Paducah, Kentucky has been the place we’ve been eager to see from the beginning. Not because of anything that someone has told us about it, not because the Travel Channel did a special on it boasting of its local treasures and natural wonders, nope. We’ve been wanting to see this place because it is simply Paducah, Kentucky. What other place on earth makes you stir with excitement, curiosity and wonder at the mere mention of its name? Perhaps Rome does this to you, Paris definitely, London of course and now…Paducah.
After passing through St. Louis, Missouri, crossing over the Mississippi River and putting a crick in our necks after gazing at the arch we headed south through Illinois. As we passed through fields of beheaded cornstalks and windy meadows Adam fought to keep our beloved home-on-wheels in the middle of the road. But what drew us on? What thrust us valiantly forward? It was the mystery of Paducah.
A billboard outside of Cairo, Illinois only heightened our excitement as it read, “Paducah, Art, Rhythm, Rivers”. Now with all sarcasm and joking aside we were now actually kind of curious about this place. Where else does a town advertise itself as being a forerunner in art, rhythm, and rivers? These were distinct claims. And we’d soon find out if this town could walk the walk its ad had talked.
…Dane just fell asleep due to our rigorous tour schedule and his heightened anticipation, so I guess it’s up to me (Nick) to finish the story… We crested the hill that brings all four lanes of this automotive river flowing into Paducah, a land flowing with milk and honey. At this point in the tour we expected something big like the largest statue of Superman in metropolis, or the 30’ rusted dinosaurs in Pawnee, at the least we expected some sort of oversized meat packing plant like in Milan, Missouri. We had heard rumors of a dip-n-dots factory, a Really Big Quilters Association, and that Paducah is Steven Curtis Chapman’s old stomping grounds, so of course we had expectations. Would Steven meet us at the welcome sign, would there be some sort of dip-n-dots factory tour, or would the quilters have draped the local water tower with the largest quilt in the world? Since I was piloting our 45’ mother into the promise land, I had an uncompromised view of Paducah, Kentucky, and, likewise, was the first to be disappointed. No Steven, no quilt, no factory tour. We still had the assurance that this was the land of rhythm and rivers, so even though we would be playing for a room full of High School students (who are typically not into our music) but maybe they would be so musically advanced in the land of rhythm and rivers that they would understand the art or the words…something! We want to be positive so we will just let our sales determine how much Paducah loves us…we sold 2 CD’s, one to the youth pastor (who was rad) and one to a parent. We know it is not at all about sales and we are praying that something supernatural happened but we also say goodbye Paducah, hello Nashville.
I, Dane, will put an official end to this blog. We have a day off finally after having played shows six nights in a row. We played Warrensburg, MO then Ottumwa, IA then Mt. Pleasant, IA, then Milan, MO, then Fairfield, IA and ended our streak in Paducah, KY. Over the last six days we’ve gotten into a rhythm of unpacking, packing, setting up, tearing down, sound checking on outdated systems, rocking a crowd, hanging out with the crowd, signing autographs, and then rushing everything back to the RV to do it again the next day. As hectic as it has been I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Keep us in your prayers,