Steve Cook's soul, song, and sweat.

Shinybass journal entry 08-20-14

The ‘busy’ season…


I’ll never fully understand the ‘busy season’ of our business. I understand that in music we play a lot of outdoor shows, and the summer months (AKA ‘Busy Season’) are much more enjoyable than the winter months to see shows. Nicer weather means more festivals, which means more shows. I get it. It seems that lots of acts slow down in the winter months, but folks still need music in the winter, right?

There is a big reason for acts, especially country acts, to be busier in the summer months: money. Sometimes an act can do very well in a festival (what is called a ‘soft ticket’) situation, but can’t put behinds in the seats in the winter, and an artist will lose money by touring in the winter. Luckily my boss has a devout following in many cites, and we stay busy all year. We’re not headlining any major arenas or anything, however, the theaters we play are, in my opinion, just right. Big enough to stroke our egos, and small enough to stay intimate and keep that important connection with the fans. And with the trend of cities renovating historic theaters, we have seen some beautiful venues.

But we’ll save the winter talk for the winter. Right now it’s blazing hot and although the kids are back in school, it is still technically summertime, which means outdoor time. If you remember anything you just read, then you’ll recall that summer is our busy time. So busy in fact, that the only time I have to write this is in seat 19C on the Denver to Nashville leg of our trip. We’ve played 10 shows in 18 days and in 4 times zones. And we’re not slowing down. Well, at least until baby arrives, then I’ll get some rest. (That’s that there sarcasm again).

We started the week in our hometown of Nashville, TN at the Wild Horse Saloon for a private event. The crowd was massive, and since it was in town, we had a chance to get Rich Ross, my baby sub up to speed on the live show, and we even had him sit in for a little extra rehearsal. It went great, and to play a show then sleep at home is always a bonus.


The bus then took us to Dallas and more specifically to the Gas Monkey Bar and Grill, owned by the guys from the TV show Fast and Loud. They have a fantastic outdoor stage, great food, and an overall vibe that is hard to beat. We were there in November on the same stage, and it was snowing that night, so we welcomed the heat.

We then drove some 90 miles to Sulphur Springs, TX where the men are men, and the toilets are odd. We played a fund raiser for the local FD, which was a huge event, and I saw a few ‘firsts’. Our runner took a couple of us to check out the town, and the town hall and newly renovated square were great. The pictures below are of the public restrooms located in the square. They are constructed of two-way mirrors all the way around, so if you ever wanted to have your friends close by while you use the restroom, this is your spot.  And check out the rules…

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Sometimes we play venues that stand out. We’ll say ‘Oh remember how much we drank there, or how fun the crowd was, etc.’ Sunday’s venue stood out for a couple reasons. First, the pawnshop next door is also a fantastic guitar store. Second, the venue itself is hitting on all cylinders. They are amazing hosts, with a great green room, incredible food, and the peace du resistors: the coffee. Dosey Doe’s is famous, dare I say infamous for having an exclusive bean blend. The venue itself is also constructed of a former Kentucky tobacco barn from the 1800’s. I somehow feel right at home at Dosey Doe’s. Try the blackberry cobbler.

I was able to reconnect with a friend of mine that I first met in 1978. I was a plaid pants-wearing scared lad walking into third grade for as the new kid moving in the middle of the school year, and she was nice enough to say hello that first day. Her and her husband were able to check out the show and make me sick with pictures of their new cabin in Utah. Happy to see you guys!!

The past few weeks we have been in the air almost as much as on the ground. Lots of flying means lots of early lobby calls. Since we had to be in Orem, UT the night after being outside Houston (and our agent doesn’t own a map) that meant we had to fly. Again. The bus dropped us off in the drowsy pre-dawn entrance to Hobby airport and like our Mom’s station wagon driving away from dropping us off at camp, we watched our comfortable coach disappear into the Texas morning.

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We were off to Salt Lake City via Phoenix, and as much as I fly, you would think I knew how long these flights would be. Assuming the first leg was only an hour or so, I decided to be nice and move to a middle seat. No good deed goes unpunished. 2.5 hours later and pinned in the middle, I was ready to run up a mountain. After landing and a soundcheck at the Scera Arena in Orem, I did get in a run. It’s amazing how a little exercise will make the day so much better.

I was a little worried about playing a show on a Monday night with local schools starting the next day, but Orem, you shocked and surprised. 2500 strong came out to the arena, and the weather and the stage were fantastic. Thanks to all who came out and made our night really special.

And here we are. (Yes, Virginia, lobby call was early as usual), and we are starting our final descent into BNA. I will have missed most of the day, but I look forward to a late lunch with my better half, then off to more bundle of joy prep. Which right now means having the proper changing and feeding stuff on hand. The rest we’ll just figure out as we go along.

Thanks to everyone who has been making the month of August one to truly remember. We’ve been having an amazing summer and really love seeing everyone out at some great venues across the country.  Thanks for taking the time to say hi and asking about the pregnancy (and especially for the extremely thoughtful gifts). It really means the world.

And remember how important grammar can be!


See you on the road!!

1 thought on “Shinybass journal entry 08-20-14”

  • Thanks for calling us Phans “devouted” because so many people don’t understand us and the words obsessed or crazy are used way too freely. LOL

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