• Tab Laven

Hodgepodge

Hello again my friends...


We had a great run of shows once we got back from the UK, starting out with the make up show in Troy, NY. That’s the show that got canceled because of snow that I covered in my first blog last December. The weather was much more cooperative this time around. The Music Hall in Troy was built in 1870 and is beautifully preserved!


Troy Music Hall in Troy, NY.

Then we headed out west starting in Los Angeles at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills. Art’s old friend, Stephen Bishop was there and hung out backstage after the show. Stephen got his first big break when Art recorded a couple of his songs on his 1975 best selling platinum album, “Breakaway”. As a result, Stephen got his first record deal and went on to have several hits of his own. Both Art and Eric Clapton lent their talents to several of the tracks on his album.


From there we all flew up to Lake Tahoe. The weather was stunning and the scenery even more so.

There he is!

You can ride the gondolas 2.5 miles up to the top of Heavenly Mountain to get a great view of Lake Tahoe. It's also a massive ski resort when in season.

Taking it all in! Little do the people know below my arm that I am their puppet master.

After Tahoe we were off to Napa, California, which was our third time back in 3 years! We then had three days off for our drive to Spokane, Washington.


The Fox Theatre in Spokane, Washington.

Show day, as we were all set up and Art had just arrived to start our soundcheck, the thunder rolled and the sky opened up and released a torrential downpour. The city was flooding…water started coming into the backstage area, flooding the hallways and dressing rooms and eventually started to flood the stage. Everything had to be unplugged and taken off the stage. Needless to say, the theater manager canceled the show. Even though the rain stopped, there was no way to get everything cleaned up and show ready again. It was a shame as it was a really lovely theatre! We’ll be flying back in at some point to make up that show.


The show that almost was...

From there we drove to Portland, Oregon and then to Seattle. Everyone headed home for a week and then we all met back up in Florida for three shows. Somewhere in between all this travel, I met up with an old friend that is now a production manager at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. He invited me to tag along with him backstage for an evening at the Opry. He introduced me to all of the Opry Band members, (including Jimmy Capps, who has been playing guitar in the Opry house band for 60 years), stage crew, sound engineers, the show’s producers, camera crews, the show’s emcees, etc…it was a blast!


The guitar section of the Grand Ole Opry house band. The legendary Jimmy Capps is standing in the plaid shirt.

Bobby Osborne and his bluegrass band onstage.

I actually played banjo on stage here in 2000-2001 with country artist and Grand Ole Opry member, Mark Wills! See the short clip below.


How about that!


Besides Nashville being the center of the universe for the music business, one of the other reasons I love living in Nashville is the amount of Civil War history here, literally out our front door. Annie and I drove just a few miles up the road into Franklin and spent the afternoon visiting one of the many historical battlefields near downtown Franklin. The Carter House was at the epicenter of one of the most vicious and decisive battles of the entire 4-year war.


A photo I took inside one of the buildings next to the Carter House. This is the most bullet damaged building still standing from the entire Civil War.

Small cabin on the Carter House property.

Next on the agenda we head up to Indianapolis for a private concert for someone's birthday party. Normally, Art doesn't do something like this, so I'll let you know how it goes! Then we continue our march across the countryside!


Thanks for checking in!

If you feel like sharing or leaving a comment, please do.


-Tab

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