The End – Memphis Day 6

We woke up in the Riverside Hotel to far off train whistles, and birds outside our room. They give you the keys at the hotel. YOU lock the front door. In the morning I took a nice shower in one of the two men’s rooms. They had clean towels and a basket of assorted travel shampoos and conditioners. I walked back to my room barefoot on the worn wood floor. Glorious. Image

Lindy did the same (at the women’s restroom), and we took off in search of food. What is one of the main dishes in the Delta? Tamales. Hot tamales. Hicks Tamales are some of the best. ImageWe headed over to the Delta Blues Museum to drop off a letter from Gail and Scotty to their friend Shelly. Super cool person and she offered for us to go on the tour, but we had to move. We headed over to Stovall’s Farm so I could show Lindy where Muddy Waters cabin stood (they’ve moved it since to the museum) because Karin and I had gone there before when it was still on the side of the road. We headed up to Friar’s Point and then got on Hwy 61 to head to Memphis. That road is the road that many musicians would travel up to play in Memphis, and some would go farther (like Muddy) to Chicago. In Memphis there were better paying gigs, and recording studios… Like Sun Records.

At Sun, Sam Phillips recorded a who’s who of blues, country, and rockabilly. Howlin’ Wolf, Rufus Thomas, Ike Turner, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and that other guy. We were going to go to Graceland, but we ran out of time. I told Lindy, “it’s ok, Scotty’s house is much better, and Gail won’t cook at Graceland”. It was nice to see Lindy’s face as we rounded the corner onto Beale St. The tumblers were out and they were doing backflips down the street. We went into Schwab’s and Lindy bought a cool coat. But, it was Sun we were there for.

Matt Ross-Spang is the engineer there, and I had been talking to him about the next Mike Eldred Trio CD being recorded there. I told him about this trip, and we asked if the studio was open on Friday night. Matt said it was and booked the night for us. We showed up around 6pm (there are tours all day) and Matt greeted us with open arms. Matt is a soulful person, and one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He is also a great engineer and producer. He took us into the room, and it was like stepping into a time machine. Matt gets the whole “low-fi” thing. Vinyl baby. Noise. Distortion is your friend. He understands the historical significance of Sun. He knows he has a responsibility to every music fan or musician, and he upholds that. Matt Ross is one of the few people who continue to focus on the “feel” instead of the bit rate.

I played a Buddy Miller song and Lindy sang some beautiful harmonies. She has an incredible voice and I (as a fan, not a father) anxiously await her first CD. We got done with mine, and Lindy sat down in Sun Records and recorded a new song she had just written. Just her and her guitar live. Matt gave us the tracks (we also video taped a ton there), and we thanked him and headed back to the hotel to drop off guitars and to go see Hillbilly Casino…

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Hillbilly Casino are insane. All of them. Even Ronnie. They are fronted by a crazy-hillbilly-spider-monkey named Nick. Geoff plays the upright like a maniac, and sometimes he and Ronnie switch from guitar to bass… It’s just nuts. The drummer is a werewolf, like for real. They drink LARGE amounts of alcohol… Like A N Y T H I N G that has alcohol in it. They have an orange plastic paint bucket onstage with ice in it and Pabst, Jameson scotch, Jaegermeister, turpentine, gasoline, moonshine, shoe polish, you name it, they’ll drink it; all while playing the craziest rockabilly, as well as Van Halen and KISS. They are EXTREMELY talented, and one of the best live bands you will ever see. If I was king, these guys would be opening the Grammy’s NOT Taylor what’s-her-name. It is an absolute blast to watch these guys play. I woke up laughing this morning. For our last night they really treated us great even letting me get up and play a few with them. To the Hillbilly Casino guys, thank you so much. My head hurt this morning, but it was well worth it. You guys are the real deal, and I look forward to seeing you soon in AZ.

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What an amazing journey. Very little of this trip was planned, except for some of the key stops and those changed once we got going. The people we’ve met, the places we’ve seen, the food (serious diet starts tomorrow) we’ve eaten… All so great. So many comments, calls, emails, texts from you encouraging us and letting us know how inspired you were as parents and music fans. Thank you for that. You have no idea what that means to both of us. Our encouragement to you is to do this trip, or another one, but do it. Road trip baby! Talk to people, try things, and push yourself. Everybody has a beautiful story.

So, thank you Gail, Scotty, Gary, James, Todd, Scott (Herschel), Laura and all the Bunco ladies, Beebe, Zee, Jesse, and especially Rat, and Zee’s mom Joyce, Matt, Ronnie, Geoff, Nick, and the wolfman. Thank you Robert Johnson, and Muddy, Carl, Cash, Elvis, The Wolf and Ike (I wish you were alive to experience this) and all the musicians that continue to inspire us. And thank you Lindy for doing this with me. The best part of this trip was driving with you and talking with you, and watching you interact with beautiful people… Except those bitches on the elevator… And seeing you as a beautiful, soulful woman, full of poise and grace, polite and articulate, and everyday I thank God I am your Dad. Don’t ever forget the things you’ve seen this week… Except for them bitches in that elevator… And my prayer is that you’ll always keep part of these places in your heart and take your family back to soak it up.  – Mike

What a trip… Yesterday, was an action packed day for sure. The Riverside Hotel is one of those places that continues to remain a home to you even after leaving. Sweet Zee kept saying when we first arrived, “you’re home now, baby!” I miss that woman. We were the only guests at the Riverside during our stay, so we took full advantage of it: playing guitar late into the night, laughing, talking… It was great. The morning was peaceful and perfect in every way. I went down to the women’s showers around 10am, tiptoeing down the hall, just so I wouldn’t disturb the silence. The bathroom is the last room in the house. It looks right out over Sunflower River, alone and sheltered by trees. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy this beauty, so I opened all the windows, and took my second favorite shower of this trip. (The first was in Senoia)

Leaving The Riverside Hotel was a bit harder than I expected. Before departing, we played two songs for Zee and Jesse and a man passing through, filming a documentary about the Delta. It was a warm experience. That’s the only way I can describe it. I just felt warm, singing in front of those beautiful people. I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to do so. After hugs and heartfelt promises of coming back in the near future, we headed out toward Muddy’s cabin. I stood right where my momma stood more than twenty years ago, and took a picture, to match the one she took before me. I love that spot. Everything’s so green right there, and quiet. The South is so quiet. We travelled along the Mississippi River for a bit, and then gradually made our way into Memphis. Daddy was really sad about leaving Mississippi. He muttered some unkind words about the tall casinos we passed before crossing into Tennessee. Simplicity and genuine contentedness is a hard thing to come by nowadays, and he saw that greed and the regular sort of bullshit that mankind seems to feed off of, was already trying to shove its way through, into the heart of America. Not cool. Heart-wrenching in fact.

I’m fascinated by Memphis. It’s tall buildings, right along-side the Mississippi banks, Beale Street, the many, many talented, but broke musicians, all around. It’s a dream if you enjoy that sort of scene, which I do. We treated ourselves to some Chicken and Waffles over at Miss. Polly’s before heading to Sun, to do what every musician dreams of doing. Record.

There we met Matt. I was sort of expecting an older, more business like uptight kind of guy when we first got there, but was pleasantly surprised by Matt. Father dearest is correct in calling him soulful. I’ve never met anyone as easygoing as this man. Immediately, I felt calm and ready. I can’t describe the feeling when we first walked into Sun. The pictures on the wall, the instruments all around, the tile on the ceiling, the windows connecting the rooms, and the tables in the very back… It was such a feeling… And that’s all I can really tell you about that. It was an experience of a lifetime, and I feel incredibly grateful to have been able to live this dream. I love Matt, and his creativity and his encouragement to do what feels right; to do what’s raw and real. Pilgrimage complete.

We left Sun around 10pm and made our way back down to Beale Street, to celebrate the end with a little Hillbilly Casino… Everyone truly is crazy, but ya know what, I wouldn’t have wanted to end this grand adventure any other way. The food, the smells, the drunk people… It was magical. Sort of. In a weird way. The boys were hilarious, but Nick… I can’t even begin to tell you about Nick, but I think crazy-hillbilly-spider-monkey just about covers it.

I miss Memphis already. I miss Nashville and Senoia and Tupelo and Greenwood and Clarksdale all so very much. I’ve grown in ways, more than one, and I feel fresh inspiration coursing through me, pushing me to finish my record and make music my all-consuming passion. All due to those six key stops we made over the last week… Blessed is the word of the week, folks. I am blessed to have the father I have, and blessed to have experienced all that I’ve experienced during these past 8 days. None of you will really get the connection my dad and I have. It’s been a strong one even before this trip, but after all this, something much bigger has come around. I get my dad in ways I couldn’t quite grasp in the past, and I’m pretty sure my dad understands my heart better then he did before. It’s been a crazy, intense week guys, and I’m glad we got to share it with you. Thank you for being a part of our journey and if there’s one last thing for me to say to you, it would be this; Get off your ass and do it yourself. Maybe you won’t take this exact route, or maybe you will, but either way, plan your great pilgrimage and grab your son or daughter and show them your soul, your heart. They want to know everything, believe me. Much love. – Lindy

We thought you may want to hear the Sun stuff, so here they are in all their raw glory! We hope you guys have enjoyed this as much as we have. Enjoy!!!  – Mike and Lindy

Wide River To Cross

You Are the Gold

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The Delta Day 5

Amazing day today. We tore into the Mississippi Delta with a vengeance. I woke up at 4:30am, but realized there was no way she would be getting up anytime soon, so I went back to sleep until 9am. Fired up the Sonny Boy, Muddy Waters, and (of course) Robert Johnson CD’s and headed to Greenwood, MS. That’s where Robert died. In Baptist Town after being poisoned by a jealous husband. They say that they gave him whiskey that had dissolved mothballs in it, which made him severely sick. He finally died after suffering for three days. I have been down here before, but never had seen where he died, or where he was buried. Note: If you don’t know who Robert was, look him up on wikipedia, or better yet, buy the music. It’s haunting. He played like nobody did back in that time. The first stop would be Baptist Town. This is where he died.Image

That’s a nice picture, but this is really what Baptist Town looks like.Image

It is one of the scariest places I’ve been to. We pulled down Young St… Filming with our video camera, and ended up shutting it off as we were eyeballed by several residents that didn’t look like they wanted to be seen on tape. I parked, and started taking pictures… Two to be exact, and about 4 police cars pulled down the street. They were looking for somebody, but clearly, it was time to leave. Our time in Baptist Town was fascinating and brief. It is a beautiful historical place that has been over-run by thugs and drugs. Sad. We left there and headed for Robert’s burial place. Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church is where I believe (as many others do) he was laid to rest. It’s a beautiful place, and very peaceful. Lindy and I both said we wanted to attend a service there someday. We took some pictures, and I surprised Lindy with a ring, that had once belonged to my mom, that Karin and I had restored. Such a cool place. We headed to Dockery Farms where some say the blues started with Charlie Patton (another guy you should investigate). Again, a very soulful place as is most of the Delta. I love it down here. ImageImage

The drive today was so amazing. I couldn’t wait to get down here. I know I was pissing Lindy off, but I wanted to get a jump on it so we could linger. The smells at Dockery Farms… Apple, bacon, and burning wood from the surrounding farms. It smelled like beautiful incense. We would drive and stop, seeing a house covered with vines, or an old church, or a swamp… This really is the soul of America. Tomorrow, we drop something off at the Delta Blues Museum for Scotty and Gayle, and then head up to Memphis. I am so sad to leave here. I will miss this place even more now that I know it better, but there is music coming out of it for the next record, and Jerry Angel and John Bazz are coming back with me to record. I can’t wait. Memphis will be fun, and I hope you stay with us, because we have something cool for tomorrow. We also have some friends (Hillbilly Casino) playing in Memphis tomorrow night at Blues City Cafe, so I am really looking forward to finishing this trip off with them… That blog may be a little late. – MikeImage

I’ve never see him so excited. He almost didn’t feed me before leaving Tupelo, but fortunately for him, we paused at a Starbucks and bought a panini. (I probably would have killed him, had we not stopped.) I didn’t really understand the draw of Mississippi at first, being as Tupelo was the only part I’d actually experienced, but once we got deeper and deeper into the state, I realized what pure magic Mississippi is. The forests here are what I like to call fairytale forests. I call them this because first of all, the trees are huge and all shapes, and never ending. The second reason is because of the thick dried moss covering that has settled all over the forests, like a blanket of mush. It’s beautiful. I’m not going to go into too much detail about the stops along the way, since you’ve already been walked through that, but I will say that Robert Johnson’s grave sight is straight out of a movie, Baptist Town is scary as all hell, the Dockery Farms are breathtaking and stuck in something like a summer haze, and Clarksdale isn’t worth staying in, unless you’re staying at The Riverside Hotel (Which is actually on the side of a river, just so you know). Honestly though, I feel right at home here. Rat and Zee are just about the sweetest people I’ve ever met; so real and so welcoming. Upon arriving at The Riverside Hotel, we hung around the hotel office and had a good chat with Mr. Sammy Lee and Rat about soul food. The only place they could recommend was Rest Haven Restaurant, which sat right up the street. They served “American food, Italian food, and Lebanese food”… I mean of course they serve Lebanese food… Who doesn’t? Anyway, we dined there, while the owner sat across from us, smoking cigarette after cigarette, taking phone calls and watching the news. We were the last ones in there, but we took our time eating our fabulous Lebanese food, recharging after such an intense day of travel and rich, rich history.
I’m excited for tomorrow. It’s our last day here in the South, so we’re going out with a real bang… I’m not going to share too much though. Just be patient with us, as we’ll probably blog on the way home from Memphis. Ahh home… Haven’t been there in forever it seems. I miss it well enough, that’s for sure. – Lindy

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The Road To Tupelo Day 4

Today was the other big drive day. 285 miles. Or, 12 raccoons, 2 coyotes, 1 armadillo, and 1 badger…I think that’s what it was. There was no head. That’s the “roadkill kount” that I counted. Lindy wasn’t into that so much.Image

Leaving Senoia was hard. Great people, great food, great town. I love meeting people on this trip. Two ladies at a shop we went into almost started crying when we told them what we were doing. Bee-bee was one of their names. The morning was brisk but not bad. Lindy got up fairly well, and we got on the road by 11:30. It’s a strange thing for me. I get into “go-mode” and I gotta move. Especially when I’m heading to Mississippi. There is a “draw” for me there. Karin and I did a similar trip down there a long time ago, and it’s the same feeling. Like “Christmas is coming” kinda feeling. I text Robert Cray today and told him about the trip; told him where we were going. “The soul of America” was what he sent back. “Amen” I said. I love Mississippi. I always have. I can’t wait to get down there. We are in Tupelo now, but that’s not where I’m talking about. Lindy and I changed the route today. We’re going to Greenwood tomorrow to see Robert Johnson’s grave. “Which one?” Lindy said… That chick is smart. Robert Johnson has THREE headstones. Then, we’ll drive up Hwy 49 through the heart of the Delta to Hwy 61 to Clarksdale. To Rat’s place. The Riverside Hotel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DGttzP41Yw We’re staying there before we head to Memphis.

Tonight in Tupelo, it’s rest time. Lindy’s swimming in the pool (indoor, heated), and we’ll hopefully finish the blog before 2am for once. We went to Elvis’ birthplace (my favorite part is the gift shop) where you can walk through the two rooms for $6 per person…it was $1 per person last time I did it. I got Karin a spoon, and something else. I got another bumper sticker for my road case, and a TCB decal for my guitar. Heaven. The back-scratchers were priced WAY too high, so F that. I can’t wait to get deeper. We have some cool stuff coming up. Keep coming here. Trust me. – Mike

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I miss showering at the Veranda Inn. The showers in real hotels, like the one we’re in now, are awful and white and new and big, but the Veranda Inn showers are small and warm and old, with creaky floors. I miss the room at the top of the stairs too. I didn’t even get to fully enjoy it. Senoia has been my favorite so far, and I’m really sad to leave it. I’m sad about leaving Georgia in general, really… I guess I’ll just have to come back very soon.
The drive to Tupelo wasn’t too bad, to me anyway. I think I actually enjoyed this drive more so than the last drive from Nashville to Senoia. The drive out of Georgia was lovely. We were on two lane highways most of the time, so we went right on through some of the cutest towns. Alabama was much flatter than Georgia. I think it was at this point, when we were crossing into Alabama, I began to fall asleep. I was almost completely gone when I heard a camera snap. Father dearest thought it sweet to take a picture of me while I was sleeping. Rude… Needless to say, I stopped my dozing after that. The rest of the trip was okay. Just lots of trees, and lots of dead things on the side of the road. I don’t like dead things on the side of the road. It genuinely makes me sad. (I once hit a dove, and cried about it for a good 20 minutes.)
Tupelo, Mississippi is interesting. Seeing Elvis’ home, passing our first Piggly Wiggly store, eating ribs and hostess-cupcake flavored cake at the Rib Shack across the street, swimming in the pool by myself at 9pm, even taking the ever-so-slow elevator to our room, has all been quite an experience in itself. I’m enjoying every second of this trip, truly… Oh, and one other thing… Fried Pickles. – Lindy

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My lovely sun room at the Veranda Inn.

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Senoia, GA. Day 3

Got done blogging the Scotty experience at 3a.m. We got up at 9a.m.

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Lindy is NOT a morning person.

Our drive today was from Nashville to Senoia and was about 288 miles and through some beautiful countryside. Why Senoia??? Or, WTF is Senoia???? Well, two words. “Walking Dead”. This is where they film “The Walking Dead” series on AMC. It is a cult-like show, and our home is totally addicted to it. The fictional town where much of it takes place is called “Woodbury”, but anytime they film in the Woodbury town, they are filming in Senoia, GA. Lindy loves the show, and I found out that Senoia was here, and easily routed into this tour, so we found a bed and breakfast here named the Veranda Inn. Amazing place. Built in 1906, Margaret Mitchell interviewed Confederate Veterans for “Gone With the Wind” here when she was writing it. Rick and Laura Reynolds own it and are the best hosts. The town is amazing. The people are so nice, and we walked down Main street and were told to check out Zac Brown’s place to eat. Lindy saw it, and said, “no, I wanna eat here” and we went next door to Founders Restaurant. We walked in, sat down…only one other table by us…and Scott Wilson the actor who plays “Hershel” on the series was sitting right behind Lindy. I told her to turn around…and I thought she was going to faint. I’ll let her talk more about that experience! The owner of Founders is Todd Baggarly. He loved hearing about our trip, as well as the servers…we practically know everybody after one meal there. The food was some of the best I have ever had!!! Todd told us there was an “open-mic” night next door, so we grabbed a guitar and headed over. They let us each do a song, and it was a BLAST!ImageImage

This town is amazing. The drive was amazing. So many things go through your mind while traveling through this beautiful country. So many of YOU guys supporting us, and encouraging me as a Father, and Lindy as a Daughter who understands the South and wants to know more about the heritage and music. It means so much. Lindy and I both talked about how we would love to have a bus, and go by and pick all of you up in it to come with us. Your words, texts, emails, calls, etc., mean so much and really focus the love we have for all of you… Even if you just are reading this and relating to this trip. Scott Wilson was blown away to hear what we were doing. So was Todd, and Jennifer, and Laura, and the women playing Bunco in the Veranda. Tomorrow, we head to Tupelo, Mississippi, but first, we’ll enjoy Senoia a bit more playing guitars on the porch, and walking down Main Street once more. For me, today was special as well, because it was my beautiful wife’s birthday. She did not hesitate in giving us her blessing to go on this knowing we would not be with her today. So, we sent flowers and a balloon, and sang to her… From the road. Thank you Karin. I love you. – Mike

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I met Hershel today. The end.
I don’t think I’ve experienced a more magical day in quite some time. The drive from Nashville to Senoia was a beautiful one. Trees, trees and more trees, going on and on forever and ever. (Just in case you had not noticed, I love trees. Really… I’ve kissed three. It’s a serious thing.) The trees in Tennessee are very different from the trees in Georgia. Tennessee trees are tall and skinny and bare, especially during this time of year, while Georgia trees are all sorts of sizes, but consist mainly of pines. I love it, I love it, I love it. Once we got into Georgia, it seemed like Atlanta just popped up out of nowhere. We hit the city during rush hour, which really wasn’t too much of a bother, but ya know… Rush hour is rush hour.
I love Georgia. I love the little farm houses sittin’ all over the place, and the rivers that peeked through the trees. It just gets to me. When we pulled into Senoia, I fell in love, instantly. Main street is the center of the town. The houses are all unique and set apart from each other at a pretty good distance, but they all still remain close enough so as not to look lonely. Space is good, but no one wants to look lonely. That’s just an awful thing. The Veranda Inn is what I think Heaven will be like. Little Ladies playing Bunco, eating and drinking and laughing; they’re all so friendly. Especially Laura, the owner of the Inn. I wish we had more time to talk to her, but she and her husband are leaving in the morning. The Veranda is so old and big and bright. It has a porch that wraps all the way around the Inn, and lovely little rocking chairs that sit all over the patio. My favorite room is a sort of sitting room, upstairs. (I’ll post some pictures tomorrow to show you a few of my favorite things here in Senoia.) The smell of this place reminds me of Napa, a lot actually. Everyone knows everyone, and I have yet to meet one sour person. I feel so warm and peaceful today. It’s a wonderful thing. I envy this life so I think I’ll be back in perhaps a year, to stay for a month or so. I have to live here. Just for a second, at the very least.
Meeting Mr. Scott Wilson, was a trip. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to speak to any one person before, until today. He was very kind and I was very crazy and I’m thankful I didn’t throw up on him or anything like that… Very thankful indeed. My amazing dad is truly the best and he’s made this trip so incredible for me. The last few days still feel very surreal to me. I just can’t believe I’m here. When I get home and breathe finally, it’ll hit me, but until then, I’ll just continue absorbing this magic ’til I’m full with it. Whatta day. – Lindy

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By the way… Please excuse my face in the picture with Hershel/Scott Wilson. I was having a hard time keeping it together… – Lindy

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Nashville Day 2

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We slept in like rockstars. Got up at noon, ate “breakfast” at like 2:00pm. It felt so good to sleep, but today consisted of mainly… food… and guitars of course. There is a cool breakfast place in Nashville called the Pancake Pantry, and the food was amazing. We had the Sugar and Spice pancakes with “Cinnamon Cream Syrup”… Yeah, that tastes EXACTLY like it sounds. We made plans to meet up with a great friend of mine, Gary Burnette who is a producer and guitarist in Nashville. I have know Gary for many years, and he is how I was introduced to Scotty Moore. Gary is one of the MOST soulful people in the world, and I really wanted him to meet Lindy as well. After “breakfast” we had to bolt back to the hotel to grab guitars and pick up Gary to head over to Scotty Moore’s house for the world famous, Miss. Gayle’s Chicken. The drive to Scotty’s is beautiful. The hills at this time are so cool because it’s coming out of winter and the trees are bare and cold. Stark but in a good way. Scotty’s house is 84 years old, and it sits on something like 11 acres of woods, barn, and a small pond. He bought the place next to him so “nobody would move in next to me!” I have been going to his house since I met him in 1993. It’s a special place, and he and Gayle are special people in my life. Scotty told me he had some stuff he wanted to give me, so when we got there he took us into what used to be his studio. He gave me a bass I had given him, and an Esquire that I had built for him back in 1997. He doesn’t play anymore, so he said I should have it. I in turn handed it to Gary and told him that HE should have it because if it wasn’t for Gary, I would have never met Scotty. Gary will use it more than I would, and the guitar has a great story: When Scotty got out of the Navy, he bought a Fender Esquire… Which he traded for a Gibson 295… Whatever. So, I “replaced” it with this one in 1997. Gary was so happy. He couldn’t believe it. I’m glad he will enjoy it. Then Scotty told me he had something else he wanted me to have. He walked me back into the room and took out a big case. He set it up on a table and told me that this was his and it was the first of 81 guitars that Gibson was making as a tribute to him. He opened the case, and there was this gold ES-295. It hit me hard, and I still can’t believe he did that for me. The guitar is beautiful and Lindy already has her eye on it. Stay away girl! We played and sang, and ate the world’s best chicken, sweet potatoes (omg they were amazing!), carrots, and… Cake… I can’t even tell you about the C A K E. I love Scotty Moore. I love Gayle. I love Gary. I love Nashville. Scotty’s house is like a shrine to everything that is cool about music, and rock & roll. Sitting at his kitchen table listening to the second solo on Hound Dog… It’s surreal. Having him tell you what they were doing when they recorded those songs, hearing the originals and hearing him talk about Bill’s bass flying off the car, or throwing Elvis’ shoes out the window because his feet stunk so bad… I’m blessed to be able to see this as well as share this with my family. Tomorrow, we move on to… WOODBURY!!!!! Senoia actually, but that’s the town where they film The Walking Dead. Can’t wait to hit the road!!!   – Mike

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Well, my dear father caught my disease… Today, started at noon. For us anyway. The rest of the world was functioning long before we were. I don’t want to be too redundant with all the info about this morning’s breakfast, but I will share that I literally shuddered when the busboy at the Pancake Pantry called to a few leaving customer’s, “Have a good evening, folks!” EVENING. The word made me feel dirty. Absolutely filthy. I’ve decided I don’t like waking up late anymore… Just kidding.
On to pick up Mr. Gary Burnette. Gary is a very calming person to be around. Very genuine. We reached Scotty’s little house around four. It sits on a hill, amongst other hills, with lot’s and lot’s of trees surrounding us from all ends. It was so lovely.
We were grabbing our guitars out of the back of the car, when we heard a rough voice come from the front door. “Go away!” We turned and looked just as Scotty slammed the door. He peeked through the window, laughing. I thought, this man, right here, is going to be funny. First impressions really are everything, because I can tell you right now that I will always remember these first moments with Mr. Moore. I’ll forever think of him walking out onto the porch, chuckling, standing there with his hands in his pockets, his blue eyes and salt and pepper hair. Such a silly, silly man. The evening was filled with warmth, guitars, singing, laughter, memories, old Elvis recording’s, and of course, fried chicken. The phrase of the night turned out to be, “I can’t remember.” Story after story after story, was recalled upon, most of which were shared by sweet Gayle, since she seems to remember everything. (A curse and a blessing, says Scotty.) It was a wonderful night with wonderful food and wonderful people. All the very best.
It’s bittersweet leaving Nashville. I’m going to miss the spidery trees and the hills and the old buildings and the many smells and flavors of this city. You know, when we walked outside after saying our goodbyes to Scotty and Gayle, I was shocked by how very sweet the air smelled. Like oranges and mint; very funny. Oh Nashville, Nashville, it’s been a good time.
I’m ecstatic about the drive tomorrow. Georgia has been calling my name for quite some time now. Goodbye Tennessee! See you real soon. – Lindy

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Nashville Day 1

We are spending two days in Nashville. We got in today and went straight for the BBQ! I took Lindy to the Ryman Theater after lunch to see this historical building, and hear about all the history there. Such a great place. Tonight we’ll hang / rest then tomorrow more exploring downtown, and we’ll go over to Scotty Moore’s house and have homemade fried chicken dinner with Ms. Gayle. Epic. Tough day today getting up so early, but already so much fun. My highlight: showing my daughter the Grand Ole Opry…and the ribs. – Mike

Today’s been a long day, but it’s been productive and exciting. Maybe not so productive… It just feels productive because I was up before noon. Nashville’s a dream. There are so many trees, and the color of everything when flying in, was so different from the colors of Arizona. We walked to Rippy’s Ribs on Broadway and had a fantastic BBQ lunch. Completely devoured it in minutes. The vibe of Nashville is unreal, especially down around Broadway and 2nd Street. Music is everywhere and I’m loving it. The Ryman Theater was magical. The stories of all the past entertainers who had stood on that stage; thinking about the families who would go to see Minnie Pearl on hot, humid nights. Something about it made me sad. Families don’t go to shows together anymore. Music used to really bring people together and in some ways it still does, but not like how it used to back in the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s. It’s all very interesting to think about how different music is now. Tomorrow we’re continuing our adventure by spending the day exploring more of Nashville and visiting dear Mr. Scotty Moore. We’ve barely begun this pilgrimage, but already I feel enlightened by this beautiful city alone. – LindyImageImageImage

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Leaving. My 18 year daughter asked to go on a roadtrip with me. That, in itself is pretty cool, so we’re heading down south to drink in some soul and play some guitar. Nobody is happy at 4am. Nobody.

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