Did I Mention we've been driving??

Submitted by Gio on

Holy van time, Batman.  We've been driving.

After driving from Trumansburg, NY (Saturday night) to Telluride, CO (got in Tuesday evening) we were exhausted.  Weary.  Delirious, even.  Thankfully, having no oxygen and looking at some of the most rugged, dramatic and beautiful landscape in the world brought us back... that and two nights in luxurious accomodations where we didn't have to spoon each other on saggy mattresses. 

We are now in Flagstaff, New Mexico.  We're upstairs above the venue where we are lodging for the evening.  We're having some landscape/scenery whiplash, but are otherwise doing fine.  The high desert is beautiful, and we detoured today through Monument Valley - so we're still shocked and awed - just in more desert-y way.  Less alpine-y.

There are more stories up on the 'ol Benedettiville site (link is in the blog post below) - that roughly follow the band tour schedule, though I have recently derailed pretty severely.  As the story stands, Stella Gene (AKA the Pink Heart [famous superhero]) and I are saving the day on a distant planet while the band drives to Colorado with a robot bass player stand-in that they don't know isn't me.  It's good times.

Take care all.


Submitted by Gio on

We are currently... somewhere between our last gig in Trumansburg, NY, and our next gig in Carbondale, CO.  There is corn all around us.  There are also beautiful blue skies, thick, fast-moving clouds, lots and lots of the color green (didn't realize how much we've been missing this out in California). 

The tour is going well.  We are in the middle of a hectic drive right now, so we're at a low point as far as the excitement and musical interest goes...  but as far as 30 hour drives go, it's going well.  Podcasts, lots of music, comedy records, band meetings, Slug Bug, 99 bottles of beer on the wall, I Spy - you know.  All the classics to make a road trip more fun. 

I've been making little comics that relate - distantly - to our time on the road for the kiddos back home.  For those of you who don't know, I have a 4 and half year old and a 1 and three quarters year old daughter.  The 4 year old and I have a long and rich story telling history.  On this long tour I was looking for a way to keep in touch in a more special way, and so I started making these little comics and stories.  I've posted them all over here on my family-stories-and-music website, Benedettiville.  I WOULD have put them here, but our current website is a bit stubborn when it comes to interacting with large quantities of media.  So... the stories stay at Benedettiville.

The stories roughly follow our own road adventures...  or, they did up until the most recent story where I am travelling via rocketship and the band has a robot bass player.  But up until then, you know, it's ~dimly~ related to the tour.

If you'd like to check it all out, please do so right here! 

See you all out there, good people!

A Wee Break From the Road

Submitted by Ben on

Hello friends! Please excuse our lack of blogginess. With the constant output of social media posts on various platforms, we often forget about this here bloggy blog. That's all about to change though. We're making an early New Year's resolution to keep up with informing our friends and fans to the goings on of The Bruthaz Clamatoes. That all starts now.

You may be wondering why you don't see many shows on our calendar over there to the right. Welp...there are a couple reasons for that: 1. We've been on the road non-stop this year and it's nice to take a lil' break every once in a while. 2. We're working on new material so we can record a new album. Now that's some exciting stuff! Many of you have been wondering when you'll be able to get your hands on some new music. The answer to that is...fairly soon. We'll be recording in the next couple of months and will most likely be releasing a new album in spring 2015. We are stoked (that's a word we use in California to mean, like, totally excited) to put some new tunes out there.

We'll also be planning out some major tours for 2015 which will most likely bring us to you, wherever you are, unless you live outside the US, or in a treehouse in the remote forest somewhere, or at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. BUT...we'll be hitting most other spots we've frequented in the past and we can't wait.

We shall see you down the road!

Till then...

The Bruthaz Clamatoes

On touring, and sandwiches

Submitted by Ben on

A blog by Joe Pacini - Tour Manager Extraordinaire

Life on tour is inspiring, tedious, exciting, banal, and in every way comparable to sandwiches. The variation of traveling is as limitless as the types of sandwiches one can consume. Sometimes, you don’t get what you ordered, and there is nothing you can do about it. Sometimes you travel for hours to arrive exactly where you want to be, and you get exactly what you expected. Let me explain.

The Sparrow Bakery

50SE Scott Street 

Bend, Oregon

Bacon Breakfast Sandoh

When you find yourself in a place you’ve never been, you must rely upon the advice of locals (friends, family, bartenders, baristas, a guy standing outside of a bank or gas station). This is how we originally found The Sparrow Bakery. “They have great breakfast sandwiches” she said. “They bake their own croissants” she said. Sold. This is also how we have found countless other gems throughout the country. From bars, to hikes, to coffee shops and book shops. Relying on those who know better than us has always guided us well, and opened our eyes to those things that we now cherish as if we were locals ourselves.


4255 Fremont Ave N

Seattle, Washington

Caribbean Roast

There are a few truly defining moments in my life. That fateful day, March 24, 2010, when we wearily stumbled up to that magical little shack near the top of Fremont Ave, ranks high among them. We were pointed in that direction by the good people at Dusty Strings Music Shop. The sweet, smoky aromas and long line gave an adept indication to the sandwich perfection we were about to experience. How do they get those onions so perfect? How do they get the bread the perfect combination of crispy and chewy? How do they get that pork so… so…? Words fail me. Paseo has become a tradition, no, a ritual since that day. We have been known to travel many miles out of our way to bask in the light that is The Caribbean Roast Sandwich. Of course, now we are seasoned veterans, and order ahead to skip the lines. Every time we show up, it feels like we are arriving at a little slice of familiarity in a “cold and distant town”. 

The Zolg’s House

San Clemente, California 

Home-Made Pork Sliders

On the road, there are an infinite amount of steely-eyed, stone-faced motel clerks, and cookie cutter rooms with generic landscape paintings hung without care above stale beds with questionable sheets. Then, there are magical oases like the Zolg’s house. The warmth and familial hospitality we receive at place like this provides a familiar destination to the many hours on unnamed highways. As i write this, on the front porch on a postcard perfect day, the pork is in the smoker out back, and the biscuits are golden brown and fresh out of the oven. We have been lucky enough to be welcomed in homes like this throughout the country. St Maries, Idaho. Bellingham, Washington. Portland, Oregon. Iowa City, Iowa. Huntersville, North Carolina. And many, many other places in between. Developing these friendships, and having the ability to return is truly one of the highlights of this lifestyle. We are forever indebted to the Zolg’s and the people around the country like them that have put us up, fed us, and welcomed us into their home like family.

Lucchesi’s Deli

301South McDowell Blvd

Petaluma, California

Santa Fe Turkey and Bacon on Sourdough Baguette (hold the sprouts)

Home. Many songs have been written about it. All roads used to lead to Rome, all of our roads lead Home. Nothing can replace it. Being gone truly makes us appreciate where we come from, and we are always happy to return, having grown, and been shaped by our experiences while away.

On Leaving the Brothers Comatose

Submitted by Gio on

Dear folks and friends and family -

You can see on the right - where all the events are posted - that I am playing 3 shows with The Brothers Comatose at the end of this year.  What you may not know is that I will be officially leaving the band as of January 1, 2014.

Jenny and I have been talking and struggling a lot with the decision over the last year, and after this last tour in September, things solidified.  After Emmaline (the new baby) showed up on November 2nd, the decision was clearly affirmed.

I love playing music, you all know that.

I also love being out and about, adventuring, seeing new things, meeting new people and friends and - most of all - eating new foods.  (If it wasn't for the Brothers Comatose on tour, I never would have had real southern barbeque; South Carolina barbeque sauce; chicken and waffles for breakfast; Chicago deep dish pizza... in Chicago; New York slices... in New York.  This is not to mention the gorgeous home cooking we were fortunate enough to share on more than one delicious occasion.)

But food, adventures, and fun music notwithstanding, being away for so long - so often - has been too hard on me and the family.

After the September tour Stella (the first night I was home after 3 weeks away [after so many weekends and 5-10 day tours all summer long]) asked Jenny if I was going to be staying for dinner.


It took weeks to get her to trust that when I left for work, or for rehearsal, I would be coming home again.  The relationship that we have is so fun - so centered on quality time, games, stories, and things that can't be duplicated or simulated long-distance - that I was really feeling, for the first time, the effects of the constant touring.  Combine that with Stella's ability to communicate more precisely and directly exactly how much she missed me, and her fear of my leaving, and it put things into a very clear perspective.

There are so many other factors at play in a decision like this.  Seeing the band that you're going to be leaving poised for such great things is a difficult thing to walk away from.  Looking at their amazing tour schedule and knowing the good and great things that are still on the horizon for the band can be like a siren song some days.  But even in the few short months since we've come to this decision, I can see and feel the warm goodness of our choice.  I've gotten to be at every family function and see my parents, my brothers, my nieces and nephews, my friends from childhood and from other musical projects of days gone by.  Jenny and I get to plan things together and spend weekends as a family.

I've gotten to really invest in this website and consider the musical and artistic possibilities of the future.  I've gotten to look at the community I live in and make my plans for how to bring music and music education to the world around me in a meaningful way.

I've gotten to re-energize my beloved job at SV and build up some continuity and energy with my music students for the first time this year.

The mission to save the world has been rekindled, and that - of itself- is inspiring.  Knowing that the first priority is family and not traveling makes the decisions easier and stronger.  Jenny and get to plot ways to make music together - the dreams of the full family band (now that Emmaline is here) are growing and building.  No longer are we just a power trio!  We have entered Quartet land... and it feels very good.

It's a huge loss to step away from a fun band with good friends, but it is a net gain of infinite proportions to have my kid(s) [Emmaline isn't so aware of the great and momentous things going on, so much as she is aware of being hungry, and pooping a lot] know that I want to spend time with them first and foremost, and that my family trumps all other priorities.

It feels wonderful here at Team Benedetti headquarters, if a bit bittersweet and nostalgic for the good-ol-touring days at times.  I will miss my family from the road, and I'll miss the big red van.  But at least I won't be missing my wife and my daughters.

And that feels very good indeed.

Making a Flier

Submitted by Gio on

Dear, dear readers.

I know, I know.  I haven't updated on the tours recently - I haven't updated much of anything recently.  I blame a very adorable 2 and half year old. 

I wanted to let you know a bit about the flier that we'll be plastering about for our upcoming New Parish show on August 22.  I pitched my idea to the band via email, and they let me do it.  Let me be clear: I sent the tablet-in-photoshop drawing to everyone, and - as it appears below - they all signed off on it. Possibly they were all at a party without me and very drunk?  Who can fathom how bad decisions really get past management.  At any rate, here is what they approved:

flier mock up brothers comatose new parish

A 5-headed giant splashes his way from the city and towards Oakland for a show across the bay!  Honor is done to giants!  To comics!  With the band green light, it was time to get a bit more... accurate?  Detailed?  Less blobby and silly?  Yes yes and yes.

I looked up some Bay Bridge photos, put on Iron Maiden albums (in chronological order, starting with Killers) and started on the pencil work.  And voila!  The real deal:

pencil outline for parish flier brothers comatose

Phase 1: complete.  The pencils - the outlines were in place.  Our 5-headed Bay-Thrashing Giant was alive!!!  Aliiiiiiiive!!!!  But... lacking in color, wouldn't you say?  Yes.  No one would look twice at a flier like this!  Naked!  Bare!  A mere skeleton!  Unleash the inky-inks!!  More Iron Maiden!  Where Eagles Dare!  Powerslave!  Hallowed Be Thy Name!  Several albums later, with some serious tinkering with scanners and tablets and more layers in photoshop...  Phase 2 was complete.  The flier was complete.  Fully armed and operational.

colored version of parish flier for the brothers comatose

I'll post an image of the final, final, final version on the main page once all the salient details are in place in a suitable font.  Hope you enjoyed the evolution.  I had a lovely time listening to Iron Maiden... I mean, making the flier.  See you on July 22 at New Parish.

Banjo-B-Que to Wakarusa - The Photo Blog

Submitted by Gio on

The weekend began with a 3 hour delay at SFO.  There was something wrong with the wheel.  Luckily we had a non-stop flight to Georgia, and no obligation to play that night, so we were able to relax and enjoy 3 hours of quality time at the airport.  This time out Jenny and I were trying to figure out ways to make my being away easier on the little Stella Gene - so I started posting stories and updates for her on YouTube.  The first story told was about a blue dragon looking for his friend wormy.  Thanks to the airplane delay, I was able to get it drawn, colored and posted before we left the ground:

blue dragon and wormy

When we finally got to Georgia we were met by the legendary Jack Delbridge.  This man was amazing.  I will reveal his amazingness to you, dear reader, as it was revealed to me - in stages.  The first stage of amazing was coming to the airport to pick up 5 dudes - 4 of whome he had never met - driving them back to his home, and providing us with transportation in the way of his own dear Jeep for the weekend.  So the legend begins. 

jack's basement collage

This is Jack's basement.  He and his housemate built it.  It used to be 2x4s and dirt, and now it is a stone-walled, concrete-topped, 5-tap bar.  Legendary status +1.  We had some of our deepest band conversations to date in that room.  Great ideas were hatched, debated, pondered, argued, and agreed upon.  Truly, this is a room where great things come to pass.

banjo-b-que 2013 stage

Our first show was at the 2013 Banjo-B-Que in Evans, GA.  We had the good fortune to play this last year, and it was a blast.  This year we are happy to report the same smokey-good-times were had by all.  The artist food is comprised of the BBQ that was submitted for judging in the competitions.  Incredible.  We played two sets - above you can see our afternoon set on the main stage.  We then traipsed off to the evening side-stage (as seen below).  We rocked and rolled.  That night we were housed in the same hotel as The Steeldrivers.  Great, great band, and great, great people.  Richard, their banjo player, was kind enough to let some of our crew hang out with him late into the night and play on his near-priceless banjo.  So I was told.  I was fast, fast asleep.  It takes me a few days to adjust my father/teacher schedule to the band/tour schedule.

banjo-b-que 2013 stage night time

We had a few days off following the Banjo-B-Que and our good friend Georgia was kind enough to introduce us to her mom, put us up in her Mom's place, and show us around the pool, some barbecued chicken skewers, some down-time to work new material, and a serious game of Catch Phrase.  We are not used to time off... which might be why no pictures survive from that sweet, sweet R&R.  We did, however, start our Band Roll Call at this time.  We tried to post one every day and were - for the better part of it - successful.  Click the links to visit our You Tube page and you can see the silliness that I'm talking about.

chicken and waffles

It should be no surprise by now that my favorite part about touring is eating good food.  Enter the legend of Jack Delbridge.  The man heard we liked chicken and waffles and - BAM - makes it.  Makes the best damn chicken and waffles we've ever had.  Turns out the fellow - in addition to pulling some tours with special forces search and rescue in Iraq - has a degree from culinary school.  Legend Status +2.  We rolled with Jack out to Knoxville, TN for our next tour date. 

knoxville barley's taproom

We had a good time playing in Barley's Taproom, but had an even better time listening to Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys.  They were so damn good.  We rocked their CDs all the way to Greenville, SC the next day.  I don't have a good photo record of Greenville - but were were fortunate and honored to stay at Ryan's cousin's house.  The beds were so soft and cozy!  The show that night was boot-stomping good times.  It was a sparse crowd in a huge venue, so we finished the set acoustic, down on the floor amongst our good and noble friends and had a grand time of it. 

We drove to Abington, VA the next day.  We played music all day, and ate smoky ribs all night.  It was glorious.  Exhausting, but good.  Thanks to the amazing Doug for putting everything together out there.  We almost made it to his house to shoot guns and ride horses, but time was not on our side.  We had to get to Chattanooga.  Once there we would reunite with Jack, and head for Wakarusa.

chattanooga crowd

Chattanooga, TN blew our minds.  A huge crowd of people were in the plaza for the Nightfall concert series, and we had a glorious time playing music to them.  Dancers, whoopers, hollerers - these people gave us a much-needed shot in the arm.  Everyone we met - from the organizers to the sound people to the fans - were damn good, nice folk.  Oh dearest Chattanooga, we want to come back to thee! 

santa cerveza

At the end of the night, we were unable to finish all of our hometown, backstage Lagunitas.  What to do??  Well, there is an urban legend among touring bands that if you clap three times, and spin around, and sing "Santa Cerveza" loudly in front of a mirror, than a hairy, sack-of-beer slinging character will appear and save the day.  Thanks Santa Cerveza!

The next day we rolled out - the journey to Wakarusa now officially underway.  Jack came on as our Tour Manager and was faced with the distastful task of having to drive our rental van all the way from Ozark, AR back to Atlanta, GA by himself.  Legendary Status = +3.  On the way out we tuned in to reports of ferocious weather, cancelled sets, massive winds and heavy storms from Wakarusa and - so it seemed - all the roads between us and them.  We decided to take a slow trip out, and post up at a motel.  This gave us time to visit Jack's friend Sam and shoot guns.  We didn't actually get to shoot them, but we did take a picture of Ryan looking... tough? 

ryan and guns

The liesurely drive out to Wakarusa also gave us time to visit our good friend Teddy Thomas who was serendipitously recording his new record in Nashville.  We rolled into his studio and sat in on some vocal takes.  It sounded absolutely badass.  So good.  Did I mention that the producer on the record (and the studio owner) was a certain Fred Vail?  The legendary tour manager of The Beach Boys??  We had to get a photo of that:

fred vail

We made it to a motel in Clarksville, lounged in a hot tub, threw water balloons at each other, and made a nice night of it.

wakarusa cart

I had to include this shot because it gives you a small idea of the vast and formidable amounts of mud that were facing us at Wakarusa.  The festival is in a picturesque mountain park - lush greenery and trees all around.  But after the torrential rains and typhoon winds, it was a raging mud puddle.  Thankfully, Wakarusians are a hardy and fun-loving bunch.  Most had weathered the storms and were in good spirits when we rolled in Sunday.  The weather was clearing, and Snoop Lion was headlining that night.  All would be well.

ben on the phone at wakarusa

There is our nondescript, boring white rental tour van.  It is hard to be away from our sweet red lady for so long.  Here Ben is... calling the rain and telling it to stop dumping buckets on the festival we just rolled in to.  That man has some serious authority.  Just look at his security guard in the background there.  Serious.  That's what this photo is.

wakarusa junk

The good Wakarusians made this awesome sculpture out of all the destroyed canopies / tents / shade structures that the storm had demolished.  There is a hilarious sign in there that reads:  For Toby Keith - Do Not Remove.  There is a Country music festival on the same grounds the very next weekend... and Toby Keith is headlining.  We love these Wakarusa folk.

band shot at wakarusa

Wakarusa was good to us.  We had some seriously amazing adventures.  Stories for the record books.  Jack earned Legendary Status +4 and +5 for his Tour Managing and Golf-Cart-Commandeering while we were there.  We met amazing artist laisons, great people, helpful people, gracious and generous people.

We also rocked out to Snoop Lion:

snoop lion

It was exciting to be 3 people away from a living legend... and the rest of the band seemed pretty stoked.  I don't know the words to a single Snoop song... I could sing along with a few hooks, but a whole song?  Nope.  I could, however, sing every song in the Soundgarden repetoire - including the early work when Hiro Yamamoto was the bassist.  Different musical passions in the 90s, I suppose.  I actually had to leave the show early because my body - literally - could not handle the bass.  It was moving my intestines and spinal column, and I think was ivading my spleen.  Crazy what that level of subwoofer can do to a man.

That night of Wakarusa was eternal - the music stopped around 7am the next morning, and we rolled out at 9.  We got to the airport in a muddy, dirty, exhausted, happy heap. 

gio sleeping in airport

I got to hang out with Graham and Scott - bassist and drummer from Tornado Rider - who shared my flights home, and that was awesome.  The rest of the band (on another flight) had to leap over small buildings and sprint between connecting flights.  I heard the story later - it seemed way less fun than talking band talk with two chill and cool dudes who shred their instruments. 

We head for Colorado next week, and the family is coming with me!  Expect more photos, and more mentions of my gorgeous wife and baby.  Until then, thanks for reading.  Now go leave us some tour memories on the scrapbook page, already.

Checking up on The Family

Submitted by Gio on

Last weekend we rolled up and down the 5 again.  We've been through this area so much in the last three years, that it is very much starting to feel like family.  We come into town, check up on each other, give hugs, share some food, play some music, and then say our very temporary goodbyes.  This past tour we had the pleasure of rolling out with the esteemed Mr. Josh Rabie, singularly excellent fellow and fiddle player.  You may remember him from such bands as Watertower Bucket Boys and, subsequently, Watertower.  He is a shredder, taught us Brothers a big heap-ton of old-time fiddle tunes and traditional bluegrass numbers, and appreciates a fine cup of coffee.  Hellova guy, there.

Our photo Blog begins with this guitar.  We were up at the crack of dawn to make it to Eugene for our first show at Sam Bond's.  I was starving.  We had been driving for days.  In these harsh and ration-less conditions, I was near collapse.  Food!  I cried from the back seat.  Nourishment!  I begged.  No, Gio.  First, we had to stop at McKenzie River Music so that Ben could see his secret girlfriend:

bens dream guitar

If anyone has a spare $2000 lying around, and wants to get this for Ben, please do so.  I'm not sure I could take another 10 hour drive without food as our first and primary destination. 

Sam Bond's was great fun, and we had the good fortune to crash with Brad and Asha.  Not only are they great people, fun to hang out with, aspiring and brilliant professionals in beautiful and creative fields, and owners of lots of couch and floor space.... but they also are the world's greatest purveyors of Band Breakfasts.  This was our homemade Eggs Benedict.  Yep.  Brad made that sauce from scratch.  Our road family is awesome.

breakfast with brad and asha

A lot of people ask us (no one ever asks us) how we stay so fit and trim while we're out on the road.  Well.  If you took the time to join up on our Instagram feed (@broscomatose), you would see regular and ridiculous photos of us at rest stops across the US firming up our pectorals, and flexing our quads.  I was the lucky recipient of our last candid, rest-stop-cali

sthenics-photo-shoot.  Note my awesome green lightning-bolt socks, please:

gio does supermans at a rest stop

We stopped on the way to Bellingham to pick up our favorite videographer / road-warrior, the amazing Jessie McCall.  Whilst stopped in Portlandia the ever-astute Josh noticed a giant puddle of important looking stuff pooling beneath the van.  He is natural at respecting vans.  Here he is with Alex - note the look of fatherly concern on Alex's mustachioed brow.  We do so love our van.

josh and alex assess the van

When the band decides to buy a commune and raise our little Brothers Comatose on a big farm where we alternate between touring and goat-herding, it will be in Bellingham.  Hopefully very near to Jonah and The Roost.  We met up with our old tour-chum Saturday night at his home-turned-venue.  The opening band were our good buddies Juniper Stills - formerly Wyatt Parks and The Mute Choir.  Here's a photo of us jamming on the front stoop of the Roost, followed by the Stills rocking The Roost Stage:

jamming on the roost stoop

juniper stills at the roost

And - following our traditional mind-bendingly great time had at The Roost, we follow it up with breakfast at The Copper Hog.  Dear Copper Hog - your food is good, but we would like to register a complaint:  Please bring back the Chicken and Waffles.  It is the stuff dreams are made of.

Our last night was spent in Portland, Oregon.  We were back at Mississippi studios and we loved seeing all our Portland family.  We even got to hang out with some of our favorite musicians that we've met on our travels:  Observe our Brothers Comatose hanging out with Portland's Sisters Shook (from The Shook Twins, naturally):

shook twins meet the brothes comatose

The van made it all the way home on Monday, and she'll be at the doctor all the next few weeks.  Looks like some steering and transmission issues have been raised.  I'm sure it will be very easy to fix, and extremely affordable.

We head out for the great South East again this weekend.  A festival of Banjos and Barbeques, a week of club dates, and then Wakarusa.  Keep your eyes here for more photos and updates, folks.  Thanks for being such sweet folk to us, and for coming out to the shows, for putting us up on couches, for dancing, and letting us pursue this madness of a touring life. 

woooooooo hoo!

Hipnic & Family & Touring

Submitted by Gio on

Welcome to my joys, ladies and gentlemen:

Stellachoke on the way to Hipnic V

That is my Stellachoke.  She is rare and delicious. She and my amazing bride made the camping trek down to Big Sur for Hipnic.  We were a full family unit on Mothers Day Weekend.  Do you know that fruit / veggie stand on the side of Highway 1 right around Moss Landing?  The one that advertises things that seem alien and impossible?  10 avocados for a dollar?  Well, we stocked up there.  That's where I snapped this shot of the rare Stellachoke.  The drive down was gorgeous.  Highway 1 to Big Sur is incredible.  We rolled into camp late, set up tents, made fires, opened cases of Lagunitas, and enjoyed a Big Sur weekend that was never for a moment foggy, damp, or windy.  It was perfect.

Big Sur campfire

(Our camp photographer, Ryan, either a.) getting Artsy   b.)  accidentally taking a picture whilst falling asleep by a campfire  c.)  taking one last photo before sacrificing his technology to the altar of outdoorsy-camping-and-roughing-it.)

Did I already mention that the weekend was glorious with its weather?  I did?  Well, in case thou  didst not believe me, here is another example of Captain Avellone's Photo-Vision-Quest:  He found himself in a mountain paradise with friends we made in an LA parking lot years ago.  Turns out they staked a claim in the heaves of Big Sur.  Ryan knew we wouldn't believe him so he, wisely, documented the sunset from his lofty perch:

BIg Sur Sunset

I know, I know.  A music festival is only partially about the people you're with and the perfect, balmy, Mother's Day weather.  It is also in large part about the music.  Luckily for us, a festival put on by The Mother Hips and Folk Yeah is a festival where we are going to be awash in the sounds we would want to be hearing all day every day.  The lineups were ideal, the performances were lush and sweet and warm, and the setting was Big Sur.  A stage in front of a giant meadow and hills and redwoods and blue skies.  Here's an example featuring our favorite people to ever sling guitars:  Our Beloved Gramblers:
Hipnic V Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers Set

We had the honor of playing the closing set on Sunday.  We warmed up for the event all day by swimming in rivers and lounging in campsites drinking coffee.  When we actually did get to work, we were warming up in a glade of dappled shadows, on the banks of a rippling creek.  My family was all around, my lovely bride and the Mother of our child was by my side all weekend, and it was Mothers Day, and our friends were thick both on the stage and off, and everything in the world was right and good.

The Brothers Comatose rehearse at Hipnic V

Thanks to all of our friends that came out to the festival and hung out with us and brought us bourbon-sweet-potato pies.  We love you all.  Thanks to the Mother Hips for being an example of how to get a festival together as a thinly veiled disguise for a giant weekend party with all of your favorite people.

We now head into the great Northwest.  See you on the happy trails, folks.

The Weekend in Photos

Submitted by Gio on

Here it is - I'll explain what I can for each one.  Thanks to John for capturing some quality images of Charlotte and Shakori - and for driving me to the airport from the festival.  He played me some live Violent Femmes and bought me Eastern North Carolina BBQ.  That ranks you a Champion in my book.  Enjoy the photos:

In which The Brothers Comatose sing and play and begin to have a glorious time in Charlotte, NC - this is from The Evening Muse.  We opened for The Whiskey Gentry - an excellent band of awesome folks from Georgia.  Speaking of Georgia...  our friend and road-buddy Georgia put us up in her driveway (you'll see how/why) and took care of us all weekend.  Thanks Georgia!

The acapella singing in Charlotte

Full Band in Charlotte

In which the Brothers Comatose journey in North Carolina and visit the home of the Avetts.  Jim and Susie fed us lunch, told us stories, let us enjoy their incredibly cozy and comfortable hospitality and front porch, and Jim toured us through his guitar collection.  He played us tunes, doled out wisdom, and offered book recommendations.  We traded CDs and then headed off to Pisgah.  Pretty awesome people.  Looking forward to running into them again.

Ben playing one of Jim Avett's guitars

We have a conspicuous absence in the photo journal - no photos of the Pisgah Brewery show - the gorgeous backstage with the pool table and Pacman - the newly remodeled stage, the delicious BBQ and sausages - the epic after-show jam in the RV.  Thanks Pisgah!  We love you folks.  If you'd stop being so damn fun, and if your beer wasn't so good, maybe we'd remember / have time to take a picture or two.  Sheesh.

So this next one - finally - reveals the RV.  I chose the RV reveal shot to also feature Phil and a ridiculous banjo.  This thing was silly.  Beds all over the place, tables, a fridge, a bathroom... who knew that Vans came that big?  We still love our Van, and we still respect her and only her... but it was damn fun cruising the highways and byways in a 30 foot rolling luxury hotel room.

Phil a banjo and an RV

The rest of this photo journal is all from Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival.  We had the luck to tour the West Coast with Donna the Buffalo in November.  We made friends and - as it turns out - they happen to throw one of the greatest festivals of all time out in North Carolina every year.  They invited us out to play, and it was incredible.  The hospitality, the environment - not a corporate sponsor in sight... it was like Kate Wolf and Oregon Country Fair had a laid back, groovy younger cousin out in NC. 

The photos are from our performance Saturday night on the Grove stage - one of our collectively favorite performances of all time.  The people here made us feel so freakin' good.  I couldn't wipe the smile off my face all night.  It starts with our first song - only a few brave souls to be found at this West Coast string band's first Shakori appearance... 

Shakori first song

... and then, about 3 songs in... the sun went down, the lights came on, and the people wrapped us up in their North Carolina love.

shakori fans at night

...and thus, we proceeded to get down.

shakori get down

We even had an epic hype crew of festival kids that tore the stage up with us.  Where did they come from?  We don't know.  Ryan saw them, got them out on the stage, and they killed it.  So. Damn. Fun.

shakori hype crew

And then, the final night... Donna The Buffalo invited us out on the main stage to rock with them.  These people are awesome.

on stage with donna at shakori

And then we packed up, brought back the RV and came home.  One amazing weekend.  The only thing missing from this blog post about North Carolina - and perhaps most importantly - is a record of their delicious pulled pork - to be eaten with their delicious vinegar-based sauce.  So, here you go.  Smell the hickory!  Savor the Greens!  Marvel at the tender delicacy of the Pork!!


There you have it. 

Can't wait to go back.

Thanks again North Carolina for being so awesome.