Lincoln – Meadowlark Cafe

“In Lincoln, we like to pay verrrrry close attention….” This had to be the quote of the night… Well… Either that, or when I said, “Hey guys, I’m so sorry… I’m wicked self conscious… Pretty much every thought is being filtered through this zit on my head before it comes out of my mouth…”

I started today halfway between Colorado Springs and Lincoln. A 6 hour drive, stop at a gas station for a shower, and a red bull were pretty much my whole morning. I got to Lincoln at around 3, which was an hour before the two diners I wanted to try closed… (Update your social media presence, People!!!)

I ended up at a restaurant called “Grandmother’s” and had a cheeseburger… Meh. At least the bartender was cool. He told me some funny story about the Chargers game last night. (It’s always funny seeing what people in other states think of our teams back home. One guy even called it the “Texans game”. I quickly corrected him.) “Some lady came in last night and asked us to change the main TV to tennis… On a Monday night… During football season…” (That made me laugh pretty hard…)

I got to the Meadowlark Cafe around 5, grabbed an Americano and got some work done. I ran to CVS, and bought a few essentials, came back and met Adam, who was running everything. He was super attentive and great to work with. It always makes the night better when people actually care about their venue.

Unfortunately, when we went to soundcheck, the PA blew, and he had to run to Guitar Center and pick up a new one. It set us back a little bit, but everyone was cool about it. The band Jack Hotel started off the night and really mesmerized me. They were incredibly tight and the mix sounded great in the room. Everyone was really digging them. I got wicked nervous and had to go outside to calm myself down.

My hands were still shaking when I got on stage an hour later. I like to tell people, “I hate talented people…” Because I really do. I think of myself as a performer, not a “musician”, so when I see people shred a guitar solo, I get wicked self conscious…. I have to keep practicing guitar and stop thinking that way… Gimme a year… You’ll see… 🙂

The show was incredibly fun. I played a longer set than usual, but everyone was wicked attentive. From my perspective there was the table of cool college kids immediately in front of me, the hardcore music guys towards the door, the random guys who just like music in the front and people I knew scattered around the rest of the room. For some reason, my brain fixated on the cool college kids and the music guys… And the whole show I was trying to fit into their clicks in my mind…. That may make no sense, but I felt like I failed miserably… Every second I was second guessing my every move. I felt trapped. But at the same time, it was a good show.

The story telling part of the show was a little different than normal. Everyone was making a RIDICULOUS amount of eye contact and intensely listening to my stories. So much so, that when I’d throw in a punch line, I felt like the dorky kid on a first date… I was told by a dozen people that they loved my jokes later… But it felt like when you meet someone who says, “That’s funny” after every joke and never laughs…. Blah….

After the show I stuck around and talked to a few guys from the local scene. I really dug the local community here. They were wicked inviting and I hope to come back again soon!

I’m about an hour away from Des Moines and getting some sleep in my car in the rain. It feels nice tonight. I love shows like this. Huge thanks to the Meadowlark for a great time.

Tomorrow is Java Joe’s. I’m looking forward to seeing a few friends of mine out here. Should be a good night.

Yawn. Goodnight Neverland!


About Josh Damigo

Josh will cheerfully admit that he averaged less than a dozen people a show when he first began playing San Diego coffee houses. But he garnered diehard fans in the process, sold a few thousand copies of his homemade EP, Pocket Change, and picked up few awards along the way. After a traumatic family incident, Damigo retreated inward, and he ended up writing what would ultimately become his breakout debut, Raw. The album was true to its name and people noticed - Josh picked up two San Diego Music Awards for “Best Acoustic” and “Best Local Recording,” opened for the likes of Zac Brown, Jason Mraz, Eric Hutchinson, and Matt Nathanson, and had enough money and momentum to tour the country a few times over. A few years after Raw, there was his third release, Hope. Whereas Raw was a mostly acoustic, vulnerable affair, Hope was a celebration. Pleading and poignant, heartfelt and heavy hearted, it segued effortlessly from orchestral to alt-country, eventually landing him in the top 25 on the country charts. One of the hardest working indie singer/songwriters in Southern California, Damigo spent much of year with producer Mike Butler, gathering up some of the finest musicians in town, shaping his songs and sound further still for his latest album, "Just Give Me a Call", available now, on Randm Records. From the up-tempo single, “Just Give Me a Call”, to the simple sincerity of the ballad “Tennessee”, Josh’s songwriting skills are clear, his voice rings true and his goals remain the same as when he started - to keep making the best music he can, and to share it with all.
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