We head on out this morning, but we have a little trouble
with the New Jersey left hand turn cloverleaf solution.
I wonder if these turns really do help cut down on accidents.
We make it across the Tappan Zee bridge and then take
the Sawmill Parkway. As we travel this road we find that
the some of the over passes are too low for Big Mama to
pass under. We do some rerouting and get back up on Interstate
684. When we get into Connecticut we find that Interstate
84 is closed at Southbury, Conn. So we have to do some
creative map reading and route around the closure. This
adds another hour to our drive today which is already
eight hours long. We finally get through all this mess
and through Hartford. Ugh.
We pass through Massachusetts and it brings back memories
of when I lived here during my elementary and high school
years. Tewksbury and Andover hold many fond memories.
We stop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for fuel and food.
Susan gets her first lobster roll and I get a veggie sandwich.
I am also taking over the driving so I try to eat my sandwich
real. It was wrapped in this slippery wax paper and I
drop the whole thing on the floor. I used a few choice
words and I snap at Lisa. Not good when you lose your
cool. Oh, well. I hope my band mates will forgive my erratic
We get to Maine and it is so gorgeous. The ocean comes
right up to the forest and the forest is so diverse. There
are maples, pines, oaks, silver birch and white birch
trees. We see lobster fisherman's boats and their buoys
from their lobster pots. It is a very scenic drive which
goes through quite a number of small towns. The drive
on highway one on the Atlantic coast reminds me of the
drive on highway one on the Pacific coast. Much of it
is touristy but it is also a look into how people who
live near the ocean make a livelihood and lifestyle.
We make it to the Time Out Pub. It's a neat place with
pool table on the lower floor and a bar with stage and
dance floor on the upper floor. The club overlooks the
Rockland harbor with an impressive view. We check in at
the Pub but decide to check in at the hotel first which
is right across the street. You got to like that. The
rooms are nice and we unload our luggage. We head back
to the club to load and sound check. We are greeted by
Paul Benjamin, who is the promoter for these Monday night
shows, as well as, the North Atlantic Blues Festival and
the North Atlantic Blues Cruise. Paul has been working
out of this club since 1978 and these Monday nights are
well established. People come from miles around knowing
that they are going to hear some quality blues music that
they can dance to. By the way, Paul is a super nice guy.
He has a very friendly and supportive demeanor. We do
a quick sound check. Vincent is doing the sound and he
does a great job get us going and throughout the night.
We get back to the hotel for a quick change as it is
now 6 pm and we play at 7 pm. Everyone in the band is
hungry but it will have to wait until our first break
after our first set.
We walk back to the club with minutes to spare and start
in on our first set. We are playing two 75 minute sets.
Before we play, however, we place our food orders with
Susan so she can order for us just before our break after
the first set. The place is full of people and it looks
as though all the tables are full. Paul is doing something
right. From the start people are up and dancing and I
don't think there is one song we play during the entire
night where someone isn't dancing. A lot of people just
get up and dance on their own at this club. It's cool
when people feel free to do this. Sometimes it takes a
while for people to get up and dance, perhaps after a
few drinks, but not here. It is just a given that people
will dance. The crowd is enthusiastic. We finish our first
set and we all rush over to the merch table looking for
food. It takes a few minutes to arrive but when it does
the band chows down in a big way. You could tell we were
hungry. After we quickly eat and visit with a few folks
we play our second set. It goes over well and the band
sounds good even though we are by now a little road weary.
We pack up after getting a lot of kudos and at-a-boys
from the patrons and then head back to the rooms for some
rest. We are to be ready to leave at 8 am for a 810 mile,
13 ½ hour drive to Streetsboro, Ohio. This is just
a lay over before we head back to Plainfield, Illinois
to stay at Bud and Rita King's home.
Rockland, Maine is the farthest east that we will go
on this tour. If we went any further east we would need
a boat. We will are now starting our westward journey
to ultimately return to our homes.