Tennessee Road Trip, Pt. III

Knoxville at the Tea Room was wonderful fun with Tim and Susan Lee. How many years have I known Tim now? Seems like forever. They are two-thirds of the Tim Lee 3, and they got up and did acoustic versions of songs they usually thrash through with electric, bass and drums. Great songs like "Saving Gracie (From Herself)". Tim loves him some minor chords, and he admitted to me that he has no use for passing chords; his songs are strong, simple and direct. Susan wasn't a bassist/singer/rock star when I first met her, but she's eased into the job with precision, like it was simply the later destination for her many talents--she does the graphics for the TL3 records, among other clients.

There weren't a whole lot of people at the show, but that's okay since about half of them bought cds from me afterward. I was pretty good, I think. Wrote out a setlist so I wouldn't be stuck, but I ended up shuffling the songs anyway.

After the show, I drove about forty miles and stayed the night in a Days Inn. Bought a bag of popcorn and some cookies when the desk clerk let me in after I complained how hungry I was--probably could have just as easily gone up to Waffle House in the front end of the parking lot, but the concept of scattered, smothered and covered seemed a little on the heavy side for that time of night.

I fell asleep with my computer on my lap, like a warm little kitten... sort of.

I woke and went down to the office for the free breakfast which turned out to be a bowl of Fruit Loops and some deadly weak coffee. After I checked out, I went up to Cracker Barrel for breakfast number two, Uncle Hershel's favorite, which was much more satisfying.

As I drove towards Nashville I realized that I had no fixed destination and no game plan for the day, other than hopefully hearing from Kim Richey which didn't happen. Kim is moving, so she's completely exonerated from a last-minute social obligation which wasn't really obligatory. I found a Starbucks after tooling around the city for a while, admiring their Parthenon and some other park objets d'art. There, I had some real coffee and a blueberry muffin, and I was able to charge the computer and the soul at once.

I mad a couple phone calls to friends in town, and I found my old PRASB bandmate Skeet Hanks at home. Skeet is also a talented singer who also co-fronts (is that a word? it is now) Beatin Path with Mike Mayeux. We decided to go have Indian food for dinner, and he told me I could crash at his pad, which I'm about to do now. Dinner was fantastic and filling. When we got back to his place, we pulled out the acoustic guitars and played a bunch of Beatle songs before looking at one of Skeet's songs that he wanted to mess around with. I made a couple suggestions about relative minor chords that he took seriously and implanted into the song, and I think we made some headway.

Tomorrow morning, I'm having breakfast with a friend at the Pancake Pantry. Then I try to hook back up with Bill Lloyd to try and write a little.

In the van today, I decided to try to start writing a song while I drove. It's called "My Bad, It's All Good" and features lyrics like "The death of the English language at the hands of its users/make the rest of us trying to stop the hemmorhaging look like a pack of first-class losers." I don't know if I can show that to Bill and expect him to want to still sit in the same room with me, but I might.

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