Lojo's Proze & Mr Boo's Newz

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My Summer Vacation
by Lojo Russo Grade Umpteenth

June 23-28 got above 90 degrees. I guess that was summer for us her in Iowa. All I remember from that time was sweating my @ss off performing at outdoor events.

As for the rest of the summer months the weather was near perfect and so were the shows. So many new venues; Wine Bar in Lake Okoboji, Blue Sky Vineyards in Cape Girardeau, Miss Kitty's in Galena, Tuvalu's in Madison – even made it out to Jackson, Tennessee - I was all over the place and loving every minute of it! Of course I can’t forget my old favorites, Tirabassi-Kin, Tabor Winery, John Harbors. And, after a 13 year hiatus I finally got back to the National Women's Music Festival. I forgot just how much fun a hotel full of women can be...(wink-wink-nudge-nudge).

The few moments I wasn't making music it was me and the Girlfriend going out to see other people making music.

We headed to Colorado for the Lyons Folk Fest - 3 days in the mountains - gawd, I love it! Some great music was going on that weekend, Dougie MacLean, Don McLean, Susan Tedeschi, Vance Gilbert, Rufus Wainright III, the list goes on and on. We even met up with few friends from Kerrville, too. The weekend was full of surprises cuz it turned out to be a learning weekend as well.

We learned that when the wind picks up its time to put on the rain gear.
We learned that the camera lens fits perfectly into the eyepiece of the binoculars giving us some amazing shots... and we learned our little friend Brandon is adorable in a shower cap And I learned that if you sit at the pool too long you end up looking like the wall hanging at Inger and Evi's house.

Then there was the weekend I mixed business with pleasure. The Girlfriend's sister's family moved to St. Louis from Tampa. Did you know they have a zoo? A really nice one! It was Megan's birthday (the Girlfriend's Niece) so off to the zoo we went. Then, later that same night it was gigging at Nancy's Place and dancing at Novak's after the show (which is a whole other kinda zoo altogether)!!

We found a new venue called Morton Arboretum near Chicago. What a great place to see music. We spread out a blanket of goodies and watched Shawn Colvin and Nancy Griffith. Definitely will be going back to that place.

The summer culminated in a most auspicious moment. The Iowa Women's Music Festival scored a coup when they got Michelle Shocked as the headliner. And I scored my own coup when Ms. Shocked asked me to join her on stage to play a bit of mandolin along with her on Repo Man and a new tune called Liquid Prayer. Yeah, I'm a happy girrrl.

The End (of summer)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

And now, for the promised National Womens Music Festival Blog:

Off we traveled – North to the great town of Madison, WI and the National Women’s Music Festival. It was a time of reflection and confliction.
Confliction because herself was traveling away from the chance to spend the holiday weekend with her girlfriend and her family.
Reflection because it’d been too long since she’d attended this great event...

[[ insert dream waves here ]]

The year was 1995, Bloomington, IN. Lojo was a budding musician looking to make her mark. She arrived at NWMF full of hope and promise, with a handful of CDs and a 75 VW bus named Tawanda. She had one chance to wow the judges – and she did. They asked her back the next year and she did it all over again with even greater confidence and a sense of her place in the music world. The women she met made their mark in her life, the artists that had so inspired her she felt were now her peers. She saw her future so bright.

Then... she dropped the ball.

[[ insert dream waves in reverse here ]]]

Present day 2009, Madison WI. A chance to redeem herself and re-connect with this community of women and artists. So many faces from the past, so many people who hadn’t forgotten her - though she’d forgotten their names she hadn't forgotten their faces.

Well, I should probably let herself tell this next part...

Thanks, Boo.
I found myself in a group of some of the most talented women I’ve ever had the pleasure meet. To Teneia and Emily, The Sirens (marco!), Shelly Miller and Stephanie Moore, thank you for such a great experience and the chance to hear your music.
And congratulations to Teneia and the Sirens!! - see you next year on the big stage!

The mainstage line-up was superb with a great blend of old school and new school - and I thought the OshKosh Men's Chorus was a perfect addition to the weekend!

To all the volunteers: You women SO ROCK!!
Lisa & Angela and Laura in Registration – good times, good times - Susan, Lisy and MJ at Goldenrod – more pizza! - and all of the other wonderful women who’s names I never learned and who helped put this festival together – you all did a great job!!

To the women on the crew who made it all go so smoothly; Linda, Kaia, and all the women working stage & sound thanks for making us all sound so good. Kathy & Joyce in Performer’s Care you know the way to a musician’s heart is truly thru their stomachs. Ruth, Meg and Diane doing the ASL interpreting, wow, are you guys troopers (whoever signed for Maggie Casella should get a medal).

Of course, this was all made possible thru the tireless efforts of Jane Weldon, Tret Fure and the fantastic board of directors. (This is not me kissing ass, this is me being very grateful for the opportunity to perform and the quality of the festival.)

The ball's in my court - I'll be back.

Friday, June 12, 2009

ok. so I'm really horrible about staying current on my blog site - aren't i.
my apologies.
i plan on updating my phone soon - and that might help - or it may ruin my life cuz i'll be addicted to twitting or something.

How's it been with me? Good, actually. I've been busy with tours and shows and creating new music and summer and trying to make my lawn green and do we want a porch or a patio and does this blog make me look fat?

I've played some new venues and some old venues. Really enjoyed playing Cafe Carpe with Michelle Dalziel, Tricia Alexander and Deborah Green. I already know Michelle rocks but I gotta say, Tricia has one heck of a way with tunes and you can hear the Appalachian Mountains coming from Deborah's soul. Bill & Kitty are good folk and if you ever find yourself in Ft Atkinson WI you should get down to the Cafe Carpe for a little microbrew and a great show. (Just saw Kris Delmhorst their and her old band, Red Bird, just happened to stop by for a couple of tunes - yeah!!)

Down to Missouri to do some shows new and old and make friends new and old. Thursday I played with Doug E Rees at Stooges. I'd met Doug only once before at the Folk Alliance but I hadn't heard him play. Wow! What a great night of music and catfish! Then it was a couple of shows with Jefferson Fox - I'd never met Jefferson before but we clicked instantly and spent 2 nights jamming our way thru Tennessee and Missouri. Here's a link to a video - that's Jefferson on the harmonica. After a nice tour thru the wine country (yes, there is a wine country in SEMO/SWIL) I settled in for a nice little house concert at Larry & Jean Underberg's.

Up to Ohio. Got to spend some quality time with the Tirabassi-Kin ladies. Saturday was the house concert and a good time was had by all. Sunday morning we made breakfast then went to the Hessler Street Fair. It was old school hippie festival with home-made art, hemp cookies, children playing in the Enchanted Forest and a reggae band keeping everyone's toes tapping.

There's been other memorable shows, places, people - but, I seem to have reached my typing limit. I'll do my best to get back here again before too long...

Thursday, April 02, 2009

April 2, 2009
Where the heck did march go?!? I wasn't that drunk...

But, I can tell you where we did go - - Memphis!
Boo and I got down to some serious traveling when we found ourselves in Memphis, TN for the National Folk Alliance Music and Dance Conference (though, I don't recall seeing much dancing...)

3 days of being completely enrapt (yes, I meant to spell it that way) in music, musicians and the music business - enjoying every minute of it!

(Except for that part where I lost a $100 bill to the Gawds of Fate and Whim - the dirty buggers. My new release, "Memphis Ate My Money" will soon be available on Hard Knocks and Tough Sh*t Records.)

Right. Enough whining - it's only money.

While Boo stayed in the car amassing parking fines and teasing dogs I went off to play a month's worth of music in only 3 days.

The moment I walked into the hotel there was music and mayhem from wall to wall and floor to floor. I met up with old friends, not so old friends, re-kindled friendships and made so many new friends I can't even count!

For a musician this was like Mecca, Heaven and the best music jam, all rolled into one.

I played Me & Bobby Magee while Radoslav Lorkovic provided the piano solo on his accordian. I I believed in Magic when I saw John Sebastian, watched a movie produced by Bela Fleck, listened to Cliff Eberhardt jam with The Nadas and remembered a simpler time with Tret Fure. I watched, I listened and I played and I played and I played...

I had a heckuva good time jamming with my friends from texas, like Hans York and Chad Elliot and then I jammed with folks I met only when I got on stage with them like Spook Handy and Eric Brace and Brad Yoder. Check these people out - folk music has a whole new meaning... and sound.

And as quickly as it had started it was over - Boo and I packed up our things (and tickets) and headed home once more.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blessings to you on this most holy sainted day.
And to the rest of you...
Cheers! Let's hear it for the snakes!!!

Over the weekend herself and I tried to be on our best behavior - we even practiced some yoga meditation with the Guinness Tantric Master Yogi Mchurley

We're proud to say we were quite successful in reaching this state of bliss!