Touring artists spend so much of their time on the road that they, inevitably, find all the best places to eat, drink, shop, and relax. Want to know where to find the best burger, beer, boots, or bunks? Ask a musician. Better yet, let us ask them for you.
Name: Austin Lucas
Hometown: Bloomington, IN
Latest Project: Between the Moon and the Midwest
Burritos: Taqueria Cancun – San Francisco, California. Super prawn burrito. I've lived in the Bay Area multiple times. There are many burritos worth talking about on both sides of the water. This one is probably the best burrito in existence. You better like shrimp, though, because you're going to get your fill in this massive burrito that is the size of my forearm.
Pizza: Frank Pepe's The Spot – New Haven, Connecticut. Pepperoni & garlic pizza. There's so much amazing pizza on the East Coast, why argue about whether Brooklyn or Manhattan has better pizza when you could just go to New Haven and find out theirs is the best?
Burger: Don's Downtown Diner – Bellefontaine, Ohio. Cheeseburger w/bacon & all the fixins.
Health Food: The Wild Cow – Nashville, Tennessee. Grilled tempeh with lentils & kale.
Day Off Activity: Europe – visiting castles. USA and Australia – Hiking.
Dive Bar: White Water Tavern – Little Rock, Arkansas. The Whitewater is the place I wish I was playing almost every night. The drinks are cheap, the staff is friendly, and top-shelf artists grace its stage almost nightly. Nashville might be the home of country music, but this dive bar that's burned down and been rebuilt three times is more important to me and my touring friends than any place in Music City.
Backstage Hang: Tractor Tavern – Seattle, Washington. There's a saying in the music business: "Bands who can't draw crowds draw dicks." There are no dicks drawn in the backstage at the Tractor.
Radio Station: WSM, 650 AM – Nashville, Tennessee.
Highway Stretch: The Pass at Coeur d'Alene on I-90 in Idaho.
Music Festival: The Holiday Hangout – Little Rock, Arkansas. This festival is thrown by Last Chance Records every year in December. Only 150 tickets are sold, and it'll be most of my very favorite bands and songwriters mingling with our raddest fans at the Whitewater Tavern for three days.
Record Store: Landlocked Music – Bloomington, Indiana.
Gear Shop: Elderly Instruments – East Lansing, Michigan.
Photo credit: Max Threlfall