4.27.11 / 108,536

There’s 108,536 miles on my Subaru Forester. I got it in the Fall, replacing my old pick up truck that got about 12 miles per gallon and anticipating an increased performance schedule and higher gas price, I enlisted my friend Larry Southard at L&M Auto in East Otis, Massachusetts, to keep an eye out for such a vehicle. Here is how I first saw it:

So off I went this past week on my first SOLO tour. Now, I hesitate to call it a tour. First of all, I’ve done a bit of touring, in vans, a few times lucky enough to reside in a tour bus, or in my pick up truck. This was only five shows however, and the first time bringing along my Gibson and seriously showing my songs. It had to be fit in between Jackson Wetherbee’s dates and was billed with my name (“Jon who? Never heard of him.” ∼ woman on sidewalk near venue in Manchester, VT). So after a night in Boston which saw the Bruins lose but the JWB win, I aimed the bus, er, Subaru, due West toward Lenox.

The shows were mostly well attended and I sold some CDs, had some great conversations, watched my Facebook fans approach 200 (click here to become a fan if you haven’t already!) and record basic tracks for a new song with Ryan Dubois at Southview Arts in Vermont. The “anchor” of this tour however, was The Perfect Wife in Manchester VT.

You see, Wednesday nights are acoustic nights up at The Wife (that’s what the locals call it), so I was prepared with some cover songs and originals, both sung (I use that term loosely) and instrumental. I’d ask you to picture the stage, but you could just look at it here:

I always kind of play a little softer at the beginning of a show so the people sitting in front can… kinda let their ears warm up and not get blown out. So I finish my first song and this man is… standing next to me on the stage. He looks at me and yells “Louder! We can’t hear you!” Then he proceeds to walk all the way to the back of the venue and sit at the bar.

Now I’m a firm believer that if you want to listen to the act, you can come closer, sit near the performer, or whatever, and if you don’t want the music to intrude on your conversation, you kinda grab a space further away. But you don’t want to judge what the 15 people up front are hearing volume-wise from the back of the room. Anyway, it turned out to be a fun show, with a lot of positive feedback from everyone there, and people walking out the door with CDs and stickers — so The Perfect Wife is now a venue I can appreciate and I look forward to returning! I’m going to bring a bar stool for that fellow to hang out on stage with me though, because my Converse clad feet probably won’t do too much in the way of defending that stage… and I need all the help I can get right now! But do me a favor man, don’t come up unless you’re invited, and wait to see how it pans out…

The final note I want to pass along is this… do yourself a favor and take a road trip to Vermont. There you’ll find small businesses and a local economy… and the way life should be. Stop at Sissy’s in Middletown Springs and eat breakfast on the porch like I did (and it was snowing, seemed like a good idea at the time)… and enjoy this life while we have it.