Welcome to my tour journal for Tour 2000. When I first decided to get the digital video gear in time for the trip to Alaska, I talked to Flo about doing a documentary videojournal of the tour for the new 52Media site, rather than a music video. I invisioned a ongoing story that would have aspects of both music video and a documentary view of the life behind the scenes, and the whole story of the music; not just the stage shows; but the jam sessions and kitchen shows as well, and the places I go and the people I visit. People could actually become part of the video by hosting me as I travel. He thought it would be a great idea, so here I am.
Right now I'm not even using the broadcast quality videoediting card/software. These videos are quick and dirty reporting from the field, not finished productions. But the footage it comes from is broadcast quality, and later I'll be able to use it to create music videos, to release on DVD rather than MTV! And, of course, here at 52! I burn the reports to CDRs and mail them in to 52 as I go, so each report is only a couple minutes in length. The first few will catch you up with me, and from then on, they'll be following just behind me.
I'll include a short written report with each new videojournal report to provide background and detail, so I don't have to try the tell the whole story during the video. I can only talk so fast!
This is a project that is still in development as it happens, so I don't know exactly where it will go. I am learning about video production and Flo may experiment with the format here at 52, but it is happening. The fact is, the tour is happening now, so its more important to start reporting and let the details work themselves out as we learn by doing. At some point I will switch to the DVcard and software and you should see a major jump in quality at that point. Flo is working on Broadband upload capacity, which might allow me (if I can get access to broadband on the road) to post reports almost "as it happens."
So, welcome to the tour. Over the coming months, I hope you will join me here as I sing and play my way around the world. I've got a lot of travel slated for the next forseeable future; but then, I always do. But this time, you can go with me and share the scenes and stories.
You can check out my
for more detailed text/photo reports of the tour on the BB/News page which I update irregularly (note, no longer exists, replaced by the present Web Journal). There is also lots of background information on me, the music, the instruments, and recordings; and reports of past tours and projects in the ARCHIVE section.
On the Road: FL to VA to AK
I'd left Florida and come up to Virginia to play the street and prepare for the summer road trip. I played a couple JPFolks showcases and a private party, then I left Washington DC right after July 4th weekend. I swung south through Tennessee, but unfortunately had no time to stop; driving hard to make a traditional dulcimer festival in Carthage, Missouri: Summerfest 2000. It was a small and short fest, so on Sunday I was on the road again, heading for Montana.
I got to Missoula, Montana, late monday. I stayed with my good friend Joe, a great slide player; and got the gear set up to record some sessions. A week passed quickly, recording with Joe while I had the chance. The thing I have missed most in my music has been playing with other people, having that ensemble sound. I also recieved the digital videocamera I'd ordered just before I left, though actually using it would wait till I reached Alaska.
The next monday I was on the road once again, and heading north. I crossed the Canadian border and drove late into the night. I caught a few hours sleep and drove on to Prince George, BC; and on to pickup the AlCan just north of Dawson Creek. By the time I pulled over for the evening I was deep into northern Canada, passing the now familiar places, noticing all the road work completed in the years since I'd driven up last in '96. I slept in the Muncho Lake area, and in the morning I had a flat rear tire. I switched to the spare and by evening I had completed the Yukon crossing and crossed the Alaskan border. I pulled into Tok late.
The next day I arrived in Fairbanks, 5,500 miles from Virginia. I checked in with the fair and let them know I was in Alaska. I had made a quick, clean run up; so I had my week and a half safety margin before the fair unused. I went to a local internet cafe and shot out a few e-mails to festivals coming up before the fair about performing. I hadn't booked anything before the fair, since there could have easily been delays along the way.
I had been invited to visit by K.K., a friend of a friend, and use her place in Willow as a base to play the local area. So in the late evening I was on the road again, heading south through the rain, to sleep by the road. In the morning I reached Willow, about 300 miles south of Fairbanks and about 50 miles from Anchorage. In the next ten days I would log almost 2000 miles driving around Alaska performing.