By Bobby McCullough
It feels great to be back home in New York City after being on tour since mid-January. I had been touring with the band Benyaro, traveling through 10 states, performing 47 times in about 60 days.
Although I did not miss the loud horns and sirens, the crowded subways or the lack of interaction between people in public, I do enjoy not having to unpack my things every night only to pack them up again in the morning. Now in the same place for a while, I’ve been able to spend the last week recharging, seeing friends and stuffing my face with bagels.
The tour started mid-January in Utah, where we performed at the Sundance Film Festival and saw people like Andy Samberg (SNL) and Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recreation). The second day at the festival was our first encounter with heavy snowfall, which we would end up dealing with again the second half of the trip.
Next we went through California, starting with San Francisco and working our way north through the beautiful wine country, playing some good concerts accompanied by good weather. From there we moved north through the coasts of Oregon and Washington where I saw some breathtaking shorelines and one amazing sunset.
In eastern Washington, we had the pleasure of staying with a local high school football coach in Colfax, and I managed to pull my back out while working out alongside his football team. We then headed east through Idaho and Montana, playing college towns such as Moscow (University of Idaho) and Bozeman (Montana State University). This is where our second bout with snowstorms began.
We left Montana for even more snow in Wyoming where we spent a few days off around the Grand Teton Mountains. From here we played some more shows in Idaho and Wyoming, at one point dealing with some serious road closures in which roads were closed for days, causing us to have improv some dangerous alternative routes in order to get to our concerts.
We headed south to do a long string of shows in Colorado, one of my favorite states to both perform in and see. This year, along with performing in our usual towns such as Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins, we also saw a few new places, such as Lyons and Eagle.
After Colorado we played a couple of shows in New Mexico and got to stay two nights in a small town called Cerrillos, which used to be a mining town and now is home to only a few hundred people. I went on one of my favorite runs here in the local state park, and explored the gorgeous, mountainous desert landscape.
We finished the tour in Austin at the SXSW Festival. I have never been so overwhelmed with great music before. It was almost stressful trying to decide which acts to see because there were hundreds to chose from. It was also crazy to be in 80-degree weather when only two weeks earlier I had gone running one morning in Jackson, WY, and it was only 5 degrees.
Keep an eye out for my next blog, as I share more stories from my journey in music and wellness.
Bobby McCullough is a touring musician living in NYC, who has recently refocused much of his energy on healthy and happy living.