We Are the Willows tour diary, Vol. 1

Categories: Tour Diary
Greetings and Salutations,

My name is Peter Michael Miller.  I write music under the name We Are The Willows.  I released an album on an Eau Claire, WI record label called Amble Down Records last November.  Since then I'd been doing small tours and had been working full time for Twin Cities Habitat For Humanity.  But now, the financial planets have aligned and I'm able to hit the road for a pretty long period of time; TWO AND A HALF MONTHS!  Yahoo!  Yippee!  EEEEK!

What follows is something of a diary about my trip.  

Leaving Minneapolis was tougher than I thought it would be.  It's such a great place to live and the thought of not being is kinda sad.


But how can one remain sad for very long when one has a bunk bed van!?!?!  My Dad and I built a bunk in the van so that I can slumber party in there when I don't have a place to stay.  My dad designed it and it's incredible.  It basically has three pieces of lumber and the rest is supported by my gear and 2-inch foam.  My father is a genius.

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My first date of the tour was a double header: an all ages show and a 21+ show.  I played in Northfield, MN with current Northfield natives DEWI SANT.  We played at a youth center called, THE KEY, which, apart from it's STD infested bathroom is a very neat place.  The back deck is really gorgeous at night.

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Here's Michael from Dewi Sant and I at the CONTENTED COW.  Dewi Sant's set that night was pure magic.  

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I've been driving to Winona, MN to play shows for the couple years in various bands.  I don't know if it's because I had been driving there with other dudes, hootin' and hollerin' and making up euphemisms for male genetalia, but I never noticed how strikingly beautiful that area is.

Ed's No Name Bar is one of my favorite places to play in the whole world.  

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Being in Eau Claire, WI is always a little strange.  I went to middle school and high school there and when I left for college my parents moved to California and my siblings were all out of state.  Lots of my friends moved too.  So when I go back, for the most part,  I either see new friends I've made there or people who I forgot existed.  

I played at a lovely place that my friend's parents own called THE HARMONY CORNER CAFE.  The room sounds really great.  I played with some friends in bands called, WHALE
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The next day my friend and record label goon Kyle and I went cliff jumping and rope swinging.  How Extreme!

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I didn't know what to expect in La Crosse, WI.  The gal who books for the ROOT NOTE let me play on a Sunday even though they don't usually do Sunday shows.  All she could guarantee me was a meal and some coffee.  When I got there I saw that a friend of mine was there!  Apparently his family lives really close and planned a trip home around my show there.  Then a bunch of random people started coming in.  I found out that one dude has a friend in MPLS who suggested he come to the show.  I felt like a rock star hero.  I wished I was wearing leather pants.  

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WARNING!  Here comes a heart felt life lesson learning time moment.  In all my time playing music and touring whilst also having a normal job, I never appreciated people paying to come into shows, buying shirts and cd's, or giving me tips as much as I do now.  My friend Andrew in La Crosse bought a shirt that night I played there.  He is the sort of dude who buys something from the merch table at almost every one of my shows.  It means so much to me, especially now.  I'm a lucky dude.

More travel stories to come.

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