The final countdown begins on the Join The Ranks Tour! Bring on the mixed feelings of returning home and ending a tour. There are still two weeks of adventure ahead, so let’s get to it!


The second week at the New York Renaissance started with rain. You know, that death water from the sky that helps destroy all acoustic instruments. Our last performance was canceled, so I embraced the weather and decided to dive roll through some puddles.


I woke up to discover that none of my costume had dried. In hind sight, dive rolling in puddles was not a good idea. At least it was fun! I smelled like a moist muskrat for the remainder of the day. Totally worth it.


Instead of recovering from the weekend, the feasting and adventures began early in Brooklyn. Starting off, we hit a Norse God themed coffee bar called Oslo. That was closely followed by Momofuku Milk Bar, where they make ice cream from milk that has had cereal soaking in it! Later on, we visited New York Distilling Co for some whiskey drinks, and Barcade for beers and arcade games. Today’s events inspired the idea to start a Grub Crawl throughout New York.


The first official Grub Crawl began! We trekked around Brooklyn and Manhattan sharing gluttonous treats. Here is where we ended up.

Jimmy’s Diner – Fantastic breakfast. Probably the best French toast I’ve ever had!

Sugarburg – Epic coffee drinks!

Juniors Deli – Famous cheesecake!

Katz Deli – Mouthwatering slabs of pastrami!

Russ and Daughters – Pasteries galore!

Bareburger – Duck Sandwich, fries, onion rings, and beers!

S’Mac – Insane macaroni and cheese!

Motorino Pizza – Pizza!

Snowdays – Amazing shaved cream!


It was Mike’s birthday and we headed to NJ to hang out with a friend of his and film some videos for the band. The location was rad! Somewhere between a farm and pub, with hooks and rifles hanging from the walls. That night we went to Chuck E Cheese for birthday antics, and then met up with Pat from SWASHBUCKLE to spend the rest of the night playing Magic the Gathering.


We had a gig in Newport, RI. It was our first time ever performing there, so we didn’t really know what to expect. The venue, Parlor Bar and Kitchen, was much nicer than most venues we perform at. The staff was super cool too, and one of the bar tenders even spent an hour yelling at the local hotels until they gave us a good rate!


Before heading back to New York, we stopped at Cindy’s Country Cafe in Newport, RI. IT WAS AMAZING! Not only was the food incredible, but they kept our coffee warm and put up with our antics. The next stop was Regina Pizzeria in Boston. Totally out of the way, and totally worth it. We bought enough pizza to last the weekend. FEAST!

9/19 – 9/20

The last weekend at the New York Renaissance Faire. I decided to hunt for Star-nosed Moles in the morning. Although I had faith in my obsession, my hunt was unsuccessful. Come Monday, we have to pack up  and start the insane trek home to California.


We drove from Tuxedo Park, NY to Wauconda, IL. I lost feeling in my butt, but it didn’t matter. I played Magic the Gathering and some games on Nintendo DS to pass the time. It will be rad to stay with our friends in Wauconda on last time.


When in Wauconda, eat a Brunch Cafe. It is the law! We had planned to stay in Omaha, NB in order to split up the drive to Denver, CO. Turns out the house we were going to stay at wasn’t available, so we just drove on to Denver! The trip was slightly hellish, but after delirium sets in, everything is hilarious and time passes quickly.


Since we ended up in Denver earlier than planned, we had plenty of time before the show at Seventh Circle Music Collective. The first order of business was to feast at Illegal Pete’s. I’ve mentioned this glorious place before in “Free Places To Eat And Explore On Tour – North America”. Illegal Pete’s provides a free meal to bands on the road! I can never thank them enough for filling my belly with delicious burritos! THANKS ILLEGAL PETE’S! After a healthy dose of beans and hot sauce, we ventured to Black Sky Brewery. Having already been to Trve Brewing on every past tour, I was excited to try something new. Damn fine beers! One even had a marshmallow in it!!! Our show at Seventh Circle had a pretty good turnout for a DIY spot on a Wednesday.


My liver has been waiting a year for this day. I try to visit Breckenridge Distillery every time I’m in Colorado. By far the best rum I’ve ever had, and some of the best bourbon too! I stocked up on the rum since it isn’t distributed out where I live. We took a quick tour of the place before continuing the long drive to Las Vegas, NV.


Our arrival to Las Vegas was pretty late, but we managed to sleep a decent amount before we had to drag ourselves back to California. Our show tonight was at Complex in Glendale. Definitely one of my favorite venues, for what it lacks in size, it makes up for in amazing rotating taps and a killer selection of bottled craft beers. This was the first of two homecoming shows, and our third show with ARKONA and HEIDEVOLK. It sold out. What a killer way to start ending a tour!


Tonight is our last show with ARKONA and HEIDEVOLK and the last show of the Join The Ranks Tour.  It’s never easy. Touring and performing are two of my favorite things in life. We performed at The Merrow in San Diego, CA. This is one of our hometown haunts, and it was great to be back. I ended the night throwing back drinks with the bands.

It’s only a matter of hours before the post tour depression sets in, but I’ll have more time to focus on Trollwhack and recording for the next THE DREAD CREW OF ODDWOOD album starts shortly. I’ll definitely have my hands full. Until the next tour, keep drinking, keep reading, and keep banging your head!