Cleveland “Livingroom Tour” Report

Home, by the grace of God, am I.

I left Cleveland yesterday at 12:30. 480 miles later, at a cruising altitude of 4 feet, and an average speed of 75 mph, I crossed the George Washington Bridge — the very bridge I traversed when I moved to Manhattan in 1995 — with the windows down, and Ryan Adams’ “New York” blasting from the CD player.

Just over an hour later, I was entrenched in Ultra Sound Rehearsal Studios with the band running through tonight’s set.

And while the Livingroom Tour officially concludes with tonight’s ‘Almost Home’ CD release at Sin-e, the rent-a-Taurus is returned, and the road is behind me. At least for now.

Becky, my most gracious Cleveland host, asked me just prior to my departure whether I would ever do another tour. “Or is this the wrong moment to ask,” she asked.

“This is probably the wrong moment to ask.”

The tour was an overwhelming success by any standard: I played more towns, to more people, and sold more CDs than in the fifteen years prior. Emotionally, the dialogue that exists between myself and my audience — my friends, really — is more rewarding than anything I’ve known. Bridges have been built. A community has grown.

That I traversed over 3000 miles in the last fifteen days with no major accidents is, by my account, a miracle. I was nearly run into the cement by at least two tractor trailers. I traveled “Sniper Alley” — I-270 bypass around Columbus, OH — not once, but twice. I survived on caffeine and adrenaline alone.

And I am tired to my bones. I am tired in a way my 21-year-old, cross-country road tripping self could not have imagined possible just eleven years later. I am tired in a way that knows no words.

And so I will sleep now, again, then rise, run, eat, and prepare for what I anticipate to be the performance of a lifetime.

I’ll meet you when you get there.

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