Before we even left LA we had a VERY IMPORTANT errand to run- We picked up my new Dirndl from Cocoe Voci’s studio. I am thrilled to have a new uniform, so beautifully constructed and lovingly designed by my sweet friend. THANK YOU, Cocoe!
Our first stops in NM were fun and chili filled. Great start in Gallup, NM with a school show and uke workshop at Nizhoi Music, the studio of our lovely hostess, Antoinette Neff.
Then on to Albuquerque where we had the BEST DAY EVER! First, we finished mastering MY CUP OF TEA. Celebration dinner at Cervantes (hotttest red chili in the Q) and then on to the new Star Trek movie! Woo HOO!
We brought music to the ACSL family and then on to Santa Fe, where we enjoyed making music for a private party. The night started with John and Daniel playing flamenco and ended with leading a campfire style sing along.
The next morning we took the OhanaMobile to Jeff at Lucky Saab, where we did a ghetto fix on the AC with bread ties and zip ties.
Master mechanic and apprentice
We were tipped off to the storms blowing in and delayed our departure. We were driving straight towards Oklahoma City as the storms ripped through Moore. The skies were ominous and filled with fear and pain. We sang the song “Little Birdie” as a prayer for the people in the path, and are going to share that song in our Kickstarter update this week.
We arrived in Tulsa with heavy hearts at 2 am, but the children who greeted us the next morning at Connors Cove were as audatious and ebulent as children ever are. We had two bopping shows and look forward to 4 more shows at 4 other libraries in the next two days before we ship off for Kansas City.
We are telling everyone we meet about the new CD and the Kickstarter campaign which has two more weeks to go. We are getting close to our goal and hope to exceed it handsomly so we can both pay musicians and move forward with PR for the album. If you have not had a chance please pledge now! Click here (MY CUP OF TEA) to go to the page where you will be able to hear songs, see art, read about the process and become part of the fun!
The final gig of the summer! Daniel and I flew out to Chicago and met up with two GREAT musicians, Nick Macri on the Bass and Jason Toth, percussionist. The shows were great, and being Labor Day, included songs by Woody Guthrie and some serious Americana as well as songs to encourage everyone to vote. (Now that school is back in session I can’t help but get all teacher-y)
There were some Funny Little People there!
We drove the scenic route to visit friends and stopped along the way to pick a peck of peppers at a Pick-Your-Own place.
Doesn’t get much fresher then that!
Now to buckle down and get back to real life for a month, which means teaching classes and lessons, playing local gigs and parties. (see schedule on the website) And getting ready for the next BIG ADVENTURE: CHINA with Ohana!
Before we drop off the blog for a bit, we want to be sure we thank all the wonderful folks who hosted us, welcomed us into their towns and venues, came out to our shows and mae this summer what it was: a beautiful experience: Thank you all. And special thanks to Louis Wu at Ohana Ukulele. For making darn fine instruments that are affordable and accessible, and his committment to get them into the hands of kids!
The OhanaMobile took a detour to chauffeur John and Daniel to El Meson in Santa Fe. The gents play regularly at the tasty tapas joint just off the plaza.
The food there is great, but we had to first slake our appetite at La Boca. Santa Fe is overrun with tasty food!
Oh yum! Gratuitous food shot!
John and Daniel played two hours of beautiful flamenco music. And then… they got silly. Daniel’s Ohana came out, John’s cajon shrank, the tambourine turned tiny and the dumbek was replaced by a toy. This clip is long and gets sillier every minute. You have been warned. ( Click here for a good time.)
On the drive from Door County to Chicago, passing through Sheboygan, needing a comfort stop.Sheboygan…. isn’t that where those bowls I bought in a thrift store were made? I remember these cool bowls I got- made of pressed wood, each one stamped “Ellingers Agatized Wood made in Sheboygan, WI” So I says to the Iphone… “Let’s go there!” And the Iphone says “That’s easy, its just off the road!”
Next thing ya know Daniel and I are outta the Ohana Moblie getting a tour from Will. There are 3 presses, and two guys, Will and a gentleman who we will here call Mr Security, working the factory floor. Pine is made into flour and poured from a measured scoop into a mold. It is then pressed like a waffle, and about two minutes later bowls are popped out two at a time.
So they are wood, but feel like melamine. It’s the coolest thing ever. And they are the coolest folk ever. But they don’t have a bathroom. So, gotta run. I buy a few bowls from the rack and we cut off for a grocery-store picnic in the shade of a thrift store.
Doug, Craig, John, Daniel, Heidi, Hovey and Alexis. I miss you guys already!
Yesterday was our final Door County show, a matinee for Vespus at Third Avenue Playhouse. What a beautiful audience! We had hardly recovered from the late night Scumbaag Show at Sonny’s the night before.
Timpani and chimes. In a bar? Go Hovey!
John, Dan and Craig in Skumbaag costume. No, this is not a kid’s show- It’s weirder!
The week has sped past, and this morning Doug, John, Hovey and Alexis pulled up stakes and moved out, heading back to obligations in Albuquerque and Phoenix. Craig has returned to grading papers for the online course he teaches, and Daniel and I are having a day of catching up and rest. Laundry, computer life chores and sleep are the top 3. Later we will pack up the Ohana Mobile and prepare for the next phase of the tour.
Tomorrow we drive to Palatine, Ill, a suburb of Chicago and teach a workshop hosted by old friends Deb and Tracy. This will be fun and easy. Simple set up with the PA, tune a dozen instruments and teach about 15 people how to play. Deb and Tracy are improv buddies from Los Angeles, and I can’t wait to do a few musical improv forms with them. Irish drinking song, Hoe-down, the blues…. It’s been a long time. Check back for posts on that!
I am feverishly searching for pick up players to fill in for the band in Saint Louis on Friday, and I need to put some sort of a set list in order for the next month. When all the guys are around it is easy to get spoiled. I know they always have my back, and things get richer with each play. Starting from zero with new players, while thrilling, can be a trust exercise. Especially when meeting them hours before downbeat. If you have a ringer, let me know!