Nov 7th 2012
Wow… what a life changing few weeks… Let me start off by saying that my trip to Norway Oct 17th-Nov 1st was utterly fabulous. I love my Norwegian friends so much and I made many new ones. Andy Huenerberg, Kenny Soule and I have such full hearts from our trip. My buddy JT Lauritsen kicked off out tour by bringing us on his blues cruise along with Nick Moss, Tad Robinson, Jace Everett and so many more. Due to my pals from Finse, I never knew that I could drink that much Aquavit and still wake up the next day! Then Berit Liband was so nice open up her home to us in Oslo while we performed for The Oslo Blues Klubb at BUCKLEYS BLUES BAR. My dear friend Merete Eide took me into her home and I got to live a true Norwegian. The trip ended with Gry Sneltvedt’s DARK SEASON BLUES FESTIVAL in Svalbard. Wow…. Even though I’ve been there three times I still get goodebumps thinking about the majestic beauty of that island and Longyearbyen (78 degress North the northern most city in the world). Our handlers for the festival everytime we are there are Ken and Judy Pederson and they are always so lovely to us. It was at the end when we were about to go home when the trouble began…
Hurricane Sandy came roaring into the NY tristate area the day we were supposed to come home. We ended up being trapped in Oslo for three extra days. When the storm knocked out the power and the phones I began to panic. Being unable to reach my wife Judy and seven year old son Jasper was really disconcerting. Not to mention it was an ordeal to rebook our flights. Somehow we managed to get back to Newark and the devastation. My loving manager Sandi Rose who lived in Rockaway Beach was also one of my main concerns. It wasn’t until I had got my luggage at the airport that I was able to reach her by phone only to learn that a five foot storm surge had ruined her home destroying all her belongings. When my wife and son picked me up at the airport I immediately took them to upstate NY, New Paltz to be exact, to where the storm had done little. On the way up we saw all the downed trees, homes without power and the scary gas lines filled with people trying to fill their gas cans for their generators. Our home in the lower east side was without power, heat, water and gas for one week and there was no way I was going to subject my family to more suffering. I count myself among the lucky, I have a first floor storage space located on South Street and the East River. There was only the tiniest bit of water in my space after the first floor had flooded with 4 inches of water.
Since returning from upstate NY I have played two amazing shows: BRIAN’S BACKYARD BBQ in Middletown NY and TIME OUT PUB in Rockland Maine. My next stop is Ro Daley’s house in Medina Ohio and a show at BROTHERS LOUNGE and THE BLUES ROCK CAFE. Then The Big City Blues Magazine Award in Detroit.
Its hard to describe what its like to see your home town ravaged by mother nature and to see your friend, neighbors and loved ones suffering. The past few weeks have been a roller coaster ride of emotions. Filled with amazing highs and terrifying lows. I guess that’s how life is sometimes… Out of the ashes us New Yorkers WILL rebuild.
I look forward to seeing you soon!