February 2009

Ruh-roh. Almost midnight. One minute we think we’re a few minutes from much longed-for hotel beds earned by a show and a long day. Next minute we’re waiting for the Norfolk Police to arrive after our van’s trailer nearly shreds off a car’s door after a woman clumsily opened it into moving traffic. The hotel turned out to be a popular destination for Norfolk navy guys on shore leave. It’s Saturday night. Amen for earplugs.

I woke with my voice back and lots of energy for a longish sunny ride south to Virginia. It’s rare that a city owns and operates a performance venue. The City of Norfolk operates seven. Chris (an Aussie) and Scott do some adventurous programming, even without the promotional advantage of a local Triple A radio station or even a newsweekly. Theresa Andersson plays next in this series… she’s the bestest! The Attucks theatre felt a bit haunted. Sounded terrific in there. The crowd was very warm. I like the South.

World Cafe Live was at capacity tonight. Singing felt like a knife in my throat. But I sure liked watching lil’ Kathleen Edwards and lil’ Jimmy Bryson and lil’ Gord Tough. The Lil’ Canadians.

Karl Mullen gave me this beautiful painting he made.

Feels good to be in my home state of Pennsylvania. The longtime radio and TV voice of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Paul Steigerwald, was at the show at World Cafe and was converted into a fan during my set despite my having about 23% of my voice (grrrr). I remember his brother John being ‘the TV sports guy’ during my childhood. I didn’t have a Penguins hat to pose with but the Steelers cap worked in a pinch.

I’m transfixed to stand in the tiny room where the Continental Congress met for the first time in 1774. Reps from 12 of the 13 colonies converged to figure out how to agitate against their mother country. How to organize and govern. Washington. Adams x 2. Franklin built a library upstairs and made a deal with the French. Just a tiny little building and only a short while ago…nine or so generations?

Another slow news day. Still sick, almost zero voice. We drove 6 hours down to Philly. I laid in my hotel bed reading about Philadelphia’s early American history. The room service Philly cheese steak was of dubious authenticity. Tomorrow’s bound to be more thrilling.

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