Greetings from Middletown, CT! I'm loving this tour, but wishing I had more time to stay in each town. After a beautiful snowy drive on Friday morning (and some fun Maple Syrup Festival stops in eastern Ohio where I bought old-timey wares from women in bonnets), I rolled into Pittsburgh. I had less than one day to live it up. But live it up I did.
Downtown Pittsburgh is gorgeous, but the architecture just outside of downtown blew me away. I did the infamous Duquesne Incline at dusk, catching the convergence of the three rives and the nighttime view of the city from on top of Mt. Washington. Then I hit Liberty Avenue (SUPER record stores), grabbed a fish sandwich (you can't spit without hitting a fish sandwich joint in Pittsburgh...not sure if this is to do with it being Lent or it being Friday or just it being Pittsburgh) and headed over to Howlers for a show with Elise Massa and Tim Ruff. Jason played bass for Tim, and Chris Massa sat in on djembe on all 3 sets, including mine, which made my night. Great crowd, great songwriting, great vocals (thanks for harmonies, Tim), great sound (thanks Bengt and Lauren), and great support (thanks Catherine).
After the show I crashed with the Massas in their house, which was a former parsonage and--in keeping with everything else in Pittsburgh--beautiful and historic. Short night of sleep, but I was up and out by 8 am and drove 6 hours through the mountains, blaring John Denver, who sounds every bit as good in the Alleghenies as he does in the Rockies. I rolled into Sergeantville yesterday afternoon for an hour interview on WDVR in New Jersey with Melissa (aka Melba Toast), a fellow animal and Eva Cassidy lover. From there it was a 3 hour drive up to Connecticut, past NYC at night (love this), and now onto an afternoon show at the Buttonwood with piano phenomenon Orice Jenkins. Can't wait. I've got one day to figure out how to live it up in Middletown. I'm all over it.-Em