God Street Wine has two decades of touring under their belt. How has the touring life changed for you guys now as opposed to the early days?
Lo: It’s changed in every way imaginable, pretty much. It used to be that we played constantly, relentlessly, amid an environment of general chaos and anxiety. Now we play very rarely, in a relaxed, fun and well organized atmosphere! Since we play so rarely our fans anticipate each performance as a special event and we have ample time to prepare and give a lot of thought to every show. Finally, I think we’ve all developed a lot as musicians from the old days so for me it’s just better in so many ways.
In August you will be embarking on a “3 states/3 dates” mini tour. How did this come about?
Lo: Well, we got a great offer to be a part of the Peach Fest and we really couldn’t say no to being a part of that. We added the Boston and New York dates on either side to help the money work out and give GSW fans a little bit more. Three dates is really about right for us at this point. We live all over the globe and are involved in other careers and projects so it’s a big deal just to be able to clear three dates.
One of the stops on the tour will be The Peach Music Festival in Scranton, PA. What are you guys most looking forward to during the festival? Any groups that you are looking to check out during the festival?
Tom: The Greg Allman tribute jam looks to have some fantastic folks involved so I’d like to see that, though I’m not sure if it’s happening on the day we’re there. Haven’t seen MMJ in a few years so they’d be nice to catch. Same with Widespread, it’s honestly been decades. I just saw Magpie Salute here in Berlin a few weeks ago. It was the loudest concert I can remember seeing/hearing! We toured several times with the Crowes back in the day so it’s always nice to catch up with some of those guys when I can.
Are there any rituals you have before taking the stage?
Tom: I’ve got minor OCD issues, though some would say major, so I won’t subject you to my full list! But a bit of stretching, toilet stop, light the nag champa, plenty of water, check the fly….check it again. Haha! That kind of thing.
In 2013 you released a “25th Anniversary” set. How did you guys come up with the tracks for this box set?
Lo: We kind of included everything we could. The “Bedroom Tapes” had been a bit of mystery to folks for a while so it was cool to finally pass them around in one package. It was fun going through all that stuff and flashing back to the making of.
You met in NYC. There are a lot of venues in the city, but are there any that gave you a shot when you were starting out that are close to your heart?
Lo: The two that have to be mentioned are the Nightingale Bar, a tiny East Village joint that was the starting place for Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, and eventually us. It was the center of our whole hippie band scene even before the term “jam band” was coined. And it was booked by the late Tom Hosier, a wonderful person who would give any band of any style a chance. The second one was the Wetlands Preserve which was really the next step up to a slightly larger venue that still felt intimate and very well suited to the emerging jam band scene. It felt great to play there and sounded and looked good. Both of these venues had a huge influence on the way we developed as a band. It’s too bad neither of them exists anymore. The right venues, operated by dedicated people who love live music, can make such a huge difference in a town’s music scene.
What can fans expect at the three shows in August?
Tom: Hopefully a decently oiled GSW machine. You never know exactly until it happens. We’ve been throwing some tune possibilities around by email. There are plenty of the old favorites and some new tracks as well. We’ll mix it up, spin it around and see what sticks when we get together for rehearsal soon. Should be a blast. I’d better start packing!