there’s the Waterfire thing that they do, which is very cool and there’s just a ton of music in that town as well.

However, after having been in Santa Cruz basking in the sunshine in the middle of february, I have to say that someplace with palm trees is very appealing to me.
Some library at Yale


7 thoughts on “Night Of The Toad(s)

  1. Sounds like your having fun
    I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures of Ian & Jordan’s performance on thursday! 🙂

  2. Thanks for a really enjoyable evening…we walked around a bit before the show and enjoyed the amazing architecture also! This was our first time seeing Mike Gordon and both Chuck and I had a great time ~ we really got a kick out of the stage props. The smell machine was AWESOME…your talent never ceases to amaze me and it was great to see you in another forum ~ safe travels to you and the band

  3. Great show at Toads. Your band there is really tight. That new guitar sounds nice. Thanks for the show and while Im at it thanks for all the shows over the years.

    Question maybee for future post here… Even if the new guitar sounds top notch , was is tough or weird at first to put that other one down ? It does have many nights in it…

  4. If you like architecture, are you familiar with Frank Gehry? Recently rented a great documentary on him (Sketches of Frank Gehry) done by Sydney Pollack. It was great, and his work is so radical! You can also check out his work at:

    Thanks for the update Scott and Happy Birthday to your daughter!
    Have fun……

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