Tuesday, June 1, 2010

First day off? Work and play.

What do you do on your first day off after a tour? Play a radio show, of course. Saturday evening in Edinburgh was supposed to be my last show, to be followed by a week's vacation in Scotland. But when Edinburgh's Leith FM radio station asked me to stop by and play a few tunes, I happily obliged.

I also didn't make myself pretty, thinking, "It's just radio," when of course, the whole thing was streamed live on a webcam. Sorry for the messy pigtails, everyone. I'll make up for it next time, and I promise to never again say the words, "It's just radio."

The best surprise of the afternoon was that I wasn't the only music guest invited on the show. The other guest, who arrived just as I was finishing up, was one Ray Wylie Hubbard, whose recent Louisville show I had regrettably missed. The live in-studio and chatting backstage about mutual friends in Austin, of course, made up for it.

Also making up for it was going to his show later that night in Edinburgh. I must admit that it seemed pretty weird to go see a Texas songster on your first day of vacation in Scotland. It was also strange to be in the audience after 14 days straight of being on-stage. Even stranger was being the only person besides Friend-with-a-Truck to sing along with "Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother." I felt like dancing, but felt compelled to be polite.

Scottish crowds are a bit more rowdy than English audiences, but they were still oddly well-behaved. Ray's show was in a place called Cabaret Voltaire, in a dungeon-like cavern in Edinburgh's Old Town. The sound was wonderful, and the set was fantastic. In America, this would have been the place to drink and talk and sing alond loudly, but in the UK, this was a reverential space to be quiet and listen to the traveling troubadour.

It was a really fun start to a vacation, and seemed appropriate. A fortnight of playing live music shows, and my first day off, I go to a live music show. I guess I love my job.

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