Thursday, 16 September 2010

Albuquerque Blues

Sitting on the plane from New York to Albuquerque I'm reminded how much I love flying and how much I hate small children. One little pug-faced kid sits in the seat in front of me and spends the whole flight staring at me sipping his complimentary beverage through the space between the seats.

I  vaguely recall a Bill Hicks sketch where a child on the plane starts tapping him repeatedly on the back of the head. "They're so cute when they're that small," dotes the child's mother. The child then decides to take his seat belt off and skip around the plane.  When he gets to the plane door he stops and fiddles with the handle. Bill whispers to the child's parent, "Wait, lets just see what he does?" and the child opens the door and gets sucked out into the clouds. "You're right," chirps Bill: "The smaller he gets, the cuter he is. Hey, Stewardess! seeing as we have a breeze in here, mind if I smoke?" If only...

 The boys greet us at Albuquerque airport and we hug. They take us straight to Diner 66 for a slap up meal, and I learn that chips are crisps - not fries. I love Albuquerque. We spend the next day driving around  in the blasting heat. The wind is blowing, but that just makes the air feel like one big hairdryer. We trawl through pawn shop after pawn shop, and finally find my guitar in Grandma's Music and Sound. It's a beautiful new Fender with all the trimmings. I christen him 'Alby'.

Cowboys at the State Fair
We arrive at The Brickyard on Route 66 with all our kit and growling bellies.  A pint and a slice for $4.25? Hell yeah! There is an interesting crowd gathering, of all ages, and we wonder how our set will go down. There is a heavy blues vibe here and our friendly host, Chris Dracup, is a superb player. This guy is blues on tap. We open with Passion Man and the crowd seems to really like it.  Even the dug-up gal in the corner whoops with delight. We're applauded with two encores and sell a fair few Cd's. "We're travelling across your fine country, which ain't cheap. So, wish us luck and give us money," croons Huck.

We chat to most of the crowd. They are all very enthusiastic about our trip and have a million suggestions of what to see and where to play. Our circle grows and Chris buys us a round of tequilas, which nearly sees the end of me. He asks if we want to jam. Tommy and Bat get up for a 12 minute electrifying blues round. After a few too many beers I play a solo set joined by Jeff "Cajones" who plays the cajon beautifully. Tommy decides he should really get in on the cajon action, and joins Huck for a wonderful rendition of Stolen Car. It feels good to be back with the boys and to have a great gig under our belts - after what seems like an age apart.

Next stop Austin via Roswell.  Bring on the UFOs...

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