Thursday, September 23, 2010

Harper September Blog

Hey Everyone,

Wow the summer has really flown and Labor Day Weekend here in the USA is upon us. We head to the East Coast this Labor Day weekend with shows at Harry's, Hyannis, Mass, Inn on The Blues, York Beach, Maine & The Time out Pub in Rockland, Maine. Hurricane Earl is not going to effect our shows. August saw more festival madness. After our incredible weekend at the Maximum Blues Festival in Quebec, Canada we headed to Grand Rapids, Michigan to do a free show for the kids at the Williams Syndrome Camp. Now that was a saga- do you think we could find the Indian Trails Camping Grounds?. We drove up and down, Bobbi got out of the van to ask for directions three different times. It seems our GPS couldn't get her act together, so we had to rely on old fashioned local knowledge. We arrived about one hour late which was a first for us, but it didn't seem to matter, because everyone was so happy to see us. I have to say that this part of my musical career is the most fulfilling. These kids just give you so much love. I invited one of the kids up on stage to sing a 12 bar blues. The teachers told me he had a great voice. Well that kid sang like an old Chicago blues dude- it was amazing.

The next day we headed to The Cow Pie Festival in Alaska, Michigan. The weather was stifling hot, but no one seemed to care at the Cow Pie, and you really did need to watch where you stepped. The Festival was held on a working Angus Cattle Farm- so the cow pies were a plenty!!! There was no time to stick around as we had to drive to Madison, Wisconsin that night. It was a bummer because our good friends Biscuit Miller and Larry McCray were there and we all wanted to hang out. We made it to Duluth Minnesota the next day for the brilliant Bayfront Blues Festival where we performed just before Rod Piazza and Dr John. Bobbi & I hang out with Dr John before his set and we had a very in depth conversation about New Orleans and the BP Oil disaster. It was very inspiring because a week later we saw Dr John on the HBO Katrina Documentary by Spike Lee "If God is willing and the da creek don't rise" We had a fantastic set at Bayfront and was the highest CD seller of the day. We performed at a very cool bar called the Smiling Moose in Wisconsin on the way home to Michigan.

The next week we performed at the Cross Roads Music Festival in Ypsilanti, Michigan, we had a great set but the festival was closed down because a bunch of kids were fighting at another festival close by. We drove to Chicago that night & the next day we arrived at the hotel in Wausau, Wisconsin for the Big Bull Falls Festival. As we were rolling into the car park of Country Inn & Suites, the crank shaft pulley fell off our van. Yes it fell off!! After the accident in May, the transmission in late June and then having to wait for nearly 4 weeks for the body work to be repaired, Sylvia the Silver Bullet (Dodge Sprinter) was out of action yet again. Well I have to say on the positive side, we did land in Dodge Sprinter heaven- there was a dealership just 2 miles up the road and the kind folks at the festival came and picked us up & took us to the festival. The coordination was amazing- really no stress at all. We had a great set at the festival and we were the highest CD seller that day. We experienced the amazing music of Ruthie Foster and the Tommy Castro Band, the weather was picture perfect and the location was just stunning. Having a break down on a weekend, meant that we had to wait till Monday for any work to be done. So after the wrong part arrived on Tuesday, the van wasn't ready to go till Wednesday afternoon. I think everyone was going insane because we were only supposed to be away from home for one day which turned in four and a half days. But thankfully we are back on the road. I really have to thank the folks at The Country Inn & Suites in Schofield who really helped us out with a great deal on accommodation and a very late check out.

We are now driving home from a great weekend at The Paola Roots Festival in Kansas where we hung out with Hamilton Loomis and his band and Anthony Gomes who rolled in late Friday night from Chicago. We all stood about in the lobby of the hotel swapping road stories for hours-it was great to catch up with these guys. On a sad note we performed our last show at Blues On Grand in Des Moines, Iowa, unfortunately this club will be closing down in October. We will miss Jeff Wagner and his crew at this amazing blues mecca. We are all praying for a miracle to keep this club open. On another sad note, Harry's in Hyannis, MA will be closing after this weekend. Another great club gone, such a pity! Hope to see you out on the road this summer and fall.


Harper & Midwest Kind (Official Harper Website) CDs, E Book & T Shirt orders (for live video clips) (just for chatting) (for CD orders & downloads)