HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Its going to be great year this year!! Just found out that my band and I were listed in the "Top Concerts of 2011 for the City of Chicago" by Chicago Concert Goers Ezine. Not too shabby for an Aussie!!!
Our tour to Italy and Belgium was absolutely full on but incredible at the same time. It was my very first tour of Italy and for my band "Midwest Kind"-Chris, Matt and Scott- it was their very first tour to Europe. So we were very excited. We flew out of Chicago to Brussels, Belgium to catch another plane to Milan. Unfortunately I didn't realize that the airline that I had booked the flights to Italy were at another airport in Brussels. Now one would think OK I 'll catch a bus or a train, but with such little time available to us, I had to take us all to the airport in a taxi- VERY expensive. Thankfully we didn't have guitars and amps with us, so we all fitted in nicely. We caught our flight with time to spare. Our first show in Bergamo at Dusco Circus was excellent. With virtually no sleep we performed to a packed house of music lovers, we ate fabulous food and good times were had by all. We met up with our agent Luca and all was well. The hotel we stayed in was an absolute palace. The next day was the town of Torino for Il Magazzino Di Gilgamesh. Another great show in a beautiful town. After the show we stayed at a Bed and Breakfast which was close to the airport. We were all woken up at the crack of dawn by a very loud rooster, who just wouldn't shut up.
We caught a flight to Reggio di Calabria in Southern Italy, right on the Mediterranean Sea. It was just stunning and the weather was warm and sunny. You could see Sicily from the club. The Blue Dahlia Gallery Art Cafe was yet another excellent show. Now the funny thing about Italy is that they tell you that you have to perform at 10pm but in reality you perform at midnight because Italians don't go out until late, I mean very late. But they came out in force and we had yet another full house. Club owner Rogero treated us to aged Chianti and he even got up to play some harp with us. The next day our tour manager Enzo took us out to see the sights. He took us to a Tuscan Saracen Castle. It was an amazing day. Southern Italy is a beautiful place to see and the food is just divine!. The final show took place at La Sosta in Villa San Giovanni and again we had a great show!! After about 3 hours sleep we barely made it to our flight back to Belgium. Literally by the skin of our teeth!!! A huge thankyou to Luca and Enzo for a very successful Italian tour. We plan to revisit this year!
Next up was the Pjeire Blues Festival in Vilvoorde, Belgium. I had performed at this festival in 2008 and had an incredible time. It was so nice to meet up with dear friend Eddy Plasquy, festival director. Now Vilvoorde is known for eating horse and the word "Pjeire" is actually a nickname for "horse eater". But before all you horse lovers start yelling, there was no horse on the menu at the festival. The festival actually took place in a former aristocrat's stables. It was very grand indeedy!!! It was a fantastic event and we were all made to feel very welcome. We had an easy flight home and were very thankful to have had the opportunity to see such beautiful countries. Our families and friends were very happy to received their gifts of Belgium chocolate!!!
To end a fabulously busy year was a show at the Rochester Mills Brewing Company in Michigan, then followed by the big show at the Blues Museum in Windsor Canada. The show at the Blues Museum was just incredible. The show had been sold out six weeks in advance. There was an induction into the Hall of Fame. I received my "blue star" from Ted Boomer,from the Canada South Blues Society. The show was filmed by CFTV 34 for a TV presentation to be aired later in the year. We all had way too much fun, those Canadians know how to party!!! We also recorded a live CD, which will be released in March/April of this year.
Thank you all for your continued support through out 2011. May 2012 be the best year yet!!!
Peace and Thanks,
Harper & Midwest Kind
www.harper.biz (Official Harper Website) CDs, E Book & T Shirt orders
www.youtube.com/harperband (for live video clips)