June 30, 2009 — Lost Trailers guitarist Stokes Nielson and his wife, Maria, added a second child to the family with the birth of a boy June 22 in Nashville.
The new addition comes at the start of the summer touring season, meaning Dad will be away from his son about as much as he's home.
But he's going to dates in a different manner than many of his fellow country artists. The Trailers are on their Lean, Clean & Local Tour, in which they're trying to help the economies in the towns where they play, cut their energy usage and clean up the environment. Instead of taking a crew with them on a tour bus, they're hiring locally and flying to the dates on commercial airlines, using equipment from the town where they play. They estimate they've reduced their carbon footprint by a whopping 132 tons.
"We travel really light so that we can roll into town, hire the crew=2 0and also hire local equipment," Andrew Nielson told CNN. "[Jeff] Potter's a drummer, and everywhere we go, we rent drums."
The southeastern-bred band is working on the tour with Keep America Beautiful, a non-profit organization that promotes recycling and the reduction of litter. KAB takes part in post-concert clean up.
"I think as country artists, it's really important to preserve the things that we grew up with," lead singer Ryder Lee said. "We're naturally outdoors men because of where we grew up, and keeping the rivers and streams clean is part of being country, and we're really proud of that. And Keep America Beautiful and their efforts in recycling and litter cleanup was really fitting for us, so it was a natural place to reach out — not to mention, at our shows, there tends to be a few bottles and cans that build up."
New daddy Stokes and the rest of the five-man crew, including bass player Manny Medina, are in the central U.S. this week. They play Milwaukee Summerfest on Wednesday; Hays, Kan., on Friday; and Laramie, Wyo., on the Fourth of July.