Plenty of people go to see bands when they come through their town, but most people don’t think about everything that it takes to get those bands to their favorite club. Being on tour for a musician is both enlightening and daunting, as physically and mentally draining as it is stimulating. And no matter what, there are always stories to tell. In Tales From The Golden Road we let musicians tell their own stories of life on the road to get a behind-the-scenes, up-close look at what really goes down between each show.
Jamie McLean is best known as the former guitarist for New Orleans’ legendary Dirty Dozen Brass Band and his own Jamie McLean Band are set to release a new album later this year that was recorded at the famed Sound Emporium studios in Nashville. The album is produced by former Wilco and Uncle Tupelo member Ken Coomer and features Sam Bush and Jeff Coffin of Dave Matthews Band. Jamie and his band are excited to share these new tunes with audiences up and down the East Coast over the next couple of weeks, and Glide Magazine is excited to be right there with them. Jamie will be sharing behind the scenes dispatches of life on the road while he tours with Louisiana singer-songwriter Marc Broussard…
Tour is in full swing and we are having a ball!
Everything kicked off on Wednesday morning as I met my band at our rehearsal space in Park Slope and we made the trip from Brooklyn up to Boston. The Sinclair was a perfect club to kick off the tour. It’s a beautiful new venue with amazing sound that is situated in the heart of Harvard Square. Soon after we arrived at the venue Marc Broussard and his band pulled up as well and hugs, high fives and good times ensued. Touring with other bands is such a blast. It’s always felt a little bit like summer camp to me. You get to spend a lot of time with your buddies in great locations and have a blast together making music, grabbing dinner, and catching up on life. Marc and I had a long talk about some exciting new projects we are working on and the collaborative spirit was immediately flowing. After soundcheck I went for a walk around campus at Harvard. I always love soaking in the history and sights in each city as much as I can and walking those hallowed halls and open spaces on campus at Harvard was a perfect quiet moment before showtime.
Boston knows how to party! Most of the shows on this tour have sold out and the crowds have been electric! We’ve recently started performing a few songs from the new Jamie McLean Band album in concert. We recorded the record in Nashville and it won’t be released for a few more months but it’s great to see the response that the new songs are getting from people hearing them for the first time. I always go out to the merchandise area after the show to sign CDs and I love getting to meet the fans and hearing their stories. I literally met new fans coming from everywhere from Boston to Brazil. It looks like we may be heading to Rio de Janeiro for a gig next year! You never know who you’re going to meet!
We got up early the next morning and made the short drive to Portland, Maine. Portland is a hip town. The harbor is beautiful and we’ve been hearing great things about the restaurant scene so we wanted to make the most of our time there. After soundcheck we made our way to a restaurant called Eventide which did not disappoint us with a phenomenal array of oysters, clams, lobster and more! This was the best lobster roll I’ve ever had and we loved the food so much that we went back to their sister restaurant the next day for lunch! A media company was at the concert that night and they live streamed the video from our set online. Another great crowd and it always trips me out to think that someone can be sitting on their couch in Colorado watching us play a concert live on their phone.
The Shalin Lui Performing Arts Center was a special room. A dirty CBGG’s style rock club it is not. This gorgeous venue is literally nestled on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean on Cape Ann. The venue was recently renovated and they spared no expense. There is beautiful wood panelling everywhere and an enormous floor to ceiling glass wall behind the stage which lets the fans look out at the relentlessly pounding waves onto the cliffs below. The comedian and actor Mario Cantone of Sex in the City and Chappelle’s show fame came to the show that night. He is a good friend of Marc Broussard’s and we all had a blast hearing his phenomenal stories and classic jokes in the dressing room after the show. You never know who you’re going to meet!
Today we have a day off from touring and then we head south through Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Southbound indeed.
Check out a full list of tour dates below and stay tuned for more installments of Tales From The Golden Road!
Jan 25 – Musikfest Cafe – Bethlehem PA
Jan 26 – World Cafe Live at The Queen – Wilmington DE
Jan 27 – The Tin Pan Richmond VA
Jan 28 – Harvester Performance Center – Rocky Mount VA