Lojo's Proze & Mr Boo's Newz

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hello My Fine Folk,

A Wondrous, Joyful Holiday blessing to you all!

The snow is here, in spades if you will, and it’s like I’m back in Minnesota with all this mostly fluffy white stuff lying around. However, I know that time spent with my family will warm the winter’s chill from my bones. And I hope that the time you spend with friends, family and loved ones is filled with that warmth as well.

I can’t believe the NEW year is almost here – where the heck did 08 go anyway? I don’t have time right now to do a complete review of ‘Aught Eight’ but suffice it to say it rocked in sooooooo many ways!

To friends who share my laughter and tears
To family with whom I’ve shared all of my years
To loved ones with us and loved ones passed
To those whose grievances cannot last
To all of you who’ve touched my soul
To each of you who makes me whole
I thank you all and wish you Peace
Happy New Year & Merry Solstice!

(ooh it was so close to rhyming...)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What the f$%*!
What do you mean summer's gone? Where the heck did it go?!?
Gawds - I can't believe its autumn already. Luckily, I love autumn, its really my favorite time of the year (next to winter in Colorado... and summer in California... and spring in Ireland).

Let's see - what have I been up to...
Well, I know I've been quite busy - which might have something to do with time being so fleeting these past 3 months.

There was the awesome little music festival in Colorado. Nothing like rockin' out at 10,361 feet above sea level :)
Then there was that wonderful little show at the Lake Harriet Bandshell where it seemed that almost everyone I know came out to picnic on the grass.
Of course, I can't forget the few hours I spent lounging around the MN Renaissance Fest with all my peeps drinking coffee with Baileys and Jeremiah Weed (now, thats what I call a breakfast drink!)
Then there was my weekend at Charlies where not only did I get to play music with Lorraine and Paul (frightfully fabulous) but I also got to spend the night with my old band Funks Grove V1.0 (includes Michael Matheny) and V2.0 (everyone else)! What a night!! I'm hoping to have some pix and audio for you soon and I'll post them here when I do.
I ran a marathon...ok...not the whole marathon but 6.2 miles of it. Next year I hope to do a half-marathon. Of course that would mean running more often than once every other month. Time will tell.
And over the weekend I participated in the autumn ritual of playing Pazzo at a renaissance festival here in the quad cities. It's not the MN Ren Fest by a long shot but it has heart and soul and a lot of gumption and these days I'm much better equipped to play the fool for one weekend rather than 7 in a row.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

In case you're all wondering... no, we're not under water.

We're fortunate to live about 100 feet above flood stage. We had a little water in the basement due to seepage but otherwise we count ourselves very lucky indeed. Thanks to everyone for their concern - please rest easy.

Boo and I just got back from a whirl-wind 'tour' to SE Wisconsin where we played a couple of new venues and pay tribute to an honored venue of the past.

Friday night was John Harbor's - a beautiful place in a beautiful little town. A bookstore turned coffeehouse/public house with everything from Italian roast to Irish whiskey - my kind of place. The evening started with Malia Lani, a local girl on her way to Hawaii by way of hula dancers...
(I had no idea that Menomonee Falls was a magnet for Big Islanders?)
Big thanks to Jeremy, Erin and their staff for making my evening a most pleasant experience indeed. (By-the-by, the Feckin' Whiskey is feckin' brilliant!)

The next morning we headed south to Racine where we wasted a couple of hours at the 7 Mile Market Fair. Imagine, 7 MILES of flea market - paraphenalia from puppies to cowboy boots and a whole lotta whatsiss in between. You gotta see it to believe it. It wasn't a total waste - I did get a new suitcase.

As I pulled into downtown Racine I found myself looking at a penguin atop the roof of a bar... George's. Ah, yes, George's. A quaint little neighborhood bar where I'd played years ago while on tour with my old record label. Dave, the owner, is a sweet, amazing man with a heart of gold and a passion for music. Unfortunately, after 28 years the music has been silenced but the dream of this man is not. I know the music will come back someday - and when it does, I'll be there! Dave was nice enough to stop by my show at the Yardarm and we talked for quite awhile.

This was my first time at the Yardarm but I noticed it's quite a favorite with the MN crowd. Their Wall of Fame included people like Gerry Rau and my friend Ray Yates. Lori and Lisa were fine, funny, endearing hosts - and Pete was a life-saver. And, the patrons were a hoot! I played everything from Billy Holiday to Steppenwolf - what a magic ride that was!!

Late that night Boo and I headed back to waterlogged Iowa - home wet home.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Boo Here.

Herself has asked that I give you guys the lowdown on the whole Kerrville thing. She being a bit overwhelmed by – and still recuperating from it all. Yep. What a ride! The Short One was rather excitable the entire trip but who could blame her. She was on her way to a very important occasion and $4.00 per gallon of gas and 20 hours on the road was not going to dampen her spirits.

Now, me? I thought I was spending another weekend at home so imagine my surprise when I was pulled from my dashboard armchair only to be placed in a window seat in the biggest truck I’d ever seen. I know these girls were camping but you’d think the Diva’s were staying for a month the way they packed this behemoth.

Iowa – sometimes it feels like you’ll never get to the border, especially when you take a left at Des Moines. Missouri – thanks to all the by-passes Kansas City was a cinch. Oklahoma – we watched the most magnificent lightning storm, it crawled along the belly of the clouds - amazing. And, finally, Texas! Texas was hot!

We got in Friday morning and set up camp – home sweet home. It only took 5 minutes before these northern beauties were drenched in sweat. So, as soon as they could it was back in the truck and off to San Antonio where we spent the evening in a real bed, with a real shower and a real toilet – for the last time.

Saturday morning and back at the ranch. We were very fortunate to be staying at the famous Rouse House campsite. Lindsey, Deb and Liz were on hand at all times to keep all the little fledglings in line. Thanks to the Rouses for keeping herself from exploding with the sheer energy of, “whatdoInowwheredoIgonow?”

The Kerrville Folk Festival was wall to wall to wall music. Campsite fires burned till all hours of the morning with music going round in circles. People would stop in the middle of the road and start up an impromptu jam session. Even the mainstage lasted until midnight.

Every morning, the little fledglings would start their day by serenading each other. They would show off their deep intellectual understandings of themselves and their world. Songs of love, snow, jesus, underpants…

And, sometimes they’d do it all night, too. That’s Michelle & Scott Dalziel and our new friend, Hans York. This particular evening they eschewed the normal fair of deep, philosophical, introspective folk music for the more mundane and mood-lightening cover songs. There was everything from Leo Sayer to Hogey Carmichael to They Must be Giants. And this one guy from Columbia who even made Gordon Lightfoot sound fun.

Finally, here’s herself. Onstage. On her Birthday. Doing the one thing she loves to do more that anything else in the whole universe – playing music.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Happy May Day!

Yes. I’m late. I know.
Doesn’t matter – it’s all so wonderfully spring!
The Mourning dove has been singing to me every morning and all the other birds are doing their best to bring the chorus to a magnificent crescendo.

I’ve been playing for some wonderful audiences invited by some wonderful hosts in some beautiful locations; Cape Girardeau, Lawrence, Cedar Rapids. That’s right – the Midwest is a beautiful place. I especially want to thank the Underberg’s and the Veatch’s for their hospitality. They both put on a great concert and made me feel right at home. If you've never been to a house concert I suggest you search one out. It has to be one of the best ways to experience the music and most importantly, the musician.

May Day itself was spent with my friend, Carolyn Cruso in the quaint little burg of Fairfield (home of the Maharishi’s). We played together and we played solo and we had the most wonderful time. The weekend was spent in Des Moines jamming with my friend Adam and a few other friends at Demicon. It’s always a groovy time when I’m playing with Adam and everyone around us could tell.

As I look around me and the signs of spring are everywhere. The magnolia, pear and locust trees have bloomed and feathered the landscape with their petals. The Mississippi (yes, we have one here, too) swells its banks to overflowing – simultaneously cleaning the streets and filling its waters with all the debris of all the cities from the north to the south.

And that, my friends is where I shall flow myself. South – to Texas… to Kerrville.
The Kerrville Folk Festival is something I’ve thought about for many years - and even tried to get in to once or twice. It’s been a while since I’d thought about it until recently when some friends told me about this great festival that they went to and how wonderful it was and how wonderful the people are and all the groovy music and musicians and… everything. Suddenly, Kerrville was in the forefront of my thoughts once more.

I was naive when I first tried out for the festival years ago - I tried out for mainstage… yeah, oops – so, thought I’d try the more regular route this time. I sent in my songs and my money and then tried to put it out of my mind once more. You see, I’ve never entered a song competition before, ever. So when I got the e-mail – 4 months after entering – that said, “You may be a winner” I went to the website not really expecting to see my name… yet, there it was! “Logo Russo - Davenport, IA”. (Yes, they’ve since fixed my name on the site.) It’s taking awhile to sink in – and mostly I’m just trying to keep it level and do my best to be myself. I’m going to Kerrville to play some music, meet some groovy people and enjoy myself. And, if I happen to win a songwriting contest - well, wouldn't that just be the thing!

So, on May 25th at approximately 2:30pm CST if you would be so kind as to put a few good thoughts out into the universe (in a southerly direction) it’d be most appreciated.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

First order of business is to wish every one a Happy New Year and hoping that your holiday was brilliant. I'm told that Lojo had a great time spending her yuletide in Florida. I wouldn't know since she drove out of Iowa and left something very important behind...namely, ME! Not that I wanted to go to Florida - it's not good for my complexion - but it would've been nice to be asked.

Well, here's herself to tell you all the groovy stuff she did, etc. I'm out.
Sincerely, Mr. Boo

...pardon me but I'm still digesting 2007.

Thank you, Mr. Boo and Happy New Year everyone!
Was yours as surreal as mine?
Nothing will bring you crashing down to earth quicker than sitting by a pool in sunny Florida Saturday morning and shoveling snow in snowy Iowa that same night.
Be that as it may I wish all of you a joyous new year and hopes for all your dreams come true.

I'm not going to sit here and review the entire year but I noticed a couple of glaring omissions that I'd like to put to right:

I attended 2 reunions in 2007.

The first was my high school reunion. I'm a little touchy about telling you the number of years since that glorious graduation day but suffice it to say... it's been a few. Regardless, what made the moment for me was sitting around the patio at Karen's house with the people that I grew up with - literally. We spent a few hours before the official reunion catching up, laughing and going thru Debra's amazing archives of all of our school days. Many of us have known each other since grade school and some of these folks I hadn't seen since graduation or longer.
Thank you ladies, it was a magnificent day!

Welcome to the first ever Russo Family Reunion.
This is my family. Most of whom I didn't know before this picture was taken.
It was held in Easley, South Carolina at my cousin Joanne's house. That's me in the bottom right corner with my brother Joe, father Joe and his wife Mary Ann. And, no there weren't as many Joe's as there were Anthony's and Carmine's.
We sang, we ate, we laughed, we ate and we sang some more. (I had no idea you could get an entire Karaoke machine filled with nothing but Sinatra and Dean Martin.) In the course of a weekend i learned that my entire family is just as crazy as I am. Good to know lunacy runs in the family.