11/22/17 STRANGE ANNIVERSARIES
11/22/17 STRANGE ANNIVERSARIES
I have had three CD release shows with The Big Lonesome. Its a weird anniversary, right? It certainly has not been yearly. The first one happened to be our first show. Many of you probably know this story. I wrote an EP on my first computer (bought it used from $150 off a friend) and wrote one last record before I would become an adult. Whatever that means... I could barely sing, I didn't know how to book a show, and I didn't have a band. I asked my brother Luke to play guitar, and his roommate Joe Ziemba to play guitar (forgetting I asked Luke as well). We grabbed my friend Bob on drums, rehearsed a few times and booked the local coffee shop in our town.
Knowing it wasn't a proper venue, I roped family and friends in for my retirement party with the promise of an after party with Matt Moore spinning vinyl and a keg of PBR. It was one of the best nights of my life – I was shocked by how many people cared enough about what I was doing to come. I had friends from high school, and friends from college travel all over the state to catch us fumble through our six song set once or twice. Highlights of the evening that will always stick with me – Jason driving into a tree on a pizza run (he's okay!), Matt spinning the Karate Kid soundtrack, Juliane showing up late night and cutting a rug... Too many memories. Unfortunately, most of those people there that night, I had one falling out after another with. I want to crawl back into these photographs sometimes and just spend one more day there.
The second release – 2014, packed house at TT the Bear's. We were playing with some of the best bands in Boston: Lannen, The Grownup Noise (count this guy a fanboy for life), and Silhouette Rising. We were cooking on all cylinders back then in the Boston scene. I remember they opened the extra bathroom for us that they only did for “special” bands! We made it, we get the extra frightening bathroom at TT's! We were frightened to go on because at the time, we felt any of those bands should be headlining... not the Lonesome. They all wanted us to go last though, which is still one of the biggest honors in my humble career to this day. At the time, we had a thing for doing tuck jumps and random calisthenics on the side of the road during tours. Cam from SR walked in to the band doing tuck jumps, and excitedly joined in.
If you caught us during the Undone tour, you probably remember us opening up with Naked Tremolo. The original idea of the song was to blur the lines of room noise and when the band officially starts. We wanted to play with the in between. Luke would come on stage, and play the opening part sort of quietly, and then everyone would start up slowly, but quietly. I used to walk over to the bar so people wouldn't think we were starting just yet, grab a beer and slowly make my way to the stage. I remember Jess came over to me, not understanding the schtick, and kissed me before I went on stage. It was the last time I remember her liking me. We had been fighting bad for five months, peppered with little moments of being vulnerable to each other.
Fast forward to present time. I'm looking down at the black and white tile floor of the News Cafe. I sold my pedal steel I used on the first record just a few weeks before; I left my tele at home preferring the sound of the jazzmaster with our new direction. We had a brand new rhythm section – Rob has steadied the revolving door of different people over the years, and Sam replaced Joe after he moved over seas. It was weird as hell to be honest. Awesome, but it all of a sudden felt like I swam so far out to the sea, that I was closer to a different body of land. There really is no going back... All my old friends have moved on with their lives. I have moved on. I stopped leaving doors half-opened and just boldly slammed them shut, not caring how loud the echo reverberates through my life.
I felt a mix of emotions that night, but the one constant through all of this; I am so grateful to have The Big Lonesome be the canvas for my life. It has given me the chance to get on stage night after night with my brother Luke; the chance to make music with some of the finest musicians I know: Joe Ziemba, Bob Leahy, Jerry Looper, Micheal Moore, Andy Korajczyk, Ben Paulding, Sam Okon, Rob Desousa, Chris Dzengelewski, Tris Coffin, Kate Hardly; and the chance to bring the people closer to me at any given point in my life: MerchGirl Amanda, here's looking at you. Thank you for all the support this last year. Mom, I love you, thanks for being our biggest fan still.
I love all of you. Here's to another eight or so years of The Big Lonesome!