Australia and New Zealand
Its cool when two brothers can share some firsts together at 46 and 49. As many of you know I went ten years not playing with my brother on a regular basis. Somehow I've also managed in that same time to never play or see Paris, London, AMSTERDAM, Australia, New Zealand.............. Well I can check two of those off the list thanks to God and the Tedeschi Trucks Band. (On a side note, my brother told me that as far as he can tell we are the only two in in our extended family to have made careers together. Its almost like that special feeling twins must have.) Anyway, even though Kofi had been to Adelaide Australia with DTB he had never been to Sydney, Melbourne, Byron Bay, Tweed Heads Australia or Auckland New Zealand. So we shared all those firsts together in one whack!
Australian and New Zealanders are some of the friendliest I've ever met. So far I found the people of Italy to have the friendliest general attitude. But I think Sydney, Byron Bay and Auckland may have surpassed it! The Byron Bay festival might have been my favorite festival I've ever played. The line up was sick, (Our dressing room was next door to Mavis Staples' and I had a meal quite randomly right next to Elvis Costello.) The staff were over the top in kindness. Tweed Heads, where the hotel is, (not joking folks) is apparently the "tweed" capital of the country, and, thankfully, there was a lot of it to be found so far from home.
People are so appreciative of American music over there. It was truly amazing to see so many of my friends from America at the same hotel breakfast buffet in Sydney. We broke early morning bread with George Porter from The Funky Meters, members of Little Feat, Fishbone, Blind Boys of Alabama, and WARREN HAYNES BAND! All the way round the world and old friends meet up. New Friends were made too, and we saw some new talents that lifted and inspired. Check out Gurrumul! Wow! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8-YMpYbRqY
And also with his brothers (or friends/cousins harmonizing with him.....
And just one more for the hell of it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgRCBN9nyzI
There's nothing I can say about this music except do yourself a favor..........
Other quick highlights:
My first time on a surfboard with Ryan Murphy and Falcon in Australia close to where World Champion surf competitions are held.
Hugging Mavis Staples in the hotel lobby in Auckland.
Seeing Kofi play a really long flute solo backed up by none other than his biggest hero on earth; Herbie Hancock. All who know me well know that it was real blurry from tears the whole time but I could hear it clear as a bell! Then Herbie came out front with his "key-tar synthesizer" and Kofi backed him on his grand piano.
I wish my mom and dad could have seen that. God's not kiddin' about that whole "cup runneth over" thing folks.