Between her three projects, local vocal powerhouse Reese McHenry performed at least once each day—six times in total—during Hopscotch’s extended four-day weekend. We caught up with her on Sunday afternoon on a walk between Slim’s and The Pour House to hear how preparation allowed her to make it through Hopscotch both healthy and hammered.

INDY: Where you are right now in your Hopscotch performance schedule?

REESE MCHENRY: I’ve done a Thursday afternoon show at Berkeley Cafe with the acoustic band that I have. Friday, The Dirty Little Heaters played at Que Viva at Slim’s. Saturday, we did Person Street Bar at 4:00, and then we played at 11:30 last night at Slim’s. Today, me and Thomas played at 1:15 and next we’ll play at 5:30 tonight at Slim’s.

With five shows down and one more to go, how are you feeling?

Truly, I feel great. I don’t know why. It seems a little psychotic, but I actually feel like “Oh, one more show, I can do that.” I don’t want to carry an amp for four blocks but, all in all, I feel great.

But most of your band mates have exceeded you in number of performances, right?

Yes! I’m the slacker of the band. In fact, except for Kaitlin [Grady, bassist/cellist]—who played one show with us last night and then she got sick, so she didn’t do the show today—I think all of the band members I have played more shows than me.

Why did you end up agreeing to play so many shows?

The Dirty Little Heaters is the band I’ve been in for fifteen years, and we do Que Viva every year, if we can, so of course we’re going to do that. The acoustic band I have is recording right now, so of course we’re going to do that show on Thursday. These shows, yesterday and today, there’s people that will see us that were not going to, period. That’s the thing about Hopscotch. I’m not going to turn down a killer show just because I’m tired. I feel like I’ve been taking care of myself and we’ve been good to go.

Speaking of taking care of yourself, any tips for playing this many shows?

You have to eat a lot of kale—that’s a fact! I precooked all of my breakfasts. In the morning, I have kale and steak, then I make eggs. I bring a salad with me and then maybe I eat one meal out. The heat is hard on me no matter what so I’m careful about other things. I make sure that I get enough sleep. I try to take control where I can, and then I can still get hammered, still eat out, and still do what I want to, because I’m careful with everything else.

Any lowlights of your Hopscotch so far?

Oh my god. On Thursday, I ended up at The Pour House for Lucy Dacus when it was the hurricane night. My freaking van was by the Berkeley, and I knew if I left it, I was not going to get up in time to get it, and I didn’t want another parking ticket. I’m serious, it took me probably an hour to walk there because it was so windy! I think it would have been windy and blowing me around regardless, but I was so hammered that I was trying to hold onto things and people kept walking by me going “Do you need help?” So I told them “No, of course not, I’m fine!” Then I passed out in my van for hours and woke up at six in the morning.

OK, so what’s been your highlight?

All the shows have been really good, but the show at Person Street yesterday was something really, really special. After we got done playing, Mike [Wallace, guitarist] said, “I think we’re all working something out right now in this band,” and I think that’s true, because we’re all working something out in our lives. My family was there, and the crowd was really excited—it was great.

So this has been your busiest Hopscotch in terms of performances. How did it change the experience for you?

Yeah, I had five shows last year. This time, I’ve been getting ready for Hopscotch for weeks. Strengthening my voice, making sure I had all the stuff for all the food I needed to make—I was getting prepared for it like you get prepared for a hurricane or something, seriously. It’s actually kind of saved my life, because even like today, when I’ve been running around trying to do this and that, it’s stressful but I still feel all right.

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