Tag Archives: Tour

Day -1 – Dad, are you sure it’s a good idea to drill a hole in your guitar?

Tomorrow is Thursday. I’ll call it day 0 since our first show is on Friday. I’ve packed and I’m ready to embark on my 7th two week tour of Switzerland. Kevin and I have been doing this since 2004 but it’s always fun and exciting. This time I can tell I’ll miss my kids more than usual. They are older and more interesting and I really enjoy time with them. Kevin, Serge and I played a kick off show to a very friendly Ann Arbor audience a few nights ago. Keith Meisel, who has toured with us four out of six previous trips, sang some killer harmonies. I’m definitely going to miss him on the road.

Just before the Ann Arbor gig I decided to drill a hole in my 1930 Slingerland so I could attach a strap button to the neck heel. Bad idea. I ended up cracking the neck heel and now the Slingerland is in the shop, so for the first time ever I’m flying with a Gibson. It’s a beautiful ES-339, basically a 335 for short people, which I am. I’ll hang out with the kids tomorrow until noon and then it’s off to the airport. For the next two weeks my life will be simple. Drive. Play. Sleep. Repeat.

This is the current set list. I’m curious to see how it changes over the next sixteen nights.


Final Rehearsal

In five days I will embark on a 2 week tour of Switzerland supporting my long time musical collaborator Kevin Meisel. I’ll be blogging the tour here and hopefully I’ll figure out how to post video. The band is Kevin, me, and Serge van der Voo on bass. Today we had our final rehearsal, at a secret location in Ann Arbor. We’ve been rehearsing every Saturday for a few months now, making sure that our arrangements are worked out and that we are truly ready for 15 shows in 16 days! Tomorrow we will perform at Old Town Tavern to kick off the tour. Check back here for details and stories as we make our way across Switzerland!

Kevin and Serge at our final rehearsal.

Day Fourteen – Stäfa

It’s the morning of our last full day in Switzerland. We are staying at Gasthaus Macartney in Stäfa.
We have our own rooms!
Last night we played for our largest audience on the nicest stage of the tour. We had professional sound and lights. It makes a huge difference in our ability to relax into playing. We split the bill with a local group called Singer’s Tale. They were quite good and I spent some time backstage playing tunes with the guitarist and the singer.
We left Austria yesterday morning and made the three hour drive to Paul’s house without incident. We dropped off the PA speakers that we have been lugging around for two weeks. This caused some consternation for Keith because now he needs a new plan for what Rob calls the vanpack. From there it was just forty minutes to Stäfa and the Rossli club. Hotel, showers, soundcheck, dinner.
Tabea Anderfuhren showed up to our show. We first met her in 2005 when she saved us from getting shafted by a club owner using mostly her native ability to speak Swiss German. She sings with Kevin on every tour. Usually she sits in on a few tunes, which is what happened last night. She is definitely more established in the Swiss music scene than she was ten years ago. A Swiss tour without Tabea would be woefully incomplete. After the show we went for a drink with her and her husband Tom.
One more show and then home. I’ve never been out quite this long before. We’re all exhausted but trying to enjoy the moments. We don’t know when or if we will do this again. It’s always amazing to me that I get to play music in this beautiful place.


I’ve never regretted the choice to make music my career. I always tell people that it is a great way to almost pay the bills. It’s meant to be funny but it’s true. Music is not going to make me rich but music connects me with people. People like Rob, Keith, and Kevin who I have the pleasure of playing with nightly. People like Levin and Katharina, the musicians I jammed with last night. People like Veronica and Sven, who just love the music and can be caught singing along to our songs. I’m quite lucky.
That first show in Laupen seems like a decade past. Traveling with Emma in the van is a distant memory. Even the show two nights ago in Innsbruck feels far away. Time is strange on tour.
There will be at least one more blog post but when it shows up depends on too many factors to list here. I do want to report on our last show and maybe sum the whole trip up. In less than 24 hours I’ll be flying home.

Day Four – Obstalden


The view across the Walensee.

      It can be hard to stay on the ball with these posts. We played our fourth show in Obstalden near the home of Paul Rostetter. We basically had to drive halfway up an alp to get there. Winding two lane roads all the way.
      Musically there have been some good developments. We played Drifter’s Son last night, which was not on the set list originally. We are also playing Broken Heart Tattoo and The Last Goodbye, the very first Kevin Meisel tune I learned. Emma has recorded some of the songs so hopefully at some point there will be YouTube evidence.
    The view from Obstalden is amazing, of course. The weather has been mild. No rain or snow. Tomorrow is a busy day. We have a radio interview and we need to do laundry. Laundry = critical.
Sound check at Hotel Sternen, Obstalden.

Sound check at Hotel Sternen, Obstalden.

Day One – Laupen

Day one of the this tour has come to a close. I am sitting at Hotel Baeren in Laupen. This is a great little place where we always stay when we play at Die Tonne. I’m enjoying a glass of GlenDronach single malt scotch with Keith. Today was very long. We rented the van in Zurich…


arrived at Brambus Records HQ in Muhlehorn by 9:00 AM…


enjoyed some coffee and loaded up more gear with Paul Rostetter, label founder, president, and sole employee…


and then drove out to Laupen where Keith met a cat.


Although he is quite allergic he will still play with them as though they are his best friends in the world. I should mention that Keith is also blogging this tour at keithmeisel.com.

I had not realized how energetic our sets were. There are a few mellower numbers but we really packed some rockers into our show. The venue was about 3/4 full and we played well. There are a few kinks to work out. I was exhausted (we all were) but as soon as we started I woke up. I love the feeling of playing good songs for an appreciative crowd. Keith, Kevin and Rob are excellent musicians and very fun to play with. Our hosts Anita, Meret, and Yvonne were very helpful and kind, and we sold nine CDs which is good for a small venue. We’re close to Bern tonight but tomorrow we head east to Sennwald for a house concert at the home of Beth Wimmer, an American expat who has been here for years.

I really need sleep.

Up in the Air


I’m writing this post from somewhere over the Atlantic. We left Detroit this morning on a tiny eighteen seat Beechcraft 1900d (we were informed by the captain, who could not quite stand up fully in the cabin, that the D has a little extra headroom). There were no overhead bins so we had to gate check our guitars. Arriving in Toronto we had a five hour layover during which time I learned the following truths: Keith does not like to lose at cribbage. Toronto airport has the best burgers. Airport Wi-Fi is not all that it is cracked up to be. Kevin does not consider Tim Horton’s coffee to be high quality. I also spent some of my free time making a new handle for my modeler out of duct tape. Never travel without duct tape, kids.


We boarded this giant Boeing 767-300 at five pm EST and will arrive sometime tomorrow morning (though it might be yesterday by the time this gets posted). High point – we were allowed to carry on our instruments. In Zurich we will pick up our van and drive to Brambus Records headquarters to get our gear and do a telephone interview, and then head out to Laupen. I’m tired and looking forward to the playing music part of this tour.

Switzerland 2014 – Packed!


I’ve just finished packing for the upcoming two-week tour of Switzerland. It’s 2 AM. Keith will be here at 6:30 to drive me to Kevin’s house. We’ll meet Rob at the airport at 8:00 and take off at 10:10. We have a long layover in Toronto – I am not sure why I set up the flight that way but it is definitely my fault – and from there we fly into Zurich. I’ve managed to get a telecaster, a lap steel, the netbook that I will be using to write the rest of these posts, plus all of my clothing into the gig bag. The black bag holds my Vox Tonelab LE, which replaces an amplifier – it is basically a digital amp modeller/effects unit. Way easier for overseas touring than my usual tube amp. The road case holds all the cables and tools and miscellaneous stuff I might need. All in all I think I packed pretty small.

This tour is fifteen dates, starting in the town of Laupen – near Bern – at a little place called Die Tonne. We have played there on three other occasions and so it will be a nice way to start the tour. Christian von Erlach is our contact and he always makes sure we are well taken care of.

I’ll try to make this tour blog as interesting as possible and I will also try to update daily, though I may miss a few. Here is our complete tour schedule. You know, in case you happen to be in any of these towns in the next few weeks,,,

Samstag, 1. Nov. 2014      CH-LAUPEN, Die Tonne

Sonntag, 2. Nov. 2014      CH-Beth Wimmer‘s House-Concert

Montag, 3. Nov.  2014      CH-WINTERTHUR, Esse-Bar

Dienstag, 4. Nov. 2014     CH-OBSTALDEN, Sternen

Mittwoch, 5. Nov. 2014    CH-CHUR, Werkstatt

Donnerstag, 6. Nov. 2014 CH-REGENSDORF, s’Gwölb

Freitag, 7. Nov. 2014                CH-FEUERTHALEN, Dolder2

Samstag, 8. Nov.2014       D-01979 LAUCHHAMMER, Real Music Club

Sonntag, 9. Nov. 2014      D-Kötz, CWF

Montag, 10. Nov.2014      CH-THUN, Sekundarschule

Dienstag, 11. Nov. 2014   A-FUGEN-BINDERHOLZ

Mittwoch, 12. Nov. 2014  A-SCHARNITZ, Alte Mühle

Donnerstag, 13. Nov. 2014 A-INNSBRUCK, Bogentheater

Freitag, 14. Nov. 2014      CH-STAEFA, Rössli

Samstag, 15. Nov. 2014    CH-FLAWIL, Kulturpunkt FlawilDSC_1532 copy