Ziggy's Rock House - Winston-Salem, NC (January 30, 2013)

written by Kelli Scott

Winter Tour 2013 was one to remember for a number of reasons; it was shared with the best friends in the world, charming southern towns, and that amazing little band we all love so much, YMSB. The end had come for me... my final stop was in Winston-Salem, NC. It was a long day. I left Charleston from Drew & Erin’s house early in the a.m. to race back to Floyd where I was picking up Jamie for the Ziggy’s show. Winston-Salem is only 1.5 hours from Floyd, so once I got home, most of my travelling was over.

Jamie and I arrived in town to meet Derek (DD, the taper). It was great to hang out with "my boys". My first handful of Yonder shows were all shared with DD and Jamie. It felt like I was back home listening to all the taper talk about the coolest new gear, upcoming PHISH dates, and possible travel plans for this summer. It wasn’t long and I was dropped off at Ziggy’s to meet Dorothy and (d)Eric while the boys stopped by the bar for drinks. Once inside the venue, I was greeted by Ted. It was a special night for him, as his dad and son were hanging out in the light/sound booth, getting a front row view of what "Dad" does for a living. It was very nice to meet them, and chat about NC basketball... it’s bred into all us North Carolinians to express a love for ACC b-ball ;). 

After catching up with the Kinfolk and meeting new friends, it was time for the show to start. Lake Street Dive opened up. It was great to dance with Dorothy for the set. Recently, she has been busy shooting her wonderful photos from all points of the room, and I’ve missed her energy on the front row. But, we were living it up and boogieing down to the groovy LSD. “I wish I’d met you when I was seventeen... before I kept my hands so clean...” That tune will stay with me for a while. I can really relate! Can’t wait to catch LSD again this summer, they are always loads of dancing fun. 

It was time for Yonder to hit the stage. Dorothy had taken her spot sidestage and (d)Eric was replacing her on the rail. The show opened up to one of his all time favorites, “Sidewalk Stars” appropriately into “Ain’t Been Myself in Years”. These two songs should always be played back to back. As soon as I hear “SS”, my mind goes to “there’s a voice blowing over the mountain...” This was the first time YMSB had played Ziggy’s... or at least the “new Ziggy’s”. There were a lot of new faces in the crowd. It was great to see all the folks that had come out on a cold, rainy Wednesday night in January for the show.

Dave got the crowd going with a good ole’ banjo number, “Maid of the Canyon”. You can hear and feel the fast moving rapids race down the mountain with this one. Ben and Adam shared some banter, and then it was Adam’s turn with “Near Me”. It is always a thrill to sing this song to Dorothy. It doesn’t matter where she is in the venue, we will find each other and lip sync the lyrics to each other across the crowd. This night was no exception. I love the connections created through the magical joys of music. Ben allowed us all to kick up our heels with the famously fast, “Red Bird”. 

It was time to get a little gritty with the opening chops of Jeff’s “One More”. “It’s not the COULD I, BUT SHOULD I....” This song takes me back to my Ani days with a healthy strong vein of liberating acoustic beats and bold lyrics igniting a fire in my soul. Adam directly went into a solo that could only be “Northern Song”. It was good to get this one in the middle of the first set since it has been played as a set closer or set opener for a while. This cover was just what the crowd needed to take it to another level. My hips moved from side to side following Ben’s steady broad bass strokes. Damn!, that boy knows how to hold a line. He is the solid foundation of YMSB. The depths of his musical talent were amplified by his flowing lyrical genius, with “Things You're Selling”, where he so kindly reminds us to always keep searching for the light.

The fun kept on rolling with a classic shout out to that little girl that just won’t listen, and the tale of “Romance Blues”. The bubbly bounce continued with Benny Galloway’s “Blue Collar Blues”. The crowd was totally engaged, singing along to every word and hanging on the bass beat. The happy high was smoldered a little as the lights went down to the deep, heavy opening strums of “Angel”. It stood alone and went right into a cheerful “Boatman” to end the first set. 

Halftime was full of chatting and wandering around. I ran into the members of Lake Street Dive at the merch booth with Langeliers. It was awesome to talk to them for a minute. I found out they have a connection to Floyd and the eclectic music being produced deep in the Blue Ridge. I caught up with Jamie and DD, plus the rest of the back of the house crew before finding my spot again up front.

A quick “Welcome Back” from Jeff opened up the second set into a driving “Troubled Mind"> "20 Eyes"> "Troubled Mind”. I could tell from the lack of banter that this set was going to be full of intensity. It was my last for a while, so I was looking forward to the next 90 minutes, but I also had that little sad feeling that always lingers on my last night. ...Ah, they make it hurt so damn good.  ;) Dave gave us a goofy, “Welcome Back from Intermission” in his unique style, and “Southbound” kept the vibe going. I love to dance to this one. It has a great underlying tone and Dave adds so much with his jazzy banjo. I can’t help but smile bright when I hear, “Settle down, I’m southern bound, it’s home sweet home to me...” I understand this song is about the beloved sport, Baseball. But of course it’s all about home to me.

Dave gave us another Benny tune with “Winds of Wyoming”, followed by the unexpected and rare “Corona”. “Five Cent Deposit!!!” From there the rest of the night was just one big blissful YMSB sandwich of some of my favorite tunes. Of course, they can all be said to be my favorite, but I guess this would be a ‘best of the best’ rock block for me. “My Gal” got the crowd really revved up similar to “Blue Collar” in the first set. This was a sing along crowd... also grew into a little bit of a chatty crowd too, but whatcha gonna do? 

The boys looked like they were having a ball and they were defiantly bringing all they had for a midweek, end of tour show. It was really fun to dance and let loose with d(Eric) for the rest of the night. “Boogie” allowed me to shed all my inhibitions, immersing me fully in the emotion radiating from the stage. Ben gave a shout out to the “old, original Ziggy’s” ...for all you folks over 35; you know what I’m talking about. Then Adam sang the song that Ben wrote, “Jail Song”. No other lyrics move me quite like these do... “All that precious time” ... and those little mando riffs get me every time.

Dear Ben and Adam,

A small request, PLEASE finish “Jail Song” like the good ole’ days. I really miss the short rest back into the little lick at the end. Thanks so much, Yours Truly ~ ;)

Ben kept it going with “Sometime’s I’ve Won”. Next was the instrumental that simply makes me weak in the knees, “Midwest Gospel Radio”. This tune is like a drug, transporting me to another place where I’m lost in a welcoming, natural feeling of joy, freedom, and light. If I had to pick one tune... this very well may be it! It’s as if Jeff’s solo speaks to the audience... and melts me like warm butter. It was awesome to look over at (d)Eric to see the same joyful expression written all over his face. Things got really quiet, and “Ten” burst out of “MGR”, exploding all over the place like a bomb of string infusion dispersing into the dancing crowd.  When I thought we were close to the end, I was surprised by the taps of “Cuckoo’s Nest” as the meat of the “Ten” sandwich. The band and crowd’s energy grew and grew, building to create a full fluid circle of groove and synergy. 

Wow, did that just happen...? On a Wednesday in Winston-Salem...? This was the feeling I was left with as the boys took a breather before the encore. They came back on stage with more to give us. An honest “My Walking Shoes”> the always hot ass, rockin’ “Southern Flavor” finished off the night. Winter Tour 13’ was finished for me. It was a change of pace from the normal schedule of CFT, but I think everyone welcomed the changes and were impressed with the venues and crowds. I look forward to seeing what they come up with for next year’s Winter Tour through the sunny southeast~

Written by Kelli Scott; photos by Dorothy St.Claire

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