My First Solo Tour Update (7/20/2015

So the first leg of my first solo tour is complete.  The tour took me to PA, NJ, CT, VA, DC, NC, GA, Orlando, Tampa and Miami-ish, with Tulsa, Indy, Kalamazoo and Windsor, Ontario thrown in as well.  It could not have gone any better.

Maybe it is because I was an only child while I was raised, or because my mom raised me to be firm in my convictions and truly know who I am, but I love time to myself.  I love the long drives and I often sit in silence, with only Arnold Schwarzenegger interrupting for driving instructions.  I use the time to contemplate life, my friends, my music and all that is going on in the world around me.  I think that we often do not take the time to do this in our lives and we all really should.  Taking time to delve into your inner thoughts and sooth your mind is incredibly powerful.  As soon as I drove out of Chicago I could feel the stress of work, scheduling, and responsibilities litterally fly out my open window.  I was finally free.

This trip was about more than music to me.  This trip was about proving to myself that I could eat, sleep and breath my music and that people would be there to listen.  Well I heard you all loud and clear.  

In every city that I went to, I was greeted by the smiling faces of friends that genuinely were there to support my dream.  What more could I have possibly asked for?  Just writing about it now makes me so empowered and grateful.  I want to get up and get behind the wheel again right now.  In Pittsburgh, I was the first person to grace the "Rockin Robin" board and played on her back deck to an intimate crowd and then we went and rocked out with the Mowgli's.  In Jersey I went to a local dive and hung with the Siedel's and friends and even made my first trip to Atlantic City!  In Connecticut I had the opportunity to open for Scars on 45, even loaning them my small PA to save the evening.  In Virginia I was so proud to be a part of a HUGELY successful first year of the Rock This Town festival, playing at Tyson's Corner Mall and evening making a couple appearances through the weekend at Jammin' Java.

In North Carolina I had the opportunity to play for a small private event with a few friendly faces and gained perhaps two of my youngest superfans, who shot photos of me with their playskool cameras all night.  In Atlanta I finally got to play Tin Roof with Justin and Adam from Stokeswood, while Gareth Asher sat at the bar nodding his head along.  In Florida I got to play three shows criss-crossing the state while risking life and limb through Alligator Alley. In Orlando I played on Canada Day and opened the show with a symphonically-backed rousing rendition of "O, Canada".  My hostess in Orlando, Jeanette and I, begrudgingly woke up way too early to drive down to see my beloved SF Giants in Miami, where they were promptly swept by the Marlins.  In Tampa I dodged thunderstorms to play at Rick's on the River, which was a beautiful venue right on the inlet, for Crystal Waters' birthday.  In Palm City, I was able to bring my great college friend Julie Dull to see me for the first time ever and we were both blown away by the hospitality of Lisa C.  In Kalamazoo we ended up jamming in Roger's basement until almost 2am playing the loudest and most experimental versions of Pearl Jam and Zepplin that you have ever heard.  In Windsor, I got to visit Canada for the first time and was not disappointed ... how could you be with a full-sized pig roast and adult slushies ... Canada and Purcell's did not disappoint.

Overall, I cannot say enough about the trip and what the support of each and every one of you means.  You have given me confidence, hope and strength to continue on my journey and to continue pursuing my dream.  I hope that you all will continue to spread the word about me, my music and my mission.

I cannot wait to see you all again and if you weren't on this list ... write me at bennybassettmusic@gmail.com and let's set up a date to make our own memories!

Thank you all so very much,

Benny