Doussan Be Trippin’ 2022

The End Is Here and I’m Almost There 

I’m smiling. The current situation isn’t ideal, but sometimes you have to do what you need to do to get to do what you want to do. But I’ll get to that later. 

It’s surreal that I’m already at home looking back on our tour.  I think the fast pace of D.C., Philly, and New York definitely made things seem to go by faster, but then again our pace was no slower in White Mountain National Forest and Acadia National Park. I feel like we were on a mission this summer. I know I was. 

There was only so much time, and we wanted to experience as much as possible. The sustained momentum definitely required recharge days which were few and far between. The last two weeks were especially tough travel-wise, but the shows we had on the weekend in between and into the last week produced some great hang time with some of our aunts, uncles, and cousins. These stops in Richmond, Charleston, and Jacksonville were so special in that we got to spend some rare quality time with distant family, and we got a break from setting up and tearing down camp. 

There were so many high points and learnings that I may expound on in later writings, but what is standing out to me right now is the tour closing weekend at The Paradise Inn. First, being at the Dise is like being at our home away from home. We love the staff and the vibe, and there’s always some New Orleans cats hanging out getting a break from the city. I could write a whole essay on why I want to play Paradise until I die, but that’s another story. 

Normally at this point of the tour we’re halfway through Texas, and we all hate each other.   Driving through the vast expanse of Texas definitely plays a role in our moods, but it’s mostly our depleted energy tanks that puts us on edge. Paradise gave us the boost that we know so well, but being as tired as I was, I didn’t expect to completely flow with it the way I did. 

It was a perfect storm that I had never known before. The forecast was for August, Andre, Dave P., and myself to perform opening sets of my music to support The Walrus, Andre and Dave’s Beatles tribute band. We knew we had friends and family coming to meet us and stay the weekend. We knew we all get some saltwater therapy together. We all knew it would be a good time. What I didn’t know was the size of the exclamation point it would put on this tour. I didn’t realize how fulfilled I would actually be, especially since I was having trouble being present earlier in the trip. It was a feeling of familiarity that we hadn’t felt in a long time, and I don’t ever want to end our tour differently. 

Playing with and watching August on both the djembe and the drum set had me beaming. His levels of ability and confidence far exceed where he was last year, and being able to witness this over the last sixty days was nothing short of amazing. One of the highlights of the second day at the Dise was when August’s big brother, Killian, joined us on stage. I couldn’t imagine a better way to wrap things up for the summer. 

To revisit my opening line, I lay here tonight, alone, writing these thoughts. Maggie had just enough time for a quick nap before we dropped her off to the airport for a work conference in Orlando. I know she’s gotta be tired and a bit out of sorts going from one extreme to the next so quickly. I’m sad to be without her as I go through these memories, but I know what she’s about to experience is going to make an already great teacher even greater. 

I want to thank all of you who have followed along, sent messages of encouragement, or supported from afar. Your interactions have given us a connection to the outside world that is so necessary sometimes when traveling so far from home. And to the hosts, I can’t begin to thank you enough for the events you curated, the hospitality you extended, and the friendship and love you shared. On behalf of all the Doussans Be Trippin’ clan, thank you so much. 

As for me, I’m in a much better place than when I left. I’ve ultimately decided that I will be getting the Dissectomy to repair my nerve pain in August, and I am confident that I will be pain free by this time next year. I have a clear vision and determination, and that’s all I need. I’ll always strive to be better.

Well, thats a wrap for Doussans Be Trippin’ 2022!! Until next time, remember the words of Spencer Bohren and be good to yourselves and each other. 

Much love. 


Managing Expectations  

What I cherish most about our travels are the lessons that we are shown in all of our experiences. It’s not just what we learn about the locations we visit, it’s also what we learn about ourselves, our team, and how we respond to the rigors of the road. 

For many weeks, I had been harping on how different this tour has been, regardless of how special each of our experiences were. “We’re not camping enough. We’re not in the woods enough. God damn it! I just wanna get lost in the woods!” These are the things I had been telling myself because nature was the catalyst for a lot of my personal growth last year.  I set the expectation that the woods would help heal the perpetual mental trauma that has been persistent since the wreck last year, and so I found myself lost inside of my head and feeling unfulfilled. I wasn’t present enough to understand that I was being healed with every stop, every gig, every handshake, and every hug. 

Friends we’ve known and friends we are just beginning to know have opened their homes, themselves, and their communities to us. Our family reunion brought together friendships and laughter that haven’t been shared in years. We were also able to cultivate deeper relationships with our distant family, as we have all gained some wisdom since the last time we gathered. 

I finally started to wise up one night on Long Island when I was hanging out with a friend by his pool. I actually said out loud what I had been thinking about this tour being different.  He said to me in the most straightforward of New York accents, “Yeah? But it’s been good, right?” After a slight hesitance, it was like every experience we’ve had flashed before my eyes, and not one of them carried the weight that I was continuing to haul all across the country.  In fact, all I could do was smile. I had been so dead set that the answer to my woes was getting lost in the woods that I failed to acknowledge the healing power of each experience I was having daily. 

It’s a tough place to exist for me, but god damn it, when I’m here in the present, I can truly see and feel the beauty of everything that surrounds me. Without my head focused on hypotheticals, my heart is open to give and receive freely.  I didn’t know it then, but this is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I have, at least for now, found peace. 

I’m typing this from our camper at 10:41pm on July 4th in the White Mountains near Jefferson, NH. The crescent moon in the clear, star filled sky has waxed considerably since last night.  The faint sound of DIY fireworks displays has silenced, and all I can hear now is the random cars on the highway in the distance. 

We had an epic day hiking where each of the three trails we chose was absolutely amazing.  There was some rock crawling to cross a river on the quick and easy Trestle Trail, a steep hike up a rocky path to summit Mt. Willard, and a drive for the books up Mt. Washington to the summit only to start a hike that plunged over the rocky, southern face of the mountain into what seemed to be an alternate world. Looking back up towards the summit, the terrain reminded me of the cover of Led Zeppelin’s Houses Of The Holy. Looking out down the rocky, silver-flecked, quartz rich trail, the vibrant green hues that surrounded us, and the hazy layers of mountains in the distance begged us to believe we were suddenly in Ireland. 

Despite my physical pain, I was able to fully enjoy myself and my time with my family today, not because the woods solved all my problems like I thought they would, but because I was able to reflect on our experiences and shift my perspective.  I’m still learning to manage expectations and stay present.  We had an amazing weekend with new friends in Vermont ,and after two days in the White Mountains, we head to Acadia National Park tomorrow for more adventure. 

Each of you whose paths we have crossed this summer have had a significant impact on my much needed shift in perspective. The time we have shared together has transcended from moments that have passed to building blocks that have helped create a stronger foundation for every new adventure we embark upon.  None of you knew what I was experiencing, yet your everyday love, kindness, and generosity were paramount on my path to healing.  I lay here humbled, grateful, and inspired. Thank you. 

Until next time, Remember to be kind to yourselves and each other. 

Much love to you all, 


Shenandoah Reminiscence 

I find that I’m not in a rush to get to bed when we are on the road. At home, with all the stressors of our day to day routine, it’s easy for me to want to lay down as soon as dinner is done and forget everything that transpired during the day. I already feel like I’m so far removed from that mindset. 

As a matter of fact, what inspired me to write this evening was laying down after an exciting, curveball of a rainy day and reminiscing on how well our audibles served us. A drive out of Shenandoah National Park to Luray Caverns got us out of the rain and satisfied our desire to hike. We were also able to visit Harrisonburg, a nearby college town, to enjoy some great burgers and take care of a few shopping needs (and wants.) An added bonus was an unexpected tour of a vintage car museum accessible to those who purchased cavern tickets. 

I lay here happy with where my mind is.  Everything we have experienced thus far has led me closer to that place I have been yearning to be. We have been active almost everyday. The drives this year are much shorter which means a lot more time with our feet on the ground. Yes, I am still in pain, but it’s no worse than before. I am feeling better mentally, and that’s more than half the battle. 

Our show stops included Martinsville and Charlottesville. We were able to spend quality time with some friends at their home on Smith Mountain Lake for a couple of days before the Martinsville show, and I must say that after only 48 hours, our new friends feel like family. The community of Martinsville has big love for New Orleans, it’s music, and the players that create it. I felt that 5 years ago when I routed through there with the NIA, and I felt it again there last week. 

The show in Charlottesville was a trip back to some of my roots with a backyard crawfish boil hosted by an old West Bank friend. Being able to reconnect with old friends is always a hoot, and in this instance, I was able to observe the life they have created away from New Orleans, surrounded by beautiful friends and family. It’s makes me smile knowing that the members of our tribe are out there in the world, growing their family. 

It was bittersweet as we left both Martinsville and Charlottesville, but the mountains were calling. We are wrapping up day three in Shenandoah, and it has been magical. While the terrain here is mostly different from what we’ve experienced out west, there are a few aspects that remind me of some of our western explorations. Our hikes have been rocky and technical at times, and the climate is strangely cool and humid which reminded of some of microclimates we were introduced to in both Mt Rainier and Olympic National Parks. We have a couple more days here before we head back to West Virginia for The Bosley Family Reunion 2022. 

I’m yawning as I type, so I’ll sign off for now. Thanks for reading, and remember to be kind to yourself and each other. 



Wow. Here we are on Day 5 of our 2022 summer tour, and I am just now feeling the inspiration to write. Where I’ll begin isn’t necessarily where I thought I would, but I have a lot to unpack pertaining to the last 10 months since returning home from last year’s tour. I feel it is necessary for me to be truthful about where I am rather than just regurgitate a sensationalized account of our travels. 

Quite honestly, I don’t feel like myself and haven’t for some time. Shortly after our tour ended last summer, I was hit by an 18-wheeler while I was at a stop. The wreck left me with a significant spine injury. While I’ve tried to not let this accident get the best of me, it has completely altered the direction in which I was headed. 

Our summer tours are so much more than just combining my traveling music career with family vacation. Since 2019, our travels have been instrumental in bringing us closer as a family than ever before. We are continuing to learn the wonders of our beautiful country and how to best live in harmony with our Mother Earth. We are meeting new friends that are quickly becoming family, and sharing new experiences with old friends that have only strengthened our bonds. But there was something that stood out last year that was personally transformative, inspiring a short lived change within that I’ve been chasing after ever since the wreck. 

I couldn’t pinpoint one specific moment that inspired my shift in perspective.  There’s no doubt in my mind that this was built day by day, and each day proved to be just as special as the day before. It was the time well spent with friends and their families in places that were special to them that are now special to us. It was completing our first cave hike with one of our best friends. It was completing our first night hike with one of our newest friends.  It was visiting and camping with people we love in places we love, but it was also embarking on new adventures with just the three of us that led us to places we would’ve never even imagined existed in the United States. It was seeing how old life makes way for new life in places barely touched by man. It was the sheer power of the water, it was the majesty of the eagles and condors overhead, and it was overwhelming. 

I’ll never forget the feeling of love being carried through my body like blood through my veins. It inspired me to wake early. It inspired me to explore further than  ever before. It inspired me to fully love life. It also inspired me to remain active and explore my city on foot, so I could fall in love with her all over again. And I did so for three weeks. Enter 18 wheeler. 

I feel I should preface the following by saying that this isn’t meant to be a “woe is me” ramble. This is meant to be an outlet for me to explore my own experience, with the hope that, in sharing, it might help someone experiencing similar struggles or  to simply help you to understand where I’m coming from. 

As I write this, I feel defeated. And that’s ok. It is in defeat that we learn the value of success, and I am quite sure this won’t be the last time I feel a similar emotion. But next time, I’ll better recognize this beast. I need this moment now to be better tomorrow. 

I didn’t feel pain for the first few hours after the wreck. Then I started feeling soreness, as I expected. As the soreness started to give way to relief in most of my body, the pain in my mid back remained. It shows itself in different ways daily, sending tingles to my right shoulder one day, around my left rib cage the next. Somedays it feels like the nerve shoots impulses straight through my body from back to front. Somedays it’s just a persistent, dull ache that requires me to lay down. 

I attempted to continue with my work; however, by the turn of the new year, I started to wear down.  I was finding relief in some healing work, but the relief would only last for a couple days at a time.  I was trying to deal with playing gigs and building furniture, not back pain. I couldn’t shift the gears. 

Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling inspired. The gigs were an easy way for me to release some of the heavy emotion, but ultimately I wasn’t able to work full days. I was able to complete a few jobs, but there were a couple others that I wasn’t able to produce. That’s the biggest feeling of defeat for me. 

In my head, this summer’s tour would be an immediate launch back to that place I’ve been chasing.  I should know by now that that’s not how it works. But while it’s not a launch, it’s a step towards where I want to be. I just have to take it. 

Now don’t think, because I’m laying this all out there that everything is terrible.  This tour has been great so far. We’ve had great shows as well as quality time spent with both old friends and new in Hattiesburg and Collierville. We are currently half asleep in our camper after a very tired day on the road, and we are thrilled to explore New River Gorge tomorrow. I actually feel like tomorrow holds something I need, and I can’t wait to find it.  But for now, I’ll just doze off in hopes of sweet dreams and a brighter tomorrow. 

Stay tuned as I post weekly updates. 

And remember the sentiment of the late Spencer Bohren- Be good to yourselves and each other. 

Thanks for reading,