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We climb acoustic mountains. We bush wack through the thickest sound anomalies of the most diverse rooms in different cities, different states, different spiritual locales. Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s damn hard work. Tonight we had to discover and play at enough volume to drown out the room’s natural echo without overhwelming the ears of the audience and/or the band. It was damn precise work. Difficult work. But we did it. We measured the acoustic characteristics of the room and delivered what had to be delivered–and overwhelmed the audience’s ears. Very loud turned out to the the appropriate volume.

Bandidos is an enlightened space, what would be called a sacred or higher consciousness spot in books on religion, but bars have their spiritual aspect too. It’s a sprawling brick building with a rough stone foundation, built in the 19th century and with many identities over time, including a mortuary (bodies were stored in the winter in spaces through the foundation into the earth). Owners and guardian angels Scott and Amy have created a remarkable restaurant and bar, with the best mojitos, steak, and halibut overall composite rating perhaps on planet Earth. The whole staff is brimming with intelligence and good will, and they know how to have fun. RW and PL realized that they weren’t prepared for such a combo, being thoroughly trained by L.A. to view a smile with suspicion. But they got over it. The crowd wasn’t huge, but they danced all night, and the Hawks became kind of a rock band, volume being the key ingredient, turned way up. We played Mike Stinson’s “Take Out The Trash” and it was the #1 dance tune by a landslide, with everyone up on the floor.
Stinson can rock by proxy. This is mountain country after all and a twelve pack of Coors Light is never far away. Mike’s spirit hung in the warm July air above the room, marking it’s approval with a ghosty Virginia chuckle only we could hear.

Later, young Siberian named Ole really dug the band. We whilred and whirled to the music. On a work/study visa, he was drinking as much as he possibly could before having to return to the fierce Russian steppes. I said, “Good luck back in Russia” and he laughed hard as if I was making a black sarcastic joke. We saw him walking/stumbing his bike back up the main street atr 3 AM. Ole, I hope you make it.

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