Refreshed, literally filled up with food, love and friendship, we said our goodbyes to Saunders, and bittersweetly made our way back into Nashville, excited about our photo shoot with Barbara Potter, apprehensive about the open mic we were gonna try and hit that night, but overall, still kind of “meh” about the town.
Our concept for the new album was to do a separate photo shoot for each song, so we could release each one as a single (which we may still do), have images to show during our CD release show, and have plenty of shots to use for the CD booklet. Not to mention, so many new promo shots. So our photographer, Barbara, started with us in Tacoma, doing intimate shots and family ones, utilizing our home and some of the coolest parts of Tacoma as a backdrop. Then, because she and her husband (fellow musician, Ben Potter) had recently moved to Nashville and she had been working from there on and off, she had studio access and thought it would be great to do some shots there!
We pulled in around 10:00am and were immediately anvilled by a thousand pounds of heat and humidity. It was 98° outside and we were grateful for the air conditioned opportunity, no matter what it was! We did 3 different scenes and really had fun, but when it was over, we sort of wondered what to do. Starving and hot, we settled on 2 birds with one drive…a shady spot in the grocery store parking lot.
Parking lot picnic at the Food Lion:
Rudy was still asleep, so I stayed in the truck with him and Jared went shopping. He came out and immediately apologized for buying the sale, or “questionable meat” (which my best friend and I think would be a hilarious band name), but we made some delicious sandwiches, had some grapes, and put some classical music on Spotify (not much classical music to be found on the radio here in the south…) and had a little afternoon date.
Sitting in the shade, with a bit of cool breeze, my toes tucked under my husband’s leg, my little lamb asleep in the car, I was blissfully content. I carefully placed the picture in my subconscious to be called upon in a time of need when my life is chaos or a sorrow has overwhelmed me. It will always be a good place to go in my mind.
It was suggested to us to do an open mic at a place where you had to call between 1:00-6:00, leave “just your name” and show up at 8:00. We called and showed up at 6:00 to watch the “round” and meet up with our old drummer, Matt “Pancakes” Gay. If you’ve been CS fans for over 5 years, you’ll remember Mattie, the kid who wanted to be the CS drummer when he was 15. We said no, but try again…thinking he’d be over it in a couple years and forget about us. At 17 and fresh on his way to graduation, Matt again wanted to join the band. After a surprisingly competent audition, he became our drummer for the next 3 years. If you have the “Random Acts Of Blindness” EP, that’s him drumming on it! The history with Mattie is a rich one, and we were looking forward to the reunion and introducing him to Rudyard.
Matt walked in and it was like no time had passed. I’ll include the open mic portion in the “Nashville” part of the blog, but after it was over, Matt suggested we go get Nashville’s “famous” “hot chicken”. At this point we were starving and it sounded good, so, sure! We pulled into “Prince’s Hot Chicken” joint and we were greeted by a tiny little shack of a restaurant with red and while checkered decor and an amazing smell in the air. Spicy and thick, it matched the air outside in heaviness. This place was so popular that it had specific things you could only order on certain days, down to the times you could get them. I made my choice, found out they were sold out, moved into the choice of “what was left”. The “hot meter” went from “plain” to “XXhot” Mattie, a self-proclaimed hot chicken aficionado, ordered the Xhot, because he wanted to see what they could do. We played it safe with the hot. I mean, I’ve had buffalo wings. I got this, right??? 30 min later, no feeling left in my mouth, round swollen, stomach turning, I said to the owner of the place, “That wath amathing! Whew!! I’m thure I’ll pay for that later!” He just looked at us and said, “Oh, most definitely.”, and then chuckled slightly.
Being with Mattie was good. We laughed and hugged and laughed some more. We shared stories about where our careers were and future goals. It was really sweet and, in the glow of nostalgia, I truly missed our time together. However, somewhere around 3:00 in the morning when his drunk roommates woke us and our 4 year old up to find their bong while we were asleep in their basement, the nostalgia glow was replaced with the familiar feeling of wanting to punch your younger brother for being a tool. We got back to sleep, but our 5:00am alarm came waaay to quickly after that and we weren’t happy. My favorite part of that whole experience was when his buddies left. They apologized and said as they were heading upstairs, “Hey, let us know if we can get you anything.” In hindsight, we should have taken them up on their offer when we got up two short hours later. Just to return the “favor”.