7/13/2011 – The Encore shoot

July 13 ,2011

I was pretty pumped when we got the call from the Encore Network that they wanted to use the song “Walk On” in a TV campaign. I wrote the tune in high school back in 1988, damn, that’s a long time ago!! It just goes to show you that a good song is a good song whether you write it at 38 or 15. Good songs stand the test of time. That’s no lie.

I’ve been running pretty hard out here on tour and after spending my two days off moving into my new spot in Boston, I had been on the go for 10 days straight. I left the band and crew after the sick ass set at the DMB Caravan in Chi-town and headed to Denver on the band’s day off to get ready for the Encore shoot.

The plan was to perform the song to a track in a high field of CO grass (just regular field grass mind you). After 10 days straight, a dinner with the producers and directors and 7 hours of sleep my 7:30 am wake up came too soon but honestly it was the most sleep I had in a week. I was ready.

It was a beautiful morning in Denver and I headed out to the shoot with my manager Jason Brown. We got to the location and I was excited. Even though it was just a 60 second spot they had set up a beautiful location and the shot was going to be classic. The director Brian Morrow was very concerned, and justifiably so, about the unseasonable afternoon T-Storms that had been rolling through the Denver area like clockwork in the early afternoon. He was on a mission to get the shoot done, and done beautifully, by 1 or 2 pm. I was originally told the shoot was going to be 10 hours. I’m always ready to work as long as possible, but I was down for an early dismissal as long as the shots were money.

We started shooting and “Walk On” just sounded lovely coming through the speakers with the sun beaming down through the spotted clouds and the tall grass swaying in the wind. I was feeling it big time and happy to be there. In between shots I just stayed right there on my stool working on two new songs, “Bloodshot and Blue” and “Finest Kind”. I was in heaven simple as that.

Shooting Encore Spot

It seemed like a couple hours went by, I was flowing, when off in the distance, just like clockwork, the thunder heads rolled in and you could see that storm brewing. Brian was hustling up. We had 3 shots left. We banged them out and then the storm was right on us. Brian called the shoot. He felt we had it and was not trying to have any of us get struck by lightening. I was all, “come on let’s keep shooting” but he was like, “we are wrapped and we are going fishing”. I was like, “aight then let’s go fishing” and fishing we went.

I’m supposed to be working and I’m going fishing. Nice. It turns out that Brian is an avid fly fisherman and makes his own custom bamboo fly rods. We jumped in the whip and headed for the Platte River by Deckers, Co to wet a line. As we neared the river, the thunderstorm had dissipated and we got the gear out and got ready to cast. The river was really high and running fast. Brian was not optimistic and sure enough we tried throwing a bunch of his hand tied Streamers out there but to no avail. Not a hit, not a strike. That’s why it’s called fishing not catching.

Shooting Encore Spot

Anyways, we drove upstream to try another spot but sure as shit, that rain started up again, lighting bolts striking, thunder cracking and it seemed we were out of luck. We headed home. I was happy for a country drive and a couple casts though that’s fo sho.

On the way home from the stream we passed this cool looking fishing bar called the Spruce Wood Inn. We sat at the bar ordered some Green Chile and a couple beers when the sky opened up and the flood started. The minute the rain started pouring, the bar itself was flooding. There was literally a stream running through the sidewall of the bar. It was unbeliveable. The only thing we could do was grab a snow shovel and start bailing water out the front door. The water was rushing and we were shoveling. As the storm passed we started getting the upper hand and in no time the water was cleared. It was a good moment and really made me think of how helpless we would be against a real flood. Goddamn there’s no power like mother nature. That’s the truth to tell.

Shooting Encore Spot

It turned out that one of the cats helping keep the bar out of the river was also a musician named Dawson James. He even gave me his new record, “Plaid Shirt Livin”. The record sounded great on the way back to Denver where we headed after another beer on the house for helping out.

Shooting Encore Spot

I made it back to the hotel with some wet feets and a big smile. What an adventure in Denver. Colorado always feels like home away from home and I was blessed to get off the stage and on the river and into the local bar for a hot minute. Now, I’m flying to Canada for the Ottowa blues festival and the rest of the US, Canada dates before we head to Japan for Fuji Rock.

I hope Y’all are having a great summer and staying cool as lemonade.

Thanks for stopping by!
G

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