Last Friday’s show at Barley’s was a blast for us as usual. It seems like forever since we’ve played there, and it felt good to be home. We’ve been traveling more and more, playing in new places and meeting great new people. But still, there’s something about coming back to where it all started. Knoxville has been more than a hometown for us. It’s been a sanctuary of friends and fans that keep us going. Without this town and the people in it, I think we would have given up this crazy adventure a long time ago.
The memories here are so unique and inspirational. I remember the first real headlining show we ever had. It was at Preservation Pub in 2007. Our setlist was a joke, I couldn’t hear my keys, the stage was the size of a closet, and it was the best night we’d ever had. People actually liked our music. That’s a feeling I’ll never forget. Or the first time we played at Barleys. We opened for Dishwater Blonde to a packed house. It was electric, the biggest and most energetic crowd we’d ever seen. These experiences seem like so long ago, but they never really leave us.
Fast forward a couple of years- we’ve gotten to play gigs we never thought we would, meet people we never thought we’d meet, making friends and music all along the way. But here we were, back in Knoxville, ending our show with members of the Zac Brown Band playing a Rolling Stones cover. This would have been cool no matter where we were, but standing in Knoxville made it that much better. I loved looking out at the crowd and seeing people that were there for our first show, opening for Sister Hazel on Market Square Stage. We had been a band for two weeks when we took that stage. We probably sounded terrible, but our friends stuck with us. To be honest, I’m not sure that would happen anywhere besides Knoxville. This town loves music, and we love this town.
So now we’re looking forward to sharing more memories with all of you. And we’ve got plenty more to come. Some big things have happened for us in the last few weeks. We’re going to Levon Helm’s studio in Woodstock NY for 15 days this December. Needless to say, we’re humbled and excited about getting to play music with a legend. We hope you’ll like what we’re working on. Also, we just signed on with Athens-based Nimbleslick Booking. The timing couldn’t have been better for us. It felt like we had reached the end of our rope booking shows and breaking into new venues. Now we think we’ve found the right people to help us. We can’t wait to make new friends and play music in places we haven’t been to yet.
When I sit down and think about it, there are plenty of reasons we could have given this up by now. Jobs, relationships, all our other commitments are affected by our pursuit of music. But we don’t want to stop. We want to keep making the best music we can for all of you who have stuck by us for so long. We want to keep playing shows where you can dance, forget about whatever else might be bringing you down, have fun and experience freedom with us. This freedom is something few people get to experience, and we love sharing it with all of you. After all, we’re all in this together. Let’s enjoy the ride as long as we can.