Thursday, April 16, 2009

Harper Blog April 2009

Hey Everyone,

Just back from a six week west coast US tour. Its good to be home.!!!! After our wild weekend in Hico , Texas , we headed to an "out of the way" town in Alpine, Texas which is the home of an awesome club called "Railroad Blues". Alpine is just north of the Big Bend National Park and we do this club from time to time, if we happen to roll by that way. We had a packed house on a Tuesday night, which was pretty cool!

Our shows in Colorado went well. On the way home from our show at The Toad Tavern in Littleton, Colorado, we were driving down the highway to Boulder, Colorado, round 3am. Seemingly out of the darkness, a man appeared right in the middle lane of the highway. Bobbi let go a blood curdling scream and threw her arms in front of her face, in an attempt to protect herself from the impending disaster. It was only my quick reflexive reaction that saved us and saved the life of the young drunken man who was so hell bent on loosing his life. Our bass player was following in a car behind and the driver barely missed the man as well. We were all shaking from head to foot. I asked Marc our drummer to call the police to let them know that there was a drunk on the highway. One can only imagine the ripple effect that would have occurred, if we had crashed into that young stranger. It would have left a terrible scar on our souls because there is no way that he would have survived the impact , let alone the anguish caused to the man’s family. I thanked God for guiding us through this situation. That defensive driving course I completed in Australia so many years before served me well that night.

The drive through the Colorado rocky mountain range through to Utah was absolutely breath taking in the early spring. The sun was shining in a deep blue sky and the mountains had just the right amount of gleaming white snow. We stopped the van many times to take photos and to take in the view. We did a great show in Cedar City in Utah at The Grind Coffee House. It was an alcohol free show which took place on St Patrick's Day. One would think this wouldn’t work but we had a packed house of coffee drinking music lovers. The next day we did a show at The Wine Cellar in Ogden . Utah. Its always nice to hang with Mitch and all the folks in Ogden. We had some really nice shows in Northern California at The Torch Club (hello to Crystal & Jason), The Stage Door and Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. We then did the magnificent drive up highway 101 North along the brilliant Oregon coast line to Washington. We drove through the Avenue of the Giants. We saw many huge Redwood Trees, it was amazing.. Our shows in Washington were a lot of fun and we looked forward to our show at The Yale Hotel in Vancouver, Canada. We have done many border crossings before and had actually done the Vancouver run last year. After hitting the border, we were told to go into the border office to get our work permits. We were told to wait until called. It seemed to be taking quite some time- longer that usual. Then GT our bass player was called up to booth and was there quite a while. He came back and told us that he wasn’t allowed through and that we would all have to return to the US. So our next step was to take GT back to the US, put him in a hotel close to the border and then head back to Canada. We were stuck in line for at least two hours. When we got to the US side, we were asked to go into the office. Then our van was searched, which took more time. But we got through. We easily found GT a hotel and were on our way. We had to go back into the Canadian border office to get our work permits. The Canadian border guard after taking our passports and the performance contract said that he could not let us in without a 7 digit labor number, which the Yale Hotel’s booker had failed to give Bobbi. Bobbi couldn’t believe that the paper work hadn’t been put through because she had sent through all the information required at least two months prior. The problem was that Joe Luciak the booker had gone on vacation to Jamaica and hadn’t left any instructions for his staff.

So Bobbi started calling the Yale Hotel and managed to speak to one of the bar attendants who was able to locate Joe, who had just returned, next door. A tense 15 minutes went by, with much praying and then Bobbi called again. An Australian voice answered the phone this time and he was aware of our predicament . The staff had to break into Joe’s office to get the labor number and thankfully found it. It was such a relief to hear an Australian voice and it was so easy to hear the number correctly. Bobbi gave the number to the border guard and even he seemed to be happy for us. I guess the hard ass act was just part of the job. We received our permits and raced to the Yale Hotel. We arrived at 8.15pm for a 9pm show. We had been stuck at the border since 2pm. What a day! The show went well as the three piece. Infact everyone seemed to be blown away that we had no bass player.

We stopped by Ed Mahoney’s house on our way through Seattle. Ed is one of the owners of Highway 99- an awesome club we had performed at on the Saturday before the Canadian border crossing. He cooked us up a fine feed of large shrimp and chicken. A few brews were also consumed and the conversation was excellent. So we began the long drive though Washington State, Idaho and landing in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was Marc's birthday and we went to see a burlesque show called "La Femme' courtesy of our old guitarist from 10 years ago- Elvis Lederer, who now works for Cirque Du Soliel. We had an awesome night & it was great to catch up with Elvis. So then we headed to Tucson , Arizona for a show at Club Congress, where we were surprised by our Texas friends from Hico. The final show took place at the Glendale Jazz & Bues Festival. We had stunning weather and the park was packed with people. We had a brilliant show and an excellent finale to our six week tour.

Hope to see you out on the road,

Peace, Harper & Midwest Kind (Official Harper Website) (for CD down loads) (for live video clips) (for CD orders & downloads)