Steve Cook's soul, song, and sweat.

Shinybass journal entry 07-18-16

North winds blow, south winds blow…

Happy Monday! I hope the weekend was a good distraction for everyone. We all have this work business to contend with, but some of us have to deal with a little more crazy than the rest of us. I am speaking, of course, to our law enforcement officers, without whom the streets would be more chaotic than one could imagine (Escape from New York comes to mind). As teenagers, we avoided the police like the plague, probably because we knew that we drove too fast and had no money for tickets or insurance rate hikes. Somewhere along the line, we grew up, and realized that police officers are people too, with families and children and bills and problems like the rest of us. Give them a moment of your time and thank them. Often. Your house didn’t get broken into tonight. (And if it did, thank them when they catch the SOB).

But we are here for distraction, for the glimpse into our little touring bubble. And bubble we are in this summertime heat. It’s so hot…(how hot is it?)…they installed a fan in the debt ceiling! I know, I know. But seriously, it’s pretty hot (and I’ve been on a bus without A/C in the summer), but luckily all our shows hit that perfect summertime concert temp as we went on. There’s something wonderful for us to take the stage when that nice 68 degree mark hits, which to me is the perfect concert temp – for us and you. Luckily all our shows shared that same trait this past week.

Our first show was in Belmont, OH to kick off Jamboree in the Hills, or the Jambo as the locals call it. The festival is called ‘The Super Bowl of Country Music’, and for 40 years, they have been stocking the festival pond with the biggest names in country. We honestly didn’t know what to expect, since the Jambo officially opened the next night. Well, some 10,000 people surprised the heck out of us, and showed us a fine Ohio evening.

The next day the bus made several tight-squeezed turns and ended up in the heart of downtown Chicago. Phil had some TV to do, the bus disappeared for 3 hours, leaving the ‘unessentials’ for the event to go play. Trevor (our LD) and I had a fine lunch at Public House ¬†First of all – this place is NO JOKE. I don’t like to post pictures or even take pictures of food, but grilled bologna sliders and kale salad with lentils and pumpkin seeds? C’mon!


After inhaling most of the goodness Public House served up, we then did one of the most ‘touristy’ things we could – we rented DIVY bikes. As many times as I have been to Chicago, I have seen it many ways : from a speeding cab, a runner vehicle, a tour bus, an Uber, in a vintage plane OVER the city, but I have never done it on bike. Trevor and I had a complete blast breaking most major traffic laws, almost getting on the interstate, and soaking in some Vitamin D on a warm but wonderful Chicago afternoon.


I absolutely love that town. And the next day gave me even more reason. We played the Windy City Smokeout with Jesse James Decker and Chase Rice. Our good friend Shawn Lacy was also on the bill, and I know guys from all three bands, so we had a big old Nashville reunion. In the past I’ve mentioned how hard it is to find decent food on the road, however, at this festival I was floored. Sushi and seared Ahi tuna in catering. Who serves that to the bands? Well, THEY do.

We were in Chicago, so I may have had lunch in catering, then some deep dish 90 minutes later for ‘second’ lunch. Sue me. I also may have had a massive plate of ribs after our show. On a side note, Pappy’s from St. Louis has THE BEST ribs I have ever had in my entire life. This is NOT an exaggeration, people. Pappy’s uses a blowtorch to finish off the ribs right before serving. A nice touch, and they tasted insanely great. Oh, and our show was pretty amazing. The after show party was held at Bub City, and Jeff and I sat in with Shawn Lacy, who was the master of all things musical that evening. A fine time was had by all.

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The next day found us in Cuba. Missouri. The town is on Route 66, with evidence of the bygone era everywhere. ¬†There is a great motor lodge in town still in business from those golden years of motor travel, and the former Phillips 66 gas station is now a fantastic restaurant called The Fourway. Again, I was floored by the food so I took a picture of my spinach salad. The city of Cuba is known for their murals, of which they have 8 on the sides of some great old buildings in town. I appreciate a small town keeping its heritage alive. Of course I had to snap the mural of the airplane…

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The people of Cuba were recently hit by some bad storms, with a lot of residents still without power, so I like to think that we were a welcome distraction Saturday night. The people of Cuba were extremely hospitable, and whereas I may never get to the country, I can always say I did, in fact, visit Cuba.

So there are the pretty pictures and the fancy words. We are trying our best to enjoy this summer, and to bring the party to you. If you have deep dish, ribs, or some type of grilled bologna, well, then, I just may stay a little longer than I thought.

See you on the road!



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