Welcome to Gig Bag, a BGS feature that peeks into the touring essentials of some of our favorite artists. This time around, Greg Cahill from Special Consensus details the items he always have nearby when out on the road.
Lightweight long-sleeve shirts: I am always most comfortable traveling when wearing a comfortable shirt, preferably with pockets. I, of course, do wear t-shirts in a warm climate, but the long-sleeve lightweight shirts have pockets for reading glasses and my phone, and often keep me cooler than a t-shirt. Long sleeves rolled up a bit keeps sun off my arms — I have had brushes with skin cancer from all the sun I absorbed at outdoor festivals over the years, so I must be careful about the sun. In colder climates, I do were a nice flannel shirt or sweater.
Cowboy boots and jeans: I have worn cowboy boots all the time for probably at least 40 years. They seem to mold to one’s feet when broken in and are most comfortable. Lucchese, Tony Lama, and Justin boots are my favorites. I wear boots on stage, so I always wear a pair and keep a stage pair handy. Jeans are also an essential element of my comfort zone and “look.”
Handy all-purpose tool: I always keep this thing handy. It has a bottle opener, corkscrew and cork remover, and a small knife blade. I keep the Boy Scout (and US Army) motto in mind at all times: “Be prepared.”
Sunscreen: This is essential, especially when we play outdoor festivals. I have had too many sun damage things removed from my skin over the years. We never thought about putting on lotion “back in the day …”
Shoe polish: I know this seems weird, but we often play an outdoor festival — getting my boots caked with dust or mud or rain water — and then play a theater the next day. Much easier to just wipe the boots clean and quick polish than to keep rubbing them on my pants or paper towels to make them look presentable.
Extra strings and picks: There is always that one time when the extra strings I thought I had in the banjo case were not there, or when the pick dropped in the dirt by the stage at night can’t be found quickly. Always good to have extras of everything in the bag.
Black t-shirt and ball cap: I often wear a black or white t-shirt under my stage shirt to better absorb sweat, rather than blowing out the armpits! Also keep a ball cap for sun and rain protection.