First off, I'd like to apologize for the lack of updates around here. I sometimes forget that the entire world doesn't rely on FaceBook for its news. Not that it would matter if they did, since the powers that be at the almighty Book Of Face have gone to such great lengths to prohibit you from reading most anything a band, artist, or business posts these days anyhow.

So, where were we?

Patrick & I did a post-Xmas acoustic show in Peoria, Illinois. I was a little under the weather, but nobody got hurt, beer & whisky proved to be a relatively adequate stand-in for sanctioned meds, and we had a good enough time that I almost forgot about the fact that my throat might be bleeding before it was all over with. I'm pretty sure it wasn't, for the record, as it appears to have rebounded to it's prior, adequate self.

Once back in Nashville, and with The Great Affairs reassembled, we got down to work on figuring out just how to hopefully play this new record live. Easier said than done, but we were able to get a good half of the album worked up in time to do a couple of road dates to test it ahead of the release show last night at Mercy Lounge.

photo by Darrell Frasier

First on the calendar was a (should've been but wasn't, due to inclement weather) quick run to Louisville, KY, for a set at Third Street Dive. Once we safely traversed the distance, most of which was a white-knuckle drive through icy blizzard-like conditions, we had ourselves one hell of a good time, and saw a few folks we'd been missing over the past few months in and out of the studio and off the road.

The following week, and the night before the official release party, we headed up to our home away from home in Marion, IL to play the legendary John Brown's On The Square, which turned into a party of its own, complete with a visit from a few of my Central Illinois brethren who made the slightly-longer journey south to hang with us for the evening. We played for roughly 3 hours that night, running last-minute diagnostics on the new stuff, and sorting out just what was or was not firing on all cylinders. We played a few new covers too, since we had the time to kill, trying some Bad Company, AC/DC, Bob Seger, and even a little Bon Jovi on for size. All in all, I'd have to say it was the most fun I've had on stage in a long time.

photo by Doogie Vance

Sadly, we had to depart immediately thereafter to get Henry back to Nashville for a 6AM teaching engagement, so by the time we rolled up to Mercy Lounge  for a 5PM load-in and soundcheck, we were all pretty beat. But, the show must go on, as they say, and by the time Defense Wins Championships and The East Side Gamblers wrapped up back to back sets of pretty balls-out rock n' roll, we had no choice but to tap the reserve tanks, knock back a couple of drinks, and give whatever we had left to give. "That's how winning is done." as the esteemed philosopher Robert "Rocky" Balboa once famously said. Like that noted sage, we weren't always pretty throughout the bout, but I think we landed enough winning combinations to leave the ring with out heads up.

photo by Jamie Cadmus

Here we are, the morning after, Superbowl Sunday, and my bones are aching from a combination of sleep deprivation and dehydration from the caffeine I've been using to prop myself up for the past 48 hours, but I'd like to think that it's all been worth it, especially since we're fixing to do it all over again soon.

At the moment, February and March are pretty light on dates, due to some travel commitments that Henry & I have, but once the weather starts to warm up we should be back in business. May in particular will have us putting in quite a bit of work, but in the meantime watch for shows to pop up sporadically as we do our best to plug a few gaps in the calendar and continue our attempts to push 'Dream In Stereo' into unfamiliar earholes.

I think's about all I've got at the moment, but like I said, keep an eye on the calendar for dates that will most likely start appearing sooner than later. While we wait, I'm gonna go get a haircut, sell a house, and spend a few days in Vegas.