Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Oh the winter time is coming and the leaves are gently falling and the wild mountain thyme dies all around the purple heather...will ye go, lassie, go.
Darn right I will!!!
The older I get the less I'm crazy about this whole winter thing. Good thing I decided to move south. (OK, Iowa's not exactly tropical but it is warmer than Minnesota.)
So, the one thing I can do is make the autumn days last as long as I can.
This entails long drives along the Mighty Mississippi River watching the changing of the colourguard amoung the maples, oak, elm, filling the house with the smells of clove and nutmeg as we partake of the sweet flesh of fall squash and leaving the propane tank on the grill for as long as possible in the slightest chance that we may grill once more.
Samhain, All Hallows Eve, Halloween comes to Davenport, IA when it darn well feels like it. I've yet to come to grips with a city that mandates the date of this holiday - this year it was Oct 30th, the one night I couldn't be home to pass out candy. But, lest you think me some Halloween Scrooge I made arrangements for the little tricksters that they might get a scary thrill and a sweetly treat.
The cobwebs were hung by the monster with care in hopes that a trick-or-treater soon would be there. I think mr. Boo looks quite good in my monster costume, don't you?
Thursday, September 06, 2007
By Lojo Russo - Grade umpteenth
My summer was a lot of fun.
I saw many places and people and friends.
My favorite part was, well, ALL OF IT!
Whew, so we get back from Colorado and BOOM it's time for the annual Bix 7 run.
(that's me - the one who's a bit camera shy)
For those of you keeping track I ran 7 miles in 77min27sec :)
Then it was off to Waterloo Iowa for the first annual Iowa Irish Fair!
My old friend Peter Yeats was playing the fair as well and its fair to say we got "pissed" that night. Note to self just cuz you drink with an Irishman doesn't mean you can drink like an Irishman.
With barely a breath in-between me and my entourage hightailed it down to St. Louis and Novaks where they serve up good beer, good karaoke and one hecuva good time.
Finally - I was off to Minnesota. I had a couple of shows but I made sure there was enough time to visit friends at the Renaissance Festival. Say Hello Boys!
Of course, no summer is complete without a Pronto Pup at the State Fair with my best bud, Sue.
Now that's what I call a summer!!
Monday, August 06, 2007
Man, I LOVE THAT STATE!
Especially when I have a chance to mix a little pleasure with business.
Me and the misses started out our first day and ended up in Wichita where I played an old favorite haunt of mine - Kirby's Beer Store. (and yes, it is a bar) Paul was still behind the bar pulling some of the finest drafts that KUW has to offer. And the free thinking clientel was as free as ever - good times.
Old town Wichita has come a long way since the last time I was there. I am sorry to report that John Barleycorn's is gone but I noticed the Artichoke is still doing business. We had some time to walk around town before the show and found this guy doing a bit of busking. He was kind of a one hit wonder.
I had a gig in Denver Friday night so we got up early and hauled butt to Colorado.
Friday night was a nice little show in a coffee/wine bar that also made great martini's. If you're ever over in the Bonnie Brae neighborhood you should stop by CapuVino. I particularly liked what I call "Kiwi Blanc" a nice little New Zealand white. Kevin, Chris and Gwen were great staff and the Nutello crepe was out of this world!
Saturday found us at my favorite festival - Festival in the Clouds, Alma.
There's always a great crowd of people, wonderful crafts, food and of course, music!
My favorite was Ribalsa - these guys took jam band to a whole new level.
Unfortunately, the rain drove us back to our hotel. The Hand Hotel was an original Old West hotel in South Park (yeah, that South Park) and was reported to be haunted.
Which meant we didn't get the best night's sleep. But we did have a beautiful drive through the mountains to our next destination.
Sunday we headed to Castle Rock/Larkspur and spent a few hours at the CO Renaissance Festival visiting with old friends and checking out the faire - I do love a good ren fest. That night was the Spur of the Moment and my old friend Peffa came up and joined me for a few tunes.
We spent Monday at the poolside of our friends Dighty, Michelle and there boy Brandon - soaking up the sun and the margueritas before heading back home to Iowa.
Home doesn't mean downtime, though - I've been busy, busy, busy and there's plenty more news a-comin' - - as soon as I have time to report it :)
Monday, June 11, 2007
I was on the road for 2 weeks and I've got lots to tell you about.
It all started when my friend Carolyn suggested that I come to Seattle to do a few shows with her up in the Northwest.
After a few weeks we had the shows set up and I was ready to roll!
The one thing about being an independent musician: vacation time is all the moments in between your gigs when you visit with friends and family.
Since I was headed west I thought i'd see some of both.
My first stop was Denver to see my friend Inger and her daughter Evie.
These are 2 of the hippest chicks I know. Evie's motto is: "Different is cool!" Inger currently sports her daughter's masterpieces on her upper arms - giving her the distinction of "coolest mom award".
Between Davenport and Denver you either start noticing the world around you or Nebraska will suck out your brains.
My first LOL was a semi-trailer's grill that read "HOOF
Yeah... it took me awhile, too.
Then there was the world's largest butt crack in Ogallala - no lie, that thing went on for days. Somewhere along the Continental Divide I saw a rainbow in a cloud - the cool thing was the cloud was only about 6 feet off the ground.
One of my favorite sights was in Utah - 3 young elk watching the sun come up, just standing there, as if stuck in the world's largest headlight.
The next night I drove to Reno and stayed with my sister and her husband. Sherry's a great sister and Scott always has some new toy to show me - he's into VW's and guitars - my kind of guy...if I was into guys :)
It was 5am when I left Reno and as I passed over the border Mr. Boo and I were struck by the beauty and horror of a wild fire. It had been mostly controlled by then but in the grey, smokey dawn it was still very awesome.
I spent the weekend with my Dad and his wife and took my girlfriend to places she'd never been like Carmel to rub elbows with the other chi-chi tourists, Capitola for a marguerita the size of our head and of course San Fransisco with Pier 39 and it's sea-lions, Ghiradelli Square and it's chocolates, Castro and it's very "happy" denizons and my personal favorite, Haight-Ashbury and it's ever-present hippies. Lunch in the Haight with 2 high-school friends made my weekend complete.
With the holiday weekend over I high-tailed it north only stopping briefly in Portland to see my old friends Ken & Kari just long enough to say hello, down a shot of congac and pass out on their couch from exhaustion.
I arrived in Seattle on Wednesday and that's the last time I had any time to myself. Carolyn and I rehearsed and enjoyed a wonderful dinner with our hosts that first day. We spent the next afternoon preparing for our first show and stocking up on musical supplies. I introduced her to Peet's coffee (not easy to do to a Seattle-Starbuck) she introduced me to Dusty Strings and I introduced myself to the troll!
Then came the shows; boom. boom. boom. one after the other. From Friday to Sunday Carolyn and I slept all of about 10 hours. After our gig Friday night (Sirens! yeah, baby!!) we stayed with some great people in Port Townsend (Hi Jim, Kathleen and Dorian!) then Saturday morning took the ferry back to Seattle where we went straight to our afternoon show in Redmond (Soulfood Books rocks!!) then off to our evening show in Duvall (P&G makes an awesome shrimp linguini!!) then high-tailed it back to Seattle to catch Ken and Peter's final set at Kells after which we rushed back to our base camp to get a few hours shut-eye before getting ready for our church service gig.
WHEW!!!! now that's what I call touring :)
I said goodbye to Carolyn and tiredly made my way home. On the way I stopped in Billings to catch up with my friend Rachel and then kept on trucking. The only thing I remember seeing on the way home was these enormous dinosaur poop-like rocks in South Dakota. I spent the night with my new friend Lisa who provided me with a warm bed, a full night's sleep, a hot shower and a bag lunch for my ride home. Thanks Lisa!
there's no place like home...
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
After my premature anouncement of spring
several weeks ago I think it may be safe to say...
well, lest I jynx us again...let's just leave it at,
Happy May Day!
I've been having a wonderful time this spring
playing gigs, hanging with friends and just
general may-hem. I got to play drums with
Linda at the Ritual Cafe, I ran a 5k race (in
23 minutes 37 seconds) on St. Pat's Day
morning then proceeded to NOT get drunk
the rest of the day (oh, believe me, I tried).
I was part of the Venus Envy event
here in the Quad Cities and have been booking
my brains out to the point I'm almost out of
weekends this year. I'm even spending a
weekend in June touring with my friend
Carolyn Cruso - woo-hoo!!
But, the most incredible thing that's happened
to me is, I'm writing songs for a new album!!
Currently it's one very long CD or 2 short ones.
And the music just keeps flowing out of me :)
I'm very excited about starting this project
because I'd love to have a new album when
I come to the Twin Cities this August!
Enjoy the day! Enjoy the weather!
Enjoy each and every moment!
Man, I love this life...
Sunday, April 01, 2007
I only know that when I got in my car this morning
there was nothing left but his robe.
I knew this day would come. It was inevitable seing
as how he is... was a ghost, after all. I guess I just took
for granted that he would always be visible to me.
I'm going to keep his little robe on my dashboard -
both as a memorial to our friendship and in hopes
that he may once again grace my, well, our travels.
Goodbye, Boo. You'll be missed.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Gads, it's been ages hasn't it?
Sorry I've been so out of touch
but truth of the matter is
...well, I've been out of touch.
I've spent the last several weeks crouched in my dank corner of a basement office huddled over a candle like Bob Cratchet, e-mailing my fingers to the bone trying to book gigs until that one day when I looked up from my pile of papers, wires, boxes, cd's, press releases and coffe mugs to find a small ray of sunshine peeking thru the safety filmed window.
Spring! Blessed Spring!
'Bout freekeeng time, too!!
Here in the cornfield swept land of Iowa spring and winter continue a battle of wills but I believe solace is on the horizon. (And the spring equinox ain't far behind...)
Alas, all my hard work and cramped fingers have payed off and I have gigs coming out of my wah-zoo! New venues, old venues, here a venue, there a venue every where a gig, gig!
(hoo boy, the sunshine's getting to me - I'm a bit giddy)
I'm back and I'm raring to go!
The toxins of winter have left my body and the full, sweet breath of spring hath filled my soul with vital spirit!
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Ok so normally I'm not a big fan of football, or any other sport for that matter but I just spent the weekend in Chicago and it's hard not to get Bear Fever.
Why was I in Chicago? No, I didn't have seats on the 45 yardline at Soldier Stadium but I did have front row tickets at a fun little club downtown.
What a night! Kings, Queens and a little Midwest Princess rockin' the house!!
Thanks to Sebastian & Jackie and everyone for a great night!
And a special shout out to my friends, Nancy and Mark for coming out to the show :)
ok, Boo tired now...nigh'-nigh'...