This happens every year.
July is almost over and I have no idea where it went. I know where WE have been but the days seem to be slipping by at a disturbing rate and now it's almost August and I SWEAR that it was June 1st just a couple hours ago.
So far summer hasn't been a disappointment, not by a long shot. We played Upstream Music Festival in Seattle, a blossoming music festival that has the potential to be really great. Like a cross between Treefort (one of my all time faves) and SXSW. We played Weiser River Music Festival, a fledgling fest (year one baybee) where I met all of the nice people and got to sit in on a Prince tune with our buds The Dodgy Mountain Men. From Weiser we went to La Grande which was surprisingly lit (fellow kids?) and to Silverton for Brewcamp where our set got pushed back due to weather. **Fun fact, our buddy Jim hired us for the Sliverton gig ALSO hired us for a beer event in Mammoth, CA where our set got rained out. We have only been set back due to rain TWICE (Oregonians and all that) but both times the same guy hired us. Coincidence? Probably.
A definite highlight of the summer so far was the Waterfront Blues Festival in our hometown. There really is nothing like playing on a big stage for your family, friends and neighbors. The same people that we pass on the street, we sit next to on the bus, who we see at shows and who we stand with in long brunch lines, waiting to spend our hard earned money on a $9 Bloody Mary (It's all about the garnish. Don't judge, put a bird on it), all are there to celebrate life and music. We get to set aside our differences and experience joy together! It's a pretty powerful thing. Not that we don't get that experience to some extent at every show we play, but doing it in your own community is like getting a big warm bear hug from the real Santa Claus.
After that everything has been a bit of a whirl wind. We played Governor's Cup, our favorite funky venue on the I-5 corridor and headed down to Eugene to play a String Cheese Incident afterparty with our buds in Yak Attack. We had a pretty quick turn around from Eugene to Brookings, OR the next day. Two hours of sleep and a 6 hour drive had us starting our set 12 VERY SHORT FEELING hours after we played our last note in Eugene the night before. I would say something about the rock star life and all that, but the reality is that as soon as we were off stage in Brookings I ate a burrito and fell asleep. Old rockstar life maybe? Why not. #oldrockstarlyfe
The following week took us to California for a couple shows with our friend Scott Pemberton, whose band I had never seen before but blew me away two nights in row. We got to stay with a dear friend in Oakland before heading on to Morro Bay to play with Portland natives turned New Yorkers, The Rad Trads. Our bassist, Jon Shaw knows some of those guys from their Portland days, there were some major feel good reunion vibes going on.
The biggest surprise of the whole week was Cloverdale, CA. We were so late to that gig but IN MY DEFENSE, Bay Area traffic is a dumpster fire. We pulled up right when we were supposed to start playing, got set, line checked and went for it. This is a big reason why I love these guys. When it's time to get sh*t done, they get it done. The crowd was amazing! So many people, so much love and support! We really didn't know what to expect when we pulled in and we were very pleasantly surprised. 10/10 would recommend.
The week ended with a trip to the California redwoods for the Redwood Ramble. What a beautiful place! Camp Navarro has some serious all American nostalgia swirling around it. I kept thinking of that Adams Family movie where Wednesday and Pugsley go to summer camp and goth all over it. We arrived Saturday afternoon even though our set wasn't until the next day. We caught some music, ate some food, went to a swimming hole and wandered the forests.
We found some late night music and slept like sardines in a cute little camp cabin. We were one of the last acts of the day at 2pm on Sunday, the crowd had dispersed a little but those who remained were ready for us. It. Was. Fun. After our set, I sat in for a Grateful Dead tune (a first for me). I also ran into some friends from festivals past, from Guitarfish, For The Funk Of It, Strawberry Music Fest, California Worldfest, etc. Cali has some die hard music fans out there and I love that very much.
Now we are home, just for a couple days. Long enough to hug our friends, kiss our loved ones and eat our favorite foods (looking at you Pho Oregon) before we jump in the van again. First up is Rendezvous in the Park in Moscow, ID, which is the hometown of our dear friend and trumpeter Thomas Barber. Then off to Winthrop, WA for the Winthrop R&B Festival, joining acts like the California Honeydrops, Curtis Salgado, Samantha Fish and Pimps of Joytime for the festivals 31st year of music and joy.
And after that? Off to Colorado, Nevada and Tahoe before we head back home for some much needed R&R (in our case that stands for wRiting and Recording, look out world!).
Time flies, and although it's not always fun (per say), life is a beautiful adventure and I wouldn't trade this one for anything.
Stay tuned for our next blog installment titled, Where Did the Rest of July Go and Did We Somehow Skip the Entire Month of August?!?
Love you guys lots, see you out there!