• The Rough & Tumble

The Kindness of Strangers and Traveling South for Summer


It’s tricky business trying to remember to pack your toothbrush, confirm with venues, send out all press releases with correct dates and names to lists on lists of media contacts (some of which are no longer legitimate), all while configuring new song arrangements and how early we have to get up to get to Chattanooga on time and what container to pack our rice and beans to preserve their life (and our dinner).

And this is how we completely forgot to factor in whether the weather will be having Butter sweat her teeth out in Savannah in June. Lesson learned. She’s faring just fine, with frequent stops in air conditioned honey shops (see adorable proof below) and the kindness of every server to bring a bowl of ice water to the drooly pooch, with a pat on the head to confirm that she (and we) are welcome.


Butter in a honey store, awkward family photo style. Bee-ing good.

Butter isn’t the only one receiving the finest treatment from the people she knows least. Even the Motel 6 can be too expensive for a tiny folk band who is scraping each penny to quit their day jobs and live on the road. Which is why, when Couchsurfing plans go awry, and that great aunt of a friend who was thinking she could maybe host is actually out of town, the acceptance of the following bold and intrusive statement is the golden ticket of touring:

“Can we please sleep in your house tonight?”

We’ve grown accustomed to staying in new situations with new people over the past couple years, but it never fails to amaze us the folk who don’t just let us plot out a space on the floor, but then also want to feed us. And talk to us. And let us play with their dog. And ask us to come back again. And make us lose track of time for all the candles and conversation we didn’t know we needed so much. And let us use their showers– with clean towels and everything (although that may be more for their sake than for ours).

We woke up three days ago in a house full of vegetarians with our choice of eggs in Athens, GA. We spent the morning finding out what the other was reading and watching Butter play with a little rescue mutt named Ace. Thanks for that, Shari and Eric (and Forest, too).

Two nights ago, we found ourselves in that peculiarly normal situation where we followed the taillights in front of us post show, to an apartment we’ve never been to, with two people leading who we met only once before many months ago. And for the umpteenth time, and likely not the last, we turned to each other to say, “We trust them, right?” We did. So we made two great friends and received one fancy portrait, several professional photos, and enough talk about art and music to keep us remembering to remember why we do this. Thanks, Bill and Kat. We now know not only how to avoid chiggers in the Spanish moss, but also how to love life and each other a little better.


This incredible portrait by Savannah artist extraordinaire, Kat Casey. Find more of her here: www.kathycaseyart.net

We are heading down to Florida today for another week of road life before we head back to Nashville. We have some friends and family to see along the way; but, hopefully, we will be meeting a few strangers’ friendly families, as well. We t

rust it will make for a better ride.


photo by multi-talented Jersey-turned-Savannah host, Bill Green. We intend to make his work of us famous. Here’s a link to more of his soon-to-be-award-winning photos.


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