So here we are in preparation to wind down/jump into another year. Thought I’d take a second to say thanks for sharing the ride with us and kind of give a little overview of how it all went.
We started last January on the Rock Boat (which we will be doing again in about 8 days…and are damned excited). It was a great experience. Saw some great music. Hung with old friends and made a few new ones. We had to bag our European tour which was a huge downer and we are still trying to work through that a bit. Then I fired an old manager and hired some new folks. That was sad and exciting and lots of other emotions. It’s been great getting to know Terry and Emilie and the whole new management team. Can’t wait to start a year with all the new folks in place. We then changed to another booking agent/agency. Another tough change but one I felt like I had to try. New accountants and bookkeeping, etc. All of which should help a lot in the coming years.
On a more musical note we saw the departure of our pal Devin Malone and the arrival of our new pal Adam ‘Yogi’ Ollendorff. Only in Nashville could Blade and I go to a bar to discuss what to do to replace Devo and then see a dude that plays guitar, pedal steel, lap steel, and all other stringed instruments. So, BAM, he’s in the band. We started the year touring with our old friends Need to breathe. We’d had them out opening for us years ago and they were kind enough to return the favor and let us tag along for a mess of shows. I’m so happy for those guys. They’ve continued to grow as a band so much. And are still as good a bunch of dudes as I’d ever hope to know. Can’t wait to hang with them on the Rock Boat. Rumor has it they will be out with some new Nashville artist Tyler…or Taylor Swift or something at a stadium near you next summer. Support them. They play for the good team.
We then did some Dwight Yoakam shows. And went out west with Sugarland. Another group of folks that have seen MASSIVE success but not lost one thing in the ’still cool people’ department. I’d know Jennifer for years and Siggi has know Kristian about the same. They went above and beyond to take care of us. Plus they rolled out a helluva big production every night onstage that was certainly inspiring. Along the way we had our big LA hotel parking lot late night airstream jam with Miranda Lambert and her band. That still ranks as my favorite performance I’ve ever had in LA. Haha. We did another run of shows with American Bang and J Roddy Walston. Two KILLER bands that I’m sure you’ll be hearing lots from but these shows were WEIRD!! Kind of got thrown together last minute. Certainly had a few “why are we doing this again” moments.
May brought big floods to our hometown of Nashville. It was a hard time for everyone but seeing how my city rallied together and pulled through it was truly inspiring. We were lucky enough to be tapped to close the first relief show that was put on at Ryman Auditorium. What a cool night. Anytime I get to play there is always magical to me. For the other guys it was their first time playing that room and it was very cool to see their excitement. I’d love to do it again next year sans the natural disaster of course.
Had a total blast at a hometown show. Nice outdoor show which included my brother as the opening act. Had a lot of friends come join us on different songs. Always a highlight getting to jam with Dan Baird. Great playing with Lancaster again. Plus horns and singers seem to always make everything ok. Pretty sure there’s a link to that show over at heartbreakavenue.com. Thanks Josh Edwards for making that happen.
We took some time off later in the year as the lady and I welcomed our second son into the world. George Buckley Hoge has rounded out the family nicely and I’m incredibly lucky to have been able to be home for 7 weeks around the birth.
Of course then we were GONE for 6 straight weeks on our acoustic run with Shinedown. Luckily the family let me back in once the tour wrapped up. That tour was an incredible way to wind down the year. I can’t say enough about how cool those guys were as a band. Musically, personally, all of it. I’ve done this a LONG time and go through moments where you question the how’s and why’s of everything you’re doing. That tour in particular truly inspired me and reminded me that I HAVE to keep doing this. The new faces we saw getting turned on
every night. The lifelong friendships I know we established. I really
really look forward to their new album and the chance to take our little rock and roll circus to the peoples again.
So tonight we are at the riverfront in Nashville closing 2010! Damn. That’s a lot. We’ll be finishing the new album in January and February. There will be updates on that once we are back at it. As always, thank y’all for enabling us to ride this crazy damn roller coaster. Hope we will see you a bunch in 2011.
My best to you all.