TOUR DIARY: Summer in the Midwest

Greetings from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin! I'm in the midst of a whirlwind tour with Jesse Malin that's kept me busy driving my ass off (600 miles yesterday alone). I brought my camera with me thinking I'd get to shoot some of big wide-open landscapes out here, but it's taken me four days to even have enough free time to just get it out of the bag, so you'll have to use your imagination.

The shows have been a lot of fun so far on this run. We started in Pittsburgh, PA, worked our way south to Lexington, KY, then up to Columbus, OH, and on to Cleveland before we got a day off. Jesse has always been one of my favorite songwriters (in fact, he's the person who gave me my first gig as a teenager), so it's always special to tour with him. Plus, most of the guys in his band have all played as my band at various points in time, so it feels a bit like family.

Tour wouldn't be tour if I didn't try to have at least some minor side adventures, though. In Columbus, I was able to knock another zoo off my list. It's a pretty fantastic one, and the only place I've ever seen manatees, which I'd very much like to hug. They let me feed a giraffe there, and despite their kinda creepy black tongues, it was a pretty cool experience. In Wisconsin, i paid a visit to the beautiful Dells last night. It's an area of gorgeous bluffs and cliff formations overlooking beautiful, serene waters. I thought I'd discovered the perfect place to watch the sun set, but after fifteen minutes suffering as a feast for mosquitoes, I had to cut my losses and hit the road again.

I've finally gotten to have a relaxed morning here in Chippewa Falls today, so I'm eating some fried cheese curds before I have to hit the road for tonight's show in Minneapolis.

Anthony D'Amato