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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

a lot of driving between songs. the start of the east coast ordinary tour - Virginia to Baltimore.

We're sitting on the couch in a cozy basement room of a 3 storey townhouse owned by Susan Souza, a talented songwriter, in Towson, Maryland. We're on the journey... my fourth east coast tour. This time with the delightful Melissa Mullins. We've called it the barefoot "ordinary tour". A humble slide up the coast to some cozy gigs and an easy laid back, cruise control, travel. We left Virginia Beach, point A of our trip, and headed to Baltimore Maryland. Started early with the important Starbucks green tea soy latte and a table spread with mapquest printouts and maps of Virginia and Maryland. Then off on the road in Melissa's blue mobile. I had been in Virginia Beach for a 10 day vacation. Oh my, I have sooo loved it. Most of the time I sat and watched dolphins frolic in the warm ocean, contemplating my future ambitions of getting in touch with my inner musical warrior, and letting go of being only a left brain thinker. For the past 3 months, and probably 3 years (!) I had been sliding into the realm of entrepreneur, organizer, producer, leader, thinker, decision maker and in a way, care taker. Running Dayjams the rock music camp, co-producing the Los Angeles Women's Music Festival, handling Songsalive!'s affairs, producing albums, running my record label, and keeping staff on their toes around me... I'm really, just an artist. Just a girl. Just a creative nut. (She winks, 'cause she also is all the rest, but play along will ya). A seaside spell and now a fun happy tour means gilli becomes, again, the artist. So today, Melissa Mullins, poet rocker chick from Austin TX, joined me in VA with her car at 10am,... and on the road we went. Virginia boasts of dolphins, wide long beaches and lots of greenery. It was a delight to drive the freeways. It was just green all the way, with huge trees and lots of ivy on either side of the roads. But don't think that Virginia is all about retirement homes and cuttlefish... we dropped into the local Guitar Center and was mildly impressed by the notion that nearly every night of the week there's a hip hop showcase or some music club in full swing. Missy Elliot and Timberland have certainly found a nice spot for their cribs. But it was time to leave Virginia and head up to Baltimore for our first gig. Lovely greenery turned quickly into bumper to bumper traffic on the beltway around Washington D.C. Uggh. We sipped our temperate GTSLs (green tea soy lattes), turned up some new age music, and tried to focus on what we would do when we got there, rather than the big trucks in front of us. I-95 is an ugly freeway in this area, at any time of day. Melissa and I looked at each other. "There must be an alternate route to Batlimore instead of the I-95?" Sure enough, our trusty map showed us that a little highway 1 parallelled it. So, we jumped off the big drag, meandering through the delightful town of Laurel and some really cool small town memories to keep, instead of horrible trucks. What a find... it just goes to show that wonderful things come to you when you are prepared to think outside the box. The organic food shop which was a highlight of the day! Anyway, what should have taken 4 hours took almost 8 to reach our destination. But we were not complaining. Finally we reached the quaint little townhouse in Towson, Maryland, and Susan was watering her plants outside. She welcomed us in her home and I eyed the piano immediately. Ah yes, the music begins! Tomorrow we perform at Read Street Books in Baltimore, and Friday a house concert at the house. Can't wait. Then a 7 hour drive on Saturday straight north to Chelmsford MA. It's a premonition of the driving we will be doing though. I was chatting on IM with my songwriter friend Hal Cohen tonight, and he said "a lot of driving between songs". Ah, the life of a wandering troubadour..... Wouldn't have it any other way. r.o.a.d. t.r.i.p! Viva la musica! all tour dates at latest newsletter

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