Steve Cook's soul, song, and sweat.

Shinybass journal entry 05-20-14

You want cheese with that?


I think I want to start a new campaign. A campaign for cheese. I know, I know, right now everything is bacon. Bacon has a great publicist, but one day, and hopefully soon, cheese will catch up. Or do I want it to catch up? Much like that badass band that was really good before you heard them all over the radio, maybe I want bacon to keep itself out there and leave the cheeses to the indie hipsters. Please don’t get me wrong, bacon is a tasty treat, and although I don’t eat it very often, bacon does have a certain seasoning to it that screams amazing. But if given the choice to live with one and not the other between bacon and cheese for the rest of my days, then so long bacon. It’s brie time.

Why the cheese Jones, Steve? You know, I have always been a fan. I remember eating half a pound in one sitting when I was a younger man. Don’t judge. I am quite sure I am not the only one. Matter of fact, I am positive. You know how I know this? We were just in Wisconsin. They like cheese SO much up there that there was a cheese shop CONNECTED to the local gym. Nothing caps a great cardio workout like a brick of some locally made Monterey jack and jalapeno. I started back across the street, but something strangely called me back into the cheese shop. Nothing says shopping like sweaty cheese shopping.

But I did leave with 2 bricks (for my wife, I promise!), and some Italian sausage. I mean, I’m half Italian, so I am allowed. But having the chance to take home local cheese and not pay exorbitant shipping is pretty sweet, and a wonderful bonus to the life on the road. If you couldn’t guess, we were out on the road in full force this past week, and stop number one was in Turtle Lake, WI. I am amazed at the number of casinos that have popped up in the past 10 years. There used to just be small pockets of casinos – you had the Vegas/Reno/etc., then Tunica, the Gulf Coast, and assorted river boats. Now, it seems, there are hundreds of them, and we are determined to play each one.

These types of shows aren’t that bad, really. We generally eat pretty well, and the theaters are in the 350-700 seat range, and we sell those out. Plus there is the entertainment value of watching the folks gambling. Not the casual concert goer that throws $20 in a slot machine – the die hard ‘spend all the kids’ inheritance’ gamblers. When in Turtle Creek, there ain’t much else to do.


I awoke the next morning to the sweet cool air of Middle America, and after a short walk, discovered the Mississippi River was running alongside our hotel. Embracing the early morning calm of any body of water is a great way to wake up, especially with a cup of coffee in hand. So it’s 8:30AM, and we don’t load in until noon. What’s a boy to do? That’s right – The National Riverboat Museum and Aquarium! (It was next door). I learned an awful lot about Riverboats, and I was happy to get my learn on before we set foot in yet another casino.

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We had another great show, with lots of drinking folks in attendance, which tends to stir things up a bit. Our opener was Danika Holmes, who is a great singer and a kind soul. We had to hustle out of town pretty quickly after the show in order to make the load in for our gig on Ohio State’s campus the next evening, so no late-night blackjack. But we did manage to find an authentic Chicago dog. Don’t judge.

I like playing on college campuses because we usually are allowed to use the gym facilities. And not the ‘common’ student facilities, but rather the million-dollar strength and conditioning rooms. Today was no exception, and I was thankful to burn off said Chicago dog (and then some) before the show. Our hosts raised over a half million dollars for charity, so the night was a success. AND they had a White Castle food truck giving away snacks. Win/win.


Our rare Sunday night show was at a place called The Tangier, which has been bringing acts to Akron since 1948. Roaming the hallways and you see pictures of Tina Turner, Ray Charles, and James Brown, all standing on the same stage where we were setting up. Pretty amazing. To put this venue in Vegas, and it would be a gold mine. You really do step back in time 60 years, and the show hall is wonderfully intimate. I loved it, and yes, twitter followers, that was me behind the drum kit for one song. It happens from time to time.

So we arrived back home yesterday morning, ready to conquer the week. Except my week started with a bit of setback. As I climbed in my car, I smelled gas. I didn’t think I magically sprung a leak, so I drive home, still smelling gas. As it turns out, it WAS my truck leaking gas, so I took it in to my local shop for a look-see. It turns out a critter of some kind gnawed its way through the fuel line. Yep. That rat must have been a) enormous (to be able to reach that high), and b) surprised when he got a face full of gas after hitting pay dirt. Ahh well, it was an excuse to change the fuel filter as well, and I was able to buy more veggie seedlings across the street for the garden. Lemonade out of lemons, right?

There’s your recap for the week that was. I hope you are making big plans for summer as we are. Lots of great shows on the horizon, including some West Coast swings. And for those interested in baby watch: Momma is doing great, and we aren’t finding out what we are having. Due date is in Sept. I will keep you all posted as we progress. Thanks to everyone who has asked!


See you on the road!

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