I think your set list was pretty big at The Mercury Lounge. How many songs did you play?
I’m not sure exactly on how many songs, but we did two sets and a solid encore. That’s what we’re planning on doing at The Wellmont. We’re going to be doing two sets each night, plus encore, and we’re going to have some guests too, which we didn’t have at the Mercury.
Who are you planning on bringing out?
We’re going to have our old keyboard player Damian Calcagne is going to be playing some keys and Ned Stroh’s gonna be on percussion. We wanted to get our footing as the original five-piece first because we won’t be doing the entire show with the guests, but we wanted to do that show and get reacquainted.
How many rehearsals did you do?
I’m not sure exactly, but hopefully enough. We’ve got some more coming up.
Is going back over these songs particularly nostalgic, maybe more so than you thought? Was the feeling at the Mercury Lounge emotional?
I think more so for the fans then it was for the band.
Well, yeah because we had rehearsals, and we’re playing the music. We have that bond between us, you know? The funny thing when we first got together was that our equipment was more rusty than the band. I plugged in my old tube amp and hear it scratching and squealing. The hardest part has been getting our equipment to work right and dialing in the old sounds. Playing the music has been like talking to an old friend. I’ve been playing a lot of this material a lot in my solo shows and some with Railroad Earth so I’ve never really lost touch with part of the material. But some of these guys—you know, Patrick hasn’t really been playing the drums, he’s been doing his own songs on guitar and singing and I thought maybe it might be tough for him to get back into that, but he’s been playing his ass off.
To get back to your question, I think it was a little more odd for people in the audience having flashbacks to 10 or 15 years ago. There was this one woman who was just staring at us in an odd way and in-between the songs she started going, ‘Oh my God! Oh my God!’ and it was bizarre. It’s kind of funny, but overall I think people had a great time. It’s like a reunion of old friends also in addition to the music. I got an email from an old friend/fan who used to travel with these three gals who used to come to a lot of our shows and it was always the three of them. You never saw them at our shows unless they were all together and that’s exactly what they’re going to be doing for these shows: Get the three of them back together. That’s really fun. She’s sent me an email. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and it’s a good excuse for people to get back together.
Is all that interest a little humbling? That this material has continued to resonate with these people decades later?
Humbling? I think appreciative is a better word. I think having the distance from has given all of us a chance to come back to it and really enjoy it and appreciate all the time and effort we put into it and the great people and friends we made along the way. There’s no pressure on it like in the old days, it was be all-end all and that created a lot of pressure. The music business and all the related things and the stresses of your family, that’s not really part of it now. It’s just coming back and enjoying the music, enjoying these old friends who for many years were best friends that did everything together. We lived together for a while like The Band in Big Pink. We’re able to enjoy and appreciate it. It’s been great, one of our rehearsals kind of dissolved into conversation. We started telling old stories and laughing and that led to getting a bite to eat, having a few drinks and sitting around a table having a great time. It’s been sweet like that.
Why did you pick Mercury Lounge? I’d expect Jefferson Township to play out West or something like that. I’m thinking maybe you’d play Krogh’s.
(laughs) That’s the dilemma with Northwest New Jersey these days. None of the good old places are around to play anymore. If was Stanhope House was still there, that’s where we would’ve played. We actually tried to go to the old George Inn where we actually used to play up in Vernon and they really don’t have a room to do it anymore either. We really wanted to do it out in this neck of the woods, but it’s a desert out here.
The Wellmont’s not bad.
The Wellmont is fantastic. It’s perfect. As far as a reunion show, if Waterloo Village was still around. That’s where we did our annual family reunion when the band was together for eight or nine years running, we always did it at Waterloo Village and that’s no longer there so that wasn’t a possibility. We probably would’ve done a summer thing out there The Wellmont has worked out really well. It’s a really nice theatre. It sounds great, it looks great. It turned out to be the right size and it’s filling up very nicely. I think it’s going to work out really well.
Do you expect to do any other shows or anything else beyond these reunion shows?
We haven’t made any plans for that. We’re taking it one step at a time, one verse at a time (laughs). No plans further than this right now.
So the door’s open? Maybe? Maybe not?
Yeah, I don’t know. We’re going to see after the dust settles on these shows and see how everything feels.
From Good Homes plays the Wellmont Theatre on Dec. 18 and Dec. 19. wellmonttheatre.com for more information.