Some Parts of the World Pt. 7
BettySoo's European tour winds to a close
11:33AM, Mon. Jun. 20, 2011
One of my favorite aspects of touring is finding I have an extended family all over the world. In Austin, musicians are really fortunate to have a community among ourselves that supports and celebrates one another, as well as a general city population who loves the local music scene, in a way I haven’t seen in other music centers in the U.S.
But beyond city or state lines, touring musicians are often blessed with a worldwide community of players who share and understand the mixed blessings of living on the road. A few years ago, while touring through the South, I was debating whether to stay one more night in Nashville or head further down the road. I went by the Bluebird to see who was playing, and “T HINOJOSA” was on the menu board in the window. I asked the woman at the entrance if Tish Hinojosa was playing. She told me yes, but the show was sold out, so I started back to my car. Tish stopped me in the lot, handed me her guitar, and walked me in.
Nowadays, she lets me know when she’s coming to Austin (she’ll be here this July!), and we catch up when we can. Doug and I stayed with Tish and her husband Andreas here in Germany. They took us out for a tour of Hamburg, whisking us by her impressive harbor then taking us up into the tower of St. Michael’s, Hamburg’s most iconic church. They led us to temptation via a large music store and introduced us to the century-old Silbersack, one of their favorite bars, where owner Erna has shown up for work every night for 62 years. They even included us in their holiday weekend in the country with friends.
So far, in almost a month of touring in Europe, we have stayed in one hostel and one hotel. Every other night we’ve been in the guest rooms of bass players, singers, radio deejays, drummers, guitarists, songwriters, restaurateurs, and artists. The instant kinship among working musicians is not easy for me to explain, but I think it’s probably easy to understand.
We meet in unexpected places. We sleep on each other’s floors. We attend each other’s shows when we can, and sometimes we invite one another to climb on stage to sing or play along. We stay up late talking, laughing, sharing songs, trading war stories, draining bottles. A wise friend recently taught me people in real community share both the terrible and wonderful things of life with one another, thus dividing their sorrow and multiplying their joy.