American Revival Tour Week 2: Drive, Play, Drive, Play

Casey Henry has agreed to send us occasional updates from The American Revival Tour, where she is performing with Dixie Bee-Liners. Also on the tour are Sierra Hull & Highway 111 and headliners Uncle Earl.

lanyard_iconThe second week of the American Revival Tour (The Dixie Bee-Liners, Sierra Hull and Highway 111, and Uncle Earl) started in the cute, cute little town of Newberry, SC. Since we had driven down from Virginia on Tuesday, we had all Wednesday morning before the show to do whatever we wanted. Hiking was what we Bee-Liners wanted to do, so we Googled a hiking spot and took off for Lynch’s Woods at the crack of dawn. (It’s funny how nine o’clock can feel like the crack of dawn…) After a refreshing couple of hours stomping through the woods in the crisp fall air we all felt refreshed and renewed.

The hotel in Newberry is directly across the street from the Opera House, and I cannot express how awesome it is to be able to walk from one to the other. We carried our instruments across the street, soundchecked, then came back to our rooms to change, so we didn’t have to haul all our suitcases into the dressing rooms. The Opera House is really old, has been beautifully renovated, and is the only theater I’ve ever seen that has individual chairs for the side seating. Someone commented, “It looks like a president could be shot here,” somewhat morbidly referring to its resemblance to Ford’s Theater. The crowd was disappointingly small, but it was a Wednesday night, after all.

I’m getting the feeling that this tour is a well-kept secret. Those who know about it and come just love it, but not that many people know! I talked to a local banjo-player friend of mine after we played the Orange Peel in Asheville and she said she only heard about the show two or three days before, when it’s been booked for months!

While on tour there are always unexpected things that need to be taken care of, errands that need to be run, fires that need to be put out (metaphorically speaking!). Sierra experienced a computer crash leaving her out of touch for a few days, and seriously hampering her doing her school work while on the road. She and her manager Claire Armbruster took off early one morning so that they could stop by a Mac store before load-in time. Her computer required a new hard drive, which the warranty covered, but it’s back up and running.

Monday night’s show got moved from the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta to the much smaller Red Light Café. When we heard we were a bit disappointed to be in such a small venue. But as it turned out, I think it was a good move. The Red Light was full of people, but the same number of folks spread out in theater seating would have looked like fewer and wouldn’t have created the same sense of energy. There were certainly disadvantages, like no dressing rooms and no backstage area, but the advantages outweighed them. And it was fun trying to squeeze all sixteen people on the small stage for the finale.

We’re just over the half-way point for the tour and, so far, we’re still going strong. We were all sad to say goodbye to Ron Block, whose last show was in Atlanta. Sierra’s regular banjo player Cory Walker will be taking over from here on out (except that Ron will be back for the Knoxville gig on Nov. 18th). You can read daily tour blogs over on the Murphy Method blog.

In case you want to catch the show, here are the remaining dates: