Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tour Wrap Up

Yes, I'm (again) a bit late getting this out. We've been back in PDX for a couple days now - but I was enjoying my 'me' time, dammit! The last thing I wanted to do for a couple days was anything band related. But, here I am diving back in with new pictures, new blog, and updating the website.

We had a great time in Cottonwood. Pigstock came off as good as we could have expected. It was a bit crappy weather-wise, so we had to play indoors. But we still had a bunch of fun, nonetheless. I bbq'd a pig for the better part of the day, which surprisingly came out rather well. All in all, it was a success.

Yet, there is no rest for the weary! This Friday we play Oregon City, then we have an Music Millenium in-store appearance on Saturday. And I thought I was done for a bit!!!

We truly thank everyone we met, played with, took pictures for us (especially you McCall girls!), housed us, bought merch, danced, clapped, screamed, 'WOOOOOOT'ed, and pulled us out of ditches - it was a grand time. We hope to meet up with y'all again real soon.


Friday, June 6, 2008


So, um, the blog went a bit stale, eh? Well, it's been hard to get reliable wireless around the West (since Colorado, anyway). I've updated the photo blog when I had small opportunities, but just didn't get around to getting a new post out.

We are one show away from finishing this tour up. Pretty crazy, really. We have a day off before Pigstock (held in my hometown of Cottonwood, Id). We drove from Bozeman, MT to Lewiston, ID in the middle of the night. It was the first time we did that since our initial jaunt down to Davis at the beginning of the tour. Those are always hard nights, but we also have a day to rest up before tomorrow.

The shows have been quite pleasant. Lakeside on Flathead Lake is absolutely beautiful. (The female contingent is also quite stunning.) In Bozeman, we played in a relative hay barn of a bar, but it had character coming out of the rafters. Very cool place. All our shows in Idaho were fun. Pocotello was tough in regards to sound, but it was a fun show as we had a good crowd that were out dancing. Boise was the same way. Last night in Lewiston, we got rained off the outside stage, but we still had a blast playing to the droves inside the bar.

Still can't believe this thing is almost over. Pretty soon we'll have to go back to our 'normal' lives. I'm not exactly looking forward to it. Ah well - we'll be back out again soon. We are already planning the next tour this fall. Should be even more fun with an extended stay in the southwest.

Till next time, take care - thanks for reading!


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Things To Do In Denver When You Are Dead

Well, we wrapped up a 6 show - 7 night run here in the Denver/Boulder area. Last night we played in Nederland, which looked like it was stolen from the Alaskan panhandle. Scotland and I both felt that they way the city was laid out, the wooden achitecture, and dark color schemes made it seem very Alaskan, which we both enjoyed. It was very high up in the mountains at 8300 feet above see level. It wasn't too drastic of a jump from Denver, but I could tell it affected me a little bit.

We've got a few days off before our next scheduled show in Salt Lake City. We are trying to pick up a show in Rawlins on Tuesday, since we have that day off and will be driving thru there as it is. We had an excellent show there last fall. We would like to go back and reprise that event. The Rawlins patrons were very receptive to our wares, which is always nice and not always the case.

Tonight the band plans on taking in the new Indiana Jones movie...provided we can herd us all together on an off day. We generally like going our seperate ways on these rare occasions, which I think is natural. As much time as we spend together crammed like sardines in a van, it nice to garner a bit of personal space from time to time.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures from the Chautauqua trail and the Flat Irons. It was wildly beautiful. I'm really glad we had an opportunity to do some hiking. Everyone survived with the minimum of blisters, bruising, and/or falling.

That's it for now. If we hadn't just spent a week in the area, I would say that I can't wait to get back...but I think we are all ready to move on down the road. Until next time, take care!


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Free PBR!

Hello New Denver Friends!

We wanted to thank you all for an awesome Monday night at Sancho’s Broken Arrow. Playing new towns can be tough and you never can tell what you’re going to get until you commence playing. You all made it a great night for us and, hopefully, we returned the favor in some way.

Now, we would like to thank you again by buying you a beer. That’s right FREE beer. As you may know we are playing Dulcinea's 100th Monkey this Thursday night and we would love to have some familiar faces there. So here’s the deal - just come on down and mention this blog and the band will buy you your first pint of PBR. If you bring 2 people with you we will buy you all a pitcher of PBR. It's that simple.

Free beer and live original music! Hope to see you there and thanks for supporting the arts.

Scotland Barr and the Slow Drags

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Name is Sancho!

Hey everybody - our new record All the Great Aviators Agree is released nationally today! You can now go into any music store here in the US and Europe and buy (or at least order) a copy for yourself! Our eternal thanks go to Frank at Burnside Distribution for all his support and help he has generously given to get us to this point.

We had a tremendous show in Denver last night at Sancho's Broken Arrow. It was in stark contrast to the gig in Boulder on Sunday. Last night, there were people actually paying attention to us. At one point, we had half the bar dancing to Fall Hard - it is what I dream about and my face was smothered with the biggest smile ever. Scotland and I just grinned at each other as we watched all this unfold before us. You have to keep in mind, the patrons in Boulder tipped us pennies (which is mockery of the lowest level in my book)... having a complete reversal of fortunes at Sancho's made it even more enjoyable.

Pictures will hopefully be up soon. There will be a lot of great ones from Sancho's. We had an able and steady hand womanning the camera(s) last night. I have yet to see them, but I'm sure they will be awesome.

Today is an off day. A few of us are thinking about going to a baseball game (Rockies & Giants at Coors field). It's another beatiful day here in Denver. Low 80's, light clouds in they sky, and loads of sunshine. Pardon me if I'm glowing...

Wednesday night we play Dulcinea's 100th Monkey, which is located literaly 50 yards down from Sancho's Broken Arrow on the same block. It will be interesting to see who shows up from last night's show. That was only a $1 cover, Dulcinea's is $4... it will be an interesting test of our 'draw' and/or 'retention'.

That's it for now. Take care - hope y'all are doing well!


ps - we'll give a free copy of our new record (All the Great Aviators Agree - released nationally today, May 20th, nationally and internationally!) to the first 5 people that know what movie the title of this blog is referring to.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Rocky Mountain High

Been a while since I was able to do a blurb out here. I do want to point you to Bryan's Myspace blog. It's got some great photos over the past couple weeks.

We arrived in Denver a bit after 3pm today. We are staying in this palacial high rise condo in which you can see all over downtown. Talk about feeling like a rockstar...anyway, we play out in Boulder this evening. Strangely enough, it's a late night show (10pm) for a Sunday night.

Last time I checked in, we had just played the Cowgirl in Santa Fe. Since then, we extricated the van from the caliche(spanish for clay). The guy who owned the car wash was at our show in Tijeras and allowed us to vacuum and wash the van for free. Now that is rockstar treatment.

It took most of Friday to get everything straightened out, so it was nearly 5:30 before we got on the road for Trinidad. It was a late night, but it was nice to have the whole day Saturday to relax, do laundry, get the van serviced, sleep, and see the sights. Trinidad is actually a rather remakable town. It was a major cog on the Santa Fe trail, and it has a rich history. The downtown area still holds a lot of the original adobe structures that were erected over a hundred years ago. Rather fun for a guy that craves such things.

The show in Trinidad (at the Trinidad Brewery) went pretty well. It was outside, which was okay for the first set, but everyone's fingers started seizing up by the end of the second set. The crowd amazingly ebbed and flowed, even in the chilly night. Or maybe it's because they couldn't smoke inside. Either way, we at least enetertained the peoples when they came out. Interestingly enough, Trinidadians were fans of the slow songs. They wouldn't dance to anything fast, but they were all over anthing that they could stumble about slowly too. One guy actually requested such a song...on account that he couldn't dance. He was right, he couldn't. He nearly knocked over two tables during his one turn on the dance floor.

I'll get some photos up later this evening. Hope all is well.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Snapshots from Arizona

We drop down into the next valley, on the road from Los Angeles to Flagstaff, Arizona. The mountains are red around us. Scattered throughout the valley floor are the roofs of houses and trailers, still tiny in the distance like whitecaps on a mottled brick-red sea. In a few hours we will be staring into the Grand Canyon, a gash in the earth so inconceivably immense that it must be a Hollywood set, an enormous painted backdrop. Look, the other side of the canyon is hazy, blurry. Even the high-def presentation of actual real life can't handle this scene.

Three days later we drive away from Phoenix, on an immaculately paved two-lane road laid like a carpet over the rolling land. This is the high desert, with grass and brush instead of dirt and cactusp; the elevation is 6000 feet, and everything is short. Anything of notice is lying below the horizon. No, there is a strange factory there in the distance, like a run-down Emerald City, but we are not getting any closer to it. We don't seem to be getting any closer to anything. Occasionally the road rolls enough that we can't see over the next hump, but inevitably it is the same.

As we grow nearer to New Mexico, the ground lifts up and exposes jagged rocks and dirt, a world of red and gray replacing the yellow and green of dried grass and scattered bushes and trees. Rain begins to fall, as if to fill the cracks in the earth and the crack in our windshield.

The sun has set. In the dark the world here is both more and less lonely. We now know there are other people out there, because the lights from their houses can be seen in the distance; in the daylight they would be invisible. But that's all that can be seen beyond our headlights. Looking off to the starboard side, I count ten specks of light in a sea of black. Oh, there's an eleventh. But, no, the first has disappeared. We haven't done almost any night driving on the tour so far, and it is a completely different feeling. It's harder to sleep, for me. At night I'm supposed to sleep in a bed.

- Chris

The Good And Ugly of New Mexico

First off - New Mexico is f'ing awesome. It's beautiful, the people are friendly, and we can't wait to come back. However, we found out what happens when it rains down on this red clay soil...it turns to snot. You can see the initial stages of the van and trailer as we attempted to extricate it from the mud this morning. We were only successful getting the trailer out. The van is still sitting nestled in a ditch of mud. Hopefully, we'll get it out tomorrow. We have a day off before we head to Trinidad, Co, so at least we have some play in the schedule.

Anyway, we had to rent a U-haul truck to tow our trailer filled with gear to Santa Fe. Of course, the truck only had two seats up front, which meant three of us yahoos rode in the cargo department for 40 miles. Good times...now I know what it's like to import illegals across the border... well, kind of. I didn't receive a big fat payment for my troubles.

Friday we hope to get things all straightened out...and clean out the metric ton of mud that now resides in the van. It is crazy how nasty this soil turns when it gets some water to mix with.

Aside from the that, our shows at Molly's (Tejeras) and the Cowgirl (Santa Fe) were absolutely awesome. The people enjoyed our music, bought merch, and danced their asses off. It was a refreshing change of pace from most everywhere else we've been. We will definately be back here next fall. And hopefully we won't bring the NW rain with us. (Yes, ironically, today was the first day in 6 weeks it has rained here in New Mexico...)

That's it...time to sleep. Big day busting out of ditches tomorrow.


Monday, May 12, 2008

A Breath of Hot Desert Air

So, we've been relaxing at a compound in Phoenix for the past couple days. It's a really rough lifestyle, what with the pool, copious amounts of food, and private living quarters. And to make matters even worse, our hosts are insanely kind and generous. Don't they know us rough & gruff rockstars can't be loved in such a way?

In all actuality, it's been a really nice reprieve from the barrelling down the road in the van. I haven't had to drive since Saturday, which is awesome. We've also been taking care of miscellaneous things that pile up over time. Like laundry. Trips to the bank, post office, and repair shop were also needed. Oh, and we went shopping at a Mexican clothes store on Saturday. The only crime was the fact that I didn't bring the damn camera. We tried on some comical items, to be sure.

I snapped a few pictures at a nearby park to give some idea of the change in scenery over the last week. It's about 95 degrees today, with a slight wind, which is a far cry from the other places we've played thus far. It doesn't cool down all that much at night, which is fine...our quarters are air-conditioned. I know, rough.

We are heading to Gallup, New Mexico tomorrow afternoon as we split up a long drive into two days. This is another hub on the old Route 66 arterial. A bunch of us in the band are quite fond of that nostalgia of the recent past. Just think about that trip from the midwest to California when you are dirt broke and the vehicle you are driving is held together with duct tape and a prayer. I think our 6 week journey can be trying. It's nothing like what it was for those folks moving west in search of a living.

Ironically enough, Bryan just finished up Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, which tells the story of a family making the trek from Oklahoma to the California orchards. I read it a few years ago as well. It's a great book, and in a similar irony, I was about as poor as I had ever been. Tons of debt, living paycheck to paycheck, it was a miserable point in my life - at least financially. Even then, I realized that it was highly ironic that I had somehow supplanted myself into that very novel. Thankfully, after I finished it, my life improved (at least in my mind it did..).

That's it for now. Check back for some more pictures of Route 66 in Gallup. For now, all I got is blooming cacti and ducks.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

We Got Our Kicks on Route 66

Played Prescott, AZ last night. The first and last set were pretty good. The middle one was met with a bunch of crickets. Still, it was a good night for the band, though quite exhausting. We played from 9:30 till 1am, which included setting up and handling our own sound. By the end of the night, we were zonked.

We stayed in this cool old motor court last night called the Apache Motel. It will soon go the way of the Do-Do bird as it is being sold and then torn down. It’s the wave of the future, more corporate America blandness, less mom & pop character. I’m a sucker for old time stuff, so this kind of thing is a bit heart-breaking.

As we traveled over from California, we essentially followed the old Route 66 thru Arizona. Lot’s of cool things to see along the way. We got to see some of the old billboards, hotels, gas stations, and shops in Williams and Flagstaff. It’s pretty amazing to think of all the people that have traversed that route over the years – especially during the dust bowl.

Tonight, we are playing the Last Exit in Tempe. We also get a bit of a reprieve in the length of our set as we are joining forces with another band, Tramps & Thieves. After playing a number of 3+ hour shows, it will be nice to kick back after doing a power set and not have to worry about our own sound.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Grand Doesn't Even Describe It

"Holy Hell!"

It was the only thing I could utter upon walking to the rim of the Grand Canyon. Just insane how enormous that gigantic gash in the earth is. I've seen countless pictures of this area, but you can't even put into words how insignificant you feel standing on the top looking down to the Colorado river below.

We spent about an hour gazing down into the depths of the canyon. On account of my fear of heights, you won't be seeing any pictures of me with my back to the edge of the rim. It makes me nervous just thinking about it. No one else is nearly as scared of the high places as I am - which is why they are the ones shining bright smiles with the canyon majestically propped in the background.

It was definately worth the 400+ mile drive yesterday to be able to do this. You can see the posted pictures...but like I said, they will fail to even come close to the immensity of the canyon.


Tonight we are playing Flagstaff at Mia's Lounge. It looks like a really cool room, complete with a huge stage. This is a rare event on a tour of this level. We generally are crammed into a coffee can, trying not to impale/probe each other with guitars, drum sticks, and mic stands. It will be a good night, indeed.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

El Cid

It was crazy day in LA. We had an interview with folks at Rock Remedy in which we had a sit-down type of question/answer session, then we played 5 songs as they filmed us. Say what you will about how we'll look on camera...but I think it came out alright. At the very least, we now have something to put up on Myspace/Facebook/Scotlandbarr.com that involves something more than sound.

We then took a couple hours to chill out (the day was already long, having driven from San Diego that morning) at Chris's brother's house (Eli). We got a chance to catch up on random things - mostly sleep - and to recharge a bit. After that, we had another filmed interview with Hollywood Premiers at El Cid. This interview was a bit easier and more fun...which likely had more to do with the fact that it wasn't in the AM than anything else.

Finding ourselves hungry, we spent a bajillion dollars on sushi from a joint we came across on Sunset. Feeling satiated, we retreated back to El Cid to prep for our show. El Cid is one of the coolest clubs I've ever been in. For Portlander's, it's like Dante's, except smaller and slightly more formal.

Ronnie Mack's Barndance is an institution here in LA, and it is to our great honor that we were able to play it. It's a whirlwind of a situation, in that you only get a small alotted amount of time and you basically have to use their equpiment (amps/drums/etc). Still, we had a great show, were received really well, and even sold a few CDs. It was the funnest show for me so far on tour.

Today, we are off for a KOA near Flagstaff which is about 400+ miles away. No show tonight, but we'll be exhausted nonetheless. We'll have the morning and afternoon to ourselves to go see the Grand Canyon and try not to fall in (or drive in, as it were). It will be a pleasant day.

Cheers for now - pictures coming later today from El Cid.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

Made the drive to Pappy ‘n Harriet’s this afternoon up in Pioneer Town. This is a popular hangout for all types of people. Lots of musicians can be found playing on Sunday (with the Thrift Store All-Stars), as well as other Hollywood types to get away from it all. This town was created as a movie set for Hollywood westerns. Last time we played here, we stayed in the ‘card room’ that was named after Gene Autry (and friends) as they passed the time after a days’ work. Very cool place, indeed.

Instead of staying up in the high desert, we chose to drive back to San Diego. Since we have a day off, we felt a good place to be was near the beach. The day off will be welcome. After a few late nights and the long windy drive to Pioneer Town, we are all a bit ragged and in need of some extended sleep.

The show itself went really well. We would have liked to play longer, but we still had fun and played solid set. We are anxious to get back and play there again. Between the Joshua trees and the excellent vibe from Pappy ‘n Harriet’s, it’s one of the most fun shows we get to play.

The San Diego shows ended up okay. Though we played mostly to an audience that had other interests on their minds (meaning drinking and chasing), we still had a number of people that really dug us. Saturday was especially fun as we all had a good number of friends come out. Then, we capped the evening off with a trip to Jaunita’s and a couple orders of Asada Fries. Seems odd, but this little appetizer is one of the best dishes ever conceived.

That’s it for now – got to get some sleep. Take care and stay tuned for more wacky adventures from the band that (nearly) never sleeps.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Beaches and More!

I love San Diego. It’s so fricking beautiful here. I hung out at the beach with some friends of mine for most of the afternoon. Went swimming in the ocean – and it was the same beach where that guy that got eaten by a great white shark last week. Still, I didn’t worry about it too much. Being in the water is too much fun to even worry about it such trivial things. At least, I say that now…

The Surf ‘n Saddle was an okay show. I thought we played pretty well, but the crowd was more of your standard frat/sorority affair, so without playing cover songs, we were somewhat background music. Still, there were a number of people that loved us and bought some merch. However, you’ll have to take a peek at the photos…there is one with a chick in front of the stage requesting us to play some ‘classic rock or blues songs’. Right. We’ll get right on the ZZ Top song right away.

Tonight we play Bar Leucadian, with Dr. Finklestein opening the show. This will be a nice relaxed evening and we’ll probably hit Jaunita’s afterwards, which is a Mexican joint that our song off of All The Great Aviators Agree is named after. We’ll have a bunch of friends in the audience as well, so that is always fun to be playing for them.

Gas is 4.09 across the street. Absolutely insane! There will be a picture of that coming soon. Short of that, the tour is going rather well after the first week. Let’s hope that it continues in similar fashion, eh?

Take care,

Thursday, May 1, 2008


We got an awesome review in the LA weekly. The link we sent out earlier does not do it justice – it included a picture of the band and the review as ‘what to do Wednesday’ in the print edition of the magazine. It was quite impressive – so much that we all had giddy smiles from it.

The show at Molly Malones went okay - the ad certainly helped. It wasn't our best performance, but we did the best we could to our ability. It certainly could have been a lot worse, in that no one might not have payed to see us. Good one to build on for the future.

Tonight we play the Cinema Bar here in Culver city before heading South to San Diego. I promise to get more pictures soon. Until then - cheers!


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Case of the Monday's

Monday was a bit of a rest day. We spent most of it repairing equipment, changing strings, and generally recouperating from the prior 4 days. In a strange way, it makes it somewhat difficult to throw in a leisurely off-day like this. When I'm going at it day after day, I begin to get used to the grind of each day. I get less emotional over a singular show (if it was bad/good/sparse), and more atune to keeping a solid effort towards what needs to be done for each show (loading/playing/selling merch/packing up/getting someplace to crash). An off day like today - while awesome in its own right - knocks me out of that groove, and it's really hard to get back to it.

Well, it's not like I won't have enough shows to get back into the 'groove'. We head to Santa Barbara tomorrow, then a couple dates in LA (you need to check out the LA weekly that touts us as a 'rock pick' for our show at Molly Malones) before heading to Scotland's hometown of San Diego. Finally on Sunday, we play at Pappy & Harriet's in Pioneer town (where we met Victoria Williams last fall) It will be a great week of shows - come by if you are in the area.

We also were mentioned in a Tom Green segment simply by walking down to Pier 39 on Saturday. You can find us around the 35 minute mark in the above link.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

San Francisco Rays

Not many people can actually say they came to San Francisco and got a sunburn. But, we aren't normal people. While busking down on the Embarcadero at Pier 39, we all got a little bit scorched. It was 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. Just a wonderful day to be out in the city. Busking went okay, after I managed to find a parking spot. Lot's of people out and about due to the weather. We also happend upon an Irish fellow who bought a CD and then came out to our show at the Plough & Stars. Bit by bit, we're taking over the world.

The show at the Plough & Stars was excellent. It was nice to have some ability to turn up and rock out a bit. People were quite receptive to our brand of Americana, we had a blast. We also played with the Robber Barons, which is always a treat. They are the nicest guys in the world, not to mention a fine band in the own right. Closing out the night was Sorrow Town Choir. They reminded me a bit of Jerry Joseph and Tom Waits. It was a mellow sort of groove, but not without energy. It was good night of music all the way around.

Today we head back into the city to play Thee Parkside. It's an early show for the Twang Sunday crowd. We've played this quite a few times, and it's one we enjoy quite thoroughly. It's a mellow event and we all have a good time enjoying the afternoon plying our craft and enjoying some company of our friends.

Till next time, take care! Be sure to take a gander at some of the photos (the picasa link to the right)

Dr. Finkelstein & SBSD

Friday, April 25, 2008

Old Ironsides

First night of the tour - playing Old Ironsides in Sacramento. We last played here in September of 2006, and we are happy to be back in the 'Sac' again. It was a good show and we had fun, but we were all a bit van-lagged from the trip down. We took naps at varying parts of the day, some of us up to three hours. After we rubbed the sand out of our eyes, we made out okay.

The opening guy, Chris Anaya, was a mellow introduction to the evening. At one point he invited a gal up to sing a song with him that I rather liked. This was offset by inviting another person up to sing harmonies and the guest had no idea what the lyrics were. They ended up not doing the song. You rarely see this - a trainwreck. A band/performer/artist/singer will do anything and everything to just finish the damn song - no matter how awful it is. To actually cry 'uncle' and just punt is a spectacle (and cringe-worthy). I saw it happen to Billy Joel one time on "Goodnight Saigon" (Billy started in one key, the band came in on another) in the Rose Garden, so this isn't an idictment on this artist. It happens to us all...

The Stilts featured three guitarists, creating a huge wall of sound. The star of the show was easily the lead guy. Straight out glam-zines of the 80's, this guy had all the great moves, struts, and pouted his way to my heart. At one point, he ripped off the guitar strap and was flying the guitar around like an airplane. Well, until he stopped (midflight) and kept it between his legs, lurching and heaving with each note he was playing leaving little to the imagination what his night was to be filled with. What can I say, I was impressed. He wasn't just glam either, he could play as well. Good times, I say.


The weather here is amazing. It's pretty wonderful when you can actually scrape the moss and mold off of you and know that it won't be growing right back. Don't get me wrong, I love Portland...and I'll love it more when I get back in June, but I've had all I can handle of rain and miserably cold temperatures for the year. I need my sun!

As always, you can find pictures here. Bookmark it and check back often. We'll always be doing something. Hell, I might actually learn how to take a decent photo at night...

One show down - thirty more to go!

Dr Finkelstein

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Longest Drive - Complete!

Hey folks! Just got into Davis about 3 hours ago. I've spent the morning setting up this blog and associated Picasa photo album for all your Slow Drag fans to ogle. And yes, that really is sunshine you are seeing in the photos...it actually exists, Portland!

Stay tuned for more - until then you can bookmark the photo album and see us as we barrel down the highway.

Dr. Finkelstein & SBSD