Two Cow Garage Tour Diary Part 3 – Todd Farrell

Matt Woods Two Cow
May 18
Great show last night at Zeke’s. First of all, it was a rock and roll BBQ joint, and the food was absolutely killer. I try to kind of eat somewhat healthy on the road, because it’s hard to not eat like shit every meal of the day. Shane and Ryan (Parker, our tour manager) try to eat decent as well. Murph teeters, and Micah lives on a strict diet of cheeseburgers and Little Caesars pizza. Everyone has their fix. At this place, however, I ordered something called “The Four Horsemen” which is basically four kinds of bbq on a hoagie. It was life changing.
Being at a BBQ place, we were a little nervous. We’ve done those shows before, and they can be a bit awkward. Playing to seated folks eating dinner isn’t really a Two Cow environment, and Two Cow isn’t really a listening room band. This place was different though. They got the tables out of there, set up the stage and a hundred or more people showed up at the door. All was wonderful, and it was a great show.
Our Detroit friends Jeremy Porter and the Tucos opened up, and they were absolutely stellar. Their new record is fantastic as well, and all should take notice of it. Wonderful band.
More friends were there as well. Matt Woods, Adam Lee and Jeremy Mackinder all played earlier that night and came to hang with us. Seeing other musicians out on the road is always something special. There’s a certain solidarity in the conversation. Always starts with the “how’s the tour, how are the shows?” talk, but quickly goes into the “how amazing is it that we get to do this?” Quickly. It is. It’s absolutely amazing.
Today we have a day off, so we’re driving to Columbus so everyone can sleep in their own bed (everyone but me, of course). Hoping to see Mad Max tonight. Indianapolis tomorrow.

[ed. note: the following is a note Todd passed onto me about music and musicianship, and I thought it would be a neat bit of inside baseball for you all to see]

We had a really cool discussion in the van today while driving to Columbus. Murph and I are probably the most “schooled” musicians in the band as far as music theory goes. He’s a horn player, so it goes hand in hand with that. I had two years in high school of theory, but I don’t really remember too much, and I never really applied it much to my guitar playing. Micah was a drum line guy in high school (and is actually an amazing drummer, for those who don’t know), and Shane basically learned how to play bass as they were recording Please Turn the Gas Back On. Shane brought up an interesting point though, that he had always listened to music as a songwriter as opposed to a bass player. Since he’s started to listen to music as a bass player, he’s improved, he says. I used to listen to songs as a guitar player, and as a songwriter second. In the last five years, it’s been the opposite, and I sort of abandoned improving at guitar. Being in Two Cow, however, has given me a new urge to get the books and scales out and REALLY learn how to play properly. Murph said the same thing. He’s been drumming for over half his life, but never really learned how to play drums. Rock and roll is a strange and wonderful thing where the emotion is more important than the technique. However, we all want to get better with the actual “playing” part. Murph and I both have this want to hit the books when we get home and really zero in on becoming GOOD players. We do this for a living, and we should take it seriously, we decided. For the first time ever, I want to go home and PRACTICE. Just some random van thoughts.

May 19
Today we found out that the Columbus Replacements show that was cancelled will have not be rescheduled. Two Cow Garage has been perpetually the band of “almost”. I think it’s part of the blue collar, working man charm the band has, but it’s definitely not by design. We were so excited about that show. It would have been the biggest show the band had ever played, opening up for THE band. The Replacements might as well be Led Zeppelin or the Stones. Not that this would have been our big break or anything like that. We know better than to believe that. It would have been a nice moment for us though, the type of thing you tell your grandkids about. Now it’s just another foul tip. Another “almost”. So it goes.
Indianapolis tonight. New day.

Tonight is the last show of the Two Cow/Tim Barry tour, so if you or your friends are in Louisville be sure to check it out!! There are still some more tour diaries on the way next week…

5/22 – Louisville, KY @ Haymarket Whiskey Bar
Upcoming Tim Barry Tour Dates:
5/24 – Las Vegas, NV @ Punk Rock Bowling
6/18 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
6/19 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes
6/20 – Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
6/21 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Upstairs
6/23 – Montreal, Canada @ Divan Orange
6/24 – Toronto, Canada @ Lee’s Place
6/25 – Buffalo, NY @ The Studio at Waiting Room
6/26 – Pittsburgh, PA @ 31st Street Pub
6/27 – Richmond, VA @ The Camel
And while you’re at it, pick up music from Two Cow and Tim Barry!

Jeremy Porter & The Tucos – Above The Sweet Tea Line – 2015

tucos cover

tucos toiletIf I told you that I had a rock n roll album that you needed to hear and it opens with a song about a house cat, you might look at me askance and to be honest I wouldn’t blame you if you did, that’d be my reaction as well. If I told you the front man of this band chronicled his adventures on the road by taking pictures of bathrooms then you might even be able to guess that I’m talking about Jeremy Porter & The Tucos whose latest album, Above The Sweet Tea Line, is a damn solid piece of work that’ll be available to the unwashed masses on in a little over a week. Yes, the opening track really is about Jeremy’s boyhood cat, Josh, it’s damn good and the album only gets better from there.

You made a pretty good fake cowboy, grasping at your youth
Did your best to make more with less `till you finally faced the truth
But I wouldn’t want to walk a city block in your shitty cowboy boots – “Sounds Like Goodbye”

I was first introduced to these guys when I found out that they were opening for Those Crosstown Rivals (about whom you’ll find a track on this album, see if you can guess which one). tucos toilet 2I may have made a joking comment that they “aren’t bad for a bunch of Yankees”, one can never be sure about these things when whiskey is involved. Then there was a drunken version of “Bastards of Young” with Jeremy and myself on vocals with TCR providing the music. Long story short, this is one of the releases I was anticipating this year and it didn’t disappoint at all. Since I first heard them live, while I was drunk, this record really goes to show that even when whiskey is involved my taste in music is still impeccable.

You don’t got my name branded on your back
But the jig is up and the deck is stacked
C’mon, let’s get away – “Trouble In Paradise”

tucos toilet 3There is a definite sense that these kids take their music seriously but themselves, not so much and that’s part of what really makes this album great. I can’t help but tapping my foot along under my desk and have even found myself singing along, much to the chagrin of office-mate, who can kiss my ass if he doesn’t like it. There’s a really nice understated pop-feel here that makes these songs fun to listen to but they are also deep enough to give a man a little introspection at times and when you get right down to it, there’s really something for everyone on this one: rockers with guitar solos, slow burners with good harmonies, upbeat fun tracks, and tracks that would go well with a glass of whiskey on a lonely night, hell I’m pretty sure there’s a couple on here you could dance to if that’s your thing. I seriously can’t wait for these kids to come back through so I can drunkenly sing along with ’em. You should do yourself a favor and go pre-order Above The Sweet Tea Line so you can have it in your greedy little hands as soon as possible. While you do that I’ll put my headphones back on and listen to this one again…

Elimination Round
Long Story
Sleepy Eyes

Be sure to stalk them on Facebook (Jeremy keeps a pretty neat tour blog) and drop by their official website when you get the chance.