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Tuesday September 23, 2014
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Drivin' Sideways

 

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Sideways to back him up. In 1998 the band opened for Merle Haggard and John Anderson. Pete says his best night was when "six different people came up to me and said, 'Great show — you made me cry.'" Drivin' Sideways sang for people who'd had their hearts tossed into the tree chipper of life. "I learned to love country music at gunpoint at a bonfire in Lodi," says Ferguson. The songs he sings are full of movement as well as emotion: belly rubbers, honky-tonk, rockers, and weepers, all performed with love, seriousness, style, and humor by friends.

In 1999, after thirteen years, the Blind Pig ditched happy hour, and Pete moved to New York. Upon his return in 2001 he found that Jakson Spires was on tour, so he got Mark Newbound to play drums. Chris Casello had moved to Nashville, so Pete asked longtime friend George "Fun Fingers" Bedard to play guitars. With O'Boyle, Goerke, and keyboardist Jim King, they started playing happy hour at the Cavern Club. Flashback almost a quarter century to a headier time on the Ann Arbor music scene, when live music could be heard five nights a week in at least four bars: this same lineup, except for Goerke, composed Ferguson's

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Top of the Lamp, Ann Arbor's locally owned lighting specialty store.