Dangerous Drivers

It’s a known fact, and probability says that the more time you spend traveling in a vehicle the higher your chances for accidents. I’ve had my fair share of fender benders, mostly before my 21st birthday including one particularly horrifying and life changing crash involving a tractor trailer, which left me with a fractured pelvis and one dead in our vehicle. It happened a long time ago and fortunately I was not the driver, having fallen asleep in the backseat which lessened the impact. Nonetheless, I cringe when I see people driving dangerously on our highways and love the signs in TX that read, “Drive Friendly.” On our most recent tour through the American West this June we encountered a driver who was definitely NOT heeding the sign.

We had completed our run, which started in Los Angeles before heading into NM and CO via Phoenix, AZ. Making our way back to Louisiana we were minding our own business, doing the speed limit, (which, in TX is plenty fast for me at 75) when in my side mirror I saw a truck hauling ass. I must say that most truckers are great drivers, having jobs that depend on it and have gotten a bad reputation over the years, mostly from little old ladies. That said, this guy was a maniac, hauling an empty wide load trailer and passing at 85 or 90 by veering onto the shoulder.

Bastard. No offense to his mother intended.

Normally you would just mutter something like “asshole” and drive on, letting the dumbass get his comeuppance at some point down the road, hoping for a Highway Patrol to catch the offending driver. And then he threw a rock. Small. DING! Slow down a little…back off. But then came The Boulder. WHACK! Our guitar player, Chris Adkins who was sitting in the back seat actually ducked. And then gasps all around as we gazed upon the 3 inch, circular crack in the windshield.

Now, common sense would implore that you do something sane, like call the aforementioned HP. But not knowing exactly how much time that would take, we thought it would be much more productive to get the guys’ trucking company info. You’ll recall that he was going much faster than us, but we were about to hit Wichita Falls and more traffic so we hoped he would get slowed, allowing us to catch up.

I put all my driving skills to the test as I followed him, changing lanes (always using my blinkers, mind you) and weaving through traffic. I watched him almost run other cars off the road multiple times. I watched as more rocks were thrown. I knew we had to catch him. And just the other side of town, success! We pulled along his left side and Dave B was ready with the pen and paper to write down the info on the side of his cab. As he looked down and saw what was going on he immediately slowed down to below the speed limit. Ooooooooo, yeah. Sweet satisfaction.

Well the slower speed didn’t last for long. He pulled behind us and we figured it would be safer to follow him instead. The thought of some methed out trucker following us to a rest stop and kicking our asses crossed my mind, as it should. A quick call to his dispatch company in Michigan and ten minutes later he was doing the speed limit. I hope that guy really gets it from his boss.

We had another incident, also in TX with a rather large raccoon on the way back to California a week and a half later. But that’s a story for another time. Let’s just say that one raccoon who decided to cross the road didn’t make it to the other side.

And that folks, is all she wrote.

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AZ, NM, CO: Get the News, Buckaroos!

I’m writing this to y’all from sunny Los Angeles where we’ve been for a few restful days and Dave and I drove back from New Orleans, leaving after last Saturday’s Back to the Beach Festival and a mad frenzy of packing. We had a stellar time in the gulf south this spring which culminated in a blow out show with Flatbed Honeymoon at The Red Dragon Listening Room in Baton Rouge last Friday night. Chris Adkins flew out west to meet us and we had a great show here in Burbank on Wednesday. Now we’re eagerly anticipating our upcoming tour in the west that starts tomorrow in Chandler, AZ.

Please check the list below for our schedule which includes dates in AZ, NM and CO and visit our website at www.galholiday.com for more info. And please help us spread the word by clicking the links for the Facebook events and sharing with your online friends!

Saturday 6/9; Chandler, AZ @ Teakwoods Bar and Grill w/ HashKnife Outfit FB event
Sunday 6/10; Tempe, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room w/ Junction 10 FB event
Wednesday 6/13; Santa Fe, NM @ The Cowgirl BBQ FB event
Friday 6/15; Denver, CO @ Skylark Lounge FB event
Saturday 6/16; Salida, CO @ The Fritz FB event
Sunday 6/17; Ridgway, CO @ The New Sherbino Theater FB event

After the western tour we’ll be headed back down to Louisiana for a private event, a library tour of Point Coupee Parish and two great shows in New Orleans. I’ll keep y’all updated on the developing summer and fall touring schedule. Lots of exciting things are in the works including a trip to Northern CA for a few shows, one of which will hopefully shape up with our friend and fellow New Orleanian, Lynn Drury. There’s also another FL run and plans to make it up through the mid-west and northeast. Woohoo!

See y’all on the flip side…

Your gal pal,
Vanessa

“Without the courage to fail there is no progress.”

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.