By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Mar 09, 2011 at 1:02 PM

On any given day it's likely there is a van out there with a Milwaukee band in it blazing down a stretch of interstate toward its next show.

These aren't the stadium-filling, custom bus riding, rock gods from "Behind the Music." These are the musicians cruising from city to city, eating at truck stops, lugging their gear into club after club, playing to a room filled with strangers often only to have to struggle to pry some gas money and a couple drink tickets from sometimes shady show promoters.

But while being one of the thousands of hardworking bands touring the country isn't always glamorous, there are still perks; meeting new friends in every town and catching up with old ones, stumbling across the strange characters and landmarks that dot the U.S., winning over crowds from sea to shining sea with your best friends and the songs you wrote together and maybe just making it big (whatever that means nowadays).

For many of these bands the road ends in Austin, Tex. for the sprawling music and film festival South by Southwest. From the guys in the buses to the upstart singer songwriter in his beat up station wagon musicians flock to SXSW for its endless parties and to be a part of one of the biggest American music events of the year.

Over the next two weeks will give you unparalleled access to life on the road with one of Milwaukee's best bands-- garage pop trio Jaill -- which was cool enough to take us along on a 3,500-mile round-trip trek to Austin.

Band members Austin Dutmer, Vinnie Kircher and Andrew Harris are no strangers to the road, having toured extensively; most recently to support their excellent Sub Pop Records debut "That's How We Burn."

This jaunt includes a half-dozen shows on the way to Austin with label mates Obits and some of the biggest and best showcases this year's SXSW has to offer.

Be sure to check in daily for tour journal updates, behind the scenes video and photographs, tour tweets and cross-country weirdness from what is sure to be a Texas-sized trek for the ages.