Posted on June 12th, 2017 | by Leslie1
Travelog Week 1: Danville IN & Chicago IL
Had a smooth and uneventful border crossing at Buffalo. They granted me my Temp Work Visa card and sent me on my way – arrival to departure, 30 minute process. Good thing I was so prepared with addresses and contracts and itinerary in hand! They didn’t ask for much. It was very routine.
Made it to Indiana Monday night from Burlington ON, an 11-hour trip. Mostly smooth sailing, feeding Rua (my car) some fairly cheap American gas every so often. Thought of writing a song just past Dayton OH called, “The Trucks Are Gonna Kill Us All,” after sitting, parked, on 70 West because some tractor-trailer had flipped itself backwards into a ditch, crushing 4 cars in the process, and surviving intact when just past the accident aftermath (where adults were on phones and children were running through the grass at the side of the road, clearly stuck there interminably) another truck in front of me suddenly belched thick, white, impenetrable smoke onto the road so that I had zero visibility for 5 blind seconds. It was a thrilling dozen miles.
Arrived at the Sutton House in Danville IN by 11 PM to the waiting, open arms of two of my favourite people in the world, Bill & Brenda Sutton. They live and breathe the Celtic law of hospitality, as do their animals! I swear, the cats were determined to make me *not* allergic by exposing me to their affection all week long. “Is it better if I sit on your lap? How about now? Ooo! How about when you’re playing the piano? Perfect! I’ll stay here all day.” The puppy is super excited to still be a puppy and sometimes cannot help but share her enthusiasm. I felt such love.
My concert was held at the Universalist Unitarian Community Church (UUCC) in town on Wednesday, June 7th, 7:30-10 PM. We had a lovely evening with friends, I got to share hours of my music for this first show on my tour, play with Bill and Brenda again, and it was all such a privilege.
Sisters & Sinners (with Brenda Sutton)
Eleven Feathered Sons
Children of Light (with Bill & Brenda Sutton)
Underground (with Bill & Brenda Sutton)
Feel It All
Tantalized (with Brenda Sutton)
Carving Knife (with Brenda Sutton)
Vasilisa Trilogy (with Bill & Brenda Sutton)
These Shapes Three
Troublemaker (with Bill & Brenda Sutton)
Epona’s Wild Daughter (with Bill & Brenda Sutton)
For a While (with Bill & Brenda Sutton)
Oars in the Water (with Bill & Brenda Sutton)
Faith of the Heart (with Bill & Brenda Sutton)
I had Tenderloin (a must) at Diesel’s, Glenmorangie and all the roasted veggies at The Black Swan in Plainfield, and on my final night some delicious pasta at an Italian restaurant with an Italian name I can’t remember right before I hit the road to Chicago. Brenda got me caught up on American Gods (binge-watched eps 1-6, whew!) and introduced me to “The Lion in Winter” with Katharine Hepburn stealing the show. Time spent in the company of these friends was a blessing and a half. I begin and end my tour with them, and for that I’m exceedingly grateful.
Drove through the summer twilight to Chicago Friday night, past toll after toll, and right through Blues Fest late-night traffic. Arrived before 11 PM at Pat & Cathy McManamon’s and actually parallel-parked my car. Hooray! I’d changed time zones so we had a couple hours to sit and chat. I’m pretty sure I babbled in my happy, exhausted way, until we decided to call it a night.
Random Fractions gathered Saturday afternoon (June 10) to run through the songs I’d given them a couple of days in advance. It was decided that whatever befell us during the concert would be entirely my fault if it went awry, and that was fair. Fortunately, we had a wonderful 3+ hours of music (3:30-7 PM) with Random Fractions opening the show, and me (with RF joining in) rounding out the night.
Underground (with Random Fractions)
Doppelganger (with Random Fractions)
Until It Breaks (with Random Fractions)
Sedna of the Sea
Welcome To Eden
The Last Thing I’ll Beg Thee
Troublemaker (with Random Fractions)
Sisters & Sinners
Cracked (with Random Fractions)
Sisters of Duras (with Random Fractions)
Feel It All
Drawn That Way
Faith of the Heart
Oars in the Water
Xap streamed the concert via Facebook Live so many more people got to listen far and wide. By the end we were all happy and hot and exhausted and ready for dinner. Off to Bakers Square we went for meats and pies – delicious! – because, as Americans must already be aware, these are American Pie Council-awarded pies. (That’s right, Canadians, there’s an American Pie Council.)
Sunday was spent partly in the company of Louise Cloutier and the women and girls who gathered for her Women’s PowerVoice workshop. Cathy’s Girl Scouts put together a lovely afternoon of female empowerment and it was lovely to meet Louise and participate. Followed it up with ep 7 of American Gods (most of which I’m loving).
It’s been a fantastic first week of touring America and I cannot thank enough my hosts and fellow musicians, my fans and friends, for listening, for encouraging and supporting me, for bringing me here, taking me in and sending me blessed on my way. Thank you to everyone back home who is cheering me on. My heart is very full. I love you all for loving me and letting me go.
Until next week,
Leslie & Blythe (the wolf-dragon)