On the road

imageThis past weekend, I was on the road.  The band I’m in, Ricky Gene Wright and Duck Creek Station performed in Tao’s New Mexico at the Black Mesa Tasting Room and Gallery.  We have been gigging around the Dallas area for some time now but this was our first road trip together.  I guess we’ll find out if we all really like each other. Road trips are very telling that way.

Quick trip to the “Land of Enchantment”.

We crammed ourselves into two vehicles with all of our instruments and equipment and hit the road.  The plan was to stop outside of Amarillo and then drive on to Tao’s the next day for our gig Saturday night…….spend the night in Tao’s and then drive all the way back Sunday.

We checked into a hotel in Borger which is outside Amarillo.  We unloaded all of our instruments and sound system and brought them into our hotel room. We were determined to not have happen to us, what happens to so many bands out on the road… have their instruments and gear stolen out of unattended vehicles.  After a restless nights sleep….at least for me, we loaded everything back into our vehicles and hit the road again after eating a less than satisfying breakfast supplied by the hotel.

imageMaking our way through the countryside makes you wonder why people traveling through all this scrubby landscape in the “early days” would have ever stop here.

I’m reminded of my land lady during my college days, Mrs.George.  We use to sit on her front porch, drink whiskey and she would tell us stories of her coming to Texas in a covered wagon.  She said that they came through Amarillo around Christmas time and that there was snow on the ground.  They stopped in Amarillo and her daddy sold their horses so that he could buy shoes for his children because they were barefooted.  She said that the next thing she remembered was being put into the wagon in the dead of night and leaving Amarillo in a hurry.  Her Daddy had gone and stolen the horses back.  Mrs. George’s father did what he had to do to put shoes on his children’s feet.

Mrs. George then went on to say, “If they had caught my father they could have hung him”.

It was nice to finally leave the flatness of Texas and start drivingimage through New Mexico.  It brought back so many memories of the time my wife and I lived in New Mexico as I was doing my graduate work at the University of New Mexico.

As we started winding our way through the mountains you experience the majestic to the serene.  Seems like we stopped at every wide spot in the road to take pictures and to breath clean mountain air.  Sure beat the chemical smell of the Amarillo area.

One of the things my wife and I always loved while traveling through New Mexico was all the small streams bubbling along side the roads.

Oh the sound of a small babbling stream.

It was great to finally arrive to Tao’s and arrive at the Black Mesa Tasting Room and Gallery.  image It was a small venue but it was soon filled with folks coming to drink some wine and listen to some music.  The crowd was very appreciative and one older couple danced up a storm.

There was even a young couple who didn’t seem to be listening and seemed  to be lot more interested in each other than us, buy one of our CD’s as they were leaving.  It was a wonderful evening all the way around.

I am sorry for this really blurry video and if I can get a better copy I’ll replace this one, but here is one of our new songs that we all wrote as a group, called “Down in Deep Ellum”.

After a really great evening of performing,  we packed up all of our instruments and equipment and headed to our hotel for the evening. Again we unloaded all of our things and took them into the hotel room.  It was an exhausting day but very satisfying.  It didn’t take much once we got imageback to the hotel room to fall asleep.

We woke up Sunday morning and packed the vehicles up again with all of our gear.  Looking up into the sky from the hotel’s parking lot we were greeted by a lone balloonist. The air was cold and crisp.  I had to wonder what it must have felt like up there, but then again with a view like that I don’t know if I would have noticed.  Again it took me back to my New Mexico days when I would go outside the house and look up to see balloons floating over head.

imageIt was time to hit the road again and make our way back to Dallas.  We decided to go a different route home and check out some different scenery. Winding our way through the mountains, it was wonderful to see some snow but not to have to have any of it on the road to have to drive through. Again we seemed to pull onto any wide space on the side of the road to take photos and to witness the beauty all around us.

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Here I am with my musical family, on the side of the road for a photo op.  Next to me is Richie Owen our bass player, Denise Owen, keyboard and vocals and Rickey Gene Wright, singer/songwriter, guitar and harmonica player.

It was sort of sad to leave the mountains and head back into the flat lands.  I understand why a lot of people move from Texas to New Mexico.  But back to Texas we headed.

On the road trip home we talked about our performance and I apologized for the mistakes I had made while performing.  Every one was so generous and recounted their own mistakes.  At the beginning of this post I said, I guess we’ll find out if we all really like each other.  After this trip I can say that we really do like each other.

It was a long hard trip home.  We ran into a bad accident on the highway.  We sat on the highway for about thirty minutes.  Thanks to Richie for his command of the GPS; who figured out how to get us off the highway and navigate down country roads until we found a spot to get back onto the highway.  Further down the road we ran into some heavy rain.  Around 10:30 PM I finally pulled into the drive way and was greeted by my wife and dogs.  It was good to be home.

All in all, it was a great road trip. Saturday, November 28th we’ll hit the road again and play at In The Music Room Studio & Listening Room in Waxahachie, Texas.  Hope to see you there.

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