We’re taking some time off this week and next week to recharge and get ready to power through the rest of September and October, so you won’t see a WIR update for a little while yet. Don’t fret, though! We’ll be back sooner than you think, with a host of awesome shows coming up! Feel free to check out the tour schedule to see when we’re playing! With that said, let’s take a look at what happened last week:
Meet Me In St. Louis
Going through this tour for a second year means that we hit a lot of the same places we hit last year – one of those being Ed’s hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. We had a gig set up at Evangeline’s and, just like last year, it was a great show. Perhaps more meaningful than the show, however, were the old friends that showed up to support us. Folks that have been in Ed’s life for decades showing up and really appreciating what Whitherward does. It’s fantastic, y’know? It is a reassuring thought to know that people will stick by you throughout the years, regardless of what you do or how well you do it, and those are the people we tend to cherish the most through life, especially considering what we do for a living. We are forever grateful for your love and support.
Next on our list was a house concert in Cambridge, IL; the host, John, directs a series of concerts called Cà d’Zan, and we were honored to have been chosen to headline the night. The show started with a great uptempo blues band called Concreteslim and the Sidewalks, and they rocked out for about an hour to a small, lively crowd. Then we took the stage and finished out the night, even playing several more songs than we planned due to the great reception from the crowd. This is a really great venue out in the middle of nowhere, and it’s definitely worth the trip if you’re planning to visit up in northwestern IL, as the concerts are open to anyone.
Dave Bikes America
We would be remiss if we did not mention Dave Lofquist, a recent retiree we met at the Cà d’Zan house concert. Our host John was kind enough to put us up for the night after the concert, but we did not know that we had company – the aforementioned Dave. He showed up to the house on a bike about 5 minutes after we arrived, and greeted us most jovially, if a bit winded. You see, folks, Dave is in the middle of a pretty epic journey.
On a bike.
I know, right?! Incredible. We talked with Dave at length about his exploits, how he’s handling the trip, what he uses to camp out at the various sites, and all manner of things in between. What’s even more remarkable is that Dave had not ridden on a bike in a very, very long time; the fact that he’s pushing himself through a trek across the country is nothing short of amazing. When he’s reached the end of a day, he’s able to stay with people night after night through a network of host homes called Warm Showers (to which John, the host, belongs); this network allows bikers on cross country treks to find a place to stay, with varying levels of amenities available to assist them on their journey.
Dave’s tale is fascinating, and you can keep track of his progress at his blog, Dave Bikes America. Drop him a line on one of his blogs, send him an email or a message, and tell him Whitherward sent you! Safe journeys, Dave!
For the third year in a row, we made the trek to Cleveland, GA to play the annual CrushFest put on by Yonah Mountain Vineyards, and it was a magnificent show. Thousands of people showed up to join in the festivities, which included live music, grape stomping, helicopter rides, and all manner of vendors marketing their wares. We reconnected with old friends – including many of the staff and the owners of the vineyard – and had a simply smashing set on stage. We were preceded by the inimitable Julie Gribble, an intrepid Americana artist whom you must check out immediately. She’s a longtime friend of ours, and she put us up at her home for the weekend, for which we are most grateful. In keeping with the theme of reconnections, Ash also had old friends in the audience and in the area who generously made time for us. It was a fantastic weekend of reminiscing, partying, relaxation, and bonding that will carry us for a long time, indeed.
Until next time…
We’ve got one more show this week in Asheville, NC, then we’re off for a bit! We’ll see you all in New York City (get the rope!!) for an iconic show at The Sidewalk with Stephanie Groot joining us again (wahoo!!!!!!), then we’ll finish out the eastern leg of our tour before making our way back West. Don’t forget to tell a friend about us if you want to spread the word; we couldn’t do this without your steadfast loyalty and support. See you on the road!