The Long Road West

SO. We made it back to Los Angeles after our two months all the way to Ft. Lauderdale and back saga of a trip! While most of our time was spent back in New Orleans with friends, fans and family (read prior blogs for more deets) we’ll pick up The Adventures of Gal Holiday the day after our outstanding farewell show at Old Point Bar in Algier’s Point, New Orleans.

We actually had one more show to do which was a party for a super cool couple, recently married at a lovely Lower Garden District locale on the rainy Saturday night after Thanksgiving. Though the unpredictable New Orleans’ weather moved us indoors to a considerably smaller space, the company was cool, staff included. Great photos, too…

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After packing up and hitting the bottle with the catering staff in the alley behind the venue, Dave and I ventured uptown to visit with a friend before taking off on Monday, two days later. It was then that our van had ANOTHER crucial meltdown. For those of you not following us on Facebook or Twitter you are unaware that we had some electrical problems “fixed” before we went to Florida the week before Turkey Day. Long story short, $450 wasted and still major issues. And now again with the issues and three days before we had to be in Austin for a show.

SO. Major decisions were made and our old clunker of a diesel van was laid to rest. Bye bye, Ol’ Bessie, Hello as yet un-Christened Honda Odyssey minivan. We’ve heard all the jokes by now, about how you’re supposed to have kids and THEN get a minivan, but wait…we DO have kids. They’re called band members. And all jokes aside, the gas mileage is great, the ride is a thousand times more comfortable and we’ll get to where we’re going with more confidence that we’ll actually arrive on time. Many thanks to the fine folks at Superior Honda on the Westbank of New Orleans for their expediency and swell treatment. Turns out, we even played for the wedding reception of the manager’s daughter! (If anyone feels especially generous this Holiday Season, we have a little PayPal donation button on our website to help with car payments. And we love you!)

SO. We finally left for Austin on Monday night after organizing and downsizing, taking with us only the essentials…PA, instruments, amps, clothing and a few other things. All the rest of the crap we brought with us to NOLA stayed in the guest bedroom of Dave’s mom. Thanks Gods for moms! We stopped at ATX to pick up Joe, our L.A. guitar player who had flown home for the holiday after being with us for the duration of the trip. It was great to be back in Austin, see some friends who we’d been out of touch with for a while and make some new acquaintances, too! In particular check out Teri Joyce, a super songwriter who might be in our song lineup coming soon. Love her!

We made the long trek from Austin to Santa Fe in one day, hoping to head off some incoming weather which never arrived. Thankfully we have a great friend in Santa Fe who didn’t mind us keeping him up until midnight and had beds set up for our weary butts. It was another great night in Santa Fe for our second appearance at The Cowgirl BBQ, and despite the freezing temperatures we kept warm by drinking tequila and rocking out.

Departing the next morning it was cold and overcast, freezing rain in the forecast and a decision made. We would travel south to I-10 in lieu of the threat of closures on I-40. Yes, 16 hours instead of a mere 12. We almost killed each other. But we made it back to L.A. safe and sound in one go, arriving home on Saturday morning at about 3:30 am after dropping Joe off in Hollywood.

AND THEN. Dave got sick on Sunday. Like projectile vomit sick. Food poisoning or stomach flu we’re not sure but he was not well for days. I plugged away, unpacking, grocery shopping, organizing. AND THEN. I got sick. Projectile vomit sick. And I threw up on Sunset Blvd which is so rockstar I can’t even begin to tell you. Apparenly it puts me in league with Slash, Paris and many other people who go by one name only. Just call me Gal.

BUT. We’re better now and have done two great gigs back in L.A. with a trip to San Francisco tomorrow. The show must go on.

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Broke Down and Broke

After our harrowing breakdown experience last week we wrote this song on the 17 hour drive to Denver from Shreveport:

Broke Down and Broke

Broke down and nearly broke
Ain’t that the way that it always goes
When time is on your side
And you’re feeling mighty fine
Moving on down the road

Thinking maybe so
We shoulda stopped a few miles ago
Outside the last town
When we heard that funny sound
And now the black smoke’s burning my nose

Now we’re broke down and nearly broke
We need a tow to the nearest garage
Made a call to triple “A”
But they wouldn’t pay
And now we’re sittin by the side of the road

Two nights in a roadside hotel
Our cash flow is getting real low
Gotta make up the cost
And the time that we lost
Getting the diesel repaired

We were broke down and now we’re broke
At least we’re back on the road
Until the next time my friends
When it happens again
And we’re broke down and broke

Diesel Smoke

Welcome to my first post here on my new blog, Life On (and Off) the Road with a Honky Tonk Gypsy Gal. Is the title clever enough? Does my header picture say what I want it to say? I’ve been at this for days on and off and really I just finally decided to just write something. I’ve been needing an outlet to get stuff off my chest more quickly and frequently than my band emails to fans and this seems to be just the ticket. What is this thing called Blog?

This past week has been one wild ride and here’s a little piece of why. The whole story  might fill a book so here’s a quickie recap.

Dave B and I left New Orleans on Sunday, bound for Denver, Colorado, a summer band tour and an exodus from the steamy south for the rest of the summer. We stopped for a night to visit family in Natchitoches, LA ready to really hit the road the next day with a leisurely trip ahead of us. You know where this is going right? No sooner do we get to the LA/TX line then black smoke starts chugging out of the back of our diesel van. Breakdown city. 110 degrees with the heat index and stuck on the side of the highway, trucks screaming by.

Basically, Garage #1 totally screwed us by telling us they could work on the van and then changing their minds the next morning which consequently ended up costing us 24 hours. Being on a schedule and not knowing if we were completely out of commission or not, we were put in the pressure cooker situation of sitting and waiting, completely at the mercy of the tow companies and Garage #2 who turned out to be angels in disguise.

One breakdown, two nights in a hotel and $800 later we decided to make up some time and run the 16 hour drive straight through from Shreveport, LA to Denver, CO. And we made it. That’s the point. And the tour starts tomorrow. Everyone safe and sound. My mom flew in for this weekend of the trip but that’s another story for another night. Stay tuned.

110 degrees