Just when we thought that the madness was over, then came along our May USA tour to Alabama and sunny Florida. Our show at 1048 in Montgomery Alabama was a lot of fun- its been along time since we played this club. Then it was the long drive to Boca Raton, Florida to The Backroom. We had torrential rain on our drive and our Dodge sprinter van started to act peculiarly just as we got close to our destination. All the lights on the dashboard were blinking on and off and the power seemed to be draining. As we rolled into our hotel, the van just stopped dead. A quick call to AAA and an hour or so later, we had help. The battery was charged up and all seemed to be well. We suspected it might be the alternator. And of course all this was happening on Memorial Day Weekend. We had a nice show at the stunningly decorated "Backroom". What a cool place - amazing sound and the room itself is a feast for the eyes with its red hues and art deco styled lamps and artwork. The next day - we faced the awful truth that our vehicle needed a new alternator. By divine guidance, it seemed, I was able to find a Dodge Sprinter dealership and mechanic who was able to replace the alternator on a Saturday afternoon while the rest of America was on vacation. The band camped out side their hotel rooms during a huge down pour which lasted for hours. But we were back on the road by 3pm , some $1200 poorer . Thankfully we were able to make our next show at Aces Lounge in Bradenton.
Bobbi rented a condo in Rotonda near Fort Myers and we looked forward to a couple of days of going to the beach. Our mini vacation was cut short by our bass player Chris cutting his foot on the jagged edge of a glass coffee table. At first we thought that he wouldn't need to go to the hospital, but when we arrived at Celtic Rays for our show, Chris's foot erupted with blood which spurted all over the floor of the bar. Bobbi drove Chris straight to the emergency room where he was scolded by the nurse for not coming in earlier. His deep gash received 16 double stitches and Chris himself received a pair of crutches and a nice bill. Like a trooper, he hobbled into Celtic Rays and played his bass as if nothing had happened. The next day we had the pleasure of performing to the special needs kids of the Buckingham Exceptional Student Center. It was such a privilege to perform to these exceptional students, many danced either on foot or in wheel chairs. Everyone there felt uplifted and inspired.
Our next stop was the incredibly unique Bradfordville Blues Club in Tallahassee. Then it was Ms Newbies in Panama City Beach, where we pretty much rocked the place. On the way back to our stunning condo, generously provided by our good friends Ken & Rachel Brown, we came across several extremely drunk drivers. We were pretty much freaked out by a drunken woman and her drunk boyfriend on a motor scooter. The pair were snaking along the road infront of us. The female rider nearly passed out at the traffic lights. Then we saw a car driving down the wrong side of the highway, avoiding the oncoming traffic. It was all too much for Bobbi, so she called 911.
We were glad to make it to the Paradise Inn in Pensacola Beach. We had some really nice shows and just loved the gleaming white sands of Pensacola. While walking barefoot along this amazing beach, Bobbi nearly stepped on a used hypodermic needle. It reminded us of St Kilda Beach in Melbourne, Australia, where you would never dare to walk bare foot for the very same reason. We had some great shows at The Funky Blues Shack in Sandestin and got an invite by Chuck and Ken Brown for a boat ride to Crab Island. Our last show took place at The Blues Tavern in Mobile, Alabama for the owner Randy's birthday. Unfortunately Randy decided to start his celebrating one day early, so we didn't see him too much at the show. We have a great festival season this summer and a tour to the UK.
Hope to see you out on the road this summer,
Peace, Harper & Midwest Kind
www.harper.biz (Official Harper Website)
www.blindpigrecords.com (CD orders/ downloads)