Happy Kansas Day

I'm at Don's studio here in Kansas City right now, sitting in a nice, comfy chair just waiting til we start the next tune and I go and play mandolin. I screwed up my alarm clock night before last and woke up nine minutes before my flight was scheduled to leave. The good side : I got three more hours of sleep. The bad side : I got here six hours late and didn't get to play on as much as I'd hoped. I did get to put an organ part on a track yesterday and sing lead on the tune I helped write.

Steven Delopoulos, Tyler Burkum, and all the Waterdeep gang are here, which is really fun. It's great to get to spend some time with people I love but don't get to see too often. Tours are kind of like summer camp. You form these intense relationships with people that you don't see again for three years, but part of the friendship is still there and it's fun to reconnect.

They've got it set up here so there are no overdubs, just ten or twelve people all playing different things at the same time, vocals and harmonies included. It's pretty fun and sort of nerve-wracking, just because I'm so used to being able to focus on each part at once. It's cool, though, very Phil Specter "Wall of Sound."

Monday was my birthday and Alison organized a sort of surprise "gathering" (i.e. not quite a party, but more than a hanging out...) at one of my favorite restaurants. Most of our small group was there as well as a bunch of my friends and a surprising number of babies (at least five...). It was really fun and it meant a lot to me that so many people would show up. I'm never the big birthday guy, but it was very cool and I appreciated it a lot. Alison also got me the three volume hardback collector's box of the complete Calvin and Hobbes that just came out. That is freaking cool. My grandkids will be reading those, and that's a really neat thing.

Two other interesting things happened on my birthday: When I was 19 I signed my first record deal on my birthday. Seven years later, to the day, it went under and effectively closed. Happy Birthday.