No Direction Home

This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 07, 2019

The Queen of Oklahoma

February 4, 2019

Carter Sampson 

The Queen of Oklahoma

How cool is it to be known as the Queen of an entire state? I only need ask our friend, the talented musician Carter Sampson who was in town along with a plethora of her friends and fellow singer songwriters from the state of Oklahoma for the second annual Mile 0 Festival held this past week here in Key West. The idea of hosting a music festival in January in Key West seems like a no-brainer now, but organizers were not only the first to consider it, they also were able to pull it off with what appeared from the outside with relative ease.

The doomed Fyre Festival in the Bahamas, this was not. Every detail seemed to be planned and organized and executed with precision and with the help of a ton of volunteers, sponsors, vendors and the Key West business community, Mile 0 was a total success. They even managed to negotiate last minute cancelations by a couple of bands and responded like champs to make sure everyone who was here had an amazing time.

Zac Copeland 

Jason Scott

That included all the bands and musicians, the attendees and all those involved on just about every level. I sure hope that it was a success on their end and that will continue to return year after year with this fantastic musical event. We also hope that they continue to invite the many amazing Oklahoma singers and songwriters who play out at various venues as well as on the main stage.


Spending time with our friends Carter, Erik Oftedahl and Jason Scott and being around their friends, the fellow musicians and fans who traveled from their Oklahoma home, makes one really appreciate the tight knit and friendly music scene that must be there. Everyone is so damn nice, and talented and fun and just so happy to be in Key West rather than Oklahoma City or Tulsa in early February.

One of the cooler gigs that our friends played was what was dubbed a “Pirate Cruise” on the Fury Catamaran during the course of an afternoon. I am not sure how “Piratey” it was, but it was pretty awesome, being blessed with beautiful weather, calm seas, food and drinks flowing in addition to some truly incredible music. Playing on a boat under sail was a first for each of these usually land-locked musicians, but they each handled it with a professionalism and aplomb that made it seem to the lucky passengers like they had been doing this regularly.

Erik, Carter, Zac and Jason 


Perhaps the highlight of the trip was when Erik was in the middle of playing a song about protecting the seas, a small group of dolphins emerged just behind him off the bow of the vessel. It was only a brief moment as they surfaced a few times before disappearing under the boat, but it was quite magical and almost had the normally unflappable Erik stopping to burst into tears. Pretty incredible stuff.


After the sail, during a break in the afternoon, we all headed over to Ft. Zachary Taylor state park beach to just hang out and enjoy the beach and beautiful weather. When we arrived and had to find their musician friends, it wasn’t hard as only musicians might be found wearing all black to the beach. It was a great and enjoyable way for them to enjoy a break from the seemingly constant events that were happening as part of the festival. Between playing themselves and going out to see their friends play, they keep a pretty full schedule. 

Carter and Erik


In the midst of the festival weekend, Kathy and I had other friends visiting as well and we found time to hang out with them as well. Our friends Dan and Deanna are former Key West residents who have lived in Annapolis for the past decade or so and they were in town for a quick vacation with two of their three kids. We spent a wonderful evening enjoying drinks and dinner with them and our friend Andy at the Southernmost Beach Club.


Michael, Deanna, Andy and Dan

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Hanging With Musicians

February 3, 2019

Carter Sampson 


Hanging With Musicians

There’s an old joke that circulates among musical types, “What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians?.....a drummer.” Ta Da! Well if that is this case then this week I have spent a lot of time being a drummer as I have spent a good deal of time in the presence of some of my wonderful friends who are musicians and happen to be in town.

The Mavericks

Rev, night fishing


Rev and Breezy

First are my friends Reverend and Breezy Peyton, my Hoosier brethren (Of Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band) who spend each January on a month long vacation and break from touring, relaxing in Key West. The month of January flew by so fast and is always so busy that I never get to spend as much time as I would like with them, but it is always great to see them.

Rev playing on the Beach

Reverend Peyton is not only a world-class guitarist, Rev is a natural born story teller, this of course comes out in his songwriting, but there is literally nothing like sitting with he and Breezy as he spins tales from the road. I honestly think I should he could just sell videos of himself telling these tall (but true) tales of their life on the road, where they play literally 250 plus shows around the globe each year.


Captain Vinnie and Rev 

Breezy and Rev

I had the good fortune to share in one of their other passions (besides music) as I joined Rev and Breezy for an afternoon and evening of fishing with their friend Captain Vinnie. Rev takes fishing just about as seriously as his music and I don’t think I have ever been with someone who was so intense about their fishing. That of course meant that Breezy was to catch the first fish. It was a great relaxing evening with some of my favorite Hoosier friends. Here’s hoping they have a safe and fun tour, which starts this month throughout Florida. Catch them if you can on tour, I promise you will not be disappointed.

With Erik 



As one set of musician friends headed off, another group arrived to play the second annual Mile 0 Festival here in Key West. Returning this year were our friends Carter Sampson and Erik Oftedahl along with a large crowd of their friends and fellow musicians, mostly from Oklahoma and Texas as the festival focuses on Red Dirt and Americana music. It was a marvelous line-up once again and Kathy and I were the invited guests of our friends, meaning we had VIP access to check out the festival which is spread at a multitude of venues across the island for four days.


Carter and Erik

The first set we had the pleasure of seeing was an amazing set featuring Carter and her young mentee, the immensely talented 16 year old wunderkind singer and songwriter Ken Pomeroy at Durty Harry’s. The young protégé seems ready for the big-time as her crystal clear vocals and immense songwriting talent were on full display and she held her own with the much more experienced and also incredible Carter Sampson. It was a fun and awesome display of musical talent.

Ken Pomeroy

Ken Pomeroy

Next it was quickly down to the end of Duval Street to the Southernmost Beach Café where Erik Oftedahl and Jason Scott were playing a set on the beachfront stage set up on the very beach where Kathy and I got married. I always enjoy returning there, especially to see our talented friends play and we had a wonderful afternoon enjoying some fantastic music.

Jason Scott

Kathy and Jason 

Rob O and Kathy

The Mavericks

To kick-off opening night at the main stage venue at the Key West Amphitheater, we headed over to the back-stage artist area with Erik and Carter to take in spectacular sets by Jack Ingram and Bruce Robison and one of Kathy’s all-time favorites, the Mavericks. Ingram and Robison were really good, but the Mavericks really brought the house down with one of the strongest concert sets we had seen in some time.

Bruce Robison

Jack Ingram and Raul Malo of the Mavericks

They played a full ninety minute set that covered their entire career but also included amazing cover songs including Pink Floyd and Neil Young cuts. It was such a great show and the folks at Mile 0 are to be hailed for  bringing such an awesome collection of talented artists to Key West once again.


The Mavericks

Another only in Key West sort of event occurred this week in Key West to mark the birthday of celebrated Cuban activist and poet Jose Marti. A Marti lookalike was in town to ride a white horse through town stopping at places significant in Marti’s life and the time spent in Key West including the Key West Cemetery, La De Da, and the San Carlos Institute. At each stop he would give a short speech in both Spanish and English and also recite some of Marti’s poetry to honor the legendary Cuban figure who is so connected to Key West history.

Finally I wanted to include a couple of photos of the huge, brave iguana that Jack met on his daily walk around the neighborhood. Jack was very curious and cautious, having never previously encountered such a creature and the iguana was pretty brave itself, holding its ground mostly and giving Jack a good stare down. Fun times.