Well, after an eventful summer thus far, I finally have had a minute
to breathe (And write the news). Back in May, we ventured to
Sweden to play the Silja Rock Cruise (one of our fave gigs ever)
and blasted through Germany and Finland, ending that run with
a killer gig at one of our fave venues, the House of Rock in
Kouvala, and then a killer bike festival in Hänko!
We came home, did some recording for a couple of weeks,
and it was time to leave again. This time, we had what looked to be
an impossible run of three festivals in a row; starting at an absolute
kick-ass gig in the south of France called Showbike Aquatine.
We certainly regretted that we were forced to leave
right after the show on an eleven hour drive to Milan, Italy to headline
the "Southern Rock Festival", which was the first time we'd played
Italy (what an awesome place and gig) staying up all night to catch a
plane from there to Hamburg, Germany @ 6 am to be ushered directly
to the stage after landing for Hamburg Harley Days festival. Whew.
The next night we played a cozy little joint on the Reeperbahn in
Hamburg called the "Cowboy and Indianer" where my long-suffering
Marshall amp blew up before we ever went on, smoke pouring from
it as it breathed it's last. Not to worry. Tour manager Martin Lewis had
my spare on hand, and we rocked the joint till the wee hours, without
a doubt the longest set we've played in years, thanks to the continued
encouragement by the club manager Sven. Those four shows took
the same amount of energy to run a small power plant in my mind,
but we had a ball!
Had a day or so rest then grabbed the overnight ferry out of
Amsterdam to the UK where we were able to totally regroup
and slay a couple of our fave venues over there; a rousing
date at the Three Tuns in Gateshead followed by a first time
sellout at the the Green Hotel in Kinross, Scotland! This whole
run was originally unplanned and put together around two fests
in the UK that were promised to us but didn't come through...
the first one being a totally unprofessional cancellation in Scotland
(you know who you are, and you know that a LOT was done
in order for us to play your event and keep our price low. Do NOT
appear at any of our gigs in the future without the deposit you owe
us; in answer to your email: No, we DON'T understand. I spent a
month of my life putting this run together with the help of Luke and
our agents and YOU dropped the ball and gave a lame ass excuse.
You know it. We know it. Pay the deposit and all is forgiven. Don't,
and remain at the top of the list of BSers, not to mention first in
line for litigation) The second fest just didn't happen...
not anybody's fault. Despite these problems we didn't cancel the dates
we obliged ourselves to that were back ups for the original UK fests...
We kept our word, didn't complain (or make money) and kicked that ass.
That's what we do. We keep our word and deliver the best show possible,
despite time wasters and BSers, and we will continue to do that! Special
thanks to all that DID come through. You know who you are: Brother Dom,
Paul, David, Dirk, Don, Sven, Georgio...Thanks for great times!
We returned to the States just in time to celebrate Independence Day,
and of course play some more shows, starting with a run to Mooresville,
North Carolina (near Charlotte) which is a big part of my old stompin'
grounds for the past 20 years. This was followed by a run up to Ross,
Ohio (just north of Cincinnati, another even older stompin' grounds)
for a gig at a joint I haven't played since the early 90's. A GREAT time
was had by all! Last week, we headed out to Effingham, IL for a gig
with guitar hero Ted Nugent, which was awesome to say the least.
(Thanks for the complements on Facebook, Ted!) I hadn't seen him
since we had toured in the mid 90's together when I was a part of
Lynyrd Skynyrd, and to say he hasn't lost a step would be a vast
understatement. All the energy he's ever had, he STILL has!
It was great to see some ol' buddies and have a rare night out
(for me anyhow) after the show with them!
Next night we were up to Sturgeon Bay, WI for the Burning Cow
Festival. I was disappointed that I didn't get to watch the cow burn,
but had a great time anyway! Two more gigs in IL followed: EJ Karz
in Verona...what a fantastic place with fantastic staff and some of the
best food you've ever had...I wish we were the house band there,
although I'm sure I'd be unrecognizable due to severe weight gain
in a matter of weeks.
Next up was the Iron Horse Social Club in Savanna which had a
great crowd... we had a blast...great way to spend a Sunday
on the mighty Mississippi River!
We have also started shooting a video which shows our process
of recording a new CD...at least some of the interesting parts...
it's called "In Front of the Music" which gives the viewer a front
row seat of the process of recording a CD...letting you see what
goes on before the CD is finished, thereby putting you in front
of the music, hence the title. It will air on our Youtube page soon!
Now for the bad news: Due to the "lots of work, little sleep" schedule we've
been keeping since May, and my never ending allergy problem, my voice
is "beyond shot" as my doctor so gently put it at today's appointment.
I'm banned from singing or speaking for a a minimum of three weeks.
This will affect the release schedule of our new CD, and not in a good way,
as vocals are not yet finished. I will do my best to complete it
before the upcoming Autumn Euro tour, but I can't swear to it being done.
The Autumn tour is going to last about six weeks and is supposed to be
in support of the new CD. The tour will go on as scheduled for sure, but
the CD release might have to wait until Winter. Check this space for updates!
Mike and SM