Hello, friends! Rob here.
It’s been about a week now, and I’ve got to say it’s great to be back in New Orleans. For example, did you know that it’s still cold in some parts of the country? Last week’s Seattle/New Orleans driveathon took us from 35-degree lows to 90-degree highs. It was nice, after working our way upwards into colder and colder climes, to emerge from two days of delirious semi-consciousness (seriously, try spending 40 hours in a van sometime) and suddenly be in shorts weather.
Speaking of shorts weather, French Quarter Fest was just plain awesome. There were way more people than had any business being at a music festival at 4:30 in the afternoon on a Thursday, and we managed to get everyone out of their lawn chairs by a few songs into the set. The next afternoon we set out for Alley Bar in Montgomery. Andrew was out of town at a family wedding, so we enlisted the help of everyone’s favorite Campanelli stand-in, Mr. Sam Shahin of Mississippi Rail Company. Unfortunately, because we were driving back after the show, we didn’t get to indulge quite as fully in the bar’s sub-zero-ice-shotglass room as we did last time. Also absent on this trip: Underground jazz club with vat of mysterious blue liquid.
The rest of the weekend we didn’t do shows unless we were Zack or Dave. Since I am not Zack or Dave, I can only guess as to how they went. And so I will:
Fifteen miles into the drive to Orange Beach, AL, the van broke down. Because the band had already exhausted this decade’s allotment of AAA roadside assistance, Zack and Dave were forced to take a dogsled the rest of the way. Apparently, there’s some kind of law or something against operating animal-powered vehicles on the interstate, so an overweight sheriff in a backwoods (backswamp?) Louisiana Parish made it his personal crusade to bring these young scofflaws to justice. After a harrowing chase spanning all of the twelve miles between Slidell and the LA/MS state line, our intrepid band guys arrived at the bridge on the River Pearl.
The sheriff knew they would be coming this way. Half the parish was already on their tail, but still, Dave and Zack commanded a team of fifteen mighty sled dogs. All of the huskies were surprisingly agile, especially considering that they were hauling both a sled and a two-axle trailer full of band equipment behind them. The sheriff was taking no chances. By the time the band guys reached the bridge, his deputies had already blown it up. With dynamite.
All that stood between our heroes and their stripped-down acoustic gig was one forty-foot gap. That, and the remaining 156 miles of the drive. Which, as you may recall, was no longer a drive, but a dogsled ride. Anyway. Victory lay ahead of them. Well, maybe victory, but also maybe falling into a river and possibly dying because of that. Behind them, however, was a minimum forty-two dollar fine, with a maximum penalty of seventy-five dollars and, somehow, the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device on the dashboard of their dogsled for a period not to exceed eight months.
Eight long months. They couldn’t spend 244 of the 250 days left until the end of the world driving their dogsled sober. The choice was clear. They had to jump.
It was like a scene right out of some movie. And that movie was The Blues Brothers. Except it was a dogsled, instead of a car. And there wasn’t that bit at the end about the cigarette lighter, because smoking is bad. Also, once they were clear of the gap, the sheriff threw his hat onto the ground and stomped on it while saying folksy cuss words like “goldarnit” and “tarnation.”
And so it was that Zachary Feinberg and David Shaw evaded the entire law enforcement community of St. Tammany Parish, LA and made it to their gig on time. They played a fine show, and on the return trip they were promptly apprehended upon crossing the state line into Louisiana. In a trial that one New York Post reporter described as “farcical,” their sentence was suspended due to the judge’s inability to remand fifteen sled dogs into state custody. The Revivalists will be performing live this Thursday at Swampfest in Lafayette, LA and Saturday at a private function in Athens, GA. The following week they will be on the road with JJ Grey and Mofro, so their blog coverage may become (okay, remain) unreliable. Thank you for your time and goodnight.