"Ohio Reveries" Tour Journal
Updated: Jan 5
I was thrilled to finally go on my first tour that ran from April to June, 2022. It was partly making up for lost time and a canceled Moths in the Attic tour from 2020 due to the pandemic. It was partly getting in some travels and celebrating with my wife and our little one on the way. And it was partly a way to share these songs in cities and in front of people who have never heard them or heard of me. It was a challenging, exhausting, fulfilling, and exciting endeavor. As the year comes to a close, I found it worthwhile to document some notable memories and reflections for the Ohio Reveries tour. Thanks if you came out to a show or supported me and this project in anyway in 2022. Hopefully I'll catch you somewhere out there next time.
Friday, April 8th was the big day. After a stressful couple weeks with some manufacturing issues with some of my merch, I came to peace on stage. Coffee Amici in Findlay, OH was kind enough to host me on release day and I performed the five singles in order for the first time live before their weekly open mic night. Amici was the first place I played in the city where I now live, but it had been a while. It was a culmination of lots of work getting this collection ready and a full circle moment showcasing these songs here.
The next night was the official release show in my hometown of Bowling Green, OH. It was a special night with friends, family, and community. I had a lot of different ideas of what I wanted to do for that performance, but it worked out the only way it could. My Moths in the Attic bandmates, Kevin Jorrey & Mike Williams, and our longtime collaborator, Mike Bryce, joined me for a memorable night playing the Ohio Reveries tracks, MITA originals, and some of our favorite covers. It was an easy night to reflect on the years of work I've put in this craft and all the amazing experiences it's led to. Many more were in store on this tour.
A Scenic Cold
A beautiful land sits to the north of my Ohio home. My wife and I have traveled all over the world, but had yet to visit northern Michigan. We planned spring break to head up, though the winter still had a hold on the region. We started with a night in Ann Arbor and some Latin jazz at the Blue Llama. Then we spent a day in Saugatuck and Holland where we window shopped and took the coldest beach walk we've ever experienced on the Lake Michigan coast. After visiting a friend on the way, our next stop was north to Traverse City. My show was there at a little brewery called Acoustic Tap Room. A very kind fellow musician from the area (John Richard Paul) recommended it to me and came to check some of the show out before his own gig. The little room was full and warm, and they welcomed my original sounds. I was happy to chat with the audience between songs and received lots of great suggestions on what to do locally. Those suggestions helped shape the rest of the trip when we took a scenic drive to Sleeping Bear Dunes, ate downtown, and searched for Petoskey stones on the beach. Petoskey happened to be our final destination for the next day where we spent Easter Sunday taking in the sights by the icy bay. We drove even more north and briefly passed over to the Upper Peninsula over the Mackinac Bridge where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron. With so much beauty, there's no question we'll be back to explore and share more music.
QT in the Hollywood Hills
A couple of firsts before the next big trip. Our new collaborator, violinist Katherine O'Neill, joined Moths in the Attic at Twin Oast in Catawba Island. Next, our friend Mike Bryce joined us at our first Village Idiot performance in Maumee.
Next stop was Los Angeles, where I scheduled a performance at North Hollywood's Republic of Pie. This trip was also a chance for some quality family time. I traveled with my mom to visit my sister and her boyfriend who live there. We've already seen the sights, so this was all about the visit and the show. Republic of Pie was a very tranquil and homey coffee and pie shop in the busy city. I was happy to see a few familiar faces and tried to win over those who I assume were studying or working on scripts with a stripped-down, relaxed performance. Presenting my music on the West Coast for the first time in front of loved ones was a very meaningful way to do it. The pie was great by the way.
I followed the show farthest away from home with some much closer. One low-key performance in the town where I now live (Findlay, OH). One near what I consider a second home in Youngstown (my wife's hometown) at one of my favorite breweries, Birdfish Brewing. And finally, a couple in my true hometown of Bowling Green, OH including an appearance at BG Porchfest, an awesome community and arts-centered event.
Taking it International
I've played outside of the U.S. before, but it had been a while. But before I visited our Canadian neighbors for the first time, I made a pit-stop in Youngstown for an in-studio video for 'Compass Rose' where it was originally recorded. Court Street Recording was gracious enough to host with Birdfish Brewing sponsoring the making of the video, and Rajma, Katherine, and Lynn beautifully filling out the string section:
I continued north around Lake Erie to the Buffalo area where I played a show with Jason Mirek, a fantastic West New York songwriter. The venue was a great record store called Hi-Fi Hits. Surrounded by all the records and music paraphernalia was inspiring, but it was the attentive audience that made it one of my favorite shows of the tour.
The next day, my wife and I crossed over the border to Canada where we spent a day at Niagara Falls. It was a perfect day to visit one of North America's most amazing natural wonders.
Then it was onward to Toronto. Due to traffic I only just made it to the venue with enough time to set up and get playing. TacoTaco is a hip little taco shop in the Kensington Market neighborhood. Hilariously, after a couple songs, my set was interrupted by a naked bike ride on the street outside. I joked that it was the most unique greeting I've received anywhere playing music... it will be a difficult one to top. The rest of the set was less eventful, but fun, with some kind Torontonians and fellow Ohioans in the crowd. We spent the rest of the day and the next morning exploring the city for the first time and checking out an immersive Frida Kahlo exhibit. Then we returned to Kensington Market and hit the open mics where I played some more music and met some cool locals and fellow musicians. The city has so much to offer and we only got a taste, but I hope we can go back soon.
Knocks in Nashville
A couple of fun Moths in the Attic shows by Lake Erie and a solo one in Findlay came before the big finale. Nashville is a bucket list city for any musician to play and I had only visited once before. MITA was scheduled to play there in 2020, but of course the pandemic brought a different reality. So after the long wait, my first time playing Nashville was my most anticipated stop of the tour. The southern heat kept us sweating while we explored the city, hitting Centennial Park, the Ryman, and Third Man Records. My show was at a great spot called Cafe Coco, but this particular night apparently there weren't a lot of folks interested in an out-of-town unknown on an otherwise busy weekend in the city. So I played to a nearly empty room except for a table here and there, plus my friend/fellow musician Justin Payne and his fiance Miranda, and my lovely Danielle. I made the most of the opportunity though, trying to get lost in the music and showcasing my best material.
The next night I signed up for the open round at the Commodore Grille's songwriter night. I was grateful for the opportunity to check out several rounds of Nashville-based songwriters and talked to many of them. My set came later than scheduled and was cut down to one song a piece. I finished out a long evening of original music with a newer tune called 'Spiral Mind' to a room antsy to wrap it up. I certainly don't mean to sound ungrateful for these opportunities in Music City. I know well enough that any show can go any which way, and sometimes it's different than what you hope for or imagine. As a traveling songwriter it seems maybe it's a fitting right of passage to take some knocks in Nashville and hope for a better break next time. We still enjoyed our visit though, and I was happy to come away with a cool live recording of my newest single from the Ryman. More on that to come!
For our last stop, we made our way to Gatlinburg for some proper R&R and enjoyed the amazing views and scenery. Covid finally caught up with me on the way home, but the experience and the memories we made on my first tour were well worth any difficulties we faced. I send all my thanks and love to my wife, Danielle, who was the MVP of the tour. She was my support system, co-pilot, and helped in any way she could including documenting all the behind the scenes. She did this all while caring for our little one on the way. Now that he's here, the next tour will undoubtedly look a little different. But I can't wait to continue sharing my music and reveries in places old and new, near and far, with those I love, and with those who I have yet to meet. I hope to see you out there somewhere.