April 30, 2016. Atlanta, Georgia.
The dust settles — slowly, inexorably, quietly. In the rearview mirror, the twisting tornado of “Detour USA” recedes from immediate view, growing ever more mythical as the intervening moments and miles continue to tick away. But even now, from the opposite end of the continent, the aftereffects of Detour are still in evidence: a bittersweet taste on the tongue; thickened callouses on the fingertips of the left hand; a new feeling of strength felt in the repeatedly broken and mended, broken and mended bond between my sister and myself.
Our hugely patient publicist (and the kind folks at American Songwriter) will attest to the fact that I blew past several deadlines trying to finish and submit this final journal entry. Coming off the tour with E.C. and launching directly into a stint of Larkin Poe headline dates on the east coast was challenging. Emotionally and physically, my sister and I were dragging pretty hard. I felt brain dead, soul dead, and adrift — I couldn’t find my way out of a wet paper bag. I certainly couldn’t find my way with words. But at long last, with a few good nights of sleep under my belt, I can feel the blood coming back to my heart. So now, nearly two weeks hence, but feeling more like a lifetime: I’ll recount one of my favorite days from the whole of Detour.
On April 15th, after forging a long and snaking route from Jackson Hole, forced south by snowy passes through cities with names like Blackfoot and Pocatello, we rolled into Boise, Idaho. April 15th marked the official release of our album, Reskinned, so the day had an air of celebration about it as my sister and I loaded our gear into the Egyptian Theatre. The theatre itself was magical having been designed in an “Egyptian revival” architectural style. Beneath the gold awnings and watchful, kohl-lined eyes of golden statuaries, we performed soundcheck with E.C., the giant Lupe-o-Tone TV spectacularly incongruous against the hieroglyphic emblazoned pillars flanking the stage. As soundcheck was winding down, several members of the crew emerged onto the stage carrying a couple bouquets of flowers and a white cardboard box. My immediate thought was that E.C. had some rabid fans out by the stage door who had fetched flowers in for him and I made some noise to that effect … before tearfully realizing that the flowers were actually for my sister and I, and that the cardboard box held a sheet cake with “IT’S A HIT” iced onto the top in purple and black frosting. Through all the tumult and hubbub of his own daily existence, the release date for our album had not gone unnoticed by E.C. Sometimes you’ve just got to cry at the goodheartedness of people.
As a rule, it is nearly impossible to sum up what a tour actually “means” within the scope of an artist’s career. At the end of a month on the road, you find yourself pawing through the littered experiences and moments, trying to put the time in perspective, trying to make sense of a seemingly jagged chapter of the greater story of your life. Did the weeks of vagrancy serve some nobler purpose? Were any life-shaping lessons learned? Was it worth it? The truth being of course, as with all things, you just really can’t know. One baby step follows the next, each and every one mysteriously invaluable and possibly pivotal — so you must continue to just show up. You must continue to pick up your feet and raise up your voice solely for the joy of doing so, without any expectation beyond the simple act of doing. And in all honesty I say this: with E.C., it truly is joyful. To sing for the fans of E.C. has been a joy for my sister and I … and we hope that our songs were heard with equal joy.
Here’s to the next chapter.
— REBECCA LOVELL, guitarist
This is the final installment of a 3-part series. Read Larkin Poe’s first two entries here.