As I write this, I’m preparing to pack 10 days’ worth of personal items and a truckload of musical gear in preparation for my first musical tour ever. As I wrote last month, this is my very first solo outing of over a week, musical or otherwise. In the 21 years I’ve published The Independent, I’ve never been away for southern Utah for more than about seven days. And I’m also doing it alone, another first for me. Most of my vacations over the years consisted of short road trips with buddies, my child Sky, or my girlfriend and were largely not longer than a four-day weekend.
This time out, I’ll hit the road from southern Utah in my “new” 2005 Toyota Land Cruiser that I’ve just spent the better part of two weekends building a sleeping platform for. It’s designed to give me an extra storage compartment underneath for musical and personal items with room on the side for taller items. Having never gone on a solo journey of this type has definitely brought up a lot of fears and emotions.
What if my vehicle breaks down? How will my voice hold up performing consecutive nights? How will the last couple of gigs go when I’m expected to fill as much as three hours? Where will I park and sleep? Will everything get done at The Independent that needs to?
But it’s also bringing up some fun questions as well. Who will I meet? What will I do on my days between shows? What sights will I see? And what adventures am I likely to find in places where I know no one and have never been?
I’ve grown into such a homebody this last year or so, and I love being home with all my stuff and comforts. But I also love adventure and seeing new places, too!
So again, my personal growth continues. Stretching my personal boundaries. Trying new things and going to new places.
What an exciting time for me. After 21 years, I finally have the staff in place at The Independent where I feel confident taking such a trip, but I also have a more internal peace of mind. Sure, I’ll have my laptop, phone, and travel-sized luxuries with me. Sure, I’ll probably overpack a bit and bring things I’ll never use, but that’s part of the fun: discovering what it is I really need, what it is I most enjoy, and what I’ve left behind that I didn’t miss at all. I’ve also been meditating every morning now for over a month, which I truly believe has given me more patience and calmness.
In the last two articles, I’ve named names of nearly all my staff members who have really helped me feel confident in knowing that things will carry on just fine when I am away. And I want to thank them again for all of their efforts and fine work. But in addition to all of them, I also need to thank a few other folks. Specifically, my family and friends. Without them, I most certainly would not be able to take a trip like this. I’ve got a cat. A house. Garden spaces and newly planted fruit trees and grapevines that will need a little attention. But that’s all being covered by them, and I want to thank those friends and family that have supported me on this journey, primarily emotionally. You know who you are!
Without the encouragement and support of these folks, I don’t think I would have made this trip. I’d also like to thank Tom Bennett. Before booking the tour, I reached out to Tom to ask for any tips or advice for booking a string of performance dates as he’s probably the most active performer I know. And while he was more than willing to share some tricks of the trade, he actually offered to book the dates for me. That offer was what truly made the tour possible. Knowing what venues book solo entertainment and being able to reach the right folks is really critical, and Tom was all over it.
So watch for the July installment of Publisher’s Perspective to recall my stories of my short life as a traveling musician. I’ll also plan to post updates and photos from the road, so watch for that as well. Thanks again for all the positive vibes and words of encouragement! And happy reading!