Who has purple eyes anyway?

And what are your weekend plans? Did you ease into them? Rush into them? Have them foiled by bad news at 3 p.m.?

The risk adverse should stop taking meetings at about noon on Friday, for that very reason. But that’s not a problem here. The sun is out, warming nothing, but the sun is out. I kid, of course. It got up to 55 degrees today, another effort at that first gut-wrenching stage of winter tricks. “Look, it’s almost over!”

I know better. More winter, as they say, is coming. I don’t know when, or why, but it will.

I’m equally prepared for the second stage of winter tricks, too. The first signs of the tulips will be upon us in a week or two. The unsuspecting will herald this as a sign of spring. We know better, by now.

Turning back to the Re-Listening project, and back to late 1996 or very early 1997, the car was today and yesterday filled with the sounds of two guys from Texas. Jack O’Neill and Cary Pierce met in college, where they were theater students at SMU. They made themselves as a duo, building an incredibly loyal audience in the folk and alternative rock scene. If you liked tight harmonies, 12-string guitars and hyperactive live shows, this was a good band for you.

I caught up to them just under a decade into their career. I played their cover of “Please Come to Boston” and their original “Three of Us in a Boat” on the air whenever I could manage. And then, in some way that I’ve forgotten now, their record “Finest Hour” came to me. This is the first track on that record, and the first time, I think, that I heard them with a rhythm section.

There is a slice of their audience that regarded this as their most anticipated, and most disappointing record. A full band took something away, they argued. And the dynamic of O’Neill and Pierce was hitting a rough spot. Few seemed all that happy at the time, as I recall. But, still, this is a catchy little pop tune. It’ll come back up again.

Classic formula here, you have to bring things down a notch on the third track. They hit three continents, nine countries and 45 states, before going their separate ways for five years. Then they got back together. Older, wiser, less youthful exuberance, same quality performances, from what I’ve seen online of late.

One of the best songs on the record. And we’re going off the strength of the theme, the peppy chorus, the creative use of mahogany hair, juxtaposed against a lyrical great force that takes the narrator to a … ferry. Aside from that, though, great song, and “Vineyard” is one of their signature tunes.

They started doing what they called “Destination Shows,” which, if anything else, caters to a maturing audience with purchasing power and no sense of rock ‘n’ roll whatsoever.

These shows are a whole new fan experience where people can enjoy gorgeous scenery, share delicious food & wine and have “campfire”- type access to their favorite band. It’s a vacation and concert in one. Each Destination Show provides a unique experience dedicated to the local culture: Napa/Sonoma vineyards at sunset, a ranch in Austin Hill Country, high society in Dallas, a two-mile-high a private club in Aspen, amazing history at the Biltmore in NC, a 14,000 square foot hacienda in San Miguel de Allende, MX – and the list goes on.

“We have been doing destination events for 10 years now and they have been a huge hit with our fans and have allowed us to make so many great new ones along the way,” said Cary Pierce. “I think these events continue to grow and sell out because people want more than “just a show” – they want an experience. They want to create lasting memories, explore a new place or visit an old favorite. In some cases, we’re offering them a trip of a lifetime. We’re finding there a lot of people that really value these experiences.”

That actually sounds like good fun … oh no … I’m an aging audience member!

Anyway, this one is a bit of a departure, and it works because of that.

Remember, a few embeds ago, I said we’d hear more about “Trials.” Here’s the hidden track remix.

The other half of the album, to me, all sounds like this one. Not my favorite, but there’s a half dozen tracks I still enjoy, more than a quarter-century later, on a record that was something of a wash, and that’s pretty great.

Happily, Jackopierce is still working. They released a new song last month. They’ll be in Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina on the first weekend of March.

I took a bike ride last night. I had intended to use Thursday as a rest day, but The Yankee invited me for a quick workout. A good rule of thumb about bike rides is to never turn down an invitation. So I did a quick hour, got 17 miles through Zwift’s Makuri Islands. I found one more Strava PR, on a sprint that doesn’t matter. Also, I was treated to this neat scene as I rode through one of the virtual villages. It was a good place to use the many different camera angles.

So what have we learned? Rest days are important — they would be if I was doing high volume, I’m doing average volume — but accept the invitation.

The 2023 Zwift route tracker: 55 routes down, 65 to go.

To the weekend! To the miles ahead!

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