Nathan Mantor Photography

June it is then. We managed to survive May relatively intact, even with two of us celebrating birthdays on the road, these milestones reminding us however of the finite time spent occupying seats on this here mothership, and thusly inspiring us to get our asses back to work on a new record.

But first, we must finish our covers EP, which has expanded slightly in scope, with the potential addition of two more acoustic tracks, legitimizing the now-apt title "Six Pack". Patrick will be joining me at Pastry Park Audio Confectionery this week, to finish up his guitar tracks, leaving us with only vocals, and assorted overdubs to elbow out of the way before we get this thing mixed. Well, and of course those acoustic numbers, but I imagine we'll knock those down on the fly, and dispense with any futzing about, or extraneous whistling and ringing of proverbial bells.

A quick recap of the past 3 or 4 weeks:

Bowling Green, KY (It rained dollar bills during a song, even though none of us smelled like cotton candy.)

Cincinnati, OH (A good samaritan (Thanks, B.) made us a gift bag filled with sugary and caffeinated items that probably saved our lives, as I consumed most of it on a long overnight drive back to Nashville. Said bag featured a photo of two musclebound, mostly naked guys. Matt asked if he could keep the bag when we were through with the snacks. No one said a word.)

Spartanburg, SC (Many many stairs…going up. Later, it was revealed that they had an elevator. This would have been useful information PRIOR to load-in.)

Columbia, SC ( Matt bought me a shot of Fireball before the show, which I placed on top of my amp for emergency use, in the event of my throat getting rough. Late in the set, when I thought I needed it, I reached for the glass, only to discover it had been drained by the same swell fella that purchased it for me. That's right, he removed the ripcord from my parachute. That's a real friend, ladies and gentlemen. A "Mensch", as Paul Stanley would say.)

Anderson, SC (I lost my voice…Kenny & Patrick finished the night. It has since been located. We drove 6 hours back after this one, and ditched our sketchy hotel, because we love our mothers almost as much as we hate getting robbed, and it was their day.)

Louisville, KY (They wanted us to close the night. No problem, but I informed the sound guy that it was my birthday and I would be celebrating with a few adult beverages, so I could not be held accountable for the quality of my performance beyond a certain point. They put us on next.)

Somerset, KY (The owner told us to "Turn UP." I immediately cracked open my trusty Pocket New Testament to see if this was something from the Book of Revelations, having never heard such a thing. Thankfully, while the skies did momentarily darken, no plague of locusts descended upon us.)

Madisonville, KY (Kenny gave a Behind The Music-style dissertation on the origins of Tom Petty's "You Wreck Me" that involved sampled sounds of flatulence in the place of snare drum hits. I'm pretty sure he was making it up, but I can't be 100% certain, because he's the same guy that wanted to debate the respective merits of KISS's "Asylum" vs. "Lick It Up" en route to the show, while vigorously air-drumming to some of the worst tracks on the former.)

That brings us to now, roughly, so here's what happens next:

Friday, June 10th   The District    Dothan, AL
Saturday, June 11th   The Loft    Columbus, GA
Thursday, June 16th  Thursday Night Live  London, KY
Friday,  June 17th   O'Mainnin's Pub   Bristol, TN
Saturday, June 18th    Hightops Sports Bar   Somerset, KY

Then, after we take a brief holiday so Patrick can visit his family and I can slip out of the country for a few days, I'm starting on a solo record.

Yeah, a solo record.

So many tunes have piled up over the past two or three years that we're simply never going to have room for without doing our own "All Things Must Pass", but I'm really attached to and proud of a lot of this stuff. So, in the interest of preserving my sanity, and keeping peace within the band, I have enlisted  drummer Criss Cheatham, and bassist Dave Webb to lay down a dozen of these numbers with me.

This thing will run the gamut, from big guitar pop stuff, to more laid-back, acoustic pieces, and even a couple of things that rely heavily on loops and programming. For the last 4 or 5 years, I've been cutting all of this material at home on my own, before presenting it to the band, and in all honesty, some of it just doesn't work for our particular group, so I guess I'm finally taking the plunge and doing something with the castaways. Work commences on July 8th, and will in no way interfere with a new TGA record, for which we already have a slew of songs on deck.

Speaking of other outside projects, Kenny & Joshua Ketchmark are just about to wrap up the "All She Wrote" LP that Kenny is co-producing, before heading into Sound Emporium to start on another project, and I did an interview recently, that you can watch HERE, looking back on Joshua's 2012 EP "The Bittersweet" that I produced.

As usual, sorry for rambling, but check us out on FACEBOOK for more regular updates, and keep your eye on our CALENDAR, if you wanna know where we'll be and when.

  The Great Affairs