Dispatches from the Jess Williamson + RF Shannon Tour, Day 9

From Andrew Stevens, as the tour winds down:

Our last two days were spent in Arizona, specifically in Phoenix and Arco Santi.

The venue in Phoenix was really nice! There was also a VERY attentive and large crowd for a Tuesday night. We played with an amazing local band called North Brother Island. They play songs that are directly related to historic events and their leader, Darrio, explains the historical context of the event before every song. It's a combination history lesson and show. Very high level of musicianship and compositional quality. They were easily my favorite band I saw on tour. Darrio was also able to put us up and their house, which was amazing! The roomate who owns it is an industrial designer and metal worker, so their whole house is full of handmade implements and tools and modified/repaired vintage sewing machines, dremels, mopeds, and a cozy camper in the back that all of RF Shannon slept in. They had a tangerine tree with tasty tangerines and in the morning they made us the most amazing breakfast I've ever had on any tour ever, and helped us repair a broken door hinge on our van. We felt so lucky!

We were super bummed that we had to leave but we were super excited to get on the road to Arco Santi. Look this place up, it's wild. It started as a federally funded sustainable living experiment developed by Paolo Soleri. It's from outer space, essentially. They put us up in the dorms and we drove the van down the hill to the camp where the full time residents live. We set up in a building they call The Octagon, which is made of concrete with circular windows (like all of Arco Santi) and has a sunken floor next to a fireplace. We had all afternoon to 'vibe it out' before dinner and Jess and Shane asked me to play a few songs to start, which was unexpected but very nice. A few of the residents played as well then we all just hung out by the fire drinking whiskey and talking. It was a very chill evening but we got to see this amazing place and experience a truly unique place.

We are only on the road for two more nights, El paso and Terlingua. We are all ready to get home but we are all sad that this trip is almost over.

Here is a lot of photos of cactus and things. [Click the photos to scroll through --Ed.]