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Home Stretch

A previously owned 2017 Kia Sedona now holds all of our gigging gear and equipment, instruments, speakers, stands, and cables, plus a couple of us. Ready to start more regularly gigging this new year, our “new” van is perfect. We only wish we’d had it for our last trip to Burlington. DR9 piled into my 2005 Hyundai and chugged up route 91 at the end of last calendar year, a four hour trek at the beginning of a long cold December weekend to soak in the in night life before hitting the studio for a long 14+ hour stretch. Upon arrival at our Airbnb in north Burlington, a small second story apartment with 4 bedrooms, we dropped our stuff and instinctively hunted for nothing other than food!

The weekend was planned as a band trip, a business trip of sorts, and a true bonding experience between the 5 of us. We played at the LocalFolk Smokehouse open mic in Mad River Glen Thursday night to Network with local musicians in the area,

open mic at LocalFolk Smokehouse, Mad River Glen

spent all day Saturday in the studio at Egan Media Productions, and played the Radio Bean on Sunday before heading home. Thankfully, we were all able to take the time away from our revolving door lives, the clock ins and outs, the morning and evening commutes, the daily grind. It’s freeing, the way the cold air during every breath wraps around your lungs when you have a chance to get away. It’s like learning how to breathe all over again, a re-introduction to yourself. Quieting our demons we rallied to aim our greatest focus at our original music, a passion often speculated, a very difficult and taxing pursuit often underestimated. What we cannot underestimate, however, is the freedom that accompanies our creativity. I think I can speak for each of us that between the daily events of our trip, the coffee shops, the walks to the lake, the shared meals, the live music and even just hanging out at the Airbnb, our favorite parts of ourselves surfaced.

Above, Geoff, Jim, Barry, and I await the arrival of Paul on a Friday afternoon at our 2nd story Airbnb in Burlington, VT, learning "Times Like These" by the Foo Fighters.

A day in the studio is, honestly, raw grueling work, especially after a somewhat adventurous night. There is not a more humbling experience than to listen to ourselves perform the same line in a song over and over and over again…..and then finally nail it after several takes. There are times when finishing a specific part is simply not in the cards, like trying to complete any sort of physical challenge when our heads are not screwed on quite right, when the voices from other parts of our lives are screaming.

But there are times when those voices are silenced and the purest

clarity washes over the room, and we realize that every bit of effort, every re-take, every punch-in paid off.

My eyes welled up when Barry tracked delayed electric guitar to “Home”, and I was overcome with a realization that, in the midst of all my somewhat skewed perceptions of everything, there is truth and reality in the music we create, as the person who I swore to be, the person who I loose sight of once in a while, shines more brightly.

On the last day, an added bonus, we booked a gig at the Radio Bean, a well known café/restaurant and music venue in Downtown Burlington. Playing a free 1.5 hour set mid afternoon, one can only be hopeful for any sort of turnout…..

I held the microphone, “Is anyone here to see Driving Route 9?” 6 hands went up…People who we’d met during our weekend excursions came to support us. There are no words to describe that.

Back home, we all exchanged reminiscent text messages for two weeks straight, and so it goes. Months later, we are back at EMP studio, putting on the finishing touches to “Matter of Time,” I write as Paul’s bass booms through huge speakers, Geoff’s whistle trills gracefully, and Barry’s voice has a rather enticing edge after a 3 hour gig last night at the bar back in East Haddam where we met just 2 years ago.

The two year evolution of DR9 is an extraordinary mesh of relationships and creativity, a careful selection of just the right musicians for an original project that we simply never saw coming. Funny how life happens that way….

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