tour

“On Being Seen”, or “Touring Alone is not a Real Thing”

Sigh. My heart is full, my mind is content. I always seem to have a lot of feelings when I wrap up a tour. That’s because I’m an ahhh-tist!  Well, and a normal human with emotions.  I’ll try to keep it entertaining and load this post up with pictures. Oooooh… pictures…

Hitting the road #CaliforniaOrBust

Hitting the road #CaliforniaOrBust

Morro Bay, CA

Morro Bay, CA

People always seem to be surprised when I tell them I tour solo.  No one to keep me company, traveling all those miles alone.  And, I’m a petite person (that’s a nice way of saying physically feeble) who definitely could not fend for herself in a threatening situation. (Notes to self: sign up for self-defense class, buy mace)  

Manhattan Beach, CA - Photo by Mark Nicholas

Manhattan Beach, CA - Photo by Mark Nicholas

I take the risk because it feels right to me - to be able to go out there by myself into the world.  But, I must stress that while I am technically traveling solo, every place I go I am caught and held by the net of the community I land in.

King & King Ranch - Fillmore, CA

King & King Ranch - Fillmore, CA

I am almost never alone, except for when I am driving in my car, Badonkadonk, listening to podcasts while eating copious amounts of chips. Those are glorious times, too.

Perfecting my orange picking technique at King & King Ranch - Fillmore, CA

Perfecting my orange picking technique at King & King Ranch - Fillmore, CA

Sometimes, I show up in a situation where I have never met my house concert hosts before.  Sometimes, they are already good friends.  And sometimes, they are now old friends that were once new friends. 

Eugene, OR with Jake Martini

Eugene, OR with Jake Martini

This tour was special because I was returning to places I’d been to on my first jaunt down the coast in late 2015.  It was thrilling to be able to reconnect with new friends and fans, and makes me giddy to make future trips down.

Oakland, CA

Oakland, CA

Union House opening up the show to a packed house (literally) in Oakland, CA

Union House opening up the show to a packed house (literally) in Oakland, CA

Thank you so much to everyone who hosted a show, gave me a place to sleep, bought me a meal (no matter how much I attempted to pay), and spent time with me. Thank you for letting me share my songs with your communities. We laughed, we cried, and now at least we have tissues for those express purposes:

There’s a lot happening in the world, and it is hard to keep up and to know what to pay attention to.  In the end, everyone just wants to be seen.  Thank you for seeing me, and I see you too.  

Check out some more photo highlights below.

Much love,

Debbie

The incomparable Kate Graves opening up the show at King & King Ranch - Fillmore, CA

The incomparable Kate Graves opening up the show at King & King Ranch - Fillmore, CA

More King & King Ranch magic - Fillmore, CA

More King & King Ranch magic - Fillmore, CA

King & King Ranch - Fillmore, CA

King & King Ranch - Fillmore, CA

Day off with beasleydotcom - Santa Rosa, CA

Day off with beasleydotcom - Santa Rosa, CA

Estero Bluffs State Park - Cayucos, CA 

Estero Bluffs State Park - Cayucos, CA 

Estero Bluffs State Park - Cayucos, CA

Estero Bluffs State Park - Cayucos, CA

THE Greg Coladarci! Producer and person extraordinaire. Can't wait to work on our next album! - Alameda, CA

THE Greg Coladarci! Producer and person extraordinaire. Can't wait to work on our next album! - Alameda, CA

Castle Crags - Shasta County, CA

Castle Crags - Shasta County, CA

Djerassi Artist Residence - Woodside, CA

Djerassi Artist Residence - Woodside, CA

California, basically.  Clockwise: Mt. Shasta, Golden Gate Bridge, Shasta Lake, Manhattan Beach Pier 

California, basically.  Clockwise: Mt. Shasta, Golden Gate Bridge, Shasta Lake, Manhattan Beach Pier 

Beautiful house concert backdrop in Dunsmuir, CA

Beautiful house concert backdrop in Dunsmuir, CA

Touring Across the U.S. Part 2: I felt like a feral animal living out of a Honda, and people are amazing

Where do I even start to sum up this tour?  With all of the tragic world events as of late, it feels selfish to even share my experience, because what does it really matter?  I toured, I played my music, I drove A LOT.  But, it was incredible, and during this tour - much like my last one - I was awash with gratitude and awe at the beauty and connectedness of humanity, and so it feels worth writing about.  It gives this somewhat neurotic cynic some faith, and I hope to live by the example of the boundless generosity I encountered on my adventure. 

Clockwise: Boston, MA; Durham, NC;  Greeley, CO;  Pittsburgh, PA

Clockwise: Boston, MA; Durham, NC; Greeley, CO; Pittsburgh, PA

From east to west, and north to south, I reconnected with countless people who have meant the world to me.  I made new friends and fans in places I never thought I’d visit. I saw incredible sites I didn’t even realize were on my path. From Savannah to Maine, from Idaho to New York and back again, I sang my heart out, and I hope it meant something to some people who were game enough to come to a show. 

Some of the spaces. Clockwise: New Lenox, IL; Portland, ME; Bellmore, NY (aka my parents' house!), Dr. Lulu's Naturopathic Clinic in Asheville, NC; Salt Lake Elevated in Salt Lake City, UT.

Some of the spaces. Clockwise: New Lenox, IL; Portland, ME; Bellmore, NY (aka my parents' house!), Dr. Lulu's Naturopathic Clinic in Asheville, NC; Salt Lake Elevated in Salt Lake City, UT.

My hosts were unbelievably welcoming and generous, and the audiences were so attentive and engaged.  I played in houses, apartments, a garden, a medical office, a fitness club, a nudist resort, at an engagement party, and a house-warming party. Thank you so much to the people who opened up their homes and lives to me - words don't do a great job of expressing just how lucky and grateful I feel.

It's the details that slay me.  Top: My name in a Lite Brite and on a girl-power white board in Downers Grove, IL. Middle: The welcoming room and a specially prepared cocktail called "The Debbie Miller" in Stonington, CT. Bottom: Music pop-up books placed in my room in Oneonta NY, and my name on the cutest chalkboard that ever was in New Lenox, IL.

It's the details that slay me.  Top: My name in a Lite Brite and on a girl-power white board in Downers Grove, IL. Middle: The welcoming room and a specially prepared cocktail called "The Debbie Miller" in Stonington, CT. Bottom: Music pop-up books placed in my room in Oneonta NY, and my name on the cutest chalkboard that ever was in New Lenox, IL.

Now that I’ve gotten all of that touchy-feely mumbo jumbo out of the way (however genuine it was), here’s some lessons from the road:

  • There is no gas station squeegee strong enough to get off layers of highway bug guts from the windshield 
  • The only thing that cleans bug guts off the windshield is a downpour that lasts at least an hour with the wipers on the highest setting
  • My mini-cooler is amazing, and I got to eat something green every once in a while. I got it for free while temping in NYC for a fancy real estate company years ago.  Thanks, Vornado.
  • Turn your front passenger seat into a makeshift kitchen.  What else is it there for?
  • Dr. Bronner’s really is magic soap, and I used it for EVERYTHING.
  • It’s always important to have chips in the car.
  • It’s always important to have more chips in the car, for when you run out of your first bag of chips.
  • PODCASTS, especially Stuff You Should Know. Now, I know more stuff.
  • For when you are falling asleep at the wheel, a good phone call home to mom and dad (of Kickstarter video fame, fast-forward to minute 1:18) does the trick. New Yorkers talk loud and fast!
  • Add at least 1.5 hours to your anticipated driving time. Nature calls. A lot. Especially if you are trying to stay hydrated and/or caffeinated.
  • When a Motel 6 in Wall, South Dakota is your biggest tour splurge, you know you’ve done a decent job of being frugal.
  • Adele’s 21 or anything from Glee are a must for when you (well maybe not you, but me) need to belt something at the top of your lungs.  Because you are by yourself, so let it out baby.
Also, I got to see the country. Clockwise: Badlands National Park, SD in a thunderstorm; Badlands National Park in the sun; Veterans Healing Farm in Hendersonville, NC; Sioux Falls, SD.

Also, I got to see the country. Clockwise: Badlands National Park, SD in a thunderstorm; Badlands National Park in the sun; Veterans Healing Farm in Hendersonville, NC; Sioux Falls, SD.

Pining away for the next time I can hit the road...