Native was rolling by the time we started recording our first album. As evidenced by this Karl Ottersberg-drawn flyer which lists our December 1993 gigs.
The game plan was simple, we can’t tour the world, but we can tour Manhattan. We can get a residency at a New York club, and play other clubs about town. We can make the world come to us. And of course, we can play nearby places in New Jersey and upstate New York.
The first part of the plan was based on a successful run we did at Larry Bloch’s Wetlands. The second leg came to fruition at Ruby’s on the upper East Side. How, or why we ended up there is a story yet untold. But, we played there every Tuesday for a long time, and it’s where we jammed with our first celebrity — Ivan Neville.
Before long, we decamped to another New York venue, McGovern’s. Steve Greenberg’s venerable nightclub became our home away from home for many years.
The above flyer’s inclusion of a date at The Rhinecliff Hotel shows that we were starting to travel a bit further afield than before. For this, and all our galavanting around NYC, we got a van. The Silver Cloud, we called it, and truly. For, it rode the way a cloud floats, and it was silver. For me, this conjures up the image of The Lone Ranger’s horse, a faithful, trusty steed — although, not actually silver-coloured like our faithful, trusty van.
The moral of the story is this: Native had a plan, and a van. We were touring New York and thereabouts. We were recording an album. It was a time of incredible highs, and exhaustive lows. Then, incredibly high again. Perhaps inspired by this, Mat & Woody came up with a dilly of a number which, more than any, evokes the memories of that tumultuous time in our career.