The winding road to Bend, OR from Hood River is so familiar to me now , it almost feels like a local road. I’m driving it as I write this. It has gotten to that point with so many places around the country for me. I enjoy the feeling that my local borders are as broad as coast to coast in my own country. It’s not meant to be pretentious at all when I say that I feel that way either; It’s quite the opposite. The repetition of my visits has become more of a challenge to feel familiar in as many places as I can.
Sometimes I find myself wondering why I’m drawn to the road and moving so often. Am I running? Yeah I’m definitely running. However I’m not running from something — I’m running towards something. I’d say that what I’m running towards is some pristine crystal clear vision that lies in my mind, taunting me with a clear map of how to achieve it — but it’s not. The thing I’m running towards is often blurry and ambiguous. I’d say it’s easier to feel where I’m headed than actually see it.
I’m currently out on the road as part of the Country Punk n’ Roll Tour. My brother and I put the idea together for this as a way to get my band, Riva Rebels, out with his, Lorin Walker Madsen & The Hustlers. He and Ron, who plays bass, play in my band also, so it just made sense to give it a go and play the same shows together. It’s been great so far and the crowds have been awesome. More importantly for me, I’m out moving amongst the roads of the world. This alone makes me happy. The fact that I get to be creative and share my music and lyrics along the way is a bonus.
We covered quite a bit of ground the first three days of touring. Show #1 was in Elko, NV. Show #2 was in Yreka, CA almost 10 hours away from stop one. It can be difficult to get out of Salt Lake City, UT to tour due to its geographic location. The drives were good though and it was nice to get back onto some of the forested back roads that you encounter in Northern California and Southern Oregon.
After our third show in Medford, OR our friends, who we were staying with, took us down to a local spot on the Rogue River. The little alcove had a nice calm pool to the side of the faster moving river and was the perfect setting for a relaxing afternoon. I even got the camera out and thought I’d brush up on the photography chops a bit with some wildlife.
The upcoming week is looking promising with some fun shows in store in WA, ID, MT, UT. I hope to see you out there. Keep it nomad. Thanks for reading. — Josh