Thursday, August 14, 2008

Last Summer Update for 2008...

Wow. That went by fast (as always). We've had a great summer, and a particularly hectic couple of weeks.

We had an excellent time in Attica last week; thanks again to everybody there for making us feel at home. The Double Diamond on Friday night was, as usual, a great place to play with a lively crowd and some great dancers. We hope the rest of the "Taste of Ellicottville" festival went just as well on Saturday.

Saturday afternoon, we played at an incredible show called "Blues in the Valley" in Warsaw, NY. What a blast! We play quite a bit of festivals, multi-band music events, lawn fetes, town concerts, benefits, etc.; and I have personally played throughout the WNY region, the East Coast, and in Canada, and I have never performed at a more well-organized, artist-friendly event. The staff and volunteers were friendly and helpful, hospitality was excellent (great food), the staging and sound were pro, band parking and load-in and out were well thought out, the audience and the bands were completely covered from the elements, the talent line-up was great, and speaking of audiences, the crowd was very polite but enthusiastic, with some great dancers (and some great listeners). And did we mention the weather was beautiful, and it's all for charity?

Thanks to everybody at "Blues in the Valley," we sure hope we get the opportunity to play for ya'll again!

The "Blues in the Valley" concert marked our last official gig with Greg "GC" Connell, our crack saxophonist of the past several years. GC is moving down south to pursue an academic career, but we'll stay in touch, and we plan to have him as a special guest on our next album, which is due out in '09 and is currently in the pre-production stage. Thanks for everything GC; the No-Star Nation wishes you well and Godspeed...

We're going to take a few weeks off for our own bit of summer R&R/vacation, but we'll be back-atcha in September with a new stream-lined roster, more new tunes, and some surprises.

Until then, God Bless & Good Blues, and enjoy the rest of the summer!


Monday, August 04, 2008

Summer Update Number Two

Hi again No-Star Nation peeps;

Just a few items:

1) St. Chris' SummerFest was a blast! We always have a good time, but this was definitely one for the books. The dance contest was a smashing success, with some great swing/jump blues dancers, and even a costumed hip-hop act. Fun, prizes, a great band; what more can you ask for? We'll be doing that again, so stay-tuned for details...

2) Joel, Bruce, Tracy (Joel's wife) and I had the opportunity to play with world-renowned Bluesman, Muscle Schoals recording musician, and CCM artist Will McFarland in Houghton, NY on Tuesday. I got to play drums, because our man Bret was busy. This event was billed as a "pro jam session," and I was really surprised at the relatively low turnout, but those that were in the audience were treated to something really special. Will is a great vocalist, guitarist, and nice guy, and his wife Janet is no slouch in the vocal department either. We had a great time, and it was really fun to watch Bruce trade licks with Will. I hope we get to do it again!

3) I also had an opportunity to play drums with the Patti Parks band up in Canada on Sunday. A good time was had by all at Crystal Beach. Thanks Patti, Guy, and company.

4) We'll be in Ellicottville this Friday at the Double Diamond for the "Taste of Ellicottville" Festival. Also, at "Blues in the Valley" in Warsaw, NY on Saturday. Come out and see (and hear, of course) some great music, support some good causes, and enjoy the festival summer scene here in New York State. The season is all-too-brief, so get it while it lasts...

God Bless & Good Blues,