Living on the road for this long starts to become a lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, I will be very happy to get home to San Diego and sleep in my own bed! Sleeping on hotel room beds and air mattresses while being serenaded by a choir of snorers gets old real quick. I will also be very happy to return to doing daily yoga and running because sitting in the car for hours on end definitely has a negative effect on your body after 2 ½ weeks.
We have made some really great connections and networked with some amazing people these last two weeks! Making friends with the Fisticuffs and seeing my friends in Chicago was definitely one of the biggest highlights of this trip!!! I will forever remember the fun we had with the Fisticuffs and the amazing hospitality of Tony and Sara. We now head on to LaCrosse, WI to play at the Bodega Brew Pub. Driving through Iowa and Minnesota into Wisconsin was one of the most beautiful drives with the hills, pine trees, and all the luscious greenery and lakes. I do miss my Midwest roots when I drive through these areas.
We pulled up to Bodega Brew Pub and met the Wild Colonial Bhoys when we walked in. The pub was not set up for musicians, but the manager told us to move the furniture and play where we felt comfortable. We have been looking forward to playing with the Wild Colonial Bhoys ever since we found out about them through New Folk Records. This was going to be a fun show!
The bar was pretty packed and there were a lot of Packers fans there watching the game as the Wild Colonial Bhoys set up. As they were setting up I was approached by a man that was with a group of people all there for a 100 mile charity bike race that weekend. I chatted with that group for a while and was offered a new beer for me called The Spotted Cow. It was comparable to a Corona, fairly light beer, which is not my favorite since I’m a Guinness girl, but still pretty good. I also met a friendly woman, Kathleen, whom I later found out is on the committee for the Milwaukee Irish Festival. She was excited to see us and spread the word to many people, however, not too many showed up because of all the Irish Festivals going on during this time. Most people were worn out from drinking and being at the Festivals. I did talk up our band and gave Kathleen our new EP to take to the committee to see if we can get on Irish fest next year. While this was happening, the Wild Colonial Bhoys took the stage and played for an hour. It was just the trio playing, Adam (vocals, guitar), Gino (guitar, vocals), Tony (violin). They put on a great show with some Irish traditionals and their own music.
Now when we took the stage, heads turned and half the crowd came up to the front to dance to our tunes! I looked back at the crowd at the bar and the tables and almost every head was turned toward us while we played. Exactly why we do this. We started out with our instrumental, The Last of the Mohicans, which had people clapping and standing in front watching me play the fiddle. It’s a real honor to play for all these people, see their enjoyment, and meet such amazing musicians! We are having a blast and cannot wait to do it again and play with these bands again. It was a very successful Thursday night at the Bodega Brew Pub!!
Now onto Ramsey, MN! On Friday morning we headed on to Minnesota. The plan was to drive about 2 hours to St. Paul, MN, but we went to Beau’s cousin’s house (Tony) in Ramsey, MN, which ended up taking almost 4 hours because of construction. We arrived in Ramsey in the mid-afternoon pretty worn out and some of us took a shower while others drank beer and took naps. It was great to meet Tony, Beau’s cousin, he shared the same hair growth that Beau has evidenced by the full grown beard! Tony was generous and had 4 of us stay with him during our MN visit. A.J. and Casey stayed with A.J.’s brother, Mike in another suburb of Minneapolis. It was time for our first show with Langer’s Ball at Shamrocks in St. Paul.
We arrived and were very impressed with the space and the stage. This place was huge on the inside with several rooms and bars! There was even an upper stage for the drums. Langer’s Ball was setting up when we arrived. They were all dressed up in their Renaissance festival wear, looking very professional. Michael and Hannah were very nice and a great opener for our rockin’ set. The show started a bit late because the sound guy didn’t realize there were two bands playing so he had to take time to get everything set up. That was a bit of an upset for us because it turned out we didn’t hit the stage until 11:45 p.m. and most of the crowd left by that point. Langer’s Ball put on a great show with some awesome rockin’ Irish music and then we took the stage. Well…. This was quite an interesting show for us… Bryan broke two strings in the 2nd song and then there were tuning issues with the guitar after he broke the strings. He then proceeded to break another string and then another string within the set and the tuning issues proceeded. Beau forgot the words to one of our songs in the middle of the set and I threw my violin in the air, which conveniently landed on the floor (the flying fiddle, like our logo)! I just thought I would try that out. It’s bound to happen one time during a 3 ½ week tour. Even with all those mishaps that night, Langer’s Ball, the sound guy, and the bouncers at the bar said we put on a great show. We just know how to rock n roll no matter what happens. Thank goodness Ken didn’t show up to that one!!!
– Cami Smith