July 2014~ IA, WI, MN, SD

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::Clear Lake, IA:::
Clear Lake is in its best form around the 4th of July.  We were blessed to be back in this Summer wonderland of Mother Nature’s display of weather perfection.  Characterized by high school reunions, a carnival in the park, and an incredible fireworks display over the lake, the 4th of July in Clear Lake is simply ‘the time’ to be in town. 

Setting up our upcoming gigs across North Iowa, we played the early morning show on the local news station, KIMT.  It’s the earliest this duo has been awake in a long time.  And, I followed that up with an absolutely amazing airplane ride in a friend’s private dual-pilot plane.  We actually flew the exact same route that Buddy Holly and Co. did on “the day the music died.”  It was eerie to say the least.  Additionally we made sure to capture a shot of our 4th of July venue as we flew overhead, Clear Lake’s: The Landing

With double header shows on the 4th and 5th of July at Clear Lake’s dockside bar, we could not have asked for a more picturesque setting. We enjoyed amazing sunsets on both evenings and awesome hometown crowds with friends, family, locals, and tourists filling the seats.  In my humble opinion, this is truly the best lakeside establishment in Clear Lake.  They also serve up a killer fish taco and sweet potato fries.  We hope to land here again next summer!

For more info on The Landing visit: https://www.facebook.com/southshoreinn


::Des Moines, IA:::
The Gas Lamp is truly one of Des Moines, Iowa’s greatest venues for live music.  Formerly the home of Blues on Grand, this place has history. The room resonates with great live music past and present.  Located adjacent to the downtown sculpture park, it’s central location has been drawing crowds to listen to incredible live original music for decades. 

We were pumped to be back at The Gas Lamp, having performed there previously back in 2012.  Opening up for us was songwriter Josh Davis who set the tone for a great evening.  We also did some live recording, which will be available soon. 

For more info on The Gas Lamp visit: http://www.gaslampdsm.com

::Marshfield, WI:::

The Thomas House Restaurant in Marshfield, Wisconsin is definitely a diamond in the rough.  Not to say that Marshfield doesn’t have a lot going for it, but this place definitely stands out. In fact, it’s the type of establishment that you’d expect to see on a corner in Chicago, not so much rural Wisconsin. 

A beautifully restored full-service bar and restaurant; The Thomas House has truly blessed the community of Marshfield with some amazing food and beverages.  We each enjoyed delicious salads and incredible entrees of scallops and a shrimp pasta special.  Simply put, delicious. 

They also host live music on their outdoor patio, which could have popped straight out of Little Italy or an actual Italian piazza.  We enjoyed a very intimate and laid-back evening, sharing our music with patrons who soon became friends.  They have plans to expand soon with a basement venue in the works, truly a great space!

For more info on The Thomas House visit: https://www.facebook.com/thomashouserestaurant

::Kenosha, WI:::
Kenosha is a lake town, located right on Lake Michigan.  Yachts and sailboats line the marinas and families of ducks enjoy floating along the shores.  We were excited to return to play at Sazzy B in Kenosha, having played a short set there in the past.  Sazzy B has a very intimate lounge feel with wood floors and a large bar right at the entrance.  

They make music a focus in their establishment, while pumping out delicious dishes and specialty cocktails.  They also have a mean whiskey selection.  It’s definitely the type of place that we’d frequent if we lived in the area. Good food, booze, and live music definitely make a winning combination and Sazzy B combines the three flawlessly. 

For more info on Sazzy B visit: http://www.sazzybhive.com

::Wisconsin Dells, WI:::
Spring Brook Sports Bar & Grill in Wisconsin Dells is not your typical sports bar.  Locally owned and operated within a Dells resort, they generally host live music at least twice a week and have a constant influx of locals and tourists.  Booker and co-owner, Juli Mor always makes us feel right at home when we arrive.  This is the type of place that could easily become your ‘Cheers’ if you were lucky enough to discover it. 

For more info on Spring Brook Sports Bar & Grill visit: http://www.spring-brook.com

::Madison, WI:::
Madison is an incredible city, and when we were asked to perform at their Art Fair on the Square, we jumped at the opportunity.  This is a city that appreciates the arts and really utilizes their downtown.  We were slotted to play an afternoon set on the State Street stage and we enjoyed a very receptive crowd of some of Madison’s finest.

Yet another lakeside town, Madison definitely utilizes the lakefront with lakeside dining establishments, parks, and a beautiful bike path.  It’s a city that university kids flock to, and it’s no wonder with the multitude of things to do and see.  The Art Fair on the Square is yet another example of how they continue to do things right. 

For more info on Art Fair on the Square visit: http://www.mmoca.org/art-fair


::Eau Claire, WI:::
Fanny Hill Restaurant in Eau Claire, Wisconsin has one of the best views we’ve enjoyed on tour.  Overlooking the Chippewa River and an incredible garden, it almost feels like you’ve come upon a secret place when you step out onto the patio.  They have all sorts of beautiful birds and butterflies that enjoy the outdoor space as well.  And, they have live music. 

The garden space is absolutely gorgeous, definitely someone’s pride and joy.   Folks were definitely there to appreciate the ambiance, food, and enjoy our music.  Our fans from Winona, Minnesota even drove the hour and a half to come hear us play.  Good times!

For more info on Fanny Hill Restaurant visit: http://fannyhill.com


::Maple Grove, MN:::
When you think of Thai food, you probably don’t think of live acoustic music, but somehow Sawatdee in the Twin Cities has married the two. They host live music at their various locales around the Twin Cities and it definitely gives dining on ethnic food a different vibe. 

We enjoyed a nice little mid-week crowd, and had a couple of different groups of friends in the audience which always makes things fun.  And did I mention the food was incredible?  In addition to traditional Thai food they also roll some tasty sushi.  Cool spot. 

For more info on Sawatdee visit: http://www.sawatdee.com


::Cedar Falls, IA:::
We love Luna Art + Wine in Cedar Falls, IA.  Last year I actually rolled into my thirties after playing a gig there, and we were stoked to come back.  They have a beautiful back patio that they’ve only continued to spruce up with a wooden trellis and fun wine bottle artwork.  They host live music out on the patio during warmer months and Iowans come out in droves for a bit of ear candy, wine, and small plates.  The owner Andy is great, and it’s definitely a place we’ll keep on our tour schedule for years to come.  

For more info on Luna Art + Wine visit: https://www.facebook.com/LunaArtandWine

::Minneapolis, MN:::
So… beer is great, and wine is delicious, but CIDER?! I LOVE cider!  We were very excited to add cidery to the list of amazing locales we’ve had the opportunity to perform at on tour, and Sociable Cider Werks is definitely one for the books.  They have a great indoor/outdoor space in Minneapolis, Minnesota with garage doors opening out onto the beer garden and a good sized bar with barrel made high-top tables.  The ambiance was only trumped by the delicious array of ciders, and we indulged in the sampler so as to get a good tasting of their offerings.  Our favorite was the cucumber habanero cider which was a delicious summer treat.  Such a fun place to share live music! 

For more info on Sociable Cider Werks visit: http://sociablecider.com

::Mason City, IA:::
Mason City, Iowa has gone through some dramatic changes over the past five to ten years with the addition of Music Man Square, the revitalization of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Historic Park Inn, the beautiful new plaza behind the mall, and of course Mason City Brewing.  A micro-brewery in Mason City?  Oh ya!  Having been born and raised only 7 miles down the road in Clear Lake, good beer has definitely been a welcome addition to local offerings. 

They put out a nice array of tasty brews and have a very cool space with a stage for live music to boot.  We had a great group of friends, family, beer-lovers, and even a notable fan (and state representative) in the crowd.  We definitely plan to hit up the brewery again on our next trip back to River City!

For more info on Mason City Brewing visit: https://www.facebook.com/masoncitybrewing

::Forest City, IA:::
While we didn’t play in Forest City this go ‘round, I’d be remiss not to mention our overnight stop there during the Ragbrai festivities.  You may remember us having played throughout Ragbrai back in 2012.  Ragbrai is Iowa’s annual bike ride across Iowa where tens of thousands of crazy cyclists gather to ride and party across the entire state of Iowa.  With friends making the ride and completing the century loop (over a hundred miles) that day, we made sure to stop in for a fun night of outdoor relaxation with a brew in hand and a love of Iowa summers in our hearts. 

For more info on Ragbrai check out: http://ragbrai.com

::Northfield, MN:::
Northfield, Minnesota just ranked #2 among the nation’s top 10 small towns in 2014, and it’s no wonder with it’s notable universities, great pubs and restaurants, and well established live music scene.  We have enjoyed playing in Northfield on multiple occasions in the past, and just couldn’t pass up another opportunity to share our music with our fans in the area.  We also had friends drive down from MSP to check out the show. 

Our return venue for the trip was The Contented Cow.  With an outdoor stage located right alongside the Cannon River in Northfield and twinkling lights overhead, it’s definitely a fun stage to play.  The multi-tiered patio overlooks the stage and offers patrons a great view while listening to tunes and enjoying a brewskie. 

For more info on The Contented Cow visit: https://www.facebook.com/TheContentedCow

::New Ulm, MN:::
Wow, The Grand Kabaret in New Ulm, Minnesota is truly a special space… They have a great little sound system and stage, and as an arts center bring in a variety of acts from all over the country.  It’s one of those places that you just love to listen to yourself.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but it just sounds so good in there.  And folks love the food and wine selection.  We definitely enjoyed a glass or two ourselves. 

A revitalized old hotel turned Arts Center, Bar, and Restaurant, this place has a lot of character, and one of the board members was delighted to show us around the place.  We enjoyed a bit of press from the local paper, and were happy to give credit to local photographer and friend Veronica Nelson for her amazing photos she took of us the previous summer.  Our friends and fans in the area definitely always make us feel right at home, and we can’t wait to come back!

For more info on The Grand visit:https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Grand-Kabaret/277876489047

::Monticello, IA:::

It’s amazing the number of unreal fabulous gems that small-town Iowa seems to have popping up every day, and The Jitney Wine Bar in Monticello, Iowa is definitely no exception.  We love playing here, having played at the wine bar back in 2013, and were definitely excited to be back.  The folks always give a warm welcome and love their live music. 

They have an amazing wine, beer, and cocktail selection and an amazing tapa’s menu worthy of 5-stars. Their train theme only makes me love them more (a train enthusiast myself), and we always laugh a bit as we crawl into our specially made band corral to play. 

For more info on The Jitney Wine Bar visit: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Jitney-Wine-Bar/450305975030707

::Sabula, IA:::

I love hippies, and have been bestowed the title in the past with pride.  Owned an operated by one of the world’s most peace loving, best pizza making, odd-collectibles dealing hippies, Bombfire Pizza in Sabula, Iowa is definitely a spectacle to be seen.  Covered in fun trinkets, old bikes, and even a hand painted vintage VW-minibus.  This place has flare.  

They also make a thin crust pizza to die for.  With some of the freshest ingredients and an option for vegan cheese, I love their pizza!  We also love playing at this fun spot.  Located on Iowa’s only Island town in the middle of the Mississippi, it’s definitely a destination spot, and one we plan to frequent for years to come!

For more info on Bombfire Pizza visit: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bombfire-Pizza/156550921039909

::Watertown, SD:::
Watertown, South Dakota knows how to throw a street party.  Fact.  The Goss Opera House in Watertown is a beautiful old fully renovated facility complete with gourmet restaurant, bar, and music hall.  They also put on a weekly event during the summer time for the whole town, Thursday Nite Live

This was our second year being invited to play the event, and we had a great time once again.  It’s always fun playing on a stage in the middle of a downtown street, especially when everyone is there to sit and enjoy or stand and dance along to your music.  This year they had a top notch sound guy, beer garden, and grill set-up, along with full access to the bar and restaurant.  It’s a great community event, and so much fun to play.  We definitely plan to entertain the folks of Watertown again next year!

For more info on The Goss Opera House and Thursday Nite Live visit: http://gossoperahouse.com 

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June 2014~ TN, MO, IA

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::Murfreesboro, TN:::
While Nashville and Murfreesboro are only about a thirty-minute drive from each other, they are definitely two very distinct entities.  Murfreesboro is first and foremost a college town, while Nashville is definitely better known as Music City.  That said Mayday Brewery in Murfreesboro is making a name for itself as a destination for great beer and great live music.  And, we have made it a point to play there the past two times we’ve been back home.  The brewery and tasting room continue to grow and expand, and have recently added a PA for musicians to utilize. 

While we often set up our own PA, it’s always nice when a venue has one for musicians to use.  After the rainclouds cleared up, it ended up being a beautiful evening with folks spilling out all across the patio enjoying a good brew as our music filtered out into the sunset.  Cheers to great beer and great people! 

::Nashville, TN:::
Homecoming for us is always bittersweet, as we can’t exactly go home, having rented out our place while we tour.  Yet, Nashville is still home.  And when we sat down to plan our set for The Basement’s New Faces Night (which is a bit relative as we played our CD release show there back in December of 2012), just coming off of a week and a half of writing and practicing, we decided that we’d play a set of entirely new music. 

Nashville can be a bit of a tough place to play with almost everyone in town either being a musician or a part of the industry, but we’re always our own toughest critics.  That said, our friends were out in full force, and it was a fun night.  Reflecting on the evening and over the past two years, our music has definitely continued to evolve.  And it’s always a trip trying something new. 

We love The Basement; absolutely love it.  It’s the best kind of dive and a haven for music listening.  It’s got great beer and even better whiskey.  And the owner, Mike, always books top-notch talent.  While we had been scheduled to play during the 8-9PM timeslot, we ended up slotted at 7th in the lineup, so you might say things were pushed back a bit.  It was an eclectic evening of great music from Brits to Floridians to Texans to hometowners.  We were just happy to be a part of it!

To check out live footage of the show at The Basement visit: www.youtube.com/youknewmewhenmusic


::Columbia, MO:::
There’s nothing miserable about Columbia, Missouri.  ;-) Especially when you’re playing at their latest and greatest local brewery, Logboat Brewing Co.  Owned and operated by three local gents who determined they preferred brewing to playing in their own local band (though they can still be caught playing together on occasion), this is one log-ride you don’t wanna miss! 

Great beer and beer cocktails: I enjoyed the ginger wheat beer as well as a grapefruit/St. Germain/vodka/beer cocktail that tasted like the essence of Summer just exploded in my mouth.  Previously an old meat packing building, the owners did their best to preserve a bit of history in the joint while working in reclaimed and recycled wood in the décor and large central bar. 

We were flattered to christen the brewery as their first indoor live entertainment, and hope to make the trip back to Columbia again soon!  Cheers to Logboat Brewing! We’ll beeeeer back!


::Clear Lake, IA:::
Coming home is always a trip, especially when you’ve been gone for thirteen years.  With friends and family in Clear Lake it’s always an adventure, and even more so when playing Clear Lake’s Thursday’s on Main.  Thursday’s on Main is a weekly event in Clear Lake throughout the summer with food vendors, artisans, car show, hand cranked railroad cars for the kiddos, and live entertainment.  We were scheduled as the live entertainment on the main street stage.  The people of Clear Lake come out in full force for the event, and with the main street closed off, there’s always great people watching (made even more enjoyable from a bird’s eye view on the stage). 

The Clear Lake Chamber really puts a lot of heart and soul into the event for Clear Lakeians and visitors to enjoy.  And we couldn’t have been happier to be a part of the event.  We had a two-hour set of original songs mixed in with a few more familiar tunes for the crowd to enjoy (including a Buddy Holly song- as Clear Lake is of course where the music died).  After the show, we enjoyed catching up with old friends and family.  Clear Lake is a special place to be in the summer time (more on that later).


::Wellman, IA:::
Picture this: Barn, farmhouse, a few choice cattle, and a large outdoor brick pizza oven.  Yes, that is what you will find when you visit Wellman, Iowa.  Stone Wall Brick-Oven Pizza is family owned an operated, and you can taste the heart put into every slice. 

They also happen to host live music on their farm with all-you-can-eat pizza in the summer months, and we were happy to share our music on the farm again this year.  It’s a beautiful setting to play in, overlooking flowing fields of corn and displaying an amazing view of the Iowa sunset.  I may not have grown up on a farm, but I can sure see why you would: Peace and pizza. 


::Albia, IA:::
Mmmm beer.  Albia Brewing Co. may not be the first brewery that rolls off the tip of your tongue when you discuss micro-brews, but it should be. Owners Brian & Barbara take their beer pretty seriously, and the brewery bar is the perfect setting to enjoy a pint.  I enjoyed their summer shandy and their beer/hard cider mix they call a caramel apple.  They also have a great kitchen putting out all sorts of delicacies including delicious fresh salads, pizzas, fish and chips, and let me just say they make a mean batch of sweet potato fries. 

The rain kept us from playing out on the open-air patio, but didn’t keep us from sharing our music with Albia Brewing Co.’s appreciative patrons.  We set up in the front window of the bar area and had a great evening sharing our music with everyone.  Cheers to Albia Brewing Co.!

 
::Kalona, IA:::
Well continuing down the road on the Great American Beer and Band Tour, we made our way to the small town of Kalona, Iowa.  When I say small, I mean small.  But their brewery wouldn’t give you that impression if you happened upon it.  This is quite the operation and truly a beautiful, modern facility.  We had a laid back afternoon and were happy to see some familiar Iowans in the crowd coming out to support!  Iowa does not disappoint in the beer category, and Kalona Brewing should definitely be a stop on every beer lovers tasting circuit. image

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May 2014 ~ OK, TX, FL, SC, VA

::Norman, OK:::
It felt like a homecoming when we revisited our favorite little family-owned winery in Norman, Native Spirits Winery.  The owners are truly the salt of the earth. They host live music regularly on Friday evenings, and nothing pairs better with their delicious vino.  They have a nice assortment of reds and whites and recently added iced wine to the menu. 

Located just outside of town on their family acreage, they are living the true American Dream.  They actually lived in a small trailer on the land while building the winery and tasting room, and finally built their own home on the property.  The tasting room has the perfect little stage for a soloist or duo, and we always enjoy playing for their regulars and other visiting wine-enthusiasts. 


:::Waco, TX:::
Wine seemed to be a feature on this leg of the journey.  And, Valley Mills Vineyards just outside of Waco has quickly become a regular stop on the never-ending tour for us.  They had recently received a bit of an interior face-lift on our visit.  The tasting/listening room is definitely set up for success with an intimate and warm vibe.  The wine was spectacular as always.

With the mother hen out of town, her son took the reins for the evening.  It always speaks wonders to an establishment that is truly family owned and operated, especially when it’s done right.  And Valley Mills Vineyards is a perfect example.  We love this little corner of heaven in central Texas!


:::Broken Bow, OK:::
When you think of The Grateful Dead you think of pizza right?!  But, that’s definitely what they had in mind at The Grateful Head Pizza Oven & Taproom.  This being our second trip to Broken Bow, we were definitely looking forward to camping by the lake in the beautiful state park and sharing music on their adorable little outdoor covered stage and beer garden. 

Their delicious pizza is only trumped by their fab beer selection.  Cie’s favorite was the local pale ale.  I devoured the tree-hugger pizza, which was covered in quite the assortment of veggies.  The folks in Broken Bow definitely appreciate live music, and we are always happy to share it with them!


:::Dallas, TX:::
Just shy of a three hour drive from Broken Bow, we headed down to Dallas for a couple of gigs and some fun times with an old friend.  Our first show was a relaxed mid-week gig at the Coffee House Café in North Dallas.  We always enjoy playing a little one-off gig at the café, as it’s not your typical coffeehouse setting, boasting a full-bar and a menu full of delicious munchies.  We each enjoyed sipping on a bit of whiskey, and mowed down their truffle sea-salt fries after the gig!

Located in Dallas’s ever-growing hipster neighborhood Uptown, The Common Table is a well-known and well-loved local pub and restaurant. They have an unbelievable whiskey and beer selection and an ever-rotating line-up of top-notch music.  With friends in the area, we enjoyed a fun gig only hampered by a faulty house PA.  Pro - it made for an intimate evening of music listening.  Con-my keyboard only works through a PA. Fun times! ;-)


:::Magnolia, TX:::
Rain, rain go away, why can’t you come when we don’t play?  While rain and severe storms put a bit of a damper on our Houston area gig at the GenuWine Tasting Room, we didn’t let that bring us down.  Neither did the folks that were out enjoying a bit of wine, small plates, and live music. We also thought it was quite fitting that the stage and tasting room was fully decorated with Epiphone Guitars.  Xoxo

And, it’s always a good end to the evening when folks leave and come back after they tuck in the kiddos, just so they can get a CD signed… J   


:::Austin, TX:::
We like to compare Austin to Nashville, except bigger.  More food trucks, more hipsters, more big buildings, and a fantastic music scene are just a few of Austin’s assets.  One of the staple Austin live music night-spots is located at the bar in the downtown Historic Driskill Hotel.  The Driskill Bar hosts live music just about every night of the week, and we always look forward to our performances there.  

My fingers love tickling the ivories on their glass topped grand piano with all of it’s intricate gold plated inlays.  And the central stage makes for the perfect lounge style atmosphere.  We are looking forward to playing there again, as they have plans in the works to put in a new state-of-the-art PA/sound system.  You will never leave disappointed from this upscale downtown hot spot!


:::Jacksonville, FL:::
Holy hot-pockets batman!  We think it gets hot in Tennessee, but Florida really knows how to bring the heat!  And while heat can be fun while you are lying on the beach, it’s not exactly what you expect when stepping into one of Jacksonville’s most revered music venues, Underbelly.  Alas, as the old adage says, “the show must go on,” even with the AC out of commission.  

While the AC might have been MIA, the venue definitely has a lot going for it.  The sound guy was top notch, it had quite the artsy and eclectic appeal, a nice sized stage, bar, standing and seating for fans, and of course a consistent line-up of great live music.  We hope that our next performance there will only solidify our love for this place, and that the AC is back up and running!


:::Delray Beach, FL:::
People have fun at the BEACH! And we are no exception to that rule!  We had a great time in Florida scavenging the beaches for sharks’ teeth, and an even better time playing at DaDa in Delray Beach.  Let me set the scene for you: Beautifully renovated tudor in downtown, wrap around outdoor patio, and mojitos.  Did I mention mojitos?  They also have a big beautiful tree branching out in the center of the outdoor patio just beckoning for folks to come sit in its shade. 

We enjoyed a lovely evening out on the front deck sharing our music with folks enjoying the night breeze on the patio.  People can come out to DaDa any night of the week and expect to appreciate great live music.  Great spot!


:::Boynton Beach, FL:::
More beach fun awaited us just a fifteen-minute drive up the coast in Boynton Beach at the Living Room.  The Living Room recently expanded adding on an adjoining little side pub.  They continued to carry their unique decorative flare and reputation as an oasis for live music into the pub.

We enjoyed a bite to eat and a glass of wine in the pub while listening to a local musician before our set in the main restaurant and lounge.  It’s definitely refreshing to play at a place that truly embraces independent musicians and solid live entertainment.   And the owner always makes us feel like we’ve stepped into her living room to play an intimate house show.  Good people, great spot.


:::Charleston, SC:::
The Elliotborough Mini Bar is definitely a mini bar, located on the corner of a cozy little downtown Charleston neighborhood.  Though they may be small, and their stage itty bitty, they have amazing clientele, a damn good beer and wine selection, and an even better bartender.  And we were lucky enough to be playing on Guest Chef Night, which featured the playfully crafted cuisine of Chef Steve Seguin (former Nashville resident, and friend of a friend as we soon came to find).  

We enjoyed playing for an intimate crowd in a very intimate venue. I got a chance to try a new cider, and Cie enjoyed a couple of microbrews that the bartender suggested.  The food was delicious, including everything from burrata cheese and heirloom tomato salad to headcheese to oxtail ragu to black ink squid (black teeth look good on Cie).  Not generally food I crave, but I definitely will now.  ;-)

Just north of Elliotborough lies The Mill in Charleston’s Park Circle neighborhood, and our next venue on the Charleston leg.  The Mill is definitely a well-established North Charleston bar with a hipster yet all ages bearded bartender Schlitz vibe that works in every way.  They host live music regularly and definitely support original music.  Fun spot Charleston!


:::Murrells Inlet, SC:::
Murrells Inlet, SC… Never heard of it?  Well that’s okay, we hadn’t either.  It’s just south of Myrtle Beach and a beaut!  K-Rae’s Waterway Bar & Grille definitely set us up with gorgeous ambiance, if only the weather would comply.  We started out playing on their yacht club/marina bar stylized patio overlooking the water and turtles basking in the early evening air on a suspended log.  

Unfortunately, we were quickly interrupted by an evening storm that was not going to allow for us to continue, what with the downpour and lightning and such… :-p What we can say about this fun spot it they have a great bartender that makes a killer margarita and a steady clientele of boaters, even on a risky weather night.  And although night two got rained out, we did enjoy a lovely morning at the beach.  Ce la vie!


:::Eggleston, VA:::
Just adjacent to Cie’s hometown of Blacksburg, VA lies the Appalachian mountain community of Eggleston, VA.  And the prize of Eggleston definitely lies in it’s superb restaurant, The Pallisades.  Elevating the local cuisine to a whole new level and helping to support the local live music scene, The Pallisades is definitely a diamond in the rough. 

With menu items such as prosciutto wrapped cod with sweet potatoes and mango slaw and local hard cider, they have definitely given the local community a special treat to look forward to on every visit.  They also regularly host live music on the weekends on their little dining room front display window stage.  We always enjoy playing there with friends and family in attendance. 

April 2014~ CO, UT, WY, KS

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::Boulder, CO:::
Boulder, and really Colorado in general, has become a home away from home for us.  With friends in the area, unbelievable landscape, and a multitude of great restaurants, bars, people watching, and music venues, we always have a hard time leaving.  Which brings me to our venue, the Laughing Goat, a coffee shop meets music venue pairing that truly does it right.

With a sound guy, stage, coffee, wine, beer, and listening room setting, the Laughing Goat has all it’s ducks in a row.  And the venue booking agent, Dechen always books great acts.  We had a blast playing with Washington based husband and wife duo, The Wicks.  Their tradition of a suggested donation based cover charge tends to encourage folks to come listen that might not otherwise have made the stop.  And with the fun and eclectic Boulder folks (our amazing friends included), there’s always a great crowd!


:::Grand Junction, CO:::
Well when people ask us what was one of the most unique spots we’ve played on tour, I’d say that The Raw Canvas Custom Tattoo Studio and Art Gallery would rank right up there.  A tattoo studio meets art gallery (an obvious but not so common pairing), The Raw Canvas is modern art in all its forms. Having booked the show nearly a year in advance, we had been looking forward to this show for quite some time.  With Cie’s leg and arm sleeves, he felt right at home in this Mecca of body art. 

We enjoyed providing the live entertainment for their First Friday Art Walk Event, and boy was it an event.  With tasty morsels from a local restaurant, beer tasting, artists in residence on hand, live music and catalogs of the amazing tattoo artists work to check out, folks had their choice of stimuli and they came in by the truck load.  We had a great night and hope to play there again soon!


:::Moab, UT:::
Okay, Moab is flat out amazing, or rather straight up amazing!  There is literally red stone everywhere you see!  It’s like God said, “I will paint the land red and make this my own sandbox complete with archways mote, and castles.”  And so it was.  Okay, maybe not castles, but some of the rock formations and mountain ranges sure seem to emulate them and create an exquisite effect.  We had an awesome time hiking around Arches National Park, and Cie delighted in nearly killing me on a hike through Castle Valley.  It may be time to invest in some hiking boots, enough said. 

We also enjoyed returning to our favorite little Moab venue, The Blu Pig.  With the perfect sized stage for a duo, their own sound system, and a well laid-out bar and lounge area, we always enjoy playing in this space.  They also have great food, something we definitely appreciate in a venue while we are on the road.  The night was only bested by the fact that we had return listeners from one of our shows in Boulder who came out to the gig, as well as a friend and her amigos that were in the area jeeping for the week.  It’s hard to feel Blu when you are in this fun spot! ;-)


:::Berthoud, CO:::
We’ve written about City Star Brewing in Berthoud in the past, but we can’t say enough about this awesome brewery.  They are constantly creating new brews (Ex: Mango Habanero…they’re not messing around), and their clientele appreciates the regular schedule of live music.  We were excited to have quite a few return listeners that made sure to let us know that they’ve been following our travels on the road.  Great people, great beer, great space.  That is all.


:::Laramie, WY:::
We always enjoy playing at the Alibi Pub in Laramie, Wyoming.  They have a neon sign that even our friend Michael West (owner of West Vintage Trading Co. and maker of our own YKMW sign) would swoon over.  They also have a drive through liquor window, fun bar, excellent beer and sprits selection, and an impressive outdoor stage and patio area. 

We made some new friends and saw some familiar faces throughout the evening.  If only we could have made the weather cooperate enough to be warm enough outside to play on the outdoor stage.  Next time!

 
:::Casper, WY:::
The World Famous Wonder Bar in Casper, Wyoming is historic in its own right having been patroned by the likes of Hemmingway and then of course there’s the local folklore of a resident ghost, not to mention their well-chosen motto of, “It’s more fun to eat in a bar, than drink in a restaurant.” 

Making their own brews, and single-handedly occupying the local residence with good times for decades, The Wonder Bar is the local hot spot.  While the little stage is truly one of the smallest we’ve played in the country, the crowd definitely compensates, and the food and beverages are top notch.   It’s no wonder that they are World Famous!


:::Montrose, CO:::

Camp Robber in Montrose, Colorado has a nice crowd of regulars each time we play there.  We were pleased to see some familiar faces.  We also enjoyed having some of our new friends from Ridgway in the crowd.  They have tasty food, and an excellent bartender (Doug).  While it won’t be this year (since we are already booked through October), we hope to make it back to the Camp Robber in the summer some time, as the outdoor patio plays hosts to live music in the warmer months.  South-West Colorado is definitely one of our all-time faves!


:::Durango, CO:::
Ska Brewing in Durango is the epitome of Colorado.  They have a perfectly sized central stage and a large tasting room with farm-style and bar tables to choose from.  It was improved since our last visit (which was hard to do since it was already awesome) by the addition of a kitchen serving up everything from beet and goat cheese salads to pizzas, and BBQ sandwiches.  Everything they pumped out looked like an incredible pairing for their tasty brews. 

They have fun and eclectic style with everything from skulls, bright colors, semi-truck container additions on the side (one of which happens to be their new kitchen area), to a large balcony area overlooking the stage.  Durango sure lucked out when this brewery came to be!  We are just happy that we get to visit it from time to time and share our music with our friends in the area as well as the multitude of beer-lovers! Cheers to Ska!


:::Eagle, CO:::
Bonfire Brewing is truly one of our favorite venues and breweries in the country, and we were excited to be back to share our music with them again.  With the music set up right in the corner of the tasting-room near the patio door, we always enjoy the onslaught of beer drinkers and music appreciators. 

They always have a vast array (typically upwards of 20) of their own unbelievable craft brews on tap, but I always particularly enjoy the Gluten Free beer.  I know that sounds weird, but the Glutart is delicious! It has a nice undertone of raspberry, it’s light on the belly, and packs a decent punch at 5%.  Mm Mm good! 

The feather in Bonfire’s cap has to be their outdoor patio.  We hear they do their live music outside in the summer months, something that we have yet to experience ourselves, as we never seem to make it back to CO during that time, but can only imagine how great it would be.  The patio incorporates amazing seating options from swings to benches all surrounding a very cool central artistic gas bonfire feature.  This brewery is on fire! ;-)


:::Rifle, CO:::
Rifle is a blue-collar town with good hometown folks.  Our venue, Big Kids Corner Bar recently went through some extensive renovations, and it provided a great setting for live music.  Previously, a historic bank, the bar boasted a unique backdrop highlighting the old bank safe. 

Drinks were flowing, pool tables were filled, tables were huddled around for groups of listeners, and some of the more adventuresome folks enjoyed a few dances.  The owners were accommodating, and we enjoyed sharing stories with locals.  This is definitely the happening spot where all of the ‘big kids’ hang and have a good time in Rifle. 


:::Stratton, CO:::
The Claremont Inn & Winery provided the perfect example of a place that knows how to throw an event.  They were professional, inviting, and organized from start to finish.  Having thrown a multitude of wine club events, members and organizers knew what to expect, and it was a breath of fresh air. 

As wine club members rolled in we had a bit of time to meet and greet with folks. Then invited them into the main lobby space, which boasted beautiful cathedral ceilings and two rather lengthy and well-decorated tables settings.  Set up at the far end of the room, we enjoyed sharing our music and stories for a couple of hours with a warm group of listeners who seamlessly enjoyed delish drinks, dinner, and dessert throughout the show.  We also had a special moment where the entire group got up and enjoyed a dance to our love song, “The One I Want to Be.”  It was a really lovely evening. 

The inn was beautiful with individualized, ornate rooms and dual person soaker-jet tubs, which we took full advantage of after the gig.  We also enjoyed a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit, Danish, stuffed French toast, eggs, and sausage in the main dining area the next morning.  This place is a class act, and we hope to share our music with the folks of Stratton, Colorado again soon!


:::Wichita, KS:::
Well, Kansas has not always been our favorite state to drive through.  It’s long, vast, and flat-flat-flat.  That said, we were excited to be playing in Wichita this time through to break up the trip a bit.  When pulling into our venue for the evening, The Artichoke, we were pleased to find our band name posted outside on the marquee…always a good sign. ;-)

It was a cute little Irish pub with a great sandwich kitchen twist.  And folks were very into live music.  The one thing that surprised me was that they literally have nothing on the menu that even remotely resembles an artichoke.  Apparently the owner just really liked the name.  I think we should think about renaming the band to the Pretty Pretty Princesses, why? Because I like to say that out loud. ;-) All kidding aside, we had a fun gig and would definitely recommend this Wichita staple to anyone passing through the area!

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TRAVEL. TASTE. TUNE IN. 

March 2014 ~ Utah, Colorado, New Mexico

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:::Ogden, UT:::
When you think of Utah, you think rural, Mormons, and Park City… but I sure hadn’t envisioned the awesome microbrew filled hand tossed pizza pub of Slackwater found creek side in the little college town of Ogden.  They host live music regularly on the weekends and boast a nice sized windowed in wrap around patio area, which provided a backdrop and abundance of natural light for our performance in which we were centrally located amongst enthusiastic listeners.  This is either a diamond in the rough, or we have a lot to learn about Utah.

It was a great Sunday crowd with folks coming up to us between sets and after the show to pick up a CD or two.  There must be something in the water in these parts, as folks seemed to really know how to have a good time in Ogden.  We hope to make the trip back again soon!


:::Moab, UT:::
I had never really SEEN red rocks before we went to Moab!  Surrounded by a fortress of red mountains Moab is a sight to see, unfortunately we didn’t have the time to go check out the Arches National Park on this visit as we arrived just a bit before our show, but we’ll be back in a month, so no worries there.  And being that this is one of Cie’s mom’s favorite places to photograph, I cannot wait to come back!


Our venue for the evening, The Blu Pig had the perfect sized stage for the two of us.  The lounge was intimate yet large enough for folks to have a little side bar conversation without hindering the music.  And it came complete with a PA, something we always appreciate in a venue.  We met folks visiting town from Cali to Alaska and everyone was excited to hear our stories and listen to our songs. I enjoyed some delicious Blackened Cajun fish and Cie devoured his pulled pork sandy after the show.  I would be remiss to not mention the yummy sweet corn muffins with cinnamon butter.  Tasty eating.  We our definitely looking forward to our return show there next month! 
 

:::Aspen, CO:::
Assssssspen!  Hey Colorado, we are back!  We love Colorado and absolutely love Aspen, so we were excited to come play a return performance at Aspen Brewing Co.  The mix of the Blonde and the Red Ales they make (The Strawberry Blonde) is always a nice treat.  And the Aspenites always appreciate live music.  We made new friends with locals and enjoyed chatting between shows, and enjoyed reuniting with the bartender, Mclean.  Mclean even shared a little locals’ secret involving a free hot springs down the road near Carbondale, that we ended up visiting a couple of days later.  Did I mention we love Colorado?


:::Paonia, CO:::
Paonia is one of those secrets that Coloradans keep until they have decided you’ve made the cut into their secret list of awesome places and things to do.  We were not only excited to play back in Paonia (Colorado’s favorite hippy abode) at one of our favorite little breweries (Revolution Brewing), but we were also excited to share our music with the local public radio station, KVNF.  We enjoyed a fun interview and live performance with Amber McDaniel, and then headed back to the brewery to share our music again. 

The people of Paonia love their brews, music, and just their overall local ambience.  It’s hard to explain.  It just exudes community.  We meet new people every time we play there and see familiar faces along side them.  Revolution Brewing is the spot in town.  And we were happy to enjoy it to its full extent this time with the double doors behind the stage opening up into their back terrace/patio area.  Spring has sprung!

:::Mancos, CO:::
Mancos, Colorado and Mancos Valley Distillery may not be on everyone’s map per say, but it should be.  The distillery itself is well worth the trip.  The various varieties of rum are delicioso! And they have a nice sized stage within.  The owners will also give you the mini tour if you so choose.  And they host live music regularly on the weekends. 

This particular weekend happened to be a special event weekend for Mancos, with a 1920’s theme, so we were sure to come dressed in full garb (or at least the best we could do with our limited on the road resources).  We enjoyed a nice dancing crowd for the first half of the show, followed up by a group of avid listeners.  Great people, great rum, and great view (Mesa Verde is just down the road)! 


:::Albuquerque, NM:::
The Zinc Cellar Bar located in the Nob Hill area of Albuquerque has a cool vibe.  Low lighting and candlelit tables provide a very laid back ambience. Sound scaffolding behind the corner ‘stage’ area allow for pretty decent acoustics.  Folks descending into the cellar are there to enjoy an array of well-chosen wines, microbrews, and cocktails as well as a loaded list of small plates.  They also host live music most nights, so it’s always a fun place to stop into.  We enjoyed the company of some of our favorite ABQ fans, and had the pleasure of making new ones over the course of the evening. 


:::Santa Fe, NM:::
Whenever I think of Santa Fe I think of the movie, “The Newsies.”  There is a scene in the movie where the lead character goes into a heartfelt monologue and ballad about how life will surely be better when he gets to Santa Fe.  And surely it does, as we enjoyed sauntering around the historic plaza, taking in a few of the art galleries, shops, and boutiques, and sharing our music at The Cowgirl

The Cowgirl is not country western specific as one might expect.  However, many of the personnel do dawn western attire and bucket cowboy hats.  They host a variety of music, including our own blend of folk-rock.  I enjoyed debuting my skills on the high-hat that evening.  And we were delighted to find that we’d been joined by a couple of old friends from Iowa, now living in the area.  There was a good-sized eclectic crowd of tourists, locals, and gypsy musicians that had come out to enjoy a drink, dinner, and live music.  And the local paper had suggested and promoted our show.  What more could we ask?  Thanks Santa Fe!  We’ll be back!


Silver City, NM:::
Drives to new areas of the country can sometimes be underwhelming and uneventful…the drive from Socorro to Silver City was far from that. After a short interstate stretch the GPS took us to a highway headed for the hills. We were a bit befuddled to see that we only had something like 70 or so miles to our destination, however it said the drive was going to take several more hours. And then came the mountains. Back and forth, back and forth. Switchback after switchback. Slowly climbing higher and higher, until we got to the point where there were trees! Like real trees…not exactly something the New Mexican desert landscape is known for. Our trusty black stallion (van) Jack took it all in stride and eventually we meandered our way to Silver City.

Upon entering Silver City we were greeted by the visitors center and a large sign with the words “Live: You Knew Me When” scrolling across it…a good sign, so to speak. We then checked into our digs for the evening, the Palace Hotel in the center of downtown and directly across from our venue for the evening, the Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery. The hotel had a lot of old time charm and character…according to a group of locals one of the rooms is even haunted.

After a nap and a little walk around the artsy and eclectic town we loaded into Little Toad Creek and had a truly memorable evening. Not only were the libations top notch, but the clientele were incredibly enthusiastic and into our music…literally dancing to every song we played…quite the accomplishment for some of our uniquely metered tunes. Hats off Silver City: to your town, your brewery/distillery, and your people. Hope to see you again down the road!
 

:::Embudo, NM:::
Embudo is a small town, small town.  With that said, it’s a small town with a big heart.  We love playing at the local microbrewery, Blue Heron.  With this being our third performance at the brewery, we had a good feel for what to expect: a fun local crowd, happy root beer drinking kiddos frolicking in and out of the doors from the back patio area, and an overall great experience.  Oh, and of course there’s the excellent brews!  They are opening up a bigger location in a nearby town, and we hope to be gracing that stage soon!


:::Taos, NM:::
It is always fun to meet people randomly (at the Ojo Caliente Hot Springs for example), invite them to a show, and have them actually show up.  I’m going to get ahead of myself and also say that they showed up for a gig a week later in Colorado, making them repeat listeners and overall awesome people.  That said, as we began setting up to play in Taos at the Historic Taos Inn/Adobe Bar, we were pleased to find familiar faces already in the crowd. 

We had just spent the last couple of days catching a bit of R&R at the Ojo Caliente Hot Springs, which are absolutely amazeballs.  They have 4 different types of hot springs that focus on treating various parts of the body and the mind, including a mud bath.  No big deal… ;-) But I digress, we had a great time there, and made some new friends. 

The Adobe Bar exudes New Mexican character, and serves up an excellent margarita.  The bar was filled with guests, tourists, locals, and our new friends from the hot springs.  We enjoyed a laid back early evening set and definitely hope to make the Adobe Bar a permanent fixture on the tour schedule!
 

:::Littleton, CO:::
We’ve said it more than once, and I’ll say it again: beer and music are one of the best imaginable pairings.  Our venue, The Old Mill Brewery & Grill in Littleton brews their own unique beverages including a coconut porter to die for.  They also host live music with some regularity.  We enjoyed a nice little local crowd, good beer, and sharing our music.  Folks definitely appreciated what they heard, and we definitely appreciated being there. 
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TRAVEL. TASTE. TUNE IN.

February 2014 ~ CA, AZ, NV, ID

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:::Arcata, CA:::
I recently read somewhere that Eureka, California was one of the top 20 places you should visit in your 20’s.  Whoops, we missed the boat on that one (we are thirty).  That said I have to disagree with this assessment and modify the suggestion to Arcata, California, which happens to be just a short distance down the coast. 

Arcata has an adorable little Downtown Square with warm hometown people and students everywhere.  The one thing we found to be missing was your typical wifi infused coffee shop.  They don’t have one.  Weird.  But, what they lack in coffee shops they make up for 10 fold in their fabulous brewery, and as you might have already guessed, our venue for the evening RedwoodCurtain Brewing. 

Redwood Curtain Brewing is definitely a local hotspot and it’s easy to see why with an abundance of delicious brews on tap.  The majority of their weekend crowd pipes out of the nearby university from students to faculty and staff.  This place was rocking and ready to rock.  We had a great reception from listeners and some interesting conversations about climbing, geography, and the Redwoods after the show.   Such a cool spot!

 

:::Blue Lake, CA:::
Blue Lake does not have a lake, as the name would seem to imply.  According to the tourism periodical 101 Things to do in Eureka, it used to have a lake.  But now it doesn’t, as the river rerouted itself many many, many years ago.  It does however have a local brewery.  And in contrast to its neighbor, Arcata, it also has a local coffee shop/pizza joint.  Strange pairing, but great spot (Stardough’s Café). 

But I digress, as we played at the brewery down the road.  Beer and music has always been a perfect pairing, but even more so in the craft brewery scene.  I would elaborate on the more by saying especially at Mad River Brewing.  They have some fabulous beers too, might I add.  I especially enjoyed the IPA, while Cie sipped on the Belgian. 

Fun fact about Blue Lake is that it’s also home to a clown/mime school.  And we had a few alum in the audience.  Who knew?  They are also close by the Cypress Grove Goat Cheese makers, so they sent us with a nice sized chunk to gobble up after the gig.  Oooo ya!  Thanks Mad River Brewing, it must have been mad to leave this place!  ;-)

 
:::Avenue of the Giants:::
So we didn’t play a show on the Avenue of the Giants, but we sure visited these majestic beasts.  The Redwood Forrest is one of the most breathtaking awe-inspiring places I have ever been to.  And I would be doing you a disservice not to mention them now.  Go see these trees!  Some are thousands of years old, and hundreds of feet tall.  Just gorgeous.  They will seriously make you want to hug them.  And we did.


:::Carmel, CA:::
Further down the California coast you will find Carmel By-the-Sea.   We just happened to book a gig there on one of their busiest weekends, during the Pebble Beach PGA tournament.  Golfers and golf enthusiasts were literally everywhere.  The town has a lot to offer as well including countless boutiques, bakeries, coffee shops, eateries, and bars, including the superb little tasting room for De Tierra Vineyards

De Tierra Vineyards Tasting Room is found within a Tudor style home and exudes charm from the inside out, with a swinging Dutch door to boot.  Drawing folks in with live music and great wine we had a full house for the evening tasting.  And I can say from experience that the wine itself would have been worth it.  We’ll be back!


:::San Luis Obispo, CA:::
San Luis Obispo or SLO as the locals call it is home to Cal Poly and came off as a fun upper crust hipster town.   With much of the same charm as Santa Barbara, the town has it’s fair share of boutiques, restaurants, bars, and clubs to keep locals, tourists, and college kids falling in love with the town over and over again.  We enjoyed a lazy afternoon at one of the local coffee shops on the main drag sending out the usual slew of emails and then made our way over to the venue to set up. 

Luna Red has a nice sized lounge/bar area and a rather varied clientele.  We were set up at the far end of the lounge.  We enjoyed playing to college kids enjoying a nice cocktail or glass of vino and some small plates and the occasional wise hippie that came up to try to dance to our chill tunes.  We made some new friends and enjoyed a few small plates ourselves after the show.  The lowlighting lent a nice glow to the overall ambience of the place, and we left with an overall warm glow ourselves after a good show in SLO. 

 
:::Paso Robles, CA:::
We didn’t give ourselves enough time to really check out Paso Robles this time through as we stopped at our campground for the evening (which happened to overlook a lovely vineyard) prior to our show for a bit of shut eye and relaxation.  We did however, arrive at the Paso Robles Pour House with ample time to set up and chat with the locals.  The Pour House, formerly named Paso Robles Brewing has a great selection of microbrews and a nice little corner stage area with a PA. 

The bar patrons varied in age and nationality, which we love, and the owner and his staff were all very welcoming.  Folks were especially into listening to our original music (always a good sign), and we really enjoyed our Sunday afternoon.   I would recommend this place to any touring musician with good original repertoire. 

 
:::Fresno, CA:::
Yet another college town, Fresno lies fairly far east and inland in the great state of California.  So after a bit of a drive, and after quite the coincidence we found our way to Swiggs.  In relation to the coincidence, unbeknownst to me back when I was looking to book a gig in Fresno I happened to send out an email to Swiggs only to find out later that we already knew the owners.  We’d met years before at a friend’s wedding, and we were happy to reunite at the show. 

Swiggs is a very multi-tiered space.  It is indeed a sports bar, however it’s two different floors with a big central area where the music is often held, and appendages reaching around and out the door where folks can play corn hole or a game of pool and still enjoy live music.  Owners Gina and her husband Michael have developed a loyal clientele and folks gathered around to hear something different and enjoy a few brews.  It’s always fun meeting up again with people from your past, but even more fun when you get a chance to share your music with them in the process. 

 
:::Los Angeles, CA/West Hollywood:::
We have played in the quite the gamut and varied array of venues and spaces, but Genghis Cohen probably ranks right up there as one of the most interesting.  This intimate, dimly lit, red lanterned, church pewed, black painted walled venue is set up specifically as a listening room.  The catch or rather the interesting asset, would be that it’s also attached to a gourmet Asian restaurant. 

While we didn’t have a chance to eat any of the delicacies they had to offer, we did enjoy the vibe and were happy to share the stage with local musician Dani Poppitt.  Dani’s vocal driven performance reminded me of what it was to be young and in your budding years loving life and loving music.  We were also elated to see many of our old friends in the audience, and enjoyed an evening of catching up after the show. 

One thing you cannot deny about LA is the weather is almost always perfect, and it didn’t disappoint this time through.  I love LA; having grown up originally in small town Iowa it’s what you might call a bit of contrast to cornfields and small town mentality.  It’s always a fun place to visit and catch up with old friends who have moved out from Nashville and Iowa and make new friends along the way. 

 
::San Clemente, CA:::
San Clemente is yet another beautiful beach town, about midpoint between LA and San Diego, and the farthest south we made it in Cali this time through.  Cie and I have been a couple for more than twelve years, and we think it to be most romantic that we spent our Valentine’s Day making music together.  Our venue in San Clemente, Beach Fire, was the perfect place for any couple to come and enjoy a California Valentine’s Day.  Complete with a covered patio bringing in the beautiful night air, the bar was filled with couples out celebrating, and the occasional group or individual singles crowd grabbing a drink hoping to forget exactly what holiday it was. 

Beach Fire has an eclectic décor and a very artsy feel.  It’s the perfect ambience to share and play music.  We got the vibe that we were a welcome change to some of the usual musical offerings (cover bands and reggae), and many (including the on duty manager) were asking when we’d be returning.  We also enjoyed a tasty meal of spicy fish tacos and a fish sandy with sweet potato fries.  It was a lovely dinner for two and a great way to cap off our Valentine’s evening.  We can’t wait to make our way back to San Clemente! 


::Venice Beach, CA:::
When it comes to Venice Beach, we were at our Witzend!  ;-) Okay, so that was the name of the venue, and a cool one at that.  Witzend is a true listening room complete with grand piano, full sound, dinner seating, tiered almost bleacher like seating, a full bar, and a great vibe.  We were scheduled to play a set during their “20 Minute Tuesdays” show so we were also able to enjoy the music of many other musicians and bands throughout the night.

We enjoyed the company of some of our LA/California friends and family that came out to see us play, and really enjoyed playing in the space.  The acoustics were great and the crowd was there to really listen to live music.  We also particularly enjoyed the music of a Sardinian guitarist on tour in the US with an interesting blend of Claissical, Folk, and Percussive stylings named Roberto Diana.  It’s always such a great feeling to share the stage with another musician that truly inspires you. 


::Flagstaff, AZ:::
I can remember as far back as the summer when I was working on scheduling our winter shows and everyone kept telling me that we were out of our minds to play in the Pacific Northwest in the winter and then spend time in Flagstaff again in February.  Everyone kept telling me that I was crazy to route us into the snow and freezing cold of winter when we could spend more time down South.  I must say, that I made the right choice.  This winter has been crazy, everywhere except where we’ve been. 

Routing down to Flagstaff again on this leg of the tour, we were sure to find below zero temps and buckets of snow, alas Mother Nature has thrown a curve ball yet again and Flagstaff was snow free and rather Spring like in nature.  Unfortunately, that also meant that this little ski town was also free of the visitors that it typically sees coming through this time of year, so our gig in Flagstaff back at Mia’s Lounge was a bit sparse.  What crowd we did enjoy at Mia’s was receptive and the bartenders and sound guy were all great.  We also got some karma points and enjoyed the company of another new to the area musician who asked to join our bill and open up for us last minute, which we were happy to oblige after catching a few of his tunes at the nearby coffee shop.  Low-key evening in a great town with great locals; don’t worry Flagstaff, we’ll be back!

 
::Boulder City, NV:::
Did you know that Boulder City is the home of the Hoover Dam?  No?  Well we Hoovers didn’t know either.  Whoops, lol.  I will say we knew it was close by, but we had no idea that we’d be driving in just parallel to the dam and just an exit off of the pedestrian bridge overlooking the dam.  So yeah, we had to stop.  This thing is seriously monstrously big, and scary.  I’m not a big fan of things you can fall off of if you are clumsy and fall to your death at that.  Probably not very possible to fall off of it with the railing and all, but nevertheless, there’s a chance.

I will say it was a mighty and beautiful sight, and between the large lake and the dam Boulder City already had it going on, but the town itself is also adorable.  It’s definitely more of a locals destination than a tourist town, and the locals have their pick of fun shops, cafes, and a few good bars, including our venue for the night: The Dillinger Food and Drinkery. Obviously John Dillinger themed, we opened up the rifle-handled doors to a modern made rustic bar and restaurant. 

Locals lined the bar and the surrounding tables as well as the open air covered patio outside and enjoyed sipping on a brew or a good whiskey while devouring one of the delicious burgers that The Dillinger had to offer.  The corner music area complete with PA and chords was just the right size for our little duo.  And after making friends with some of the locals before our show, we enjoyed sharing our music and our stories with everyone that came in.  Very cool place. 


::Hot Lava Springs, ID:::
Well, after a few days of R&R with family and friends in Park City, Utah, we made our way up to Idaho to the Portneuf Grille and Lounge at the Riverside Hot Springs Inn.  The Inn itself was full of history overlooking the river and having catered to president or two in its heyday.  The hot springs and grille were both located in its underbelly and housed the best parts of the place.  It was apparent that the hot springs rooms were being worked on, but we still enjoyed a little dip. 

The Portneuf Grille and Lounge were a quaint gathering place for locals and tourists to enjoy an excellent meal and a glass of champagne.  It seemed to be couples night with tables filled with happy duos and the two of us entertaining the lot.  We swapped stories with visitors from all walks of life and different parts of the country while sharing our music throughout the evening.  Afterwards we settled into one of the Inn’s rooms for the night and enjoyed a light breakfast in the morning.  I can only imagine how this place must have stood out in its heyday with all of the modern amenities and classic charm of an old mansion. 

 
::Idaho Falls, ID:::
Just a bit down the road we made a return trip to Vino Rosso in Idaho Falls.  We already knew that this was a local late night hot spot, but we were even more pleased to make lasting friends out of the crowd this time through.  These are good people.  We truly enjoyed sharing our music with folks up and dancing and truly responding and getting into the music.  And the beer and wine selection are not to be forgotten as well…. impressive to say the least.  Thanks again Idaho Falls and Vino Rosso!

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TRAVEL. TASTE. TUNE IN.

Time to Expand…Seeking Bass Player

Greetings from Park City, Utah!

We’ve been on the road for over 20 months now. We’ve seen awe inspiring things, met amazing people, and have had the pleasure to share our music throughout the country.It is with much excitement that we have made the decision to expand our co
ntinued journey to a new You Knew Me When member. Obviously, our lifestyle is not for everyone…this has taken an immense amount of dedication, sacrifice, and focus…but we believe there is someone out there who is meant to be part of our YKMW family. Thus, we have decided to open up this possibility to everyone we have met along the way. Are YOU that person? Do you KNOW someone who we should talk to? Here’s what we’re looking for:
 
    • A bass player with percussive sensibilities…we will explain more on that
    • Someone who can sing / harmonize would be a bonus
    • Someone who very much is open to LIVING on the road. We played over 200 shows last year all across the country, and if you take a look at our current tour schedule we’re not taking a break anytime soon.
    • Someone who is comfortable in tight quaters. While we have been graced with many friends and family members who have taken us in on the road, a lot of the time we live in a van (albeit a nice van)…yes, sometimes “down by the river”.
    • This is not a money making endeavor…it is based on a passion and love of music first and foremost. We’ll of course give more details to those who reach out to us. 
    • Someone who is into the “band” mentality vs. just being a hired gun
    • Naturally, an overall good person…duh. 

We are planning on recording our second studio album later this year. Of course, the new YKMW member will play an integral role in this process, as well as the future of You Knew Me When. 

By opening this opportunity up to the masses we hope that the right person will emerge. Let us say on the forefront that we are in NO RUSH to find this person. We are planning on taking our time with this, talking with a lot of people, and really letting this opportunity spread and be open for discussion. 

If you or anyone you know might be interested, please get in touch with us or share this info. Tell us about yourself, your background, experience, your thoughts on our music and its progression, etc…Come see us at a show. Ask us questions. CONNECT WITH US AT: youknewmewhenmusic@gmail.com 

Our sincere thanks for everyone’s continued support. Check out the list below for our upcoming shows, and as always visit www.youknewmewhen.com for the full list. 

Love and music,
Cie & Karisa
YOU KNEW ME WHEN 

January 2014 ~ WA, OR, CA

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:::Mukilteo, WA:::
It’s always fun going back to a venue that we’ve enjoyed playing at in the past, especially when the owners are as great as Marvella McCammond & George Black, owners of The Scotsman Bistro.  These two are some of our favorite small business owners. They have poured their hearts and souls into everything wine, food, and scotch and it shows. The little bistro attracts a wide variety of music appreciators, and I’d like to think that folks with an elevated palate for food and beverage tend to also have an elevated taste in music. 

George, a former Scot himself, brings an additionally amusing element with his fantastic accent.  Love truly exudes off of this couple and into everything they do.  Sweet spot. Sweet people.  Sweet night of music making. 


:::White Salmon, WA:::
Let me begin by saying that the drive from the Seattle area to White Salmon is absolutely breath taking.  The trip took us from eagles soaring overhead to beautiful mountain ridge views and cinematic waterfalls, finally ending in a terrifying trip across what seemed like the world’s longest, most rickety, death defying sliver of a two lane bridge that I could ever imagine and drove over with white knuckles and sweaty palms. 

After passing over the bridge I literally had to pull over with only a mile left to go before reaching the venue because I was shaken to my core and near paralyzed from the tension in every part of my body. Cie took the last leg behind the wheel up a steep skinny one lane road to White Salmon where our venue for the evening laid in waiting, Everybody’s Brewing

Located at the top of the hill, the little town was definitely a local haven of sorts.  Everyone seemed to know everyone and the beer and the bar area carried with it a level of familiarity for those of us just passing through.  They also have a nice little stage in the front corner with a modest sound system.  Not to forget their great beer and eclectic menu.  I enjoyed a double IPA (my palate is growing daily) and a curry sweet potato dish.  Man I love the Pacific North-West!


:::Forest Grove, OR:::
1910 Main in Forest Grove, Oregon is beyond a doubt the ritziest establishment in town.  With an extensive menu including items such as homemade Parmesan crusted tater tots (our fave), beet salad, and delicately seasoned fish filets we were very happy to have stumbled upon this lovely venue. 

The wine menu definitely did not disappoint, and we found it kind of fun that they had their house wines on tap alongside local craft brews.  The bartender and staff treated us well, and the folks in the dining area truly showed their appreciation for original music.  Main Street never tasted, looked, or sounded quite as good as it does at 1910 Main. 


:::Carlton, OR:::
Just a hop, skip, and a jump down the road in wine country USA, Carlton, Oregon you will find The Horse Radish.  The venue, which focuses on the wines and brews produced in and around Oregon, as well as independent local and touring music, was THE evening destination in Carlton.  Almost every storefront in town was based upon wine, wine accessories, or variations on the use of a grape (a jam store to be exact), so The Horse Radish combined all of the favorite local flavors into one evening retreat. 

The Horse Radish hosts live music every week.  Folks know to expect it and enjoy it.  In a very small town like Carlton, it’s rare to find such a gem.  


:::Portland, OR:::
McMennamins is a name more Pacific North-Westerners are very familiar with.  We came to hear of their vast empire of 60+ venues lining the Pacific North-West on our last visit to Portland, all of which came highly recommended by our friends and fans in the area.  We were blessed to land a gig at McMennamin’s historic hotel and saloon, The White Eagle

The White Eagle’s high ceilings and beautiful carved wooden bar and overall ambience create a setting begging to host live entertainment.  With an array of interesting décor including flamed sconces, period architecture and tiling, and eclectic artwork (not to leave out the fortune teller signage), The White Eagle is a feast for the eyes and the ears. 

They host live music regularly and are home to perfectly sized and executed back corner stage and sound system.  They run a professional show here and folks come in expecting good music.  We had a great group of friends and fans out for the evening and enjoyed the music of the local opener, Short Fiction, as well.   If you ever get the opportunity to play a Mcmennamin’s gig, do it.  We hope to play another one soon!


:::Portland, OR:::
The Gemini Lounge in Portland is a very different space than that of the McMennamin’s establishment.  A sexy lounge atmosphere is lusciously arranged from the erotic mural of two beautiful feminine figures behind the stage to the hanging glass lanterns and brightly painted walls. 

The cocktails are handcrafted masterpieces and the zodiac sign centered slider sandwiches and homemade chips were delish.  We had a nice sized midweek crowd of new friends and old.  And all enjoyed an intoxicating evening of music, food, and libations.  We love Portland!


:::Snoqualmie, WA:::
While we typically try to plan shows in a route that is aligned with perfect planning, distance, and timing, sometimes the stars just don’t quite align.  Alas, we headed back up to Snoqualmie for a gig at The Black Dog.  The Black Dog is an eclectic café and listening room complete with stage and sound guy.  They have an ever-changing dinner menu, and the cuisine of the evening was centered on tacos of all kind.  I enjoyed a couple of veggie tacos while Cie devoured the steak and cheese tacos smothered in cream. 

Locals love this spot, and so did we.  It’s an intimate venue with a crowd that you will come to know quickly and will eagerly come to know you and your music.  The sound guy, a fellow musician, has a great ear and will do your music justice.  While your playing for tips, food, and beverage here, you’re also going to enjoy a great evening and the local crowd rewards good music well. 


:::Kent Station, WA:::
Reds Wine Bar & Craft Beers is located in the new development in Kent, Washington, Kent Station.  Located in an upscale outdoor walking mall of sorts, Reds Wine Bar & Craft Beers adds an element of class and taste.  With a nice sized central bar, electric fireplace, chaise lounges and variety of surrounding tables, the visiting patron has their pick of the various comforts. 

While some relished a refreshing craft brew, others indulged in their pick of an impressive wine list, including a wine sampler that sure seemed to include some generous pours. Up front and center, we enjoyed sharing our music with folks out for a night on the town!


:::Vancouver, WA:::
Bucket list; play at the historic Grant House restaurant on officers’ row in Vancouver, Washington. Check! No seriously. This place is oozing history. It’s the oldest building on officers’ row and it still carries the same charm one might expect of a bar/restaurant that some of our nation’s former heroes would have frequented while throwing back a martini and smoking a cigar.  It’s cozy. 

Locals and travelers alike will find themselves charmed by the owner, the establishment, and everything it has to offer.  The owner, a native Tennessean knows and appreciates live music, having toured alongside country artist Eric Church for years.  Regulars lounged in cozy tables nestled in what felt like a gentleman’s smoking room or den from back in the day, and we were pleased to meet music appreciators from the area that booked us for an upcoming gig at an art’s center on the shore.  Love it and love them!


:::Brookings, OR:::
Making our way down the Pacific North-West, we headed back down to Oregon again (this time to southern Oregon) so that we could make our way down to Cali. Brookings is a little costal town right on the edge of where the Giant Redwoods begin to tower in all of their majesty.  Our venue for the evening, The Vista Pub, was excited to find that we’d been featured in the local paper, and we had a great crowd gathered. 

It’s a snug little spot with an itty bitty stage (just perfect for a soloist or a duo) a good sized bar (which takes up the majority of the front room), and some table seating.  They have a nice list of local and or craft brews on tap or in bottle form.  And they make a heck of a crab cake slider.  We made fast friends with some guys at the bar and had a really fun evening!  It’s always a good sign when folks are grabbing up merch and CD’s, and we leave with a nice buzz at the end of the evening. :) Thanks Brookings,  and thanks to the Vista Pub!


:::Ashland, OR:::
A bit further inland, yet still on the far south end of Oregon lies Ashland.  Ashland has a pretty cool little artsy downtown, and folks come from far and wide to enjoy it.  Always a town favorite, the local brewery was our venue for the evening. 

Caldera Brewing Taphouse is on the underside of a canal side building just off the main square of the downtown area. It boasts a good-sized patio for the smokers and those enjoying the beautiful day, and has a nice corner stage in the interior.  Serving up a multitude of different brews including an alcoholic ginger beer (which we both enjoyed), they have the makings of a great spot. 

Tables display decoupage collages of various concert memorabilia from over the years, and we had fun with friends debating whether or not the owner had actually been to all of the shows.   They definitely made us feel at home, and made the extra effort to make us feel taken care of.  If you are ever in Ashland, stop in for a brew and hopefully some live music as well.


:::South Lake Tahoe, CA:::
We made it to sunny California, just in time for one of the biggest droughts in the state’s history.  South Lake Tahoe, our city for our first night in Cali and frequent skier’s paradise was desperately hurting for some snow, but that didn’t keep folks from coming out to enjoy a bit of après ski entertainment. 

South Lake Tahoe is absolutely beautiful!  At the top of a gorgeous mountain ridge, surrounded by ski slopes, and beautiful lake central to downtown, and more mountains all around, this place takes atmosphere to a whole new level.  Our venue for the early evening show, The Himmel Haus is a historic après ski landmark for folks familiar with South Lake Tahoe.  Located at the base of the slopes, it’s a prime spot for people coming in for a bev and a bite after a fun day of skiing.  As you might pick up from the name, it’s a German chalet of sorts with some delicious takes on traditional German food, two different stages and multitiered seating throughout. 

With music slated throughout the evening, we opened up the night of music with an après ski set on the smaller stage adjacent to the main bar and seating area.  The stage was seemingly carved out of a cozy little cubby with an almost window box like vibe for audience and performers alike.  Complete with full sound set up and a great sound guy, The Himmel Haus knows how to put on a great show! 

We stuck around a bit later for some more great music and quite the party, but found ourselves needing to duck out a bit early to catch some quick shut-eye before our morning drive and Sunday afternoon gig near San Fran.  Unfortunately, we have to keep our candles trimmed and don’t have quite the stamina to burn them entirely down at both ends. But we had a great time nonetheless!  We hope to play at The Himmel Haus again on our next visit to this gorgeous vacationer’s paradise. 


:::Pacifica, CA:::
After our morning drive, we were delighted to catch glimpses of the water as we got into the Bay area.  Pacifica, just a short drive from San Fran is your quintessential surf town. It is beautiful!  And our venue for the afternoon, The Surf Spot pulls out all the stops.

With an elevated outdoor stage overlooking a good-sized beer garden of picnic tables, various dining ensembles, a huge fire pit, and multilayered spaces for hanging out in the sun, drinking, eating or playing sand volleyball on a gorgeous day, they know how to create an awesome atmosphere.  All the beautiful people of the area were in from a bit of a chilly surf at the beach and ready to have a great afternoon.  We had a fantastic show, and made some new life long friends.  We love the Surf Spot!


:::San Francisco, CA:::
Who doesn’t love San Francisco?  It wasn’t our first time to the Bay Area, and definitely won’t be our last, but we’d done the tourist thing on our last visit, so we had plans to play a show, take a walk, and call it a day.  After a lovely walk at a park overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, we found ourselves at our venue for the evening, Osteria

Local musician and promoter, KC Turner puts on a regular Monday night show at Osteria called Acoustic Bistro, and we were happy to be included on the bill.  Local and touring artists are welcomed with a lovely space to present intimate and acoustic sets.   We enjoyed sharing our music and listening to some of the local flavor.  It’s always fun to play in writers in the round showcase, as every artist/group is truly unique in their own right, and KC puts on a good show.  If you are ever in the San Francisco area on a Monday, be sure to check it out.  KC has a discerning ear and you won’t be disappointed! 


:::Stanford, CA:::
Just down the road is nearby Stanford University.  We were excited to return to CoHo, the University café/coffee shop.   Stanford has a beautiful campus, and CoHo is a great space.  It comes complete with stage, sound, and a grand piano, and it’s always a great space for musicians to showcase their talent. 

We enjoyed a good mid-week crowd of students, and made some new fans. We tend to reminisce on our own university experience at Belmont when we come here.  How different things may have turned out had we not met so many years back in school… Thanks Belmont!  And thank you Stanford for another fun show!


:::Roseville, CA:::
Roseville, California is just outside of Sacramento, and we found it interesting to find that there seemed to be a lot of surf themed bars and restaurants in the area as it’s a bit inland from it all.  That said, we were booked to play at Ginger’s Restaurant for the evening.  Ginger’s is a fun tiki bar themed spot, which regularly hosts live music.

The owner, Harold was very gracious and excited to host new music in the restaurant.  And although it was a pretty tame mid-week crowd, they were all very into the music and appreciative of what they heard.  The restaurant also serves breakfast all day (my favorite meal), so after the show I devoured the crab cake benedict. Delish! Thanks Ginger’s!


:::Sonoma, CA:::
When you think of Sonoma, you think of wine.  However, our venue was far from what you’d expect, no not another wine bar; how ‘bout an Irish Pub?  Murphy’s Irish Pub in Sonoma is an awesome local bar!  Just off the main square between buildings in what almost serves as a little hideaway, Murphy’s has a great outdoor patio for those out to enjoy the beautiful evening.  They also have the perfect YKMW sized stage. 

After a nice write-up in the local paper, people were excited.  We had a full room of music supporters and listeners, and we had an awesome night! This place is special, and we hope to be back very soon!  I really must say, this was one of our favorite shows to play yet!  And maybe next time we’ll do a bit of wine tasting in the area as well.

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TRAVEL. TASTE. TUNE IN.

December 2013 ~ MO, CO, UT, ID, MT, WA

:::Defiance, MO:::
While Defiance seems like it would be an abrasive place, it was actually a very beautiful countryside.  As we closed in on our venue for the evening, Chandler Hill Vineyards, our eyes were opened to what a magnificent countryside that Missouri has to offer.   Chandler Hill itself sits a top a large hill, as implied by the name, and boasts a long dining hall area, reminiscent of the old cotton mill in Lebanon, TN where we were married more than five years ago.  With high ceilings and exposed wood beams, it’s really a beautiful site, along with a large porch overlooking the hills. 

The weather was just on the brink of too cold and just right, and as the sun was near setting they set us up on the far end of the space by the rather large fireplace.   As folks strolled in for a Sunday afternoon meal, or a bottle of vino, we added a bit of ambience for a relaxed winter afternoon.  My parents who were en route back to Iowa also surprised us by making a quick stop at the vineyard for a glass of vino and a bit of listening time near the end of our last set.  So we enjoyed a big hug and some chitchat after the show.  It’s definitely a great place to gather with family and friends and enjoy a relaxing afternoon, only made better by their regular offering of live music. 


:::Blue Springs, MO:::
Well, I will say that our family pretty well spans the states, and seems to be growing with regularity.  Blue Springs is home to some of my dear cousins, just outside of Kansas City, in addition to my kindred Auntie and Uncle.  We enjoyed catching up with family and playing at a relatively new downtown family-run bar, Brewer’s Sports Bar & Grill.  Their booking guy, TK was very helpful from the moment we arrived.  Greeting us and offering up details on what to expect.  And the owner came out of the kitchen to introduce himself. 

The place has a very family oriented feel with walls of pictures of local athletes and clubs, making it very community centered.  We had a great crowd of friends, family, and locals, and enjoyed a fun night.  Brewers is a great little gem in the heart of downtown Blue Springs!


:::Berthoud, CO:::
Moving out of Missouri and back to Colorado after the horrendously long, flat and mundane east to west trek through Kansas, we found ourselves back in Boulder for an evening with friends.  We love, and I stress LOVE, Boulder.  And our growing group of friends there only adds to its draw. 

We played party bus the next night and drove a couple of friends with us from Boulder to one of our favorite local microbreweries just a stones throw away in Berthoud, Colorado, City Star Brewing.  Having played there before, we knew just what to expect: Great beer, Great people, and Great music.  This brewery is doing everything right and we were just happy to make another stop at one of our favorites. 


:::Eagle, CO:::
Speaking of favorites, just a few hours down the road we found ourselves back at Bonfire Brewing.  After a big article in Sneak Peak Vail, we were greeted by a large crowd of beer and music enthusiasts.  Things got rowdy.  Nestled just outside of the Vail in the small town of Eagle, Colorado, Bonfire seems to be becoming a more and more widely known hidden diamond of sorts in an otherwise pretty quiet town. 

They have a huge selection of craft brews, and we have yet to try one we don’t thoroughly enjoy.  I actually really like the gluten free beer they have on tap, which my sister Danielle (Celiac’s), would definitely appreciate.  We love this spot!


:::Paonia, CO:::
We’d been hearing stories about Paonia for what seemed like forever now.  How great it was.  How the people there loved live music.  How it was the quintessential Colorado hippie town.   And let me just say, it was all that and more. 

Our venue for the evening, and clearly Paonia’s favorite watering hole was Revolution Brewing.  One more stop on the Colorado beer tour, no complaints here. ;-) When I say this is a small spot, I mean that we shared the stage with the flanking restrooms.  Yet, this created a living room or basement bar sort of feel to it, only adding to the fun and intimacy of the night.  Paonia’s residents are eclectic and awesome.  The thing we love about this small town brewery is that everyone has nickname, a story, and a warm welcome to share.  We thoroughly enjoyed sharing our music with them and have already scheduled a return performance in the spring. 


:::Carbondale, CO:::
After an early morning drive from Paonia to Carbondale, we grabbed a cup of joe and headed over to the local radio station for an interview and on-air performance.  With my voice not quite warmed up and the cobwebs still clearing from our foggy brains, we shared our story with local listeners and play a couple of our favorite originals. 

We were happy to encounter more than one table of people at our venue that evening that had come in to hear us play at Beer Works after hearing us that morning on the radio, so we must have sounded better than we felt. ;-) We are definitely always our worst critics.   Carbondale Beer Works has a wide selection of brews, including a few of their own, and some yummy and interesting bar food.  I felt a bit guilty about the elk that had to go to make my chili, but mmmmmm it was tasty.

The side stage and sound system were just right for the space, and we were happy to grace the stage after hearing such good things about the venue from the many locals that had referred us after hearing us at other establishments in the area.  We hope to return to Beer Works again soon!


:::Park City, UT:::
If you’ve never been to Park City, Utah before, do yourself a favor and go.  It doesn’t matter what time of year you go there it is always beautiful.  With mountains in and around Park City you have your pick of outdoor activities to enjoy, and the town is adorable.  There’s a multitude of fun little boutiques for the window-shopper in the group, and a vast array of pubs and restaurants for the foodie/drinker. 

Being a bit of a foodie myself, I particularly enjoyed playing back at our favorite little Park City venue, The Silver Star Café.  The chef makes a bass filet that’s to die for, and everything is delicately seasoned.  I don’t think you could go wrong with a single dish on the menu.  The cozy indoor ambience makes for a warm and inviting setting for music sharing and listening.  We love this place! 


:::Idaho Falls, ID:::
While Idaho Falls was certainly never on our list of must stops when we started the tour, it’s definitely become a place we love to visit.  It’s also mid-way between Park City and Bozeman, two of our faves, so we love that little added bonus.

Vino Rosso, local wine bar hotspot in town boasts a wide selection of wines and craft brews.  They also host live music regularly, so folks know to come in for the weekend shows.  Each time we play there they have something new on tap to enjoy. 

And, on a side note, we finally gave the local pancake house a shot on our way out of town.  And, it was oh so good.  We are looking forward to making our way back to Idaho Falls again soon!


:::Norris, MT:::
Music and hot springs?!  Yes please!  The Norris Hot Springs in Norris, Montana will seriously blow your mind, especially for an evening dip.  They take being green to the extreme.  Shower free, no electricity (except in the very small, local/sustainable kitchen and in the stage area of course), natural wood benches in the soaking pool, and out in the middle of nowhere.  This spot is cool.

It was a frigid day, but when you’re soaking in a hot springs, you don’t really care.  The Norris Hot Springs also has a selection of local beers and wines to choose from.  So dippers are sure to enjoy a relaxing time.

The stage is the real gem here, however.  Enclosed in an almost igloo like dome, completely surrounded by windows, pumping the music out to soakers through outdoor speakers, as musicians we were in our own little bubble. ;-) This definitely created a unique and lasting memory for us, and our friends that came out had nothing but good things to say about the place.  Feeling cold, or just need to relax?? Go to Montana, and go to The Norris Hot Springs.  Better yet, go on a weekend and enjoy some late night music while you dip! 


:::Bozeman, MT:::
If you haven’t been to Bozeman before, you probably have no idea how cool this place is.  Just a short drive from the mountains, and filled with artsy and interesting people of all ages, this town has a lot to offer.  The downtown is full of cutsie, perfect for the window-shopper in all of us.  And it has a vast array of cafes, restaurants, and bars to indulge even the most refined of tasters. 

We also had a great time visiting with friends in the area from as far back as childhood, Cie’s old middle school sweetheart, and of course our friends over at Gibson, we’ve got a good group of folks in Bozeman.  Staying with some of our faves, we even had a chance to enjoy a bit of outdoor winter sporting in the form of cross-country skiing.  Cie seemed to think that I’d be an expert at this, due to the fact that I’d spent a few PE classes in high school and a couple of runs in girl scouts learning the sport, but he was trying to get me to climb a mountain.  Not gonna happen!  It’s called cross-COUNTRY skiing for a reason, no mountains!  I’m from Iowa buddy!

Before I get to the tasty part, I would be remiss to leave out our visit to Gibson Acoustic.  Headquartered smack dab in little ol’ Bozeman, Montana, Gibson Acoustic puts out some of the most beautifully crafted musical specimens you could ever put your fingers on.  Oh, and did I mention that we got the VIP tour?  No big deal… ;-) Pretty amazing stuff!

After our visit to Gibson Acoustic, we headed over to our venue for the evening, 406 Brewing.  Not knowing what to expect on a Wednesday evening, we were happy to find the place hopping (pun intended) and many of our friends and colleagues out to enjoy the show.  406 Brewing has a vast array of delicious brews, so it was hard to choose just a couple (Montana state law).  The folks out enjoying their brews definitely enjoy their music as well.  Good beer, good people, good music, good times!!


:::Hamilton, MT:::
Just a few hours down the road we continued the tour de beer at Bitter Root Brewing.  Located in what has the outward appearance of a grain elevator gone wild this place has character from the moment you walk in.  With the bar front and center as you open the door, you are greeted by regulars and a long list of craft brews.  Folks come from all over the state and beyond to enjoy a brew at Bitter Root.

They also do their live music justice by hosting acts on a small central stage, which is perfectly placed for folks dining and drinking up in their balcony area or hanging down by the bar.  We had enjoyed a bit of local press, so there was a bit of a buzz going about our music (always a good sign).  From start to finish, this was a great night.  You might think Hamilton, MT?  Where the heck is that?  And all I could say to that was, figure it out, because Bitter Root Brewing is putting a whole new meaning to doing it right. 


:::Snoqualmie, WA:::
Let me first make the point that Snoqualmie has its very own Polar Express, or at least that’s what I’ve come to call it.  They have an old commuter train that gives riders a throwback trip and onlookers a sense of nostalgia.  I think I hear bells. 

It’s also home to another great brewery, Snoqualmie Brewery.  With Cie’s preggo sister and brother-in-law just a short drive away in Seattle, and Cie’s folks in town for the holidays, we had some friendly faces in the crowd.  We also had a couple of family friends make the trip.  It had been eons since Cie’s sister had seen us play, so it was fun to show her what we’d been up to. 

They host their live music up on the top floor overlooking the whole brewery.  With a completely ludicrous fear of heights, it made me a bit nervous playing next to the railed off balcony, but I just need to get over that.  The brews were comforting and tasty on a cold rainy evening, and locals, family and friends showed their support for our original tunes. If you are looking for a craft brew close to Seattle, be sure to check out Snoqualmie Brewery!


:::Seattle, WA:::
Seattle is big city. Located right on the Sound, it’s surrounded by huge barges importing and exporting goods and supporting global commerce.  Yes, it rains a lot.  But between the rain showers, the views are to die for, especially on a clear December night.  Who needs a Christmas tree when you can see the city lights? 

This was not our first trip to Seattle, but we were seeing it through new eyes, specifically the eyes of our family.  Cie’s sister and her husband are recent Seattlites (I may have made this word up, but I like it) and also very pregnant. We’d all agreed on spending a week enjoying family time in Seattle over the holidays.  With Cie’s parents in town, they’d found us a great house to rent via Air B&B right on the Sound complete with great views, a faux Christmas tree to trim, a pool table, and a grand piano.  No complaints here!

I can’t even begin to count the number of delicious meals we enjoyed in Seattle, including my first dim sum.  And Cie’s father is a big cook, so we always enjoy his cooking. However, I’d have to say that Cie was particularly partial to his sister’s cookies.  But hey, that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for right?  Or something like that…

Having visited Seattle previously, we didn’t do a lot of site seeing on this trip, but spent more time getting some much needed R&R.  Cie tends to require this a lot more than I do.  In fact, I think he would have fallen apart had it not been for those few days off.  Sometimes you just need a break. 


:::Bothell, WA:::
Bothell, what some would call a suburb of Seattle is a cute little town away from all of the hustle and bustle of the city.  We were schedule to play at Tandem Dinner & Wine Bar in Bothell, a little bistro specializing in exquisitely cooked seasonal meals and local Washington boutique wines.  Owned by a lovely local couple, these two put their heart and soul into their business. 

The wife, Lisa may not be a certified sommelier, but she goes to great lengths to learn about every wine that they have to offer at Tandem.  She also takes great pride in the fact that all of their wines our from small Washington vineyards and cannot be purchased at any of the big box stores.  You have to respect that.

Her husband, Brad is the chef extraordinaire.  Their small open kitchen area allows patrons to devour every last scent that emanates from the dishes that he puts out.  From lobster tail to roasted duck, every last bite that he puts out is something to savor.   And boy did we!

The bistro definitely ranks right up there as one of the most intimate settings we’ve played in.  We played nearly completely unplugged, yet filled the space with our music.  With return listeners on our second evening at Tandem Dinner & Wine Bar, it was clear that the people of Bothell truly appreciate live original music. 


:::Seattle, WA:::
Back to Seattle… Blue Moon Seattle is one of the most iconic dive bar/venues in Seattle.  It exudes the stuff of legendary local and touring original music from its very core.  It’s also a great place to enjoy a basket of peanuts and share a pitcher of Washington beer.

It has a very similar vibe to The Red Line Tap in Chicago with a good group of local regulars and music appreciators, along with a perfectly sized side stage and seating.  With a great sound guy, this place is the perfect stop for a touring band or musician.  Props to Blue Moon Seattle for putting on a good show!


:::Twisp, WA:::
I just love the name of this Northern Washington town, Twisp.  The little town is located along the Twisp River, which was of course frozen over upon our arrival.  We were scheduled to play at Twisp River Pub.  Just off the main drag, which looks like something out of an old western film, Twisp River Pub is clearly the newer and favored kid on the block.

The Pub puts out it’s own original brews, including a couple of excellent hard ciders which hit the spot for me.  In fact, jumping ahead a bit, the morning after we played they were crushing apples for a new batch.  Washington definitely has an array of different apples to choose from!

But I digress; Twisp River Pub has a nice sized stage for a 2-4-piece band and a pretty sweet old upright piano adjacent to the stage.  They also have their own PA, which is always appreciated, and the owner runs the sound.  Folks know to expect live music and were pleased to hear something a bit different from a land far far away. J There was also a fun blast from 90’s music past in the crowd, guitarist from Chumbawumba who happens to live in Twisp and DJ at the local radio station.  He stuck around for the show and picked up a CD, which he graciously played on air later in the week.  Thanks bud!


:::Winthrop, WA:::
What better way to ring in the New Year than at one of the top 100 Hotels in the world??  We were scheduled to play at the Sun Mountain Lodge/Wolf Creek Bar & Grill for New Years and although they were yearning for a bit more snow, we were excited to land a gig at this Washington cross-country skiing oasis. 

Overlooking a lovely lake near the base of the mountain, the resort is the perfect place to escape to the outdoors.  We enjoyed a walk on the frozen lake (Cie was a bit nervous about the whole ordeal), and were blessed to be put up in the resort apartment for the evening. 

The lodge itself is clearly the place where locals and Washingtonians travel to get away from it all.  It has all the amenities and views for days.  The Bar & Grill was definitely the upper echelon of your standard bar and grill where we were treated to a shrimp louie salad and a goat cheese and artichoke pesto pizzette.  Live music was a special treat for folks there celebrating, and a fun way to ring in the New Year!

TRAVEL. TASTE. AND TUNE IN.

November 2013 ~ KY, OH, NC, VA, TN, MO

:::Lexington, KY:::

When I think of Lexington, Kentucky, I really never think of Ohio being close by.  Until now that is.  It just seems like it’s such a different place with it’s horseracing, cowboys, and all of that.  However, Kentucky is just a hop skip and a jump away from Midwest farmland, and really isn’t very different, beyond the sweet southern accents that many of it’s inhabitants display.  There’s a lot of open land and farming in Kentucky, just like it’s nearby surrounding states. 

That said, with this being our first time stopping in Lexington, we were happy to land a gig at Paulie’s Toasted Barrel.  It has a very music centered vibe with a large central stage, floorspace and balcony.  Although it was a rather slow night, being that it was the Wednesday before Halloween, and they were prepping for the big party the next day, we had a receptive crowd and a few listeners threw on their dancing shoes for the evening, so it was fun nonetheless.  We also had a sampling of the local bourbon barrel beer which we both enjoyed.  Gotta love Kentucky!  We definitely plan to hit up Paulie’s again in the future! 


:::Louisville, KY:::
Moving a little further down the Kentucky road to a the more familiar town of Louisville, we met up with an old friend who graciously housed Jack in her oversized yard for the couple of evenings we spent in Louisville. We enjoyed a very chill Halloween evening of movie watching, take-out, and red wine.  When you’re on the road full-time, sometimes the best way to spend a holiday is chillaxing at home. 

After a relaxing morning and a long walk in a nearby park, we were eager to get downtown to play our gig that evening.  We were scheduled to perform at Sluggerville’s Against the Grain Brewery, which as you may have guessed was attached to the baseball stadium.  It held all of the charm of a microbrewery, with a variety of unique brews and friendly bar backs.  I challenged my taste buds a bit and tried their campfire brew, which definitely left a smoky impression. 

They had us set up along the far wall of the brewery overlooking the restaurant/bar, and we enjoyed a laid back evening sharing our music with new friends, locals, and tourists alike.  They serve a good brew and have great taste in music, what more could you ask for in a brewery?


:::Columbus, OH:::
Well after a few days in Kentucky, we made our way back up to Ohio.  Sometimes routing doesn’t work out perfectly, but hey, we were close.  We drove about 4.5hrs to the show; let’s just say that things don’t always work out exactly as they are planned. 

We had booked the gig months back, corresponded with the booking lady on multiple occasions after that, and sent posters, the whole bit.  That said, sometimes people just lose track of time.  We had invited a few friends in the area to the pub to watch us play, they’d called for sitters, the whole bit.  And we’d done our part to promote.  That said, we got to the venue, and they’d totally forgotten that we were playing that evening. 

It took a bit of negotiating, but with friends waiting to hear us play, and the two of us having driven for 4.5hrs to be there, we played a short set to a very eager and intimate audience.  It was apparently couples night out, as we found later that everyone there to see us was indeed a couple and had indeed called in a sitter to come out for the evening.  The Claddagh was a cool little Irish pub with a lot of potential for fun, and hopefully the next time we play there, they’ll be ready for us!


:::Asheville, NC:::
After a few days off in Cie’s hometown of Blacksburg, Virginia we jumped back into Jack and headed down the road past beautiful mountainscapes and an amazing sunset to Asheville, North Carolina.  We’d been close before, but Black Mountain was the closest we’d been to this fabled music Mecca that we were oh so excited to finally embrace! Asheville has such a cool, laid back vibe in all of the right ways.  It’s definitely another place where we could see ourselves someday. 

Booked at a fairly young microbrewery for the evening, Hi-Wire Brewing, we were elated to be able to pull right up in front of the brewery to unload; sometimes load-in can be a royal pain, but these North Carolinians were more than happy to oblige.  We could tell we were going to like the place the moment we pulled up.  It carried an indoor-outdoor feel with open garage doors showcasing rustic rot iron railing and artistic metal décor.  

A brewery tour was in full swing as we arrived, and folks were eager to try a pint.  They also had half pints, which we thought were pretty cool, as it allowed us to sample more brews.  Asheville definitely made us feel right at home as we shared our music to a full room of relaxing beer lovers and music appreciators.  We’d be more than happy to risk walking the Hi-Wire again on a trip back sometime soon!


:::Black Mountain, NC:::
Black Mountain is a little mountain town only about thirty minutes away, which we were familiar with from a previous visit last year.  It’s so charming you’ll want to become a mountain man, grow a beard, and hang out at the bar with the locals for a month before moving on. 

We were scheduled to play at one of the local’s favorite bars, The Town Pump.  The Town Pump boasts a decent sound system and perfect stage set-up for our needs.  The owner was super chill and excited to have some musical variety walking in her door.  We had a fun time talking with folks at the bar intermittently between sets, and will definitely put The Town Pump on the map for one of our favorite Dives in America thus far.


:::Charlotte, NC:::
The Charlotte Art District is straight up cool.  It has an East Nashville vibe to it with its fair share of hipsters, good bars, microbreweries, and live music.  So naturally, we love it! We’d played at Birdsong Brewery before, so we knew basically what to expect, which is always nice.  They host live music regularly, which is typically a good thing, as people are expecting you as well.  And in this case, it’s a great thing.

Birdsong seems to be doing everything right.  The beer is excellent, the clientele is wrought with good people, and the space just feels good to play in.  Not to mention the bartenders are easy to work with and were excited to have us play. It’s always nice to have the staff as excited about what we are doing as we are.  And we had a good slew of folks out to see us that we knew from the Charlotte area.  Shows are always a good time when friends are in the crowd.  ;-) Birdsong has our vote for must stop microbreweries!


:::Eggleston, VA:::
Haven’t you heard of Eggleston, Virginia?!  My guess would be, probably not… It’s definitely off the beaten path.  However, The Palisades Restaurant has put it on the map! This place is off the chain with goodness.  Local and fresh ingredients make visitors want to devour everything on the menu, and their wine and beer selection got us excited to say the least. 

They also host live music regularly on a little stage in the front window.  We had friends and family in attendance and the place was packed to the gills!  So packed in fact that at one point the owner actually asked us to take a break early to try to clear out some of the listeners, because she said that people were enjoying the music so much they wouldn’t leave!  Gotta feel good about that problem!  Great spot + great food + great music = a winning combination!


:::Raleigh, NC:::
Well, as I’ve said before, sometimes routing doesn’t work out perfectly, but for a good show and good friends, we’ll travel.  Our friends in Raleigh had been urging us to play a return performance since our house show last December, and we were more than happy to oblige, and Cie’s mom was excited to play roadie for an evening and join us for the trip!

With the help of a mutual friend who had seen us play the previous December, we had set up an early set at Deep South The Bar in Raliegh.  It’s a great Dive-Bar/Venue just off the main area of downtown.  The sound was excellent, the owner was deeply rooted in music and the industry, and it was an overall good vibe for a fun early evening. 

We followed it up with some drinks and a late dinner with a group of friends downtown, and had a great evening.  Raleigh, we’ll be back!


:::Blacksburg, VA:::
With as many times as I’ve been to Blacksburg with Cie now, it definitely feels like a homecoming every time we visit.  Cie’s parents are great, and they provide a happy haven for their kiddos (and soon to be grandkiddo that Cie’s sister is currently bearing). :-) So of course, we love our visits!  We were schedule to play a couple of shows locally that week, so we settled in.  Cie’s dad was off on one of his Asian adventures (he travels extensively for his work), so Cie’s mom was keeping us company. 

Our first show was at Gillie’s, a favorite among locals and students (Blacksburg is the home of Virginia Tech).  Gillie’s is very veg friendly, which I love.  It has a varied and homey menu and feel to it.  We played in the front window to a crowd of friends, family, students, and local listeners.  It was a very sweet evening; and with Cie’s ties to Blacksburg, we were very happy to play our Gillie’s debut.  

Later in the week, we played at the Downtown Blacksburg Farmers’ Market, on college game day nonetheless.  For a mid-November market day it was fairly mild weather, so we were happy about that.  It had rained the night before, so I made sure to bring a couple of extra towels to wipe down the market benches. 

Blacksburg has a great little Farmers’ Market filled with yummy local and fresh foods and the wares of a variety of local artisans.  Music is a natural fit, and it felt like a perfect way to spend our Saturday afternoon.  We enjoyed playing for more friends and family as well as the slews of market goers and folks making their way to the big football game. Good times were had by all!


:::Johnson City, TN:::
We’ve sung about Johnson City many times in the well-known lyrics of “Wagon Wheel,” but we had no idea what to expect.  Frankly, we were very pleasantly surprised.  It’s a cool little college town, basically en route to Nashville from Blacksburg, and we were excited to find The Acoustic Coffeehouse to be filled with fun from the moment we walked in. 

The Acoustic Coffeehouse had a great selection of local brews, an eclectic vibe, and an extremely varied clientele.  We’d had a write-up in the local paper, so the house was full!  A few very talented gypsy musicians comprised of two acoustic players and a washboard player opened up the evening, and we enjoyed sitting back and hearing some extremely raw and earthy music.  Next on the bill was a Zydeco keys player and the booking guy himself on the fiddle, which was a fun combo.  And finally we closed the night to a very boisterous crowd that was there for good music and good brews.  Overall, it was a great night!


:::Murfreesboro, TN/Nashville, TN:::
We were home!! It had been months since our last visit to Nashville, and we were more than a little excited to be back! For the little more than a week that we were there, we nestled back into a few old habits like patroning our favorite bars, The Holland House and The Pharmacy.  Both bars are owned and operated by the same two guys, and both happen to be directly across from our condo in East Nashville.  Sadly, we weren’t able to go home-home as our renters might not appreciate that, but we did stop by our place to say hi and grab a few things, which was weird you might say, seeing other people living in your space and using your things (we rented it out fully furnished). 

We also patroned a couple of our other favorites on multiple occasions, The Silly Goose, The Ugly Mug, and a new favorite: The Crying Wolf, all in East Nashville of course. And I’d be remiss not to mention our staple favorite coffee shop, Bongo Java.  I was shaken to find that it had changed, along with many of our Nashville streets and neighborhoods, as they’d moved the roaster to a new locale and paired down the menu offerings a bit, but as we change, so must the rest of the world I suppose.

Our first gig in the area was just down the road in MTSUville, Murfreesboro.  We were scheduled to play at a relatively new brewery (definitely new to us, since we’ve been on the road for…ever), Mayday Brewery.  This place is cool, and the beer is good!  Go Tennessee, some changes are awesome folks!  

We were scheduled to play at the brewery on the same evening as an art event, which made for a good crowd of art enthusiasts.  We also had some friends drive over from Nashvegas who had not heard us play in quite some time, due to our current road hog status.  I have to say, playing to friends and family can sometimes be more intimidating than playing to a large group of anonymous listeners.  That said, it was a fun evening.  We even had a private tour with one of the owners where we took some obscure photos with a life-sized Ron Jeremy, and Cie got to drink a new batch of brew right out of the beer tank.  There may have been some secret room shot taking as well, just saying…

We hadn’t played in Nashville since the previous December (our last real visit back ‘home’), so it was about time.  We actually ended up booking a house show in East Nashville at the home of longtime music/musician friend (also former students’ parent), Barbara.  In one of East Nashville’s historic homes, the setting felt rather perfectly intimate for our Nashville return.  The home still held a lot of old charm with a near old school brothel or saloon feel to it.  And we had a fun melding of former teaching colleagues, students, musician friends, industry friends, family, and the like.  We capped the night off with a bit of barhopping in Five Points with old friends, and I must say it reminded us why we love Nashville so much. 


:::O’ Fallon, MO:::
With the goal in mind of reaching Seattle the week of Christmas, we had a lot of ground to cover.  Therefore, after a fun week of family, friends, and Thanksgiving fanfare in Nashville we finished off the month at wine bar in O’ Fallon, MO, just outside of St. Louis. 

Rendezvous Café & Wine Bar has a homey coffee bar vibe to it, with a great selection of wine and a tasty dinner menu.  We were set up in the front of the café next to a twinkling Christmas tree, which set the mood for a romantically low-lit evening.  This little café is the perfect ambience for a listening room, designed for contemplative and collaborative listening.  When I say collaborative, I mean it allowed us to have meaningful conversation with listeners throughout the evening only adding to the tenderness of the night.  It was an embracing crowd, and a lovely little spot. On another note, I cannot believe tomorrow is already December time flies when your always traveling!


TRAVEL. TASTE. AND TUNE IN.