::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
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 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 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
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, 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
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
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, 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