Notes From The Road: Kaia Wilson and Jennifer O’Connor on tour

Prepping and packing for tour is always a bit of a last minute proposition for me. Stuffing CDs into bags and boxes, finding guitar cords that work, remembering my toothbrush: it’s a lot of work. Here’s a photo of me packing with my dog, Paco. Minutes before taking this photo he was licking the guitar — but we couldn’t get him to do it on camera.

The first night of shows for me (Kaia has actually been on tour for a couple of weeks already) was on March 10 at The Rock Shop in Brooklyn for my songwriters series, Tower of Song. Kaia and I were joined by two other great songwriters, Dawn Landes and Beth Wawerna of Bird Of Youth.

We left Brooklyn yesterday afternoon for the short trip to New Haven for our next show at Cafe Nine. Here’s a photo of Kaia with her dog Pocket in the car en route to the venue.

Imagine Kaia making her small toy dog dance to “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel while you are driving down I-95 and you will have a pretty good idea of the kind of fun you might have while touring with her.  

The show itself was a good warm up gig for our nine-shows-in-ten-days tour. I sang a little back up vocals on Kaia’s “Logical List of Consequences” from her last solo record God Makes Monkeys and I also sang on (personal fave of mine) “Freewheel” from the Team Dresch record Personal Best.  Quite a thrill for me!

The absolute highlight of the show however — and up there on the list of live performances I’ve seen in general — was Kaia’s rendition of the Sinead O’Connor epic “Troy.” Kaia has a great voice and is a supremely talented musician, but the way she let loose vocally on this performance was something I had not seen her do before. I was floored by the performance and I’m going to  try to get her to do it again so I can get some video of it.

I also played a set immediately following Kaia’s earth shattering cover of “Troy,” which was not the easiest thing to do I might add. I played a lot of new songs from the record I’m working on. Kaia joined me late set to play on my song “The Church and The River” from my last record Here With Me.  It’s really fun singing together and I’m so psyched to be doing these shows with such an awesome lady and longtime musical inspiration.

We are playing tonight at PA’s Lounge in Somerville, MA — come on out and hang with us! Doors are at 9 PM. I will report back tomorrow with more notes from the road.

For more info on Jennifer, check out her official website.

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