Cleveland – Wilbert’s

After many days on the road, I’ve started to play a game with myself. Now… Before you have me committed, let me explain. What I do is look a city over and decide whether or not I’d be able to move to this city or not, and in what scenario that life could throw at me, would I be okay with moving there. I mean absolutely no disrespect to any of the cities that I’ve been to on tour, but because of San Diego’s MASSIVE advantages, I’ve come up with the idea that I could live in any of the cities on tour if A.) My girlfriend/significant other got a job opportunity that was to good to pass up. B.) I had a child who needed special attention and this city had the best facilities for said disease. All of that being said, if my car broke down in Cleveland, I wouldn’t mind.

I woke up in Cincinnati and made the 3 1/2 hour drive pretty easily. At this point, anything shorter than 5 hours is a breeze. I was bummed that I didn’t get to stop in Columbus or Toledo, but if I listed all the cities I wished I could stop and see, I’d never get off this blog.

I showed up to Cleveland around 3 in the afternoon, checked out the venue, and decided to find a place to eat. I drove about 20 miles around the city and just took it all in on my way to “Grumpy’s Cafe” in Tremont. Cleveland would be such a GREAT photo shoot. The whole “Midwestern/reflective Singer-Songwriter” look is what Cleveland was made for! Bridges, broken down buildings, brick walls, train tracks- pick your poison, they are all there.

I called ahead to make sure that Grumpy’s was still serving breakfast and they assured me that they would still make me the “Grumpy’s Breakfast Special”, which when I heard the description, I let the waitress know that they could rename it the “Damigo Special”. When I got there, my jaw dropped with the amount of food that was on the plate! I think I gained 10 pounds! I really dug that place.

I headed back to the venue to soundcheck and met Mike, the owner. He is a fun, music loving guy who actually cares about the quality of the music that comes through. Even though we had never met, he treated me the same way I’d imagine that he’d treat Derek Trucks, AJ Croce, or Steve Poltz, all who have played his club!!!

We talked a little, and he turned on the baseball game for me and I waited for he headliners to show up. I played with a band from Vermont named “Something with Strings” and they were a fun, bluegrass band. I only got to catch a couple of their songs, because I had a 6+ hour drive to Washington, D.C. and needed to be there early this morning.

I drove all night. It was ridiculous. I have this weird nostalgic thing about the east coast. I rolled my window down and breathed in that crisp, cold, air that is so familiar, but so distant to me.

I got to DC around 4am, found the company that I’m playing for and found street parking not too far from there. Even at night, DC seems to scream, “We are more professional than you are.” This place is intimidating. The hotels are like 200-700 a night… It’s crazy. I parked at a quiet spot, looked over and saw a homeless man lighting is crack pipe. I walked over, and took a hit, then went back to my car and fell asleep. (Just kidding… I wasn’t sure if you were paying attention.) I actually started the car back up and found another spot. I got about an hour and a half of sleep and I’m STRUGGLING this morning.

I cleaned myself, put on my “Rockstar” clothes and I’m about an hour away from playing for the peeps over at SoundExchange, my Internet royalty company, and I look and smell great. 🙂

After the show, I start the 10 hour trek up to Morrisville, Vermont. (It says 10 hours… But I’m driving through NYC, and I’m guessing it’s closer to 12-13 with traffic… But when I get there, you better believe that I’m gonna sleep like a baby!

Go get some work done.
-j

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About Joshua Lodge

Josh will cheerfully admit that he averaged less than a dozen people a show when he first began playing San Diego coffee houses and clubs. But he garnered diehard fans in the process, sold a few thousand copies of his EP, Pocket Change, and picked up few awards along the way. After a traumatic family incident Josh 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, 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 EP, 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, Josh spent much of the year with producer Mike Butler, gathering up some of the finest musicians in town, shaping his songs and sound further still for his album I Will Be There out now on Randm Records. From the joyous encouragement of “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. 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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