Chicago and Japan, Spring 2006 -- Part 1 (February 17-25)
2/24/2017 5:51:46 AM - February & March, 2006 -- Chicago & Japan "Routes" Tour

How does anyone write a digest of a series of events and days that deserve to be recorded and explained? So another long one chronicling my tour from February 17-March 10 which I will TRY and keep short (but most of you know of my affliction with diarrhea of the keyboard...).

Chicago (February 17) was great, as it was the first time we went just over a year ago. The first around, the event was mixed with the 7th anniversary of the promoter's (Eric Williams) store, the Silver Room, where legendary DJ Ron Trent was spinning, as well as with a fashion show, and it was packed. So this time, I wasn't sure how we'd fare as we were billed alongside a local artist, Theaster Gates, who proved to be a very interesting performer, singing and performing music with an eclectic band mixing soul and gospel while making a clay pot on stage. The Hothouse was filled beyond capacity with over 325 who showed, which was realy amazing. I think the band performed well (although "Philosophy Road" unravelled a bit towards the end) and my vocals and overall physical health was in good shape, so I felt good about my performance. I had been working so hard to prepare for my upcoming duet with my mother as well as the subsequent Japan tour with the new unit that I didn't really focus as much as I should have on the materials for the chicago show, but again I felt vocally and spiritually strong.

It was great performing with Seamus and Jonathan, both who I hadn't played with in a long time. Johnathan's drummer had really settled, and while Sasha felt it was too heavey at times, I felt it was perfect and gave weight to some of the grooves, especially "Hung Up" and "Intuition." And Seamus was his always amazing self, never trying too hard, but unable to mask that genius of his.

We were treated so well by Cat and Jules of the Silver Room who looked after us, and we were taken out to a fantastic dinner at the China Grill. It was Eric's birthday that same day, but the poor thing had a tooth problem that prevented him from hanging with us until the night at the club, but there he was, styling madly in a gorgeous jacket and attire.

After the performance, I got to meet some of the people from the audience, many who I'd met the year before, and including several ArtistShare participants, some who had flown in from as far away as Detroit, Florida, Ohio, Las Vegas and California. Also, there were some old classmates from Interlochen, including my good friend John Hegner! Overall an exciting night.

I returned to NY the following day, had one final rehearsal with my mother the day after on Monday, then Tuesday Nikita and I were off to Japan. Sasha remained in the mid West to do some gigs with the Mingus Big band, so Nikita and I were on our own. I made sure this time to be ultra careful about protecting myself from any viruses, loading up on Vitamin C, zinc lozengers, multi-vitamins, Echinacea and tea tree oil throat spray, Cold and Flu Remedy (by Quantum), and Airborne -- you name it, I had it -- as well as the silly looking mask on the flight over. I looked and felt like a hypochondriac, but being fashion conscious and cool was not on my plate at the moment; I wasn't taking any chances.

We arrived on the 22nd late afternoon, and the next day was free 'til 5:00 p.m. (I went in the morning to the herbal doctor's who told me I was fighting a virus -- I was mildly shocked -- and got a bunch of anti-cold herbs, then had a playdate-lunch with some friends), then went to J-Wave radio station to do a taping with my guitarist, Naohiko Higuchi of "I'm Still Here." It took 2 takes. This was to be used the following morning at 8:00 a.m. for a live radio program which we were faking as performing live. I just couldn't imagine singing that early, jetlag or not. That night, Sasha arrived from Iowa. The next day, we did the live radio show with it turned o
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