Thursday, September 8, 2011

Summer, music lessons and road trips.

A road trip begins with music in our car. Joss Stone started the 12 hour drive for us. I have a thank you song for Micheal because he does all the driving and would no doubt drive all night for me.

Here is Joss rehearsing Drive All Night in Portugal

A favorite lyric....“No ones ever drove for miles to make me smile before.”

A song can have so many meanings. What it means for you, might be different for me. A love song can be about anything, not just love. However you want to interpret your music is for you to decide. Quite sure we all know about the meaning of Joss' other song I love..........KARMA.

Joss performing Karma on Jay Leno

It’s been a fairly slow music summer for me and I’ve not been that into it, so no big loss. In June I did get to Joe’s Bar to see EYB. A good show, it had been quite awhile since I saw them last. The following week I headed downstate to Taylorville for the highly exceptional Red Wanting Blue. Now this is a band that needs your attention. They flat out kick some major butt. Look them up. Grady this means you. Check out Finger in the Air, I think you’ll dig it. You may want to get them to Yukon for something wonderfully different.

July was about reuniting with my foursome from the Big Music Cruise. It has been way too long since we were all together, just the four of us. Traveling I mean. We’re all on the same page. We work well together. Don’t we girls?.
 Kicked the first night off at the unbelievably hospitable Otis Campbell’s for the rockin’ Jonathan Tyler and The Northern Lights.
Otis Campbell’s is so much fun. You must put them on your music “bars” to visit. We’ve been going there for several years seeing the Mike McClure Band and we’ve met some of THE coolest people. Every time we go it gets better. Many thanks to the Marquart Bros & Michelle. You’re very good to us.

The next morning, we rallied it up and headed through Bfe, MO. My fault entirely. Some days I just wish we used road maps, not IPHONES! Seriously. Or, how about asking someone, didn’t we used to do that too? If not for the bad direction, we wouldn’t have been able to go to the Maw & Paw Grocery store.
 I mean we needed that stuff we bought there and their bathroom. :0 Now there’s one of those outrageous and funny memories. Back to the story, we arrived in Farmington, MO after winding through way TOO many country roads. ugh, Remember: We were up late last night, try and keep it down.

Not sure how we heard about The Hog Toss Benefit for Craig Thomas, with Reckless Kelly and Charlie Robison? Just lucky I guess. But we found our way there. It was one of those “too hot” days. You know the kind. So we chilled and listened to the music and did our best to stay cool. There were some very strange events going on that we weren’t familiar with, like the sky-high anvil shoot? That did get a lot of attention.

The music was great and the setting couldn’t have been any prettier.The estate that the fund-raiser was held on was immaculate. Kudos to them for being darn fine hosts.

At some point in this summer, I gladly fought the crowds at Ribfest in Chicago for a front and center Hayes Carll show. A great night, I’ll add. I’m more and more drawn to musicians’ like him these days. He is so simple, so real and so laid-back. He gladly signed my Make Music, not War shirt and assured me he would be back to Chicago in the fall. I’ll be there if I have my way. KMAG YOYO Y'all.

August seemed to drag on, with no live music whatsoever. Mike and I had decided to skip all the local shows to catch The Great Divide Reunion, in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The home of the Red Dirt Music. We only know of them from listening to The Mike McClure Band. We've been so drawn to all of his music and therefore wanted to be there to see him reunite with his old band mates. So, at the end of August we gassed up the car, packed our food and drink, selected just the right music and headed south west.

We of course could not go to Oklahoma without a trip to see Mr. Grady Cross. After the 12-hour drive we decided to get a good nights rest and slept for a good 10 hours. The bed at the Comfort Suites was absolutely heaven. Upon awakening we knew we were well rested and could handle a happy hour at Grady’s 66 Pub. A morning Happy Hour. Upon walking in I was astonished by the changes that have been made since my first visit in January. A complete overhaul. I did see the pictures that were posted as he was making the changes. But until your there in person you can’t appreciate what he has done with this place. It’s absolutely gorgeous. The colors black and silver are predominant and an exposed brick-wall helps set the mood for music. There are two motorcycles high above the front of the bar with a big Mike McClure Band Bud Light sign right in the middle. The stage is the perfect size for the establishment, with a black velvet curtain as a backdrop. Great touches. Some framed sports jerseys adorned the walls and were sent from his friends St. Louis Cardinal's Larue and  Chicago Cubs, Wells. The place looks like Grady got some shit done. He has some very cool people helping him on this venture. We met several of them.

Dearly enjoyed meeting Vernon the morning bartender, who was about as sweet as they come. He used to own the bar before and is there to help Grady out. Due to the heat,  the ice machine was on the brink, so Grady was busy getting that fixed. Once Grady got his shit done, he had some time to kick back and visit with us. The beers were going down well and we laughed a great deal. The bar had several other groups of people enjoying the morning as well.

at the request of mrs. bee there was some cheek pinching going on
  After happy hour. We all decided a NAP was in order. Not without hitting the Braums for ice cream and a burger first. Mike and I napped for several hours and couldn’t quit laughing once we woke up. Memories, like the corners of my mind.

The evening was full of bonuses. Grady reserved us the best seat in the house and spelled my name correctly.

He assured me, he knows how to get shit done. Several of our friends from OK and Nebraska joined us for an evening at Grady’s.  Nick Jay was even in the house!

                 HOSTY DUO was doing a fine job on the new stage. YAY.  It was great to hear him play Oklahoma Breakdown. My music lesson for the evening was just beginning. Of course I thought Stoney wrote that song.  The music was great, the sound and lighting were spot on and the fog machine was a hoss. YAY. After the show was over, it was more music lessons with Grady. He’s my “old school” country music teacher. I didn’t start listening to anything country until the Dixie Chicks so that should tell you how much old country I know. He was spinning tunes for us and we learned about all of his favorites. He & his friend Bryce played & sang them for us as well. One of the many highlights of the night. He even tried to teach me how to play a percussion instrument, but I was having a hard time finding my rhythm. Imagine that?   It was a very memorable evening and finally at about 3 am we said our goodbyes. Really hate the saying goodbye part, but feel so lucky to have met him through CCR and even luckier to now call him our personal friend. (& music teacher).  Thanks buddy.  Keep the peace and keep getting that shit done.

Grady, with a very large "stuffed cow" above him.  Along side it is a framed childrens' book, with Grady's name in the title. Not the best picture, that's why you need to get to Yukon in person. 
Didn't think to ask about that?  I think it was a cow?

The trip to Stillwater was quick. As Grady said, an hour and fifteen. Jammed the Damn Quails all the way there. I can’t quit listening to them. I was very emotional as we traveled. Not sure why, but as it turned out the whole day was emotional. I felt like I was a part of something big, something wonderful. Our Nebraskan friends, Lawrence and Amanda invited us to take in some of the nostalgia of Stillwater with them. Our first stop was “The Farm”.  


I was in awe of this place I’ve heard about all these years. I could feel the greatness that went on there. 
The red dirt under my feet and the awesomeness of the land. As we pulled out of the Farm, I wondered how many other people would tramp those grounds before the big show. Did you? Next stop was The Hideaway pizza joint, which was outstanding. Also got a glimpse of the old Wormy Dog. Again the feeling in Stillwater on this particular day was something unexplainable. Everyone was crazy, happy excited for the evening. Everyone. Well maybe not the girl working at our hotel. She lacked that thing a front desk person needs, a smile.

At around 4pm, along with our friends, we headed to Tumbleweeds. It was another 100 degree day and you couldn’t get enough water to keep hydrated. Upon arriving the VIP area, I was a little disappointed. Only because the last VIP area I was in , was marvelous. I could have used some free water, not beer. I was feeling very motherly watching all the kids, drink too much in the hot sun. Luckily you could go inside Tumbleweeds to cool off and use the bathrooms. It was seriously too hot for me to go in a porta potty. No can do.

The Turnpike Troubadours

Stoney Larue


The show schedule was right on the money. The Turnpike Troubadours hit the stage right at 4:30, with No Justice and Stoney following. There was a great vibe all around. Ran into several more people we knew.

Some from OK, Texas  and others from Iowa. I was even lucky enough to find Robin Cross in that crowd. She was sweet to get a hold of me for a quick chat, before the big show. There were Troubadours & Quails all over the place. Unfortunately I missed the Damn Quails, passing out a bunch of cd’s & MAC at the fence. Luckily Mrs. MAC, scored a couple Damn Quails cd’s for Lawrence. Thank you Scottie and thank you Lawrence for sharing.

By the time Jason Boland hit the stage it was dark and the place was packed. The crowd was in place. I couldn’t get over how fast the arena filled up. I had gone inside Tumbleweeds for about an hour and a half and it was just a magnificent crowd when I came out.

Not positive of the exact time The Great Divide took the stage, but I know for sure that they played until 12:22. I was no where near the front row for this one, but back about 4 rows and very comfortable. I bobbed in and out and found another place to stand, because of the heat and the crowding. It was so viewable from the jumbotron TV. You couldn’t miss a thing.

A very large Tiny

I have already read a fantastic synopsis of the evening so I’m not even going to put the show into my own words. Thank you for such a great story BAM!

 I was so amazed by all the LOVE. I just know that it was an over the top emotional night and everyone was either really into the music or they were puking somewhere. The heat and the beer took its toll on everyone who let it.  I was into the music!

Please forgive my layout, grammar and timing on this blog.  I just want to get it done at this point.  Not sure how I got so side-tracked. But I guess I have been working a lot and had a family wedding the very next weekend, so I guess I'm BUSY again.

Saturday morning arrived without fail.  Meaning we had roughly an eight hour drive ahead of us.  Many of our old CCR friends were going to be gathering in MO and since that was on our way home, it worked out.  The John D. Hale Band threw a helluva barn party, I'd have to say. The place was packed. The fields were covered with cars and trucks. Unfortuneately we arrived late, missing Matt Stell :( and had a hard time finding everyone and some didn't make it. :( Big Thanks to Jeff A, for getting us to the back so we could find  Rick Priest.  It was great to see him and definitely enjoyed his spider photo session. hahaha

The Departed took the stage at around midnight and entertained the crowd for about an hour and a half.  I enjoyed immensely hearing Jeremy sing To Find My Love and watching Steve Littleton play his keyboards.  I really dug this Departed show, because I finally know the music.  My first two show experiences didn't compare to this one. I was able to get my dance on and tried my best to get the rest of the crowd going.  There aren't too many people who know this music and it shows in the crowd.  I only heard one person asking for "Alabama", but I did hear Cody proclaim, "we are a new band, with new music and if you don't like it, then get the @$#& out". He then giggled, so I believe he's just trying to get his point across to the crowd, that he isn't going to be playing Alabama & 17.  Also right before he sang Dimebag, he dedicated the song to the assholes from last night.  I guess some people just can't accept the change.  Move on people, The Departed has talent, let them show it.  Ragweed is over for now, let it be.

In closing I would like to to say thank you to everyone who made this summer more memorable than the last.  Mike and I enjoy spending time together on the interstate heading this way and that way for some great music. The people we've met along the way are some of the best.  Y'all rock!



8th Robert Earl Keen-Joe's Bar
9th Pat Green-Joe's Bar-Chicago, IL
Matt Stell & The Crashers-Whiskey Down-Poplar Bluff, MO
Mike McClure Band-Grady's 66 Pub-Yukon, OK
10th Robert Earl Keen- The New Castle Theatre-Bloomington, Il
The Damn Quails-Grady's 66 Pub-Yukon, OK
Brandon Jenkins-The Beaumont Club-Lawrence KS
11th Eli Young Band-B100 17th Birthday Party-South Bend, IN
13th CD RELEASE DATE for Reckless Kelly
16th Wade Bowen-Joe's Bar-Chicago, IL
17th Todd Snider-Ferdinand Folk Festival-Ferdinand, IN
The Departed-Copper Dragon-Carbondale, IL
18th The Departed-Blue Moose-Iowa, City, IA
20th The Departed-Cabooze-Minneapolis, MN
21st The Departed-People's Court-Des Moines, IA
22nd The Departed-The Granada-Lawrence, KS
23rd Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights-Taste of St. Louis-St. Louis, MO
John D Hale-The Woodshed-Leon, IA
The Departed-George's Majestic-Fayetteville, AR
24th John D Hale-Gas Lamp-Des Moines, IA
30th Chris Knight-Old Rock House-St. Louis, MO

5th Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights-Cabooze-Minneapolis, MN
6th Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights-Avoid The Rush Series-Des Moines, IA
7th Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights-Garbaldi's-Milwaukee, WI
8th Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights-The Canopy Club-Urbana, IL
Eli Young Band w/ Dierks-Emens Auditorium-Muncie, IN
9th Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights-The Loft-Lansing, MI
Dierks Bentley Music & Miles for Kids-Joe's Bar-Chicago, w/ Eli Young Band
12th Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights- Old Rock House-St. Louis, MO
13th Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights-Cosmic Charles-Lexington, KY
14th Jason Eady-Otis Campbell's-Washington, MO
Reckless Kelly-The Blue Note-Columbia, MO
21st Stoney Larue-Joe's Bar- Chicago, IL
Bleu Edmonson-Grady's 66 Pub
27th Hayes Carll-Varsity Theatre- Minneapolis, MN
28th Hayes Carll-Shank Hall-Milwaukee, WI
Seth Candan-Grady's 66 Pub-Yukon, OK
29th Hayes Carll- Lincoln Hall-Chicago, IL
Jason Boland & The Stragglers-The Woodshed-Leon, IA


1st Jason Boland & The Stragglers-Exit Inn-Nashville, TN
2nd Jason Boland & The Stragglers-Off Broadway-St. Louis, MO
Reckless Kelly-Six Strings-Bloomington, IL
3rd Reckless Kelly-Shank Hall-Milwaukee, WI
4th-Reckless Kelly-Joe's Bar-Chicago, IL.
9th Todd Snider-w/ Elizabeth Cook-Fitzgerald Theatre-St. Paul, MN
10th Todd Snider-w/Elizabeth Cook-Riverside Ballroom-Green Bay, WI
11th Todd Snider-w/Elizabeth Cook-Park West-Chicago, Il
17th Red Wanting Blue-Kemp's-Lexington, IL
18th Red Wanting Blue-Bailey's Pub, Taylorville, IL
26th Mike McClure Band-Grady's 66 Pub-Yukon, OK


16th Brandon Jenkins-The Woodshed-Leon, IA
Mike McClure Band-Otis Campbell's-Washington, MO