For those of you who asked where my gig was last night, it was at the absolutely gorgeous home of Bill Samuels, who is bourbon royalty, and the guy whose name goes on every bottle of Maker's Mark. The winding drive there featured typical pastoral Kentucky, with views of trees dipped in the red wax of autumn. It was a lovely drive, with fall all around, views of the Ohio River, and those simple wooden fences designed to keep in horses.
After the music part of the night was over, and I waited around while the guests used my PA system for speeches, I was killing time near Mr. Samuels's liquor cabinet, which just happened to be in the room next door to my microphone. What kind of liquor does a bourbon royal keep on display? Maker's Mark, of course, but not just any ol' bottle. In tiny handwriting, and signed by every factory worker there in 1958, was the very first bottle of Maker's Mark ever produced. The red wax, of course, was still intact. There were also a bunch of older bottles of bourbon, one I noticed dating back to 1881. Pretty cool.
Anyway, it was a fun night, and a beautiful drive out there. Probably the best part of the night was getting to play with the spectacular Steve Cooley. I've played with him for years, but it's always been during short sets of my own tunes. We played for about two hours straight, not taking a break because we didn't want to. I made him take far more solos than is standard, mostly because I love hearing him play. It made me realize I really need to start going out to Gerstle's on Monday nights again. He's really something special, and anyone who plays a stringed instrument should be forced to hear him live. He makes me want to practice my scales. Hope he's not reading this.