On The Road With Bob

Friday, 11 Apr 1997
Orange CT--Chapel Hill NC

Bob at Cat's Cradle

I cheated a little by driving to my brother's house in Connecticut Thursday night. That 150-mile head start can make a big difference when you face a day of dodging trucks on I-95, a road on which I've spent way too much quality time. So it was with vast relief that I forked onto I-85 at Richmond, trading fumes and road rage for open highway framed with budding trees. The final leg was a breeze.

My host in Chapel Hill was longtime email correspondent Michael Pemberton. We met face to face for the first time at Cat's Cradle in Carrboro (a seamless extension of Chapel Hill), where Bob was preparing to soundcheck for the evening performance. Michael proved to be a thoroughly likeable individual, even more engaging in person than in phosphorescent text. After soundcheck, Bob felt like playing some more, so the engineer shut off the PA, and Bob, going only through his guitar amp, remained onstage and improvised 45 minutes of acoustic and electric instrumental music, undistracted by the occasional sounds of the handful of other lucky people in the room pinching themselves.

The show itself was a good one. The club was jammed with receptive fans, Caleb did a nice job with the sound, and Bob responded with an animated set.

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