Ancient River North American Tour 2014: Friendly Locals in Memphis

Scenes from the road (Image courtesy of Ancient River)

Scenes from the road (Image courtesy of Ancient River)

[Editor’s Note: This is the sixth part in an ongoing series chronicling Ancient River’s 2014 North American Tour. If you missed the first part or would like some background on the series, click here.]


We woke up well rested, showered, and went over to the Squeeze house to get a rehearsal in. It was our first opportunity to practice so far this tour, and it actually felt funny to not be in front of an audience. After practice we loaded up our gear and drove to pick up a surprise visitor: our good friend Warren, former roadie/driver for the band, electrician, professional truck driver, veteran, father of seven, and all-around awesome guy. We scooped him up at a truck stop and headed out to Zaza’s in Conway, Arkansas. Conway is home to Hendrix College, the largest liberal arts college in Arkansas. Zaza’s is practically on the campus, so we knew that we were in for a good time.

If you’re ever in Conway I strongly recommend eating at Zaza’s. They have an array of creative salads, pizzas, and sandwiches along with a full bar and live music. The show went well and I enjoyed finally getting a chance to see Glittercore. Afterwards, we had no time to spare as we had to take Warren back to his truck so he could get back on the road in the wee morning hours. We also had to get some rest for tomorrow nights gig in Memphis, Tennessee. Little Rock showed us a great time, and I can’t wait to get back sometime.

(4/3 – 4/4)

The drive from Conway to Memphis was pretty chill. We woke up to multiple phone calls from friends and family warning us about a terrible storm along our route, yet the drive was peaceful.

We arrived at the Buccaneer with plenty of time to kill, so we decided to be productive and take a nap. I drifted off as the sun set, and I rose with the moon. People started to arrive, and we had some drinks with the other bands. Tonight we were playing with one of our favorite bands, Ttotals from Nashville, Tennessee.

The Ttotals' house in Nashville, Tennessee (Image courtesy of Ancient River)

The Ttotals’ house in Nashville, Tennessee (Image courtesy of Ancient River)

The locals were very warm and friendly. I don’t think we’ve ever been to a more touchy-feely place. We spoke to an old hippie couple as they both grabbed our arms, and a drunk woman at the bar who grabbed our hair in each hand. I’m talking five minute handshaking, faces nearly touching when speaking, hug a stranger type of stuff. It was cool to play for such warm, spirited people. The show went well, all the bands were great, and we had a blast. We met a long-haired local named Chuck and went back to his place afterwards. Chuck is a musician himself and felt the need to offer up his place for us to stay, which we gratefully accepted. We stayed up till nearly sunrise laughing and spinning records as mother nature’s fury rained down around us outside. He said in the morning we would eat lunch, and he wasn’t lying. Around twelve Chuck woke us up, “Y’all ready to do this!?” He took us to a Vietnamese buffet. It was delicious and I enjoyed it, despite being so tired that it felt like a dream. We said our goodbyes and hit the road out to Nashville.

At the Ttotals’ house, we hung out with Brian until showtime. Brian was extremely hospitable, and I strongly urge anyone reading this to check out the music by Ttotals. They’ve become one of my favorite bands in the scene, and we love playing with them. The show was at Elberta house: a beautiful large Victorian house with a second-floor area for bands to play. The kids were all super nice and the bands were amazing. Nashville has always been a favorite stop of ours. After the show, we returned to the Ttotals house and I got some of the best rest I’d had in a while. Tomorrow night we’ll be in Louisville, Kentucky.


AlexCordovaAlex Cordova (@theAncientRiver) is a guest contributor for Little Utopia.

Previously from Alex Cordova:
Ancient River North American Tour 2014: New Gear, New Orleans, and an Interview in Little Rock
Ancient River North American Tour 2014: Getting Lost and Playing Vanderfest
Ancient River North American Tour 2014: Trying to Take It All In
Ancient River North American Tour 2014: Tagging in Knoxville
Ancient River North American Tour 2014: Beginnings

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