Welcome to Gig Bag, a BGS feature that peeks into the touring essentials of some of our favorite artists. This time around, singer/songwriter Steve Poltz details the items he always has nearby when out on the road.
Hey Kiddos! People don’t know this about me but I need to do the same thing over and over again. It’s probably because I’m in a different city every day. I need to feel like something is stable. Last year I was gone 285 days.
Breakfast is important. I eat the same thing every single day: Bob’s Red Mill 5 Grain Rolled Oats Cereal with Flaxseed. I travel with all these ingredients. These little almond butter packs are a perfect serving for stirring in to my oats. The almond butter is a good source of protein and keeps your stomach feeling full a bit longer. I like it with cinnamon and dried cranberries. I always travel with my favorite bowl. If my little hotel has a wee kitchen I cook it on the stove. If it has a microwave then I sometimes use that.
I also travel with PG Tips English breakfast tea. It’s my favorite. The water has to be boiling and I steep it for four minutes. These little milk packs are great and I always bring a bunch of ’em. I can’t have my tea until AFTER I’ve had my oats. If I have my tea first I get anxiety. Caffeine on an empty stomach makes me crazy.
P.S. I eat a pound of oats a week.
P.P.S. This regimen keeps you regular.
P.P.P.S. Healthy colon healthy life.
Marie Kondo has nothing on me. I taught her everything she knows about folding clothes.
I travel with seven pairs of undies and seven pairs of socks and seven t-shirts. They fit perfectly in this little netted ziplock bag. I do laundry every seven days unless I’m traveling alone. Then I can stretch it out a few days more. Especially in the wintertime when I sweat less. Sometimes I wear the same undies and socks and tees two days in row. Sometimes three or four. But then I notice my merch sales drop because no one wants to get close to me. So I guess it’s better to do laundry every seven days.
I wear the same boots everyday. RM Williams Craftsman Chestnut Brown. They’re Australian beauties. Some guy bought me them in Melbourne after he saw me play at Port Fairy Folk Festival. He said, “These boots will see you out.” I guess that means they’re lifetime boots. Just get ’em resoled.
Soap? Yes. Gotta smell good. I always use Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap. Hemp peppermint. This soap makes your private parts tingle. This is the best soap in the world.
I also bring one really sweet Japanese raw denim shirt. I’ll wear it for the whole tour and it’ll always break in and fade nicely.
My favorite charger to bring is called an Anker. It charges multiple things at once. Headphones, smartphones, iPads and all that crap.
I switch hats a lot for different tours but the one I always go back to is a Stetson Open Road. LBJ always wore one of these. You see ’em a lot lately but I don’t care. I still love it. You could bury me in this hat and I wouldn’t mind. Except for the fact that I’d rather be cremated. I guess I could say you could cremate me in this hat.
I always travel with only one guitar. Smokey Joe. He’s been with me for 16 years. He’s old enough to drive. So that’s cool. Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars gave me this ax. He was gonna throw it away but then he met me and felt sorry for me. So I accepted his “sort of” gift. I love this guitar. I love it so much that I put letters on the back so people know it’s mine. If someone tries to steal it, I’ll throw a bag of oats at their head.
Lede photo of Steve Poltz: Laura E. Partain