Boulder, CO – “Next Stop, America” – February 18, 1999

There aren’t enough days in February!  I’m running on empty trying to juggle shows, placate my boyfriend, and find new bandmates for a tour that’s only 2 weeks away. I’m more than a little exhausted. 

This weekend I played a masquerade ball at The Foundry with The Women From Mars gals. It’s an honor to be part of this band of local, badass, musical babes who perform monthly to benefit breast cancer research.  Backstage, before the show we painted flowers on each other’s cheeks, picked out feathered masks to match outfits, and sprinkled each other’s hair with glitter.  The night was juicy with feminine energy and it was heart healing to be surrounded by my mountain sisters: Wendy Woo, Jude, Nicole Jamrose, Liza Oxnard, and Libby Kirkpatrick.

It happened when I was onstage. I was singing my guts out, celebrating my womanhood, and embracing the crowd when I saw my boyfriend get sucker punched in the eye near the back of the club.  I don’t think I gasped audibly but it was a shock.  He yelled at me about it as I tried to pack up my guitar after my set, as though I’d had anything to do with it.  I didn’t have time to argue.  I was late to open for James McMurtry at The Fox.  I left Kipp with a rapidly blooming black eye in a haze of gold glitter and partridge feathers. As I apologized for leaving he yelled after me “It’s obvious music’s your priority and I’m last on your list!!”  I hated to admit it to myself, as I pulled out of one club and headed to the next, but he wasn’t wrong.  I’m moving so fast these days that the Roadrunner would have a hard time keeping up. 

I don’t know how it happened but miraculously, we managed to patch the gaps in our sinking band.  Chris Dellucci, recently unaffiliated after Zuba broke up last month, agreed to be our sound man and HE IS AWESOME!!!!!   Not only is he talented at amplifying the individual ingredients of a band, he delivers a holistic musical meal to an audience. If that weren’t enough, he insists he loves driving vans! and doesn’t mind taking late-night, long stretches behind the wheel. 

The morning ‘Dellucci’ agreed to go on tour with us, I took him out to breakfast at Dot’s Diner. Over cheddar-soaked hashbrowns, he unfurled a road map. On it, he’d marked his favorite vegetarian restaurants around the country in black Sharpie.  Together we traced highways with our fingers, agreeing on routes that took us passed interesting road side attractions and cultural activities. Finished with the map, Delluchi slid a rubber band around it’s coiled waist and hauled a “Fairfield Inn” directory the size of a phone book onto the red lanolium table top. He said he had friends who could get us deals on hotel rooms for us for $45-60 bucks a night. “I can also advance shows if you want!” I nearly died and went to heaven.  I can’t overstate what a win Chris Dellucci is for our band.

Chris Dellucci, Soundman Extrordinare

On Saturday Brian, Kenny, and I auditioned guitar players all afternoon.  Four of them were contenders and following our last audition, Brian, Kenny and I, convened in a crowded bathroom to discuss our takes.   Disinfectants and mops hanging by a string to their poles, threatened to topple at our every move.  Brian sat on the toilet to give Kenny and me more room and started stretching his exhausted forearms.

“What’da’ya think?” I whispered as we huddled in the privacy of the cramped space.  It might be MY band but we all have to have a say in this choice.  We’ll be living in tight quarters for months on end after all, and it’s no good, my hiring someone I like, that might piss another player off and make him want to quit.  

“I thought that first guy had a good pocket,” said Brian. 

Kenny chimed in. “Yeah, I thought the first guy was good but that guy out there now, the kindergarten teacher, Chris, is that his name?”

“Yeah.  Chris Soucy,” I said.

“Yeah, Chris Soucy.  He’s the one.”

Chris had been awesome.  He was solid in all the right places.  He came to the audition prepared with all the songs memorized, a great sense of rhythm, little to no ego, a stellar attitude, and the willingness to climb in a van with a group of strangers to travel the country for little money and no promises.

“I agree,” I said, relieved Kenny and I were on the same page about the kindergarten teacher.  With one hand on the nob, ready to seal the deal, I raised my eyebrows, “Bri?” There was hardly a moment to spare.  With Brian’s buy-in, the band would have itself a new guitarist.

“Yeah.  He’s the one.”  Said Brain

I threw the bathroom door open with a smile. “Chris.  Quit your day job.  You’ve got the gig.  Can you start rehearsing right now?”  And with that, the Sally Taylor Band ship was afloat again and pointed toward the west coast.  We rehearsed all night.

Chris Soucy, Guitarist (formerly known as kindergarten teacher)

Who knows what the future has in store. All I know is we’re ready for our first national tour. America, here we come!

….But first, a few more gigs in Colorado to test drive new songs and get our road-dog sea legs under us.