Steve Dilling had agreed to share the ups and downs, in and outs of a long IIIrd Tyme Out road trip with our readers. They traveled from coast to coast, and back again, this first two weeks of April. Here is his seventh, and final, report.
Their new CD, Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, will be released May 19 on Rural Rhythm Records.
Day 14 (4/17/09) has us pulling out of Clarkesville, TN around 7:30 am. This was a day for us to take care of some business in Nashville. The first stop was a visit to Robin Smith’s Heartland Banjo shop to pick up Russell’s 1938 Martin D-28 that Robin had been doing some repairs to. Needless to say that Russell was excited to get his old axe back in his hands. Robin Smith is noted as one of the finest banjo builder’s today, and is as equally talented on repair work on all instruments. I highly recommend his work to anyone!
We left Robin’s shop in Hendersonville, and headed on down to Nashville. We had an 12:00 appointment at the XM/Sirius Radio studio, to do the taping for the world premier of the new self-titled recording called Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, with host Kyle Cantrell of Bluegrass Junction. It is always great to sit in with Kyle. He is a great friend, and a great ambassador for bluegrass music. We played the CD track by track, and discussed the stories behind the songs, as well as other stories about the band. The World Premier airing of this show will be Wednesday May 13, at 11:00 am in the east, 8:00 am in the west, I hope that you all can tune in. This is our first studio recording in almost 5 years!!.
Also in attendance at the studio was our publicist, Kimberly Williams along with her husband and fine banjo player, Blake Williams. It is always good to hang with them, plus you can always get a funny story or two out of Blake!! After the taping, we boarded the bus and drove over to a meeting with Ryan Smith from the Shure company. Shure has been around this industry for many years, and provides some of the best audio products that you can get. After our meeting there, it was time to head toward Georgia for the last gig on the tour.
We stopped off in Mufreesboro, TN to grab some dinner. When we got off the interstate, we were able to view some of the devastation from the tornadoes that had hit this area just one week ago. Bear in mind, that we had been on the west coast, and all that we knew, was what we had seen on TV, or read in the newspaper. Seeing it up close, really showed how tragic this situation was. Our prayer’s and hearts go out to those people in this area of Tennessee. After dinner, it was pretty quiet on the bus, just some DVD watching, and our last games of Blackjack!!
Day 15 (4/18/09) had us arriving back at Russell’s house around 10:00 am. When we backed in the driveway, Russell was met by his wife and two son’s who were so excited to see him home. It was awesome to see that, and a little bittersweet for the rest of us, because we all were waiting on that same scenario. We hung out at Russell’s for 3 hrs, getting showers, eating, etc.
We pulled out to go to the Grand Theater in Cartersville, GA around 1:00 pm. It was about an hour ride over to the theater. As Russell was driving the bus, everyone else drove their own personal vehicle, because as soon as the last note was played, we were all going home!
The Grand Theater is an old theater built right in downtown Cartersville, nearly 100 years ago. It was absolutely gorgeous inside. We loaded in around 3:00, sound check at 4:00, and like all of the other shows, dinner after sound check. Showtime was at 7:00 pm. This show was a sell out, and the audience was ready to hear some music. We hit the stage ready to deliver.
There were lots of friends in attendance, and whenever that happens, it seems to make the shows a little more special, and that is exactly what happened on this night. After the show, we said our goodbye’s to each other and we all headed in different directions. Wayne, and myself, piled up with Justen in his car to ride together. The first stop for us was in Boiling Springs, SC to drop Wayne off at his home. We got there about 1:00 am, got him unloaded, and it was back on the road at 1:20 am for Justen and me.
We made a quick call to Donnie to check on him, as he was driving all night as well. He had just crossed in to the state of Kentucky. Donnie had about 4 more hours to make it to his home in Quincy, KY. He was doing fine, so we headed up I-85 north toward North Carolina. I could not wait!! After a quick stop for some gas we crossed in to NC. We were so pumped about getting home, we didn’t even think about getting sleepy. We finally arrived at my home at 4:50 am. I got unloaded, and insisted that Justen come in and lie down for a couple of hours, and but he would have no part of that. He was going home! I knew exactly how he felt. Everyone made it home safe and sound, and we all were greeted warmly by our families who had missed us just as bad as we had missed them.
As I write this last tour report, I have had some time to reminisce a little of everything that I had gone through over the course of the last 17 days. It was a chance for me to do something that I love, with six of the best friends that anyone could have. We got to travel across this beautiful country of ours, make new fans, visit with old friends that we don’t get to see very often, eat some delicious food, play this music that we love so much, and finally get back home to see our loved one’s that we missed so much.
In my 16 years of being in this band, I don’t ever remember a long road trip being this good. Thanks to everyone who came to the shows and supported us, thanks to Bill and Maria Nadauld, we couldn’t have done this without either of you, thanks to the promoter’s for not only hiring us, but taking care of us while we were at your venue. Thanks to all of our friends who welcomed us into their homes for food, showers, or just plain ole rest. It really means alot when you are 3000 miles from home. In the end, we logged about 7250 miles on this trip, and we enjoyed every mile of it. Thanks to John and Brance at Bluegrass Today for allowing us to share some of our moments with you, I hope that you enjoyed them.
I want to personally thank Russell Moore for helping me get these journal reports and photo’s to you, and also correcting my grammar!!